Sunday, July 31, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Italy's attitude to migration is totally insane, too

In 2015, over one million migrants have arrived to the EU through Greece, a failed communist state that remains a member of the EU. The Balkans route was sealed – but it was not a sign of the effectiveness of the EU. A small post-Yugoslav country of Macedonia which is not a member of the EU (and which Greece doesn't even recognize under its own preferred name) has simply closed the border and fixed most of the problems that the likes of Angela Merkel have created.

A map with Italy and Libya

Because they can't arrive through the Balkans, the importance of the Italian route for the illegal immigrants went up. Hours ago, the media told us that

"Italy says 6,000 migrants saved, 2 drowned in 4 days"
The report – which, according to the comment sections on Czech news servers, has totally shocked the Czech public – says that Italy's navy is picking the people from boats directly near the beaches of Libya. In a sane world, the navy would be transferring the illegal immigrants from Europe back to Africa.

But the navy under the Italian social democrats is doing exactly the opposite: they are sending Italian ships to kidnap Africans and bring them to Europe. PM Matteo Renzi should spend years in prison for kidnapping and the kidnapped Africans should be immediately returned to their countries and families.

Entangled electrons' spins aren't oscillating between up-down and down-up

Two days ago, I largely missed a comment by Kashyap Vasavada (although I did read and respond to its followups):

KV: A more exact parallel will be: As soon as someone sees Bertlmann's socks, Bertlmann rushes to the change room and randomly changes or does not change socks. But he leaves the remaining people in doubt whether he has changed socks or not!!
Holy cow. The very purpose of the blog post two days ago was to explain why this parallel is completely wrong, not "more exact" i.e. why the spins and sock colors are demonstrably not blinking in the way imagined by Kashyap and other Bellists. Nothing is "blinking" in the case of the socks, nothing is "blinking" in the case of the spins, and there's absolutely no difference between the two situations when it comes to the absence of blinking. This was really the main point – and, in some sense, the only point – of the blog post I wrote two days ago.

It's just unbelievable what sort of elementary kindergarten explanations are apparently insufficient to make certain people understand some extremely simple points, even after many repetitions and reformulations etc. Kashyap must suffer from some severe brain defect.

Saturday, July 30, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Nautilus on life in non-stringy quantum gravity

Non-stringy quantum gravity is all about "who sleeps with whom" offers us some very light reading about "science and the society":

This Physics Pioneer Walked Away from It All
Fotini Markopoulou is most famous for her being a former wife of Lee Smolin. Completely accidentally, Lee Smolin has also been presenting her as one of the new Einsteins. For example, in a Smolin-inspired 2010 Nude Socialist article, her "quantum graphity" was listed as one of the seven "theories of everything", on par with string theory. Markopoulou had to be at least a peer of Edward Witten; Garrett Lisi was one of the five remaining cranks.

I would swear that I had spent hours by looking into her papers but the only thing I remember is that all of them were some totally infantile pictures of little animals claiming that this is what the Universe looks at the fundamental scale – pure crackpottery. This general description also applies to her and Smolin's theory of everything using trinions, octopuses, and kalamari (the last small animals hold the name of a co-author but I haven't forgotten any because Kalamara is another surname of Markopoulou herself). Back in 2006, I was laughing out loud while reading this octopus paper because it has pretty much beaten the best crackpots outside the Academia.

Friday, July 29, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Hawking, Brexit, wealth, and the apocalypse

The Daily Mail was told by a CERN-based theoretical physicist that the \(750\GeV\) bump wasn't repeated in 2016. By now I have joined those who think that this is what the CERN data available to the ATLAS, CMS workers show. Most likely, this fate of the \(750\GeV\) bump will be shown at the ICHEP 2016 conference in Chicago that starts next week.

But let us look in the left-wing British press, too. Stephen Hawking wrote an essay about wealth and Brexit:

Our attitude towards wealth played a crucial role in Brexit. We need a rethink
He thinks that the English have chosen to leave the EU because of the money – although a more comprehensible explanation what Hawking thinks that they think wasn't really given.

Thursday, July 28, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Socks and electrons are more analogous than Bellists pretend

On aspects that are different and especially those that are the same in classical and quantum physics

Today is the last day to upgrade to Win10 for free
George Musser identified himself as the latest promoter of the delusion started by John Bell, the delusion saying that the world has to be "non-local" but the objective reality independent of any observers (i.e. the information about the right point in a phase space) is surely something that is gonna be with us forever.

The truth is just the opposite one, of course. Locality works perfectly – at least in non-gravitational context. As understood since 1905, the influences or signals (they're exactly the same thing in discussions about causality: a signal is nothing else than an influence that was just considered helpful to send information by someone who cares but what's happening in a signal and a generic influence is exactly the same thing) cannot propagate faster than light. This consequence of special relativity is manifest in quantum field theory, too. In non-relativistic quantum theories, locality may be violated and signals may be superluminal but it's still true that they play absolutely no role in "explaining" the correlations coming from entangled states etc.

