Various and Sundry
Yet another random collection of topics of possible interest:
Things have been going well at the LHC recently, and there’s a new dashboard page at which progress can be followed. For the latest from the LHC, see the talks at last week’s LHC Days in Split. The LHC machine is discussed here, with the news that restart of proton-proton collisions (after a November 1 stop for a heavy-ion run and holiday shutdown) is tentatively scheduled for February 4. Long-term plans for the machine are covered here, including projected running at 6.5 TeV/beam in 2013, 7 TeV/beam in 2014, and a possible rebuilding of the machine with new magnets that would give 16.5 TeV/beam in 2031.
Now that the experiments have 10 inverse picobarns of data, the search for supersymmetry can begin in earnest, and various talks cover this. According to Maria Spiropulu of CMS “the time between O(10) and O(100) inverse picobarns of well-understood data will be critical for the discovery and characterization of SUSY”.
The other hot topic is that of how well the LHC will be able to compete with the Tevatron for discovery of the Higgs. Tommaso Dorigo discusses this here and here, using LHC projections given here.
In news of non-scientific projects of mathematicians and physicists, Edward Frenkel has a screenplay out called The Two-body Problem. Lisa Randall has curated an exhibition in LA entitled Measure for Measure.
Frank Wilczek is working on a murder mystery novel to be called The Attraction of Darkness, which will mix “science, music, sex, and murder.” There was a recent Bloggingheads conversation with him here. His response when asked about his take on string theory: “It needs work.”
For commentary from Charles Day, an editor as Physics Today, about why their coverage of string theory has been sparse, see here. For Clifford Johnson’s commentary on the commentary, see here.
Later this month the Princeton Center for Theoretical Science will have a workshop on Rare Events in Computational, Financial and Physical Sciences, co-sponsored by the hedge fund D.E. Shaw. D.E. Shaw has been a large employer of mathematicians and physicists, but recently hasn’t been doing so well, announcing the firing of about 10% of their staff.
The new documentary about the financial crisis that just came out, Inside Job, is surprisingly good, I highly recommend it.
Past proceedings of the International Congress of Mathematicians are now available on-line here.
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