Wednesday, February 28, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

1,025,438 grandkids of a six-dimensional theory

String theory is like evolution, bottom-up QFTs are creationism

Jacques Distler and three co-authors (CDTZ, Austin and Maryland) have published an impressively technical paper "classifying" certain exotic beasts,

Tinkertoys for the \(E_8\) Theory.
Their paper is accompanied by a cool interactive website which you should investigate. In particular, if you're asking why they didn't include "all the stuff" from the website in their paper, try this subpage on four punctured spheres. Pick a combination of the four parameters and press "go". What you get are some diagrams of S-duality frames (1,025,438 of them) where you see two circles with some objects and left-right arrows connecting them. You can click at the objects and get additional data on the "fixtures".

If you don't understand what the data means and how to use them, don't worry. 7 billion people don't understand it and my estimate is that 30 people in the world may deal with the data – to the extent that they would have a chance to discover a typo if one were artificially introduced. ;-)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Draining several parts of the swampland simutaneously

In 2005, my office was next to Cumrun Vafa's so I could watch him while plotting his plans to drain the swampland, more than a decade before Donald Trump (well, "drain the swamp" has been used for very different goals since the 19th century). His work preceded the main wave of the anti-stringy hysteria – that came in 2006 when two notorious cranks published their books – but I think it was at least partly motivated by various ludicrous claims about "unpredictive string theory".

He pointed out – and tried to clearly articulate and decorate with a new term – something that all string theorists always saw. The effective laws of physics that you may derive as long-distance approximations of string theory aren't just "any" or "generic" effective field theories. Effective field theories allow too many features that are prohibited in string theory. String theory seems to imply some extra conditions and regularities that couldn't have been derived by effective field theory itself.

Monday, February 26, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Slovakia turns into Sicily

...if not Calabria...

On Sunday, a 27-years-old Slovak investigative journalist Mr Ján Kuciak and his roughly 23-year-old girlfriend Martina Kušnírová (who planned a wedding) were found dead in his home in Veľká Mača, a village in the center of Western Slovakia.

The journalist employed by the web (owned by Ringier Axel Springer) was shot into his chest, she was shot into her head (after she tried to run away and hide). Cartridges were arranged around the dead woman to suggest a Mafia-style assassination – it's a message to others, "don't look into it again". The bodies were found last night after the dead woman's mother complained to the police that she hadn't come home and she's probably in her BF's home. But the murders took place on Thursday night or so.

A police boss has already confirmed that the double murder was related to Kuciak's work – although I am not 100% sure what kind of evidence they may have to be sufficiently certain about this (likely to be true) statement.

Sunday, February 25, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Communist coup in Czechoslovakia: 70th anniversary

Today, it has been exactly 70 years since the "Victorious February", as the event was called up to the Velvet Revolution (and Czechs are sort of OK with similar euphemisms, also in the case of the "Protectorate" and "Normalization", so it's still used today, although the tone is usually satirical; but I think that people must understand why such events were terrible even if the demagogically positive language is used, not just when these events are described by some newer, artificially coined, negative phrases!).

The event wasn't just one of the three most tragic isolated 20th century events in a Czechoslovak pond that you don't care about. It had geopolitical implications. In particular, NATO was created as a response to the Czechoslovak coup – British FM Ernest Bevin proposed it to prevent another Czechoslovakia.

Klement Gottwald announcing his fans at the Old Town Square (the place with the astronomic clock, Orloj, where Ledecká will be welcomed at 4 p.m. on Monday) that the president would replace non-communist ministers by communist ones. (Well, it's a small myth: this fur coat picture is from February 21st, not 25th, when he was saying that the resigning ministers were traitors. On February 25th, Gottwald spoke at the bottom of the Wenceslaus Square.) Because it was cold, he borrowed his Slovak comrade Vladimír Clementis' fur hat – who got Gottwald's old-fashioned hat. Clementis was later executed by Gottwald's regime in 1952 and his face was eliminated from the photograph above.

I have watched several documents and reconstructions of the tragic events in 1948 – including an episode of "The Czech Century" which is a few years old; and the Gottwald episode of a new series, "The Red Presidents". I found those events rather fascinating. So how could communism start?

