String Theory

Category archives for String Theory

I didn’t write a summary of the third day of “Quantum Boot Camp” to go with my Day One and Day Two summaries for a simple reason: I would’ve needed to do that on Saturday, and I spent Saturday in transit back to the US. More than that, though, it was harder to summarize than…

As I’ve mentioned here before, I do a lot of work these days in my local Starbucks. This is slightly ironic, as I don’t like coffee– instead, I order tea, which I put in an insulated travel mug. I tend to get the tea, carry the mug back to the table, and let it steep…

Over at Scientific American, John Horgan has a blog post titled In Physics, Telling Cranks from Experts Ain’t Easy, which opens with an anecdote any scientist will recognize: A couple of decades ago, I made the mistake of faxing an ironic response to what I thought was an ironic faxed letter. The writer–let’s call him…

It’s been a while since I posted anything science-y, and I’ve got some time between flipping pancakes, so here’s an odd thing from the last few weeks of science news. Last week, there was an article in Nature about the wonders of string theory applied to condensed matter physics. This uses the “AdS/CFT” relationship, by…

Physics Is All About Analogies

Regular commenter onymous left a comment to my review of Warped Passages that struck me as a little odd: The extended analogy between the renormalization group and a bureaucracy convinced me that she was trying way too hard to make sophisticated concepts comprehensible. Also, I’m not really sure that analogies are the best way to…

Warped Passages by Lisa Randall

I have nothing useful or interesting to say about electoral politics, but I suspect that’s all people will want to read about today. So here’s a book post that’s been backlogged for quite a while. Lisa Randall’s Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions dates from 2005, and was, I think, part…

String Theory in Complete Sentences

On Twitter, I saw Graham Farmelo link to this Physics World blog post about Ed Witten’s Newton lecture, describing it as “Edward Witten’s clearest-ever overview of string theory for laypeople (i.e. most others).” Witten’s a name to conjure with, so I thought “That might be worth a look.” So I went to the blog post,…

Big News in Tiny Physics

A couple of significant news items from the world of particle physics: There was a conference on neutrino physics recently, and the big news from there is that two experiments measure something funny with neutrino oscillations, namely that the oscillations seem to proceed at different rates for neutrinos and antineutrinos. This is a really surprising…

Cathedral-Building in Science

Tommaso Dorigo has an interesting post spinning off a description of the Hidden Dimensions program at the World Science Festival (don’t bother with the comments to Tommaso’s post, though). He quotes a bit in which Brian Greene and Shamit Kachru both admitted that they don’t expect to see experimental evidence of extra dimensions in their…

At last weekend’s Hidden Dimensions event, Brian Greene had a graphic of a Calabi-Yau object (it wasn’t this one, but it’s the same idea). He put this up several times, but never actually explained what the hell it was supposed to show. It just looked kind of cool. Last week’s Through the Wormhole program segment…