Now back from traveling, regular blogging will resume. Here are a few items:
- I was going to write something yesterday, explaining that this year’s physics Nobel would surely go to the LIGO trio who have gotten every other major physics prize this year. Luckily I was too lazy to do that yesterday, since this morning’s news is that it instead went to Haldane, Kosterlitz and Thouless, work going way back to the early 1970s. When I was doing my thesis work trying to figure out how to find a lattice version of topological invariants of gauge fields, I started out looking at the case of the 2d XY model which they had studied, where the topology is much simpler.
Congratulations to them, probably next year for the LIGO guys…
- My colleague Daniel Litt has started up a really nice blog.
- Some sort of time warp back to the days of pre-LHC hype of the last decade seems to have occurred while I was in Germany, leading to lots of media stories like this one.
- In Heidelberg among the people I met were Dirk Huylebrouck, who reminded me that there’s lots of great material in the Mathematical Intelligencer, including his “Mathematical Tourist” column, and Barry Cipra, one of the authors of the AMS’s What’s Happening series.
- John Baez is involved with a new project, funded by DARPA, that he describes here.
- Last week there was a conference in Madrid devoted to the question Is SUSY Alive and Well?. Of the talks I looked at, the only one with a sensible answer to the question was that of Alessandro Strumia.
Update: A commenter points to this very interesting survey of the participants.
- In case you haven’t heard what’s going on in Leicester, Tim Gowers explains here.
- I was very sorry to hear of the passing last Saturday of Joseph Birman, a theorist at CCNY, and husband of my colleague Joan Birman. Some information about one aspect of Joe’s work is here, perhaps more about other aspects will appear soon.