Saturday, February 24, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Ledecká's multi-dimensional triumph is hers, and her family's

No reason for gratitude to the Czech nation...

Hours ago, Ester Ledecká has won her second Olympic gold, in snowboarding.

Today, the expectations were very different than before her Super-G shock, of course. She was defending the victory from world championships so bookmakers gave you 1.6-to-1 for her victory which means some 60% probability of her victory – much more than the 1% probability implied by the 100-to-1 odds before skiing. She may have felt some pressure that she has avoided as the "cinderella in skiing" but her confidence may be a good thing, too. Anyway, she has won both. Now she plans to add a gold in windsurfing and believe me, this is not a joke.

I am excited and lots of excited texts have been written. Cutely enough, a text in The New York Times mainly discusses the same main point as my previous essay about these matters: the advantages of extreme and early specialization for the professional sports may be hugely overestimated by the coaches and the sport establishment – it may be mostly an erroneous group think.

Julian Schwinger: 100 years

Harvard's climate skeptic Willie Soon has sent me a link to the Crimson article describing a Harvard event that took place last week. Julian Schwinger was born on February 12th, 1918. 100 years and 2 days later, some of his grateful junior collaborators didn't forget and gathered.

It's useful to know that 1918+100=2018 which is why we face the celebrations of 100 years of Schwinger, Feynman, and Czechoslovakia in this year (the third co-winner of that QED Nobel prize was Tomonaga *1906, not Czechoslovakia).

There are dozens of TRF blog posts that mention Schwinger, including a short biography and a review of renormalization where I picked him as a symbol.

Friday, February 23, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Bitcoin, scarce cryptocurrencies are stocks in (hopeless) companies

The most adequate analogy should define the rules of taxation

Various central banks and regulators are trying to ban, suppress, or regulate the cryptocurrencies in one way or another. Others are preparing their own cryptocurrencies and join the irrational but widespread hype about the blockchain technology. Yet another group of central banks does both. The Polish central bank has paid some amusing $25,000 to Polish YouTube star to write texts and record videos such as I Lost All My Money about the cryptocurrency "investments".

Czechia is the home to the largest non-Chinese and oldest Bitcoin mining pool, SlushPool, and there is a detectable important community that does these things. But cryptocurrencies remain a fringe phenomenon and that's also reflected by the attitudes of the Czech National Bank. Our central bank – typically echoing the views of Mojmír Hampl, the most active member of the board in such matters – says that it's right not to harm them, not to help them, not to protect them, and not to guide them by holding their little hands because they're irrelevant for the system and the Czech participants ultimately know what they're doing and that they enjoy no protection.

The percentage of the wealth in the cryptocurrencies is very small and the percentage of the money in the real economy that goes through cryptocurrencies is even tinier. So the skeleton of our monetary system is in no way threatened. I agree it's true in Czechia but due to the ability of these bubble phenomena to rise exponentially, this assumption may very well break down in countries affected by a mania – such as South Korea.

Thursday, February 22, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Questionable value of inequalities in physics

Bill Zajc brought my attention to a very good talk that Raphael Bousso gave about his recent and older work. Inequalities play a very important role in his work. I am much willing to appreciate the value of an inequality than what I was when I was a kid or a teenager. But much of that sentiment has survived: I don't really believe that a typical inequality tells us too much about the laws of physics.

First, my initial realization is that inequalities incorporate much less information than identities. Imagine that you're asked how much is \(8+9\). Many of you will be able to answer\[


\] The percentage of TRF readers who can do it is significantly higher than in almost all other websites in the world. ;-) OK, but some people could also say that they're not quite sure but\[

8+9 \gt 10.

\] Eight plus nine is greater than ten, they figure out. That's nice and it happens to be true. But this truth is much less unique. In fact, someone else could say\[

8+9 \gt 12

\] which is another inequality of the same type – a strictly stronger one, in fact.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Székesfehérvár won't join Pilsen

Happy, dancing, white, Christian people are no longer allowed in the European Capitals of Culture

In 2015, my hometown of Pilsen was elected as the European Capital of Culture. We defeated Ostrava, a North Moravian town of black coal and dirty industry. As far as I can say, this EU event has had no important implications, aside from the fact that I could sometimes semi-jokingly brag that our city was even more important than it was.

