Nature Physics

A new physics journal was launched this week, it’s an offshoot of Nature called Nature Physics and will cover research in pure and applied physics. In an opening editorial, the editors of the new journal explain what its goals are. Back over at their mother publication, in their own editorial, the editors of Nature welcome the new publication, although they can’t help pointing out that “Nowadays, thanks to the allure of biology’s progress and benefits, physics is just another discipline.”

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21 Responses to Nature Physics

  1. andy.s says:

    Umm… what was it before?

  2. TJ says:

    I loved the editorial at Nature:

    The enduring conjugal relationship between physics and mathematics continues to stimulate both.

  3. dan says:

    loop 2005 is almost here. is anyone blogging on this?

  4. Urs says:

    loop 2005 is almost here. is anyone blogging on this?

    I’d bet you’d get to see a TWF or two about it 🙂

  5. dan says:

    i think it is next week. hopefully peter woit will offer comments/insights. i wouldn’t mind lubos but he isn’t very objective. do you blog urs?

  6. Urs says:

    do you blog urs?

    Not from loops05, if that’s what you are after.

    The next meeting that I plan to blog-report on is a MathPhys Colloquium here in Hamburg.

    However, my new colleague D. Bahns will be in Potsdam, giving a talk on ‘Pohlmeyer invariants’ (which are classical invariant observables of the Nambu-Goto and Polyakov string) (even though).

    So with a little luck I might be able to report on some second-hand information. Perhaps.

  7. Ken Muldrew says:

    Andy.s:

    A previous Nobellist in stamp collecting once proclaimed that, “All of science is either physics or stamp collecting.”

    Physics used to be a big thing.

  8. Who says:

    andy.s congratulations on the plainspoken forthrightness of your remarks here
    http://www.fields.utoronto.ca/programs/scientific/04-05/string-theory/strings2005/panel.html

    especially in the interval 1:26–1:29, as well as your panelmember talk starting at 52:00. I say this simply in the interest of giving credit where due.

  9. QWERTY says:

    WHY OH WHY OH HAVE YOU FAILED TO REVIEW THE NEW NOTICES OF THE AMS IN A TIMELY FASHION? RSS FEEDS MEAN THAT I NOW PROCRASTINATE WITH SURPASSING EFFICIENCY, AND I RELY ON CONTENT PROVIDERS (YES, THIS MEANS YOU WOIT) TO PROVIDE ME WITH THEIR OH SO DISTRACTING CONTENT POST-HASTE. I FEEL NO SHAME IN MAKING THESE DEMANDS OF VERY BUSY PEOPLE BECAUSE OF MY NEO-MODERNIST UPBRINGING. YOU SHOULD ALSO PROVIDE SPECULATIVE REMARKS ABOUT THE NEW MATHEMATICS THE QUANTUM HALL EFFECT EXPERIMENT WILL GENERATE AND COMMENT ON THE RECENT WORK OF DENCKER REGARDING NIRENBERG-TRENES. HURRY.

  10. andy.s says:

    Wow. This guy thinks I’m a Harvard string theorist.

    Of course, on this blog that might not be a compliment.

  11. Who says:

    my mistake. hope you had a look at some of the toronto show.
    you could do worse than be a harvard string theorist btw.

  12. Who says:

    dan wrote (October 6th, 2005 at 10:33 pm)
    loop 2005 is almost here. is anyone blogging on this?

    John Baez said he asked about videotaping and was told that the Loops ’05 people plan on recording the talks and putting them online.

    My understanding anyway is that we should eventually be able to download some or all of the invited talks (e.g. by Rovelli, Smolin, Baez, Loll, Reuter, Ashtekar and others)

    Urs is right that one should expect Baez to report in TWF—most likely when he gets back from the conference, sometime after 15 October.

    the slides for Baez talk, scheduled for Tuesday 11th, are already posted at his site, with links to related work.

  13. dan says:

    incidentally,
    i am curious as to the purpose of these conferences, since presumably the material could all be retried from physics journals like arix. will there be any new material introduced, not reflected in journals

  14. Who says:

    dan writes:incidentally,
    i am curious as to the purpose of these conferences, since presumably the material could all be retried from physics journals like arix. will there be any new material introduced, not reflected in journals

    I will answer you as best I can. there certainly will be unpublished stuff brought out in the talks, and IDEAS for future papers. To see this, Just look at the abstracts of the talks: for example
    Laurent Freidel says explicitly that he is going to extend something to 4D which he has not yet published—-John Baez has a new abstract, not at the conference website, and he will be talking mostly about stuff he has not published. Rovelli will be putting stuff together from half a dozen recent papers by him and others, and projecting from that to future research.
    So there will be plenty talked about that is unpublished. but maybe that is not the point.

    I think the point is that if you are a Gradstudent or a Postdoc then it is very important for you to know personally some of the other 150 people in the field so you know WITH WHOM TO TEAM UP IN COLLABORATION and also WHERE TO GO FOR YOUR NEXT POSTDOC and if you are a Faculty then you want to size up the horseflesh and see who of the postdocs looks good, then maybe you can bring good ones to your department. Everything is done by teamwork and interaction and people stimulating each others ideas. So it is terribly important to personally know all the promising people. when you know someone, then you know more than what quality papers they HAVE written. when you listen to someone you also get an impression of what quality papers they WILL write, and you get a sense if they would be simpatico to co-author with.
    The people at Loops ’05 come from several different QG approachs, canonical LQG, spinfoam, CDT, causal sets, also cosmology/phenomenology like Maartens, and numerical relativity, also consistent discretizations approach of Pullin/Gambini. They have to meet in order to trade ideas and postdocs and coallesce into a “nonperturbative quantum gravity” community. Ultimately they have to cross lines and converge results. there must be a lot that will happen besides what you get from reading each other’s papers in isolation.

