Sunday, March 31, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Occam's razor and unreality of the wave function

Right after the mid 1920s, every physicist who was up to his or her job (OK, let's not be kidding, no woman really understood QM in the 1920s yet) knew that the idea that "the wave function was a real wave, like the electromagnetic wave" was the most naive kind of misconception about the character of quantum mechanics that a layman could have about quantum mechanics. This knowledge continued for many decades. The second quantum mechanical generation – including Feynman and pals – still understood the things perfectly but they already started to express the things in ways that reduced the negative reactions of the listeners.

Now, almost one century later, after a few decades of unlimited proliferation of pop-science books and completely wrong articles, the "unreal character of the wave function" became one of the most misunderstood basic facts about the natural science among the members of the broad public. Almost all the people were not only pushed to buy the completely wrong "the wave function is a real wave" thesis but this delusion has been turned into a moral imperative of its own kind. You should not only parrot such wrong statements: you should morally despise those who dare to point out that these statements are wrong.

Also, the writers who just can't live with the end of classical physics have not only written lots of wrong and confusing stuff about the physics questions themselves. They have also rewritten the history of physics. If a generic person tries to quickly enough find out what the Copenhagen Interpretation was or what Bohr and Heisenberg actually believed about quantum mechanics (and Dirac, Pauli, von Neumann, Wigner, and a few others), they get almost unavoidably drowned in amazing distortions, demagogy, and downright lies. The amount of mess, censorship, and misinformation about these elementary things already trump the chaos and censorship by the Inquisition of the Copernican ideas.

The motivation for almost all these distortions are ideological in character. It may look surprising that such a technical, almost mathematical point may be affected by ideologies – but it simply is affected a lot. In particular, lots of people realize that some kind of Marxism or another unscientific superstition that they hold dear did really assume classical physics which is why classical physics has to be "saved" from the questioning.

Saturday, March 30, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

New Slovak president: Slovaks are more "generic" Westerners than Czechs

Slovakia is choosing its new president today.

In the 2nd round, Ms Zuzana Čaputová (who got 40% in the first round, age 45) faces Mr Maroš Šefčovič (20% in the first round two weeks ago, 53 years). The lady will almost certainly win – something like 60% by 40% of voters (bookmakers have odds over 10-to-1). Up to recently, this female lawyer has been a top official in the Progressive Slovakia movement.

Her male antagonist – the campaign contained almost no real fight, maybe he just gave up – has been a life-long diplomat who represents the mainstream "Smer/Direction" Slovak social democracy with its opposition to migrants and other things. Even that ambiguous guy would be extremely far from a "Slovak Orbán", however. After all, he's been an EU commissar and you know that this organ has never allowed any "true soulmates" of Orbán.

A very characteristic song for this blog post. "Words" have been played by radios from Summer 2017. I assumed it's some native speaker – there isn't a glimpse of "our" accent in the song that I could hear. It sounds roughly like Taylor Swift or Katy Perry... I don't really distinguish these women. It could be them, I thought. Only weeks ago, I was shocked when I learned that the singer is Ms Emma Drobná, a Slovak. We have singers singing in English in Czechia but none of them has simultaneously this flawless English and this huge exposure in mainstream radios. In total, the Czech audiences prefer the songs in Czech – more than the Slovak audiences, I guess. And the musicians have to adapt to that fact. Funny: When I completed writing the previous sentence, this very song started to play on the real Pilsner Hit Radio FM Plus.

Čaputová will become another attractive enough young female leader of a European country. Ideologically, the change will be minimal because her views are similarly "progressive" as those of Andrej Kiska, an old, rich, and male current president of Slovakia. But the hopes for Slovakia to move a few steps away from the progressive globalism will probably evaporate tonight.

Thursday, March 28, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Greta Thunberg: when discussion becomes impossible

I haven't dedicated a separate blog post to the "climate school strike movement" founded by Greta Thunberg, (now) a 16-year-old Swedish girl, because it's too sad and the people promoting this stuff are extremely far not only from science but from anything that we could call a rational approach to the world. But because it's still an example of a campaign that greatly influences the kids' education – and it is a good symbol of many other, comparably bad things that are happening at schools – I think that one needs to discuss this sad story.

