## Tuesday, April 30, 2013 ... /////

### Herschel retires

...and other events and anniversaries...

The Herschel Space Observatory lost its ability to see after four years: Science World Report, Google News, Herschel on TRF.

The life expectancy, 4 years, is pretty short, isn't it? What was the reason why Herschel had to end its mission? Well, it ran out of the liquid helium coolant. Such things are finite. Incidentally, I think that the general claims that we're running out of helium on Earth are heavily overblown.

## Monday, April 29, 2013 ... /////

### PhysX PBF: breakthrough in simulation of water

A decade ago, the state-of-the-art computer simulation of moving water looked like the 0:20-0:40 segment of the Mafia I trailer. In the following years, the progress was relatively modest up to very recently.

PC games have become nearly photorealistic but flowing and splashing liquids are still hard. In some sense, one needs to simulate individual (enlarged) molecules and/or the Navier-Stokes equations – both tasks are difficult when it comes to the required computer power etc.

The video above shows what the simulation of water looks like using the newest technologies. A single graphics card, GTX 580 which you may buy for $350, was used to produce the video in real time. ## Sunday, April 28, 2013 ... ///// ### Democritus on the QM operating system Comments on some extra chapters were added at the end This reading report will be much more favorable than the previous one, one on minds and machines. Chapters 5, 6, 7 etc. are dedicated to the classes of problems that may be solved in a reasonable time. They are full of arguments showing that if one type of a problem may be solved [at all AND/OR with some limitations on time AND/OR with some limitations on memory AND/OR with some probability of success AND/OR with some secret hints etc.], then another type of a problem may be solved at all. This leaves a network of classes of algorithmic problems that are not known to coincide. This network is a result of simplifications resulting from some known proofs – proofs demonstrating the equivalence of some classes etc. – which have been taken into account. There's a lot of mathematical arguments that I have only partially verified but it seems clear that they have no good reason to be wrong because the researchers doing them aren't stupid (they're rather rigorous mathematicians) and there aren't any real subtleties that would require some "special kinds of intelligence" behind conventional math skills and rigor. As an introduction to complexity, it's a wonderful resource. But I don't plan to memorize all the things that are known about the classes and particular problems and algorithms; instead, I know a good source where some basic things may be found if needed. ;-) ## Saturday, April 27, 2013 ... ///// ### Gordon Kane: Supersymmetry and Beyond You may pre-order Gordon Kane's book, Supersymmetry and Beyond, that will be released on May 14th. It has about 200 pages, a foreword by Edward Witten, a glossary, and recommendations from Brian Greene and David Gross. An appendix discusses the prediction of the Higgs mass from compactified string theory. ### New Czech president attacks EU regulation A way to summarize why I have been decided for quite some time to vote for Miloš Zeman as Václav Klaus' successor is to say that among the candidates who had a significant chance, he was the most right-wing one. He was the clearest for of the green politicians and NGOs; he was the most candid one when it came to jokes vs political correctness; he is a much stronger hawk when it comes to foreign policy (especially the threats posed by the Muslim world) than Václav Klaus (he talks about the Anticivilization spreading from Northern Africa through Indonesia that makes living partly by drugs and partly by oil; he wants to invite Israel to NATO to help us fight against this major threat); regardless of his talk, he has done a lot for capitalism in Czechia, e.g. by his having privatized the banks 15 years ago. Zeman is a self-described leftist. Still, those of us who remember all the developments right before, during, and after the Velvet Revolution must know that this "leftism" is a part of the image that Zeman has to preserve not to negate his life but there's no genuine "leftism" of the kind that irritates me so much. In some sense, he is a conservative fifth column within the Left which is a good thing. ## Friday, April 26, 2013 ... ///// ### New accurate gravitational wave data A new pulsar and his white dwarf pal confirm Einstein's GR again The 1993 Nobel prize in physics was given for the discovery of a binary pulsar, i.e. a rotating neutron star, whose orbiting frequency was changing exactly as predicted by the general theory of relativity which says that accelerating masses emit gravitational waves, lose energy, speed up the orbiting rate, and gradually collapse onto their companion. ### Hyundai ix35 unfit for suicide by CO2 All the media have informed about the following Hyundai ad that was quickly suspended: The man tries to commit suicide by inhaling the gases from the exhaust pipe. But Hyundai ix35 only has "water emissions", whatever it exactly means, so he fails. ## Thursday, April 25, 2013 ... ///// ### An apologia