Tuesday, November 29, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Gavin Schmidt on ideal ways to communicate climate science

The data must be as impenetrable as possible

One year ago, a pr*ck named Chris Mooney was inserted as a director into the American Geophysical Union and became responsible for science communication.

Apologies for the picture of the main hero of this blog entry. Because someone wants to learn something about him, other people have to suffer.

Last month, we learned about the first result of Mooney's "work": on behalf of the AGU, he chose the best climate communicator in the world. Who is it? Is it Michael Mann who likes to hide the decline? Heidi Cullen who works on the Nuremberg trials for skeptics? Phil Jones? John Cook who has already won lots of money in the Australian "spit on Archimedes" contest? Al Gore? One of the 3,000 folks across the third world whom Al Gore has trained to be almost as marvelous as Gore himself? Nope!

Chris Mooney decided that the $25,000 award would go to Gavin Schmidt, the main full-time spinner and part-time liar behind George Soros' Real-Enough-To-Be-Pure-Imaginary Climate propagandist blog.

When Andrew Revkin enthusiastically endorsed this outrageous choice five weeks ago, I was stunned and instantly removed him from my list of Facebook contacts. The Climategate 2011 e-mails show that I shouldn't have been surprised at all. One may see several e-mails in which Revkin offers his services and considers what's the best way to produce propaganda that would harm skeptics such as Christy and Singer. "Will you feel better if I will lick the left side or the right side of your r*ctum?" Revkin asked the members of the Hockey Team. Revkin offers his "tongue full of power" especially to Ben Santer who is just planning to beat the crap out of Pat Michaels.

A fun 30-minute interview on these issues with Marc Morano

However, the Climategate 2011 e-mails also show how the second best climate science communicator in the world after Kook John Cook (who just opened a new German server, Kooks-Klimafakten.de), namely Gavin Schmidt, envisions the best possible way to communicate climate science. How do you make it literally accessible to other climatologists, the scientific public, and the public in general? What Steve Milloy has found is pretty hilarious.

Celebrating Grassmann numbers

Off-topic rumor: the LHC will probably only restart at 13 TeV, not 14 TeV, in 2015, after the 2013-2014 break (upgrade).
Hermann Graßmann was born in 1809 as the 3rd child to a math teacher (his father) in Stettin, currently in the Northwestern corner of Poland (Czech: Štětín; much of the city was controlled by Czechoslovakia in 1919-1956, despite the distance, because we cleverly defeated Germany in World War I): his father needed to train integers which are neither powers of primes nor products of two primes so he had to produce at least 12 children.

Hermann became kind of well-known as a linguist. However, this German polymath was also a physicist, neohumanist, general scholar, publisher, and especially mathematician who wasn't appreciated during his life. Even though this man was born more than 200 years ago, some people still misunderstand the nature of his contributions. In particular, the Grassmann numbers were shown to be a part of Nature about 100 years after their discovery in mathematics.

And because they are intrinsically mathematical in character, their relevance for physics
is actually enough to show that the world cannot be classical.

Monday, November 28, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

The Fabric of the Cosmos IV

Here is the link to the final, fourth episode of Brian Greene's new PBS/NOVA documentary:

Universe or Multiverse?
I would say that it is inspired both by Greene's second popular book, The Fabric of the Cosmos, as well as the third major popular book, The Hidden Reality. A few more comments will be written below.

Feynman on QM in 1964

Whenever I want to mention Richard Feynman's attitude to the foundations of quantum mechanics, I typically point to this four-minute interview with an older Feynman. He says that physics at the fundamental quantum level is so fantastically different from anything we have seen before.

There's still a school of thought that doesn't want to believe that those rules are fundamental and wants to find out some mundane things beneath all the phenomena. This effort is due to their deep prejudice, Feynman says, and they will be defeated because Nature's imagination is much greater than Man's. She will never let us relax.

Decades later, those prejudiced people still haven't made any insight about Nature that would go in their preconceived direction but as the human population has dumbed down, it's also true that they have failed to be defeated. This anti-quantum stupidity is at least as alive as it was during Feynman's life.

An 8-minute beginning of the lecture

However, it's also interesting to listen to pretty much the same things that Feynman said in his 1964 Messenger Lectures at Cornell. The degree of constancy of his opinions is remarkable – and one could say that when it comes to topics that rapidly evolved during his later years, this constancy was too much of a good thing.

The \(c\)-theorem probably proved in 4 dimensions

In 1986, Alexander Zamolodchikov of the Soviet Landau Institute – whom I know well from my Rutgers PhD student years more than a decade later – proved the so-called "Zamolodčikov \(c\)-theorem": Wikipedia. You may read the whole paper:

"Irreversibility" of the flux of the renormalization group in a 2D field theory (PDF, full text)
Saša is a hero of two-dimensional conformal (and, more generally, renormalizable) field theories.

What did he prove on those 3 pages? He proved that it's possible to define a generalized number counting "the number of degrees of freedom" \(c\) in such a way that the value of \(c\) always decreases if you extract the "effective theory for longer distances", relatively to the value at shorter distances. In other (experts') words, the function is non-increasing under the renormalization group flow.

The quantity \(c\) had to be defined as a clever function.

Sunday, November 27, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Recent setbacks of the AGW movement

Durban, South Africa will be hosting another annual two-week gathering of the global warming activists and lobbyists. The proceedings will begin tomorrow.

