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 me why this is so, but Mochizuki’s failed proof of abc is now getting promoted at various places outside Kyoto, including Stony Brook, France (note what comes first in the suggested survey articles) and maybe even Oberwolfach.
One thing I’ve never understood about the dark matter story is whether just having right-handed neutrino fields (which fit very well into the pattern of fields of the Standard Model) is enough to get fundamental physics to be consistent with astrophysical observations usually interpreted as evidence of dark matter. Stacy McGaugh despises this kind of idea, where you predict particles with only gravitational interactions, making fun of it here as The Angel Particle. He has a specific agenda (modified gravity), which I think explains the vehemence.
Ethan Siegel has an extensive discussion of gravity-only dark matter models, under the title Is dark matter’s “nightmare scenario” true?
- The National Academy has appointed an EPP-2024 committee, which has been holding various meetings. Taking a look at some of the videos, I was struck by what Lisa Randall (about 34:00-38:00 and 46:00-48:00) and Nima Arkani-Hamed (about 48:00-53:00) had to say in this one. They both emphasized the problem that it is hard for young theorists to make a career for themselves by trying to come up with a new idea, as opposed to a series of small improvements on ideas currently being pursued by many other people (often things that have been around for a long time). This I think has been a huge problem in the field for a very long time, possibly has gotten worse for some reason in recent years, and is part of the explanation for the moribund state of the subject. While they eloquently state the problem, unfortunately I don’t see much from them or anyone else about how to do something concrete to address it.