  15. Chris Oakley says:

    I agree with Who (World Health Organisation?) in that the function of conferences is mainly for networking, and what one gains in talking to people between sessions is actually far more valuable than the talks themselves. I don’t know whether this is just me, but a general problem with the talks at conferences (or elsewhere) is that they always seem to assume that you too have been working on their particular problem for the last six months. After about the second transparency you therefore tend to not be able to follow the details, and switch off. When I gave talks on my own work I was well aware of this problem, and so tried to keep it interesting for the entire audience for the duration. The success of my methods was demonstrated by the fact that at a talk I gave at Harwell Laboratory in 1987, only one person fell asleep (although, admittedly, he was snoring loudly).

  16. Nigel says:

    ‘…the function of conferences is mainly for networking, and what one gains in talking to people between sessions is actually far more valuable than the talks themselves…’

    Chris, what about the function of publicity which science conferences are sometimes used for (and not just those of political parties which pevent heckling using the Prevention of Terrorism Act).

    String theorists have cried wolf so many times that physics has lost popular credibility. Can you imagine the media forever reporting endless speculations in ST without any hope of being tested? Then look at the decline in A-level physics students over the last decade (since M-theory hype in 1995), it’s now behind social sciences, as everyone knows it is a dead end discipline.

  17. Chris Oakley says:

    Nigel,

    … what about the function of publicity which science conferences are sometimes used for [?]

    Having been at CERN relatively recently, you would probably know more about this than I do [the last international physics conference I attended was at ICTP nr. Trieste in 1983. I don’t remember journalists being there … my clearest memory, in fact, is Abdus Salam’s Mercedes being parked on a dais next to the main building – as director he did not seem to be obliged to use the car park like everyone else].

  18. Nigel says:

    Chris,

    It’s sad that physics is so dull that journalists don’t report the conferences anymore, and while ST dominates, there will be no news from the theory end of physics (unless you want sci fi).

    I’ve not worked for Cern, although their preprint server hosts an article on cosmology/gravity.

    On QTF controversy, do you think it might be possible to find an easier way around the maths, at least for the first coupling correction? I’d like a simple explanation of magnetic moment factor 1 + 1/(2 x Pi x 137) = 1.00116 Bohr magnetons. All the renormalisation problems from the abstract maths look bogus to me, surely there is a more simple solution behind it? The 2 Pi is going to be a geometric correction and the 137 also has a physical explanation like the shielding factor of the charge of the electron core by the polarised virtual charge surrounding it? I can’t exactly see the solution, but surely it doesn’t need a vast amount of abstract theory? I can’t see why QED is so applauded for trivia like the 10 decimals of the magnetic moment of an electron, when it does not address the physical mechanism of EM forces. OK, it has survived experimental tests (if you accept renormalisation), but it is hardly complete.

  19. Chris Oakley says:

    Hi Nigel,

    I agree that the jewels in the crown of QED (the Lamb Shift and anomalous MM’s) are not much more impressive than Ivan Boesky’s miraculous prescience in regard to stock prices in 1980’s, but at this stage I don’t have much to add to what I have already said on my web site. Numerical coincidences are no more than that unless there is a meaningful theory behind it.

  20. dan says:

    thanks who.

    was there a loops 2004, and is there a loops 2006 scheduled? personally i wish lubos attended, as he is a very punctual blogger

  21. Who says:

    dan wrote ( October 8th, 2005 at 11:08 pm)
    thanks who.

    was there a loops 2004, and is there a loops 2006 scheduled?

    Here is the main webpage for last year’s conference:
    http://web.lpta.univ-montp2.fr/users/philippe/quantumgravitywebsite/

    Last year it was called
    Non Perturbative Quantum Gravity:
    Loops and Spin Foams

    It took place 3-7 May at Marseille. Before that conference it was not clear that there was going to be a yearly Quantum Gravity conference, so it was not called “Loops ’04”. The international organizing committee was much the same people as for Loops ’05. They saw that the 2004 conference was a success, and enough was happening, so they decided to make it annual.

    Last year there were 101 registered participants
    http://web.lpta.univ-montp2.fr/users/philippe/quantumgravitywebsite/

    This year there are 156 participants.
    http://loops05.aei.mpg.de/index_files/Participants.html

    The name “Loops ’05” is very much a shorthand expression. On the main webpage for this year’s conference
    http://loops05.aei.mpg.de/
    they say: “Loops ’05…[this year] the annual international meeting on non-perturbative/background independent quantum gravity takes place from …”

    In other words they just started the tradition of having an annual meeting of researchers in non-perturbative/background independent quantum gravity and they call it by the shorthand “Loops” although there are several different approaches, not just LQG but also spinfoams, CDT, QEG, causalsets.

    dan, you ask about next year’s conference. I will risk a guess that it has not been decided yet where to have it, but that there will be one, that it will called Loops ’06, and that it will be in Utrecht. It could just as well be at Penn State, or at Perimeter Institute. The reason I think Utrecht is that Ashtekar will be there at least one semester in 2006—it tips the balance in that direction. But the location is just a wild guess.

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