Breitbart and RT (sorry for the "nofollow" tags under the links: I am adding them to make sure that Google considers me 100% politically correct) have informed us that Székesfehérvár, the ninth largest Hungarian city (100k folks), wanted to become the European Capital of Culture for 2023.

Limited belief in experts: hard anecdotal facts vs experts' lore

SUSY and Ledecká's idiosynrasies

People are pretty much divided to two groups: those who divide people to two groups and those who don't. ;-) Also, they're divided to those who love to defend the status of "widely respected experts" and those who despise any "authorities".

Richard Feynman has said that "science is the belief in the ignorance of experts". On the other hand, his colleague Murray Gell-Mann, when I debated these things with him during the 2005 Sidneyfest, was mocking Feynman whose teeth were completely decaying etc. because he didn't trust experts (and e.g. the superstition that one should brush his teeth). The two men have clearly stood on the opposite sides of the axis I want to discuss. Both of them have been immensely successful which proves that "you don't have to be exactly in the middle".

Most people choose to be in the middle when it comes to lots of opinions. It's a convenient attitude. The golden mean often ends up being rather extreme. The contemporary postmodern, extreme, politically correct attitudes have become so widespread in the West because the extreme leftists were capable to convince the "convenient people in the middle" that joining the extreme left-wing cult is the right way to stay in the middle which is so important. That's why whole nations such as Germany are full of psychopaths defending lunacies (such as the open-door immigration policies) who scream that they're sane.

This tweet from The New York Times contains a video that showed all the female contestants in super-G which was won by snowboarder Ester Ledecká (CZE). Don't forget that the actual race was a slalom so the trajectories have been straightened up. She was going on the left side from the likes of Goggia (ITA) and Vonn (USA). That's not surprising because she has primarily been a snowboarder and that is a left-wing sport. ;-) Also, the great finish has been more important for her than the beginning of her run.

Sunday, February 18, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Quantum mechanics is thinking outside the classical box

Several folks have sent me a text about interpretations of quantum mechanics, Thinking Outside the Quantum Box, that was recently posted by Bernardo Kastrup at a Scientific American's weblog.

Lots of people whose skulls are confined in a spherical bubble are imagining that they're creative geniuses who are thinking outside the box. But the reality is inside out. One needs to perform the spherical inversion to see it. They're narrow-minded, intellectually limited losers confined into a bubble while the proper solutions require the realm outside the bubble.

It's mostly another moronic, anti-quantum article. The claim that quantum mechanics contradicts our intuition is repeated thrice (so that readers with the IQ below 70 don't miss it). Again, like in almost all other moronic articles of this kind, we're told that physicists have invented dozens of "interpretations" and are obliged to look for a theory that is not quantum:

...So physicists scramble to interpret quantum theory in a way that makes room for a mind-independent reality. A popular way to do this entails postulating imagined, empirically unverifiable, theoretical entities defined as observer-independent...
It may be "popular" to replace quantum mechanics (whose application depends on the choice of an observer) with a theory whose entities are "observer-independent". It is indeed popular, especially among idiots and senile men. But it is not physically possible and no genuine physicists are working on such things. Only "philosophers", crackpots, and decidedly former physicists are affiliated with this totally misguided movement.

Quantum mechanics (with its need to pick an observer to apply it) is unavoidable. There is no viable competing theory, whether or not this basic fact is know to those who think it should be "popular" to believe that classical physics keeps on ruling.

Saturday, February 17, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Snowboarder Ledecká wins super-G skiing gold

And she will win a snowboarding gold, too...
Excessive specialization is often overrated

Czechia currently has 1+2+2 Olympic medals which places us at the 13th spot right now – second among the countries with 1 gold after Japan and ahead of Slovak brothers with 1+2+0 who got their gold from Russian-born biathlete Nasťa Kuzminová. A 20 times lower population of Czechoslovakia is enough to earn the same eight medals as the Unistatians. ;-)

We got a silver medal from Ms Martina Sáblíková, a speed skater: it's her 6th Olympic medal. She's also competing in bicycle competitions – another example of the versatility I will discuss. Because of her imperfect health in the recent year (and because of her 4th spot in the first Korean race), her traditional Dutch foes have argued that she would win no medal in 2018 so this insult has made her (and her coach) motivated and she scooped at least this silver.

