Some Quick Items

A few quick items, I may use this posting to add a couple more later, the next posting will discuss today’s letter to Scientific American about inflation.

  • Today’s LHCC meeting at CERN had reports from the LHC machine and experiments. About two weeks to go before collisions and data-taking start again.
  • Physics Today has a report this month on the LHeC proposal, something that has not gotten as much attention as it deserves. This is a proposal to collide protons and electrons, by building a new electron machine and a detector at a collision point with the LHC beam. Unlike proposals for a 100 TeV proton-proton machine that are getting a lot of attention, this would not push the energy frontier, but it would cost a great deal less (estimate is half a billion to a billion, vs. multiple tens of billions for the 100 TeV machine). In a few years when the question of a follow-on machine to the LHC starts to get very pressing, this idea and the HE-LHC idea (higher field magnets in the LHC tunnel, maybe doubling the energy) may get a lot more attention as the only financially viable ways forward.
  • The Université de Montpellier today has started to make accessible about 18,000 pages of its archive of Grothendieck’s mathematical writings. For anyone interested in Grothendieck’s work, this should keep you busy for a while…

Update: A few more.

  • I was sorry to hear of the recent death of Cecile DeWitt-Morette, a mathematical physicist responsible for the Les Houches physics summer school. Her books on geometry and physics (with Yvonne Choquet-Bruhat) were influential, and her more recent book with Pierre Cartier on Functional Integration contains a lot of interesting material.
  • Every so often I’d wondered what the Chudnovsky brothers have been up to, some information about this emerged today.
  • For a story about problems at the science magazine, Nautilus, which is having trouble transitioning from its original Templeton Foundation funding, see here.
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12 Responses to Some Quick Items

  1. John McAllison says:

    Recently, CERN decided to stop the interested tax paying public from having a look at the morning meetings under the LHCC coordination program:
    https://indico.cern.ch/category/6740/

    So it’s nice to see CERN hasn’t blocked yet public access to the LHCC meetings.

  2. egan says:

    It’s Montpellier with two L

  3. Peter Woit says:

    egan,
    Thanks, fixed.

  4. sdf says:

    Appears (?) that Cedric Villani will run for en marche
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39881266

    (this is reported in several places but if you go to the website of candidates his name is not there so I’m not sure…)

  5. anon says:

    On a mathematical note, Hironaka has a preprint on his website claiming to prove resolution of singularities in characteristic p, that it seems nobody noticed for two months because he didn’t post it to the arxiv, etc.

  6. neil says:

    Out of curiosity, I looked at a few pages of Grothendieck’s writings. I just wanted to witness the great man’s handwriting. Transcribing and translating these 18,000 pages will be an enormous job, if that happens.

  7. Peter Woit says:

    anon,
    From what I hear, experts in the field only found out about this a few days ago, are just starting to look at the proof. It would be a great story if this turns out to be right.

  8. Matt Grayson says:

    If true, it will complete one of the more famous mathematical anecdotes of the past hundred years.

  9. @Matt can you remind us? No doubt it’s something going back to the Italian School.

  10. none says:

    @Roberts: @Matt is commenting on the possibility that Hironaka has also proved resolution of singularities in positive characteristic, decades after his Fields Medal winning proof in characteristic zero.

  11. none says:

    @Roberts: A link to Hironaka’s preprint
    http://www.math.harvard.edu/~hironaka/pRes.pdf

  12. @none yes, but what is this famous mathematical anecdote that it would be completing? I can’t recall any surrounding resolution of singularities, much less any that is a hundred years old.

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