Alvaro de Rujula has posted on the arXiv under the title “Fifty years of Yang-Mills Theories: a phenomenological point of view” some of his recollections from the mid-seventies. These bring back my own memories of taking a course on particle theory from him at Harvard around 1977-78. One amusing aspect of the course was that when introducing a concept carrying someone’s name, de Rujula would always say something like “this is the so-called Weinberg angle, which of course was discovered by Glashow”. In one lecture he did something a bit different, saying something like “this is the Cabibbo angle, which, strangely enough, I think actually may have been discovered by Cabibbo”. de Rujula’s paper contains one of his famous drawings from the period and an amusing picture of Georgi and Glashow arguing. His asides are entertaining, but some so obscure I confess to not knowing exactly what he is referring to.
Today’s arXiv postings also contain a review talk on the state of string theory. It discusses the “landscape” with the comment “However, with such large numbers of vacua involved, one must wonder whether the scheme is at all testable, even in principle.” Normally string theory reviews start by describing the theory as the “only known” or “best candidate” or “most promising” approach to unification. This one replaces those phrases by “dominant framework”, and one certainly can’t argue with that.