Tuesday, November 30, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

U.N. climate boss: at least the weather will be better

...than the freezing mess in Eurasia and America we will describe...

Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), made an unusually honest statement for a U.N. climatic crook while vacationing in Cancún, Mexico:

At least the weather will be better.
And Spiegel even managed to leak this sensitive diplomatic cable. ;-) Given the fact that the climate is nothing else than the weather scrutinized over longer timescales, one may also conclude that the climate would be better in a hypothetically warmer world.



Together with her fellow climatic bureaucratic parasites, Figueres is enjoying 28 °C which is, helpfully, equal to 82 °F in the Moon Palace resort above. The Europeans and Americans may compare "her weather" with the weather they are experiencing right now.

HERA excluded R-parity violating squarks up to 275-290 GeV

There are many experimental particle physics preprints on the arXiv today.

The CMS experiment at the LHC studies die photon Bremsstrahlung which may be useful for various future calibration purposes etc.



HERA tunnel

BABAR has looked at two-photon physics and complicated decays of charmonium states.

In a widely publicized result, ATLAS at the LHC publishes its results about the dijet asymmetry in lead-lead collisions. Some jets - fraternities of hadrons arising from a single quark or gluon - apparently lose lots of energy by going through a hot, dense medium. This QCD effect can't be seen in the proton-proton collisions.

A London physicist defends the "simple" measurement of all resonances between 1.91 GeV and 2.41 GeV.

D0 at the Tevatron measured the WW and WZ production. It all agrees with the Standard Model and excludes new W-prime bosons and Randall-Sundrum gravitons up to 700 GeV or so.

The Tevatron teams including both D0 and CDF publish their extended Higgs boson search. Taking 12/fb of combined p-pbar data into account and looking at many channels, they exclude the modest interval 158-175 GeV we've heard about previously.

WikiLeaks diplomatic cables: a summary

A young U.S. intelligence analyst - or anyone else - could have been behind the leak of 250,000 cables from U.S. embassies all over the world.

Whoever it was, he or she is obviously playing with fire and the WikiLeaks founder himself may be charged with espionage; Julian Assange is also investigated for rape in Sweden. More generally, it has both advantages and disadvantages to "measure" the intermediate stages of various processes. Note that in quantum mechanics, much like in diplomacy, such a measurement may influence the final results.

Obviously, the influence may be both "positive" as well as "negative", depending on whether the "secret work" is more constructive than the opinions of the interceptors who may interrupt it in the middle - which may include the whole public.

To get the honest quantum mechanical results for the original question, you must sum over all conceivable histories. It is often better for sensitive processes, research, and negotiations not to be interrupted and distracted in the middle.

However, once the diplomatic cables are published, I don't think that they're excessively shocking. We have still learned something, namely that

Monday, November 29, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

What Penrose and Gurzadyan have rediscovered is the WMAP excess at L=40

...the abundance of all other patterns ("random concentric circles") they may be observing statistically coincides with the standard WMAP prediction...

I have been making more explicit and quantitative calculations of the claims by Penrose and Gurzadyan and I finally understood what they actually see.

The explanation why the effect is there remains mysterious but what the effect actually is, in the usual terminology of cosmologists, is totally clear to me now. First, let us ask what is the spacing of their concentric circles.



Click to zoom in.

The graph above is borrowed from their paper. There are several similar graphs in the paper. You may see that the apparent radii of the concentric circles may be estimated as 4°, 9°, 14°, 19°. So the spacing between the concentric circles' radii as seen in the skies is 5° or so.

Susskind on supersymmetry, grand unification, and string theory

If you have one thousand spare minutes and an iDevice, you may open iTunes (not App Store!) in your iDevice and search for

Supersymmetry, Grand Unification, and String Theory,
a sequence of ten 100-minute lectures (for free) delivered by Leonard Susskind to the Stanford Continuing Studies Program. They uploaded it to iTunes in July 2010.

Climate conference is beginning in Cancún

One year after the farce in Copenhagen, the climate negotiators have sacrificed themselves and decided to meet again, namely in Cancún, Mexico.

