This Summer’s Online Talks

All sorts of schools and workshops occurring this summer have been putting up materials from the talks on-line. Sometimes this is just an audio recording of the talk, which can be very frustrating if you’re interested in the details of a subject, leaving you desperately trying to guess what symbols on the blackboard correspond to the scratching noises and words from the speaker that you are hearing. Best is a set of slides used by the speaker, together with audio or video of the full talk. Some examples worth looking at include:

  • String Theory and the Real World, this year’s les Houches summer school.
  • Cosmology and Particle Physics Beyond the Standard Models, this year’s Cargese summer school.
  • Summer School on Particle Physics, Cosmology and Strings at Perimeter.
  • Simons Workshop in Mathematics and Physics at the YITP in Stony Brook. Definitely the worst offenders in terms of having interesting talks available, but audio-only. Blogger Aaron Bergman is there, but doesn’t seem to be very interested in telling us what is going on.
  • Anton Kapustin gave a Master Class on Electric-Magnetic Duality and the Geometric Langlands Programme at the CTQM in Aarhus this summer. Video of the talks is here. The KITP in Santa Barbara will be hosting a Miniprogram on this topic next summer.
  • At CERN there’s a program on New Physics and the LHC taking place. Suitably snarky commentary available at the Resonaances blog, starting with “the theory talks were ranging from not-so-exciting to pathetic”, and going on to describe one of the experimental talks, which can’t really avoid being exciting as less than a year remains before the LHC is supposed to start taking data. The experimenters at CERN are looking over their shoulder at the Tevatron, where Tommaso Dorigo reports that they are still not seeing a Higgs, but getting remarkably close to being able to rule out the existence of one at 95% confidence level for a mass range near 160 GeV. For a new compilation of Higgs mass predictions, see here.
  • One more, suggested by a commenter: SLAC ran a summer school on Dark Matter: From the Cosmos to the Laboratory.

    Off-topic, department of Humor: The New York media just can’t get enough of theoretical physics these days, with the New York Observer running a column Ask a Theoretical Physicist.

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    10 Responses to This Summer’s Online Talks

    1. Shantanu says:

      Peter, you forgot to add this year’s SLAC summer school on dark matter,where
      almost all talks(except for the ones on the last day) have been archived.

    2. Aaron Bergman says:

      One ‘n’.

      And trust me, myself trying to relate talks is not a good idea for anyone involved.

    3. Peter Woit says:

      Sorry Aaron, fixed.

      Well, you could at least be blogging about any scandalous gossip about physicists or mathematicians that you’re learning…

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    6. Thomas Love says:

      Peter said:
      “Simons Workshop in Mathematics and Physics at the YITP in Stony Brook. Definitely the worst offenders in terms of having interesting talks available, but audio-only.”

      But it isn’t audio-only! If you click on the titles in blue, you’ll get a printed version.

    7. Peter Woit says:


      Problem is that the talks I was most interested in following, based on the speakers and their topics, were ones that are audio only.

    8. The “Ask a Theoretical Physicist” column appears to be the latest in a series of attempts to make fun of how incomprehensible the world has become to even the average educated person. Great find.

    9. Zathras says:

      The “Ask a Theoretical Physicist” column is just ripped off from the Onions “Ask a….” series, such as Ask a Man Getting Yelled At By His Wife Over The Phone At Work or Ask a Bee.

    10. Yatima says:

      This Dark Matter overview from SLAC’s summer school certainly beats any BBC “science” emission. Good stuff.

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