Friday, December 14, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

The word salad interpretation of quantum mechanics

Michael Nielsen, an achieved quantum information researcher, just wrote a fun essay

What does the quantum state mean? (
I largely agree with his view although he is way more "agnostic" about the meaning of the quantum state than I am.

The essay starts with a quote by Feynman saying that he still felt nervous about the lack of intuition why quantum mechanics was consistent – but suspected that 2 generations later, people would already feel comfortable with quantum mechanics, finding its consistency self-evident. It has surely worked for me.

Thursday, December 13, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

EU lawmakers tough on Czech PM's clash of interests

On December 1st, I discussed a leaked report written by the official EU legal service that has figured out that indeed, the Czech PM has a conflict of interests.

The EU rules about the conflict of interests were rather clearly stated but became much more stringent in August 2018. Whether or not I like the EU policies, I think that every civilized institution like that simply has to have some rules that prevent this behavior. The conflict of interests is ludicrously obvious for Babiš: he is currently the most powerful politician in Czechia, the second wealthiest citizen, and his company Agrofert is the greatest recipient of EU subsidies in the country.

Those subsidies have doubled from some $40 million annually when he entered politics 5 years ago to $80 million. Most of this doubling is almost certainly due to his corrupt interference with the money flows. His wealth has also doubled in that 5-year period.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Fun with entangled near-extremal black holes

Moyses has pointed out that I haven't discussed the July 2018 paper by Maldacena-Milekhin-Popov (Princeton) about a new wormhole solution. The wormhole is traversable. The metastability depends on

  • the presence of some charge and the electromagnetic fields
  • rotation of the two throats around each other (like in Earth-Sun or the LIGO black hole pairs before mergers)
  • the presence of massless Weyl fermions whose motion is described by Landau levels
You can see that there are some "unusual" building blocks that may justify why this kind of a solution hasn't been found before – or why people could have claimed to have proven that some classes of traversable wormholes were impossible.

The object isn't quite stable because the orbital motion emits gravitational and electromagnetic waves, the distance between the throats is decreasing, and the two sides eventually collide and merge.

Monday, December 10, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Climate hysteria not welcome: USA, KSA, RF, Kuwait

The acceleration of the climate hysteria peaked in 2005-2007 – remember Katrina and all the Nobel prizes for Al Gore and similar disgusting events – and the speed of the building climate hysteria has probably peaked around 2009 during the ClimateGate. But all this new age religion kept on solidifying afterwards – although more silently.

Finally, we have some indications that the climate bubble could start to burst. Last night, the media informed us about a nice beginning of a climate conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland (coverage; Katowice is 45 miles from Ostrava, Czechia – a vital black coal region is in between the two cities). Representatives of the countries were ordered to invent the optimal celebration of a recent IPCC report, the starkest one in many years. That report roughly said:

People can't be satisfied if 2 °C is avoided. 1.5 °C of warming (from an incorrectly, arbitrarily, and vaguely defined pre-industrial era) has to be avoided. With this goal in mind, countries have to completely change how they work, the economies have to be fudged up, and climate liars have to be promoted from millionaires to billionaires. We demand these recommendations to be welcome by the representatives of countries and by the ministers who attend the event in Katowice.
Among other things. Delegates from the countries did something surprising – for the fearmongers. They refused to accept the word "welcome". After 2.5 of disagreements, the word "noted" was used. The latest report was only noted, not welcome. Russia, America, Saudis, and Kuwait teamed up to make this improvement.

Sunday, December 09, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Interviews with Susskind and Veneziano

Two recent interviews with founders of string theory are out there. A recent CERN Courier published Matthew Chalmers' interview with the founder number zero, Gabriele Veneziano:

The roots and fruits of string theory
Veneziano was a really young boy in 1968, as a photograph demonstrates, and he – and others – were systematically studying the strong force and its apparent and hypothesized properties such as the DHS (world sheet) duality. Veneziano happened to be the guy who wrote down an amplitude, the Euler Beta function, that obeyed this cool property of the S-matrix, the DHS duality.

In Veneziano's presentation, it was all very systematic. The strong force was seen, its precise theory wasn't known, but some properties seemed experimentally known as well and researchers employed some reverse engineering. From that proper historical perspective, it isn't even true that string theory was discovered by an accident. They systematically looked at many properties of the strong force and the existence of the string-like fluxtubes is simply a fact. That's why they investigated a possible string-like description of the nuclear effects, amplitudes with lots of resonances, and why they had to try the amplitudes and Lagrangians describing the string itself.

Friday, December 07, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

A "failed" BSV surpassed the "winner" BCH

I no longer find it too likely that Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakomoto – Nick Szabo could be the right man (which would be somewhat similar, anyway) – but Craig Wright has surely become the most impressive "unexpected late winner" in the cryptocurrency capitalization wars.

If you look at the now, you will see that the total value of the world's cryptocoins is some $108 billion, about 1/8 of the peak value in January 2018. The regular Bitcoin, BTC near $3333, keeps below $60 billion out of the sum. It is followed by the Ripple and the Ethereum. Ripple did better during the recent stage of the bursting cryptobubble than Ethereum because the former is seen as slightly institutionally backed which was an advantage while the latter is not.

Thursday, December 06, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Hossenfelder's pathetic attack against CERN's future collider

Sabine Hossenfelder became notorious for her obnoxiously demagogic and scientifically ludicrous diatribes against theoretical physics – she effectively became a New Age Castrated Peter Woit – but that doesn't mean that she doesn't hate the rest of particle physics.