Fortunately, the nations of the world will only pay some extra vacations to these misguided or fraudulent redundant individuals but nothing that would lethally hurt the mankind should be expected from the gathering. As South African business newspapers say, the general expectation is that the meeting will bring no binding agreements: let's hope it's true, they add in an article titled "Climate change ushers in a new age of superstition".

Meanwhile, Canada – the most politically correct country in the Americas – will probably leave the Kyoto protocol next month.

Europe no longer wants to act unilaterally and because others don't want to act, it means that Europe may finally "stop acting" as well. However, that doesn't mean that people haven't paid for the climate hysteria dearly.

Swiss banking giant UBS has calculated the costs of the European emission ponzi scheme. It's being said that the European consumers have "only" paid $287 billion for the existence of the scheme; the impact of the scheme was zero. Well, more precisely, it was negative: in the most recent year, the annual production of the greenhouse gases has jumped by the greatest amount yet. (I don't even have to discuss that any drop, if real, would have no detectable impact on the climate, and even if the influence became slightly detectable sometimes in the future, the influence would be negative.) If you extended the fees from the European Union to the whole world economy, the mankind would have paid something over $2 trillion so far.

Those $287 billion is less than a third of a trillion of dollars so it hasn't killed the Old Continent so far. Still, for this money that's been completely wasted, one could pay most of the giant Greek debt. Alternatively, every single inhabitant of the EU (including babies) could have received an iPad or something along these lines. Imagine what you could do with this particular investment – or hundreds of others. Instead, we have failed to stop the global warming bigots and crooks so all we got are worthless carbon permits. The markets with them is expected to collapse and be phased out in 2012. Let's hope that we will be able to deal with the criminals who have co-created this outrageous wasteful framework to share the fate of their invention.

Saturday, November 26, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Andrea Rossi: pressure and boiling point

No boiling occurs in the "reactor"; numbers match

In June, Swedish server Cornucopia looked at the following 13-minute June 2011 presentation by Andrea Rossi organized for Steven Krivit, a critic of Rossi's cold fusion whose negative attitude could however be just a part of Rossi's theater, a little bit critically and with some updates from TRF, it becomes pretty hilarious. The explanation should be comprehensible to everyone who's been exposed at least to high school physics.

Rossi's comments are so naive that it actually seems plausible to me that he is not realizing the simple mistake. Alternatively, he knows very well what he's doing, trying to earn some money by fraud. Andrea Rossi has claimed that a secret consumer has ordered the devices for $24 million. One may buy lots of chewing gums for that, or whatever you prefer. ;-)

The "reactor" needs some energy from the grid. This point itself is rather bizarre: if it were a real reactor, why would it need any inflow of energy at all? Rossi doesn't offer any answer but he claims that the "reactor" produces much more energy than what it consumes which would still be enough to prove the existence of a new source of energy. And that's why some people unfamiliar with nuclear physics behind fusion are excited.

The Fabric of the Cosmos III

Quantum Leap

Just one link. If you have 53 spare minutes, you may watch the third episode of The Fabric of the Cosmos with Brian Greene on PBS.

The outline of the program below isn't supposed to be pretty or ordered...

It is about quantum mecbanics: quantum computing and bizarre "interpretations" of QM are included. Allan Adams nicely says that quantum mechanics is in a 100% agreement with everything we know. Great, thankfully, Lewin and Lloyd are saying the same thing.

Friday, November 25, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Jones and Mann in Tahiti: and many other e-mails

Tom Nelson has found some new hilarious e-mails in the Climategate 2011 package.

You must have always wondered how the billions of dollars are being spent in the climate research if the only outcome seem to be a few fraudulent graphs that every other crackpot is able to fabricate for free. Well, a 2008 e-mail offers a part of the answer: the keyword is Tahiti. Those people scream that a warmer weather would be dangerous but they enjoy Tahiti where the average temperature is 21-31 °C throughout the year.

Hydrogen atom and \(SO(4)\) symmetry

"Shut up and calculate" is not only a wise attitude to the questions about the foundations of quantum mechanics; it is a constructive approach to physics in general. But what about the idea to walk the walk and calculate something?

Symmetries play a crucial role in physics – in classical physics and especially in quantum physics. It turns out that the Kepler problem in quantum mechanics (much like in classical physics) may be fully solved by symmetry considerations.

Aside from the interesting mathematical details, this text wants to point out that observables i.e. operators, and not wave functions, are what quantum physics is all about. Indeed, to solve the simplest atom, I won't even have to mention any particular "states" or "wave functions".

Task: Find the energy spectrum of all bound states of the Hydrogen atom in non-relativistic quantum mechanics and their degeneracy purely by symmetry considerations. The Hamiltonian is
$$ H = \frac{p^2}{2m} - \frac{k}{r},\qquad k\,\,\,\mbox{is a constant} $$

Thursday, November 24, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Google's renewable energy is sunsetting

Google is thankfully acting as a commercial entity that does care about the impact (and profitability) of their projects. So – see Reuters – among the projects it will be retiring or "sunsetting" by Spring 2012, we find:

How classical fields, particles emerge from quantum theory

As Gene and Sidney Coleman have pointed out, the term "interpretation of quantum mechanics" is a misnomer encouraging its users to generate logical fallacies. Why? It's because we should always use a theory, or a more accurate, complete, and universal theory, to interpret its special cases, to interpret its approximations, to interpret the limits, and to interpret the phenomena it explains.

