Author Archives: woit

Isadore Singer 1924-2021

I was sorry to hear this morning of the death yesterday at the age of 96 of Is Singer, a mathematician who led much of the interaction between mathematics and physics during the 1970s and 1980s. In the early stages … Continue reading

Posted in Obituaries | 9 Comments

Geometric Langlands News

There’s various news to report on the geometric Langlands front, spanning number theory to quantum field theory: Minhyong Kim has been running an Online Mini-Conference on the Geometric Langlands Correspondence for the past month, and Dennis Gaitsgory has been doing … Continue reading

Posted in Langlands | 6 Comments

This Week’s Hype

I had just been thinking the other day about how little one hears recently about the multiverse, with those previously involved in heavy promotion of the idea perhaps having thought better of it. Today however, Quanta has Physicists Study How … Continue reading

Posted in This Week's Hype | 22 Comments

What is a Spinor?

Recently Jean-Pierre Bourguignon recently gave the Inaugural Atiyah Lecture, with the title What is a Spinor? The title was a reference to a 2013 talk by Atiyah at the IHES with the same title. Bourguignon’s lecture is not yet online, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Wilczek on the Problems of Fundamental Physics

Sean Carroll has a new interview up with Frank Wilczek in which they discuss, among other things, the problematic current state of fundamental physics. On the topic of string theory, here’s the discussion: 0:58:34.8 SC: Well, some of this worry … Continue reading

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Is the Standard Model Just an Effective Field Theory?

An article by Steven Weinberg entitled On the Development of Effective Field Theory appeared on the arXiv last night. It’s based on a talk he gave in September, surveys the history of effective field theories and argues for what I’d … Continue reading

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Various Links

Our semester at Columbia started earlier than usual this year, with first classes this week, my first class yesterday. This semester I’m teaching the second half of a year-long course on the mathematics of quantum mechanics. There’s a Youtube channel … Continue reading

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Martin Veltman 1931-2021

I heard today of the recent death of Martin Veltman, a theorist largely responsible (with his student Gerard ‘t Hooft) for showing the renormalizability of non-abelian gauge theories, a breakthrough crucial to the Standard Model that won both of the … Continue reading

Posted in Obituaries | 15 Comments

DAU. String Theory

I first wrote here in 2015 about DAU, the unusual film project based to some extent on the life of Landau. Parts of the film first were shown in Paris early in 2019, and this past year started appearing on … Continue reading

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20 Years Later

Almost exactly twenty years ago I started writing a short article about the problems with string theory. I had been thinking about doing this for quite a while, and the timing of entering the twenty-first century seemed appropriate for evaluating … Continue reading

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