Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Future of Fundamental Physics

IAS director Robbert Dijkgraaf will be giving the CERN colloquium tomorrow, with the title The Future of Fundamental Physics. Here’s the abstract: The reports of the death of physics are greatly exaggerated. Instead, I would argue, we are living in … Continue reading

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ABC is Still a Conjecture

Just a reminder that the abc conjecture is still a conjecture, there is no known valid proof (don’t believe what you might read in an EMS journal). For more about why one attempted proof doesn’t work, see here and here. … Continue reading

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What is a Spinor?

Recently Jean-Pierre Bourguignon recently gave the Inaugural Atiyah Lecture, with the title What is a Spinor? The title was a reference to a 2013 talk by Atiyah at the IHES with the same title. Bourguignon’s lecture is not yet online, … Continue reading

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Wilczek on the Problems of Fundamental Physics

Sean Carroll has a new interview up with Frank Wilczek in which they discuss, among other things, the problematic current state of fundamental physics. On the topic of string theory, here’s the discussion: 0:58:34.8 SC: Well, some of this worry … Continue reading

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Is the Standard Model Just an Effective Field Theory?

An article by Steven Weinberg entitled On the Development of Effective Field Theory appeared on the arXiv last night. It’s based on a talk he gave in September, surveys the history of effective field theories and argues for what I’d … Continue reading

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Various Links

Our semester at Columbia started earlier than usual this year, with first classes this week, my first class yesterday. This semester I’m teaching the second half of a year-long course on the mathematics of quantum mechanics. There’s a Youtube channel … Continue reading

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DAU. String Theory

I first wrote here in 2015 about DAU, the unusual film project based to some extent on the life of Landau. Parts of the film first were shown in Paris early in 2019, and this past year started appearing on … Continue reading

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20 Years Later

Almost exactly twenty years ago I started writing a short article about the problems with string theory. I had been thinking about doing this for quite a while, and the timing of entering the twenty-first century seemed appropriate for evaluating … Continue reading

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Various and Sundry

A few recent items of interest: Martin Greiter has put together a written version of Sidney Coleman’s mid-1990s lecture Quantum Mechanics in Your Face, based on a recording of one version of the lecture and copies of Coleman’s slides. It’s … Continue reading

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Contemplating the End of Physics

In a remarkable article entitled Contemplating the End of Physics posted today at Quanta magazine, Robbert Dijkgraaf (the director of the IAS) more or less announces the arrival of the scenario that John Horgan predicted for physics back in 1996. … Continue reading

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