However, there's no language "deeper than quantum mechanics" that could be used to interpret quantum mechanics. Unfortunately, what the "interpretation of quantum mechanics" ends up with is an attempt to find a hypothetical "deeper classical description" underneath the basic wheels and gears of quantum mechanics. But there's demonstrably none. Instead, what makes sense is an "interpretation of classical physics" in terms of quantum mechanics. And that's exactly what I am going to focus in this text.

Plan of this blog entry

After a very short summary of the rules of quantum mechanics, I present the widely taught "mathematical limit" based on the smallness of Planck's constant. However, that doesn't really fully explain why the world seems classical to us. I will discuss two somewhat different situations which however cover almost every example of a classical logic emerging from the quantum starting point:

  1. Classical coherent fields (e.g. light waves) appearing as a state of many particles (photons)
  2. Decoherence which makes us interpret absorbed particles as point-like objects and which makes generic superpositions of macroscopic objects unfit for well-defined questions about classical facts
Fine, so let's start.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Norman Ramsey: 1915-2011

Bill Zajc wrote something about Roy Glauber and I randomly wanted to check some data about the Harvard optics Nobel prize winners and happened to visit the Wikipedia page about Norman Ramsey.

Unfortunately, the page stunned me by the information that he died 3 weeks ago. See The Guardian for a detailed biography.

CDF at Tevatron: 9-sigma excess of multimuon ghost events

The CDF Collaboration has presented many extraordinary claims during the recent year which seem probably incorrect today, not only because of the refutations by D0 (Z'-boson-like bump near 150 GeV, a huge top-antitop mass difference, and so on).

But we must give them another chance because their new result is said to be much more statistically significant than all the previous ones or, if it is wrong, it is shriller and even more embarrassing than the previous CDF claims. ;-)

An additional study of multi-muon events produced in \(p\)-\(\bar p\) collisions at \(\sqrt{s}=1.96\,{\rm TeV}\) (arXiv: hep-ex)
One reason I mention this result at all is that the general theme, multi-fermion events, seems to be compatible with some emerging hints from the CMS even though the CDF's claim sounds like a much stronger signal that could be inconsistent with the relative agreement with the Standard Model seen at the LHC. What is is about?

Monday, November 21, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Could Nature, LHC prefer N=2 supersymmetry?

An even more ambitious, more stringy type of supersymmetry could actually be more compatible with the LHC data

A year ago or so, we have entered the serious LHC era in which many eyes of high-energy physicists have been refocused from formal, top-down theory to experiments and phenomenology, i.e. to the thinking about the signs of new physics we may soon see.

While the speed with which the LHC may uncover new physics has surely been disappointing for many victims of a wishful thinking, it can't be excluded that some signs of new physics will emerge in a few months or years. Aside from the Higgs boson(s), supersymmetry remains the most likely scheme that could appear as the first discovery.

Minimal and extended supersymmetry

Supersymmetry is a new, very abstract form of a symmetry. It is mathematically analogous to ordinary symmetries such as the rotational symmetry \(SO(3)\).

The rotational symmetry forms something known as a Lie (continuous) group and a very efficient way to study and classify such possible symmetries is to look at the infinitesimal transformations (transformations by infinitely small angles). Those may be expressed as tiny variations of the identity matrix, \({\bf 1}+iM\), where \(M\) is typically an infinitesimal Hermitian matrix (I needed the \(i\) factor for the sum to be unitary).

The information about the "shape" of the rotational symmetry group or another group is encoded in the linear space of possible matrices \(M\). This space is known as the Lie algebra and contains an operation \([M,N]\), the commutator, which knows everything about the multiplication rules of the original group as well as its "curved structure". The commutator may be viewed as an abstract operation but if you represent the generators by genuine particular matrices, it reduces to \(MN-NM\), indeed.

Sunday, November 20, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Anton Zeilinger on quantum mechanics and games

Earlier this month, Austrian physicist Anton Zeilinger who is arguably the world's most prominent experimenter working on the foundations of quantum mechanics (if I avoid the term "recreational quantum entanglement physics") gave this rather entertaining 50-minute talk in Cape Town, South Africa.

Saturday, November 19, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Is philosophical babbling on par with rigorous quantitative analyses?

Sean Carroll has realized that by allowing Tom Banks to talk about quantum mechanics, he has given too much space on their Cosmic Variance blog to science, relatively to what the website is primarily dedicated to, namely superficial politically correct left-wing babbling.

So he instantly decided to offer his readers a compensation.

A Gentleman named David Wallace wrote an "essay" arguing that the wave function is a real or physical object. As you know very well, I simply can't hide that I can't stand pompous fools of this type: a chemical compound known as adrenaline would make any attempts to hide it futile. He clearly has no idea about these matters but he presents his confused ranting as an important insight and calls himself a "philosopher".

Profumo di SUSY

Is supersymmetry starting to smell at CERN?

Four phenomenologists have trained their noses. As a result, they recently began to smell

Profumo di SUSY: Suggestive Correlations in the ATLAS and CMS High Jet Multiplicity Data (PDF)
in the winds wafting their way from Geneva.

