Thursday, December 31, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Penny: the highest paid TV actress in the world in 2015

For the investors, the year 2015 was a year when nothing worked ® (the phrase "nothing works" is copyrighted by Arvind Rajaraman). Stocks, bond, and cash went nowhere and sophisticated investments strategies such as Warren Buffett's ones lost over 10%. I am sure that many TRF readers were actually affected.



Someone did better, however.

We don't live in a scientific world. A top NHL player earns almost $20 million a year while you can find numerous string theorists who have less than that. Perhaps closer to $5,000. But the Belfast Telegraph, in

As TV goes, The Big Bang Theory is out of this world,
told us about some promising news.

Eve, a woman, was created out of Adam's penile bone

Ziony Zevit, a professor at the American Jewish University, has finally fixed a mistake that has made Judaism and Christianity more illogical and less intriguing than necessary in the recent 2,000 years. Eve was created out of Adam's baculum, the penile bone, he figured out.



The Book of Genesis, a pillar of both religions, was written in Hebrew some 500 years before Christ. In Genesis 2, God created a man named Adam out of dust, along with a luxurious garden somewhere in Iraq [or Armenia or Azerbaijan] for Adam to enjoy.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Rumors of a LIGO discovery resurface

The BBC has followed Physics World and Starts-with-a-bang and presented its expectations for science events in the year \[

4\times 7 \times 8 \times 9 = 2016.

\] They discuss the possible discovery of the new physics manifesting itself as a \(750\GeV\) resonance at the LHC. My estimate for the probability that new physics is behind this excess is 60%. I must emphasize that a probability greater than 50% isn't "similar" to 100%. For all practical purposes, if you don't repeat the identical experiments many times, 60% is indistinguishable from 50%. I just don't know.



Two months ago, this video about gravitational waves got 300,000 views.

But the BBC also talks about a "rumour" – because they are British – that the LIGO, the 4-km-diameter L-shaped tunnels (the total of 2 arms is 8 km at each site) with lasers, has discovered the gravitational waves. Such rumors were heard some three months ago but that particular excitement went away. I heard similar rumors four weeks ago. Their ultimate origin was a physicist with a "large, disgusting" name who got some money for his new glue from a man who has produced some explosives. To figure out what a glue is good for when you produce explosives is an exercise for you. ;-)

The BBC talks about the "LIGO discovery rumors" again. I am actually not sure whether the BBC or my glueman is a more reliable source of such a rumor. (Update: Right now, the most convincing and probably reliable source of rumors is an early 20th century nuclear physicist who has posted a detailed comment under this blog post.) If my rumor is right, the announcement of a discovery is imminent. We will have to wait for a month or two or less; they're probably on the cusp of a discovery.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Diphoton resonance from D3-branes or closed strings

Fifteen hep-ph papers co-written by Dr *ang today

By December 21st, 43 hep-ph papers on the diphoton resonance seen at the LHC have been written (and released in three packages). Eight days later, the terrain is very different. After another package on Dec 22, the total number has jumped to 72 (like the number of virgins who wait for a terrorist in the Islamic hell), then to 80 (Dec 23), 89 (Dec 24), 98 (Dec 25), and by today, the total has reached 118 unless I have overlooked some papers.

At this rate, the number of papers on the \(750\GeV\) resonance may surpass 750 by April when the new collisions may start to show that all of this activity was focusing on a mirage – or not.



A Honda CB 750 redesigned by the holographic hammer. Motorbikes with 750 cc (cm3) completely dominate the Google Images search for "750".

Because it's Tuesday today – a strong day – and we've had the Christmas break, there are many papers on the arXiv. Hep-ph shows 99 entries including 44 newly posted papers. It's a lot but what I find even more amazing – a sign of the Asian century that many people expect – is that 15 newly posted hep-ph papers were written or co-written by Dr *ang. It's close to the number of papers written by authors with any name posted on an average day. ;-)

Monday, December 28, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

There is a big demand for "not just superficial" science journalism

It's totally OK when most readers only understand a small part of the articles

iDNES.cz is Czechia's most influential center-right news server and Technet.cz is its science-technology section. Matouš Lázňovský is its main editor for science. He writes about many issues – how to make a romantic photograph of the sky, where did East German comrades make a mistake (a text about their lousy cars, a quote from a classic Czech movie), how November was the warmest one in some ways but not others, how the ice behaves differently at the two poles (all these articles sound perfectly sensible and balanced to me), what diseases threaten bananas, and so on, and so on.

I believe that he doesn't have any official training in theoretical or particle physics but he has covered the discipline repeatedly (much like he has covered cosmology, astronomy, and space programs). A week ago, he wrote a text about the \(750\GeV\) diphoton bump at the LHC,

Is the LHC collider moving towards a physical stunner?
which seems like a significantly more demanding text than virtually all the reports about the anomaly in the English-speaking media that I have seen. Well, yes, I did provide him with enough material and feedback to be offered a co-authorship but I think it's appropriate for him to be the only author because it's him who finally wrote it and packaged it.

But yes, I think it would be helpful for many paid physicists or other scientists to exert a similar pressure on the science journalists in order to increase the depth of the articles that are being published in the mass media about scientific advances. Most professional scientists are lazy for such things or lacking the breadth, however.

Sunday, December 27, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Czech president's Christmas address

Miloš Zeman: the migrants should have taken up arms instead

Jump to the migration topic; a copy of the 14-minute video. TRF doesn't endorse the bulk of the economic remarks in the speech below.



The Lány [Vast Fields] Chateaux, the presidential palace from which he spoke.

Distinguished and dear fellow citizens,

after another year, we're meeting to collectively meditate about the events that have taken place in this year. Just like in our individual lives, the republic also goes through joyful events as well as the less joyful events. But I am very happy that the joyful ones significantly dominate.

Saturday, December 26, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Dyson vs 8 Aryan MIT scholars and Lindzen's comments on the exchange

The unbearably low standards in "basics of science" at MIT

The Boston Globe recently published an exchange between legendary physicist Freeman Dyson and eight of his opponents who are employed by MIT, including a quark expert and a string theorist:

Misunderstandings, questionable beliefs mar Paris climate talks

So much more is understood about climate change than skeptic admits
The second, anti-Dyson text was written by the hurricane opportunist Kerry Emanuel and by Robert Jaffe, a veteran of quark theory, and it was signed by 6 more MIT employees. In total, 3 of the people are physicists; the list includes string theorist Wati Taylor.

It is very obvious that to pretend that they have debunked Dyson, they felt that they have needed to collect a larger number of "authorities". The logic based on the "ad hominem fallacy" makes the anti-Dyson reply totally analogous to the 1931 pseudoscientific rant against relativity that was named A Hundred Authors Against Einstein. These 2nd class authors wanted to return physics to the 16th or 17th century and Einstein replied in a simple way: "If relativity were wrong, one author would have been enough to show it."

Richard Lindzen (who happens to be one man) wrote an insightful and amusing third-person analysis of the exchange between Dyson and 8 MIT employees at Anthony Watts' well-known website:
Lindzen: A recent exchange in the Boston Globe clearly illustrated the sophistic nature of the defense of global warming alarm
Dyson and Lindzen are climate skeptics which doesn't mean that they uncritically repeat the words of each other.

Thursday, December 24, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Merry Christmas

Here is a nice 40-minute-long animated video.



The music is The Czech Christmas Mass (people are much more likely to call it "Hey Master" rather than by the author's original name "Missa solemnis Festis Nativitatis D. J. Ch. accommodata in linguam bohemicum musicam") composed by Jakub Jan Ryba [James John Fish] in 1796. I think that for a high school teacher who was born in the small town of Přeštice, 10 miles South of Pilsen (that's where your humble correspondent did his communist potato picking brigades), this composition is rather impressive. You don't need to know Czech much. The plot is simple: the Messiah is born in Bethlehem – which seems to be somewhere in Southwestern Bohemia. (It was a different Bethlemen than Bethlehem, NY where they banned public "Merry Christmas" signs.) Everything seems cooler on that day and the great news is spreading to all classes of the society.

Everything was great, as Ryba described it. Well, except that Ryba stabbed himself in 1815, near Rožmitál Under Třemšín, due to the shortage of money and hostility from his superiors.

Back in 1796, the Catholic belief in the Czech lands may have peaked. Recall that we began as Orthodox Christians thanks to the Greek missionaries in 863; we were gradually converted to the Catholic belief by the Roman-German influence; in the early 15th century, John Huss turned us into the first protestants of a sort. But after the humiliating 1620 loss at the Battle of the White Mountain (especially bad for our independent aristocratic elite), the 150-year-long recatholicization began and it was rather assertive. Roughly from the mid 19th century, when the industrialization exploded, Czechs were already on their way to become the world's flagship atheists. If the latest 2 centuries were removed from the history, this blog would have a slightly ;-) higher chance to spread Catholic views today.

String theory is as much science as other pillars of science

Siegel's criticism of string theory is fully analogous to a criticism of heliocentrism

The Munich workshop has unsurprisingly encouraged the anti-string jihadists to stage a bunch of "string theory is not science" terrorist attacks across the world. Ethan Siegel has embarrassed himself several times in the past but he added one more "essay" with a not too original title

Why String Theory Is Not Science.
He starts by listing 5 stages of the scientific method – in my words: observations, formulation of a hypothesis, validation or refutation, extension to a full-fledged theory, search for new phenomena and jump to 2 or 3. Well, that's what string theory has been doing in all those papers, too.

The only thing that the non-experts such as Siegel don't understand (or pretend to misunderstand) is that theoretical arguments plus experiments that have been done a long time ago are sufficient to falsify an overwhelming majority of the theories that one may design to describe the quantum gravity or the unification of forces etc. A new careful theoretical analysis of well-known "old" experimental data is often as useful as new experimental data. In particular, the reconciliation of general relativity and quantum mechanics is an extremely constrained problem that basically has just one solution – every solution of the combo of constraints is an aspect of string theory. That's why string theory has been able to achieve such incredible progress in recent decades.

Theorists have to rely on the theoretical arguments and the existing experiments because we're not drowning in experimental results that would quantify the Planck scale physics or something like that. This is not a fault of the theorists (especially not string theorists); it's how Nature works. And if someone should be blamed for not bringing us the experimental miracles, it's the experimenters, not the theorists.

Prague, nuclear target #61 in the 1950s

The Obama administration has prepared a nice Christmas gift for the post-Soviet bloc: a declassified map of the targets of nuclear bombs, see e.g.

1950s U.S. Nuclear Target List Offers Chilling Insight (NY Times)
The 800-page 1959 document (above the notes, 8 chapters) lists the targets in China, the Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe. Moscow, Leningrad, Berlin, and Prague had 179, 145, 91, and 69 targets, respectively.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Why Justice Roberts understands physics more than an MIT professor

This is a continuation of the story about the U.S. Supreme Court and affirmative action.



Thomas Levenson, an MIT professor doing science writing, wrote an essay for the Atlantic:

What Chief Justice Roberts Misunderstands About Physics
The title is a provocative question. But what is the answer? What does Roberts misunderstand about physics? Levenson's answer is summarized by the subtitle:
Science is not a separate realm that sits outside culture.
But science is a realm that is separate from culture. More precisely, the idealized science has this characteristic. In the real world, we deal with a real-world science that is a mixture of the idealized science and some culture. But the more this mixture deserves to be called science, the more separate from culture it is!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Greece has recalled ambassador from Prague

Greece has recalled its ambassador in Prague for consultations (but most likely, they meant consumations, something that Greek public employees are better at) in the wake of "unacceptable" statements by Czech President Miloš Zeman. Last Tuesday, Zeman has said (to some Slovak media, TASR) that he was disappointed that Greece didn't leave the eurozone in the summer.



He added that the Czech Republic will start the process of accession to the Eurozone a day after Greece leaves it. In the first reaction, the Greek ministry of foreign affairs entertained the listeners by saying that "Czechia is an EU member thanks to Greece".

Monday, December 21, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Supersymmetry may be taking over the \(750\GeV\) model building

Sbinos and the NMSSM officially run

In the fourth dose of preprints, at least seven new hep-ph papers with possible explanations of the \(750\GeV\) resonance have been published, bringing the total number of theory papers on the bump to 43 unless the Dutch blog has missed some papers. The model builders have created 43 parallel universes in which the (uncertain to exist) resonance has an explanation.



One paper discusses an obvious proposal, perhaps the "first one" that many of us would say, that the new particle is a new Higgs boson. It should be a singlet, they say. Another paper wants the new particles to couple to the Standard Model only via the WZW anomaly.

A paper by Alex, Alexandre, and a non-Alex says that the new particle \(S\) is almost certainly an \(S\)-cion, something I have never heard of, which has far-reaching implications for the hierarchy problem and amazing completions etc. except that the model they discuss is nothing else than the ordinary scalar coupled to the gauge bosons and the paper seems to be basically a signature-driven paper with no deep theory ideas.

A new paper proposes that the newly discovered particle is a dilaton but it seems to use a more CFT-based description of similar physics as the recent paper about the radion.

Sunday, December 20, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Are all arguments against miracles circular?

Update: InspirePhilosophy posted a reply to this text on his blog.
The InspiringPhilosophy YouTube channel has produced numerous wonderful videos about the foundation of quantum mechanics – and many more, equally visually wonderful yet much less sensible videos defending naive and literal Christian beliefs. The latest, 14-minute video was posted on Friday



and it argues that there are no valid arguments against miracles. The narrator has the same voice in all these videos, the linguistic perfection permeates every minute of the monologues, and the videos are always fun to watch. Nevertheless, some of them – the quantum ones – provide us with totally sensible and relevant arguments about the deepest discoveries of the 20th century physics which many people including physics PhDs misunderstand even in the 21st century; while the arguments about the miracles may be described as the rationalization of its religious beliefs by an 8-year-old schoolkid.

Saturday, December 19, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Radion at \(750\GeV\), a messenger from extra dimensions?

On Thursday, I picked the sgoldstino, the superpartner of graviton's superpartner which is not a graviton, however, as the representative of the second phenomenologists' bump day. On Friday, we enjoyed the third day of preprints when about 20 new papers about the intriguing CERN resonance were posted to arxiv.org (a new record for one day), bringing the total to 40 or so.



A scheme of the Randall-Sundrum spacetime.

As Numcracker pointed out, the most revolutionary paper in this third wave claims that the \(750\GeV\) resonance is a Higgs-radion, a particle signaling an extra dimension of the spacetime.

The last among the three previous TRF blog posts mentioning a radion discussed a proposed interpretation of the \(125\GeV\) boson as a radion. It was in April 2012, before the Higgs boson was officially discovered – and before we were clearly shown that its properties are boringly Standard-Model-like. So extra-dimensional or extra-terrestrial speculations could have been a bit more appropriate but I didn't believe that the Higgs boson would turn out to be too different from the Standard Model, anyway.

Harvard placemats and banned house masters

Some pre-Christmas insanity at a university I've worked for

Gordon has sent me links to two stories that are rather incredible. First, after some 400 years or so when students living in the dormitories had house masters, house masters will be banned. The word sounds like slaveowners so it must be prohibited. Don't these people feel shameful and concerned while eliminating traditions and terminology that has worked flawlessly throughout the post-enlightenment epoch? Aren't they worried about the hard-to-overlook similarities between their movement and the "reforms" that the Nazis and the communists have introduced?



But this story is just a cosmetic detail relatively to the following one. After all, it doesn't have any influence on important things whether you're called a "house master" or a "building's age-challenged fellow dickhead".

Friday, December 18, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Czech industrial decline: 1894-2015



Pilsen's Synagogue, second largest in Europe, was built in 1888 and the final decoration was completed in 1893.

I was playing with

the interactive map of historical CO2 emissions around the world
and it's a lot of fun. There are people who consider CO2 emissions to be correlated with "evil". I simply can't imagine to be one of them; they are absolutely unhinged psychopaths. In the map above, you may change the year from 1750 to 2010 using the slider at the bottom. And you may click individual countries (Britain is the default one) to get detailed information about their emissions (and emissions per capita, plus percentage in the world) for a given year.

SJW physicists vs Scalia: how loud minorities seem more representative than they are

A week ago, U.S. Justice Scalia has expressed his negative opinion about affirmative action in general and its impact on the blacks in physics classes in particular:

"There are those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a less – a slower-track school where they do well," Scalia said, according to the transcript. "One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don't come from schools like the University of Texas."

"They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they're being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them," Scalia said. "I'm just not impressed by the fact that the University of Texas may have fewer. Maybe it ought to have fewer. And maybe some – you know, when you take more, the number of blacks, really competent blacks, admitted to lesser schools, turns out to be less."
Many of us have thought about and discussed such ideas hundreds of times. Scalia has just expressed some obvious facts that the existence of affirmative action – the artificial inclusion of a higher number of blacks and other "minorities" – is a fact; and it doesn't seem helpful, not even to the blacks themselves.

Thursday, December 17, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Sgoldstino at \(750\GeV\) prevails in second theorists' bump day

Yesterday, there were 10 pheno papers trying to explain the bump near \(750\GeV\) if the bump is not just a deceitful fluke. Three preprints mentioned supersymmetry, mostly suggesting that the minimal supersymmetric standard model (MSSM) doesn't look quite compatible with the data.



SSM wasn't a supersymmetric standard model when I was a teenager. It was the Socialist Youth Union whose membership offer I had to refuse. ;-)

Today, the number of papers on the bump decreased by 20%, to eight. And they have a rather different focus. I won't discuss all the papers one by one anymore because it would be a full-time job. Instead, let me mention that two papers identify the bump as something very specific and supersymmetric.

Trouble with workshops on "testability"

Richard Dawid has organized a three-day-long workshop in Munich dedicated to claims that there's something wrong with contemporary theoretical physics because it's untestable. Two critics of science Silk and Ellis have previously called for such a meeting. So some of these critics and some of the string theorists gathered in Bavaria in order to agree about the big picture in which the string theory research takes place.

No agreement could have emerged from the meeting – which is good news because the world doesn't have too good experience with treaties signed in Munich. ;-)

Dawid and some participants are great but I can't imagine what the point of such a meeting could possibly be. String theorists meet with people who have no clue about contemporary physics but who believe that their ignorance is at least as good as the physicists' technical expertise. The latter pretend that they're (at least!) on par with the string theorists – like Gross and Polchinski – and they work hard to transform the workshop into a trial that could result in a ban of string theory, inflationary cosmology, supersymmetry, and other things. That's why I would find such events repulsive.

Accept my apologies but string theorists (and other groups) primarily do string theory research because they are free to investigate whatever they want – this freedom is a pillar of the Western society. Even if it made sense to describe string theory as a "religion" (and let's ignore the fact that this label is totally silly), string theorists would still have the right to believe in this "religion" and teach young people interested in this "religion" about the theory's explanation of the Universe. They would be free to do research and pay bucks to the researchers (and big bucks to the best researchers).

Everyone has this freedom. Because the string theorists are intellectually superior, they're capable of learning the theory that incorporates all the crucial valid older insights about Nature plus some more and seeing that it's probably an unavoidable paradigm shift. Others are not as intelligent so they don't understand it. The basic explanation is as simple as that. 99.999% of the people who criticize string theory (and a similar percentage of those who have never heard about it) just can't learn it. That is their primary characteristic that restricts and shapes their opinions. And you simply can't neutralize your ignorance by an ideology. If you don't understand string theory, you just don't understand it and every ideology trying to sell this ignorance as a virtue is just an idiotic piece of populism for the trash bin of the mankind.

Natalie Wolchover is a good writer but when it comes to her story about the workshop,

A Fight for the Soul of Science
I have lots of critical problems with that text.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Germany reintroduces censorship

"Specialist teams" will clean DDR's Facebook, Twitter, and Google from subversive posts in 24 hours

In Spring 1945, Angela Merkel's predecessor wisely committed suicide and Germany started its path towards freedom and democracy – or socialism, respectively. And in 1990, the communist regime in DDR collapsed, too. Because 70 years (or 25 years, in the case of DDR) of freedom seems as way too long time for many Germans, Angela Merkel has been discussing certain things with Mark Zuckerberg.



"You're not doing enough," she argued. I didn't believe she would actually okay policies to strip the opponents of the Islamization of Germany and Europe of their basic freedoms but here we are. Angela Merkel has looked like a West German politician but she has learned something from the regime in her DDR, too. A week before Christmas, the German government has made an agreement with Google, Facebook, and Twitter that the companies would be removing any posts labeled "hate speech" within 24 hours.

Lisa Randall on brotherless female scientists, science vs politics

For paid feminists, the dishonest feminist bullšiting is more important than science, your identity, your achievements, and human lives

Because Lisa Randall has released her book, Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, she was interviewed by many journalists including Lila Shapiro, a Senior Staff Reporter at the left-wing megablog Huffington Post:

The One Question This Brilliant Physicist Wants People To Stop Asking Her
The title wants you to think that the Huffington Post are the leaders in "asking the right questions" to scientists like Randall. In reality, this Ms Shapiro had to be one of the most annoying interviewers that Lisa has encountered. She hasn't really asked any question about the science at all. All the questions were trying to turn Lisa into a tool in the feminists' political struggles.

You can tell that Lisa was dissatisfied about this attitude and tried to convey this fact to the reporter. But the reporter didn't give a damn. It's her job to abuse science and scientists.

First batch of 10 pheno papers on the new resonance \(S\)

Note that we have democratically decided about the right symbol

The CERN seminar took place between 3 pm and 5 pm CERN time (2 pm-4 pm Greenwich Mean Time). After the end of the seminar, phenomenologists had 5 extra hours before the daily arXiv.org deadline at 10 pm CERN time (4 pm Boston time, 1 pm California time) to absorb the totally surprising news, do the research, calculate and verify all the equations, write a \(\rm\LaTeX\) paper, fill in the forms at their departments when necessary, and submit their new paper.



Picture from Umesh

It was a hard task because it normally takes weeks or months to write a paper. But ten groups of authors have managed to succeed – and I am not counting the hookion paper. Among the 29 new hep-ph papers, ten of them talk about the possible new boson at \(750\GeV\):

15,20,21,23,24,25,26,27,28,29
The first paper, 15, was posted at 5:48 pm CERN time, about an hour after the end of the seminar; the last one was submitted 43 seconds before the deadline. Note that all 7 last hep-ph papers (23-29) were about the new resonance. ;-) If the phenomenologists continued to write over 2 papers an hour (48 per day), it would take just 16 days for them to reach the magic threshold of 750 papers. They will probably slow down!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

A new \(750\GeV\) boson is very likely there

Chances are high that the Standard Model will be killed in 2016

If I were just a little bit more certain than I am, I would add the picture below and the subtitle would say:



REVOLUTION IN SCIENCE
New theory of the Universe
The Standard Model and Weinbergian ideas overthrown
The summary of the main 2015 results of the ATLAS and CMS collaborations at the LHC was entertaining. Many channels have been shown compatible with the Standard Model. Some searches for black holes, gluinos, sbottom squarks (deficit!), etc. have extended their limits by \(200\GeV\) or so – in one search for gluinos even close to \(1.8\TeV\). The old CMS edge at \(78.7\GeV\) anomaly as well as ATLAS' on-Z anomaly was said not to exist by CMS.



Can you see a similarity between the ATLAS and CMS diphoton charts? I chose one of the most modest CMS graphs – they had a stronger signal when they treated it differently, especially when they added the 2012 evidence, see figure 7 in the CMS diphoton paper. A reason why CMS has weaker signals is that they only build on 2.6/fb of data (75% of the time, the CMS magnet worked fine); ATLAS has processed 3.2/fb, see the ATLAS diphoton paper, too.

The \(2.9\TeV\) dilepton event could have gotten many siblings but it hasn't, so I am reclassifying the event as a "probable fluke deserved to be forgotten". Similar comments probably apply to the \(5\TeV\) dijet events etc. The situation of the \(2\TeV\) new gauge boson is somewhere in between. Such a new particle can't be "actively" excluded now. But it could have gotten some new evidence. However, it hasn't gotten any new evidence either from ATLAS or CMS.

Let me describe the right attitude differently: If we hadn't seen the intermediate data and only evaluated the "total" data we have now, which may be a sensible attitude, the excesses at \(2\TeV\) would be (and are) so small that we wouldn't talk about them at all, and that's why we should probably stop talking about them now, too.

Monday, December 14, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

An ATLAS charged Higgs boson excess

We are waiting for the tomorrow's CMS and ATLAS talks about the potentially major LHC results in 2015. Heuer has already entered the room, with a full knowledge of the presented data.

But before we see how generous Nature and the experimenters have been, we may already look at some news. Those of us who try to know papers before they get to the arXiv ;-) have known this paper for two days or so. Now, everyone may see

Search for charged Higgs bosons in the \(H^\pm\to tb\) decay channel in \(pp\) collisions at \(\sqrt{s}=8\TeV\) using the ATLAS detector (hep-ex)
whose money graph seems a bit more exciting than the average LHC graph – one that shouts that the Standard Model is probably infallible.



Pretty cute.

Saturday, December 12, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Stunning scientific illiteracy behind the Paris 2 °C target

The "final" COP21 Paris agreement has 31 pages and this delusional text will go down in history as a certificate of madness and hysteria. Representatives of 200 countries are ready to sign the document. Thankfully, in the first three years after ratifying it, everyone may leave the "legally binding" treaty one year after the country says "it's been enough" (Article 28). Countries with sensible leaders or populations will do so once they liberate themselves from the Paris group think.

The individual countries have "voluntarily" submitted their arbitrarily chosen emissions reductions plans before the conference (EU, U.S., others). Their signature under the Paris document – which will only "fully" supersede the Kyoto protocol in 2020 – means the promise to enforce the plan, to periodically defend its successes in achieving the 5-year plans in front of the central committee (I still remember 5-year plans!), and to believe that this plan that has virtually nothing with the temperature will keep the temperature well below the threshold 2 °C above the pre-industrial temperatures. And there's lots of bureaucracy and wealth redistribution etc. sketched in the treaty, issues that I will mostly avoid.



The ratification process will being symbolically on Vladimir Lenin's birthday, on April 22nd, 2016.

Fourteen months ago, Victor and Kennel published an article in Nature explaining some of the reasons why the "temperature targets" such as the 2 °C target should be ditched because this kind of targeting is ill-defined, meaningless, inconsequential, unreachable, ... and just plain idiotic. Victor's and Kennel's main complaint was that the global mean temperature wasn't in any useful sense correlated with the health of our planet.

By the way, if you want to know, the meme about the 2 °C target – so popular among some politicians in recent 10 years – wasn't invented by a natural scientist. It arose as a rehashed random sentence from a paper by economist William Nordhaus from the 1970s. He said that 2 °C might be bad, 3 °C would... and 5 °C would... and the activists picked the first one because it brings the fear – and their influence – closer. The meme began to spread and people forgot about the origin of this "lore". No scientific paper has ever derived any number of this kind. This meme was pretty much imposed on some would-be scientists by the politicians.

But the climate hysteria has lost all contacts with science. The hundreds of stupid mammals from all corners of the world who gathered in Paris don't read Nature. It's much worse than that, of course. They don't talk to anyone who has a clue about science, either (perhaps except for a bunch of scientist-imitating parrots, birds that they have bought for the taxpayer money). They've brainwashed themselves into believing that the global warming temperature must be a high-precision, well-defined number and, which is even worse, they may push it in any direction they want by meeting their fellow tetrapods and signing meaningless arrogant declarations.

Can the \(750\GeV\) gamma-gamma bump be real?

Two hours before the seminar, the auditorium was already half-full. By 2:40, it was full. The web chat room for the event was here – click and participate. (Find the URL in the HTML source.)

A Dutch variation of this blog post is available.

Astrophysicist Mario Livio has joined the community of people who spread the rumor about a bump that will be presented on Tuesday between 3 pm and 5 pm:

Rumor from #LHC @CERN potential detection of excess at \(700\GeV\) [most recently sometimes said to be \(750\GeV\)] decaying into 2 photons (3 sigma in both @ATLASexperiment & @CMSexperiment)

BTW the schedule for Tuesday December 15th:
............ webcast.cern.ch ............
15:00-15:40 CMS, Jim Olsen (Princeton U., USA)
15:40-16:20 ATLAS, Marumi Kado (Lab. de l'Acc. Lin., FR)
I think that by now, everyone who wanted to know something about the 2015 results has heard or seen this rumor so let me officially declassify it.

All this knowledge could have come from a single source and the source may hypothetically be a prankster. But I have some feelings that the sources are actually numerous and independent at the root. So I think it's more likely than not that an excess of this kind will be reported. There may be other interesting (and maybe more interesting) excesses announced on Tuesday but I won't discuss this possibility in this blog post at all.



Exactly four years ago, we were shown pictures such as this one. When you collide proton beams and look for final states that include two photons (or "diphotons", as physicists like to call it when they want to pretend that they speak Greek), you may find a 3-sigmaish bump around \(125\GeV\) – which is the value of the invariant mass \((p_1^\mu+p_2^\mu)^2\) of the two photons – already with the data that was available by the end of 2011.

Friday, December 11, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

People mocking Trump are detached from reality

Since the first August post on the Trump phenomenon, the name of the candidate has appeared in about seven TRF texts.

I have always argued that Trump's comparative advantage wasn't an illusion or a temporary fluke. It was a reflection of his being the main representative – and, among the candidates, often the only representative – of many important values, principles, and desires that many or most Americans actually believe but they're being constantly intimidated into hiding these beliefs.

Since August, the support for Trump has risen. These days, polls indicate that he may get 35 percent in the primaries, about 20 percentage points ahead of his strongest competitors. Hillary has tried to mock Trump but last night, she admitted that Trump was no longer "funny". Many leftists start to be terrified but the Republican establishment is terrified as well – the primaries will take place before the general elections, after all.

The Democratic Party has mostly produced a uniform mass of politicians who basically repeat the same PC stuff, although someone is more radical than others. It has been the Republican Party where some nontrivial and interesting schools of thought were born. Six years ago or so, the Republican Party has been challenged and re-energized within by the Tea Party Movement.

LHC \(2\TeV\) \(W'\)-bosons from D7-braneworlds

An ad: Joseph Conlon, the young Oxford professor behind WhyStringTheory.COM, has released a book of the same name.

Ralph Blumenhagen has posted a string phenomenology paper of the kind that seems both intriguing and hugely underrepresented. String theory is being connected to some emerging anomalies, in this case the apparent bumps resembling new \(W\)-bosons of mass around \(2\TeV\).

Intersecting Branes, SUSY Breaking and the 2TeV Excess at the LHC
As I have discussed from many angles, the most natural explanation of such a bump would be an extension of the Standard Model to a left-right-symmetric gauge group: the asymmetric \(SU(2)_W\times U(1)_Y\) of the former (the electroweak gauge group) is extended to \(SU(2)_L\times SU(2)_R\times U(1)_{B-L}\).

One may naturally think that this gauge group, including the QCD \(SU(3)_c\), is embedded into some \(SO(10)\) grand unified group. The latter may be a leftover of a larger \(E_6\) group or not – but at any rate, you may assume it ultimately comes from some \(E_8\) heterotic group in ten dimensions.

A new anthem of climate realists

There are some cool climate skeptics' songs out there, like I'm a Denier or Hide the Decline or Imagine There's No Global Warming or If We Had Some Global Warming.

But none of the songs has claimed to be an anthem of climate realists. Koch brothers are generous philantropists – although I haven't received a penny from them yet – but they are also creative musicians.



Lyrics here

So they have written down a song and I think it's a catchy and especially harmonious one. The science isn't terribly advanced or formulated in the style of the journal articles but all the basic observations are there – about the weather events and cruel world in the past, Al Gore's being a full of šit, the importance of fossil fuels, and so on.

Thursday, December 10, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Physics problems cannot be undecidable

If one focuses on physics papers that are hyped in the mass media, one must conclude that science has already entered the postmodern era in which "anything goes". Statements that are arbitrarily close to the most embarrassing mistakes that a weak student may make are often said to be "true" and they are being supported by confused articles and quotes by at most semi-qualified researches.

One of the popular themes of low-quality popular books about physics has been the conflation of physics with Gödel's incompleteness theorem and similar results. Lots of books liked to argue that the Heisenberg uncertainty relationship and the Gödel's incompleteness theorem were basically the same thing and both of them were showing some fundamental limits of the scientific understanding of Nature.



Off-topic: a gravitational wave symphony. In coming years or fractions of a year, an experiment should detect the gravitational waves. It won't be just some random vibration of the gadget. The sources of the waves should have their own characteristic voice. You may want to internalize and remember these sounds. The frequencies are speeding up because the mutually orbiting objects are losing the energy which means that they're falling deeper to the gravitational field of the partner – before they collide and merge and the sound stops. The same acceleration was observed optically (not LIGO-wise) on the 1993 Nobel prize binary pulsar.

However, these two results are not the same – they are not even parts of the same discipline. Gödel's incompleteness results have pretty much by definition no relevance in natural science while the Heisenberg uncertainty principle tells us that it's physically meaningless to make certain propositions – like propositions about both position and momentum that are too precise. But when we carefully talk about physically meaningful propositions only (namely about the results of doable experiments), quantum mechanics that results from the uncertainty principle demonstrably leads to a deeper, more complete, and more predictive framework for physics than classical physics used to. The predictions are unavoidably probabilistic but the probabilities are calculable, the possibilities (eigenvalues) are often discrete or mixed and therefore more separated from each other than the unavoidably continuous classical results, and quantum mechanics allows us to produce things like atomic clocks that are far more precise than those that would ever exist in a classical world.

Schwarzenegger has found the best argument against deniers

For decades, the IPCC panel and thousands of others were trying to find an argument against carbon dioxide, a nutrient vital for life. The efforts haven't led anywhere so far.

Finally, in December 2015, one of the greatest minds of the global warming movement Arnold Schwarzenegger has found the best argument yet. His argument is a variation of the Monty Hall Problem but he had to simplify a little bit (by eliminating the numbers, such as 1/2 and 1/3, and all other features requiring IQ above 70) in order to make it accessible to his Facebook followers:

I don’t give a **** if we agree about climate change.
An essay by Arnold Schwarzenegger

...There are two doors. Behind Door Number One is a completely sealed room, with a regular, gasoline-fueled car. Behind Door Number Two is an identical, completely sealed room, with an electric car. Both engines are running full blast.



I want you to pick a door to open, and enter the room and shut the door behind you. You have to stay in the room you choose for one hour. You cannot turn off the engine. You do not get a gas mask.

I'm guessing you chose the Door Number Two, with the electric car, right?
Well, if there were only two doors, I would choose Door Number One because I know that they sent me to a room because I am a "denier" so they will surely attach me to the energy system of either car equally tightly.

And I know what happens when you connect your body to the 240-volt voltage of a Tesla. A Norfolk Virginia Tesla charging station employee has made this experiment in August 2015 and believe me, it was the last thing he has tested. Well, it was his decision to work and possibly sacrifice his life for Tesla.

But there is also the Door Number Three, the Russian door discussed 3 paragraphs below, and this would be my best choice.

At any rate, you can see that Arnold's argument is really deep and clever. There is now a 97% consensus among the warriors against global warming that it is the best argument against carbon dioxide they could have constructed since 1824 when Joseph Fourier has invented the greenhouse effect. The Independent calls the argument foolproof; for Think Progress, it is Republican-proof; Alphr says that it's hard to argue with; Observer mentions that Arnold ordered the deniers to shut up; and Liberals Unite describe it as Arnold's one pro-life question.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

I would bet: Sydney climate skeptic is the father of the Bitcoin

Update: Motherboard claims that some PGP keys were backdated which would indicate deliberate deception in the evidence. I can't verify either claims.

Hours ago, Wired and Gizmodo published nontrivial evidence (Gizmodo goes well beyond Wired) indicating that an unknown Sydney-based genius named Craig Steven Wright (*1970) is the person (or the boss of the persons) behind the fictitious name Satoshi Nakamoto "who" authored the Bitcoin, the world's most famous cryptocurrency.

Dave Kleiman, an American who died in 2013 (after being a wheelchair-bound forensics nerd since a 1995 motorcycle accident; he died broke and his decaying body was found surrounded by alcohol), is said to be the main co-father. It's not hard to see that they cooperated in 2008 if not earlier. Their 2008 paper on hard drive forensics (42 cits) is as error-free and readable as the Bitcoin.pdf paper.

Wright suddenly decided to reveal himself, was mysteriously invited to a conference which wouldn't have happened if he hadn't some special links. A part of the evidence was a January 2009 blog post at gse-compliance.blogspot.com announcing that the Bitcoin would be started momentarily; and an overlap in his e-mail addresses and telephone numbers with Satoshi in the very early days of the Bitcoin. It may be shown that Wright was at least a very early Bitcoin miner (since 2009) and a top 17 miner in the world.

Polchinski and string theory to the rescue

Joe Polchinski was invited to the Munich conference about the "falsifiability under the light of string theory". Because of his being tired of conferences or a hospitalization (in that case, I wish him to have doctors who safely come to his rescue!), he was the only participant who attended the meeting through a wormhole at arXiv.org where he posted

String theory to the rescue,
a wonderful philosophical essay with a story, an essay of the kind that should be winning all the "quantum gravity essay contests" except that the organizers almost never manage to receive contestants that would be this good. Joe had to ask a speaker to present the paper – a random Nobel prize winner, David Gross, was good enough for the job. Because he likes to convey other people's ideas so nicely, next time, someone could perhaps hire someone like David to spread some rumors from the LHC, too. ;-)

Polchinski's basic point is that quantum gravity seems hard at first sight, and for two reasons:
  1. the Planck length is incredibly short;
  2. and random processes could have decided even about some "universal" features of Nature (like they do in the multiverse).
However, string theory is the shocking good news with the capacity to change the pessimistic expectations.

UAH AMSU: 2015 third warmest, 0.15 °C/decade is "fair"

Roy Spencer mentions a fact that many of us have calculated using their dataset, too: the year 2015 will almost certainly be the 3rd warmest year on the UAH AMSU satellite record, after 1998 and 2010. This ranking significantly differs from the surface temperature records which seem to display a positive (or noticeably faster) temperature trend and that will indisputably classify 2015 as the warmest year.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Klaus: On the absurdity of the Paris climate conference

By Václav Klaus, Czech ex-president, published in "The Week" (Týden) in CZ

For a long enough time, the environmental activists have been searching for a sufficiently strong and empirically unfalsifiable theme that could help them to seriously influence the world's events. Their first efforts were backed by the Malthusian doctrine about the unsustainable population growth that was supposed to exceed our planet's ability to feed the mankind. Paul Ehrlich's 1968 book "The Population Bomb" has predicted mass famines in Europe and America to occur within 20 years. As all of us know, nothing like that has ever taken place (I must mention that this utopian is employed as an aide of Obama's even today).

Paris: sane people more threatened by ecoterrorists than Islamists now

When Marc Morano, the man behind the climate realist website ClimateDepot.com, was informing me that he was going to travel to COP-21 in Paris, I urged him to watch out. A terror attack had just occurred in Paris (Friday 13th November) and the climate negotiations could have been a good opportunity for the terrorists to kill lots of people.

Now I feel that I have overreacted to recent events. It's actually the climate alarmists who are a much greater threat for the lives of the climatically sane people located in Paris these days.



Many more pictures about the funny interactions of the sane people and the alarmists are here.

Avaaz, an environmentalist terrorist group, has spread thousands (no exaggeration) of "wanted" posters with the photographs of seven "climate criminals" across the streets of Paris. See their page on the "climate criminals" and their one-minute video about the stunt. The list is: Sporton, Ebell, Morano, Horner, Lomborg, Wild, and Taylor.

Monday, December 07, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

The unreadable Paris climate draft

Today, I have to go to Prague to participate in a two-on-two climate debate with one moderator in a Prague café which should be published in a magazine. So I have tried to study some details about the planned "treaty" that could result from the Paris climate talks. That included some time spent with

The December 3rd COP-21 draft
It's fifty pages long but I still have no idea what these pages could possibly contain. Can you help me? This whole text seems to be written in some kind of an Orwellian jargon combining words like "governments, commitments" into repetitive sentences that is optimized to convey as little comprehensible information per word as possible. What I understand are the omnipresent Marxist comments that the advanced countries must feel guilt because they're advanced and all this garbage. Sorry, people in advanced countries – those who haven't lost their mind completely – are proud about the achievements of our civilization (and a big part of this progress may be credited to our usage of the fossil fuels) and all the sane people in the less advanced countries want (and have a chance) to reproduce the successes of the advanced world. Someone who wants to deny these elementary facts about the history of the mankind should be stored in a psychiatric hospital.

Also, the text is full of brackets and parentheses and options and the meaning of the text probably depends on which of them are included and which of them are omitted and it can make a huge difference.

Sunday, December 06, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

ATLAS, CMS will present results from 2015 on December 15th

Update: I will write another text about the \(750\GeV\) bump in a week.
Apparently in the main CERN auditorium, 3 pm

As I have repeatedly stressed, e.g. in this summary of the 2015 LHC run, the Large Hadron Collider has performed a large enough number of collisions at the energy that was substantially higher than the energy achieved in 2012.
Rumor: Adam Falkowski made a rumor public via Twitter (@Resonaances) so: both CMS and ATLAS see a modest excess in the diphoton, \(\gamma\gamma\) spectrum, at the mass of \(700\GeV\). A new Higgs boson previously seen as a \(662\GeV\) bump? \(700\GeV\) is the maximum second Higgs mass in certain 2-Higgs models.
That's why we have entered a completely new territory where new discoveries may rather easily be made. In other words, when you see nothing new at the energy \(E\), you will probably see nothing at \(E+\delta E\) because they are similar and the results are correlated. But if you study the energy \(13E/8\) instead, it's a whole new game. Many things at this higher energy/mass may show up although they were inaccessible in the past.

New things and phenomena could have very well been found, I have always stressed, and they just need to be processed and announced. When will we hear a coherent story about the results of 2015?

Saturday, December 05, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

MEP Ransdorf could have wanted to withdraw dead Jews' $350 million

Czech and Slovak readers were impressed by a highly nontrivial and bizarre criminal achievement of their compatriots yesterday.



Three Slovak men above 53 years of age and no record of wealth on the Internet came to a Zurich bank and they wanted to withdraw three hundred and fifty from the account that belonged to a Mr Ransdorf. The clerk brought them €350 but they were dissatisfied and argued that they wanted something else, namely €350 million instead. The amount sounds better in Czech – it's 9.5 billion crowns. ;-)

Friday, December 04, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Social engineers' dangerous delusions about peer review, management of science

I was stunned by the arrogance and dangerous proposals displayed in a talk by Sabine Hossenfelder

Peer Review and its Discontents [slide show].
That blog post contains a YouTube video with slides from a 1-hour-long talk she gave at a conference and her audio that was compressed to 23 minutes. She could have chosen a computer voice generator to make the audio sound more human and less like a computer-generated Orwellian EU bureaucratic speech but this is the smallest problem with the talk.

The bigger problem is the content. First of all, I can't understand where she finds so much arrogance to try to organize how the whole scientific community works given the fact that she has never contributed any valuable and correct insight to science and she was only allowed to stay in science because of the affirmative action. Physicists who have actually achieved something are far more modest in all these aspects.

Sometimes they are too modest but the modesty always has a rational core. It is important for everyone to realize that no one is infallible – and it's particularly difficult if not impossible to "predict" what sorts of discoveries will be made and considered essential in the future. For example, Edward Witten will always refuse to make prophesies about the distant future and he will always acknowledge that the important conceptual breakthroughs may be made – and have been made – by people who may be less famous than he is. Sabine Hossenfelder and her even more pseudoscientific readers are convinced that they can distinguish an important paradigm shift right away, and so on. This is absolutely preposterous. They don't have the expertise to decide about rather elementary questions in physics – let alone hard questions about the cutting edge and the far future of physics.

Dijet carnage: CMS shoots 20% more resonances

Today, a group of 3,000 gunmen known as the Carnage Master Sect (CMS) simultaneously entered the Large Hadron Collider and the arXiv of preprints and completed their

Search for narrow resonances decaying to dijets in proton-proton collisions at \(\sqrt{s} = 13\TeV\)
Tiziano Camporesi, the spokesman of the group (who met his predecessor Joe Incandela in the Italian Mafia), began with the scream "Standard Model Akbar".

The men and some women were equipped with 2.4 inverse femtobarns of ammunition produced in 2015; this translates to some 200 or 300 trillion pairs of protonic bullets. Among the CMS' fans, there were worries about the CMS magnet but most of the 2015, it apparently wasn't able to prevent CMS from shooting and looking at jets because most of the 4 delivered inverse femtobarns were transformed into real data.

Thursday, December 03, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

How the term "Copenhagen interpretation" got totally distorted

On Saturday, we will celebrate Werner Heisenberg's 114th birhday. December 5th is a sensible date for a physicist to be born, of course.



Steve Hsu has made a hostile comment about the Copenhagen interpretation and I decided to write a specific blog post about the history of the term and how the meaning got distorted to describe something that physicists may call controversial – which they may not.

Allah murdered 14+ in California

Last night, I was watching the Sinful People of Prague, a classic black-and-white Czech crime sitcom, for the 8th time or so but I couldn't miss the news about the shooting at a party of a support center for the handicapped in San Bernardino, Southern California.

When the TV program was over, I went to Twitter and searched for "San Bernardino Muslim" and similar queries. The reason was obvious: at least in the present atmosphere in the world, Muslims seemed to be by far the most likely perpetrators and someone on Twitter could have offered some early reports about the identification.



Shockingly enough, I didn't find any tweet of this kind. Instead, I saw about 50 different tweets saying that the culprits had to be some white right-wing Christian Republicans or something like that. Disbelieving, I went to sleep.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Maverick branches, a proof that Everett's theory is totally wrong

Stephen Hsu has posted a preprint on the many worlds interpretation

The measure problem in no-collapse (many worlds) quantum mechanics
(which he announced on his blog as well) and in the arXiv comments, the arXiv admin added a note saying that the text significantly overlaps with a preprint that Hsu posted in 2011. I agree with the content of the admin's critique. Hsu and all these people just keep on repeating the same verbal flapdoodle and they have absolutely no new results or ideas – and nothing that makes sense.

However, I don't like the idea that an anonymous admin "edits" the submitted preprints (I don't remember seeing such a thing in hep-th) which is why I suspect that this particular "admin" could have been an even more radical anti-quantum (or pro-many-worlds) jihadist than Hsu himself.



At any rate, the main claim of Hsu's new paper is right but not new at all; almost all his remaining comments are totally wrong. His main claim is that the many worlds interpretation postulates that all possible histories objectively exist and it implies that that almost all of these histories are the so-called "maverick histories", a euphemism that Everett invented for histories whose probability is so tiny that it's zero for all practical purposes (in plain English, histories that we never see to occur). And Hsu says that all attempts to derive the Born rule or eliminate "maverick theories" suffer from circular reasoning.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Czech TV interview with Assad

Prague peace for Syria got a bit more likely

Czech public TV has recorded a 33-minute interview with Bashar Assad in Damascus and it has broadcast

a 2-hour-long program on Syria at 8 pm [bigger screen, backup YouTube link],
on the ČT24 channel. The interview at the beginning was simultaneously aired in Syria. Since 10 pm (4 pm Boston Winter Time), the URL has been offering you to replay the program from scratch; press "přeskoč reklamu" to "skip the ads"; the English interview (with CZ subtitles) begins at 1:50 and ends at 34:35. A Syrian website already provides you with a transcript of the interview. Another story, more.



They spoke in English – and according to the excerpt (English is at 1:22 etc.), I could already say that Assad's English was a nice surprise. Before I saw the full program, I was afraid that the TV website would probably offer a Czech dubbed version only. In that case, I was ready to update this blog post with a summary. But the interview was aired in English with Czech subtitles so you may watch the original thing. Unless they banned the video abroad.

Lev Okuň: 1929-2015

As Yuri told us, Lev Borisovič Okuň died on November 23rd at age of 86. As a high school kid, I've read some books and texts he wrote (in Russian) and not only before the fall of communism, he has always been one of the symbols of the "contemporary" particle physics in the Soviet bloc and its ability to interact with the best particle physics in the world. And after the fall of communism, he may have been one of the best Russian physicists who stayed in Russia.

He may have influenced me in various ways. His book (or books?) covered things like grand unification at a semi-popular level. And I believe that even after more than 25 years, I still remember a sentence from that book – "prostoj prostoty něbůdět" (there won't be any simple [naive] simplicity [in the future of physics], a 2005 blog post). It agreed with my feelings and I may have used the very same quote myself.

Monday, November 30, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

UN climate talks: the ritual

The most powerful climate alarmists among politicians – and you may find such deluded people in almost all countries of the world – have gathered for another meeting in Paris. Josh gave us a wonderful new cartoon:



The Global Warming Policy Foundation has collected lots of quotes from the newspapers that show that it is always the same ritual, indeed. The seven aspects of the ritual could have been seen in Bali 2007, Poznań 2008, Copenhagen 2009, Cancun 2010, Durban 2011, Doha 2012, Warsaw 2013, Lima 2014, and Paris 2015, and mostly at many meetings before 2007, too.

Estonian Li-Fi

Tens of GB per second using light bulbs

Velmenni, an Estonian startup, has tested the visible light-based replacement for Wi-Fi in the real-world conditions of an office and saw that their Li-Fi had a 100 times faster data rate than the best conventional Wi-Fi we are using today.



Li-Fi works much like Wi-Fi but uses the visible light instead of the radio waves. A Li-Fi receiver basically turns an ordinary LED light bulb on and off a few times each nanosecond (BTW do Czech readers know that the right translation of "nanosekunda" to English is a "c*nt on the nose"?).

Sunday, November 29, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

That physics show off Broadway

When I was at Rutgers, I could see the physics show of David Maiullo, the local physics demonstrator, a few times. The experiments took place at the round Physics Lecture Hall (next to the physics department, the "Serin Hall") where the colloquia take place, too. Strangely enough, the photograph linked to in this paragraph was taken even before I came to Rutgers – in the year (1996) in which Rutgers was arguably among the world's top 3 universities doing string theory.



As this trailer above makes clear, his experiments have been reshaped to something like arts and they got to Broadway. Well, almost. The show may be seen on 151 West 46th Street (The Playroom Theater) which is pretty close to Broadway.

Saturday, November 28, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Leptoquarks may arrive: LHC to prove \(E_6\) SUSY GUT?

The most conservative stringy scenario to explain all the anomalies

The LHC has glimpsed numerous small anomalies. Some of them may be easily related to leptoquarks.



For our purposes, we define a leptoquark as a new elementary spinless particle that is capable of decaying to a lepton and a quark. So it is not a bound state of a lepton and a quark, it is a genuinely new elementary particle, but it carries the same quantum numbers as such a bound state would carry. We want the decay to be allowed by statistics (and by all other possible constraints) – so the new particle has to be a boson.

Friday, November 27, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Greene, Weinberg, Strominger, Vafa, González, Mathur debate GR

Reality since Einstein

This week, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the final form of Einstein's equations. In July 2015, the World Science Festival also known as Brian Greene hosted this 100-minute debate of top physicists.



You will do fine if you increase the speed 1.5 times in the video options.

Brian Greene, Andy Strominger, Cumrum Vafa, and Samir Mathur are string theorists and they were accompanied by Steven Weinberg and Gabriela González, the spokeswoman of LIGO. (I didn't know the name and couldn't resist thinking about the variation of the great quote from TBBT: Here in California, I am a janitor. But back home in Louisiana, I am a physicist. Please don't take it too personally.) Brian started with some stories, e.g. his excitement about a lecture by Stephen Hawking whom he didn't know. And a physics book that remembers everything that Brian has eaten over the years.

Greene – using his wife's eyeglasses – asked the guests the most obvious question that physicists are always asked, namely what they would like to be tattooed on their skin.

There would be curved spaces all over González, black holes on Mathur's skin, Einstein's equations on Strominger's back, and geometrized forces on Vafa. It was quite an over-the-edge celebration of the equations. Only Weinberg reintroduced some sanity when he pointed out that GR was no big deal because it's just another effective field theory governing spin-two particles. You have tattooed your bodies with generic junk, ladies and gentlemen.

Thursday, November 26, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Smolin's untrustworthy, misguided advice to Canadian PM Trudeau

One (or a country) must catch up before he (or it) becomes a leader

Justin Trudeau became Canada's new centrist prime minister and Lee Smolin has already prescribed

Ten steps to make Canada a leader in science
to the new prime minister.

In his notorious book attacking modern physics, The Trouble With Physics, Smolin self-confidently categorized himself as a "seer" (a revolutionary physicist). In his text addressed to Trudeau, he reclassified himself as a "rock star physicist". Too bad that he doesn't mention that most physicists at better places consider him a crackpot. Check e.g. this discussion of Santa Barbara physicists with journalist George Johnson. Download the 24 MB MOV file and go to 22:00 to check what the physicists think.

Mr Trudeau, it's obvious that for the investment in science to be great, one has to hire the ingenious, hard-working, right people. So Smolin's recommendation #1 is basically right and trivial. But one must avoid some traps, at least simple traps, and all the other nine advises that Smolin offers:

Don't trust the people because they try to pay lip service to your politics, like Lee Smolin who inserts seemingly unrelated comments about "climate change" to his essay how to fund physics research. Don't trust the people who paint themselves as full-fledged Canadians but who were born in the New York City, like Lee Smolin, and who ended up in Canada because they were not competitive elsewhere.

Don't trust the people who try to elevate their apparent importance by affiliations in the past because they have never achieved anything beyond the affiliations. Don't trust the men, like Smolin, who praise as "physics revolutionaries" pretty much exactly the same female third-class physicists who have "accidentally" had a romantic relationship or marriage with the man. A bright observer or sponsor of sciences should be able to notice such patterns and deduce the most likely explanation and its implications for sensible decisions.

Why not to get more girls into STEM

Shaun Maguire, a Caltech PhD student, wrote one of the hyper-PC texts

How to get more girls into STEM
that simply drive me up the wall. It is marginally understandable when a female feminist – whose broad framework of thinking is in between a clever man and an average ape and who is driven primarily by efforts to increase her own influence – emits this insane ideological junk. But when a man who managed to become a Caltech PhD student and who calls himself an entrepreneur does the same, it's breathtaking.

At the top, Shaun includes a photograph of three young men who sit in a classroom and try to "increase the gender diversity" (a euphemism for the increase of the percentage of females) in STEM fields. Well, the creators of The Big Bang Theory have filmed a scene that is more humorous than the average one but whose overall description of "what happens" during such outreach programs is remarkably accurate:



Almost all the female children are super-bored by the scientifically sounding stuff. They communicate with cell phones all the time. If something makes them alive, it's always the non-scientific insertions about rock stars or the social life that someone happens to add in between. Not even the word "astronaut" sounds intriguing to them in any way. And even aside from their detachment from science, it's very clear that the men who visited the classroom simply don't have and can't have any magic stick that could turn the girls to scientists. Some of their history may look helpful, some of it doesn't. It's always like that. Sheldon summarizes the visit by saying that he didn't know whether girls were actively discouraged from science but the three guys' outreach program surely did so. Efforts to pretend that the reality is something completely different than it is are almost always counterproductive.

The interest of a particular kid in STEM fields is mostly determined by Mother Nature and the part that isn't is mostly cancelling out up to a noise – the social interactions sometimes push a kid closer to and sometimes further away from STEM. Many great male scientists had to fight heavily for their right to do mathematics or physics. Their parents threatened them by disinheriting the kids, and so on. They became top minds, anyway. From this perspective, it looks really shocking what tiny effects are blamed by the feminist ideologues for the women's underrepresentation in STEM.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

100 years of general relativity

LHC is colliding lead ions whose lab energy is \(82\times 6.369\TeV\), a new record!

On Thursday, November 25th, 1915, exactly 100 years ago, Einstein presented the final form of his equations (defining the general theory of relativity) to the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences in the afternoon.



The building sits at the famous Unter den Linden 8 avenue (the big street that leads to the Brandenburg Gate from the East), see Google Maps, was designed according to the military tastes of Emperor William II, and it was inaugurated just a year earlier, in 1914. These days, the once only building of the Academy is used as one of the three homes of the (Berlin) State (formerly Imperial) Library or "Staatsbibliothek" ("Stabi" as Germans call it).

Einstein had prepared the final form of the equations for that talk and had to work hard, relatively to the standards of this "lazy dog":

One thing is for sure, that I’ve never been so plagued in my life,” wrote Einstein at the time. “Smoking like a chimney, working like a steed, eating without thought, sleeping irregularly.”
So much whining about some work that may be basically reduced to writing \(S=\int R\). ;-)

His wife Elsa remembered that he was absent-minded in the last two weeks or so and sometimes played the piano mindlessly or stared blankly to the space as if he were Witten. Einstein was exhausted and stinking of cigarettes during the talk (strangely, he only allowed to be photographed with tobacco pipes which "contributed to his calm and objective judgment", he stressed; Albert remembered that to beat his doctor, his grandfather smoke cigarette butts from the street) but he gave us his general relativity. The content of papers was more or less ready but they only appeared in 1916.



Institute for Advanced Study has organized an event, GR at 100, and this lecture by the IAS director and my once co-author (and an independent co-father of our matrix string theory) Robbert Dijkgraaf previously gave this October 2015 talk which was the only one whose video I could find two weeks ago.

But now, the IAS YouTube channel offers you 10 videos from the gathering. Search for "GR @ 100" on that page. A talk by Andy Strominger about his very recent findings is there, too.

Does dark matter clump to radial filaments?

Earth's dark matter hair?

Lots of media including The Washington Post, Popular Science, Space Daily, Christian Science Monitor, Russia Today, and Fox News bring us the happy news that Nude Socialist already hyped in August.



The Earth is sprouting hair – radial filaments of dark matter.

This claim is taken from the July 2015 paper by Gary Prézeau, an experimenter at JPL NASA in Pasadena and a member of Planck,

Dense Dark Matter Hairs Spreading Out from Earth, Jupiter and Other Compact Bodies (arXiv)
which has just appeared in the Astrophysical Journal (which produced the new wave of interest). He claims that the ordinary cold dark matter (CDM) is organizing itself in such a way that compact objects including the Earth or other planets develop radial thick enough filaments of dark matter, the hair.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Turkey is a problematic ally of NATO, everyone else

For centuries, the Ottoman Empire was the key power attempting to Islamize Europe. It was the regime that our ancestors had to fight against to protect the "European" values on our continent.



The Austrians, Hungarians, and others had to sacrifice their lives. Meanwhile, the interaction has led to a partial convergence of the Ottoman Empire and the European countries. We (at least in Bosnia, Czechia, and Greece) have learned to drink the Turkish coffee that almost no one drinks in Turkey. At the same moment, Turkey has imported tons of European civilization advances.

It seems obvious to me that the know-how that Turkey has gotten was far more valuable than the know-how that we have obtained from them. So when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the father of Turks, became the prime minister of Turkey in 1920 and the president in 1923, Turkey could reinvent itself as a modern secular state. The Western drift has stopped at some point and since those times, Turkey has been a country "in between" Europe and the Muslim World.

Point-like QFTs in the bulk can't be a consistent theory of QG

Dixon's research is impressive applied science using deep insights by others, mainly string theorists

Lance Dixon is a prominent particle theorist at SLAC. A few days ago, he gave an interview about quantum gravity.

Q&A: SLAC Theorist Lance Dixon Explains Quantum Gravity
He's been most tightly associated with multiloop calculations in quantum field theory (including some calculations at four loops, for example) and various tricks to climb over the seemingly "insurmountably difficult" technical obstacles that proliferate as you are adding loops to the Feynman diagrams. However, as a Princeton graduate student in the 1980s, he's done important research in string theory as well. Most famously, he is one of the co-fathers of the technique of the "orbifolds".

Also, most of his claims in the interview are just fine. But some of his understanding of the big picture is so totally wrong that you could easily post it at one of the crackpots' forums on the Internet.