OK, a girl – who claims to possess Asperger's syndrome – went to skip the classes in order to express her desire to save the world from climate change. This stunt was immediately covered by the Swedish mainstream media – where Greta was promoted to God, a position she still holds – and some two weeks ago, 1.4 million students across the world followed in her footsteps. They skipped the classes in order to save the world from the climate Armageddon. It's possible that the next strike will be much more massive than that.

I am using this language – including the "Armageddon" – in order to mock the people who support this pathology. But it's an example of a social phenomenon in which the differences between the parody and the seriously meant claims have totally evaporated because some of the people could describe it in the same words.

Some reasons why the West won't stop building colliders

Many reasons why it's right to keep on building larger, more powerful colliders are often described in rather mainstream articles. But I happen to think that some of them, while fundamentally true, sound like clichés, politically correct astroturf theses. Like the correct statement that the scientific research is a universal value that unites nations – and people from different nations peacefully cooperate on something that boils down to the same humanity inside both. Just to be sure, I totally believe it and it's important, too!

As you know, my emphasis is a bit different... and I want to start with the reasons that are related to the "competition between civilizations". The first assumption of mine that you need to share is that the decisions in the West and the decisions in Asia are done very independently and they may have very different motivations. In particular, the anti-collider activists in the West influence the thinking of the VIPs in China about as much as the P*ssy Riot group does. They're just another strange aspect of the Western mass culture.

China – as the place of the CEPC, a planned future collider – has its own discussions about the colliders but only big shots seem to matter in those. Chen-Ning Yang, a physics titan (Lee-Yang and Yang-Mills), turned out to be the most prominent antagonist. Yang's reasons are really social. He thinks China is too poor and should pay for the people's bread instead. Well, ironically enough, this social thinking won't necessarily be decisive for the leaders in the communist party. Shing-Tung Yau – a top mathematician who comes from a pretty poor family – is among the numerous champions of the Chinese collider.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Humanitarian bombardment of Yugoslavia: 20 years

With hindsight, it was the first major apple telling me "don't trust the West's establishment mindlessly"

On Thursday, during my short visit to Prague, a guy asked me where Florenc was. So I explained it to him – in fact, I was heading to Florentinum, a fancy palace in the Florenc suburb. He turned out to be Serbian and I could proudly show him my briefcase from a private university in Belgrade where I was once offered a job.
A coincidence. I have only visited Serbia once in my life, a decade ago (while we have repeatedly been to Croatia's Adriatic beaches; by the way, I was surprised how "Western" Belgrade's appearances were), but the purpose of this paragraph is to argue that I have some links to Serbia, anyway.

Belgrade, via Lonely Planet

Almost exactly 20 years ago, on March 24th, 1999, the humanitarian bombardment of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia began. It lasted through June 10th. The name "Yugoslavia" was already a big overstatement – it was just a federation of Serbia and Montenegro and Montenegro left it later in 2006, after a referendum. The term "humanitarian bombardment" is the most popular term used by Czechs – it's derived from the "humanitarian intervention", an official NATO description of the bombardment. I think that either Václav Havel or the Czechoslovakia-born Madeleine Albright or both have actually used the term "humanitarian bombardment" explicitly.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

It's irrational to both worship and completely distrust a thinker

People like Weinstein hide their fanatical desire to silence thinkers into some "flattering" mumbo-jumbo

Peter Thiel has hired Eric Weinstein as a part-time economist, part-time talking head about science – someone who produces far-reaching and emotionally loaded statements about the value of science, its future, the relationship between scientists and the establishment and, as we will see... the need for the majority society or the rich to conquer the scientists' brains and turn the scientists into obedient slaves.

Last week, Weinstein gave an 80-minute-long very unfocused interview about music, humor, labor... (I don't have patience for all this cheesy and distracting stuff and sorry to say, it is very clear that I don't belong to the target audience – it's just talk addressed to the mass culture) and after 50:00 or so, he talks about his "love-hate relationship" with theoretical physicists.

Monday, March 25, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Can gravitinos form some Cooper pairs?

The cosmological constant problem is hard. Many people have said it was the deepest problem in physics, especially around 2000 when this proposition was fashionable. But there's no guarantee that its resolution would transform all of physics. The right solution could very well be an idea that is isolated from the rest of fundamental physics.

