Random Notes

  • The LHC has now finished the first part of its physics run at 13 TeV, with intensity ramping up more slowly than hoped. Total luminosity/experiment so far is about .1 inverse fb (see here), about a tenth of some earlier projections (see here), not enough for any likely new physics results this summer (see here).

    According to the latest schedule physics will begin again the second week of August, with beam intensity increasing during the month. Most data-taking is planned for September and October, with a target of 10 inverse fb.

  • Yoichiro Nambu died recently, at the age of 94. He was one of the most influential figures in theoretical physics, for his work on many topics, but especially on spontaneous symmetry breaking in quantum field theory. Unfortunately I never got to meet him, it sounds like he was one of the nicest people in the field. There are lots of stories now out about him and his work, I especially liked this one from one of his students.
  • Massimo Pigliucci’s Scientia Salon project now has a book of essays out, with the title Scientistic Chronicles.
  • There’s a wonderful article out by Rick Jardine on Grothendieck’s great work on homological algebra, known to mathematicians as “the Tohoku paper”. It was written while Grothendieck was in Kansas, and immediately had a huge influence on the subject. Jardine explains not only the background of the article and what’s in it, but some of the later developments that have come out of it.

: Via David Goss, news that the FBI file for Paul Erdos is now available.

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10 Responses to Random Notes

  1. Noboru Nakanishi says:

    I would like to express my sincere condolence for the death of Professor Y. Nambu, who had been my most respectable acquaintance since 1961.

  2. fg says:

    Another recent loss is that of Raymond Stora, the S of BRST, who died recently at the age of 85.

  3. gevtev says:

    GeV –> TeV?

  4. Peter Woit says:

    Thanks for letting us know, I’m sorry to hear that.

    Thanks, I seem to make that mistake regularly, someday I’ll get used to this TeV scale business…

  5. Noboru Nakanishi says:

    Thank you for your information. Professor R. Stora was also my old friend.

    I have also heard that Professor S. Okubo of Rochester University died at the age of 83 on July 20. He is known by Gell-Mann-Okubo mass formula, etc.

  6. Pt says:

    The inference magazine that Jardine’s article is published in seems to have been created to promote anti-evolution views. It’s too bad because their other articles are interesting!

  7. anonymous says:

    Don’t know if you’ve seen this, Peter.

    How likely is it that they’re seeing a genuinely new resonance ? A super-partner ?


    “If this bump matures into a sharp peak during the second run of the LHC, it could indicate the existence of a new heavy particle with 2000 times the mass of a proton.”

    “Even though this bump is far too small to signify a discovery and presents no predictable pattern, its presence across multiple different analyses from both CMS and ATLAS is intriguing and suspicious. “

  8. Peter Woit says:

    There are good postings about this from Tommaso Dorigo
    and Jester

    I think Jester has it right (“there’s little reason to get excited yet.”) There have recently been lots and lots of papers “explaining” the diboson excess (there’s a string theory explanation for this, just as there’s a string theory explanation for anything…).
    There may be enough data collected in Sept-Oct. to know by the winter conferences in early 2016 whether there’s anything there. So, just wait a bit, but I don’t think the odds are great that this is something real.

  9. vkrishna says:

    I found the personal remembrance of Prof. Nambu that you linked to, to be very nice. He seems to have been a really decent man in addition to being a great physicist. I have

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