Author Archives: woit

Quick Links

Now back from the West Coast, here’s a list of things I’ve run across that may be of interest: One piece of news from Berkeley is that Peter Scholze will be there this fall, giving a course describing new techniques … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Nature is Fundamentally Conformally Invariant

For a third slogan I’ve chosen: Nature is fundamentally conformally invariant. Note the weasel-word “fundamentally”. We know that nature is not conformally invariant, but the kind of thing I have in mind is pure QCD, where the underlying classical theory … Continue reading

Posted in Quantum Mechanics | 33 Comments

Grand Unification of Mathematics and Physics

For a second slogan about quantum mechanics I’ve chosen: Quantum mechanics is evidence of a grand unification of mathematics and physics. I’m not sure whether this slogan is likely to annoy physicists or mathematicians more, but in any case Edward … Continue reading

Posted in Quantum Mechanics, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Quantum Theory is Representation Theory

For a first slogan (see here for slogan zero) I’ve chosen: Quantum theory is representation theory. One aspect of what I’m referring to is explained in detail in chapter 14 of these notes. Whenever you have a classical phase space … Continue reading

Posted in Quantum Mechanics | 43 Comments

Smashing Physics

I recently finally found a copy of Jon Butterworth’s Smashing Physics, which came out in the UK a few months ago, but still hasn’t made it to the US. As far as I know it’s the first book about the … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | 5 Comments

2014 Fields Medals

I thought this wasn’t supposed to be announced until late this evening New York time, but the Fields Medal announcement is now online. The winners are: Artur Avila Manjul Bhargava Martin Hairer Maryam Mirzakhani Mirzakhani is the first woman to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 53 Comments

What’s Hard to Understand is Classical Mechanics, Not Quantum Mechanics

For a zeroth slogan about quantum mechanics, I’ve chosen What’s hard to understand is classical mechanics, not quantum mechanics. The slogan is labeled by zero because it’s preliminary to what I’ve been writing about here. It explains why I don’t … Continue reading

Posted in Quantum Mechanics | 46 Comments

Fall QM Course

This year I’ll be teaching a new version of the same course on quantum mechanics aimed at mathematicians that I taught during the 2012-3 academic year (there’s a web-page here). During the last course I started writing up notes, and … Continue reading

Posted in Quantum Mechanics | 8 Comments

Quantum Connection Could Revitalize Superstrings

Finally back from vacation, postings may appear somewhat more regularly… Science journalist Tom Siegfried has been one of the most vociferous proponents of string theory for many, many years (see here), but even his faith seems like it might be … Continue reading

Posted in This Week's Hype | 22 Comments

The NSA, NIST and the AMS

Among the many disturbing aspects of the behavior of the NSA revealed by the Snowden documents, the most controversial one directly relevant to mathematicians was the story of the NSA’s involvement in a flawed NIST cryptography standard (for more see … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 23 Comments