Tianjun Li, James A. Maxin, Dimitri V. Nanopoulos, and Joel W. Walker (LMNW) have moved their noses closer to some early combined data from both major LHC detectors and what they found was... Profumo di donna, just like in the 1974 Italian movie about a blind Italian captain planning to commit suicide and the Scent of a Woman which translates the Italian phrase to English. ;-)

Friday, November 18, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Nature hypes anti-QM crackpot paper by Pusey et al.

Quantum mechanics under attack

The anti-quantum dimwits have flooded the Physics Stack Exchange, are beginning to do the same thing on the Theoretical Physics Stack Exchange, and the same seems to hold for Journal Nature which published an incredibly embarrassing article called:

Quantum theorem shakes foundations
by Eugenie Samuel Reich (it's a female name even though Samuel doesn't look like one) which argues that a crackpot preprint by Pusey, Barrett, and Rudolph has finally disproved the probabilistic interpretation of quantum mechanics, after 85 years when this politically incorrect thing was believed by physicists (and after Max Born got his Nobel prize for the discovery). The stupid people have been waiting for this moment when quantum mechanics is dethroned for 85 years and as Ms Reich tells us, November 2011 is the date of the happy revolution: the wave function is a real object after all. ;-)

It sounds like black humor but with idiots in Journal Nature, these claims are now being printed black on white and pretend to be serious, too. Needless to say, insincere and mindless people who keep on detecting the wind of political correctness throughout their lives in order to achieve personal gain, such as Sean Carroll, immediately notice that the crank paper is getting "positive reviews". By the way, what "David Wallace" writes in his rant about the superpositions is pure garbage, too.

In order to start, let me say that this is such a remarkable claim that if it is wrong, and it is obviously wrong, as I will discuss below, you should only be able to do it once in your life, especially if it gets to Nature, as long as the system of institutionalized science is functional. It's clearly not. You don't need to be competent at all. You may produce nothing else than garbage throughout your life and you will do just fine.

OPERA: neutrinos faster than "c" even with 3 ns pulses

Friday update: Almost exactly like originally predicted by Jessie, OPERA published a press release in which they tell us that they repeated the experiment with short, 3-nanosecond pulses separated by up to 524 nanoseconds. 20 clean neutrino events confirmed that the timing within the pulse is gotten with less than 3-ns error. The speed remains the same; the mean photons' delay dropped to 57.8 ns from 60.7 ns, not a big deal given the 10 ns total error. You may download the new version of their article (PDF) exclusively through this TRF link.
Long pulses were not the problem: mystery continues
Originally posted on Tuesday, November 15th

When OPERA announced that their neutrinos were faster than the speed of light, a very aggressive school of thought – which became influential among many professional physicists and wanted to become the official group think – was saying that the error was caused by OPERA's methodology of identifying corresponding patterns of the pulses on both sides of the neutrinos' journey. This school of thought was saying that the pulses were too long – much longer than the claimed signal – and this created some inaccuracy in measuring the exact time the neutrinos need for their trip.

I have always considered this criticism implausible. In my opinion, the methodology that looks for the highest peaks of each pulse is very clever because the highest peaks have the best statistics so they're the best places to be accurately mapped onto each other. Such analyses of pulses represent a discipline of science in which the experimenters showed their true mental muscles and their main comparative advantage; theorists may often lack the intuition to design measuring strategies that turn out to be accurate. If there were a problem with the identification of the corresponding parts of the pulses, this problem would inevitably display itself as a statistical error in their final results. To summarize my expectations, I didn't even list this experts' "prevailing" opinion among the potential mistakes in the OPERA experiment. I simply couldn't formulate it in such a way that it would make any sense to me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Tom Banks and anti-quantum zealots

When my (former) PhD adviser Tom Banks wrote his first guest blog for Cosmic Variance, I couldn't quite agree with his views on eternal inflation and/or understand his groundbreaking 22nd century conceptual ideas based on holography, even though I've spent a nonzero fraction of the recent 12.5 years by attempts to internalize his proposals and their logic.

However, Tom decided that he must like guest blogging after all ;-) and the situation is very different in his second posting:

Guest Post: Tom Banks on Probability and Quantum Mechanics (CV, by Tom Banks, PDF)
Of course, I agree with (almost or completely) everything he says about the logic of quantum mechanics.

And I am kind of pleased and amused that Tom has finally managed to jump from the Rutgers and UCSC ivory towers to the Earth's surface where the mortals live. Despite Tom's apparent expectations, this surface is a realm filled with anti-quantum zealots and other morons (some of whom are routinely called philosophers, as we're going to see).

Even though some of the most critical comments beneath Tom's article have been erased, it still seems that a majority of the survivors hysterically dislikes what Tom has to say about the 20th century physics. While many readers surely think that I must enjoy fights against tons of assorted idiots and crackpots, I actually hugely prefer watching someone else who gets beaten for saying the truth, at least if it is someone who has been denying that one may get beaten for saying the truth. ;-)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

James Hansen and 3-sigma "proofs"

Last week, Eric Berger mentioned a paper by the notorious recidivist James Hansen,

Climate Variability and Climate Change: The New Climate Dice,
written together with Sato and Ruedy.

Summers in Moscow will be the heroes of this article. I visited the Russian capital in Summer 1992 (International Math Olympiad): a fun experience.

