Monday, October 31, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Palestine accepted to UNESCO

Palestine just became a member of the UNESCO, the educational, scientific, and cultural (ESC) branch of the United Nations. The children have prepared a song for their colleagues in the organization, to show how nicely they are being educated in Palestine:

I have included this song because it has some catchy music but the content is just horrific. While Israel has become a semi-member of CERN (likely to be a full member soon) and is contributing in numerous ways, the Palestinians are optimizing the ways to radicalize and sacrifice their children for the cult of terror.

7 billion people: far from the upper limit

According to the TRF census, the world population reached 7 billion five minutes ago.

Well, it could also take place several months ago or it will take place in several months in the future because the error with which we actually know the world population doesn't allow us to determine the exact day: the demographers just decided to claim it was today. Correct me if I am wrong but I am confident that the uncertainty with which we know the world population is at least tens of millions of people.

Most of the population growth took place in the poor world where people don't expect too high living standards for their sons and daughters so they're not afraid to produce them en masse. In fact, a fast reproduction which is hardwired in our instincts is a weapon to fight against the greatest misery they can imagine (while many of us can't), namely extinction.

In the rich world, the population growth is small if not negative, proving that the wealth is a disease. The recent recession has surely returned some health to the society and if God gives, we will get another dose soon. :-)

More seriously, we should think whether the disproportionately higher growth in the poor world is a problem. It's been always "illogical" in some sense but we have learned to understand that a high population in the poor world doesn't really threaten the rich world (it only threatens the preconceptions of the racists on one side and the egalitarian dogmas of the far left-wingers on the other side because this growth asymmetry surely enhances the concentration of the capital); the would-be rich rising powers (such as Iran) that are sufficiently poor in spirit are a greater threat. We have tried to help the poor world to become rich as well; it has only partially worked and the best results are obtained if the poor world helps itself, by introducing some basic infrastructure, capitalism, and incentives that encourage people to produce wealth.

On the other hand, I think that if the rich countries decided that they want to boost their population growth, it would be trivial to impose policies that would achieve this goal. I don't think that the government should intervene into such matters in normal circumstances such as those we see today; on the other hand, if you allowed such interventions, it would be rather trivial to accelerate the growth. There is nothing such as the "inevitable decrease of the Western population".

In this text, I primarily want to argue against the Malthusian and environmentalist pseudoscientific ideas claiming that 7 billion is close to the maximum that the Earth may feed or something like that. The people who are claiming similar things haven't learned a byte from the history, especially not from the failures of their forecasting predecessors. The population has been greater than what the living people could have remembered pretty much at every moment in the last 70,000 years, to mention a random number. Because of that, the population could look "highly above the average" to everyone.

Sunday, October 30, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

BEST, Judith Curry: unbelievably flat temperatures for 10 years

Curry urges people to talk about Muller's new ClimateGate

In an interview for The Daily Mail (U.K.), Judith Curry – the chair of climatology at GeorgiaTech, a research member of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature team, and a human face of the contemporary mainstream climate science – has rightfully criticized her colleague Richard Muller of Berkeley for deducing invalid if not deliberately dishonest conclusions out of the work by BEST.

It is not true, she emphasizes, that the basis for climate skepticism has been shaken by the BEST data. She must be praised for admitting this self-evident fact. But she goes well beyond this simple observation: Richard Muller is hiding the decline – namely the decline of the warming rate in the recent decade – and his behavior may be viewed as the start of another ClimateGate. (I am not adding numbers because I don't want to irritate people who have used the term "ClimateGate II" for various things in recent two years: get real, folks, none of them could really compare with "the" ClimateGate.)

Her claim is that the best BEST graphs pretty much show that the global warming has stopped. Now, we must be careful about such simplified slogans.

Global warming has surely stopped in the sense that the warming rate obtained by linear regression since 1998 or since 2001 has been zero or negative, at least according to some teams (and near-zero according to all of them) – one of millions of facts that are inconvenient for the hardcore alarmists. However, we can't say that "global warming has stopped" if this sentence is meant to be a prediction for the future. We don't know what will happen in the future. In fact, we know for sure that many things will happen in the future. There will be periods of warming, periods of cooling, and so on. You surely know what I mean. The battle of oversimplified slogans is as meaningless as the idea that nothing will change in the future or the idea that there is only "one moment in the future" or the idea that the future rates will be identical to the rates in some particular period in the past. None of those bold statements is right.

However, the article in The Daily Mail goes well beyond these simple-minded "climate wars". It actually shows interesting graphs produced by BEST.

Saturday, October 29, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

WUWT, Forbes, Wired keep on pushing cold fusion pseudoscience

In August, I discussed cold fusion claims by Andrea Rossi, a guy who was apparently found guilty of tax fraud and environmental crimes in the 1990s (his now-defunct company, Petroldragon, claimed to produce oil out of garbage) and served time in prison (see also details as interpreted by Rossi himself).

There are no new scientific data or evidence that would be given to us so I can't discuss any new science here, either. All people who want to assure themselves that these claims are completely nonsensical from a scientific viewpoint are urged to read my blog entry from August; nothing has changed (and, most likely, nothing will change) about its validity.

Climate alarmists as numerologists

Harold Camping calculated May 21st, 2011 as the date of the rapture (by the way, it should have another phase in this very month). Arthur Eddington "has" related all important parameters of the Universe to the inverse fine structure constant – which he thought to be 136 rather than 137.036. Alejandro Rivero is one of his numerous modern followers.

Numerology is the would-be scientific research of hypothetical relationships between "important numbers" and events in the complex world or the everyday life. This very definition conveys the message that such reasoning is usually irrational; I have discussed these matters 3 years ago in Excitement about numerical coincidences.

