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Physics News

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 12:47 PM PDT

Various physics-related news:

  • The LHC is back in business doing physics, with intensity ramp-up for the 2018 run ongoing. Today the machine is colliding 1551 bunches of protons, ultimate goal is to get to 2556 bunches. They are at least a week ahead of the planned schedule, which would have only reached 1200 bunches next week.
  • There’s a conference going on at the KITP this week, discussing the latest state of dark matter theory and experiment. By the way, see here for how prominent theorists communicate these days instead of using email…
  • At the Atlantic and Knowable Magazine, Tom Siegfried provides yet more multiverse coverage. Seems that he’s at work on a multiverse book.
  • At the Edge, Sabine Hossenfelder has an on-target analysis of the situation in fundamental theoretical physics. The problems she points to are ones that motivated books by Lee Smolin and myself back in 2006. Things haven’t improved since then and I hope she’ll have better luck generating concern for these issues than we did.
  • At Alta, Jennifer Ouellette has a fascinating account of the maneuverings for credit among the many observers of the neutron star merger last year. It sounds like some of those involved are suffering from the same disease as Brian Keating: not reality-based conviction that they’re in the running for a Nobel Prize.
  • Director Claire Denis is now at work on a sci-fi movie entitled High Life that sounds more promising than the last black hole movie. She’s getting scientific advice from Aurelien Barrau and comments:

    If there are theories about me, I'd rather not know. Astrophysics – now that's fascinating. String theory, worm holes, the expanding universe, the Big Bang versus the Big Bounce – those are the kind of theories that make you feel like living and understanding the mystery of the world. Film theory is just a pain in the ass.


Update
: One more. David Gross will be back in Princeton this week, giving talks on gravity and particle physics. I may head down Thursday to revisit scenes of my youth.