Quick Links

  • The new issue of Nautilus has a wonderful story about Yitang Zhang, called The Twin Prime Hero, which includes a long interview with him. Zhang’s remarkable mathematical career includes several years working at a Subway in Kentucky. His sucessful work on the twin prime conjecture (see here) was done over four years, working seven days a week without almost any breaks, while teaching two classes at a time.
  • This year’s Physics Nobels will be announced October 8, Nature has a story here. For non-HEP physics, I have no ideas about likely winners. For HEP, of course the Higgs is the big news. Personally I think they should give the award to CERN + ATLAS + CMS, but that would require changing their tradition of not making this award to groups. Seems like a good time to change this. On the theory side, in some sense it is Weinberg-Salam that has been vindicated, and they already got the prize for this. If one wanted to give a prize for the general idea of the Higgs mechanism, I’ve argued that Anderson should be included (see here).
  • This weekend the IAS will host Dreams of Earth and Sky, a celebration of Freeman Dyson’s 90th birthday, see more here.
  • I’m not going to the Dyson-fest, but am looking forward to seeing the film Particle Fever this weekend at the New York Film Festival.
  • Next weekend it will be not physics, but math, as I’ll be at the Simons Foundation day-long program on October 5, Celebrating the Mathematics of Pierre Deligne. Recently I’ve been spending some time watching Deligne’s lectures from this past spring at the IHES, available in high quality video here.
  • The only mention of Bohemian Gravity! here was in a comment a while back, and I hadn’t added more, since this has gotten attention from hundreds of other sources. But of course it really is great and deserves all the attention and more, so if you’re the only reader of this blog who hasn’t checked it out, do so now.
  • Frank Wilczek has been very active on Twitter recently, and a directory of some of his recent writings is here. According to this tweet, he has plans at some point to break out of the 120 character limit.
  • Latest news from the LHC is here. Work is on schedule for January 2015 first beams at a higher energy of 13 TeV.
  • For an example showing that some basic technical questions about the Standard Model are still poorly understood and deserve a lot more attention, see Michael Creutz’s talk on Chiral Symmetries and Lattice Fermions at this recent QCD conference, as well as the preprint version here.

Update: In case you don’t get enough material from me here explaining what the problem is with the “multiverse”, Sabine Hossenfelder has more here.

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8 Responses to Quick Links

  1. Hamish Johnston says:

    Yes, a Nobel for CERN+ATLAS+CMS would be the right thing to do.

  2. Thomas says:

    It would be great if you write about the talks at the Deligne conference!

  3. Pingback: Check in with Yitang Zhang « Pink Iguana

  4. Thanks for mentioning the dyson fest. I Immediately signed up and went, and it was excellent. It is the first time the entire Dyson family was in one place.

    Best new concept for me: iron helide. Freeman analyzed the crystal structure of this “compound” on the surface of a neutron star.

    The presentations were streamed, but don’t seem to be online. I hope they make it.

  5. Ponder Anew says:

    I read about Yitang Zhang awhile back; it’s an interesting story. In a vein remotely similar to the Yitang Zhang story is the story of Jacob Barnett, a 15 year-old autistic boy studying at the Perimeter Institute (http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/09/01/jacob-barnett-boy-genius/). His story reminds me a bit of the Kit Armstrong story in that both boys are mathematical “geniuses” and both have really extraordinary mothers!

  6. Thomas says:

    The text of Luc Illusie’s beautiful talk on Deligne seems already to be online: http://www.math.u-psud.fr/~illusie/Illusie-Deligne9.pdf
    An other aspect of Deligne’s work and a similar description of him by Illusie:
    http://www.math.u-psud.fr/~illusie/Deligne_I3.pdf

  7. chiz says:

    Other possible contenders for the physics prize – Nick Holonyak for the LED. It was the fiftieth anniversary of his discovery last year.

    Thomson-Reuters have suggested Marcy, Mayor and Queloz for discovering extra-solar planets. I admit that I have been wondering for the last few years if exoplanets could be in the running, but the names they suggest are wrong. If they do give it for exoplanets it will be to Wolszczan, Mayor and Queloz. Wolszczan found the first exoplanets -around a pulsar – and Mayor and Queloz found the first around a sun-like star. Marcy came on the scene afterwards. If the award is given for exoplanets, however, expect a possible debate that makes the one concerning the MRI prize look quite tame. The history isn’t anywhere near as clear as most accounts make it seem – some people think that exoplanets were found before the pulsar planet ones – and many of the claimed exoplanets aren’t very robust.

  8. Mike Creutz says:

    Someone just pointed out to me the above comment on my Trento talk. I said some outrageous things there and was surprised I didn’t get more of a reaction. Among others:
    Partially quenched chiral perturbation theory is wrong
    Matching lattice masses with msbar is not sensible
    These are both mainstays of some lattice groups. It appears this was the wrong audience, which cared mainly about the infrared behavior of the gluon propagator.

    I also just stumbled on the extensive 2008 discussion here of my ranting. On this topic communication has completely collapsed.