On the other hand, quantum mechanics has taught us – and nothing changes about these basic principles in quantum field theory, a special subclass of quantum mechanical theories – that all facts about Nature must be determined through observations. That means that they always depend on the choice of an observer, i.e. on the identification which events are classified as observations (interactions resulting in a change of the observer's knowledge about Nature). This classification is unavoidably subjective in principle.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Hysteria sparked by O'Reilly's slaves with good dining, housing

Michelle Obama has made the remark that the house she has been inhabiting for years, The White House, was "built by slaves". These days, the home built for the first U.S. president may serve as a home to a black woman whose biggest achievement is to have slept with a kitschy popular semi-black community organizer who has alienated most of the U.S. allies, doubled the budget deficits, and done similar things.

Bill O'Reilly has controversially supported Michelle Obama's suggestion that this change of the situation represents "progress" but he also analyzed these comments on his Factor from the viewpoint of a historian. He has provided his viewers with many facts about the actual workers who built the house for George Washington (who had an office in Philadelphia), the compensation they received, and the evolving status of slavery in these years.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Has the Czech currency war been a "smashing success"?

I learned about the following article from a tweet by Jiří Šitler. The name means neither the supersymmetric partner of Adolf Hitler (scalar Hitler or Shitler), nor something derived from the word šit.

Instead, the meaning of the word is even more diplomatic than these two explanations – it is the name of the current Czech ambassador to Sweden. ;-) It's almost as tempting to play with that name as if someone were called Motl-Trottel. Your humble correspondent knows the ambassador to Denmark in person and met him last month but I think that Mr Šitler is only known to me in the e-form.

"Market Monetarist" Lars Christensen whom I should nominally agree with just wrote about

the smashing success of Czech monetary policy
What is it about? Well, in late 2013 – on the anniversary of the November 7th "Great October Revolution" – the Czech National Bank artificially weakened the Czech crown (our currency), printed lots of it, bought Euros to increase the exchange rate by some 6 percent relatively to the pre-intervention rate around CZK 25.5 per Euro, and promised to keep the crown weaker than CZK 27 per Euro for years (a floor). For some time, the rate was some CZK 27.5 per Euro but for a year or so, it was extremely close to the floor around CZK 27 per Euro and the Czech National Bank recently allowed the crown to fluctuate and be slightly stronger than the threshold for short periods of time.
Google Finance: EURCZK
The floor has been defended by occasional anti-crown interventions which made the Czech bank's Euro reserves grow towards EUR 70 billion, not bad for a country of our size – and the central bank should leave the regime sometime next year, an extra hurdle I will discuss. From the viewpoint of Christensen, it's been a great success. The nominal GDP growth was about 5 percent since that time (even the real one was around 4.5% near the peak months ago, the maximum in the EU) which is compatible with the promised and targeted 2% inflation rate (assuming the long-term 3% GDP growth), the unemployment rate was dropping from 7.8% in late 2013 to 5.5% now, the shared lowest rate in the EU. Everything is great. Do I agree with this rosy picture?

Families from the Mexican \(\Delta(54)\) symmetry

The most similar previous blog post was one about the \(\Delta(27)\) group

The first hep-ph paper today is dedicated to heterotic string phenomenology.

Delta(54) flavor phenomenology and strings
was written by Mexicans, Ms Brenda Carballo-Perez, Eduardo Peinado, Saul Ramos-Sanchez, but that can't prevent it from being more interesting than many papers from the U.S. The first hep-ph papers often look more interesting than the rest. I believe that also in this case, the authors struggled to get the #1 spot because they're more excited about their work than the authors of the remaining papers today.

Michal Tučný, "Everyone is already in Mexico". Buenos días, I am also going. One of his top 20 best country music songs.

The Standard Model of particle physics is usually formulated as a gauge theory based on the \(SU(3)\times SU(2)\times U(1)\) gauge group. The particles carry the color and the electroweak charges. The gauge group is continuous which implies that there are gauge bosons in the spectrum.

However, the Standard Model also requires 3 generations of fermions – quarks and leptons. Because of this repetitive structure, it's natural to imagine that they transform as "triplets" under another, family group as well. However, there are apparently no \(SU(3)_{\rm flavor}\) gauge bosons, at least not available at the LHC yet. For this and other reasons, it's more sensible to assume that the 3 generations of fermions are "triplets" under a discrete, and not continuous, family symmetry.

