Wednesday, June 26, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Are feeling-based popular articles about symmetries helpful?

K.C. Cole is one of the better science writers – who is surely choosing better sources for her texts than almost all other writers about physics – and she just published a new text in the Quanta Magazine:

The Simple Idea Behind Einstein’s Greatest Discoveries
The title is friendly towards symmetries, as you can see, and many parts of her text try to suggest details about the importance of symmetry in the 20th and 21st century physics. The subtitle is unfriendly, however:
Lurking behind Einstein’s theory of gravity and our modern understanding of particle physics is the deceptively simple idea of symmetry. But physicists are beginning to question whether focusing on symmetry is still as productive as it once was.
I concluded that the real intended story is that the symmetries are no longer considered as fundamental as they used to be. And I think that such a statement would be correct – although this transition wasn't really taking place in 2019 but rather in the 1990s or 1980s. However, I don't think that the body of Cole's article actually contains evidence that a rational reader could consider a justification of her subtitle.

Greenpeace girls invaded a shareholders' meeting, faced a backlash

ČEZ, the Czech Energy Works (České energetické závody), is the main Czech power utility company. It runs most of the Czech power plants, a big part of the grid, also sells gas to the consumers, and does other things. It's just sold its business in Bulgaria but it is generally trying to invest abroad, too.

The market cap of ČEZ is some $12 billion.


OK, today, we have the warmest day of the year so far, with temperatures reaching 35 °C – it seems unlikely that the "absolute" records will be broken today, as promised yesterday; in August 2012, Dobřichovice near Prague saw 40.4 °C. Next week, the temperature high should be just 25 °C. (Update: Pilsen-Bolevec, 2 miles from me, saw Czechia's highest temperature today, 37.9 °C. The absolute Czech record safely survived.) PM Babiš is going to survive another no-confidence vote. And ČEZ has a shareholder's meeting, also deciding about the dividend. ČEZ is also planning to sell Počerady, a brown coal power plant, to the billionaire and "coal baron" Mr Pavel Tykač – which would extend its lifetime – according to an agreement from 2013.

Greenpeace Czechia doesn't seem to like it.

Taxonomic ranks: lots of arbitrary conventions but also some real useful information

Quanta Magazine's Christie Wilcox has talked to comparative biologist Andreas Hejnol and others when she was writing

What’s in a Name? Taxonomy Problems Vex Biologists
In 1735, Carl von Linné (1707-1778) published Systema Naturae where he introduced the clumping of species into groups and subgroups. That was done more than a century before the evolution theory emerged – but Linné has surely noticed some "family relationships" between organisms on Earth which could have allowed him to rediscover Darwin's theory well before others.

The English names of these categories are memorized by the poem
Dear King Phillip Came Over For Great Spaghetti While Queen Elizabeth Always Prefers To Devour the Nuts in the Living Room
OK, the female part was added by your humble correspondent because of affirmative action (but the assertion is more accurate than the proposition about her husband). The categories are
domain, kingdom, phylum, division, class, order, family, genus, species
which is almost exactly copied from Latin:
regio, regnum, phylum, divisio, classis, ordo, familia, genus, species.
Note that a "family" and others are sometimes generalized to "superfamilies" and "subfamilies" or "infrafamilies", groups that are larger or smaller or much smaller than the original ones.

Only the first two ranks in the list above, domain and kingdom, are slightly different in English and Latin. The others are Anglicized versions of the Latin words – in the last cases (genus, species), they are completely identical. The first words related to the empires are a bit different in Latin. English biologists could have picked "region" and "reignerdom" to follow the Latin roots chosen for the kings (yes, Russians use "tsarstvo" for the kingdom, from a Tsar).

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

George Rosenkranz: 1916-2019

Guest blog by Charles Wilson

George Rosenkranz has died and, if you needed a reminder, Great Lives are lived fully, taking what is presented and Apprehending what is given – using that word in a very acquisitive sense. The mind does not float above the world of “Mere Appearances”. It is an agent in this world and actively engages the surroundings. Rosenkranz and his associates changed the world.

When I taught High School Math (A fellow teacher referred to it as “Warehousing and Crowd Control”) I would tell my students that, “Math is something that you do, not something you think about”. Rosenkranz lived his life that way and it is worth examining, if only for a few moments.

SJWs at Google are training AI to maximize bias, spreading of lies internally open goal is to prevent a second Trump term...