Saturday, November 27, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Penrose's CCC cosmology is either inflation or gibberish

Concentric circles, if real (which is unlikely), may come from cosmic strings or domain walls that were "exploding" during inflation

See also a new article:

What Penrose and Guzardyan have rediscovered is the L=40 bump in the WMAP data
Vahe Gurzadyan of Yerevan and Roger Penrose of Oxford have submitted an ambitious preprint,
Concentric circles in WMAP data may provide evidence of violent pre-Big-Bang activity (arXiv).
Echo chamber: BBC, UPI, Science News, Phys Org, Pop Sci, IO9.com, Physics World, Phil Gibbs
The authors claim that some concentric circles observed in the WMAP 7-year data at the 6-sigma confidence level provide us with evidence supporting Penrose's idiosyncratic version of pre-Big-Bang cosmology. (Their arithmetics clearly has to be checked by a serious person because 6-sigma corresponds to the 2 x 10^{-9} probability rather than 10^{-7} as they state.)



For a couple of years, Penrose has been saying that there was a period of cyclic events when the Universe was much smaller than it is today. The model is called Conformal Cyclic Cosmology (CCC).

Friday, November 26, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Huge EU funds plan to corrupt Czech science and fabricate Czech alarmists

The percentage of the Czechs who are climate alarmists is negligible today. Passionate desires to "save the planet" are virtually non-existent among the generic people which is also why the media rarely write about the topic and if they do, their approach is balanced in average.

Even in the academic system, there are just a few IPCC-faithful alarmists - right now, I can only think of Mr Ladislav Metelka as a clear example - and the number of skeptics is arguably higher: for example, Dr Miroslav Kutílek has just received a presidential medal. ;-) The alarmists are confined to the extreme environmentalist movements.

Of course, our president, Václav Klaus, is probably the most powerful climate realist among the world's politicians. Also, the party he founded - ODS - which is the main party forming the current government coalition - is "softly" on Klaus' side, too. Interestingly enough, the list of Klaus' soulmates more or less includes the current minister of environment. ;-)

However, this may change as people get paid from the EU.

As a Prague Post blog and lots of Czech media reported, the education minister has accepted a EUR 25 million - or USD 35 million - subsidy from the EU that will create a huge research team, "CzechGlobe", composed of 150 people in Brno, the second largest city in the country.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Maxwell's demon cannot do useful work

...and information is not energy in any sense...

Sean Carroll has the remarkable ability to give a wrong answer to every single important question in thermodynamics and statistical physics. He has argued that the arrow of time must have a dynamical origin linked to cosmology - instead of the statistical properties of purely local physical systems whose probabilities also have to respect the logical arrow of time.

Instead of repeating my crisp and totally indisputable proofs that this is not possible, I will refer you to an authority because for many people, it's unfortunately more important than rational thinking. In a 2005 paper, Robert M. Wald, the author of a famous book on general relativity, proved that "it is not plausible that these special initial conditions have a dynamical origin."

In the best case, such explanations end up being examples of circular reasoning.

Maxwell demon

But incredibly enough, in a new text, Sean Caroll de facto argues that the perpetual-motion machine of the second kind is possible:

Using information to extract energy
He's convinced that an experiment has been made - and published in Nature - that was “using information to extract energy from a heat bath.” Holy crap. ;-)

What is this stuff all about?

DDR stole 40,000 little heatballs

During communism, people had to smuggle lots of basic things if they wanted to have them. For example, my father had to smuggle Commodore 64 twice for me. ;-)

The communism collapsed by 1989 - in most of the socialist Europe. However, DDR has actually swallowed West Germany, updated its socialist ideology a little bit, and continues to terrorize the people who exchange goods and ideas in between the nations.

Mr Siegfried Rotthäuser and his brother have sold about 4,000 heatballs in the past. See

www.heatball.de
What is a heatball? It is a miniature source of heat - clearly a perfectly legal device according to the existing law. In order to guarantee that you won't heat your room when you don't want to, it also emits light to inform you that the heatball is turned on. An advantage of this piece of operational art is that you can use the sockets for (fluorescent) light bulbs. I am using several 100-Watt heatballs in my apartment, too.

