Various physics-related news:
- The LHC is back in business doing physics, with intensity ramp-up for the 2018 run ongoing. Today the machine is colliding 1551 bunches of protons, ultimate goal is to get to 2556 bunches. They are at least a week ahead of the planned schedule, which would have only reached 1200 bunches next week.
- There’s a conference going on at the KITP this week, discussing the latest state of dark matter theory and experiment. By the way, see here for how prominent theorists communicate these days instead of using email…
- At the Atlantic and Knowable Magazine, Tom Siegfried provides yet more multiverse coverage. Seems that he’s at work on a multiverse book.
- At the Edge, Sabine Hossenfelder has an on-target analysis of the situation in fundamental theoretical physics. The problems she points to are ones that motivated books by Lee Smolin and myself back in 2006. Things haven’t improved since then and I hope she’ll have better luck generating concern for these issues than we did.
- At Alta, Jennifer Ouellette has a fascinating account of the maneuverings for credit among the many observers of the neutron star merger last year. It sounds like some of those involved are suffering from the same disease as Brian Keating: not reality-based conviction that they’re in the running for a Nobel Prize.
- Director Claire Denis is now at work on a sci-fi movie entitled High Life that sounds more promising than the last black hole movie. She’s getting scientific advice from Aurelien Barrau and comments:
If there are theories about me, I’d rather not know. Astrophysics – now that’s fascinating. String theory, worm holes, the expanding universe, the Big Bang versus the Big Bounce – those are the kind of theories that make you feel like living and understanding the mystery of the world. Film theory is just a pain in the ass.
Update: I just watched some of the KITP dark matter “debates”, see here. Highly recommended if you want to hear informative exchanges between experts on the subject, see especially the Dan Hooper talk (and the MOND/dark matter debate here).
Update: For machine learning experts who want to try their hand at an HEP data analysis problem, a Kaggle competition to build a track reconstruction algorithm opened yesterday. For details, see here and here.
Update: Gross’s Princeton talk on the “Future of Particle Physics” was not much different than this one from a couple years ago (with the enthusiasm for supersymmetry deleted). I was thinking of writing something about this, comparing it to similar talks from way back when (see for instance here). Probably better though to wait for a better opportunity to write something substantive about where the path followed by Gross and others over the years has ended up.
Update: Video of the David Gross Princeton talk on the Future of Particle Physics is available here.