Ester Ledecká

Ms Eva Samková took bronze in snowboard cross. She uses the nickname "samice" related to her surname – a "female individual" – but to emphasize that "samice" is actually derived from "samec", a "male individual", she often sports a fake mustache. (In Western Europe and the U.S., the feminists could attack her even for this cute piece of fashion.) She also turns her jacket inside out during the ceremonies – that ritual has worked for her so far and she did it day ago, too.

Some of the first medals were won by Ms Veronika Vítková and Mr Michal Krčmář, the only Czech male medal from Korea so far. You could immediately conclude that due to this 4-to-1 score, Czech men physically suck relatively to the rather attractive and athletic Czech women. And your hypothesis would have a little toad of the truth in it but there are also ways to present the history that look less skewed. Hours ago, Czech ice-hockey men defeated Canada (2-to-3 on penalty shootouts) so of course we always believe that a return to the 1998 Nagano gold place is possible in that Czechia's favorite sport, too.

Friday, February 16, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Does neutron decay to dark matter?

Three days ago, the Quanta Magazine published a playful simple article on particle physics

Neutron Lifetime Puzzle Deepens, but No Dark Matter Seen
The neutron's lifetime is some 15 minutes but there seems to be a cool, increasingly sharp discrepancy. If you measure how many neutrons are left in a "bottle" after time \(t\), it seems that there's one decay in 14:39 minutes. But if you measure a neutron "beam" and the protons that appear, it seems that they're being converted at the rate of one new proton per 14:48 minutes.

This neutron's logo is actually from some cryptocurrency network.

So the neutrons are apparently decaying about 1% faster than the protons are born. No other decays of neutrons are known. Relativistic effects for the beam are negligible.

Jeremy Corbyn collaborated with StB, too

Days ago, I mentioned that the Slovak court system irrevocably refused all doubts that the Slovak-born Czech prime minister in resignation Comrade Andrej Babiš has been intentionally collaborating with the Czechoslovak communist secret police, StB (ŠtB in Slovak, Státní/štátná bezpečnost i.e. State Security). Thankfully, this criminal organization is at least formally abolished and youth would translate the acronym STB as a "set-top-box" these days. ;-)

Just a day later, the British press – e.g. The Sun and The Daily Mail – was very excited that the boss of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has collaborated with our dear beloved StB, too. In the mid 1980s, Corbyn has met a Slovak ŠtB officer who posed as a diplomat in the U.K. thrice.

The public name of the Czechoslovak "communist James Bond", using the Daily Mail's jargon, was Ján Dymič. However, deeper analyses indicate that the true name of that ŠtB officer was Ján Sarkocy. (Ján is the Slovak version, and Jan is the Czech version, of John. Sarkocy is a surname of the Hungarian origin.)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

A conference on teaching of mathematics

I just returned from a day-long conference called "New Teaching Methods in Mathematics?" that was primarily dedicated to an explosive phenomenon in the Czech basic schools, the so-called Hejný's method to teach mathematics (TRF texts on Hejný).

Most people believe that the method is named after Prof Milan Hejný who was recently celebrating his 80th birthday – as he reminded us several times – but it's actually named after his father who has taught his son Milan how to love mathematics. This gospel is being used by 700 out of 4,100 basic schools in Czechia and worshiped by virtually all the mainstream media that write about these things.

The basic philosophy of the method is that the teacher shouldn't have any authority in the class, he or she should do basically nothing with the children let alone to teach, and the kids should play and discover all important ideas by themselves. At most, several standardized exercises from recreational mathematics are encouraged to be repeated. The teacher doesn't correct mistakes when they're made, and so on, and so on.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Czech PM gets the final certification as a communist rat by Slovak court

Some people are surprised when Czechs talk themselves down as a nation – why we're not more proud of ourselves. Well, let me tell you something, there are pretty good reasons for that.

Our prime minister in resignation (that's the official title that he acquired when he had to resign after his government failed the confidence vote in the Parliament) Mr Andrej Babiš is currently prosecuted by the police for a $2 million subsidy fraud (billionaire Babiš stole the taxpayer money by pretending to be a rather poor chap with a travel agency) – which should, according to the police expectations, win him 10 years in prison.