Monday, November 22, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

How Czech politicians are stopping the solar insanity



The former largest - as of 2007 - Central European solar power plant in Ostrožská Lhota, the Czech Republic (near the Slovak border), occupies 40,000 m^2, produces 1.5 MWp (megawatts at peak conditions - that's just 37.5 Watts-peak per m^2), and its cost was CZK 100 million (CZK 2500 per m^2).

During the first year of its life, it produced 711 MWh (normal people would only pay CZK 3.5 million for this amount of energy - the payback period would be 30 years which is not far from the lifetime of solar cells - however I've been neglecting lots of other expenses): that's about 2 MWh a day in average which corresponds to 1.5 hours of peak traffic every average day only. ;-) Your humble correspondent did those calculations for you.

New power plants built on arable land have been de facto banned - see also below.


The Global Warming Policy Foundation reprints a November 17th article in Die Presse (Austria) about the newest decisions attempting to stop the insane solar boom in the Czech Republic:
Eastern Europe Puts Emergency Brakes On Solar Energy
A few years ago, the Czech politicians joined the bandwagon and introduced breathtaking subsidies for solar energy. Our subsidies and conditions were particularly generous. As a result, my homeland has probably seen the world's greatest annual percentage increase of the solar sources within the last year: by a whopping one order of magnitude per year!

Penn & Teller Bullshit: Global Warming

If you have 2x 15 minutes for some great fun, here is the Penn & Teller show on global warming:



See the playlist on YouTube... Go to the individual page if you see no video above.

It's hilariously entertaining and most of the people who fight against global warming in various ways - by stones in their pocket indulgences, and walking along one-choice spiral "labyrinths", among others - are just unbelievable. I can't believe that there are so many people who are so stupid and so easily robbed of their money.

Saturday, November 20, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Extra dimensions, the LHC, and the real world

CERN has (almost) promised us to discover the extra dimensions in 2011:

ZDNet, Popular Science, others.
That could sound as a piece of crazy populist pseudoscience except that remarkably enough, it is not completely crazy.

My estimate of the likelihood that the extra dimensions are accessible the the LHC has always been around 1-2 percent which is, by the way, hugely higher than the probability that global warming will cause significant O(1) problems to the mankind, the world economy, or the biosphere in this century.



It would be absolutely spectacular if the extra dimensions were discovered. It's unlikely but it's not impossible because there are models with observable extra dimensions which are consistent with all the known observations - and that may even offer some advantages such as the ability to explain certain mysteries. In this text, we will look at some basic possible incarnations and properties of extra dimensions.

Friday, November 19, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

What grand unification can and cannot do

Among the physics fans, there's still a lot of confusion - sometimes deliberately propagated confusion - about the basic questions surrounding gauge unification.

So what is grand unification and what it can do for us?

Aside from gravity described by Einstein's general relativity, there are three non-gravitational forces: the electromagnetic interaction - unified in the 19th century; the weak nuclear force; and the strong nuclear force.

The last two interactions include the adjective "nuclear": that's why you need to look at the microscopic world and to use quantum mechanics to appreciate what they really mean. And that's the reason why Einstein never understood anything about them. He thought that the goal was to unify electromagnetism and gravity only; his attempts to construct a unified field theory had no chance to succeed because gravity is the last force that may join the other forces - but only a long time after one understands the unification of electromagnetism with the two nuclear forces.

Thursday, November 18, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

SciAm: Jim Weatherall joins Garrett Lisi

In Fall 2004, when I began to teach at Harvard, my first course was Physics 287a, Introduction to String Theory. Many excellent Harvard graduate students attended the course - and some people from MIT were also regular visitors.

One student of mine from MIT was more experienced than others and he always asked the best questions, even though he used to sleep throughout much of the lectures. His name was Alan Guth. ;-)

You know, such courses also typically attract some of the most ambitious undergraduate students. In many cases, these undergraduate students are just excellent and they beat many of the graduate students and become top researchers later in their life. However, there is no physical law that implies that the undergraduate students who register for an advanced graduate course have to be bright.

