Short Items

  • To get an idea of what’s going on at CERN not at the LHC, but at the theoretical end of things, take a look at the presentations at the recent CERN-TH retreat.
  • I was worried that this blog marked the end of the distinguished series of publications of W. C. Gall. Fortunately, I see that there is now more.
  • A year ago I attended a talk at NYU by IAS director Peter Goddard on the early history of the IHES and how it was inspired by the Princeton Institute. Cormac O’Raifertaigh reports here on a recent talk by Goddard at the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies, about how it too grew out of a similar inspiration.
  • Via Jordan Ellenberg, there’s news of a claimed proof of Leopoldt’s conjecture, with details available at a blog entry by Minhyong Kim at the new London Number Theory blog.
  • Among courses this semester the world over I wish I could attend, one would be Eckhard Meinrenken’s on Lie Groups and Clifford algebras. Luckily he’s producing lecture notes, updating those from a previous version of the course.
  • Next Tuesday the Science Channel will continue it’s great tradition of programming about fundamental physics with the premiere of a new show called Sci-Fi Science featuring Michio Kaku. The first evening’s episodes will explain

    a loophole in Einstein’s theory of relativity that shows how a spacecraft could travel at warp speed.

    followed by

    Dr. Kaku is on a mission to design a gateway to a parallel universe – but which type should he visit? MIT cosmologist Alan Guth explains his recipe for creating your own universe in the lab, and physicist Neil Turok explains how a parallel universe is only an atom’s length away from us.

    To their credit, sometimes they do actually have some real practical science which is not science fiction: yesterday they had Frank Wilczek on this show.

  • Update: Lubos has more Kaku.

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    3 Responses to Short Items

    1. DavidZS says:

      How the hell does Kaku get ANY respect ?
      The guy’s clearly on LSD.
      How is it these people still got their positions at Uni’s?
      Science is dead and these guys are kicking down it’s tomb stone

    2. Funny thing is, I really enjoyed Kaku’s book on Einstein. I was stuck in a hospital for 8 hours once waiting to see a doctor, read the thing several times, really enjoyed it.

      Thanks for the plug for the blog post on Goddard lecture Peter, it was a really interesting talk. Actually, one point the speaker didn’t touch on is the downside of the institutes. One problem the Dublin IAS suffers has is size – it’s so tiny there is no admin support whatsoever for organising conferences etc, so the professors do absolutely everything themselves. Also, the Institute does not advertise its successes at all well for the same reason- it is much better known outside Ireland than inside.
      For example, Lochlainn’s work is almost completely unknown in his own country – the last 3 collections of Irish scientists ignored him completely.

    3. neo says:

      We are all agreed that Kaku’s ideas are crazy, but are they crazy enough? To quote a famous man.

      OT–Kaku may be crazy, but his geography is better than that of Lubos. The latitude of England is indeed northern Canada (James Bay), not southern Canada as Lubos claims.

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