Why is the cosmological constant positive yet so small? Like \(10^{-122}\)? The most boring solution is the multiverse solution in which our Universe is chosen from a large number, of more than \(10^{122}\), potential Universes. Life can't form in the Universes with too large or too small values of the constants, so it's unavoidable that from the many choices, people end up here, wondering why the cosmological constant is so small. But it couldn't have been otherwise. This anthropic tautological explanation is unattractive for many of us.

There may be a quintessence, a scalar field that makes the cosmological constant decrease as the Universe gets older. Or there may be some totally new "fake dark energy" linked to holography or MOND or some non-local phenomena in the Universe.

Mueller probe and meta-justice powers

The Mueller probe seems to be completed. From 2017, Robert Mueller has been investigating the allegations that Donald Trump has colluded with Russia to become the U.S. president – and that he has been obstructing justice. The investigation was started by Rod Rosenstein, a deputy attorney general.

Attorney General William Barr has received the report and summarized it in a summary. No evidence of a collusion has been found. No more indictments will be made. Instead of clearly saying whether Trump has ever obstructed justice, Mueller wrote arguments on both sides and concluded that he doesn't want to make crisp statements and it's not enough for some prosecution. Clearly, the wording concerning the obstruction is more ambiguous – which is linked to the fact that the definition of obstruction is murkier.

Sunday, March 24, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

CMS: a 3.5-sigma excess in CP-odd Higgs to tops decays

The CMS collaboration has apparently resumed its mass production of deviations from the Standard Model. After the hints of a gluino in gauge-mediated supersymmetry breaking, we have a new anomaly:

Search for heavy Higgs bosons decaying to a top quark pair in proton-proton collisions at \(\sqrt{s} = 13\TeV\)
The excess is locally 3.5 sigma and globally 1.9 sigma.

Saturday, March 23, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

A strange "letter against statistical significance"

Anton wanted me to react to

Scientists rise up against statistical significance,
a letter written by 3 people and signed by 800 others (which may look high on the street but it's really an insignificant fraction of similar or better "scientists" in the world – surely millions). Two of the three authors have written a similar manifesto to a Nature subjournal in 2017. The signatories mostly do things like psychology, human behavior, epidemiology – mostly soft sciences. I see only 4 signatories with some "physics" on their lines and 2 of them are "biophysicists".

First, I found that text to be largely incoherent, indicating a not really penetrating thinking of the authors. There isn't any sequence of at least three sentences that I could fully subscribe to. If there is a seed of a possibly valid point, it's always conflated with some fuzzy negative attitudes to the very existence of "statistical significance" and I think that no competent scientist could agree with those assertions in their entirety.

Statistical significance may be misunderstood and used in incorrect sentences, including fallacies of frequently repeated types (I will discuss those later) and in this sense, it may be "abused", but the same is true for any other tool concept in science (and outside science). One may "abuse" the wave function, quantum gravity, a doublet, a microscope, or a cucumber, too, and this website is full of clarifications of the abuses of most of these notions. But just because people abuse these things doesn't mean that we may or we should throw the concepts (and gadgets) to the trash bin.

When it comes to the description of the "frequent abuse of statistical significance", I don't see a statistically significant positive correlation between their comments and my views – and the correlation is probably negative although I am not totally certain whether that correlation is statistically significant. ;-)

Clearly, I must start with this assertion that will also be the punch line of this blog post:
Sciences that have experimental portions and that are "hard sciences" at least to some extent simply cannot work without the concept.
A proof why it's essential: All of science is about the search for the truth. One starts with guessing a hypothesis and testing it. Whether a hypothesis succeeds in describing data has to be determined. The process is known as the hypothesis testing. The result of that test has to be quantitative. It's called the \(p\)-value (or similar, more advanced quantities). The term "statistical significance" is nothing else than a human name for a \(p\)-value or a qualitative description of whether the \(p\)-value is low enough for the hypothesis to get a passing grade. The very existence of science is really connected with the existence of the concept of the statistical significance although a few centuries ago, the significance often used to be so high or low that the concept wasn't discussed explicitly at all.

