Quick Links

  • The Planck data release has been delayed yet again. December 22, is now off the table, the latest plan is “before the end of January 15”, see here. Some peeks at their results are in slides from the Ferrara conference, available here. The fact that the slides for the “Planck low-ell CMB power spectra” talk are unavailable correlates with the rumor I’ve heard that they have recently found serious problems with that part of their data analysis, which would explain why the data release keeps getting pushed back.

    This week there’s a conference in Paris, no slides yet. Streaming video has been available, which I took a look at for a while. Just managed to catch the tail end of questions about what the state of their analysis is relevant to the crucial B-mode business. Not enough to get the bottom line of what the state of affairs is. Perhaps someone who was there or who watched the whole thing can report. About the best source of information on cosmology these days seems to be Twitter, hashtag #planck2014. Something else of interest at the Paris conference was a debate about inflation featuring Steinhardt, Mukhanov, Linde and Brandenberger. Maybe video will be available someday, along with the slides.

  • Scott Aaronson has more here about the problems with the recent movie about Turing that I mentioned here. Despite (or maybe because of…) having little relation to reality, the screenplay of the film has been nominated for a Golden Globe award.
  • David Mumford and John Tate wrote a biographical sketch of Grothendieck for Nature. Unfortunately it seems that it won’t be published there because of being too technical. It is however available at Mumford’s blog.
  • There’s an interesting interview with Nikita Nekrasov at the artist Marina Abramovic’s MAI site.

Update: Shantanu points out that the Paris talk videos are available here. Looking a bit, I didn’t see anything from the Planck people about when they will release direct B-mode polarization results (next month? later?). Steinhardt gave a powerful talk arguing in detail that inflation does not predict anything, and that the usual claims for it are untenable. For the Steinhardt, Mukhanov, Linde, Brandenberger debate, see here.

Update: For yet another explanation of the problems with the Turing movie, set this at the New York Review of Books.

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5 Responses to Quick Links

  1. Shantanu says:

    Peter the videos of the Paris conference are archived

  2. Pingback: Publicatie definitieve Planck gegevens uitgesteld tot eind januari 2015 | Astroblogs

  3. George Jones says:

    In the video for the Steinhardt, Mukhanov, Linde and Brandenberger debate, who has the mic from about 32:45 to 35:00?

  4. Peter Woit says:

    George Jones,
    That’s Eva Silverstein.

  5. Katya says:

    Peter – Thanks for the link. I also enjoyed Slava Mukhanov, who gave a rollicking presentation. He pointedly disagreed with Alan Guth, who now claims that science does not depend upon falsifiability, but instead progresses in an “arena of competing ideas.” Mukhanov slammed that as theology or philosophy, but not physics. He was also dismissive of the multiverse, because if he cannot check to see if it’s there or not, “who cares.” Science is built on experimentation, not theoretical arguments. “If something cannot be ruled out, it is not science.” Bravo.

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