Complex quantities in the real world don't have a good reason to be described by "simple numbers" such as integers (if they're a priori real). Moreover, the circumstantial evidence that numerologists possess is usually extremely weak: they may "match" two or three digits which is just too little for a sensible person to get excited. However, when you happen to match six digits such as 196884 in the case of monstrous moonshine, there is some marginal reason to be open-minded. Indeed, in this case, the number appeared in the expansion of the \(j\)-function, a one-to-one map of the fundamental domain of the \(SL(2,Z)\) group to the sphere,
\[ j(\tau) = 1/q + 744 + 196884 q + 21493760 q^2 + ... \] and the dimension of the Griess algebra, 196884 (the smallest nontrivial representation of the Monster group is the 196883-dimensional Griess algebra stripped of the single invariant "direction of real numbers").

Friday, October 28, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

CMS: 2.5-sigma hint of R-parity-violating SUSY

The suggested model could be consistent with a sub-GeV or perhaps 5-10 GeV gravitino dark matter candidate!

Yesterday I discussed a CMS paper on multilepton SUSY searches.

It's Friday and we may officially read another paper on a very similar topic that also clarifies some comments about multilepton events that Matt Strassler started a few weeks ago:

Search for Anomalous Production of Multilepton Events and R-Parity-Violating Supersymmetry in \(\sqrt{s} = 7 \,{\rm TeV} \,\,\, pp\) Collisions (PDF)
If you remember our discussion yesterday, the excesses of multileptons events were ultimately seen as less-than-2-sigma deviations. But this is so Thursday! :-)

Thursday, October 27, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

D-branes' fields are made out of open strings

Nikolaj Kunst asked:

As I understand it from the threads I read, D-branes are viewed as somewhat secondary to strings: If I know what all the open strings do, then I know what the D-branes do as well. But if the D-brane is a "big" and higherdimensional object, then there should also be a part of its surface, which is not covered by strings ending there.

Why or how is the whole thing still characterized by the strings? Do the moving string ends drag the D-branes with them? Is there something like a Lagrangian and dynamical rules for the D-branes alone? Do I only need the D-brane after quantization and/or is there a classical concept of it? In the former case, does a classical limit of a D-brane and an effective action for it make sense? What is the precise reason one doesn't write down Lagrangians for non-point particle/non-string/non-field quantities?
L.M. answers:

Much like in the case of the spacetime itself, you may write low-energy effective quantum field theories for D-branes. The most popular effective action for a D-brane that one encounters in the literature is a non-linear generalization of Yang-Mills theory known as the Dirac-Born-Infeld action which is also coupled to extra scalars, and so on. It describes essentially everything at long distances, regardless of the shape of the D-brane, as long as the curvature is low etc.

\[ S_p = -T_p \int_{\mathcal{M}_{p+1}}\!\!\!\!\!d^{p+1}\xi\, e^{-\Phi} \sqrt{ \det ( G_{ab} + B_{ab} + 2\pi\alpha' F_{ab} ) } \] Well, this simple action with the induced metric \(G_{ab}\) already depends on the transverse coordinates as well (and while doing so, it mostly generalizes the Nambu-Goto action) but one should also add the fermionic superpartners if any.

CMS: observations are "mostly consistent" with SM

Update: See the March 2012 update of this article based on 4.7/fb
Multilepton SUSY search leads to upper limits 1-1.5 sigma weaker than expected

The new paper by the CMS collaboration on
Multileptonic SUSY searches (PDF)
has been made available to the inhabitants of Planet Earth. We've been used to very clear exclusions of new physics by the LHC. There were often modest deficits of events or perfect matches, with 2-sigma excesses already being a rarity. That's why so far, the abstracts of papers have been unconditionally saying that new limits were imposed, particular models were excluded, and people openly or secretly hoping for new physics behind the corner (your humble correspondent belongs to the "closet" group here) were matricized.

(This verb is a new one and its meaning may be understood once you realize how some people have renamed screwing string theory.)

Slovakia scores opt-out from Greek aid boost

EU leaders agreed to trade the acute problems for bigger chronic ones

Around 3 a.m. in the morning, the European politicians have agreed to boost the "eurowall" EFSF fund to something like €1 trillion and to demand that banks raise some extra capital, to reach 9% for the core Tier 1 capital ratio. About one-half of the Greek debt to the private subjects (1/2 of €200 billion) will be erased in a controlled default procedure; the debt to official public institutions such as the IMF (all of additional €150 billion) won't be reduced. So the debt will only decrease by €100 billion. Slovakia managed to avoid any further payments to Greece.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Nokia Lumia, the first real Windows phone

I wouldn't normally comment on random products such as this mobile phone but the name of it makes it marginally justified. ;-)

EU carbon allowances dropped by 40+ percent since May

Some TRF readers are surely investors so they have noticed some motion in prices in recent months, mostly due to the Greek hysteria. Some stocks went down by 20% in a few months although others, including the U.S. stocks, have almost returned where they have been.

If you think that those drops are significant, you should notice that some "commodities" have dropped more violently, obviously not only because of Greece. If you look at PointCarbon.COM, you will see a largely decreasing graph for the price of EUA, the main European Union allowances, that was fluctuating around €10 per ton of CO2 in October (the price of sCER is about €7: I don't understand what prevents people from converting one "carbon currency" to the other and earning €3 per ton along the way).

As Reuters noted yesterday, this represents the drop of more than 40 percent since the end of May: the prices got multiplied by a number smaller than 0.6, no kidding.

How to tell the people that there's no Higgs

In July 2011, we have learned that the boss of CERN forbade his employees to interpret the results of the CLOUD experiment, the most significant excursion of the famed European laboratory to the climate science.

He said that the implications of this €10 million climate experiment for the climate shouldn't be publicly talked about because climatology has become political.

Too bad that Mr Heuer wasn't equally able to prevent other scientists from talking about (and usually, out-of-control hyping of) hypothetical climatic effects of CO2 and its claimed implications for policymaking. If he were able to achieve this goal, I wouldn't be justified to say that Mr Heuer is an immoral proponent of double standards and a suppressor of basic academic freedoms.