This is a mostly theoretical physics blog but there are hundreds of comments about 3-sigma this and 4-sigma that. You couldn't really express these ideas "totally differently" (except for switching from sigmas to \(p\)-values or using synonyms). We simply need to quantify how reasonable it is to interpret an experiment as an experiment in which the Standard Model has apparently failed.

You may click at Statistical significance to see that the Wikipedia provides us with a perfectly sound and comprehensible definition – which doesn't indicate that there's anything controversial about the concept itself. A statistically significant outcome is one that is unlikely to emerge according to the null hypothesis. That's why such a result makes it likely that there's something beyond the null hypothesis. This kind of the interpretation of the empirical data represents the building blocks of almost all the reasoning in quantitative enough empirical sciences!

How I became a non-voter last week

Last Friday, March 15th, was quite a scary day. Too bad that such days can't be removed or reversed in some way. To summarize the contemporary tragedies with a symbol, that day was the 80th anniversary of the occupation of the rest-of-Czechia by Nazi Germany in 1939.

I received a certain hostile letter from a lawyer which has probably devastated me to a similar extent as some Czech patriots were devastated by the occupation 80 years ago.

But that's not the only thing. It was also a day when tons of high school kids across the world went to skip the classes in order to support "science" and save the world from the climate Armageddon. (I just read that Greta nicely surprised and supported nuclear energy – before her dad intervened and she no longer supports the nuclei. Makes one wonder whether she's ever been more than her green dad's puppet.) To make it even worse, thousands of students accumulated in the streets of Prague as well – and pictures from our otherwise sensible skeptical nation became the organizers' most popular snapshots.

Sorry, kids, but you can't get closer to science by skipping the classes. Those who skip the classes are likely to become scientifically illiterate manipulated sheep. To get closer to science, you need to study it – and you need to study it critically so that you may also figure out when something said by the teacher does't add up.

Friday, March 22, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

A scalar weak gravity conjecture seems powerful

Stringy quantum gravity may be predicting an \(r=0.07\) BICEP triumph

Many topics in theoretical physics seem frustratingly understudied to me but one of those that are doing great is the Weak Gravity Conjecture (WGC) which is approaching 500 followups at the rate of almost a dozen per month. WGC hasn't ever been among the most exciting ideas in theoretical physics for me – which is why the activity hasn't been enough to compensate my frustration about the other, silenced topics – but maybe the newest paper has changed this situation, at least a little bit.

Nightingales of Madrid by Waldemar Matuška. Lidl CZ goes through the Spanish week now.

Eduardo Gonzalo and Luis E. Ibáñez (Zeman should negotiate with the Spanish king and conclude that our ň and their ñ may be considered the same letter! Well, the name should also be spelled Ibáněz then but I don't want to fix too many small mistakes made by our Spanish friends) just released:

A Strong Scalar Weak Gravity Conjecture and Some Implications
and it seems like a strong cup of tea to me, indeed. The normal WGC notices that the electron-electron electric force is some \(10^{44}\) times stronger than their attractive gravity and figures out that this is a general feature of all consistent quantum gravity (string/M/F-theory) vacua. This fact may be justified by tons of stringy examples, by the consistency arguments dealing with the stability of near-extremal black holes, by the ban on "almost global symmetries" in gravity which you get by adjusting the gauge coupling to too small values, and other arguments.

Other authors have linked the inequality to the Cosmic Censorship Conjecture by Penrose (they're almost the same thing in some contexts), to other swampland-type inequalities by Vafa, and other interesting ideas. However, for a single chosen Universe, the statement seems very weak: a couple of inequalities. The gravitational constant is smaller than the constant for this electric-like force, another electric-like force, and that's it.

Thursday, March 21, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

A proof of highly-curved AdS/CFT, edition 2019a

Freedom of expression increasingly under attack: the Czech Wikipedia, along with the German, Danish, Slovak ones, and others, is darkened today to protest the March 26th EU-wide vote about copyright laws that would make it mandatory to preemptively search for potential copyright violations in excerpts from news. With worries like that, most sources – except for some monopolies with big legal teams – could indeed be silenced. Freedom to talk about the news is far more important than anyone's copyrights related to news.
Since the discovery of the AdS/CFT correspondence in 1997, some physicists (including me) tried to prove it. I am talking about the most famous case with the \(AdS_5\times S^5\) background of type IIB string theory that is described by the boundary CFT in \(d=4\) with the \(\NNN=4\) supersymmetry. And I am talking about some sort of a "direct proof", at least in some regime – there is a lot of circumstantial evidence that Maldacena's duality is correct, of course.

