Author Archives: woit

This Week’s Hype

The New York Times today has Where is Physics Headed (and How Soon Do We Get There?). It’s an interview by Dennis Overbye of Maria Spiropulu and Michael Turner, the chairs of the NAS Committee on Elementary Particle Physics – … Continue reading

Posted in This Week's Hype | 12 Comments

What is the AdS/CFT Conjecture?

In recent years I’ve found there’s no point to trying to have an intelligible argument about “string theory”, simply because the term no longer has any well-defined meaning. At the KITP next spring, there will be a program devoted to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 24 Comments

Spring Course

This semester I’m teaching the second half of our graduate course on Lie groups and representations, and have started making plans for the course, which will begin next week. There’s a web-page here which I’ll be adding to as time … Continue reading

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Pierre Schapira on Récoltes et Semailles

Earlier this year I bought a copy of the recently published version of Grothendieck’s Récoltes et Semailles, and spent quite a lot of time reading it. I wrote a bit about it here, intended to write something much longer when … Continue reading

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The New Yorker and the Publicity Stunt

The wormhole publicity stunt story just keeps going. Today an article about the Google Santa Barbara lab and quantum computer used in the publicity stunt appeared in the New Yorker. One of the main people profiled is Hartmut Neven, the … Continue reading

Posted in Wormhole Publicity Stunts | 29 Comments

Wormhole Publicity Stunts: Past, Present and Future

Most of the news I’m hearing today about the current wormhole publicity stunt is that physicists who could do something about it are instead blaming any problem on journalists and defending the stunt as some sort of progress forward. I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Wormhole Publicity Stunts | 13 Comments

Various and Sundry

If you’re sick of hearing about bogus wormholes, here are some other random topics: There’s a SCOAP3 for books initiative, lots of textbooks in the field of particle physics now made open access and available here. It’s completely mysterious to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 19 Comments

Publicity Stunt Fallout

Latest news this evening from Scott Aaronson at the IAS in Princeton: Tonight, David Nirenberg, Director of the IAS and a medieval historian, gave an after-dinner speech to our workshop, centered around how auspicious it was that the workshop was … Continue reading

Posted in This Week's Hype, Wormhole Publicity Stunts | 29 Comments

The Wormhole Publicity Stunt

The best way to understand the “physicists create wormholes in the lab” nonsense of the past few days is as a publicity stunt (I should credit Andreas Karch for the idea to describe things this way), one that went too … Continue reading

Posted in This Week's Hype, Wormhole Publicity Stunts | 59 Comments

Igor Krichever 1950-2022

I just heard the sad news that Igor Krichever passed away this morning at the age of 72. Igor was a great scholar, a wise man, and a wonderful human being. He will be sorely missed by his colleagues at … Continue reading

Posted in Obituaries | 2 Comments