- In the something of interest category, last week at Columbia there was a panel discussion held as part of the World Leader’s Forum, introduced by our president Lee Bollinger, on the topic What If We Find the Higgs Particle and What if We Don’t.
Columbia’s Michael Tuts and Brian Greene gave an excellent discussion of the topic, to a large and attentive audience. Probably nothing new to readers of this blog, but I think they did a great job of it, and was interested to notice that Brian expressed skepticism about Kane’s claims to derive the Higgs mass from string theory. Dennis Overbye of the New York Times seemed rather wary of hype about HEP, since he’s a veteran of seeing the Times burned by this sort of thing. It’s now been quite a while since they’ve made the mistake of putting up LHC headlines like Physicists Finally Find a Way to Test Superstring Theory.
Maybe there’s a better source for the video linked above, in the version I’m looking at, everyone is blue…
In other “something” news, Brian’s World Science Festival has just announced its schedule, available here.
- On the Krauss/Albert debate over nothingness front, yesterday there was a piece on the Huffington Post by Victor Stenger taking up the fight on Krauss’s side. Over at Scientific American today, John Horgan comes into the ring on Albert’s side.
Like Horgan, I’ve recently got ahold of a copy of a pre-publication copy of a much more interesting take on the something/nothing business, Jim Holt’s Why Does the World Exist?. I look forward to writing something about it here soon.
Update: Thanks to commenter Zathras for pointing to the latest punches returned by Krauss (see here):
Well, I read a moronic philosopher who did a review of my book in the New York Times who somehow said that having particles and no particles is the same thing, and it’s not.
Update: When checking out John Horgan’s SciAm piece on this, don’t miss the comment section, where he and Krauss are going at it.
Update: Via commenter Billy Hudson, Krauss’s fighting words about philosophers and philosophy seem to have brought the philosophy community into the fight on Albert’s side, see Massimo Pigliucci’s latest.