Today, another "public secret" was officially confirmed by the court. The regional court in the Slovak capital of Bratislava reviewed Babiš's lawsuit concerning his being a communist rat.

Six years ago, Babiš sued the Institute for the Memory of the Slovak Nation – a government historians' body which formally inherited the Slovak part of the archive after the Czechoslovak communist secret police – because he didn't like to be described as a rat in the historical documents (it's not too surprising he didn't like it – most people don't like when the world knows that they're rats). By persuading his pals, officers of the communist secret police (StB, our sibling of KGB), he was able to win some partial proceedings when courts said that he appeared in the historical records "unjustly". His "trustworthy" friends had told the judges that they hadn't ever seen Babiš, and what they were drinking together in the wine bar was also inaccurate. ;-)

Half a year ago, the Slovak constitutional court brought some bad news to Mr Babiš and redefined the conditions for such lawsuits by dissatisfied agents. First, testimonies by officers of the communist secret police were no longer permissible as the primary evidence because, shockingly, officers of communist secret police are neither maximally trustworthy nor sufficiently free to talk the truth. Second, it's not possible to sue the historical institute because it's not responsible for the validity of the historical evidence.

Monday, February 12, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Vitriolic SJWs' hatred towards The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory is approaching the end of the 11th season which is rather impressive. To mention an example, the January 11th, 2018 episode was watched by over 21 million U.S. viewers. That's actually a higher number than a few years ago.

I keep on watching it and I am still highly entertained and enriched most of the time. Of course the concept is no longer too new, some twists have to be somewhat repetitive, and the interactions must resemble Friends and similar generic shows more than they did in the first seasons. But it's still an extremely gentle and realistic sitcom about physicists and people around them. I am impressed with UCLA's Dr David Saltzberg as an expert that makes the content precise and relevant from physicists' viewpoint.

Well, I also became a big fan of Young Sheldon which is cute and I can relate to so many things, starting with the main boy character's feelings about so many things. And theirs was a wonderful American family, perhaps like the Simpsons etc. Recent episodes of Young Sheldon had some 13 million viewers in the U.S. and the second season has already been commissioned.

Saturday, February 10, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Permafrost mercury hysteria is shameful corrupt pseudoscience

It seems that other climate skeptics haven't dedicated much attention to this particular recent mania but I was intrigued and disgusted, so here is my reaction.

You need about 1,000 tons of the Arctic soil to extract this much (43 grams) of mercury.

National Geographic and most other science news outlets have informed us that there is a lot of mercury underneath the thawing Arctic permafrost and when it thaws, all of us will get poisoned to one extent or another. Will we?

Probabilities of one-time events don't have error margins

Quanta Magazine's puzzle columnist Pradeep Mutalík wrote an amusing and sensible text When Probability Meets Real Life with three probability puzzles. They're a bit more ordinary and less controversial than the Sleeping Beauty or the Monty Hall Problem. But they touch some general principles, too.

He says that scientifically inclined people often try to apply probabilistic reasoning in their lives. It's not perfect but it may be helpful.

In the first problem, Mutalik shows that Bayesian, perceived probabilities often change as new evidence arrives. Someone sadly fell out of an airplane. The probability of death is 90%. Fortunately, he had a parachute. The probability of death is 5%. Sadly, it didn't open. 99.9%. Happily, there was a haystack directly below him. 40%. But there was also a pitchfork there. 99.99%. Happily, he avoided the pitchfork. 40%. But he avoided the haystack, too. 99.999%. ;-) You may give better numbers.

Friday, February 09, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

A simple Dow Jones targeting monetary policy

For some two years, the world's stock markets have enjoyed a calm era with a seemingly healthy growth. The volatility was almost zero and the positive returns looked as safe as if you buy the Bitcoin. Needless to say, aside from the fact that the companies have some intrinsic value which is why investors know that the prices shouldn't drop too low, the emotional part of the price swings is completely analogous in the case of the stocks and the Bitcoin. A difference is that emotions decide about some 30% of the stock prices but about 100% of the cryptocurrency prices.