If you "thicken" propagators in a gauge theory Feynman diagram, it starts to look like a piece of a plane – which may be considered a world sheet – cut to pieces. Many things may be done with this 't Hooft picture which was the precursor of holography in the mid 1970s. Well, maybe Nathan wants to add at least one reference to a paper by 't Hooft LOL but I understand what's behind such omissions.

That duality is usually studied for a large gauge theory 't Hooft coupling where the radius of the AdS space and the five-sphere (the radii are equal) is much larger than the 10D Planck scale in the bulk quantum gravitational theory (type IIB string theory). But at some level, the correspondence should be true for a small radius as well, i.e. for the highly curved AdS space that cannot be easily described by a low-energy "classical" gravitational action.

You may Google search my blog for a proof of AdS/CFT – this topic is very old. Also because I am being acknowledged (thanks, Nathan) although I didn't give him any useful input recently, I sort of have to write about (my once co-author's and brilliant physicist's) Nathan Berkovits' new iteration of the proof:
Sketching a Proof of the Maldacena Conjecture at Small Radius
It's still a "sketch" so we don't know whether it will be treated as the "final word" on these proofs sometime in the future.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

On aspects of Theranos

...and what it teaches us about bad, hyped science...

I admit that I have almost completely missed the story of Theranos and its founder, up to yesterday or so (I missed it partly because they have "only" made big claims about a limited issue, blood tests, not about a world revolution). The media were full of reviews of "The Inventor", an HBO documentary about the most famous recent Silicon Valley fraud. Interestingly enough, most of the footage in the documentary was shot for Theranos ads – and by Errol Morris whom I met in person at the 2005 SidneyFest (and a dinner in the Society of Fellows).

If you want to learn more, you need to Google search for "Theranos" or "Elizabeth Holmes". But let me start with a basic story.

Elizabeth Holmes, who is 35 now and awaiting up to 20 years in prison for massive wire fraud (she's officially broke but still lives in a hyper-luxurious apartment with various paid servants now, it turned out), has been born into an important dynasty. Her ancestors built important hospitals etc. and her father was a vice-president of a hot company – whose name happened to be Enron. I would think that even this fact should have raised some red flags – but it seems largely unknown to the public, even today.

She studied some biochemistry at Stanford but became a dropout, starting with Theranos (from Therapy+Diagnosis, originally named Real-Time Cures), a company with gadgets that make equally reliable blood tests fast and only need a droplet of your blood or so. It's not terribly important how many droplets the gadgets needed, it was nonsense for all small values of that number. For a young entrepreneur, she looked like a remarkably average teenager as a high school student.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

CMS: 2.4-sigma excess in the last gluino bin, photons+MET

Gluino, a vampire alchemist with human eyes

I just want to have a separate blog post on this seemingly small anomaly. We already saw the preprint for one day in advance but the CMS preprint finally appeared on the hep-ex arXiv:

Search for supersymmetry in final states with photons and missing transverse momentum in proton-proton collisions at 13 TeV
OK, they look at events in which two photons are created and seen in the calorimeters, plus the momentum addition doesn't seem to add up. The sum of the initial protons' \(\sum\vec p_i\) seems to differ from the final particles \(\sum \vec p_f\). The difference is the "missing transverse momentum" but because such a momentum is carried by particles which must have at least the same energy, it's also referred to as MET, the missing \(E_T\) or missing transverse energy.

Thursday, March 14, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Strumia: audio from his famous talk on women in HEP

If you missed it, today is the Pi Day, 3/14, Albert Einstein's 140th birthday, and the Slovak Fascist State's 80th birthday!

If you want some quality 35 minutes with the Italian English, the audio from the talk by Alessandro Strumia from University of Pisa (Galileo's Alma Mater) will be interesting for you.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

AdS bulk is a neural network, entanglement is a quantum gauge field

I want to mention three new papers. One of them has a cool title and the other two have some cool ideas in their bodies.

