If you’ve already seen the various new math/physics films coming out of Hollywood, this week you might be interested in watching some of the real thing, including the following:
- The hot ticket this week will be Monday’s Planck session at the conference in Ferrara. They’ve now edited their website to remove references to a promised webcast and slides. So, the only way to get images suitable for scraping may be to get yourself into the lecture hall at Ferrara and bring a camera. Press release here, conference program here.
- Also on Monday, if you’re in Cambridge (MA), there’s Steven Weinberg’s Lee Historical Lecture in Physics, topic Glimpses of a World Within. The only blurb is
“Since the 1970s the evidence has accumulated that the structures appearing in the laws of nature at a really fundamental level are vastly smaller than anything we encounter in our high energy laboratories.”
which I don’t think I’d personally agree with, quite curious to see what case he makes. These lectures often are later made available here.
- For another historical lecture, there will be a webcast of this event at CERN on Tuesday. It features film of interviews with Roy Glauber, characterized as “the last living scientist from the Theory Division of the Manhattan Project”. Glauber taught the first quantum field theory course I ever took, at Harvard in 1976-77, almost forty years ago (I thought he was pretty ancient at the time). The year earlier I had taken quantum mechanics with Norman Ramsey, here shown signing Fat Man. At the time it seemed perfectly normal that all my instructors had gotten their start designing weapons.
- If you’re in Berkeley this week, you could attend a Langlands-related conference at MSRI, which in addition is honoring Michael Harris. Program is here, videos to appear soon after the talks.
- Recently concluded at MSRI was a workshop on geometric representation theory, with lots of interesting talks, videos available here.
Update: There is supposed to be video from Ferrara here, but not working. A press conference was held, but the only thing I see from Planck online is in French here. Nothing about primordial gravitational waves, just confirmation of the standard cosmological model and of 3 neutrinos.
Update: No public release of any numbers from Planck that I can see, although they are being discussed in Ferrara. People are pointing out that the authoritative source for the best values of cosmological parameters at the moment is Twitter.
Update: Peter Coles has this take on the Ferrara Planck results: “a bit of a farce.” Among the many oddities here, it seems that only the French component of Planck is putting out any news to the public.
Update: Adrian Cho at Science has a report about the latest Planck results here. Speculation is that Planck data alone and their joint analysis with BICEP2 will not see a gravitational wave signal, just set an upper limit. Planck is supposed to release papers Dec. 22, unclear if this will include the analysis with BICEP2.
Last Updated on