Author Archives: woit

Quick Items

A few quick items before the holiday: I hear that Luis Alvarez-Gaumé will be the next Director of the Simons Center, starting next Fall, taking over from John Morgan, the founding Director. My understanding is that the hope was to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 40 Comments

This Week’s Non-Hype

Since I often post here complaints about articles produced by the press offices of various institutions that hype in a misleading way physicist’s theoretical work, I thought it a good idea to make up for this by noting a positive … Continue reading

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Langlands Items

There’s an interesting development in the math-physics overlap, with a significant number of physicists getting interested in the theory of automorphic forms, often motivated by the problem of computing string scattering amplitudes. This has led to a group of them … Continue reading

Posted in Langlands | 8 Comments

This Week’s Hype

This week’s string theory hype comes to us from USC physicists Clifford Johnson and Nick Warner, courtesy of the USC press office (see here and here). It’s garden variety hype of this kind, exactly the same claims about strings and … Continue reading

Posted in This Week's Hype | 22 Comments

2016 Breakthrough Prizes

The 2016 Breakthrough Prizes were announced last night, discussed a bit in the last posting. Today there are programs going on at Berkeley, livestreams available here. One thing that strikes me about these things is that the situation with the … Continue reading

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Various News

Later tonight will be the 2016 Breakthrough Prize ceremony, broadcast live on the National Geographic channel. While mathematicians and physicists are getting their popcorn ready, waiting to find out which of their colleagues will be $3 million richer, they might … Continue reading

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The Elephants in the Room – What every physicist should know about string theory

The string wars seem to still be going on, with the latest salvos coming from Ashtekar and Witten. In a very interesting recent interview, at the end Ashtekar has some comments about string theory and how it is being pursued. … Continue reading

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Russian Math-Physics Film News

I’m pressed for time, heading out tomorrow for a short vacation in San Francisco, but I did want to write a little bit here before leaving. Last year around now, a theme was Hollywood blockbuster films with physics/math themes, this … Continue reading

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The Latest Information on Information

The field of hep-th has always been quite faddish, with many of the fads easily recognizable just from looking at the buzzwords appearing in paper titles. In recent years “entanglement” is a buzzword that has been all the rage, and … Continue reading

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Prizes and Other Stuff

There will be an awards ceremony November 8 for the 2016 Breakthrough Prizes, hosted by Seth MacFarlane, and airing live on the National Geographic Channel, later to run on FOX. The next day at Berkeley there will be a Breakthrough … Continue reading

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