It seems that Jean-Pierre Serre now spends his time commenting on blogs.
For those interested in particle physics history, there’s an interesting article by George Zweig here about his role in the discovery of quarks (which he called “aces”).
There’s a very nice new survey article by Mikhail Shifman about QCD, especially about hopes to exploit supersymmetric models to better understand non-perturbative issues.
Blogger String Theory Fan still gets hits from the trackback to his blog entry over there. Trackbacks to hep-th papers from here still seem to be censored, but people find out about the postings anyway. For instance, the authors of this recent paper have put out a revised version adding a reference to the earlier calculation in the math literature pointed out here.
If you like listening to talks by Nobel Laureates, there’s a whole bunch here.
One person who is more than distinguished enough to be a Nobel Laureate but isn’t one since he made the mistake of being born too late is Edward Witten. Last week he was in Europe collecting other well-deserved medals: the Lorentz Medal in Amsterdam and the Newton Medal in London. Evidently he was giving two talks, one for the public and one more technical. The public one was entitled String Theory and the Universe and probably not to my taste. It should appear at some point here, but for now there’s a report here at Physics World. Michael Green introduced Witten with the accurate title of “Master of the Path Integral”. The more technical one may have better shown off Witten’s mastery; it had the fascinating title of A New Look At The Path Integral of Quantum Mechanics, and I’m hoping it will appear soon here (or maybe a commenter who has heard the talk in Amsterdam or elsewhere can tell us more about it…)
While I’m not sure how strongly Witten feels about string theory these days, there’s not much ambiguity in the case of Michio Kaku. He was on the Colbert Report Monday night and has a recent blog entry arguing that We Physicists Are the Only Scientists Who Can Say the Word “God” and Not Blush:
As you know, I work in something called String Theory which makes the statement that we are reading the mind of God. It’s based on music or little vibrating strings thus giving us particles that we see in nature. The laws of chemistry that we struggled with in high school would be the melodies that you can play on these vibrating strings. The Universe would be a symphony of these vibrating strings and the mind of God that Einstein wrote about at length would be cosmic music resonating through this nirvana… through this 11 dimensional hyperspace—that would be the mind of God. We physicists are the only scientists who can say the word “God” and not blush.
If you’re in New York and want to help him defeat a Cyborg Army on July 16th, see this.
As for me, I’m heading soon for Patagonia to try and see another eclipse. After that I’ll be traveling in South America for a couple weeks, won’t be able to help with the Cyborgs since I should be somewhere around Lake Titicaca on the 16th. Comments may get shutdown temporarily here for a while, partly because of the hundreds of spam comments coming in here each day, not all of which get caught by the spam filter, making some on-going maintenance necessary.