Quick Links

A collection of links that may be of interest:

  • Talks from the SM at 50 conference held earlier this summer are available here.
  • A detailed expose of the “Fake Science Factory” is here, a related Nature story is here.
  • For those wondering what came out of this story, you might be interested in this.
  • If you want to know what happens to string theorists who leave the field, one answer is that they perform as Ninja Sex Party.
  • Burt Richter passed away last month at the age of 87, some obituaries are here, here and here. Blog postings here discussing talks or papers by him can be found with this search.
  • Terry Tao has come up with his own take on arithmetic geometry, available here.
  • A Capella Science is really too wonderful for words. For an example, check out William Rowan Hamilton. Tommaso Dorigo explains here that Tim Blais will be at CERN on Sept. 19.
  • October 10 there will be a program at the New York Academy of Science about The Mystery of our Mathematical Universe. I can’t help noticing something about discussions of the deep role of mathematics in physics: they rarely involve mathematicians.
  • I’ll do an online web interview on September 6, as part of the Festivalettura in Mantua.

: Frank Wilczek has an insightful review of Lost in Math at Physics Today.

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7 Responses to Quick Links

  1. Richard says:

    Open Arxiv version of third quick link (Muon G-2 GR): https://arxiv.org/abs/1803.01395

  2. Blake Stacey says:

    I’ve felt for quite a while that the term “predatory journal” is misleading. My suspicion was always that plenty of scientists who published in such journals were doing so with their eyes wide open. Their motivation was obvious; it rhymes with “shmenure committee”. But it’s very easy for us scientists to cast ourselves in the best possible light, and the terminology reflects that presumption of doe-eyed innocence we grant ourselves.

  3. Cormac McG says:

    Hi Peter
    The Hamilton link – excellent! – has compelled me to suggest some other Hamilton related items. I feel no shame in plugging my physicist colleague Iggy McGoverns sonnet sequence on the life of William Rowan Hamilton entitled “A Mystic Dream of Four” – 64 sonnets organised by themes inspired by his life, his physics and maths, as well as his correspondents. I should have suggested you could go to see him when he was reading in New York last November. (His most recent book is “The Eyes of Isaac Newton”)

    Also, before the summer a new art installation celebrating Hamilton’s theoretical prediction of conical refraction was unveiled in the Physics department in Trinity College Dublin. Commissioned by James Lunney the sculpture details the “diabolical point”. See https://www.tcd.ie/news_events/articles/new-art-installation-the-radiant-stranger-is-launched-in-school-of-physics/ In the photo Iggy McGovern is pictured (fourth from left) at the launch as he was reading one of his poems on Hamilton, while Sir Michael Berry (at left) was also speaking. James Lunney (third from left) is familiar with conical refraction as new investigations which he began with high coherence laser light revealed various interesting chiral, polarisation and phase behaviour. Certainly not all of these effects were anticipated by Hamilton, but the singular nature of conical refraction had captured the interest of Michael Berry with a number of later co-publications on the newer experimental observations with James Lunney. But I will not attempt to summarise this subject here.

    Finally, still on the Hamilton theme there is an interesting probably apocryphal anecdote involving a Mercury/Apollo era astronaut visiting Trinity College Dublin in 70s/80s being disinterested throughout their visit until at the last is shown by the arts-educated Provost a bust of Hamilton in the Long Room library, said astronaut suddenly waxes in interest and (perhaps) also uses some choice words about quaternions! This arising as all the astronauts were trained to reflexively compute quaternions as this was embedded in their training. Appears to still be a part of astronaut training?

    Hope that however off topic this was it was somewhat interesting!

    Enjoy Labor Day weekend
    Cormac M

  4. And – timed nicely in the middle of your vaca – some To Quaternions and Beyond!


    PS Finished Sabine’s tour of theoretical foibles. At the end she lists some cures for the sociological problems inherent in science. I can not help but think they have no more chance of being efficacious than telling a legless man that if he’d simply stand on his own two feet he could walk.

  5. Supernaut says:

    Regarding the comment about Hamilton’s quaternions, I have no idea if it’s part of astronaut training, but I can tell you that they are popular in aerospace engineering in dealing with rotations.

    Also, thank you Peter for the link to the ‘Fake Science Factory’; I wonder if Theranos published in one of those predatory journals?

  6. From a Former Professional Higgs Boson Hunter.... says:

    In the early day of the SLC before LEP turned on, the luminosity was marginal, leading to the wags at SLAC quoting the luminosity using the “Richter Scale”….

    The headline experiment, SLD, in those days was referred to as Slow Lingering Death as post-docs saw their prospects as beyond grim…

    Other reworked acronyms from LEP popular at the time included:

    OPAL: Old Petra Apparatus at LEP
    Delphi: Don’t Even Let Physics Hinder Imagination
    Aleph: A Large Expensive Piece of Hardware….

  7. none says:

    OT: Grothendieck’s manuscripts have been digitized and freely available

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