John, your humble correspondent, and probably many of us have watched a breathtaking 25-minute-long Project Veritas video

Insider blows whistle & exec reveals Google plan to prevent "Trump situation" in 2020 on hidden cam (Bitchute)
A hidden cam has recorded Ms Jen Gennai, a Google boss for innovations, who openly bragged that Google was a big enough company that has the power to define "fairness" and decide who will be the U.S. president. Donald Trump and his supporters don't obey the Google SJWs' definition of "fairness".

Monday, June 24, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Turok et al.: a quantum fluctuation complaint against inflation

...and like most of Turok's papers, it's fundamentally wrong...

Most of the papers that I cover are papers that I consider good – innovative, interesting, correct, solving something, presenting real possibilities. But I am not one of those people who think that people's judgement should be censored so that only "nice" appraisals are heard. In a healthy scientific process, one must unavoidably hear about wrong and bad papers. The elimination of wrong things is actually the primary procedure that the scientific method revolves around.

One very bad hep-th paper today is

Quantum Incompleteness of Inflation
by Di Tucci, Feldbrugge, Lehners, and Turok (Potsdam+Perimeter). Helpfully enough, the alphabetic sorting of the author names coincides with the sorting according to the increasing age or experience. Neil Turok is obviously the "boss". The last, oldest three authors have written numerous wrong papers criticizing the Hartle-Hawking paradigm for the initial wave function of the Universe. Now, Alice Di Tucci, the most junior member, was added to write a very similar criticism of cosmic inflation, too.

Sunday, June 23, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Biggest Czech protest since 1989 ends up as a mostly SJW event

In the recent year, I participated at two anti-Babiš rallies in Pilsen – although my presence was always a bit experimental (well, comparably experimental to my "attendance" of the anti-Iraq-War rallies in Boston in late 2002) – because I think it's wrong for him to bend the court system, it's wrong to get billions of crowns in subsidies, and I am not excited about a former communist as a prime minister with an extremely primitive, purely material way of thinking about everything.

But I saw the folks who seem to be the actual drivers behind these events – and what is the possible alternative that they could give us instead of Babiš. In many cases, I must say "No, thank you." You know, I applauded many people's clichés and they were nice or touching. But it seemed obvious to me that they were guests, not the drivers. The drivers seem to be far left SJWs.

Right now, the biggest rally in Czechia since 1989 is taking place in the Letná Plain in Prague – an elevated empty place above the Moldau River, not far from the Prague Castle (3D map, street view). The world's biggest Stalin statue was standing there up to the 1960s. The name "Letná" is an adjective seemingly related to "let" which means "a flight" but "Letná" actually comes from old Slavic "Leteň" which is a place illuminated by the Sun – and I happen to live meters from Pilsen's own Letná. ;-) See the live video now. Organizers and others agree with the estimate of 200,000-250,000 people. Well, T-Mobile has "calculated" the number to be 258,000 – not sure since when phone providers are experts in this calculation, especially given the fact that one phone doesn't translate to one person and the ratio may depend on the situation.

Saturday, June 22, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Sullivan witch hunt: top Czech attorneys vs Harvard

Some individual Western public intellectuals – folks like Roger Scruton – used to help the dissidents in the communist Europe before the fall of communism. These days, it's especially Western Europe and Northern America that is falling into a totalitarian system that is analogous to what we used to have before 1989. It's natural that some public intellectuals and otherwise visible pundits from the post-communist Europe are repaying the debt and trying to intervene into some egregious cases of the abuse of power in the West.

Czech Protestant education guru John Amos Comenius (1592 Eastern Moravia – 1670 Amsterdam exile), once asked by John Winthrop to become the president of Harvard.

Six weeks ago, I discussed the case of Ronald Sullivan, a top black American attorney and a former aide of Obama's, who has become a far right heretic according to an unhinged student mob at Harvard because he dared to accept the request of Harvey Weinstein to become one of his attorneys. The mob found it politically incorrect for a lawyer to defend their officially declared villain-in-chief of the hypocritical and unhinged "#MeToo" movement. Harvard's administrators caved to the hysterical mob – one could say that they seemed happy to do so – and fired both Sullivan and his wife as housemasters of the Winthrop House.

A ghost told a science writer that quantum mechanics is the Inquisition, has to be defeated

Michael Brooks is a far left British journalist and a consultant of Nude Socialist who has promoted homeopathy and celebrated that "scientists" are finally angry about global warming, among other things.