It contains some temperature maps of the globe, comments about the Heaven and divine interventions, absurd speculations about the "extreme weather", and the usual announcements that the Earth will die on the day after tomorrow. But I was intrigued by – and decided to discuss – the authors' would-be quantitative "proof" of global warming based on the 2010 heat wave in Moscow.

Let me say in advance that the degree of their sloppiness is so spectacular that they should have been kicked out of the college during the first quantitative exam they attempted to face. Today, it's too late and we must watch how similar mediocre slackers have contaminated – and help to further contaminate – the scientific community.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Earth from ISS: five minutes

This video composed out of cleaned, denoised, unflickered pictures taken in Summer and Fall 2011 from the International Space Station has been hailed as the best video of the Earth ever.

Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS from Michael König on Vimeo.

Monday, November 14, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

LHCb reports a new source of CP-violation

Well, just another 3-sigma hint that may go away

Mat Charles of Oxford gave a talk at HCP 2011 in Paris in which he reported a surprising result by LHCb at CERN based on 0.58/fb of their 2011 data.

Robbert Dijkgraaf will become the director of IAS

The employer of Einstein, Witten, Maldacena, and others at Princeton has a new boss since July 2012

IPCC on extreme weather: no climate change for next 20-30 years

New IPCC report is going to say that science doesn't know whether CO2 has an effect on most climatic observables

Roger Pielke Jr, Richard Black of BBC, The GWPF, Tom Nelson, Marc Morano, and others celebrate a draft of a new report by the IPCC which should be publicly released on Friday.

Before I corrected this article, I called the report "a draft of the Fifth Assessment Report". Ross McKitrick told me it wasn't right: it's just a special report on extreme weather. Thanks to him.

It has apparently diverged from the environmentalist propaganda and got much closer to the actual climate science.

Fred Singer, a new honorary chairman of the (N)IPCC, to be named on Friday.

It says that we don't know whether the climate will be warming or cooling in the next 20-30 years because the man-made signal is negligible relatively to the natural variability and that we only have low or medium confidence on whether or not the frequency of extreme events is changing and whether or not the greenhouse gases are behind these changes if any.

In other words, science doesn't know. The highest rating attributed to a hypothetical measurable effect of man-made activity is "likely" (associated with a hypothetical change that isn't harmful in any way) which means 66% or more according to the IPCC confidence level codes.

So the IPCC seems to be in the process of rolling these numbers from the vicinity of 100%, required by ecoterrorist organizations and prominent criminals associated with the so-called green economy, to the vicinity of 0%, implied by the actual scientific research.

The Fabric of the Cosmos II

The Illusion of Time

A few weeks ago, I discussed the first episode of The Fabric of the Cosmos on PBS (see the full episode here), one about space.

This is the second episode:

The last six minutes are here: sorry.

Again, it's a perfectionist piece of acting and video trickery. Also, there are many nicely done explanations of the science of time in this episode – atomic clocks, slicing the relativistic spacetime bread under different angles, and so on. However, there's also lots of bizarre pop philosophy in this episode that I consider incorrect.

Sunday, November 13, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Best case yet for the end of climate skepticism

The belief in man-made global warming resembles religious systems by many of its features and sometimes one has to smile how childishly naive the belief of many people has to be.

Waxman and Markey. The former Gentleman has installed a new special CO2 detector into his nose.

Two U.S. lawmakers, Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), have invited three people to the U.S. Congress to terminate the global warming skepticism tomorrow, on Monday. The three people are Dr Richard Muller who wasn't a skeptic before he decided he was a former skeptic but he had never been a former skeptic, Dr Ben Santer who will beat crap out of a climate skeptic during the next conference according to his most famous publication, namely a ClimateGate e-mail, and Dr William Chameides, a relatively unknown career alarmist affiliated with several institutions.

But you have to appreciate their optimism:

Congressional Climate Briefing to Push “End of Climate Change Skepticism” (the Democrats' web page)
Richard Muller told us that it wasn't him who chose the title for his essay in the Wall Street Journal, The Case Against Global-Warming Skepticism. You know, it was those evil left-wing alarmist editors in the Wall Street Journal: he, an honest scientist, would never distort the results of the Berkeley Earth team in this flagrant way.

Saturday, November 12, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Pilsner card, e-money, and e-government

Shall we digitize all bureaucracy and money transfers?

The city of Pilsen has been intermittently using its own coins, banknotes, and currencies for centuries. For example, you can buy 1/3 of a liter of beer for this silver coin:

Well, I don't know where you can get such a coin but if you manage to do so, you won't be thirsty in Pilsen. ;-) Because of a promotion event, the so-called Pilsner Card which started about five years ago was produced for free during the last month so your humble correspondent got one, too.

Climate alarmism controls the third world

The poor countries obviously demand lower standards when it comes to the quality of products, the quality of the environment, and the quality of ideas they're ready to live with.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) supporters hold their party flags during a public rally in Kolkata. Photograph: Jayanta Shaw/Reuters.

So low-quality products may be exported to the third world rather easily. It's not that hard to get rid of junk. Some of the most toxic junk that the rich countries are producing is the pseudo-intellectual junk called climate alarmism. It's been said by AlertNet that climate alarmism rules in the third world:

Climate scepticism rare in developing nation media - study
While the media coverage in developed countries such as America, Britain, and Czechia (ABC) began to be somewhat respectful towards science, climate alarmism is an indisputed force in emerging countries such as China, India, and Brazil, an Oxford survey of the international press showed.