First, F. F. Faria wrote a hep-ph paper with a Conformal theory of everything. The number of papers with the ambitious titles involving "a theory of everything" is still small enough so if you want to be sure that people like me would spend at least 0.2 seconds with each page of your paper, call it "a theory of everything".

It's my policy to quickread papers with "theories of everything" in titles because it has worked for me – such a paper (not very good one) was the first paper from which I learned about Matrix theory which was rather important for me, and still is. ;-)

Sadly, the paper just writes down some action as a sum of some Standard Model, conformal gravity, and dilaton actions, with no sign of a unification or anything else that would be new and interesting. Still, good for a paper written in Brazil (an Amazon researcher is shown on the picture above).

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Six photons claimed to prove that Wigner, his friend have irreconcilable views

Can a doable experiment prove that the objective reality doesn't exist?

Here's a rare example of the media hype that leads the reader to a basically correct conclusion about quantum mechanics.

As I have often argued, quantum mechanics fundamentally requires the description of the phenomena to be observer-dependent. An observer must know what he observes, what the result is, and the answers to these questions are in principle subjective. Consequently, the wave function or the density matrix, its collapse, and the precise predictions of the future measurements are subjective or observer-dependent, too. There is no way to objectively label phenomena as measurements or non-measurements and there is no viable way (and no way that would be compatible with relativity) to make the collapse of the wave function – describing the change of the observer's knowledge – as an objectively real collapse.

Wigner's friend experiment is the simplest thought experiment that shows the point. In that thought experiment (which is now claimed to become a real experiment), Eugene Wigner observes a lab in which his friend observes a quantum experiment. For the friend, the collapse occurs as soon as the friend sees something. But for Wigner himself who hasn't observed the particle inside, the system keeps on evolving as a superposition in which all options have nonzero amplitudes and are capable of reinterfering.

Sunday, March 10, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Nazi occupation of Czechia: 80th anniversary

Next week, Czechs will commemorate the 80th anniversary of the "dealing with the rest of Czechia" ("Erledigung der Rest-Tschechei"; yes, that terminology was intentionally picked to be degrading but Czechs have no problem with the word "Tschechei" although Germans typically think that the PC "Tschechien" is mandatory – for us, they're just synonyms) by Nazi Germany.

On March 14th, 1939, softcore Slovak clerofascists and anti-Prague nationalists, energized by their influential hardcore German friend, declared the independence and broke Czecho-Slovakia – which had already been broken by the hyphen for half a year, and which had been stripped of the Sudetenland. It was the first time when Slovakia became a country.

One window wasn't enough, Hitler greeted Prague from two windows.

On March 15th, German troops invaded Czechia and formally established the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, a new "regime" that would last for 6 more years. The Third Reich was supposed to last for 1000 years but the witty Czechs renamed the occupied structure, "Protektorát" in Czech, to "Protentokrát" which looks and sounds almost the same but it means "Just for this time", correctly (with our hindsight) or optimistically (with their uncertainty) indicating the temporary character of that regime.

On March 16th, the aforementioned hardcore German comrade triumphantly arrived to the Prague Castle, declared himself the eternal master of the Milky Way, and took a couple of selfies including one above. I have felt safer in that office when then President Klaus, and not Hitler, was standing next to me. ;-)

Friday, March 08, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

CERN fires Strumia: the silence is deafening

After five months of "investigations" that weren't investigating anything, the vicious, dishonest, and ideologically contaminated individuals who took over CERN have said "good-bye" to Alessandro Strumia, a top particle phenomenologist with 38k citations according to Google Scholar and 32k according to Inspire.

See e.g. the BBC, The Daily Mail, Gizmodo, Dorigo's despicable defense of the Soviet tactics.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Facebook censors critiques of postmodern education, too

In recent years and especially months, servers such as Facebook and Twitter began to delete messages such as "lesbians aren't attracted to sex with men" and similar tautologies. We are slowly getting used to the censorship of all sane views concerning the sexual identity and co-existence of races.

However, the Czech left-wing populist outlet The Parliamentary Letters (where every politician may immediately get an account to post stuff) just published some remarkable news about the censorship of politically inconvenient views of a female teacher about the state of the Czech education – well, it is largely a criticism of the EU education and the contemporary West's education in general.