Two days ago, in, he has presented a very clear proof that the critics of quantum mechanics are just another branch of the loony far left activists:

The Spirit of the Inquisition Lives in Science
Well, Brooks has a particular idiosyncrasy. The left-wing activism is hybridized with his speaking to the ghosts.

Friday, June 21, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Carbon neutrality 2050: Visegrád saves Europe again

As The Guardian and others have complained, four post-communist European countries have blocked a crazy statement that "Europe should be carbon-neutral by 2050" on a Thursday meeting in Brussels.

The heroic quartet turned out to be a "genetically modified Visegrád Group": Poland, Czechia, Hungary (we're in Central Europe), and... Estonia (the Easternmost among the three Baltic states) that has replaced Slovakia. Especially after the election of Ms Zuzana Čaputová as the Slovak president, Slovakia solidified its role as the Brussels' fifth column within the Visegrád Group. Fortunately, they could be replaced with a more sensible country this time!

Thankfully, Čaputová didn't break the tradition and her first foreign visit was one to Prague yesterday. She charmed most of the people and met our president who is no longer in his best Olympic shape. Even though many people dreamed about them, there have been no controversies coming from the Zeman-Čaputová meeting at all. But you could see a clash of two paradigms, an apolitical babe (who is working hard to disprove the proverb that women above 40 can't play hide-and-seek because no one would be searching for them) vs an achieved political veteran.

McAllister et al.: weak gravity makes some low-volume cycles mandatory

Out of the 14 new primarily hep-th papers today, about 8 (a majority) may be counted as "string theory" which is great. Even more impressively, 4 papers are about Calabi-Yau manifolds. Let me look at the first one – which was posted at 18:00:00 UTC, guaranteeing the first place. These guys may have mastered the correct calculation of the delay after you press the enter key and after the packets get to the arXiv.

A counting problem involving the Calabi-Yau manifolds is one of the most popular examples of the deep implications that string theory has for the world of mathematics.

A real-six-dimensional manifold of a particular topology, the quintic (or the quintic hypersurface), has some non-contractible lower-dimensional manifolds in it. Some of them are (complex) "lines" in some algebraic sense. Their number has been known to be 2875 for quite some time. The more complex submanifolds, the "conics", are more numerous. Mathematicians have only known that their number was 609,250 since 1986.

To count the higher-degree curves seemed like an impossibly difficult problem for the mathematicians. Suddenly, string theorists arrived and claimed that the Calabi-Yau manifold above was a mirror dual to another – string theory on both manifolds may be exactly physically equivalent – and physicists were therefore able to easily compute as many numbers in the sequence as they wanted, thus proving that string theorists are better mathematicians than the mathematicians.

As all TRF readers surely know by heart, the next two entries are 317206375 and 242467530000.

Thursday, June 20, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Baer et al.: stringy naturalness prefers less usual but accessible SUSY scenarios, risky electroweak symmetry breaking

In early February, I discussed a paper by Howard Baer and 4 co-authors which made some steps to update the estimates of superpartner masses and other parameters of new physics – by replacing naturalness with the string naturalness which takes "the number of string vacua with certain properties" as a factor that makes a vacuum more likely.

Ace of Base, Living in Danger – recorded decades before the intense Islamization of Sweden began. In the eyes of a stranger, such as a Czech, Swedes are surely living in danger. The relevance will become clear later.

They have claimed that this better notion of naturalness naturally drives cubic couplings \(A\) to large values (because those are more represented in the string vacua, by a power law) which means a large mixing in the top squark sector and stop masses that may exceed \(1\TeV\). Also, the other (first two generation squarks...) scalars are "tens of \({\rm TeV}\) in mass". The lightest two neutralinos should be close to each other, with a mass difference around \(5\GeV\). Most encouraging is the derivation that the Higgs mass could be pushed up towards the observed \(125\GeV\), plus minus one.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Second Bell's theorem and the irrational cult around it

Off-topic, climate bragging: Steve Koonin is an NYU physics professor and a high-tier DOE official under Obama who proposed to introduce "the red team, the blue team" to the climate debate. I successfully urged him to respond to Gavin Schmidt's attack against a Koonin's talk at Purdue University – attack posted at RealClimate.ORG – and made sure he knew the address to submit it to the Anthony Watts' blog where it became the most successful text in quite some time.
A stupid 1976 paper by Bell did more than anything else for the deluded anti-quantum zealots to explode

Five days ago, I reviewed Bell's theorem. Two spins that are entangled – in a singlet state – produce a simple correlation \(\langle \sigma_a \sigma'_b\rangle=-\cos\vartheta_{a,b}\) between the measurements of projections of the two spins along axes \(\hat a,\hat b\), respectively. This nice and simple quantum mechanical prediction cannot be reproduced by a local classical theory (even with hidden variables) because such a local classical theory implies inequalities for correlations involving three axes that the (experimentally verified) cosines do not obey.

