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Two Items

If I’m going to point to something about string theory and say the same things as always about it, seems best to first start with the opposite, an item about something really worth reading. This spring I’ve been teaching a graduate course aimed at getting to an explanation of the Standard Model aimed at mathematicians. The first few weeks have been...

Thu Feb 15, 2024 01:58
Why physicists are rethinking the route to a theory of everything

New Scientist this week has a cover story I can strongly endorse, entitled Why physicists are rethinking the route to a theory of everything. It’s by journalist Michael Brooks, partly based on a long conversation we had a month or so ago. Unfortunately it’s behind a paywall, but I’ll provide a summary and some extracts here. For a more technical...

Thu Feb 8, 2024 02:15
Arithmetic, Geometry and QFT news

This week at Harvard’s CMSA there’s a program on Arithmetic Quantum Field Theory that is starting up and will continue through March. There’s a series of introductory talks going on this week, by Minhyong Kim, Brian Williams, and David Ben-Zvi. I believe video and/or notes of the talks will be made available. At the IHES and the Max Planck Institute,...

Mon Feb 5, 2024 21:38
This Week’s Hype

For the last thirty years or so, one tactic of those who refuse to admit the failure of string theory has been to go to the press with bogus claims of “we finally have found a way to get testable predictions from string theory!”. I’ve written about dozens and dozens of these over the years (see here). In recent years the number of these has tapered...

Thu Feb 1, 2024 23:22
Particle Physics Is Not In Crisis

For a low-rent version of the self-congratulatory program discussed here, Bad Boy of Science Sam Gregson has a new video up entitled Particle Physics Is Not In Crisis – but we can make improvements. Cliff Burgess plays the Strominger role, explaining that the idea that there’s any problem with what’s going on in particle theory is “a nothing-burger”...

Sun Jan 21, 2024 00:34
Quick Links

A few quick links: There’s a one-day conference next Friday at the IHES, recognizing Dustin Clausen’s appointment to a new Jean-Pierre Bourguignon Chair. Should be several interesting talks, see here. There’s an ongoing conference at the KITP on the topic of What is String Theory? So far, none of the online talks address that issue. Evidently there...

Sat Jan 20, 2024 23:35

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