Author Archives: woit

Are Physical Laws Inevitable?

The last couple days have seen various discussions online generated by a piece at Quanta Magazine with the dubious headline Why the Laws of Physics Are Inevitable and an even worse sub-headline claiming “physicists working on the ‘bootstrap’ have rederived … Continue reading

Posted in This Week's Hype | 15 Comments

This and That

First, a few physics items: Mark Alpert has a new novel out, Saint Joan of New York, a thriller subtitled “A Novel About God and String Theory”, which is an accurate description. It’s published by Springer, so you may be … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Multiverse Mania, Uncategorized | 23 Comments

News From HEPAP

For presentations a couple days ago at the latest HEPAP meeting, see here. One piece of news, from this presentation, is that there likely will be a delay in the scheduled startup of the HL-LHC, with the next LHC run … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 26 Comments

Terrifying Odyssey Through a Cursed World

The great German artist Anselm Kiefer now has a show up in London at the White Cube Bermondsey gallery, with a review in the Guardian entitled Terrifying Odyssey Through a Cursed World. The review describes some of the works as … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

The Man Who Solved the Market

There’s an excellent new book out about Jim Simons and Renaissance Technologies, The Man Who Solved the Market, by Gregory Zuckerman. I recommend it enthusiastically to anyone interested in the story of how a geometer ended up being worth \$23 … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | 14 Comments

Various Links

Now back from a trip to the West Coast, here are some accumulated things that may be of interest: One thing I didn’t do while there was attend the 2020 Breakthrough Prize symposium. For videos of three talks about supergravity, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments

Today’s Hype

Hype about string theory and fundamental physics seemed to have been dying down recently, with only three editions here so far in 2019 of This Week’s Hype. Today however brings a bumper crop of the highest quality, with new examples … Continue reading

Posted in Swampland, This Week's Hype | 13 Comments

John Tate 1925-2019

John Tate, who was responsible for some of the most important developments in number theory and arithmetic geometry during the second half of the twentieth century, has passed away at the age of 94. Tate was a faculty member in … Continue reading

Posted in Obituaries | 1 Comment


Some links related to the foundations of math and physics: Kevin Hartnett at Quanta has a long article on Jacob Lurie and his work on infinity categories. Unfortunately Lurie didn’t participate in the article himself, so comments are only from … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

2019 Physics Nobel Prizes Announced, John Horgan Wins

The 2019 Physics Nobel Prizes were announced this morning, half going to Jim Peebles for his work on big bang cosmology, half to Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz for discovery of an exoplanet. You can read elsewhere more details about … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 25 Comments