Monday, July 25, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Experimental physicists shouldn't be trained as amateur theorists

Theoretical work is up to theorists who must do it with some standards

Tommaso Dorigo of CMS is an experimental particle physicist and in his two recent blog posts, he shares two problems that students at their institutions are tortured with. The daily problema numero uno wants them to calculate a probability from an inelastic cross section which is boring but more or less comprehensible and well-defined.

Dorigo just returned from a trip to Malta.

The problema numero due is less clear. I won't change anything about the spirit if I simplify the problem like this:

A collider produces two high-energy electrons, above \(50\GeV\). Think in all possible ways and tell us all possible explanations related to accelerators, detectors, as well as physical theories what's going on.
Cool. I have highly mixed feelings about such a vague, overarching task. On one hand, I do think that a very good experimenter such as Enrico Fermi is capable of producing answers of this broad type – and very good answers. And the problem isn't "too dramatically" different from the rather practical, "know everything" problems I was solving in the PhD qualifying exams at Rutgers – and I am too modest to hide that I got great results in the oral modern exam, good (A) results in the oral classical exam, and the best historical score in the written exam. ;-)

On the other hand, I don't think that there are too many Enrico Fermis in Italy these days – and even outside Italy – and the idea that a big part of the Italian HEP students are Enrico Fermis look even more implausible to me. The problem described by Dorigo is simply more vague and speculative than the problems that look appropriate.

Saturday, July 23, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Iranians not on our side in the war of civilizations

The ax attack four days earlier took place some 200 km from the Czech border. Last night's Munich shootings took place 220 km from my hometown. It's clearly getting closer. I've been to Munich a few times.

An 18-year-old attacker Ali Sonboly (not this one) with the Iranian citizenship (certainly) and also the German citizenship (not certainly), an assistant in a mall and a son of a taxi driver, has attacked people in McDonald's on Hanauer Strasse, just outside the Olympia shopping mall. (We have a big Olympia shopping mall in Pilsen as well and it's arguably prettier.) Heartbreakingly, most of the 9 victims were kids in McDonald's (one boy here). The attacker at least had the decency to join them and shoot himself, too.

Friday, July 22, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Resolving confusion over the term "nonlocality"

Guest blog by George Musser

Few words stir up a hornet’s nest on TRF as reliably as “nonlocality,” so it is with some trepidation that I offer a few thoughts on the subject. To some extent, I think terminology has sown confusion. Different people use the word “nonlocality” in different ways, and if we can agree on our terms, much of the dispute will evaporate. But not all of it.

Readers with Windows 7, 8.1 urged to upgrade to Windows 10

A last week to do so for free

One year ago, along with many others, I immediately upgraded a Windows 7 laptop to the new Windows 10 system. The upgrade has been free for one year – and this year will end in one week from now.

Click to zoom in.

The upgrade will cost hundreds of dollars after the next week is over. Microsoft has tried hard to force the upgrade on the users (one of the recent reminders resembled the blue screen of death in order to tell you that your resistance is no longer considered quite friendly) but many people – and TRF readers – are clearly more Windows-conservative than I am. ;-)

Thursday, July 21, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Some people's ideas about quantum gravity are vaguely overlapping

LUX: a new LUX paper finds nothing and improves (lowers) the upper limits on the nucleon-dark-matter cross section by a factor of 4 relatively to the best constraints in the past (also LUX, 2015).
String/M-theory and quantum gravity are two faces of the same beast. String/M-theory is the honest, well-defined face that allows you to calculate everything accurately, to any precision, with a perfect predictive power, at least in principle. The predictions are constructed in the top-down fashion and this fact is explicit. It's also a face where the spacetime isn't guaranteed to exist, may be absent, or its geometry may be ambiguous due to dualities. And because of the top-down approach, you don't know in which vacuum you should start to get the desired long-distance phenomena.

Quantum gravity is ultimately the same thing because all consistent theories of quantum gravity are some solutions to string/M-theory. However, quantum gravity is the face in which the spacetime and the well-known phenomena located in it are among the first aspects of the theory we notice. We basically construct our expectations about the phenomena from our experience. They take place in a spacetime we automatically associate with the spacetime of our experience and whenever some detailed laws of dynamics are found or guessed, they are basically extracted in the bottom-up way, as the phenomenologists normally do. The absence of fundamentally exact calculations is the most obvious bug of this bottom-up approach.

For those reasons, ideas in papers about quantum gravity are unavoidably more vague than those in papers about string theory proper, they are intuitive in character, and even when you feel that some claims must be right, it's sometimes hard to say whether two authors or groups of authors are saying the same thing or whether an apparent contradiction is really there.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

American-Czech bilateral ties nearly disappeared since mid 1990s

The Prague Monitor, an English-language newspaper, mentions an article in Lidové noviny, a top Czech-language daily, about the American-Czech ties:

LN: Czech-U.S. bilateral agenda meagre in past two decades
We and the world are evolving continuously at some level so we're not fully appreciating the ongoing change (like the frog that gets boiled alive). But when I compare the relationships 25 years ago with the present ones, the differences are striking.

The article in the Czech newspapers by Mr Hruška mentions that there have only been three topics of shared interest in the recent 20 years – Havel, the radar, and Temelín (our newer nuclear plant that may get expanded and Westinghouse has wanted the job). It's very obvious that these three topics have faded or are fading away, too.

The photograph above was taken a month ago and is from the place near the village of Míšov in the Brdy Hills, some 20 miles East from Pilsen. Up to 2009, we were often going there because it was a hot place: the radar that was meant to be a part of the U.S. missile defense system was supposed to be built exactly on the place where I stand.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

An unbelievable reaction to the Afghani Bavarian ax attack

As you know, a 17-year-old Afghani "refugee" who was living with foster parents in Bavaria and had pictures of the the ISIS logo at home boarded a regional train in Bavaria with a knife and an ax, shouted "Allahu Akbar", and injured dozens of passengers, about 4-5 of them critically (spouses, daughter, BF from Hong Kong for some reason). The police shot him dead while he was threatening their lives as well and running chaotically. Deash has already embraced that stupid šithead as one of their holy warriors.

Is it politically correct to suggest that this Gentleman looked suspicious? And what about this one?

I don't like it because terrorist attacks by similar migrants are becoming a more-than-once-weekly routine. Also, the Bavarian attack took place less than 100 miles from the Czech border. If I tried a bit hard, I could get there on a bike by tomorrow night. Our feeling of safety must unavoidably decrease, too.

Why the triangle notation for powers is misguided

Wrong symmetries, misleading number of vertices

Eclectikus told us about this 3-week old video

proposing a new notation for the exponentiation based on triangles. A similar issue was discussed five years ago at Mathematics Stack Exchange. Well, it's amusing and sometimes useful to invent alternative notations and I had to do it many times in the past (especially whenever I needed to deal with lots of algebra and hundreds of terms of some kind). But I just disagree with this particular one – and so does Eclectikus.

I think that this topic is a good example of the good and bad thinking and relevant facts in many proposed reforms of this kind. Also, I remember in detail how my understanding of the powers was evolving since the age of 5, what was right about it and what was not. So let's start.

Monday, July 18, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

"Shanghai maths" U-turn: 50% of British schools to adopt a rote learning method

In December 2014, I was terrified by the "progressive" opinions about the education of mathematics that were spreading in the Czech school system and I wrote a few critiques in English and Czech (the latter is still the "newest" post on my Czech blog, attracting some interactions).

Mr Hejný, a pensioner who used to be basically innumerate, was suddenly embraced as a teaching guru by lots of "progressive" teachers. He says that the children don't have to be forced to adopt any idea – every kid will rediscover everything about mathematics he or she needs (which is utterly ludicrous, of course). Formulae and identities are "evil", he says (which is a slogan denouncing the very heart of mathematics). Also, mathematics should be maximally conflated with everyday life situations (so that children's thinking becomes maximally muddy and they can't isolate ideas and concepts and separate them from each other – and mathematics critically depends on this isolation) etc. I've explained why every single "principle" of this "progressive" methodology is just the opposite of the truth. Let's hope that in the wake of Brexit, at least the British kids will be shielded from this particular disease.

But people adopting these things aren't doing any science. They are driven by laziness and by ideology. This method that became tolerated is a great way to basically kill the teaching of mathematics or at least any rigorous enough requirements. It is clearly "mathematics as imagined by those who hate the actual mathematics". The Hejný method is just a campaign with a name.

Needless to say, the Western education systems are full of similar garbage. Schools dedicate less and less time to "hard education" and an increasing amount of time to ideological brainwashing and indoctrination by the political correctness. A major example: Children are increasingly encouraged to write essays praising the European Union and believe that they're very creative and independent if they do such things – clearly the opposite of the truth.

Sunday, July 17, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

CMS in \(ZZ\) channel: a 3-4 sigma evidence in favor of a \(650\GeV\) boson

Today, the CMS collaboration has revealed one of the strongest deviations from the Standard Model in quite some time in the paper

Search for diboson resonances in the semileptonic \(X \to ZV \to \ell^+\ell^- q\bar q\) final state at \(\sqrt{s} = 13\TeV\) with CMS
On page 21, Figure 12, you see the Brazilian charts.

Saying No makes physicists what they are

Physics simply cannot try to incorporate every idea that is out there

I borrowed the phrase in the title from the award-winning ads for the Czech Budweisser beer (sold as Czechvar in the U.S.) and modified it. What's going on? Florin Moldoveanu wrote another hodgepodge of mathematical definitions pretending to be relevant for physics,

What is Noncommutative Geometry?
As far as I can say, he does a much worse job in conveying the basic meaning or definition of noncommutative geometry than the first paragraphs of even the mediocre introductions to the subject.

Saturday, July 16, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Failure of coup: bad news for Turkey, Europe, West

Coup folks are holding the navy head and frigate, maybe too soon to give up, however

LHC: First, a cute excess of the day. In a CMS search for vector-like quarks, there is a 3-sigma \(410\GeV\) top quark excess on page 5, Figure 2d, in decays with electrons. If this bump were real, it's already discovered in the recorded 2016 data.
When we woke up in Europe today, we learned about the coup attempt in Turkey. The army, on behalf of the Turkish Peace Council, overtook the country with the immediate goal "to reinstate constitutional order, human rights and freedoms, the rule of law and general security that was damaged" which was surely worth praising. The new regime promised to respect all international treaties.

A major bridge was illuminated by the French national colors in order for the new leaders to show whom they sympathize with when it comes to the most recent major terrorist attack. For 95 years, the Turkish army was seen as a major force that supported decency and the Western values in the country.

However, soon afterwards, President Erdogan ordered the public to rally and do everything to suppress the revolt. He pretty much restored his control over the country within hours. It seems that the coup had no chance. It may have been a false flag operation or the last desperate attempt to preserve the Westernized Turkey established by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk after the First World War.

Friday, July 15, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel was just a lame evil imitation of a Czechoslovak woman

Sadly, attacks such as the 2016 Nice attack have turned into business-as-usual. The method that the 31-year-old Tunisian citizen, van driver born in Masakin, Tunisia, a divorced father of a 3-year-old, and a temporary resident in Nice Nord (his expired temporary residence photo ID: the probable lie that he was a French citizen has filled virtually all the world's media – it's politically correct to "welcome" every Arab who appears anywhere in France and consider him to be a French citizen, right?) has applied was "new" in the context of the recent decades of terrorist attacks.

But it wasn't quite new. In fact, the Daesh has been encouraging its fans to kill the Europeans using vehicles since 2014. And Daesh didn't invent anything, either.

The trailer

In fact, this algorithm of a mass murder is a well-known Czechoslovak know-how. In 1973, when I was born, a 23-year-old woman Olga Hepnarová used a truck to end the lives of 8 people waiting for a streetcar (Czech Street view: yup, Google has competition). Another story. She was the last Czechoslovak woman who was executed – by short-drop hanging – in 1975.

Thursday, July 14, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

GRW-style objective collapse theories are stupid, trivial to disprove

For a few weeks, the mass media pretending to write about science have saved our nerves and avoided the promotion of the anti-quantum jihad. As a reader pointed out, the hiatus is over. Nude Socialist has printed a new article with a revolutionary title announcing that quantum mechanics was overthrown again:

Collapse: Has quantum theory’s greatest mystery been solved?
If the title hasn't made you angry, the subtitle should do the job:
Our best theory of reality says things only become real when we look at them. Understanding how the universe came to be requires a better explanation.
Wow, quite a logic. Our best theory – quantum mechanics – is defined by the fact \(F\) that facts about Nature only appear at the moment when an observer makes an observation. In particular, this theory's being the best one also means that it is better than the previous framework, namely classical physics, which postulated \({\rm non}(F)\) i.e. the existence of lots of facts about Nature that exist independently of observations.

Because \(F\) is known to be better than \({\rm non}(F)\), a theory disagreeing with \(F\) surely cannot be "a better explanation". So what the hell are you talking about? The subtitle contradicts basic logic.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Circle or square? Sorcery in the mirror

When squares look into a mirror, they see themselves as circles, and vice versa. Is it possible?

You bet. How was this video created? Isn't it just a product of photoshopping much like this fruit-based symbol of supersymmetry?

No, you can actually create these hybrid objects with a 3D printer. The rest of the blog post is full of spoilers.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Pokémon Go and new records of U.S. stock indices

After a 14-month-long hiatus and doldrums (Greece+China+Brexit and similar hysterias), the broader S&P 500 index of U.S. stocks apparently returned to the routine of setting new historical highs yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average index set a new historical intraday high today and has a chance to close at a record value, too.

The technological index Nasdaq is oscillating beneath 5,000. Note that in 2000 when the dotcom bubble imploded, the high was set at 5,060 or so. The closing high was marginally beaten in April 2015 but the intraday high of the best day in 2000 hasn't been beaten yet. Is there some mysterious upper bound of NASDAQ below 5,100?

Needless to say, the realization that Brexit is not a problem – something that people with intelligence knew all along but the average trader cooperating with the group think apparently needed several days to get this point – is the main reason why the indices are erasing the post-Brexit-referendum losses these days.

