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Archive for the ‘string theory’ Category

Patterns

Pattern

Pattern

I’m always surprised at what comes out of my screen when I’m playing with some ideas. As long as I remove the axis of the plot and the context, it becomes art.

 

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Multiverse…

There are entire libraries of coffee table conversations about the multiverse. A lot of them explore the what if and are usually fun over a couple of drinks. When its done professionally however… On second thought I think I’ll not go there this time around.

There is an online comic that is devoted entirely to the bizarre occurrences of the multiverse: it is aptly called “Scenes of a multiverse“. I recommend it highly. Usually you can expect intelligent Hamsters and evil geniuses running amok.  The one today is particularly apt if you’re up to snuff on the inner debates of academic multiverses: that it is a dream of something (aka, the simulated universe, aka The Matrix) and that there is no testable prediction, but postdictions aplenty. Or at least one.

If you’re in the mood for it, you might want to read some of the books by Michael Moorcock. They give you a different view of the multiverse.

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I recently gave an interview about my research to a newspaper run by my Alma matter mater. The article can be found here. It is in Spanish. As with most newspaper articles, very little science ends up punching through. It is extremely hard to communicate with the public without falling into my usual jargon. I learned that people like hearing about black holes, that it inspires a little fear of the unknown and that they think that the back holes just about eat everything. At least I was able to tell them that there is good evidence for  a super-massive black hole in the center of the Milky Way and that my work hopes to disentangle some of the mysteries of black holes.

Another thing that happened recently, is that a book for which I made a contribution finally got published. The book is called ” Geometric and Topological Methods for Quantum Field Theory“. The book is a set of lecture notes of a school that I attended two years ago. In my section I  try to explain some sring theory basics and the rudiments of the AdS/CFT correspondence. Unfortunately I was not allowed to post the notes in the arxiv when I asked. If your library happens to buy it you might want to give it a look.

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I have just attended the XV European Workshop on String Theory. It took place in Zürich, Switzerland. Here is the link to the conference information and the talk slides. The conference featured a lot of young speakers who I had not met before. I found it very entertaining. Curiously enough, I really got to feel for the first time that different countries have their own way of doing physics. I think this reflects a bit on the attitudes of different cultures on what constitutes good taste. There is nothing wrong per se with any such preferences, it’s just an observation that I have heard many times before, but it had not really made itself so obvious to me as this time around. The menu of topics covered was rather formal and the hospitality of the event was incredible. I’m very grateful to Matthias and Matthias for providing such a welcoming environment. Here is a picture of Zürich (the best of the ones I took while wandering aimlessly through the streets of the city).

Zurichskyline

The weather was absolutely perfect and the town is truly a lovely place to loose oneself into.

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The last few days I attended the conference in honor of Tom Banks and Willy Fischler on the occasion of their 60th Birthday. Here are the details of the conference.

Willy Fischler and Tom Banks at the dinner.

Willy Fischler and Tom Banks at the conference dinner.

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Today on the arxiv Oswaldo Zapata wrote an essay on issues about fact and belief systems in superstring theory. Naturally, Peter Woit decided that this was really important and wrote a whole article about it. Here I will collect a few recollections that serve as a rebuttal/complement to some of those discussions. Mostly, I feel implicated by some of this discussion since at least one of my works (together with Juan Maldacena and Horatiu Nastase) is mentioned as changing the history of an idea from belief to fact.

The whole issue is to quantify the following statement: the AdS/CFT correspondence is a true fact.

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comicstrings1

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