Friday, November 11, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Mysterious iodine-131 above Czechia

Update: The source was almost certainly a Hungarian factory producing some medical radioactive tools to treat thyroid. See Google News.
BBC, Reuters, AFP, and many other sources didn't overlook a message conveyed by the top Czech nuclear safety watchdog to IAEA: since October, the Czech stations (in Prague, Ústí, and elsewhere: not in Pilsen) have been detecting nonzero levels of iodine-131 in the atmosphere. It seems that some Germans, Austrians, and Hungarians may have noticed these isotopes, too.

Iodine-131 has half-life of eight days and is the industrially most useful isotope of iodine (3 other lighter isotopes follow). In medicine, this stuff is used to trace the flow of matter through organisms.

The detected concentration doesn't pose a health risk (just a microBq per cubic meter or so) but its origin remains an enigma. Ms Drábová and her employees in the Czech nuclear safety agency believe that the source is unlikely to be located at the Czech territory. Iodine-131 is a symptom of a nuclear accident; however, this hypothesis seems problematic because other nuclides would have been detected as well. But they were not.

Café Scientifique in Aussig

Yes, of course: this blog entry was accidentally posted in an 11-dimensional Universe on 11/11/11 at 11:11:11

Go elsewhere to learn everything about 11

Last night, I went to Aussig (Czech: Ústí nad Labem, "River mouth above the Elbe river"), the traditional capital of North Bohemia as well the Sudetenland (in a previous era) in order to chat with about 50 folks attending the Science Café about string theory. It seems to me like a pretty good format for "human" lectures on science. After all, (humanities-type) intellectuals often gather in cafés and natural scientists may want to learn one of the few things they may learn from the humanities types. :-)

I've been to Ústí, which I never visited before 2008 (except for days I totally forgot later), pretty often recently, mostly because of strings and ice-hockey.

The hosts were very hospitable and generous and the number of people in the audience set a new record for this Aussig event. Many good and important questions were asked – well, I think you may expect what many of these questions (and perhaps answers) were because they're usually repeated during almost every event of this sort. The audience measurably included some string theory "infidels" but make no doubts about it, I don't really care and I still count them as visitors and consider them as a part of the event's success (or my success).

The absolute value around each term shouldn't be forgotten here. ;-)

Too bad I didn't memorize some of the multi-part questions quite perfectly. For example, I forgot to discuss whether the human mind is as limited as dog's brain and whether it has a chance to "understand everything". I believe we don't suffer from such a limitation because we're above a certain threshold that allows us, in principle, to "manage" the construction of arbitrarily tall and structured systems of ideas. Our memory and CPU power is just "quantitatively" better than the puppies' counterparts; however, we're able to think and think about thinking and use paper and computers to "extend" our mental reach which is arguably enough to knock the Heaven's door.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

China fights AGW by causing it

Moptop has pointed out the following fascinating press release:

China Threatens Massive Venting of Super Greenhouse Gases in Attempt to Extort Billions as UNFCCC Meeting Approaches
Both Al Gore and James Hansen have praised the Chinese communists as the leaders in the world's struggle for a cleaner environment.

Chinese comrades are fighting for a cleaner air by riding bikes and by covering their noses so that they don't emit lethal CO2 into the atmosphere and so that they don't steal the vital, precious, and delicious SO2, SO3, ozone, N2O, ash, uranium oxides, and aerosols from the commons. Under Al Gore, James Hansen, and their Chinese masters, this is how the American streets will soon look like, too.

Both Gore and Hansen have urged the United States to join China and obediently follow the commands of her glorious leaders and their fantastic new five-year plan. In fact, China has been making money in ways that seem rather incredible. It is the world leader in making money out of the HFC-23 (trifluoromethane, a greenhouse gas 15,000 times more powerful than carbon dioxide) offsets. How do you make money out of HFC-23 offsets? Well, you just produce it and then you destroy it. ;-)

Science: climate sensitivity is 1.7-2.6 °C

New paper pretty much excludes values above the IPCC mean value of 3 °C

As I learned from The World Climate Report, the Science Magazine is just printing an article that significantly reduces the IPCC estimate how much CO2 influences the temperatures:

Climate Sensitivity Estimated From Temperature Reconstructions of the Last Glacial Maximum (fulltext PDF)
by Schmittner, A., Urban N. M., Shakun, J. D., Mahowald, N. M., Clark, P. U., Bartlein, P. J., Mix, A. C., and Rosell-Melé, A. (2011): the authors are from Oregon, Princeton, Harvard, Cornell, and Barcelona, see also the home page of the lead author.

The climate scientists often use a bizarre "66% confidence interval": note that the "±1-sigma interval" in the normal distribution is a 68% confidence level interval so it suggests that climatologists are not quite familiar with the normal distribution.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Thomas Suarez: how to make apps

Tim Cook is OK but Apple has finally found a good Steve Jobs successor. His name is Thomas Suarez:

Well, it's probably not too shocking for a sixth-grader to create somewhat simple iPhone apps and start a private App University.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

MFV RPV supersymmetry

Previously understudied scenarios for particle physics start to dance on the grave of R-parity

Today, I choose a preprint on hep-ph which the historians of science will consider to be a characteristic sign of the current times in particle phenomenology:

MFV SUSY: A Natural Theory for R-Parity Violation
The Cornell-affiliated authors, Csaba Csaki, Yuval Grossman, and Ben Heidenreich, most of whom I know in person (not the last one: but I had a classmate named Heidenreich when I was 7), start with the same evaluation of the LHC results so far as you may have seen on TRF: throughout 2011, low-energy supersymmetry with conserved R-parity has been dying as a solution to the hierarchy problem.

