Author Archives: woit

Breakthrough Prize on TV

You can watch the recent Breakthrough Prize awards ceremony on TV tonight, 6 pm on the Science and Discovery channels. The Science Channel has a site with videos of highlights of the evening, the complete list of which is: Christina … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Alexander Grothendieck 1928-2014

I just heard that Alexander Grothendieck passed away today, at the age of 86, in Saint-Girons. For a French news story, see here. Grothendieck’s story was one of the great romantic stories of modern mathematics, and many would consider him … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 27 Comments

2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

The prize was awarded (by the actor who played Stephen Hawking), in a Hollywood-style awards ceremony (see here) to the 51 members of the two teams responsible for the supernova data showing that the universe is accelerating, with the 2011 … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 22 Comments

The Theory of Everything

Hollywood theoretical physics week, focusing on quantum gravity and black holes, continues with the opening this weekend of The Theory of Everything, a Stephen Hawking biopic. It’s quite good, although a bit too heart-warming for my taste. The focus is … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 14 Comments

Short Items

On Monday there will be symposia at Stanford featuring the Breakthrough Prize winners, with streaming video available. For the morning program, with dignitaries and such, see here. The Mathematics symposium will run 11-5, the program is here, streaming video here. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Quantum Mechanics and Spacetime in the 21st Century

This evening’s Hollywood-style entertainment came from the Perimeter Institute, where they had a big public event, live-streamed to the world, featuring Nima Arkani-Hamed speaking on Quantum Mechanics and Spacetime in the 21st Century. You should be able to watch the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 17 Comments

Hollywood Theoretical Physics Week

Just got back from an opening night showing of the new sci-fi film Interstellar at the Ziegfeld theater here in New York. If you want some idea of what the film is about, trailers are here and here. Warning: spoilers … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 31 Comments

Last Week’s Hype

When looking at the nonsense spread around the media by this week’s university press-release-driven hype about string field theory “explaining quantum mechanics”, I realized that maybe I shouldn’t have ignored last week’s university press-release-driven hype, which was about the multiverse … Continue reading

Posted in This Week's Hype | 13 Comments

This Week’s Hype

From commenter Hendrik, there’s the news that USC has put out a press release claiming that String Theory Could Be the Foundation of Quantum Mechanics. These claims are based on this paper, which argues that finding the Heisenberg commutation relations … Continue reading

Posted in Quantum Mechanics, This Week's Hype | 5 Comments

News, Interesting and Otherwise

On the side of interesting good news, I just heard that yet another Fields Medalist has a blog. This time it’s David Mumford, who is blogging here, with his latest posting about path integrals. His website contains a wealth of … Continue reading

Posted in Experimental HEP News, Multiverse Mania, Uncategorized | 7 Comments