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Future Train Wreck: Mine or Modern Physics talk Next Thursday, Jan. 26

If you are in Cambridge, MA on Thursday, Jan. 26, you can see me live at MIT in room 3-270 from...

Holiday Physics Card, 2016

Just put them in the mail on December 24...It was a fun year of thinking, whether the idea is right...

Unified Mathematical Field Theory Talk

I gave a 15 minute talk at a local Americal Physical Society Meeting.  Here is the title and...

Holiday Card 2015

Here is my holiday card for 2015, a tradition of mine going back to 1990.  Enjoy.On the back...

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Doug SweetserRSS Feed of this column.

Trying to be a semi-pro amateur physicist (yes I accept special relativity is right!). I _had_ my own effort to unify gravity with other forces in Nature. It ran into quite a number of technically... Read More »

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Gotta Get 11 Dirac Gamma Girls, Plus 5 Doing an Imaginary Twist

[Note: based on discussions below, I decided to alter the title from "Gotta Get 16 Gamma Girls". The core figure in the blog is not of the 16 gammas in the Dirac basis, but only 11 of them. 5 of them have an extra factor of i. I will have to consult a few articles on the subject to see how they handled this issue.]

Thanks to all that read my previous post, “Sexy Standard Model Symmetries”. Most probably did not notice quite a few technical exchanges between David Halliday and myself. I was pretty darn sure I had a way to represent electroweak symmetry using quaternions. David was pretty darn sure I did not. Such exchanges can go on for some time, unless one party finally sees that they were in fact wrong on the facts. That doesn’t happen often. It did happen here, and I was the one who was wrong. This blog will go into my mistakes, and generate a few more animations which may open up new views.
What is sexy? That is in the eye of the beholder. The eye dominates, using roughly 40% of our CPU. We don’t ask movie stars to understand spread-spectrum communications technology, unless they do, like Hedy Lamarr.
The title is a playful variation on a line from a Bogart movie, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.  That was an adaptation from a novel of the same title:
"All right," Curtin shouted back. "If you are the [LHC] police, where are your [Higgs]? Let's see them."
For the unpopular cutting edge, there is no book with the answers at the back. This post will need to suffice for the snarky puzzles at the end of my previous posts. I am a playful snark, not a caustic one. I used to teach retarded citizens how to add. [clarification: while paying for 1 year of math grad school in Bloomington, Indiana, I volunteered an hour a week for a year at a local center.] I am that patient with myself, and will be so with you. Physics discussions can devolve into that 6 year-old boy fighting kind of groove (hi Sascha!). Since this is research, we do have a chance to learn something new together.
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Rocket science deserves its reputation as a difficult subject to approach. Relativistic rocket science is scarier still. If one tries to take this difficult, scary subject, and apply it to the way the biggest masses in all the Universe move, wouldn’t that be crazy? No, this idea is something that could get you certified. If you don’t know the difference between crazy and certified, well, neither did I before my 2 week vacation at Boulder Community Hospital. That story is too long to tell now.
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