What do those words mean? One may say that the main kind of possible signatures of new physics that the LHC could have seen but hasn't seen were events with "missing energy" i.e. with new invisible particles that just invisibly escape from the detector (and often from Switzerland and from the Solar System as well) and cause an apparent violation of the momentum and energy conservation laws.

Cornell University

What are those invisible particles that were not seen even as invisible ones? :-) Well, these particles could be neutrinos – but the production of neutrinos is limited and under control – or new neutral particles such as the LSPs, the lightest superpartners, which are stable in theories with conserved R-parity. The lightest neutralino (a superposition of Higgsinos, zino, and photino – superpartners of the neutral Higgs fields, Z-boson field, and the electromagnetic field) was the canonical LSP in these models.

Let's be fast and cruel and simply declare the R-parity-conserving theories to be excluded. We may add lots of a posteriori explanations why we should have always expected the R-parity to be broken and why we were just brainwashed into mindless thinking that R-parity had to be conserved (I surely feel this way today). For example, it has the baryon number in the exponent and there's no reason why the baryon number should be exact: so why its exponential should be? There's no stringy reason why R-parity should be expected to be exactly conserved, either.

When it comes to supersymmetric phenomenology, R-parity-conserving theories out, R-parity-violating theories in. That's the message of the LHC at the end of 2011. This conclusion isn't based on "negative results" from the LHC only; there start to be "positive hints" that R-parity-violation should be right. See, for example, CMS's multilepton deviations.

Australian senate approves carbon tax

The last hurdle has fallen and the smallest continent is on its way to implement – and gradually increase – the masochist carbon [dioxide] tax. (The environmentalists understand neither the difference between carbon and carbon dioxide nor anything else that matters in these matters.)

Senate votes to pass carbon tax by 36 votes to 32
As I previously discussed, I don't think that the modest price of $23 per ton of CO2 is enough to visibly hurt the Australian economy; it will subtract less than 1% from the country's growth rate (but every year) and delay the curve of the CO2 emissions – which will continue to grow – by half a year or so.

It's very hard to find a true sentence in the Australian government's pro-carbon-tax ads.

You obviously shouldn't expect any long-term impact on the production of CO2 and surely no impact on temperatures. Europe is running a similar scheme and a result is that the world CO2 emissions during the last year jumped by the greatest amount ever, while Europe had to pay for this stupidity by millions of jobs, anyway. The tax in the country of Oz will only be paid by 500 most productive Australian companies (which include both big companies and medium companies), to emphasize that this is not supposed to be a fair new tax but just another malicious left-wing harassment directed against the successful and useful ones, against those who make sure that Australia isn't a third-world country. Needless to say, everyone, and especially the vulnerable ones, will be a victim at the end.
Another topic: IAEA nuclear report on Iran here (PDF, abstract)
The main purpose of the bill is analogous to the purpose of the Kristallnacht which took place exactly 73 years ago: to increase the self-confidence and arrogance of those who hate the capitalist industrial civilization.

The supporters of the bill – Labor Party members and watermelons – only had 36 votes which was enough to beat 32 votes from all other parties that opposed the bill. According to the Herald Sun poll, 2/3 of the Australian public opposes the tax. The green nuts have already gloriously congratulated themselves. They have also received a happy mail from the Madoff of the carbon schemes, Mr Al Gore: "With this vote, the world has turned a pivotal corner in the collective effort to solve the climate crisis." Oh sure. The world will only turn the pitoval corner when your neck will be reshaped in the same way, Al.

Monday, November 07, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Diederik Stapel: liberalism codified as science

Dutch scandal shows what kind of manipulation is most intriguing for fraudulent researchers these days

Mindert has already told us that the Netherlands is vigorously discussing the Diederik Stapel scandal but let me admit that I only started to read about it in some detail once I learned that Rush Limbaugh commented on it on his talk show:

Dutch Sociologist Falsified Data to Codify Liberalism as Science
Many of us, including me, sometimes have a problem or two with Rush Limbaugh but I just think he is right on the money (at least) in this case.

Global symmetry in string theory

Squark: It is often stated that in quantum gravity only charges coupled to gauge fields can be conserved. This is because of the no hair theorem. If a charge is coupled to a gauge field then when it falls into a black hole the black hole acquires a corresponding field. However if it is not then the black hole doesn't "remember" it. Apparently it implies we can't have exact global symmetries, only gauge symmetries.

How is this expectation realized in string theory? Is it true string vacuum sectors cannot posses global symmetry? Can we prove it?

Sunday, November 06, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

MSNBC vs Foxnews on cold fusion

Right-wing media offer more sensible stories than their left-wing counterparts

Try to compare these two articles about Andrea Rossi's cold fusion claims:

Italian cold fusion machine passes another test (MSNBC)

Cold Fusion Experiment: Major Success or Complex Hoax? (FoxNews)
These are two mainstream media outlets that superficially offer the very same story. But the difference is striking.

