Author Archives: woit

Special Relativity and Classical Field Theory

For quite a while Leonard Susskind has been giving some wonderful courses on physics under the name “The Theoretical Minimum”, pitched at a level in between typical popularizations and standard advanced undergraduate courses. This is a great idea, since there … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | 30 Comments

QCD at $\theta=\pi$

Earlier this week Zohar Komargodski (who is now at the Simons Center) visited Columbia, and gave a wonderful talk on recent work he has been involved in that provides some new insight into a very old question about QCD. Simplifying … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Modern Theories of Quantum Gravity

Quanta magazine today has a column by Robbert Dijkgraaf that comes with the abstract: Reductionism breaks the world into elementary building blocks. Emergence finds the simple laws that arise out of complexity. These two complementary ways of viewing the universe … Continue reading

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Modern Geometry

This semester I’m teaching the first semester of Modern Geometry, our year-long course on differential geometry aimed at our first-year Ph.D. students. A syllabus and some other information about the course is available here. In the spring semester Simon Brendle … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 26 Comments

This and That

The Stacks Project (see an earlier post here) had a very successful workshop in Ann Arbor earlier this month. This is a remarkable effort pioneered by Johan de Jong to produce a high quality open source reference for the field … Continue reading

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Road Trip

Blogging will be light to non-existent for the next ten days or so, as I head out west on a road trip to see next Monday’s solar eclipse. Current plan is to fly to Denver tomorrow, pick up a vehicle, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 19 Comments


In recent years a hot topic in some theoretical physics circles has been the 2013 “ER=EPR” conjecture first discussed by Maldacena and Susskind here. Every so often I try and read something explaining what this is about, but all such … Continue reading

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Cosmology for the Curious

There’s a new college-level textbook out, Cosmology for the Curious, targeted at physics courses designed to explain basics of cosmology to non-physics majors. The authors are Delia Perlov and Alex Vilenkin. Back in 2006 Vilenkin published a popular book promoting … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Multiverse Mania | 26 Comments

Quick Links

For representation theory aficionados, George Lusztig has put on the arXiv a long document with comments on his papers (for a bit more about him, see this). For a new idea exemplifying the potential grand unification of mathematics and physics, … Continue reading

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A Few Items

Just a few items: The Simons Foundation has announced a new Origins of the Universe initiative, which will fund efforts to “develop testable predictions about string theory, quantum gravity and a cosmological ‘Big Bounce.’” I don’t think even all of … Continue reading

Posted in Langlands, Uncategorized | 10 Comments