It turns out that the thinking how to spin things – and how to invent tricky P.R. games – apparently belongs to the list of main activities of the current postmodern CERN leadership. If you open CERN Council News from the 160th (restricted) session on September 15th, 2011 (the URL of the page contains the word "governance"), you will find a rather incredible title of a report:

Report on: The scientific significance of the possible exclusion of the SM Higgs boson in the mass range 114-600 GeV and how it should be best communicated (full text)
Well, if that happens (and just to be sure, I have made bets that the Higgs will be found and I guess we won't wait for too long), it should best be communicated by telling the truth whatever the exact truth will be. Obviously, this can't be their answer because if this were the case, the answer to the question "how it should be best communicated" wouldn't be called a "report" but rather a "sentence" or "one noun" (the truth).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Brian Greene's new TV show on your iDevice now

Your iGadget may show you "The Fabric of the Cosmos" acausally, 1 week before it is released

I have some great news for the owners of iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches. As soon as now, you may watch the first of the four episodes of Brian Greene's new PBS/NOVA TV show called "The Fabric Of The Cosmos", much like his second major popular book. The only thing you need is a free app called PBS.

Once you launch it, you will be able to start the 53-minute video by one or two iClicks or iSwipes or whatever iMotion you will have to iPerform.

Aurora in Michigan

In November 1917, Aurora ignited the October revolution in Russia.

Its namesake seen yesterday in most of Michigan has been more spectacular but it didn't lead to any catastrophe.

Scientific explanation as a compression of information

Experimental physicists are collecting new information all the time. However, for physics not to degenerate into botany, physicists must do something beyond the mindless memorization of a constantly increasing body of empirical information.

They must also work hard to make sense out of it. They must explain the patterns they have seen. When they do so correctly, their explanations may not only account for the observations and patterns that have been seen in the past but also for those that will be seen in the future: successful explanations of the data from the past are also able to predict things about the future. This often allows to test theories; whenever a test succeed, our belief in a theory goes up. When a sharp test fails, the theory is excluded. A physicist whose memory is finite, if not small, may nevertheless become capable of explaining gigantic amounts of data.

Explanations in physics (and maybe all of science), from the straightforward phenomenological interpolation of points in a graph we have just measured to the most abstract examples of unification of physical theories, may be viewed as a special example of compression of information which is the main goal of explanations in science.

Monday, October 24, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Why I don't quite agree with Tom Banks on eternal inflation

My former PhD adviser Tom Banks (Rutgers/UCSC) wrote a guest blog for the Cosmic Variance,

Guest Post: Tom Banks Contra Eternal Inflation
in which he presents arguments against eternal inflation and promotes his holographic theory of everything, "HST". Tom is undoubtedly an out-of-the-box thinker. After all, this is also the main reason why your humble correspondent, a former undergraduate student from a country largely invisible on the map of modern physics research, has spent 10 years (1997-2007) in the U.S., something that I have never planned or dreamed about, after Tom Banks became the world's #1 person who liked my papers on Matrix theory posted to the arXiv, including one that started screwing string theory (often misnamed as "matrix string theory" these days).

Just to be sure, I have never had substantial political problems as a grad student at Rutgers (and not even as a fellow at Harvard); I surely don't count an irrelevant feminist hysterical outburst of Eva Silverstein after she learned from me that the average number of neurons in a female brain is 5-15% lower than that of an average male brain as a problem. When Tom Banks would give me one of the stupid petitions circulating among the left-wing Academia – for example, I remember one that was trying to harass John Ashcroft for no good reason – and I told him that I really had nothing in common with the petitioners' values, he would immediately stop.

He has done many things for me and one could talk about some amusing stories from the filming. But instead, we will look at Tom's long guest blog presented to the world via Sean Carroll. First, in order to introduce a photograph (most TRF blog entries should have a picture near the top), let us return to 1999.

TASI '99, group photo

In Spring 1999, we spent a month in Boulder, Colorado – much like every year, some high-energy physics grad students were making hikes to the beautiful Rocky Mountains and listening to lots of talks on string theory and related subjects. You may find your humble correspondent near the lower right corner. If you have complaints about my shorts or something like that, you're just like Nadiya Tkachuk, third from the left at the bottom. ;-)

You will find lots of other well-known people (mentioned on TRF or elsewhere) over there, too. Tom Banks is near the middle top and Sean Carroll is on the left upper side from him. Michael Peskin and Veronika Hubený are right above me and you may also locate lots of other people you may have heard of, including Natalia Saulina, Shamit Kachru, Eva Silverstein, Matt Headrick, Mark Van Raamsdonk, and so on, and so on (sorry if I skipped exactly you: it wasn't deliberate).

SciAm: CIA trying to keep global warming top-secret

How would you re-energize a dying pseudoscientific fad that almost no one wants to consider seriously anymore?

Maybe you would want to present it as a "banned fruit" that people will be encouraged to study in their free time. David Biello of the "Scientific" American has invented an ingenious strategy that made me LOL explosively enough to share the excitement with you. According to this article,

Why Is the CIA Keeping Climate Change Secret?
"The Central Intelligence Agency is working on climate change, but you'd never know it." I've copied the subtitle, no kidding. So their strategy is to make their "work on climate change" classified so that no one learns about climate change. And indeed, the hot secret about climate change is so secret that you can't learn about it anywhere. Except for 24,000 preposterous articles listed via Google News every month, of course.

You just can't avoid laughter if you hear a theory that the CIA is trying to keep climate change in secret, can you? How does the conspiracy theorist whacko's idea about the "CIA's work on climate change" look like? Maybe it's like this one:

The agents are surely trying to help Michael Mann to hide the results from the public that the global warming is even worse than previously thought – the American public is surely completely unprepared to hear that the climate change catastrophe will be even worse than previously thought. That's why we have never ever heard that climate change is worse than previously thought and why Michael Mann only talks calmly about climate change, as a genuine skeptic.

Sunday, October 23, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Climate change deniers will drown before Florida

The newest scientific research of the consensus scientists has determined that global warming will wash away climate deniers in Florida, before the septic tanks will fail:

Sea levels will rise, washing away climate deniers (The Miami Herald)
This is their real title; I didn't make it up. The lead researcher of the Florida Atlantic University-affiliated study described the details of the horrifying death of Florida predicted by the holy prophet, Al Gore. He is visibly excited by the possibility that the number of climate skeptics could drop once Florida ceases to exist.