Fed Cup returns to Czechia after 23 years

The Fed Cup – the most important group tournament of female tennis players – was launched in 1963, long before it became a Bernanke Cup. ;-) Among the 49 opportunities, the (golden) U.S. tennis players won 17 times, followed by Australia with 7 victories (silver) and... Czechoslovakia (including Czechia) with 6 victories (bronze).

I won't allow you to question that the Czechs have the right to count the Czechoslovak victories (the same flag), much like Russians can do this thing with the Soviet ones (despite a different flag haha). But somewhat more speculatively, one may also count the Slovakia's victory in 2002 which would give Czechoslovakia 7 gold medals, matching Australia at the 2nd place. America remains the indisputable leader.

Ms Maria Kirilenko of Russia was chosen for the key TRF JPG image here because she was the prettiest person in the final doubles. Apologies to others, especially the Czech ladies because I am also going to write that Ms Elena Vesnina was the visual #2.

Spain only has 5 and Soviet Union and Russia has only won 4 times.

Friday, November 04, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Reversing the null hypothesis

Eurekalert discusses three essays written by Kevin Trenberth, Judith Curry, and Myles Allen.

Trenberth says that the null hypothesis should be reversed: "the man-made climate apocalypse is coming" hypothesis should become the null hypothesis and you would have to provide a proof or evidence if you wanted to disprove it (very easy!). Curry correctly argues that Trenberth proposition is just a political doctrine meant to bully the climate skeptics but she unreasonably proposes that "hypothesis testing" should be abandoned in science (or at least in their discipline).

Myles Allen of Oxford, a mathematical physicist, correctly says that Trenberth's suggestion is misguided but Curry's suggestion is even more misguided. However, he incorrectly applies this correct appraisal to the climate science when he suggests that the hypotheses about a big human influence on various atmospheric phenomena haven't been excluded yet.

So what is the truth?

Equations of state

When we discuss things such as the content of the Universe and the different "substances" it is composed of (e.g. in this question at a forum), an important concept needed to quantify these issues is the so-called "equation of state".

In rudimentary thermodynamics, an equation of state is any equation relating state variables such as pressure, volume, temperature, energy, and so on. In cosmology and fundamental physics, the term is most often used for equations describing the relationship between the energy density \(\rho\) and pressure \(p\):
\[ p = p(\rho) \] That's because these two variables are entries in the stress-energy tensor that directly enters Einstein's equations, those that determine the evolution of the spacetime geometry. The simplest relationship you may have is a proportionality law:
\[ p = w\cdot \rho \] where \(w\) is a numerical constant. Why is it dimensionless? It's because dimensionally speaking, pressure is force per unit area which is the same thing as energy per unit distance and unit area which is the same as energy per unit volume i.e. energy density. Now, the number \(w\) can't ever jump out of the interval \([-1,+1]\). Why?

Thursday, November 03, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Some climate change news

UAH October data, Mann as Galileo, Richard Muller said he was never a skeptic

Roy Spencer's new data

The October temperatures as measured by UAH AMSU are out. The global anomaly dropped from 0.289 °C a month earlier to 0.114 °C. This significant drop couldn't be unexpected for those of us who regularly observe the UAH daily temperatures.

The most recent anomaly means that October 2011 was the coldest October among the 11 months of the same name in the 21st century so far. The anomaly in the tropics was in fact negative.

Just to be sure, the UAH anomaly for a given month and a given zone (or the globe) is the difference between the actual average temperature in the piece of spacetime under consideration and the average temperature in the same zone and the same month during the 1981-2010 period.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Israeli attack on Iran considered again

There have been a few articles on this blog about possible Israeli plans to strike Iran's nuclear and/or military facilities. It hasn't taken place yet; still, I consider such a scenario realistic enough for those blog entries to reappear.

Today, it's another day of this kind. Israel has successfully launched a new long-range missile: video.

Ehud Barak, a graduate in physics, mathematics, and economics from Stanford and the Hebrew University, happens to be employed as the defense minister of Israel now. He has been happy to see this immense achievement. Well, we surely do expect Israel to be able to launch long-range missiles and the Jewish state is arguably and hopefully more advanced than Iran in this discipline.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

CMS: a very large excess of diphotons

CMS turned out to be much more "aggressive" relatively to the "conservative" ATLAS detector and it has already provided us with some hints. But what they published today, in the paper called

Measurement of the Production Cross Section for Pairs of Isolated Photons in \(pp\) collisions at \(\sqrt{s} = 7\,{\rm TeV}\) (copy at CERN server here)
is by far the most self-confident assertion of new physics that has come out of the LHC so far. In all the previous examples, we would be discussing relatively small bumps and excesses extracted from large amounts of data – usually an inverse femtobarn or more. However, the paper above claims that there is a huge deviation from the Standard Model – and a very small amount of the data, namely those 36 inverse picobarns collected in 2010, is sufficient to see it.

Referendum: Greece cannot be trusted

The Greek prime minister and the current top member of a notorious Greek socialist dynasty has shocked the rest of Europe – and the rest of the world – by plans to organize a referendum about the agreement from the Brussels (that he has already agreed with). The referendum should probably take place in January 2012.

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