Her latest target is CERN's new project for a collider after the LHC, the Future Circular Collider (FCC), an alternative to the Japanese linear ILC collider and the Chinese circular CEPC collider (the Nimatron).

This is just a 75-second-long FCC promotional video. It shows just some LHC-like pictures with several of the usual questions in fundamental physics that experiments such as this one are trying to help to answer. The video isn't excessively original but you can see some updated state-of-the-art fashions in computer graphics as well as the visual comparison of the FCC and its smaller but more real sister, the LHC.

It's spin to call 1850-1900 "pre-industrial era"

The climate hysteria has faded away but some people keep on doing their propaganda work as if it were 2007. Tomorrow, I have an introductory talk about physics of the climate change in front of some selected audience, including a young presidential candidate from 2018.

At the beginning of the talk, I mention some elementary-school science such as the days and nights and seasons. Everyone understands why we have days and nights and why the weather changes during the year as well, doesn't she? Well, when I opened a news app in the morning, I could see that the media-savvy geologist Mr Cílek claims that the traditional seasons will disappear.

Holy cow. So I looked inside the article, to check what he actually wanted to say. He can't be this insane. He claims that springs and autumns will shorten and mostly disappear. I think that even this claim is mostly a pseudoscientific superstition. Any "global warming" affects all the seasons almost equally and the differences don't change much. But the worse news is that most of the actual readers who interact with this article will really start to believe that the Earth will stop spinning or its axis will cease to be tilted or that these astronomical facts will stop affecting the weather on Earth. What "helps" them to change the opinion is that they don't feel terribly certain about the spinning Earth or the tilted axis in the first place.

No, these processes really, really won't stop. It's terrible that people are being "de-educated" because believing in bombshell claims such as the disappearance of seasons is helpful for someone's political goals.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Four new LIGO-Virgo BH mergers

Some of them, using 3 detectors, allow to test predictions of polarization

On Saturday, two LIGO plus one Virgo gravitational wave detectors announced the discovery of four new black hole mergers – those from Summer 2017. Why it took 1.4 years isn't entirely clear to me. Their IDs, GW170729, GW170809, GW170818 and GW170823, reveal they arrived in July or August and the first, late July detection is the most massive and most distant merger ever detected.

These two black holes merged some 5 billion years ago – at the same cosmic time when the Solar System was created over here – and out of some 80 solar masses, a whopping 5 solar masses of energy were radiated away in the form of gravitational waves. The collaborations have released some new papers (see also the LIGO paper server).

Bureaucrats have the power to turn a tiny glitch into an insurmountable hurdle

...and in too many cases, they face no consequences when they do so...

As you know, I hate bureaucracy – and some very real and viscerally unpleasant experience with bureaucratic operations is a substantial part of my opposition to the ideals of the Big Government, or almost any government or a left-wing social construct, for that matter. In the U.S., I used to spend a month with the tax forms and immigration documents (not just the visas) during the average year.

It doesn't mean that I really needed 30 times 16 hours of hard work every year. The number of hours filled with some "substantial bureaucratic work" was much smaller. But the uncertainty, meaninglessness of this work, and other partly psychological aspects really depleted my energy for those 480 hours. For a decade, those things have been more tolerable – every year, a few days are partly occupied with some one-hour-long or two-hour-long work.

In the most recent week, I was facing a bureaucratic nightmare that I don't remember for a decade. The main villains was a female bureaucrat who was clearly acting to spite me – and a power of attorney ("plná moc", literally "full power", in Czech). I was recommended by someone to fulfill the task using a power of attorney. It had to be simple. Many others agreed.

Monday, December 03, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Yellow vest revolution shows the surrealism of decarbonization

Tom Vonk who lives in France has written a concerned message about the Yellow Vest protesters.

They protest against the increased price of fuels from the beginning of 2019 that is scheduled to follow from Macron's version of the carbon tax. The president uses the slogan "Make the Planet Great Again".

Saturday, December 01, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

EU lawyers: Czech PM should return billions in subsidies

Conflict of interests is self-evident to everybody with a brain, Czech culture of the bending laws clashes with different EU habits

Hours ago, Le Monde (FR) and The Guardian (UK) – and now e.g. Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) and Reuters (UK) – informed their readers that the lawyers of the European Commission have determined (according to a leaked report that you can read now) that the Czech PM Babiš is still the actual owner of Agrofert, a 3-billion-dollars corporation in agriculture, food industry, chemical industry, reproduction hospitals, and media, and therefore the billions of crowns (hundreds of millions of Euros) he has received in 2018 violate the EU rules and should be returned.

The European Commission is usually acting according to the recommendation of its lawyers in such situations although it's not quite certain that this will be the case now.

Friday, November 30, 2018 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Nir Shaviv in Bundestag

Gene has informed me that the Israeli astrophysicist, climate skeptic, and TRF guest blogger Nir Shaviv gave a testimony in the German Parliament, the greenest Parliament of any country in the world, on Wednesday.

EIKE, a skeptical institute for climate and energy, has written down a detailed story in German.

How did Nir get there? Well, it's simple. The Green Party whackadoodles are the new Übermenschen in that group of lawmakers so they decided that they had to educate the Untermenschen, i.e. the non-green lawmakers, by inviting their "expert", an unhinged climate fearmonger.

However, CDU/CSU, currently a self-described centrist coalition, is still represented in the Parliament and they wanted the critical voices to be heard. And it just happens that the right-wing AfD is present in the Parliament as well which is why Nir could have been invited, too.