This scientist, Dr Barry Heydrich, insisted that once he began to give talks at schools together with eight other prominent colleagues (see the picture), deniers became a "diminishing presence". ;-)

Saturday, October 22, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Why Penrose is one of many crackpots when it comes to inflation

When talking about cosmic inflation, Roger Penrose and many others display a complete lack of understanding of the principles of rational reasoning

Sean Carroll discusses cosmic inflation, especially the eternal one. In the context of cosmology, Carroll is a semi-confused person. Everything he was taught at the university, wasn't able to forget, and hadn't time to "independently" revisit is right; everything he has added or modified to this background is pure nonsense.

In this text, I want to sketch what cosmic inflation is; why it explains what it explains; and why all the criticisms claiming that it doesn't explain those things are symptoms of a critics' fatal brain dysfunction. This doesn't prove that inflation is right; I am just saying that all existing criticisms of it are worthless and nonsensical. If the critics were using their logic consistently, this dysfunction would prevent them from understanding any scientific or rational explanation of anything in science and in the everyday life as well.

CMS sees a trijet and nonajet excess, too

On Thursday, I mentioned a general excess of trilepton events observed by the CMS Collaboration. It may be fair to mention that I realized once again that besides three leptons, the CMS also sees some excess in events with three jets and nine jets.

Yesterday in Berkeley (LHC SUSY Search 2011), Eva Halkiadakis of CMS showed a graph that is pretty old by now but many of us haven't seen it yet.

It uses just the 2010 data, 35.1 inverse picobarns, but it shows an apparent trijet resonance which exceeds 2 sigma between 350 and 410 GeV. The center is around 380 or 390 GeV and reaches 2.8 standard deviations. However, with the look-elsewhere correction included, the statistical significance is just 1.9 sigma.

Friday, October 21, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Berkeley Earth recalculates global mean temperature, gets misinterpreted

It is not true that the Berkeley group has found relevant evidence for the core questions in the AGW debate

Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature led by Richard Muller – a top Berkeley physics teacher and the PhD adviser of the fresh physics Nobel prize winner Saul Perlmutter, among others – has recalculated the evolution of the global mean temperature in the most recent two centuries or so, qualitatively confirmed the previous graphs, and got dishonestly reported in the media.

Some people including Marc Morano of Climate Depot were predicting that this outcome was the very point of the project. They were worried about the positive treatment that Richard Muller received at various places including this blog and they were proved right. Today, it really does look like all the people in the "BEST" project were just puppets used in a bigger, pre-planned propaganda game.

Lord Monckton a target of a silly satirist

I hope that Lord Christopher Monckton will ultimately forgive me but the prank above was so simple and so stupid that I simply had to laugh. ;-) The idea is simple: Lord Monckton is, after Borat and others, another comic character performed by Sascha Baron Cohen.

European GPS: Galileo to be launched today

After a 24-hour delay, the European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA) will send its satellites to outer space.

Thursday, October 20, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Muammar Gaddafi: 1942-2011

One of the world's most eccentric leaders Muammar Gaddafi was finally killed in his hometown: graphic video. The civil war in Libya may be finally ending: I don't know whether its future will be rosier than the past.

CMS sees SUSY-like trilepton excesses

Update: See also trijet and nonajet events at CMS...

Update: See also: Multileptons are only "mostly consistent" with the SM: CMS

Update: See also Searches for R-parity-violating multileptons at CMS...
While we're patiently waiting for the official announcement of the discovery of the Higgs boson(s) by the LHC, and your humble correspondent is determined not to leak the information about the boson(s) and the mass(es) in advance, we shouldn't forget that the LHC may discover something completely different and much more original at every moment.

CMS detector inside the LHC at CERN

Matt Strassler has just pointed out that such a thing could be occurring right now:
Something Curious at the Large Hadron Collider
According to a very fresh Fedor Ratnikov's talk at the LHC SUSY conference at Berkeley, their trilepton group within the CMS collaboration may have seen more-than-three-sigma excesses in several channels involving three leptons. Ratnikov works in Karlsruhe, Germany and their trilepton CMS colleagues also include experimenters from my graduate Alma Mater, Rutgers University.

Why is there an action and what it isn't

This is an informal continuation of the text

Why is there energy and what it isn't?
One month ago, I discussed the notion of energy and the Hamiltonian. There is a concept similar to the Hamiltonian in mechanics (and the rest of physics) which is called the Lagrangian. To make things funny, the Lagrangian is an essential player in the principle of stationary action whose well-defined form is known as Hamilton's principle. William Rowan Hamilton has clearly contributed to both ways how to look at mechanics (and the rest of physics).

In mechanics, the Hamiltonian \(H\) and the Lagrangian \(L\) are seemingly very similar objects. They may be constructed out of the kinetic energy \(T\) and the potential energy \(V\) as follows:
\(H = T+U, \qquad L = T-U \)
They differ just by the sign! However, you shouldn't overinterpret this similarity. What's important about the Hamiltonian and the Lagrangian are the principles in which they are featured and the principles are very different and employ the Lagrangian and the Hamiltonian in very different ways. In the article about energy, you should have understood that the energy is defined as the quantity that is conserved whenever the laws of physics (of the type we know) are invariant under translations in time. Particular formulae for energy such as \(H=T+U\) in mechanics are just particular examples of physical systems and their dynamical rules.

In the previous article, we have seen that the energy – or the Hamiltonian – is sufficient for formulating all the differential equations that govern the evolution of any realistic physical system in time. In the quantum context, the evolution of other observable quantities is governed by the commutators with the Hamiltonian.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Would global warming shrink organisms?

In recent days, the media have been full of proclamations  by some people from the National University of Singapore. They say that a warmer planet means smaller (individual) animals and smaller (individual) plants will be living on our planet.

The polar bears are the most important examples of species that are supposed to shrink. A special disclaimer for RealClimate.ORG readers: this polar bear is small because it is a baby, a cub called Knut (who has already died).

