In a couple days I’ll be leaving for a week-long trip to Riga and St. Petersburg. I’ll be in St. Petersburg from July 5-8, and will give a talk on BRST and Dirac Cohomology at a conference there. I’m finishing up a draft of a paper on the subject now, will try and write about it here after I get back from the conference.

The Strings 2009 information blackout continues. Still no talks or blogging on-line, although a new twit has made it out, summarizing the conference:

more effort being put into contact w experiment•hope for LHC•fundamental issues need more attention•much optimism

although that could have functioned as a summary of pretty much every Strings XXXX conference held during the past 20 years.

Even if no information about the Strings 2009 talks ever gets out, many of the same speakers are speaking at uncountably many other strings conferences scheduled before and after the big one, conferences that are likely to have web-sites that make the talks available. Here are some of them:









Wroclaw (Robert Helling will be blogging)


Santa Barbara

For less technical and more audio-visual enlightenment, you might want to check out the following:

A CBC podcast interview with Lee Smolin.

A Bloggingheads diavlog with Sean Carroll and Mark Trodden.

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16 Responses to Conferences

  1. Robert says:

    Please move my name one line down, I am in Poland, not in Potsdam.

    So far, I have not heard much worth reporting.

  2. Tim vB says:

    What is “string phenomenology”? Had a look at some of the slides of the talks in Warsaw, there seem to be
    a) talks about string theory,
    b) talks about (IMHO) totally different topics (like the Navier-Stokes equation and turbulence, see Y. Oz – “Gravity and the Shape of Turbulence”) that the author tries to connect to string theory in a rather ad hoc way.

  3. Peter Woit says:

    Thanks Robert, fixed.

  4. anon. says:

    Do you speak any Russian? Just wondering how you will chat at the bars in St Petersburg? (I’d like to visit Russia myself, but am apprehensive about the language.)

  5. Peter Woit says:

    No Russian. I fear that any extensive conversations with the locals will be restricted to those who speak English (or French I guess…).

  6. Ilya says:

    Hi Peter, I’ve been following your blog for some time and I should say that I rather share your attitude to the string theory hype.
    I’m a physics undergrad at Cambridge but now on vacation back home in St Petersburg so it’d be great to meet you here. What date is your talk?

  7. Peter Woit says:

    Hi Ilya,

    I’ll be at the conference definitely all day next Monday, my talk is scheduled for 15:40. Come by and find me there….

  8. The Vlad says:

    “No Russian. I fear that any extensive conversations with the locals will be restricted to those who speak English (or French I guess…).”

    Speaking from personal experience, don’t hold your breath waiting for a local to speak English there. It took me a lot of sign language to get where I wanted to go, most of the time.

  9. Chris Oakley says:

    Hi Vlad,

    Your native language being what – Romanian?

  10. Chris W. says:

    Somewhat off-topic: Oswaldo Zapata has posted his 3rd essay, “Superstrings, The Most Beautiful of All Existing Theories?”

    See the post here.

  11. Coin says:

    I’m sure you will find it entirely unhelpful to know that your trip to Russia more or less precisely coincides with Barack Obama’s.

  12. The Vlad says:

    @Chris Oakley

    LOL…Aussie actually mate 🙂

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  14. the h bar says:

    I just noticed that they have uploaded most of the Strings 2009 talks to the official site. It was about time:

  15. Marcus says:

    @the h bar,
    All I can find using the link you gave are the PDF files for the slides. I don’t find any video. Does anyone have a link to a video of David Gross’ talk?

  16. A. says:

    Lightcone 2009 is currently going on in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil. Organisation: amusing.

    Participants: old boys network.

    Talks: the postdocs are putting in a lot of work and delivering nice talks. The old crowd are mostly putting up “walls of text” and things are a little rambling.

    Hot topics: “lightfront holography”, which relates lightfront hamiltonian mechanics to AdS/CFT giving AdS/QCD.

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