Monday, July 11, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

With hindsight, the evolution in the U.K. looks predictable

After the June 24th Brexit referendum, the world was uncertain about the evolution of the United Kingdom and its relationship with the EU in the near future. We often said that we didn't know whether the United Kingdom would officially launch the Article 50 process to leave the European Union at all – and how many months or years it would take for them to make the decision.

A major Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson didn't like the prospect of becoming a prime minister – a job he could have acquired already when Cameron did it a few years ago – and Nigel Farage left politics because he was apparently there for the only reason and the mission was accomplished.

So some people were asking whether someone in the U.K. is willing to lead the country through the Brexit process at all. And David Cameron was telling everybody that as a politician too closely associated with the losing side of the referendum – and, indeed, with the European Union bureaucracy itself – he will resign "by October".

The Jeffreys-Lindley paradox

On the probabilities of theories that are close to the measured answer but not quite right

In a discussion with Alessandro Strumia and others, Tommaso Dorigo has repeated some of his opinions about the Jeffreys-Lindley's paradox (Wikipedia) which, in Dorigo's opinion, makes Bayesian thinking unusable in experimental particle physics (and probably everywhere because all other situations are analogous). He has previously written about it in 2012 and the paradox was also discussed by W.M. Briggs and others.

Czechia: Off-topic, geography: the U.N. dabatases now list "Czechia" as an official name of my homeland. Czech report, Bloomberg. Its usage is not mandatory but those who use wrong names will be stabbed to death by Mr Ban Ki-moon. Despite widespread fearmongering, the Prague Castle hasn't collapsed yet.
The paradox is meant to be one in which frequentism and Bayesianism give opposite verdicts about the validity of a hypothesis. Just to be sure, the frequentist definition of the probability is that every probability should be measured (and measurable) as the ratio \(N_{\rm OK}/N_{\rm total}\) for a limiting, very large number of trials \(N_{\rm total}\). The Bayesian probability admits that probabilities are used to quantify the subjective belief in the validity of statements and there exists a rational method (involving the Bayesian theorem) how to correctly update these probabilities (beliefs) even if we can't ever make measurements with \(N_{\rm total}\to\infty\).

Sunday, July 10, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Reality vs Connes' fantasies about physics on non-commutative spaces

Florin Moldoveanu, an eclectic semi-anti-quantum zealot, hasn't ever been trained in particle physics and he doesn't understand it but he found it reasonable to uncritically write about Alain Connes' proposals to construct a correct theory of particle physics using the concepts of noncommutative geometry.

Now, Connes is a very interesting guy, great, creative, and playful mathematician, and he surely belongs among the most successful abstract mathematicians who have worked hard to learn particle physics. Except that the product just isn't enough because the airplanes don't land. His and his collaborators' proposals are intriguing but they just don't work and what the "new framework" is supposed to be isn't really well-defined at all.

The status quo in particle physics is that quantum field theories – often interpreted as effective field theories (theories useful for the description of all phenomena at distance scales longer than a cutoff) – and string theory are the only known ways to produce realistic theories. Moreover, to a large extent, string theory in most explicit descriptions we know also adopts the general principles of quantum field theory "without reservations".

The world sheet description of perturbative string theory is a standard two-dimensional conformal (quantum) field theory, Matrix theory and AdS/CFT describe vacua of string/M-theory but they're also quantum field theories in some spaces (world volumes or AdS boundaries), and string theory vacua have their effective field theory descriptions exactly of the type that one expects in the formalism of effective field theories (even though string theory itself isn't "quite" a regular quantum field theory in the bulk).

Saturday, July 09, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Can we upgrade the atmosphere to 1000 ppm of CO2 for $1 trillion?

Heating limestone won't do the job because Worrall missed a factor of 3,000.

On Anthony Watts' influential blog, Eric Worrall proposes to make a "perfect U-turn" in the carbon dioxide policy:

Let's Cook Limestone to Raise Atmospheric CO2 to 1,000ppm
He claims that by heating limestone, the energy we need to consume would cost just $100 billion and perhaps $300 billion with additional expenses. Because there is a missing factor of three in the calculation of the mass of CO2 in the atmosphere, a more realistic price would be $1 trillion.

Limestone blocks in Malta. To make it more confusing, "malta" means mortar (the material to glue bricks) in Czech.

I would still find it extremely cheap because the benefits would be immense. But is the calculation right?

Friday, July 08, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Pesticides needed against anti-physics pests

Their activity got too high in the summer

Some three decades ago, mosquitoes looked like a bigger problem in the summer. Their numbers had to drop or I am spending less time at places where they get concentrated. The haters of physics have basically hijacked the mosquitoes' Lebensraum, it seems.