OK, this calm era ended abruptly when the stock market indices saw a terrible week, with at least two days of 4-5 percent drops per day. The main reason that is cited is the U.S. investors' realization that the interest rates will go up.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Aaronson, interpretations of QM, and fashions

Scott Aaronson may have banned me on this blog, he has written lots of insane, extremist, and pathetic things about politics and ideologically sensitive scientific questions, and he's wrong about many physics-related issues, when he places computer science above physics, when he tells you that you have to believe that \(P\neq NP\), and he's been wrong in lots of other contexts.

But I think it's obvious that he's one of the examples of truly intelligent men among those who are visible on the Internet. He's also right in approximately 80% of comments about the foundations of quantum mechanics.

He's wanted to write a long essay about the "interpretations of quantum mechanics", wasn't satisfied with the draft, but now – when he's finally sick – he wrote at least a short version of it,

Interpretive cards (MWI, Bohm, Copenhagen: collect ’em all).
To make the story short, lots of his short evaluations of the "interpretations" are completely adequate. The transactional interpretation makes no sense at all. The dynamical collapse "interpretation" isn't an "interpretation" but a completely new theory which seems likely to be wrong – one can place lots of limits on the new parameters. I've written about it in the past. (Maybe he only sounds reasonable because he's parroting me here.)

De Broglie-Bohm's pilot wave theory is frank but the choice of the hidden variable is non-unique and arbitrary. I would say it's far from the only problem but it's actually one of the most serious problems undermining the whole motivation to work along these lines. So finally his choice is
Copenhagen, or many worlds? That is the question.
He also says that "Copenhagen" largely means the same thing as "shut up and calculate" (or "QM needs no interpretation") – I agree with that point as well, much like with others. The first problem is when he sort of chooses to be attracted to the many worlds. But even some reasonably smart high-energy theoretical physicists make such a statement.

Let's build a 500 TeV collider under the sea

In his text Unreasonably Big Physics, Tetragraviton classifies the Texan SSC collider as marginally reasonable but other proposed projects are said to be unreasonable.

They include a wonderful 2017 collider proposal in the Gulf of Mexico. The structure would host some new, potentially clever 4-tesla dipoles and would be located 100 meters under the sea level between Houston and Merida.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Dublin IV regulation would existentially threaten Europe

The latest issue of the Klaus Institute Newsletter – which I am still receiving for free, thanks – discusses many important topics. There's a speech by Czech ex-president Klaus about the EU's blunders; Strejček's discussion in what sense Trump is our role model (this article is also related to Dublin IV we will discuss below); Martin Slaný's brutal debunking of the "gender pay gap due to discrimination" myth (he shows tons of statistics proving that the gap is nearly zero whenever we compare commensurable employees etc.); Klaus' eulogy for Rajko Doleček, a famous Czech-Yugoslav TV proponent of a healthy diet.

But the most important specific topic is a set of answers by politicians and pundits to the question "How should we react to the proposed Dublin IV regulation".

Monday, February 05, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Anti-tether hysteria and low speed of deflation of cryptobubble

Two proofs of a low IQ of the cryptocurrency "investors"

The first TRF blog post that contains the word "Bitcoin" was posted in November 2013 and the title said Bitcoin will probably keep on skyrocketing.

Superficially, that title looks like an amazing prophesy today but the devil is in the details. If you had wanted to use my "precious prophesy" to become wealthy, you needed lots of patience. The Bitcoin was worth $1,000 when I wrote that blog post and it would decrease up to the bottom near $200 or so in 2015. (The drop was mostly due to the collapsed Mt Gox cryptocurrency exchange – this kind of theft became so mundane in the cryptoworld that no one gave a damn when a much bigger theft took place recently in Japan.) So you would lose 80% in a year or two, before you had a chance to add more than one order of magnitude to the original balance.

Another blog post said that a $100,000 Bitcoin was possible – something I consider extremely unlikely now – but almost everything else written on TRF about the Bitcoin was negative (well, a comparison between the blockchain and quantum mechanics was positive, too). On November 1st, I wrote that the Bitcoin futures should stop the Bitcoin bubble and drive the price towards zero.

On December 9th, I reiterated the point in more practical terms when I urged TRF readers to sell their cryptostuff. On that day, December 9th, the dear readers would have gotten about $17,000 for one Bitcoin. Pretty close to the peak near $20,000 – where only a tiny fraction of the people sold their coins.

So I guess my December 9th recommendation seems priceless now, doesn't it?

