Friday, September 20, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Egalitarianism, identity politics is ruining science

...like it was ruining the socialist countries' economies...

Every sane teenager (e.g. Soph) knows that socialism cripples the economies and its defenders must be treated like plague. I could provide you with more detailed data from Czechia but the comparison with other nations could be controversial because it's not true that "all other things are equal". Instead, Germany has been a great lab that has measured how it works.



Parts of Germany used to be similar up to 1945 but "accidentally" occupied by armies with very different regimes. In 1949, West and East Germany were formally created. Exactly 40 years later, in 1989, a West German employee had the average salary of DM 4,000 (one euro was later created and pegged to DM 1.95583, almost two West marks) while the Eastern counterpart had M 950 or so. Note that the latter is just M, not DM, and it makes some difference.

Well, officially it didn't. The East German leaders were officially claiming that the two marks, DM and M, were the same, so the nominal salary of the West German worker was "just" 4.5 times higher than in the East. However, in the East German banks, you couldn't actually buy the West marks for the East marks at par – it only worked in one direction. The actual market prices are those that work in both directions. That actual market was called "the black market" because the trading wasn't legal according to the communists (and therefore "black", surely a more politically correct color would be chosen today).

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Seiberg helped to create the culture of "time fillers" like Harlow

"Observable" has reminded me of a video I was sent a few days ago, a 12-minute introduction by Dan Harlow (MIT) to topological field theories etc. within high energy physics, presented during an event at Harvard's CMSA (Center of Mathematical Sciences and Applications) last week.

Aside from some general technical points about topological matter, he also discussed the refocus of physicists to subfields. Around 1:40, he said it was harder to build particle colliders etc. and around 1:55, he asked "what are we supposed to do in the meantime? You know we need to write papers and posting them to hep-th".

That was quite a frank demystification of Harlow's "moral foundations and motivation" to do physics.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Fund your animated Feynman lectures on physics

If successful, $80,000 is basically nothing for such an amazing project



Note that at 0:48, joules are even written in the Cyrillic script! ;-)

Sameer Sd has sent me an e-mail with a Kickstarter project masterminded by a group (led by Bob Bender) in Buffalo, New York that has sort of amazed me:

Animated Series Based On Feynman Lectures on Physics

(the page includes a 2-minute explanatory video plus a review of the planned interactive, gamified software – including a phone app and a website – that will track the student's progress)
The Feynman lectures are one of the greatest examples of stellar science education – taking the students through the adventures of disciplines of classical and quantum physics as well quite some wisdom about the philosophy of science and the relevant intuition and heuristic ideas. For many Caltech undergraduates, the lectures could have been too tough but many others, perhaps older, folks have found them just right. I have learned quite something from FLP, too.

Some hard-working folks have turned the books into HTML pages with MathJax \({\rm \TeX}\). We have found those very useful – and they have been often linked to from this website. But many of us prefer watching over reading.

Saudi Arabia vs Iran: calm approach is needed

While premium unleaded autistic children and adult psychopaths expect an imminent climatic doomsday, recognize a Jesus who is all around us and has pigtails, and declare zero tolerance for deniers who threaten their children (that guy will also be banned because he denies that people have to avoid having children to save the planet!), the rest of us that hasn't completely lost our minds realizes that – not only because of the cold May and August in Czechia – there is zero chance that anything deserving to be called the climate change will pose any significant risks and old-fashioned events that matter are taking place instead.



The Saudi engineers miscalculated the chiral tension in the material and one of their skyscrapers, the Majdoul Tower, got twisted.

Some of the events are affecting the explosive Middle East. Days ago, Saudi Arabia lost 1/2 of oil refineries – facilities in which impurities are being removed from the crude material (oil in this case) to get petrol or diesel etc. It's a big deal because, you know, oil products are rather important for Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has 33 million people, a 50% higher GDP per capita than Czechia (true both for nominal and PPP), currency "riyal" that is pegged at "3.75 riyals per USD", and the same huge but not infinite Forex reserves per capita as Czechia to support such a peg.

Monday, September 16, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Corrupt left-wing media promoting Carroll elevate politicization of physics to a new level

Sean Carroll is doing everything he can to promote his new book attacking quantum mechanics and earn a few bucks by doing so. The book tour is supported by some media. Let us look at the list – will you be able to see a pattern?

