Author Archives: woit

Zen University

The establishment of a new university in Japan has been announced, to be called ZEN University. One component of the new university will be the Inter Universal Geometry Center, with Fumiharu Kato as director, Ivan Fesenko as deputy director. The … Continue reading

Posted in abc Conjecture | 2 Comments

From Quantum Mechanics to Number Theory via the Oscillator Representation

This past semester I taught our graduate class on Lie groups and representations, and spent part of the course on the Heisenberg group and the oscillator representation. Since the end of the semester I’ve been trying to clean up and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Various and Sundry

A few unrelated items: I’ve been hearing from several people about their plans to travel to China this summer, just realized that they’re all going there for the same reason, to participate in the First International Congress of Basic Science. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 19 Comments

Quantum Supremacy

We’re hearing this week from two very different parts of the string theory community that quantum supremacy (quantum computers doing better than classical computers) is the answer to the challenges the subject has faced. New Scientist has an article Quantum … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, This Week's Hype, Wormhole Publicity Stunts | 29 Comments

string theory lied to us and now science communication is hard

I want to make up for linking to something featuring Michio Kaku yesterday by today linking to the exact opposite, an insightful explanation of the history of string theory, discussing the implications of how it was sold to the public. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 60 Comments

This Week’s Hype

According to this article, string theory is going to be tested using quantum computers, by doing a lattice QCD calculation: The way string theory is tested involves ‘lattice quantum chromodynamics’: a calculation problem far beyond what digital computers can achieve. … Continue reading

Posted in This Week's Hype | 6 Comments

Kontsevich on the Hodge and Tate conjectures

Yesterday afternoon there was an event at CUNY featuring a panel discussion on Chern-Simons terms. Nothing new there, although it was interesting to hear first-hand from Witten the story of how he came up with the Chern-Simons-Witten theory. One piece … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Reality is a Paradox

Lex Fridman’s latest podcast features a nearly four hour long conversation with Edward Frenkel, under the title Reality is a Paradox – Mathematics, Physics, Truth & Love. Normally I’m fairly allergic to hearing mathematicians or physicists publicly sharing their wisdom … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Who was “Not Even Wrong” first?

I recently heard from John Minkowski, whose father Jan Minkowksi was a student of Pauli’s in the late 1940s. He asked if I knew what the specific context of Pauli’s “Not Even Wrong” comment was, and I told him I … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 17 Comments

A Muon Collider?

The US particle physics community has been going through a multi-year process designed to lead up this fall to a 10 year strategic plan to be presented to the DOE and the NSF. In particular, this will generate a prioritized … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments