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Cargo Cult Administration

Many physical scientists learned of the curious phenomena of the Cargo Cult from Feynman’s commencement address at Caltech, as reproduced in his book, “Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman!”. In the address, Feynman cautions us against the conceptually similar notion of Cargo Cult Science, where people go through the motions of mimicking a scientific process, while…

Is the general audience “black board” talk at KITP today, giving an overview of the quantitative approches to morphogenesis program currently unverway. Symmetry breaking and mechanics. The Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics runs parallel programs and currently there is a biophysics program New Quantitative Approaches to Morphogenesis concurrent with the astrophysics program on A Universe…

Lawrence Krauss just wrote an interesting letter: “Higgs Seesaw Mechanism as a Source for Dark Energy” – Krauss & Dent, PRL 2013 in it he argues for a see-saw mechanism in the Higgs sector which gives a natural scale for dark energy which is small, as observed. The key point is that the energy scale…

Final day of the “A Universe of Black Holes” workshop with a session: “Modeling Black Hole Accretion and Outflows” – all MHD sims today… Chris Reynolds (Univ. of Maryland) starts with – The temporal variability of model accretion disks Had to miss this. Go check it online, Chis gives fab talks. Julian Krolik (JHU) “The…

Linkedy Links XIV

More random goodness from the intertoobz including a special topical PSU section for my colleagues John McCarthy interview – wrote LISP – an old friend. Galactic Center Orbital Models – new animation from Ghez’ group. Humans of New York – fascinating photo blog h/t poic at CR Simons Foundation sponsored article on Complexity and Biology’s…

Introduction to Astrobiology

Last year EANA, the European Astrobiology Network Association put up a series of 18 introductory astrobiology video lectures constituting the AstroBiology Course Lectures: Introduction to Astrobiology Formation of the Solar System Origins of Life: current theories Comets and the origin of life Basic prebiotic chemistry Structures and evolution of proteins Most simple (early) life forms…

The workshop on Massive Black Holes at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics continues with today’s session on “Co-evolution of black holes and their host galaxies”. I continue a semi-liveblog of the proceedings. As before, talks are online here – podcast, audio and video options; pdfs of talk slides added as speakers get them in.…

A Universe of Black Holes: V

We are back to “Massive Black Holes” Happy Birthday Alberto! Alberto Sesana (AEI) leads off with “Probing massive black holes with space-based interferometry and pulsar timing” starts with overview of gravitational radiation – characteristic frequencies, amplitudes, timescales Baby Black Holes – up for adoption, get collectible adoption certificates with a picture of your very own…

the Massive Black Holes workshop at KITP continues, with another Black Hole Pairs session Mike Eracleous kicks off: Observational Searches for Close Supermassive Binary Black Holes emission line signatures of close (~ sub-parsec) supermassive binary black holes cf “A Large Systematic Search for Recoiling and Close Supermassive Binary Black Holes” and “Emission Lines as a…

“Massive black hole pairs” is the topic of today’s session at the BHOLES13 workshop at KITP Talks are online here – note that slides of talks show up later as speakers get their act together and send in slides Monica Colpi (Milan) starts the session with Formantion of Binary Black Holes in Galactic Nuclei starts…