One month ago, Cumrun Vafa's son determined that he needed to go to Bangalore, South Central India, and because Cumrun is a good father, he went with him.
So why wouldn't he give a public talk (one hour and one second) about strings and the magic of extra dimensions at the local campus of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research?
In the first sentence, Vafa denies that he was there by pure coincidence. He always wanted to visit India etc. ;-)
The sound quality isn't great... Moreover, you constantly hear the transmission from cell phones. Bangalore is a major global center of outsourcing and telephone services for various corporations so the audience may be just working while listening to Cumrun. :-)
He starts with Newton, a galaxy, and the flat space. Then (6:55) he shows the same smoking Einstein animation that I am using in my public talks as well. :-)
Around 7:00, the space already gets curved and waving. Straight lines in spaces of positive and negative curvature look like attraction or repulsion. LOL, at 12:24, there's another exact picture from my public talks, the structure of the atom. I suspect that Cumrun may have used the file of mine. ;-) Yes, I use this exact picture of Feynman at 12:50 and the animated Feynman diagram at 13:05, too. :-)
Disasters from the QFT+GR union; strings arrive around 15:00. He recalls the bizarre birth of string theory – a cute formula; there seem to be strings in it. 16:50, quark goes to string, another animated GIF from my public talks. The same about the animated string Feynman diagram at 17:35. Just to be sure, I gave Cumrun the permission to use anything used in my presentations, especially because I didn't create most of these pictures. Yup, 17:55, another one. Here he's also saying very similar things that I am saying at similar places of my talks and this agreement comes from two independently thinking brains.
At 30:30, Cumrun declares the string dualities to be the deepest discovery made by physicists in a century. Quite a big statement but surely a justifiable one. He says many excited things about the magic that a dual description emerges in each regime and we don't know how. It was a surprise and we don't quite know why it happens. Well, I sort of feel that I know why it has to happen. The issue is that in any asymptotic limit, there has to be a simplification and a hierarchy between energies from various objects/contributions and if a new low-energy continuum forms, it may always be organized into states of an object with a certain number of dimensions.
Lots of brane physics etc. Around 46:20, a stringy calculation of the CKM matrix is boasted. Smooth topology changing processes. We should be proud about the extra dimensions, not ashamed of them.