They reached the conclusion after they "studied fossils". We don't learn much more about their methodology that would go beyond this irrational statement. Take, for example, this article in The Washington Post. We are told that the organisms are shrinking because the fossils say so. And we are also told that as the temperatures get higher, the weather gets drier.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Sponsors of Current TV pay $200 per viewer

Olbermann and Gore are symbols of a complete failure in the market combined with dirty sources of money linked to corruption and government regulation and subsidies

BNET makes a very interesting point about the economy of America's most unsuccessful TV network, Al Gore's "Current TV".

The obnoxious owner of the network has hired one of the most unpleasant people who have ever appeared on TV. This jerk's name is Keith Olbermann. It's clear that if the society were not distorted in various pathological ways and if this man were earning his money by educating, informing, or entertaining the viewers, he would be abruptly begging for pennies under the bridge; I am sure that even most left-wing viewers must be allergic to this not-so-gentle-man. However, the scumbag who controls "Current TV" hired Keith Olberman and pays him a modest compensation of $10 million per year.

MINOS: 3 fertile neutrinos seem to be enough

CERN and Gran Sasso cooperatively investigate the properties of neutrinos by sending muon neutrinos from decaying pions and kaons in the first place and detecting them in the other place.

The OPERA experiment recently became famous or notorious for their conclusion that the neutrinos apparently propagate more quickly than by the speed of light but the original purpose of OPERA was something else than sensational claims "we could punch Albert, baby": it was meant to measure neutrino oscillations and the production of tau neutrinos through these oscillations. And at least one tau neutrino has been seen, indeed. ;-)

Can America compete? The distance between Gran Sasso and CERN is 730 km. However, America has something longer, the MINOS experiment. The Fermilab has been sending muon neutrinos to the Soudan Underground Lab in Minnesota. What's the distance?

At this moment, TRF readers who live in the Obamaland (and one-half of them are) are anxious. They have lost the leadership position in accelerators so how is MINOS doing? Don't worry, the relevant distance in the U.S. is 735 km and beats the European one. ;-)

Sunday, October 16, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

New York Times on the disappearance of AGW hysteria

Elizabeth Rosenthal has complained about the evaporation of the Climate Cataclysm Hysteria in the United States:

Where Did Global Warming Go? (NYT)
She argues that the United States have become an "exception" among the world's nations because the fear index is no longer too high. Well, I assure all Americans that in my homeland, the global warming hysteria has never caught on and the percentage of the Czechs who believe that there's a climate problem is about 1/2 of the percentage in the U.S.

There's pretty much a consensus across the political spectrum – and especially in the public – that global warming alarmism is a fashionable disease that plagues the brains of pampered and brainwashed people in the West who are either champions of a statist political ideology or their own profits, or those who want to be "hip", who are naive and detached from reality, and who don't understand how it easy it is to hijack a part of the scientific institutions and turn them into tools of shameless and cynical political propaganda.

Saturday, October 15, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Should different disciplines require different confidence levels?

Sascha Vongehr discusses the contrast between the scientific community's attitude to OPERA's superluminal neutrinos and climate change. Very shaky observational results in the latter case are being sold as a reason for certainty (and perhaps a reason to ostracize or even criminalize the skeptics); amazingly strong experimental results in the former situation are being ignored "just" because they contradict a theory by Albert Einstein.

This topic was previously discussed on this blog where your right-wing humble correspondent ironically chose a letter sent to the Washington Post. Equally ironically, left-wing correspondent Sascha Vongehr chooses a text by Robert Bryce in the Wall Street Journal. But the point is the same: the U.S. newspapers say that different disciplines shouldn't have these remarkably different approaches.

Vongehr effectively agrees with Bryce and says "I told you so." His main point is that it looks – and is – manifestly inconsistent if 2-sigma pieces of evidence (5% or one-in-twenty statistical chance of error) are viewed as the "holy irrefutable proofs" that are supposed to silence all doubters in one discipline while 6-sigma confirmations of previous results (OPERA confirming MINOS' superluminal neutrino claims: six sigma corresponds to one part in half a billion chance of a false positive) are viewed as claims that should be ignored in another discipline.

Aside from the high confidence level of the OPERA experiment (6 sigma) and the fact it's not really for the first time, Vongehr also mentions the suggestive graph by Tamburini.

NPR: polar bear investigation resumes

Just a short comment:

The National Public Radio informs that Jeffrey Gleason, a collaborator of Charles Monnett, will be interviewed in the continuing investigation of scientific misconduct possibly surrounding papers about polar bears:

Polar Bear Researcher To Be Re-Interviewed By Feds
The investigators have asked or will ask about a fuzzy picture they took, photoshopping procedures that were made, and particular actions that were performed to hype the paper by Al Gore and the media.

Friday, October 14, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Tony Abbott: buyers of carbon credits are throwing money out of the window

Coffee, chocolate destroyed by AGW

The lower chamber of the Australian Parliament approved the AUD $22.90 per ton of CO2 carbon tax. Given the current distribution of forces, the looming approval in the Senate seems to be a formality.

Julia Gillard celebrates the "Yes" vote with Kevin Rudd. The following bedroom celebrations with Bob Brown are not shown on the picture.

Tony Abbott told the Australian businesses that they shouldn't buy any carbon indulgences because his party will rescind this Ponzi scheme on Day 1. Not too shockingly, champions of the fee called Abbott's proclamation "irresponsible".

I think that it's good that politicians are already working on future rules of business that will apply once Julia Gillard et al. is sent away from the system and her fraudulent policies are abolished. The message is that whoever actively bets on the success of this Ponzi scheme will lose his money.

Avira: update error

You may have received the following error after you downloaded the 2012 Avira antivirus software, just like I did, and tried to upgrade it or update the virus definitions for the first time:

CMS, ATLAS delivered 5 inverse femtobarns

As you can see in the right sidebar, each of the major LHC detectors, LHC and ATLAS, has delivered 5 inverse femtobarns of collisions (which includes 0.04/fb from 2010: not too important at this point).

