Author Archives: woit

Very Short Items

Long-awaited results from the Planck experiment were unveiled last week, with a new model for how to do this: hold a conference with no videos, no slides released, no wifi in the lecture hall, and put out a press release … Continue reading

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The Multiverse in a Nutshell

The Guardian has a podcast up today featuring Robert Trotta and David Wallace called The Multiverse in a Nutshell. It’s largely more of the usual uncritical multiverse hype that has been flooding the public expositions of fundamental physics for years … Continue reading

Posted in Multiverse Mania | 29 Comments

For Your Viewing Pleasure

If you’ve already seen the various new math/physics films coming out of Hollywood, this week you might be interested in watching some of the real thing, including the following: The hot ticket this week will be Monday’s Planck session at … Continue reading

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The Imitation Game

This season’s Hollywood math/physics extravaganza is starting to come to an end. For coverage of the Breakthrough Prize ceremony, I enthusiastically recommend Michael Harris’s new piece at Slate which just appeared. The final high profile production, one promoted at the … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | 24 Comments

Planck News?

The timing for release of long-awaited Planck polarization data keeps getting pushed back. At one point it was supposed to be earlier this year, most recently it was supposed to be this month, with that timing forced by a conference … Continue reading

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Advertisements for the Multiverse

After watching the Breakthrough Prize awards tonight, tomorrow night on the Science Channel you can watch a program that actually features physicists rather than Hollywood/Silicon Valley celebrities. There’s an hour long infomercial for the Multiverse, entitled “Which Universe Are We … Continue reading

Posted in Multiverse Mania, Uncategorized | 43 Comments

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

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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

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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

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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

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