The scum stinging fundamental, theoretical, gravitational, and high-energy physics became so aggressive and repetitive that it's no longer possible to even list all the incidents. A week ago, notorious Californian anti-physics instructor Richard Muller – a conman who once pretended to be a climate skeptic although he has always been a fanatical alarmist, a guy who just can't possibly understand that the event horizon is just a coordinate singularity and who thinks it's a religion to demand a physical theory to be compatible with all observations (quantum and gravitational ones), not to mention dozens of other staggering idiocies he has written in recent years – wrote another rant saying that "string theory isn't even a theory".

Big Oil turns a LIGO-Virgo sensor into a much more economic gadget to search for oil

On one hand, LIGO's detection of the gravitational wave looks like an achievement that may only please the heart of a staunch theorist.

On the other hand, as an ad said, the fuels that produce CO2 (carbon dioxide) have freed us from a world of back-breaking labor, lighting up our lives, allowing us to create and move the things we need, the people we love.

The slogan "Aby váš motor lépe Shell" ("for your motor to go well") is one of the most catchy corporate slogans in Czech that cleverly use the brand as a Czech word ("šel" pronounced just like "Shell" means "went" or "would go" in the third person, singular, past tense).

A fresh Bloomberg story,

Einstein Never Knew He’d Help Shell Discover Oil
pointed out by Matt Strassler is the newest example of a "spinoff from fundamental science". LIGO isn't as detached from reality as it might have been.

Thursday, July 07, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Both prospective female British PMs sound sensible

Ms Andrea Leadsom and Ms Theresa May are the only people left on the shortlist of David Cameron's successors. In other words, for the first time since the era of Margaret Thatcher, the British government will be led by a lady.

Let me admit that I would have a (moderate) problem to distinguish these two women physically; and it seems even harder to distinguish their political views.

Did two Czechs hack into the ice-hockey championship in Moscow?

Was a fake mascot watched by millions on the ice?

Kazma Kazmitch (born as Kamil Bartošek) is a 31-year-old Czech entertainer who currently produces his "One Man Show" at, an Internet TV owned by, the formidable Czech (local) competitor of Google. He and his teammate – and their staff – have done similar things in the past (most famously, they squeezed a fake Jim Carrey into the Czech counterpart of the Oscars ceremony – world media responses) but this trick sort of makes David Copperfield look like a baby pacifier in comparison:

How two Czechs criminally hacked into the IIHF opening ceremony in Moscow (a 20-minute video)
The video above shows what they did. Or what they claim to have done. It sounds incredible. Kazma agrees – it's the point of his show to do things that look incredible – but he claims (also e.g. in this interview) that all of the stories are absolutely true and nothing was fake. He gives a way of thinking that I find powerful: Shouldn't the critics who say it was fake show their alternative explanation of the events that allowed the videos above to be recorded?

Wednesday, July 06, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Interview with Dr Spaghetti on the relocation of the diphoton excess

It's a pleasure to have you here, the CERN director Ms Raviola Spaghetti. You were heard saying that the diphoton excess at 750 GeV hasn't disappeared. It has just moved elsewhere.

RS: I urge everyone to avoid rumors. You will hear the actual diphoton results at ICHEP-2016 in Chicago in early August.

OK, but didn't you say that the diphoton has just jumped to another place?

RS: I forgot what I said about the excess.

Your CMS colleague Pasta-Pizza Tortelloni-Tortellini said that anyway, it's not disappeared. It has just relocated.

RS: If you read the following tweet carefully, you will see that Pasta was talking about his neighbor Gnocchi-Macaroni Lasagne, not the diphoton excess.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Most Europeans don't want the EU to behave as a bully towards U.K., Switzerland

They have no incentives to support such useless hostilities

Serious talks should avoid the EU bureaucratic jargon. Both Switzerland and the U.K. will obviously have "some" single market à la carte and it's totally stupid to deny this fact.

In recent days, I was unpleasantly surprised by the aggressive behavior of several EU bureaucrats and the fanatical supporters of the EU integration process when it comes to the suggestions how they want to behave towards the British (and now also Swiss) negotiators and citizens in general.

I kindly apologize to our British and Swiss friends for the behavior of some of these nasty fascist aßholes from the European continent. I am confident that most citizens of EU member countries denounce all the unnecessary hostilities. Many of the Europeans have pledged to cut the throats of these EU fascists as soon as the cutting will be legalized if not subsidized. We ask you for your patience.

Gerardus 't Hooft and string theory

Gerardus 't Hooft is celebrating his 70th birthday today. Congratulations!

(C) LM

He got his 1999 Nobel prize for the proof of the renormalizability of the electroweak theory, along with Martinus Veltman, his adviser, whose main contribution was to assign his powerful student with a good and ambitious homework exercise. Because of his magical technical skills, 't Hooft used to be nicknamed The Ayatollah – just because most of his colleagues didn't realize that The Shah was actually much better than the Persian mullah-in-chief.