SciAm writers who suck: our polls and readers suck

In October 2010, Scientific American decided to demonize Judith Curry as a heretic: see also TRF.

In the sidebar of their article, there was also a poll that Scientific American later erased because they didn't like its results.

Only approximately 1/4 of the respondents expressed their belief in the dangerous man-made climate change orthodoxy.

A "managing online editor" Philip Yam decided to clarify the situation in a fresh SciAm blog entry called

Do 80 percent of Scientific American subscribers deny global warming? Hardly
In that text, Yam says that their own poll was worthless (so why did they do it?), its results mean nothing, and even if they did, it's irrelevant because only 10% of the SciAm readers are scientists. According to SciAm editors, SciAm readers are almost entirely idiots whose reasoning and opinions should be neglected relatively to the "enlightened" inkspillers among the editors themselves.

What do these idiots really think about themselves and why?

CERN captures 38 anti-hydrogen atoms

As you may learn from The Telegraph and others, physicists at CERN managed to trap 38 anti-hydrogen anti-atoms and keep them for 1/6 of a second.

If they add 10^{28} anti-atoms and if they arrange them a properly, they could create an artificial anti-Semite or an antelope (it's speed "antilopa" in Czech).

There is nothing beneath the linebreak.

Fermi: Milky Way cutting an X-ray infinity symbol

The image shows our Galaxy, the Milky Way, in the middle (horizontal). Above it and below it, there seem to be two huge bubbles filled with X-rays. At least that's what the data from Fermi (formerly known as GLAST) seem to say:

Giant gamma-ray bubbles from Fermi-LAT: AGN activity or bipolar galactic wind? (May 2010 preprint)

Astronomy Magazine, Vancouver Sun, Montreal Gazette, Harvard Crimson, Scientific American, others

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Study: climate panic increases skepticism

Silicon Valley's Mercury News writes about some research of Californian psychologists:

UC Berkeley study finds dire warnings on global warming may backfire
According to some polls among students, to be published in a journal in January 2011, dire warnings make the public disbelieve in a "just world" which is why they begin to "deny" things.

Instead, the climate alarmists should try to present the climate hysteria as a "patriotic" attitude. That won't be easy given the fact that the climate hysteria is one of the most obvious symbols of the anti-American and anti-capitalist hatred, self-whipping, fundamentally un-American ideologies, and high treason in general.

What I find spectacularly clear is that none of those people is actually interested in the scientific questions. They're interested in the best ways how to manipulate with other people. The decision "that" others should be manipulated is a dogma for them, much like the "direction" in which everyone should be manipulated: they're only interested in the question "how" the people should be manipulated.

Neutralino Records at CERN publish Resonance

No, sorry, the LHC hasn't yet announced the discovery of a neutralino, the most likely "lightest supersymmetric particle" (LSP) that could constitute most of the dark matter.



The ATLAS Boogie (blues). The video may appear on the individual page only. Links to extra audio snippets are below.

Instead, the Neutralino Records is the trademark under which music DVDs and CDs recorded by the CERN physicists working for the ATLAS experiment are being released. So far, they have released Resonance, a double CD with 36 tracks in total, and a DVD:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

A 30-fold improvement of bounds on Lorentz-, CPT-violating spin anisotropy terms

Decades ago, Wolfgang Pauli has proved the CPT-theorem. G. Lüders and J. Bell did the same thing almost independently in 1954 but all of them had to use Pauli's 1940 spin-statistics theorem.

Every Lorentz-invariant quantum field theory must be microscopically invariant under the simultaneous replacement of particles by antiparticles (C for charge conjugation), the reflection of shapes and positions in the mirror (P for parity), and the exchange of past and future (T for time reversal). The combined action is called the CPT-conjugation.

The separate symmetries may fail - although in the real world, the weak nuclear interactions are the only known processes that break C, P, and T (which is the same, because of the CPT-theorem, as PT, CT, and CP). All other forces preserve all the binary symmetries I listed. The experimental proof of a P- and C-violation in 1957 was a shock. Although people should have been much wiser seven years later, even the 1964 experimental proof of CP-violation was another shock. ;-)

Papandreou, Sarkozy prepare EU-wide carbon tax

According to various outlets such as People's Daily Online, Greek prime minister George Papandreou has supported the ideas of Nicolas Sarkozy to introduce a European continental climate tax. It could help the European finances, they say.