Sunday, February 04, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Cottbus, Germany says Nein to Merkel's Islamofascist government

Most Germans are still brainwashed by the political correctness that has run amok – the current degree of Gleichschaltung in Germany may surpass the levels from the Nazi epoch. However, whole regions start to emerge where majorities are disapproving of the multicultural policies. They're mostly located in East Germany and Bavaria.

Cottbus, a city of 100,000 people Southeast from Berlin, 100 km from Bohemia, and 10 km from Poland is a great example. It's been considered a cultural center of Sorbs, a Slavic nation that has been largely assimilated to Germany and culturally disappeared. In 1367–1445, the city belonged to the Lands of the Bohemian Crown – so was under Prague. We still use a nice Czech name for that city, Chotěbuz (Khotyebooz, literally Wake-your-spouse), which is ready for the liberation of the city by the Czech military sometime in a foreseeable future (we use Czech names for a majority of the important German cities) and its reincorporation into Czechia.

I really need to promote these imperial plans at some moments because almost no one is doing this important job in my country. ;-)

Experiments may only measure gauge-invariant, coordinate-independent quantities

I have finally found the time needed to see every page among the 12+7+16 pages of the Japanese papers on the Earth's contribution to muon's \(g-2\) and it's clear that if I had opened all the papers before I wrote my first fast blog post about it, the post wouldn't have been written because the papers are childish and ludicrously wrong. Let me start with superficial observations about their style and background.

First, the authors are clearly not professional particle physicists. You won't find any Feynman diagrams – or the words "loop", "Feynman", "diagram", for that matter – in any of the three papers. Well, particle physicists would generally agree that you need Feynman diagrams – and probably multiloop ones – to discuss the muon's magnetic moment at the state-of-the-art precision.

Saturday, February 03, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Joe Polchinski, 1954-2018

February 2nd was a rather miserable day. Dow sinked by some 2.5%, the worst drop since the Brexit referendum. Even the cryptocurrency believers were feeling lousy – the Bitcoin touched $7,550 and this event has surely convinced many that it could go to zero.

It was a much worse day for theoretical physics because Joe Polchinski died of brain cancer in the morning.

Things were surely more problem free when I took that picture (his main picture on Wikipedia) on a beach in Santa Barbara. I believe that Joe was the captain of a string theory soccer team on that day and that team defeated some condensed matter chaps or someone like that. Polchinski was also a vigorous bike rider in the mountains and other things.

Well, Joe's friend and ex-classmate who is an important member of the TRF community told me about the bad news very early. Now it's everywhere on Twitter (newest) etc. Here is the official letter by the chancellor to the UCSB.

Thursday, February 01, 2018 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Earth's gravity correction removes muon's \(g-2\) anomaly: wrong papers

Hours later, I got suspicious that the claimed effect is proportional to the gravitational potential, therefore violates the equivalence principle, and has to be rubbish

By Saturday evening, I got sufficiently certain that the papers are plain wrong and the effect must be zero. The text below was written well before this convergence of my views.

As you know very well, the electron magnetic moment \(\vec \mu\) is proportional to the electron's spin \(\vec S\):\[

\Delta E = -\vec \mu\cdot \vec B,\quad
\vec \mu = g \frac{e}{2m}\vec S.

\] Simple first-quantized Dirac equation tells you that \(g=-2\): the Dirac magnetic moment is twice as strong as what you would expect from a spinning classical gyroscope of the same mass whose current creates the magnetic field as coils do. In quantum electrodynamics, there are loop corrections and the value of \(g\) measured by my ex-colleague Gerry Gabrielse is\[

g_e\approx –2.00231930436182(52).

\] The accuracy is some 13 decimal points. All these 13 digits are predicted by theory – which needs up to five-loop diagrams (it's some power law expansion involving powers of the fine structure constant \(\alpha\approx 1/137.036\)) – and all these 13 theoretical digits perfectly match Gabrielse's experiment.

By this agreement, the ageing and dwindling field of physics maintains the most accurate experimentally verified prediction in all of science. Well, some of the other, more dynamic disciplines of science only verify 1 or 2 figures and sometimes less than that (e.g. in the case of the most cited scholar, Moravian Jewish German Sigmund Freud who didn't really know what a digit was). ;-)

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