There’s a wonderful interview at the Notices with last year’s Abel Prize winner John Tate (video here). He blames the fact that his name is on so many mathematical results and concepts on Serge Lang. The 2011 Abel Prize winner will be announced on March 23rd.
Sir Michael Atiyah’s February 1 talk at the College de France titled A Geometer Explores the Universe is now on-line.
Through the intervention of mathoverflow.net, Barry Mazur managed to retrieve a copy of his 1963/64 unpublished paper that first promoted the idea of an analogy between prime numbers and knots in a 3d space.
In 1963 or 1964 I wrote an article Remarks on the Alexander Polynomial [PDF]) about the analogy between knots in the three-dimensional sphere and prime numbers (and, correspondingly, the relationship between the Alexander polynomial and Iwasawa Theory). I distributed some copies of my article but never published it, and I misplaced my own copy. In subsequent years I have had many requests for my article and would often try to search through my files to find it, but never did. A few weeks ago Minh-Tri Do asked me for my article, and when I said I had none, he very kindly went on the web and magically found a scanned copy[PDF] of it. I’m extremely grateful to Minh-Tri Do for his efforts (and many thanks, too, to David Feldman who provided the lead).
For more about this fascinating topic, see a summary by Lieven le Bruyn here.
LHC beam commissioning is now in progress, it is supposed to start colliding beams for physics again in another week or so.
In the Dark Matter world, all eyes are on Xenon100, waiting to see what their results will be. Nature News has an update here. Next week Elena Aprile will be speaking at NEUTEL11 (which has a blog here) and revelations may occur.
This year’s Asimov debate is on the topic of string theory and whether there’s any hope for a unified theory. I’ll have to miss this, I’ll be at local bookstore Book Culture introducing Richard Panek who is giving a talk there that evening about his recent book that I wrote a review of for the Wall Street Journal. I’ll be curious though to hear from anyone who does go to the debate what they thought of it.
Blogging may become more sporadic over the next couple weeks. If so it’s because I’m on Spring Break in Paris.