In recent days, a new wave of hysteria about the PIGS - Portugal, Ireland, and possibly Spain joining the Greek problems - has flourished in the markets. See The Telegraph.

Well, Papandreou is surely the right name to lead the whole continent to a solution of financial problems. His pathetic family has transformed a once great civilization into a preposterous dying socialist charade and a banana republic drowning in debt. Needless to say, the Greek citizens have to be blamed, too. They have systematically voted for these painful populist left-wing clowns.

Possible murder of Tycho Brahe investigated in Prague

Isaac Newton had to verify that his theory of gravity predicted the right elliptical orbits. How did he know they were ellipses? Well, Johannes Kepler determined his laws out of the very accurate data obtained by Tycho Brahe. Both Kepler and Brahe worked in Prague.



A statue of Kepler and Brahe in front of the Kepler High School, near the Prague Castle. Only in Summer 2010, I visited it for the first time.

Tycho Brahe was a Danish nobleman - who has been incorrectly called Tycho de Brahe for centuries - and his death in October 1601 (aged 54+) remains a kind of mystery.

The classic legend says that he was so repelled by the idea of breaking the royal etiquette that he bravely but simply refused to go to the toilet during a long and fancy dinner (where Brahe got drunk a bit) hosted at the Rožmberk Palace of the Prague Castle (that has belonged to Rudolph II for a year, since 1600) by Petr Vok of Rožmberk on October 13th (where Brahe went in a great mood; the guests can only leave the table after the host): his bladder just exploded.

Maybe it didn't but when Brahe returned home, he could no longer use it. More modest sources only speak about a related bladder infection as opposed to an explosion. Others talk about kidney stones which are, according to modern medicine, needed for a bladder to explode (instead of empty itself).

The dinner came just a few days after Brahe's personal meeting with our Emperor Rudolph II who had just hired him to produce new accurate astronomical tables. After escalating pains, he died on October 24th amid tears and prayers by his family. His last words were "Let it be apparent that I didn't live my life in vain." At least Kepler has claimed so. ;-)

Monday, November 15, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Mathematica 8 is out

Stephen Wolfram just announced that Mathematica 8 is out! See

What's new in Mathematica 8

Mathematica 8 home page; Wolfram web page

Mathematica 8 coming soon (which informed us about new features some time ago)

NASA revealed youngest black hole found by Chandra

At 18:30 pm Central European Time, NASA TV (below) began to broadcast a press conference about the "discovery of an exceptional object in our cosmic neighborhood" by the Chandra X-ray observatory.

NASA TV (click for live TV, choose Media Channel)

Sunday, November 14, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Fifteen questions CV readers wouldn't be afraid to ask

What should be explained better? (Cosmic Variance)

Quick links to 15 questions and answers

01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.

1. Wldmr: The fact that science asks “how?” rather than “why?” and therefore has no overlap with religion. People need to get over the idea that one somehow precludes the other.

I don’t think that was quite what you were asking for, but there it is.
Indeed, science usually asks detailed questions - "how" and "how much", among others. When it finds an explanation or a theory that works and predicts "how" objects behave or explains "how" they behaved or looked like, the scientists may be satisfied.

But when the theory that science finds doesn't look "perfect", science may also try to find a deeper explanation - "why" the imperfect or approximate theory worked. However, in the scientific context, this question means "how" a more satisfying or more accurate theory may produce a less satisfying one as an approximation.

Saturday, November 13, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Quantum field theory has no problems

Many people face irrational problems when they attempt to understand special relativity or quantum mechanics and these problems have been discussed many times on this blog.

But in this text, I will look at somewhat more "technical" myths about the hypothetical problems of quantum field theory. Relativistic quantum field theory unifies the principles of quantum mechanics with those of special relativity - so all the difficult features of quantum mechanics and special relativity reappear in quantum field theory, too.