Even though 't Hooft has taught a string theory course at his university, I think people would agree that he's not a string theorist. However, a modern look at his contributions is a good example of the high degree of organization and clarification that string theory has introduced to theoretical physics.

Monday, July 04, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Happy 240th birthday, America

Neutrinos: Fermilab's NOvA has found a 2.5-sigma evidence against the maximum mixing of neutrino flavors.
Nine years ago, on July 4th, I escaped from the U.S. a few days after my visas expired (it was the only available date – Americans were reasonably afraid of another terrorist attack on that day).

Five years later, on the Higgsdependence Day, the Higgs boson was officially discovered at CERN. But 240 years ago, several important men signed the Declaration of Independence, mostly penned by Thomas Jefferson.

This 6-minute-long school video project was created by a girl and her campaign staff, Hillary Jr For America 2044, who will become the U.S. president in the future. She will veto math classes because they are hard and she will fly into Disneyland with Air Force One every day.

Saturday, July 02, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

CERN clarifies the new portal created on June 24th

First, there were just rumors. However, some of the most prestigious media outlets such as The Freedom Fighter Times (see the video below) and The Daily Express (along with the Daily Star, the Sun, the Inquisitr, and RT) have figured out that something was going on.

The video is highly pedagogic and has already been watched by more than 100,000 of the world's best experts specializing in the LHC portals. It also teaches the viewers what the "background" means (something you can buy on Google); and helps you to understand the calendar and the concept of a week (plus the fact that May has just 30 days).

I couldn't believe that CERN would do anything dangerous, however. So I asked the director of CERN, Bafiola Faggotti, to clarify some of the basic issues for us.

Ciao Bafiola, what's up?

Ahoj Luboši.

The Freedom Fighter Times managed to photograph the portal that opened right above CERN on June 24th. Most people are primarily interested in the main question: Is it the end of the world?

No, the event was a pre-scheduled routine operation designed to refresh our collider, the LCH. (The Daily Express managed to find the actual name, LCH, of the hardon, but let me use the code name LHC in the rest of the interview, in order to keep top classified information top classified.) A day earlier, the British voters decided that they wanted to leave the European Union. So CERN, the largest scientific laboratory in the world, was given the natural task to shoot the United Kingdom along with the British former employees of CERN out of Europe and CERN through a wormhole or a portal, as we insiders call it.

Friday, July 01, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Slovakia takes over the EU presidency

First, the Austrian Constitutional Court has agreed with suspicion held by people like me that there were irregularities in the voting that could have affected up to 77,000 votes. Those could have gone the other way and the gap was just 31,000. So the judges annulled the results and ordered the 2nd round of the presidential elections to be re-run. They emphasized that they have no proof that the leftists have stolen something from Hofer that belonged to him but they couldn't erase the doubts, either. Hofer may beat the little green man or not – I don't know in what direction Austria has moved.

A few days ago, Hofer suggested that Austria could hold its own referendum on Oustria assuming that the EU keeps on moving in a wrong direction.

"Lightnings over Tatras" are the dramatic lyrics of the Slovak anthem – that has been a part of "our" anthem for almost 1/2 of my life – added by Jánko Matúška to represent the revolutionary chaos around 1848. The melody was taken from a folk song, She was digging a well and she was looking into the black hole. I could give you lots of "urban" Slovak music but these rural songs paint quite an accurate picture of the bulk of Slovakia.

Meanwhile, our Slovak brothers took over the EU presidency today – from the Netherlands. Czechia had this duty 7.5 years earlier. (Čech and Jágr starring in the video clip were already very old athletes and now, 7.5 years later, they still play!) It's widely expected that Brexit and illegal immigration will be the main topics. Slovakia has insisted that the EU has been going in an arrogant direction and national Parliaments etc., including those outside the largest countries, have to be listened to. However, it's been also said that Slovakia wants to move the enlargement efforts forward, especially when it comes to Serbia. Note that Serbia and the EU "authorities" disagree about the permanency of the separation of Kosovo from Serbia.

Stanley Mandelstam: 1928-2016

A string theorist whose surname is known to every particle physicist, Stanley Mandelstam, Berkeley's emeritus professor, died on the Brexit referendum Thursday at age of 87.

He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. His mother has lived there from the wealthy years of gold, his father Boris moved there from Latvia. Throughout his childhood, they lived in a small town but moved back to Johannesburg. He was forced to earn a practical – chemical – degree which he has never used in his life. But he returned to theoretical physics and got his degrees in 1954 (B.A.) and 1956 (PhD) in Cambridge and Birmingham before he joined the Berkeley faculty in 1963.