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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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I tried to figure out the precession of the perihelion of Mercury calculation out three or four times from my collection technical books on gravity.  There was never enough detail for me to follow their work.  The authors can rightly figure that anyone reading this part of their textbook is exceptionally good at physics compared to the general populace and will be able to fill in any missing details.

For those part-timers who wish to move beyond the "Brief History of Time" level of physics, this is an obvious thing to try and figure out.  Because gravity does not work instantaneously, there is a wee bit more wobble in the orbit of Mercury.  This blog hopes to provide all the detail needed.
Looking at the list of snarky puzzles, games with simple groups was a recurring theme.

March 20, A Toy Model For Q8

Snarky puzzle
What is required so that a system undergoing change can be described just as accurately by the group Z4 as by Q8?
Background
The funny thing I realized by building a pipe cleaner model of Q8 is that is too complicated.  There must be a simplifying principle out there...

Answer
I don't have a proposal right now which makes writing a research driven blog a bit awkward.  I will only say I have a proposal when I have an action, and the action has been put into the Mathematica notebook I devised in the fall of last year as part of the process that led to my retraction of GEM (the notebook tested about ten different properties of the action).

This blog is a salvage job. I have towed my t-shirts with the GEM Lagrange density and field equations to the retraction dump, crashing global sales numbers.  I have spent time picking through the rubble, trying to understand causes for the crash.  While there are multiple reasons, I will focus exclusively on one issue: gauge symmetry.
The title of this blog is the title of a talk I will be giving real soon, this Thursday, March 29, as part of "Ignite Boston 9" at MIT's Media Lab.  No, you cannot go unless you are one of the 400 people who signed up, but video should be available soon enough.  Ignite talks short, all of 20 slides, 15 seconds a slide, so 5 minutes total.  Since the slides auto-advance, the time limit is strictly enforced.  The topics of discussion are all over the nerd map.  I am pretty sure I will be the only one to discuss number theory in any way.
The idea for this blog was dead simple. In my second blog at Science 2.0, "Quaternions for a Third Grader",  I showed of my clay and pipe cleaner model of quaternion multiplication. A few months ago, David Halliday and I started talking about the finite group Q8, which over the real numbers becomes the quaternions. David pointed out my tetrahedron was half the cube it needed to be to represent Q8. That was the idea for the blog: make a cube to represent that finite group.