However, there exist additional hard features that are characteristic for quantum field theory and that may prevent folks from appreciating that quantum field theory is the correct theory of all non-gravitational phenomena ever observed, or a "theory of nearly everything" (TONE).

3-5 °C of warming was great for the tropical life

A new paper in Science written by Carlos Jaramillo and 28 other authors looked at the tropical life during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, 56.3 million years ago) event:

Effects of Rapid Global Warming at the Paleocene-Eocene Boundary on Neotropical Vegetation (abstract)

Environmentalists exaggerated threat to tropical rainforests from global warming (Daily Mail)

Global warming replenishes rainforest (Medical Daily)
At the beginning of Eocene, the temperatures jumped by 3-5 °C. It used to be said that such a jump was bad, especially for the regions that were warm to start with.

However, the authors found that life began to flourish and the biodiversity exploded. New taxa of flowers, especially angiosperms (see the picture for an example), began to spread.

Friday, November 12, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Low solar activity may increase temperature oscillations

Mr Josef Zemánek published an interesting analysis in the Czech journal called Euroekonom - where he is the editor-in-chief:

A surprising discovery: sharp temperature swings in the Czech Republic caused by low solar activity (automatic translation to English)
In the recent year or two or three, the oscillations of temperatures looked stronger than five years ago or so. Mr Zemánek did several manipulations with the temperature and sunspot data.

First, these are the monthly temperature anomalies in the Czech Republic:



You see that the standard deviation is something like 2-3 °C. The author combined the triples of months into seasons; for example, March+April+May is called the Spring. The seasons look like this:

Thursday, November 11, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Pogrom against German climate realists

Seventy-two years ago, on November 9th-10th, 1938, German Jews and their assets were attacked throughout Germany in an event known as the Crystal Night.

This old kind of fascism is dead in the country - at least in the mainstream - but other kinds of fascisms are only beginning to thrive. To commemorate the anniversary, the Green fascists in the Parliament have launched an assault against all German climate realists:

Grüne machen mit Klimakatastrophen-Zweiflern den Sarrazin (Die Achse des Guten)

Automatic translation to English

No Tricks Zone's report (Pierre Gosselin)

Germany gets ugly with climate skeptics (Anthony Watts)
A letter not too tastefully titled "Deniers of climate change in the coalition government" (it used to be "Jewish elite spoiling the Aryan lives") signed by the whole Parliamentary faction of the Greater Green Party was sent to the government one week ago.

Sidney Coleman: Quantum mechanics in your face

The participants of the "quantum debates" are encouraged to watch this inspiring, insightful, no-nonsense lecture given by Sidney Coleman at the New England sectional meeting of the American Physical Society (Apr. 9, 1994):

Sidney R. Coleman, Quantum Mechanics in Your Face (click for 67 minutes of video)
Sixteen years ago, the APS wasn't a shameful mouthpiece of the environmental extremists yet. It helped to nourish and promote actual physics.

A few years ago, when I was at Harvard, Brian Greene (together with a few friends at Columbia) asked me to arrange some copyrights so that he could have used this lecture, too.

I was kind of sure that he wouldn't use it - because in the lecture, Sidney Coleman crisply and beautifully clarified some of the very same points that I was trying to explain to Brian Greene just a few weeks earlier (before he asked me to get the permission).

While I thought and still think that The Fabric of the Cosmos is an excellent book, the "anything goes" attitude to pretty much all bizarre "interpretations" of quantum mechanics is perhaps too much out of control. And yes, the stuff in the FOC written about the arrow of time is just a full-fledged crackpottery.

In 1994, Sidney had also made similar comments about those who misunderstood why quantum mechanics just works - and it works according to its own rules.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Klaus: reason has replaced fundamentalism in the environment ministry



The Czech Press Agency, ČTK, informed about the visit of President Klaus to the environment ministry - the first such visit of our most prominent politician in 14 years:

The Environment Ministry no more fundamentalist under Drobil - Klaus (click)
Klaus have had conflicts with former environment ministers, especially Martin Bursík (2007-2009) of the largely defunct Green Party - which was a typical fundamentalist environmentalist party although it was much less "socialist" than its namesakes.