Nude Socialist (author: the Führer): What is space-time? The true origins of the fabric of reality

The New York Times: Even Physicists Don’t Understand Quantum Mechanics

NPR: In 'Something Deeply Hidden,' Sean Carroll Argues There Are Infinite Copies Of You

PBS: Sean Carroll: Universe a ‘tiny sliver’ of all there is (+video)

Wired: Sean Carroll Thinks We All Exist on Multiple Worlds

WaPo: The fascinating questions of quantum mechanics that perpetually elude answer

Quanta Magazine: Where Quantum Probability Comes From

Nature: The bizarre logic of the many-worlds theory

Science blogs: Our autumn reading list
The New York Times has slightly improved its statistics by printing a very short reply by Deepak Chopra about the need for consciousness. But the point of quantum mechanics isn't consciousness itself – the detailed research of that belongs to neuroscience and Chopra's obsession for that concept has ideological reasons that are largely analogous to Carroll's (well, plus his being a guy in medicine which is a more understandable source of the bias). The Times still haven't printed the view of any actual good let alone great quantum physicist.

Sunday, September 15, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Dynamical OPE coefficients as a TOE

Towards the universal equations for quantum gravity in all forms

In the 1960s, before string theory was really born, people studied the bootstrap and the S-matrix theory. The basic idea – going back to Werner Heisenberg (but driven by younger folks such as Geoffrey Chew who died in April 2019) – was that the consistency was enough to determine the S-matrix. In such a consistency-determined quantum theory, there would be no clear difference between elementary and composite fields and everything would just fit together.

Veneziano wrote his amplitude in 1968 and a few years later, it became clear that strings explained that amplitude – and the amplitude could have been created in a "constructive" way, just like QCD completed at roughly the same time which was "constructively" made of quark and gluon fields (although most of the smartest people had believed the strong force not to have any underlying "elementary particles" underneath throughout much of the 1960s). A new wave of constructive theories – colorful and stringy generalizations of the gauge theories – prevailed and downgraded bootstrap to a quasi-philosophical semi-dead fantasy.

On top of that, the constructive theory – string theory – has led to progress that made it clear that it has a large number of vacua so the complete uniqueness of the dynamics was an incorrect wishful thinking.

Saturday, September 14, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

EU with North Macedonia (and others?) would be a better one

On Friday 13th, Czech prosecutors stopped all the prosecution of PM Babiš and his accomplices in the Stork Nest subsidy fraud scandal. Well, I find it almost obvious that it's a consequence of Babiš's recent replacement of the minister of justice and a few other changes – and that Babiš is guilty – but in principle, only $2 million is really involved in this stuff and sadly, there are much worse things we must be worried about.



On the same day, Prague saw a meeting of the Visegrád Group prime ministers and they recommended something that could be embraced by the rest of the European Union – they demanded EU accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania.

Thursday, September 12, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

German psyche: Regensburg edition

The topic "everyday life and politics linked to Germany" gets a greater number of views than the analogous topic derived from "Czechia", perhaps because Germany's population is 8 times higher than Czechia's so let me post a not very groundbreaking text about a light topic.

Germans sometimes complain that we, the anti-Nazi allies, have completely destroyed the Germany's history of architecture.



Well, not so fast, there is a wholly preserved medieval town in Bavaria, Regensburg (153,000 people), and it's a gem. In 1943-1945, the Royal Air Force only bombarded Germany's largest aircraft company, Messerschmitt, and it was in a suburb of Regensburg (Neutraubling in the Southeast – which became a concentration camp for Germans expelled from Czechia's Sudetenland in 1945). If you're German, Austrian, or Bohemian and you've never spent a day in Regensburg, you should, like I did today. Well, we also went there in 1990 or so but it's a long time ago and I had no control over the places we would visit...

Click here for 380 pictures plus 5 videos. Please let me know if I forgot to remove some private stuff, access to other things, or the ability of users to edit or something like that.

