Author Archives: woit

The Mathematical Question From Which All Answers Flow

I’m beginning to suspect that there are actually (at least) two different theoretical HEP physicists named Nima Arkani-Hamed out there. One of them (who I’ll call Nima1) believes the way to understand the fundamental nature of physical reality involves extremely … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Various and Sundry

First a couple of items from Paris: Fields medalist Cédric Villani is campaigning for the position of Mayor of Paris. This Sunday there will be a campaign event/book launch for his new book, Immersion: De la science au Parlement. The … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Where in the World are SUSY and WIMPs?

Back in 2017, after it had already become clear that negative LHC results about SUSY and WIMPs had falsified theorist’s most popular scenarios for how to extend the Standard Model, Nima Arkani-Hamed gave a summer school talk to students with … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 48 Comments

On Inference

The first issue of the magazine Inference appeared online back in 2014. At the time, it was surrounded by a significant amount of mystery: who were the editors, what were they trying to do, and who was funding it? I … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 48 Comments

Three Short Book Reviews

Unfortunately I don’t have time now to write about the three following books at the length that they deserve, but here are some quick comments on three books worth your attention: A carefully produced detailed write-up of Sidney Coleman’s Harvard … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews | 10 Comments

Should the Europeans Give Up?

The European HEP community is now engaged in a “Strategy Update” process, the next step of which will be an open symposium this May in Granada. Submissions to the process were due last month, and I assume that what was … Continue reading

Posted in Experimental HEP News | 78 Comments

Michael Atiyah 1929-2019

While away on vacation, I heard last week the sad news of the death last week of Michael Atiyah, at the age of 89. Atiyah was both a truly great mathematician and a wonderful human being. In his mathematical work … Continue reading

Posted in Obituaries | 7 Comments

Roy Glauber 1925-2018: Notes on QFT

I saw today that Roy Glauber has passed away, at the age of 93. John Preskill speculates that Glauber was the last living member of the wartime T division at Los Alamos. My only interaction with him was that he … Continue reading

Posted in Obituaries | 13 Comments

This Week’s Hype (and a couple other things)

For today’s university press release designed to mislead the public with hype about string theory, Uppsala University has Our Universe: An expanding bubble in an extra dimension. It’s the Swampland variant of string theory hype, based on this preprint, which … Continue reading

Posted in Swampland, This Week's Hype, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Tim May 1951-2018

I was sorry to learn yesterday of the death of Tim May, who had been a frequent commenter here on the blog. For more about his life, see here and here. One can find his comments here for instance by … Continue reading

Posted in Obituaries | 2 Comments