- Paul Frampton has been found guilty on drug charges in Buenos Aires, looks like he will be able to serve out his sentence under house arrest, get released sometime in 2014. It’s unclear at this point how the University of North Carolina will handle this. For details, there’s Physics World, the Daily Mail, the Winston-Salem Journal, and Clarin.
- Erik Verlinde over the past couple years has gotten 6.5 million euros in prizes and grants to fund his work on entropic gravity (see here). Now, he’ll head up a new institution, the Delta Institute for Theoretical Physics, funded with 18.3 million euros from the Dutch scientific funding agency NWO as part of its Gravitation Programme.
There’s an interview with Verlinde here. He says he’s working on explaining dark matter with his entropic gravity ideas. There’s no paper about this, I guess because:
There are some small gaps in my reasoning and things that I still do based on intuition. I’m trying to fill in those gaps.
but he thinks these ideas about dark matter will be tested in “no more than 10 or 15 years”.
- Another new theoretical physics institution is The Higgs Centre for Theoretical Physics in Edinburgh, where they’re hosting an inaugural symposium in January.
- The latest TEDYouth is online, see here. It seems that they may think that Youth these days is pretty ADD, since they have all presentations limited to six minutes. In one of them (around 3:50) they’ve got Clifford Johnson explaining the exciting new idea of replacing particles by strings moving in extra dimensions.
- Mochizuki’s claimed proof of the ABC Conjecture still seems to be resisting the attempts of experts to understand and evaluate it. He has put on his web-site some slides for a talk next month, and promises a survey article next March.
- Easier to follow in principle, but at 367 pages still pretty daunting, is a new paper from Laurent Lafforgue, chronicling his attempt to develop “non-linear” versions of the Poisson formula that would imply Langlands functoriality.
- If you were wondering about that tatoo in Edward Frenkel’s film, see Mathematics, Love and Tattoos for an explanation.
- In other film news, there’s the Colliding Particles project for a film about the Higgs. They’ve got a new segment up, several more coming soon at one/week.
- The debate in the HEP community about the death of SUSY goes on, and will undoubtedly continue along the same lines for quite a while. Latest is from New Scientist, which has Steven Weinberg describing the situation in a way that that can’t be argued with:
SUSY’s plausibility is reduced, but not to zero.
For the argument over whether SUSY was and is an overhyped, implausible idea, on one side there’s Michael Peskin, with:
I think that the serious effort given to SUSY is appropriate…”
and on the other, taking the Not Even Wrong side of this argument, there’s Matt Strassler with:
The theory, specifically as something we would observe at the LHC, was wildly over-promoted.
Meanwhile, the OA industry is becoming increasingly diverse; it includes traditional powerhouses, such as Germany’s Springer, which now publishes about 300 OA titles, as well as a vast array of newcomers. OA publishers have a built-in incentive to lower the bar, Dupuis says, because in contrast to subscription journals, an OA title earns more revenue with every paper its editors accept.
Moreover, many so-called predatory publishers—which often eschew peer review, use fake editors, or contain plagiarized papers—have flooded the market, says Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado, Denver, who keeps an online list of these dodgy outfits.