Physics


The BICEP2 telescope at twilight at the South Pole. The supporting data for the inflation of the universe have also gone off into the sunset. Steffen Richter/ Harvard University , CC BY-NC-SA

By Chad Orzel, Associate Professor of Physics at Union College.

I have decided to rescind this proposal.  The swap of time t for space R and visa versa really didn't change anything: a scalar operator was still needed and the single value of time needed three subscripts, not making it look at all like time.  The exact role reversal is too exact.

Don't like the second law of thermodynamics - that heat transfer has limits when trying to do work? Maybe you can just use a different one.

Rather than being an immutable fundamental law, researchers from University College London and the Universities of Gdansk, Singapore, and Delft write in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they have uncovered additional second laws of thermodynamics which complement the ordinary second law of thermodynamics, they are just not noticeable except on very small scales. 
After the joint analysis by Planck, BICEP2 and Keck Array has been made public (arXiv:1502.00612) invalidating the March 2014 announcement by BICEP2 (arXiv:1403.3985v1), a Forbes contributor writes « When Science Gets It Wrong: Gravitational Waves ». Obviously, scientific institutions should be more careful before launching or supporting certain kinds of propaganda.
The sixteenth edition of the internationally known Neutrino Telescopes conference will take place on March 2nd-6th 2015 in the usual venue of Palazzo Franchetti in Venice. This is a conference which gathers from around the world researchers who study neutrino physics and related topics. 

A common misconception is that all good scientific theory must be based on empirical science and provide ingredients where the theory can be potentially falsified (Karl Popper).

This dogma demands that a hypothesized theory should include something falsifiable, something that could be *possibly observed* and would then refute the theory (here in the words of Lee Smolin).

James D. Bjorken, also known as "BJ" by colleagues and physicists around the world, has been awarded the prestigious 2015 Wolf prize in Physics together with cosmologist Robert Kirshner. Bjorken deserves a lot of credit for his contribution to subnuclear physics: the official motivation is 

"For predicting scaling in deep inelastic scattering, leading to identification of nucleon's pointlike constituents "

Today I collected in my mailbox the hefty "Review of Particle Physics", the publication of the Particle Data Group which contains a summary of everything we know about subatomic particles. For the first time, the publisher is a Chinese journal: Chinese Physics C. This might be considered a detail, but it is a sign of times: China has been increasing its involvement in fundamental physics research in the last decade, and it may well become the leading country in this business in the future.

In this post, I will provide the ultra orthodox fringe view (translation: just my view) on the problems that face physics when doing classical problems with gravity.  The difference between this blog and a more conventional presentation is that I will emphasize the problems instead of starting off with the leading proposals of the day.