About 90% of the delivered collisions are recorded. It means that each team may work with 4.5/fb of data by now (which will surpass 5/fb in a week as well) and in combination, the "Big Two" may have lots of fun while analyzing 9 inverse femtobarns of data as of now.

You may translate 5/fb to the number of collisions: it is about 350 trillion collisions because 1/fb corresponds to 70 trillion collisions. The latter proposition is equivalent to the fact that the proton-proton cross section is 70 millibarns – which is the same thing (if you rename the unit) as 70 trillion per inverse femtobarn. Recall that milli- is \(10^{-3}\) and [divided by] femto- is \(10^{-15}\) so milli- gives you a trillion, or \(10^{12}\), per inverse femto-.

(70 millibarns is the cross section removing the long-range electromagnetic processes which just bend the protons a little bit and emit soft photons: their total cross section is infinite because electromagnetism is a long-range force. I can't be too accurate in describing which processes are included in 70 mb and which are not.)

It is a good opportunity to recall what is the expected significance of the accumulated evidence for the Standard Model Higgs boson. Look at the full blue-green bright line above which is 5/fb at 7 TeV. Let's choose four benchmarks and write the significance that should be obtained by now by a single detector. At 4.5/fb, we have:

  • 119 GeV: 3 sigma
  • 144 GeV: 6 sigma
  • 240 GeV: 4.5 sigma
  • 500 GeV: 4 sigma
These numbers are similar (but not identical) for the lighter Higgs boson in a two-Higgs-doublet supersymmetric model because the lighter Higgs boson behaves similarly to the Standard Model Higgs boson. Don't forget that the significance levels are mean values themselves; depending on whether "chance" increased or decreased the number of Higgsful and Higgs-like events, the observed significance may be higher or lower than the figures above.

Thursday, October 13, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Physics Today: quantum mechanical wars

A new issue of Physics Today (which is affiliated with the American Physical Society) offers some texts about black hole mergers, lab safety standards for students, and all kinds of things such as nanoscale electrochemistry, nanowires, analyses of kidney diseases, and dozens of other things.

However, as you may expect, I will pick two topics, especially the second one. ;-)

Two of the texts are promoting the global warming propaganda in new, unusual ways, and I admit that I haven't read the whole texts and I don't even recommend you to do so unless your nerves may really afford it.

A Steven Sherwood claims that the global warming fearmongers are revolutionaries just like Galileo or Copernicus and the skeptical scientific community and the skeptical public just isn't able to appreciate their revolutionary findings.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

iOS 5, iCloud, AirPort utility etc.

Steve Jobs left a four-year plan in Apple so the company should kind of flourish at least until 2015.

A month ago, media trusted Al Gore, one of the least trustworthy people on this blue planet, who said that there would be several new iPhone models coming last week. It turned out to be a single modestly named iPhone 4S but the actual content behind this modest name is getting great ratings so far.

A part of the success boils down to iOS 5 which was released several seconds ago and I am already installing it on my iPod Touch. You have to update your iTunes to version 10.5 before you start.

Majorana-Tamburini-Laveder superluminal neutrinos

Tommaso Dorigo invited Fabrizio Tamburini, a theorist behind questionable but eye-catching explanations, to write a guest blog:

Tamburini: Neutrinos Are Majorana Particles, Relativity Is OK (Science 2.0)

Apparent Lorentz violation with superluminal Majorana neutrinos at OPERA? (Tamburini-Laveder arXiv preprint)
The main "commercial" as well as "summary" of the work is the following intriguing graph:

To agree with many of these bizarre experimental claims, the authors follow the mysteriously disappeared Ettore Majorana who added an equally mysterious imaginary mass term to the Dirac-Majorana equation for the neutrino in 1932.

European fiscal communism destroys Slovak government

I watched about 10 hours of proceedings in the Slovak Parliament yesterday – a TV marathon I haven't tried for quite some time. The lawmakers were deciding about a vote – the expansion of the EFSF, a huge and growing European fund meant for the Europeans to share their wallets.

Ms Iveta Radičová and Ms Angela Merkel, the Slovak style vs the DDR not-so-style. ;-) By the way, Ukrainian ex-leader Ms Yulia Tymoshenko was sentenced to 7 years in prison in a trial (involving some relatively ludicrous amounts of money) that is probably illegitimate and the Czech Republic doesn't recognize its results.

The afternoon hasn't made me angry at any point and the result was good and expected (the EFSF was rejected, receiving just 55 votes out of 150). Nevertheless, it's also clear by now what the following development is going to be (the socialists will help the law to pass, just like I predicted) and I am saddened. It was the last droplet I saw and I actively want the Czech Republic to leave the EU now.

Monday, October 10, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Who ate the Higgs?

Reblog from U.S. LHC blogs (Flip Tanedo)

While one of the priorities of the LHC is to find the Higgs boson (also see Aidan’s rebuttal), it should also be pointed out that we have already discovered three quarters of the Standard Model Higgs. Just don’t expect to hear about this in the New York Times; this isn’t breaking news—we’ve known about this “three quarters” of a Higgs for nearly two decades now. In fact, these three quarters of a Higgs live inside the belly of two beasts: the Z and W bosons!

What the heck do I mean by all this? What is “three quarters” of a particle? What does the Higgs have to do with the Z and the W? And to what extent have we or haven’t we discovered the Higgs boson? These are all part a subtle piece of the Standard Model story that we are now in an excellent position to decipher.

What we will find is that there’s not one, but four Higgs bosons in the Standard Model. Three of them are absorbed—or eaten—by the Z and W bosons when they become massive. (This is very different from the way matter particles obtain mass!) In this sense the discovery of massive Z and W bosons was also a discovery of these three Higgs bosons. The fourth Higgs is what we call the Higgs boson and its discovery (or non-discovery) will reveal crucial details about the limits of the Standard Model.

LHSee for Google Android

Squeeze 27 km of tunnels filled with superconducting magnets into your pocket

If you own a mobile phone with Google Android and if you are a TRF reader – and you just apparently satisfied the latter condition, at least barely – you should definitely download and try this app:

LHSee by Alan Barr and Christopher Boddy (Android Market)
The know-how behind the app was made serious by experts from Oxford and CERN.