Moore & ladies: high-Hodge vacua are less numerically dominant than thought

There are many interesting new hep-th papers today. The first author of the first paper is Heisenberg, Kallosh and Linde have a post-Planck update on the CMB – a pattern claimed to be compatible with the KKLT, there are 17 new papers omitting cross-listings, but I choose the second paper:

Flux vacua: A voluminous recount
If we overlook the title that tries to please Al Gore if not Hillary Clinton (too late), Miranda Cheng, Greg Moore, and Natalie Paquette (Amsterdam-Rutgers-Caltech) work to avoid an approximation that is often involved while counting the flux vacua – you know, the computations that yield the numbers such as the insanely overcited number of 10500.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Will cannibalism utilizing the LIGO members' flesh save the Earth?

Like many others, a well-known journal named after some people practicing the scientific method was advocating cannibalism as a universal cure for the world's problems in recent days:

As Swedish researcher Dr Grandus Soberson of Lund University, building on the previous insights by Dr Helen-Meghan Gramberg presented in the United Nations and the Holy Father's bedroom, has figured out, the transition to the consumption of human flesh may warm or cool the Earth by as much as 0.12 picokelvins which means that it must be considered "salvation of the Earth".
As all concerned scientists know, the shift of the global mean temperature by 0.12 picokelvins in an unknown direction is the most important task facing mankind in its efforts to survive. But our scientific journal goes beyond the obvious observation of other mainstream media – that people have to switch to cannibalism:
In fact, a more detailed research by scientists from the Institutes for Global Change in the states of Louisiana and Washington have outlined a particular plan to do so. LIGO remains in doubt and according to the best i.e. loudest critics, it hasn't seen any waves. That makes the LIGO members an optimal choice for the replacement of the first tons of beef.
It seems a little bit arbitrary to me why LIGO members were chosen – instead of the ATLAS or CMS members, for example. As some stellar scientists in the world have also pointed out, particle accelerators are also useless which is why their members could be eaten before the LIGO flesh.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

MWI in Quanta Magazine

After the New York Times, the Quanta Magazine became the next platform where Sean Carroll articulates his many-worlds nonsense:

Where Quantum Probability Comes From

There are many different ways to think about probability. Quantum mechanics embodies them all.
First, let's respond to the title and the subtitle in a no-nonsense way. First, the title: Where does the quantum probability come from?

Well, the fact that the probability is needed is experimentally proven by the random outcomes of experiments. The probabilities are calculated in QM through Born's rule. And the probability amplitudes are the most fundamental, elementary, irreducible objects in the theory so it's a fallacy to try to reduce them to something else!

So the quantum probability "sociologically" came from the experimenters such as those who observed the (random) radioactive decay or the interference phenomena of electrons; and among theorists, it came mainly from Max Born and others who understood it quickly. Logically, the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics comes directly from the axioms i.e. the universal postulates of quantum mechanics. A user of this theory must understand what probabilities mean. There's no way to start from "zero" and teachers are those whose task is to explain notions such as "probability".

Monday, September 09, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Feynman probably invented the "many worlds" meme

...and used it as a reason to immediately reject Everett's musings...

I have already written this finding in a comment but let me dedicate a special blog post to the revelation because famous physicists, and especially Richard Feynman, are often connected with far-reaching claims about the "Many Worlds Interpretation" of quantum mechanics.



If you click at the hyperlink above, you may remind yourself of some basic facts about this meme. Let's return some 62 years into the past.

As a student of John Wheeler's, Hugh Everett III wrote the thesis, The Theory of the Universal Wavefunction, in 1956. A year later, in 1957, Review of Modern Physics published the version Relative State Formulation of Quantum Mechanics.

Sunday, September 08, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Carroll vs quantum mechanics in NYT

If I could have made a bet that Sean Carroll was going to write an anti-quantum op-ed for The New York Times, I would have bet one million dollars.

It seemed clear to me because in recent years, The New York Times was increasingly connected with liars and demagogues of certain types and the quality of the content was decreasing (fortunately along with the circulation). Too bad, I didn't get an offer.



At any rate, the op-ed arrived yesterday:

Even Physicists Don’t Understand Quantum Mechanics
Worse, they don’t seem to want to understand it.
Right. The only problem is that the title and the subtitle applies to the incompetent, ideologically driven "physicists" who wrote about 28 anti-quantum-mechanics popular books for the most moronic layreaders just in recent 3 years. Actual physicists do understand quantum mechanics rather well – it has really been understood for over 90 years – and they are using it as rock-solid foundations to discover increasingly amazing things about the physical world. The op-ed clearly tries to rotate this basic truth by 180 degrees.