D0 at Tevatron: tan beta is probably not large

The D0 Collaboration has released a new preprint,

Search for neutral Higgs bosons in the multi-b-jet topology in 5.2fb-1 of ppbar collisions at sqrt(s)=1.96 TeV
that looked for neutral Higgs bosons with an enhanced coupling to the bottom quarks. Such an unusually strong interaction could exist if tan(beta), the ratio of the two Higgs vevs in a supersymmetric standard model, were very high.

I'm a denier: a song



Go to the individual page if you see no video above.

Via Dagmar G.

Monday, November 08, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

AGW jihad collects 700 or 39 or 6 crusaders for tough fights



Chicago Tribune and Star Tribune write about new plans for more aggressive crusades against the climate change in general and climate skeptics in particular than anything we have seen ever before:

Climate scientists plan campaign against global warming skeptics (Chicago Tribune)

Climate scientists prepare to take the fight to skeptical politicians (Star Tribune)

Scientists join forces in a hostile climate (Andrew Revkin)

John Abraham panics... (Anthony Watts)
Being threatened that the inflow of the easy stolen taxpayer money may decelerate, a group of hardcore AGW crusaders has decided to switch into the ballistic mode.

A key person in the plan is Mr Abraham (whom I have never heard of but who is claimed to have starred in a well-known attack against Lord Monckton) from a former Minnesotan Catholic seminary of St Thomas in St Paul that also became an archdiocesan university later.

He established the so-called "climate rapid response team". About seven hundred similar AGW crusaders agreed to directly face skeptical audiences. How much is seven hundred? The article indicates that the term "seven hundred" has been redefined to mean approximately 39 (inform the Oxford Dictionary of English about the change), namely John Abraham from the Catholic seminary himself and Scott Mandia from Suffolk County Community College in New York. :-)

This is what I call a powerful group of intellectual giants. ;-) But don't forget Penny's implicit finding that community college graduates can be the opposite of complete losers (although Sheldon remained a bit skeptical)!

Sunday, November 07, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Judith Curry, positive feedbacks, and AGW bubble

There may be things in which I disagree with Judith Curry but her viewpoint on the positive feedbacks in climate science - and not only climate science - are spot on, I think.

Reversing the direction of positive feedback Part I

Reversing the direction of positive feedback Part II
You may want to read them. Aside from the links, this blog entry is not excessively important. But I just reproduce a comment your humble correspondent has posted on her blog.

Dear Judith, I also think that you focused on actual values – and not on particular people – which is the right thing to do.

Marie Curie: a birthday

Maria Skłodowska was born on November 7th, 1867 - exactly 50 years before Lenin's Coup in Russia - in Warsaw, Russian Empire. Yes, the history of Poland was sometimes sad so the "Vistula Land", which is how the "Congress Poland" was known at the time, was a province of Russia.

Her parents (and grandfather) were well-known teachers and she had 4 older siblings. While her father was an atheist, her mother was a devout Catholic. Nevertheless, Maria's oldest sister died - and so did the mother - which led Maria to become agnostic. She spent some time in a boarding school and in countryside. Her family's assets were stolen by the Russian feudal bastards because the family cared about the Polish independence.

Friday, November 05, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Tamino and man-made Arctic odds

Grant Tamino Foster (no suit on the picture) tries to answer the question:

How likely?
More precisely, the question is:
Now, my question is, if you know the answer: How high is the probability that arctic change is caused by AGW versus that is just natural variation of some kind (confidence level)?
His "calculation" is completely meaningless. It's not a real calculation.

A genuine calculation should try to find an objective - or mostly objective - value of an unknown number. However, Tamino's "calculation" uses two completely subjective (and unreasonably high) parameters as the input. They're inserted into Bayes' theorem, to achieve a completely nonsensical answer - namely that the probability above is 99.7%.

U.S. elections: jogging towards socialism slowed down

The results of the U.S. elections are essentially known.

The Republicans grabbed 30 governors out of 50 which is 60 percent; Democrats only have 19 and 1 is independent.