If you're going to play with this app for more than 15 minutes, chances are that you will understand the LHC's detectors more than I do – even if you're not a particle physicist! In that case, you should tell us what you have learned.

Slovakia will vote on EFSF tomorrow

The expansion of EFSF, a European fund introducing an even larger dose of the financial communism into the eurozone, has been okayed by all eurozone countries except for Malta and Slovakia.

Horehronie, a Slovak song

It's generally believed that Slovakia is a more genuine obstacle not only because Malta is 10 times smaller; Malta is simply expected to approve the policy tonight. (Update 8:52 pm: procedural complaints before unanimous authorization.) Our Slovak brothers will vote tomorrow. EFSF is generally known as "euroval" which may be kind of translated as the "eurobarrier" or "eurowall". ;-)

Cold U.K. winters from low solar activity

Various media such as BBC, Reuters, Australia's ABC, The Daily Mail, The Independent, and others admit that the solar activity has an impact on the weather.

In particular, cold British winters in recent years mostly boil down to the lower solar activity we have experienced. More precisely, the fluctuations of the ultraviolet radiation are stronger than people used to think and a lower amount of the UV radiation influences the weather.

Sunday, October 09, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Higgs mass: poll

You may still vote but let me declare the following numbers to be the results of the poll:

The Higgs skeptics received 40% and became the largest group. And yes, I do realize that most of them think that the Higgs will never be found: I am not deaf but they're wrong. ;-)

The 115-119 GeV lightest but not excluded interval got 29%. Also scored 120-129 GeV (12%), 140-145 GeV (6%), 130-139 GeV (4%), 0-114 GeV (3%), and 238-245 GeV (2%). The other options got less than 2%.

At least one of the largest groups had a sensible point but none of them is right if you want to know in advance. ;-)

Saturday, October 08, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Any use for \(F_4\) in hep-th?

Yuji asked: In high energy physics, the use of the classical Lie groups are common place, and in the Grand Unification the use of \(E_{6,7,8}\) is also common place.

In string theory \(G_2\) is sometimes utilized, e.g. the \(G_2\)-holonomy manifolds are used to get 4d \(\mathcal{N}=1\) SUSY from M-theory.

That leaves \(F_4\) from the list of simple Lie groups. Is there any place \(F_4\) is used in any essential way?

Of course there are papers where the dynamics of \(d=4\) \(\mathcal{N}=1\) susy gauge theory with \(F_4\) are studied, as part of the study of all possible gauge groups, but I'm not asking those.

Doubling Czech nuclear energy output

All of German-speaking Europe has decided to leave nuclear energy.

The physics textbooks in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland are going to replace their chapters on the nuclei. The new books will say that "the electrons orbit around a structureless point-like object of charge \(Z\) and mass \(AM\) where \(A\) is an integer. The structureless center was discovered by Ernst Carson Rachelford who said that you shall not mess with it."

This will hopefully prevent curious but politically correct physics students from speculating about possible energy benefits of any conversion of the nuclei.

Dukovany nuclear power plant. Not sure whether someone was improving the colors in a Photoshop but if he did, he did a good job, didn't he? :-)

The Czech Republic is planning to double its production of nuclear energy during the next 20 years. In a fresh article, The Washington Post (or AP) describes some details in this way:

Czechs plan to heavily expand nuclear power, angering anti-nuke neighbors
The article mentions that pretty much everyone in our country whose opinion matters considers nuclear energy to be an efficient, clean, and in some contexts irreplaceable source of energy. Moreover, Czechia has become a kind of role model for the post-socialist Europe. For example, Poland is working on its first nuclear power plant as well (which has already led to some predictable anger in Germany).

Gore lost the Guardian: weather not caused by humans

Al Gore thinks that unpleasant weather events are caused by humans, namely by evil witches who are telepathically connected to the evil Big Oil and who should be burned at stake in a carbon-neutral way waiting to be discovered. Last week, he said that scientists have a "clear proof that climate change is directly responsible for the extreme and devastating floods, storms and droughts that displaced millions of people this year."

Can you actually find a scientist who would be suggesting such a link?

Friday, October 07, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Nobel Peace Prize: feminist quotas

In recent years, we have seen some unfortunate yet eye-catching choices for the Nobel Peace Prize, including Al Gore, Yasser Arafat, and Barack Obama. The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize only continues in 50% of the tradition: the choice is still somewhat unfortunate but the new laureates are not famous in the West.

Kappa-Poincaré algebra

Matt Strassler popularizes the short preprint by Andrew Cohen and Sheldon Glashow who argued that superluminal neutrinos would emit a Čerenkov-like Bremsstrahlung radiation composed of charged lepton pairs which would dramatically influence their behavior.

The first commenter under Matt's article is... well, his name is banned on this blog so don't try to write any of these two obscene words in the comments. He boldly claims that the "second most likely" explanation of the OPERA experiment – after the first most likely explanation that there is some error and the actual speed is not higher than the speed of light – is some kind of "deformation of special relativity without a privileged reference frame".

Thursday, October 06, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Herman Cain to Wall Street commies: blame yourself

Drudge Report promoted an article on NY Daily News:

Herman Cain to Occupy Wall Street protesters: If you're not rich 'blame yourself'
For some time, I didn't know whether Herman Cain, an ex-boss of Godfather's Pizza, was a viable presidential candidate but he obviously is one which means that people who think he's sensible shouldn't be afraid to say so! I am just saying so. ;-)

In the poll associated with the article above, Herman Cain received 70% of votes as a presidential candidate. It's surely not his first victory among the GOP candidates.

Quasicrystals grab 2011 chemistry Nobel prize

The 2011 chemistry Nobel prize goes to Dan Shechtman (Hebrew: דן שכטמן) of Technion, Haifa (born in Tel Aviv), for the discovery of quasicrystals.

