Ten years ago I wrote here about the news that Witten had finally given up on string theory. Today I just heard a similar but even more dramatic rumor: next week’s episode of The Big Bang Theory features string theorist Sheldon Cooper deciding to give up on string theory, realizing that he has been wasting his time working on it for 20 years. Evidently the framing of the story is that string theory has been a bad relationship for Sheldon, now he’s grieving and trying to learn how to get over such a breakup.
In other April 1 news, it seems that some joker at MIT has scheduled an April Fool’s Day colloquium there on Our Mathematical Universe, featuring Max Tegmark. The conceit is that Tegmark will explain how the BICEP2 results provide “smoking gun” evidence for the ideas in his book about mathematics (his Mathematical Universe Hypothesis).
Update: For more April 1 fun, Steve Landsburg has Many Many Worlds, a review of Tegmark’s Our Mathematical Universe which describes the author as “a towering figure in intellectual history”.
Update: For some reason, some people didn’t believe the news yesterday in this posting. For a link with details, see here.