The Senate was kept by the Democrats but the edge is only 52 (DEM) vs 48 (GOP), plus minus one.

The House which has had a Democratic majority so far was conquered by the GOP.

Out of the 435 members, the Republicans will control approximately 240 seats. The map looks "almost completely red" because the Democratic strongholds are densely populated areas. The new likely speaker, John Boehner (GOP), is an AGW skeptic which could change the atmosphere in the Congress (thanks to Peter P. for an important fix!).

Delayed choice quantum eraser

Because our and our ancestors' experiences have been largely formed by the logic of classical physics for millions of years, we find quantum mechanics counter-intuitive.



However, for everyone who is interested in physics, there should eventually come a moment in which he realizes that quantum mechanics works.

He (or she) should learn how it works, he should appreciate that the predictions are uniformly confirmed by observations, he should see that the quantum predictions approximately reduce to the classical ones whenever they should, and that there is nothing paradoxical or retrocausal about quantum mechanics.

Thursday, November 04, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Does quantum gravity make QED asymptotically free?

Nature is clearly not an expert journal for high-energy physics or a source of the most important articles. We've seen another piece of evidence for this fact yesterday. You may have read some hype about a paper freshly published in Nature:

Gravity shows its helpful side (Nature, review)

Toms, D. J. Nature 468, 56-59 (2010) (the technical article, link goes to the preprint on the arXiv)

Quantum gravity corrects QED (Physics World)
The last article even claims that the citations of this article are going to go into the stratosphere. Wow. Not bad. ;-)

Needless to say, while the paper is probably just an OK piece of work that could be used as the official solution to a homework in a quantum field theory course, this ambitious statement is preposterous and the preprint is going to be a low-citation preprint. I am more than eager to make a bet that it will be below 100 cits in one year.

CMS observes ZZ production, too

In September, when the luminosity was just a few inverse picobarns per month (and not per day what it is now when the machine is running), the LHC collider managed to realize a pretty nice collision. Fortunately, the CMS detector just happened to be around to see it. Imagine, one of the relatively few ZZ productions in the Solar System ever - and a powerful detector just sits next to it. :-)



You see that four muons were created. One may reconstruct the momentum of the muons and add them - and the invariant masses show that they came from two decaying Z bosons. The CMS is good at seeing muons - muon is what the "M" in its name stands for - so it couldn't have missed the event. The event is pretty cool because the production of two Z bosons in the final state is a pretty rare process.

Monday, November 01, 2010 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Biodiversity: can it replace AGW?



Several climate skeptics, including James Delingpole, Marc Morano, and Doug Hoffman, believe that biodiversity is the next big crisis, the next big lie. As the climate alarmism is getting unsustainable, the alarmists are going to jump on a new bandwagon. Is it true?

Well, I am very skeptical. First, the climate alarmism is not yet over. It seems clear that its power has been substantially diminishing for a year or two and it can receive another serious blow as soon as tomorrow ;-).

Supernatural and lawless dark matter

Sean Carroll has ignited a pretty interesting debate on the philosophy of science:

Is Dark Matter Supernatural?
He lists three different interpretations of the word "supernatural" and kind of reasonably explains the status of each. As I will mention again, the three types of "supernatural" are the silent; the hidden; and the lawless.

Lucy LawlessLet me first say that as far as I can say, there is nothing supernatural about dark matter, whatever interpretation of the word "supernatural" you choose. After all, we are pretty likely to learn that it is mostly composed of the neutralinos which are as natural particles as photons (their superpartners' cousins) or electrons or neutrinos (other spin-1/2 particles).

(I avoided quarks because they are confined which could be another type of "supernatural" for some people and I don't want to add new layers of technicalities.)

The anthem of ATLAS collisions



Go to the individual page of this blog entry or to YouTube if you see no video above.

Your humble correspondent is proud to have been the community organizer who has convinced the Canadian musician Don Garbutt to compose the candidate anthem of the ATLAS collisions. It wasn't so hard to convince him. ;-)

However, if your music taste is as conservative as mine, you should listen to the clip about 10 times before you decide whether you love it or not. :-)