I actually think it's cooler physics than the physics behind the 2011 physics Nobel prize. He made the discovery of quasiperiodic crystals (Al-Mn alloys) with a stunning, icosahedral symmetry group in 1982 (while he was working for a kind of patent office, National Bureau of Standards, while his collaborator D.G. worked at the KITP in Santa Barbara) and published the findings in a 4,000-citation 1984 article in Physical Review Letters (not Chemical Review Letters haha: this point will be discussed below) written along with three more co-authors.

For Scandinavian purposes, it may be important that 4 is greater than 3 so 1 is a better approximation of 3 than 4. ;-) But Šechtman really discovered the thing himself in 1982: the 1984 co-authors are mainly the first believers he was able to convert.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

RSS AMSU, Jan-Sep: 2011 second coldest in this century

This text is just a tiny update of what I wrote one month ago and two months ago. The results are almost unchanged. The La Niña odds have considerably strengthened. The ranking according to RSS AMSU is significantly different from the ranking according to UAH AMSU I published in the morning: the two teams began to deviate and our skeptic friends at UAH AMSU show a warming trend while RSS AMSU shows a cooling trend in the last decade.

According to RSS AMSU, the first 9 months were the 2nd coldest January-September period in this century so far (second among 11 candidate years).

Fresh physics Nobelist Schmidt: climate orthodoxy made science less prestigious

When the 2011 physics Nobel prize for supernovae and the cosmological constant was announced, some TRF readers were scared for a second because they thought that one of the winners was Gavin Schmidt, a notorious professional climate fearmonger.

One day later, we are given some tangible evidence that Brian Schmidt is a different person than Gavin Schmidt. ;-)

Having won a rather well-known award, the Australian astrophysicist and winemaker decided that he can finally say 50% of what he thinks about the climate debate – and what many of his colleagues who haven't won the prize (and a ticket to freedom of speech) think as well:

Climate debate diminished standing of science in some quarters: Nobel Prize winner
The climate change debate has diminished the standing of science in some people’s minds, the Nobel prize-winning astrophysicist said today, calling for lawmakers to ensure public policy was informed by evidence-based science.

UAH AMSU, Jan-Sep: 2011 sixth warmest on record

This text is just an update of what I wrote one month ago and two months ago. The results have changed partly because I used UAH AMSU instead of RSS AMSU. The La Niña odds have considerably strengthened. However, the competing years had cooler Septembers than 2011 so this year jumped from 12th to 6th place.

According to UAH AMSU together with Roy Spencer's newest figure which I used instead of RSS AMSU because UAH was faster than RSS this time, the first 9 months made the January-August period of this year 6th warmest on the UAH AMSU satellite record.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Physics Nobel prize rewards supernovae and the C.C.

The 2011 physics Nobel prize goes to Saul Perlmutter (50%), Brian Schmidt (25%), and Adam Riess (25%) for their observations of distant supernovae.

These 1998 (Perlmutter) and 1998 (Schmidt+Riess) observations were important because they revealed that the cosmological constant is positive.

This insight helped to throw fundamental physics to an amazing mess – which it hasn't really left so far – and energized various somewhat pseudoscientific approaches within theoretical physics such as the anthropic principle, something that hundreds of TRF blog entries have been dedicated to. This mess is not necessarily the astronomers' fault; it may still be due to the theorists' inherent stupidity.

What's new @CERN?

Higgs boson, standard model, SUSY and neutrinos

A new 18-minute funny CERN video tries to explain some of these things at the LHC.

Physicists-comedians with French accent are accelerated to 0.00003% of the speed of light; experimenters present the search for the Higgs boson as a search for chemicals in fireworks; John Ellis explains supersymmetry (well, he says a few nice non-explanatory words about it), and so on. They dedicate a minute to the dark matter hunts, not only at the LHC; and investigation of new possible matter-antimatter asymmetries. You may also see some buildings and rooms at CERN.

Monday, October 03, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

EU carbon trading scheme pays for murder of 23 farmers in Honduras

The list of casualties of climate fearmongering is expanding

The story of 20,000 people in Uganda who were made homeless and whose several children were burned at stake was unfortunately not the last report about murders committed by the people who fight against climate change.

Farmers in Aguán, northern Honduras murdered by private militias that were working to reduce the "carbon footprint"

EurActiv brings us sad news about the murder of 23 farmers in Honduras perpetrated by the climate alarmists' private militias:

Carbon credits tarnished by human rights 'disgrace' (EurActiv)

Honduran deaths trigger EU carbon credit clash (The New American, some extra info)

National Post editorial board: The UN’s do-nothing green scheme (National Post)
Honduras, a Central American country, was more well-known for drug production. However, the fraudulent European carbon trading scheme has offered even more money to this country for programs that, according to some of the ETS' pseudoscientific superstitions, reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere which is, according to even more pseudoscientific superstitions, good for the climate.

Bubble of nothing and other catastrophes

We often hear about hypothetical catastrophes that may influence countries, regions, continents, the climate of our blue planet, or the planet as a whole. But physics has seriously studied more severe hypothetical catastrophes, including catastrophes that destroy the whole Universe.

Chicken Littles are too little to think about such matters; one has to be either a Chicken Great or a physicist to do so.

Either all the matter as we know it may be liquidated by the speed of light starting from an epicenter; or the very space may cease to exist as the "nothingness" spreads. This blog entry will be dedicated to these issues.

The eminent late physicists' physicist, Sidney Coleman, was the first pioneer of this "cosmically catastrophic" subdiscipline of high-energy physics. Of course, he was a very creative yet quantitative man so this science is not about whining or calls for action ;-); it's primarily about methods to accurately evaluate the probability that a certain kind of a catastrophe will occur in a given type of a universe.

Sunday, October 02, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Most IPCC coordinating lead authors work for WWF

Donna Laframboise of Men's New Daily (see also No Frakking Consensus) has found a fascinating proof that whatever matters in the IPCC has nothing whatsoever to do with science:

78 names (MND)
She has compared two lists. One of them is a list of scientists hired by the World Wildlife Fund, a huge international ecoterrorist corporation. According to the WWF, these "scientists" work for the WWF to support the claims by "Climate Witnesses".

The other list is a list of authors of the 2007 IPCC report. She found 78 people in the intersection of these two sets.

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