Young diagram hooks for a fermionic matrix model

The third hep-th paper in today's listings is very interesting.

Gauged fermionic matrix quantum mechanics
First of all, the authors are nice because they are deniers. One of them is a Koch brother, Robert, and the other one is David Berenstein, the long-haired guy who sings "I'm a Denier" along with Al Gore, Michael Mann, and Chicken Little. ;-)

OK, more seriously, they study matrix models which are clearly relevant for full-blown definitions of quantum gravity. Lots of descriptions of vacua (or superselection sectors) of quantum gravity are given by \(U(N)\) or \(SU(N)\) gauge theories in various numbers of dimensions – that includes the \(AdS_5\)-like vacua in AdS/CFT and the BFSS matrix theory.

Some half-supersymmetric subsets of operators in such theories are fully understood etc.

Monday, March 04, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

One quadrillion standard models in F-theory

I want to pick two papers on the arXiv today. In

Signatures of supersymmetry and a \(L_\mu−L_\tau\) gauge boson at Belle-II,
Banerjee and Roy from the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (I couldn't resist to write this cute name of an institution) point out that Belle-II, a Japanese B-factory experiment that began to take limited data one year ago and is already taking all the data since early 2019, may observe a smoking gun for a class of supersymmetric theories that recently looked very intriguing to many physicists, for lots of reasons.

It's models with the extra \(L_\mu-L_\tau\) gauge symmetry which may be good enough to explain the masses of generations of leptons, dark matter, baryon asymmetry, and the discrepancy in the muon magnetic moment. Belle-II could see the reaction\[

e^+ + e^- \to \gamma Z' \to \gamma+\met

\] where \(Z'\) is the new gauge boson and the reaction is possible due to its kinetic mixing with the photon. Looking at some nearly highest energy boxes, Belle-II could discover the \(Z'\) boson even if it were too heavy to be accessible by the LHC. This is an example of a cheaper experiment that could beat the "brute force energy frontier" collider such as the LHC or FCC – but the price you pay is that such reactions are very special and you must hope that a rather particular scenario is picked by Mother Nature, otherwise you see nothing.

Sunday, March 03, 2019 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Brexit: ODS, most Czechs oppose EU's efforts to humiliate U.K.

I want to say something about the Czech attitudes to Brexit. Well, for Czech political junkies, Brexit is quite a topic for discussions – for many reasons.

First, Czechia is the EU's most Euroskeptic nation, beating even the U.K. itself, which is why it's very natural that the British stories are a template what could be faced by us. We could be solving the same challenges as the Britons soon. Brussels could try to blackmail us or hurt us in analogous ways. The messy Brexit experience could be a reason for us to vote "Stay", after all, and so on.

Second, Czechs went through the Velvet Divorce of Czechoslovakia and most of the curious people ask Why the Brexit can't be as smooth, fast, and rosy as the dissolution of Czechoslovakia? To summarize my detailed answer on Quora, the answer is that the stronger side in the negotiations was decent in the Czechoslovak case (Czechs were nice and pragmatic) but they (politicians in Brussels) are just classic arrogant jerks in the Brexit case.

Paloma Faith, Make Your Own Kind of Music, over 3 million views (beating the Mama Cass original). There aren't too many touching successful full-blown songs that are really car TV commercials but this Škoda video is one.

Third, we're still a nation that has visible enough ties with the U.K. and we don't really want to break them. In particular, Britain is Czechia's 5th most important export market (after Germany, Slovakia, Poland, France), getting about 5% of the Czech exports. In particular, the old communist small Škoda cars were the real target of all the British car jokes. Now, Škoda repeatedly wins the greatest number of prizes and surveys in the U.K.

Check e.g. the recent What Car? (U.K.) awards. Škoda won about 5 out of 15 categories. Or read a yesterday's review of Superb Sportline at AutoCar.Co.UK and the mostly enthusiastic comments underneath. Or watch a 5-day-old video review of Kamiq, the new Škoda's baby SUV – replacing the quirky beloved, now extinct, Yeti. Or look at the new "super-sexy" electric crossover Vision iV that is out in a year or two (no door handles, huge wheels, cameras instead of mirrors, level 3 autonomous, 5G...). An average Briton owns 70 Škoda cars. ;-)

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