A voodoo doll. Anti-quantum zealots believe that quantum mechanics must enable some magic action-at-a-distance (and break Einstein's relativity, at least in principle) but it doesn't.

My blog post was a polished, more effective version of a 1964 paper by Bell. That paper made some sense, Bell has proven an actual result that was somewhat analogous to no-go theorems banning hidden variables. In fact, it was technically a more correct paper than John von Neumann's theorem on the same topic from the 1930s.

Although he wasn't terribly clear, it was implicit in the 1964 paper that the class of theories that was ruled out was composed of theories that were (1) classical theories with hidden variables that simultaneously (2) interacted locally.

But John Bell continued to write... and drift towards the confusion and ideologically motivated stupidity. So the misinterpreters of quantum mechanics love to say that he's proven not one Bell's theorem but two Bell's theorems. The second theorem was described in a 1976 paper "The Theory of Local Beables" – although my CERN version of that preprint was already written in 1975.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Acharya: string/M-theory probably implies low-energy SUSY

Bobby Acharya is a versatile fellow. Whenever you search for the author Acharya, B on Inspire, you will find out that "he" has written 1,527 papers which have earned over 161,000 citations which would trump 144,000 citations of Witten, E. Much of this weird huge number actually has some merit because Acharya is both a highly mathematical theorist – an expert in physics involving complicated extra-dimensional manifolds – as well as a member of the ATLAS experimental team at the LHC.

Today, he published

Supersymmetry, Ricci Flat Manifolds and the String Landscape.
String theory and supersymmetry are "allies" most of the time. Supersymmetry is a symmetry that first emerged – at least in the Western world – when Pierre Ramond was incorporating fermions to the stringy world sheet. (In Russia, SUSY was discovered independently by purely mathematical efforts to classify Lie-algebra-like physical symmetries.) Also, most of the anti-string hecklers tend to be anti-supersymmetry hecklers as well, and vice versa.

On the other hand, string theory and supersymmetry are somewhat independent. Bosonic string theory in \(D=26\) has no SUSY – and SUSY is also broken in type 0 theories, some non-supersymmetric heterotic string theories, non-critical string theory, and more. Also, supersymmetry may be incorporated to non-gravitational field theories, starting with the Wess-Zumino model and the MSSM, which obviously aren't string vacua – because the string vacua make gravity unavoidable.

Monday, June 17, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

μνSSM produces nice neutrino masses, new 96 GeV Higgs

The most interesting new hep-ph preprint is

Precise prediction for the Higgs-Boson Masses in the μνSSM with three right-handed neutrino superfields (58 pages)
by Sven Heinemeyer (CERN) and Biekötter+Muñoz (Spain) – BHM. They discuss some remarkable combined virtues of a non-minimal supersymmetric model of particle physics.

Note that none of the so far observed elementary particles – bosons or fermions – seems to be a superpartner of another observed fermion or boson, respectively. But for theoretical reasons, it is more likely that these superpartners exist and a supersymmetric Standard Model is a more accurate description of Nature than the Standard Model – the minimum model encompassing the currently observed particles.

Sunday, June 16, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

A pocket magnet with 45.5 tesla: a revolution for LHC/FCC?

Pavel has pointed out that I overlooked a remarkable paper on experimental physics in Nature:

45.5-tesla direct-current magnetic field generated with a high-temperature superconducting magnet (by Hahn, Kim, 9 more)
Magnets are cool. When we were 10 or so, our class would work in nearby gardens. Some of the greenhouses were covered by plastic films that were attached by... wonderful square magnets, 10 x 10 x 2 cm or so. I was facing a dilemma: on one hand, the founder of Czechoslovakia Prof Thomas Garrigue Masaryk taught us "don't be afraid and don't steal". On the other hand, the magnets were wonderful and I was a curious kid.

A few times, my curiosity prevailed over Masaryk. By taking a few magnets, I was helping to disassembly the communist regime – some four years before I became a full-time dissident.