An assortment of news and links that may be of interest:
The Tevatron has achieved a record luminosity for a hadron collider: 1.41×1032cm-2sec-1. This is higher than the best luminosity at the ISR at CERN, and that was a proton-proton collider. Getting to high luminosity at the Tevatron is a lot harder since one need to create and store an intense beam of antiprotons.
The proceedings of this year’s Lattice 2005 conference are now online.
Prior to the summer’s big algebraic geometry conference in Seattle, there was a Graduate Student Warm-Up Workshop at which there were some excellent expository talks, for which lecture notes are online. A couple of these talks were specifically relevant to physics (Jim Bryan’s and Ron Donagi’s), but they are all interesting and worth reading.
The Bulletin of the AMS has a new editor and will soon have a new cover. One article soon to appear is a short piece by Michael Atiyah on Mathematics: Art and Science which contains a very interesting explanation of his views on mathematical beauty. Another is a review article Floer Theory and Low Dimensional Topology by Dusa McDuff. Floer theory has its origins in Witten’s work on supersymmetry and Morse theory. McDuff goes over this, and explains recent results on Heegard Floer theory due to Peter Ozsvath and Zoltan Szabo. Ozsvath is my colleague here in the math department, and he has recently been joined by Mikhail Khovanov who moved here from Davis. The relation of Khovanov’s new homology theory for knot invariants and the Heegard Floer theory is the subject of recent work by several mathematicians, including a second new Columbia faculty member, Ciprian Manolescu.
There’s a fantastic new set of introductory lectures on quantum field theory by Luis Alvarez-Gaume and Miguel Vazquez-Mozo. In less than a hundred pages they cover a wide range of subjects including the basics of quantum field theory, anomalies, renormalization, external field problems and supersymmetry. Page for page it’s by far the best introduction to the subject I’ve ever seen. For some other similarly excellent introductions to the subject, see one by ‘t Hooft and one by Pierre van Baal.
The last two items come from links on Gerard ‘t Hooft’s excellent web-site which includes a useful page on How to Become a Good Theoretical Physicist. He has just put up a new page on How to Become a Bad Theoretical Physicist, where he notes that “It is much easier to become a bad theoretical physicist than a good one.” This page is still under construction, I fear that he has a large amount of potential material for it.