Clouds cleared about 15 minutes too late at Torshavn in the Faroe Islands, so totality was behind a cloud, but still an impressive sight. And the Faroe Islands are quite a remarkable place to visit. Some recent news:
- The plan has been to inject a beam into the LHC this week, leading to a news item in the UK Daily Express about how Scientists at Large Hadron Collider hope to make contact with PARALLEL UNIVERSE in days. This nonsense comes to us courtesy of this paper published in Physics Letters B.
- Unfortunately the machine checkout going on at the LHC has identified a problem that may delay contact with the PARALLEL UNIVERSE for a little while. Looks like no beam this week, for details see this from CERN. Some news is put out here, details of discussions of the problem here.
- Also on the parallel universe front, Quanta magazine has an interview with Weinberg. About the multiverse, he repeats some of the arguments for it, but also says:
I am not a proponent of the idea that our Big Bang universe is just part of a larger multiverse.
About string theory, the LHC and SUSY, the exchange went:
If the LHC finds no evidence for supersymmetry, what happens to string theory?
Damned if I know!
Weinberg went on to respond to the issue of the testability of string theory by discussing the possible measurement of primordial B-modes, without mentioning that string theory makes no predictions at all about this.
- Quanta magazine keeps putting out some of the best coverage of math and physics available. See for instance Natalie Wolchover on penguins (although also read Tommaso Dorigo and Adam Falkowski) and Erica Klarreich on moonshine.
- Jess Riedel has a wonderful blog posting about the subtleties of the classical limit in quantum mechanics. Textbooks like to claim this is explained by just taking the hbar goes to zero limit of a path integral, but that doesn’t really provide an explanation, for reasons clearly laid out by Riedel.
- Nominations are open for this year’s Breakthrough Prizes, see here. There will be $3 million prizes in physics and mathematics, as well as $100,000 “New Horizons Prize” for younger researchers, up to 3 each in both math and physics. For more, see here.
Update: Sabine Hossenfelder performs the public service of reading the “PARALLEL UNIVERSES” paper and explaining what is going on here.
Update: This year’s Abel Prize went to John Nash and Louis Nirenberg. Nature News has a story here. The award to Nash was for his work on PDEs and the Nash embedding theorem. He already has an Economics Nobel, for his work on game theory. This surely makes him the first person to win not-quite-Nobels in two completely different fields.
Update: Also at Nature, news about the LHC problem.