A few quick items:
- This past weekend I went to see the new film Out of Blue, which sounded promising: a murder mystery based on a Martin Amis book, set in New Orleans, starring Patricia Clarkson, with a plot involving lots of deep ideas about physics. Unfortunately, the film was pretty awful, for a review from a professional, see here. There was a lot of physics, I think intended to add philosophical depth, but it was just the usual Schrodinger’s cat, black holes, dark matter, multiverse mumbo-jumbo. The Variety reviewer appropriately ends her review with
It makes one feel a little bit embarrassed for the multiverse.
- Sticking to the sophomoric, I was searching through old boxes of stuff and turned up a paper I wrote, Quantum Theory and Reality, about the interpretation of quantum mechanics for an expository writing class during my first year (1976) of college. While it was my first year, I did have sophomore standing. Rereading the thing, I’m glad to see that I’ve learned a few things since my sophomore year, but on the other hand, some of my views haven’t changed (I still don’t think “hidden variables” work…).
- Ethan Siegel at Forbes has This is Why The Multiverse Must Exist. By now, all I can do is refer to this FAQ.
- Results using the full datasets of the LHC Run 2 are starting to appear, some of them in talks given at last week’s Moriond conference in La Thuile. There are summaries available from CMS, ATLAS and LHCb. Referring to the absence of any significant evidence of new particles or anything inconsistent with the SM, in these results and in a new result from BELLE, Jester comments:
La Thuile: Where Hopes Melt Away.
This week, there’s another ongoing “Winter” HEP conference (“Winter” I guess means you can go skiing…), at Aspen.
- I was sorry to hear of the recent death of Jean-Marc Fontaine, at the age of 74. Frank Calegari has an appreciation of Fontaine and his work here.
- For more positive recent developments in arithmetic geometry, I recommend Peter Scholze’s lecture series at UCLA on Prismatic Cohomology, discussed by Terry Tao here. In related news, this week at MSRI there’s an interesting workshop on Derived Algebraic Geometry and its Applications.
- For an interview with Eric Weinstein, who, like Sabine Hossenfelder, is always thought-provoking on the great question of why fundamental physics has gone off the rails, see here. I think he may have a point about Tom Lehrer.