for firewalls Anniversaries: there are lots and lots of birthdays and deathdays of mathematicians who influenced physics today, including Felix Klein, Siméon Denis Poisson, Andrey Kolmogorov, and Felix Berezin. A decade ago, I would enthusiastically read many or most papers authored or co-authored by Joe Polchinski who would be a fountain of crisp, creative, and perfectionist physics. I may have voted for him as the world's #1 most clearly thinking physicist. Sadly for me, I unregistered from the club of regular readers of his papers after I looked at several important places in this new AMPSS paper (one "S" was added): An apologia for firewalls Their (AMPS) July 2012 idea that black holes have to have a "black hole firewall" at the event horizon (which instantly kills an infalling observer) has faced lots of criticism. Now they (AMPSS) try to argue that this criticism was invalid and the "alternative explanations" can't work. Some of the criticisms – like the important point by Varela, Nomura, and partly Weinberg that the equivalence principle should only be applied on the Hilbert subspace built upon a particular "classical history" while the black hole is described by a Schrödinger-cat-like superpositions of macroscopically distinct states – were totally ignored. Even in isolation, these remarks are enough to show that the original paper by AMPS is wrong. It seems that AMPS suffers from many independent errors, each of which is enough to invalidate the argument. ## Wednesday, April 24, 2013 ... ///// ### Lee Smolin: Time Reborn An incredible pile of unscientific gibberish There's one aspect in which Lee Smolin's newest book is less irritating than his previous book, The Trouble With Physics: the main purpose of the new book isn't to mindless attack and lie about the best results of the contemporary theoretical physics research. Instead, if we ignore the mega-arrogant and super-dishonest subtitle "From the Crisis of Physics to the Future of the Universe", "Time Reborn" tries to attack physics from the times of Newton and "constructively" present Smolin's own ideas about physics – or something he apparently calls "physics" – and it's a stinky junk of the most despicable kind, indeed. ## Tuesday, April 23, 2013 ... ///// ### Minds and machines Let me say a few words on the fourth chapter of Scott Aaronson's book, Minds and Machines. It's about complexity of problems as well as the differences (or equivalence) between human brains and artificial thinking machines. When one reads this fun stuff, he may see how these complexity folks are thinking and – even if he knows the principles – he realizes which of them are considered important (and, in many cases, more important than they deserve) by the complexity theorists. I would say that not even Aaronson would claim that this chapter has anything to do with physics but I have been surprised many times in my life so I am not certain. ### Online and collaborative TeX: ShareLaTeX A handy tool for people who write papers in $\rm\TeX$ This blog entry is just a very short reference to ShareLaTeX.com (click) You must register (ten seconds, no confirmations) but once you do, you will have the opportunity to start with $\rm\LaTeX$ in the most pedagogical way possible, to edit your $\rm\LaTeX$ sources from any place in the world, to collaborate on the files with other people in the world, and to instantly see the resulting document in PDF. A sophisticated Javascript does the job. No need to install complicated $\rm\TeX$ compilers on your PC. No lockings. A simple debugging of the logs. Many templates, customization. ## Monday, April 22, 2013 ... ///// ### Scott Aaronson: a prototype of some confusion of IT scientists about physics Quantum mechanics is natural, not plagued by problems; maths relevant for physics worships the rules that are natural for continuous, not discrete, structures I received my copy of Scott Aaronson's book – thanks to him – and I sometimes find some time to read a chapter or two. So let me post several comments on my impressions – and generalized comments about thinkers like him. First, the book is very witty, narcisistically witty. Its language is very informal. It's totally OK with me because at least one-half of my parental background is extremely detached from any world resembling the Academia (and even rural if one returns by one more generation). However, the average-man-on-the-street language sometimes sounds really bizarre and astroturfal if you realize that the author is a archetypical model of a left-wing Academic carefully parroting all these people's collective delusions – including "gems" such as the very global warming hysteria – and confined to a snobby ivory tower. ;-) ## Sunday, April 21, 2013 ... ///// ### Pilsen wins 1st Czech Stanley Cup Many people in Pilsen follow soccer as well as ice-hockey; our teams were great in recent years. A flag of HC Škoda Pilsen... Just minutes ago, HC Škoda Pilsen, the local ice-hockey club, defeated HC Zlín in the last, seventh match. At 96:15 (!!!), the captain and playing 40-year-old owner Martin Straka – the local ice-hockey emperor whom North American readers may know as a New York Ranger (and, previously, a member of 5 other NHL teams) – scored the decisive goal in this incredibly hotly contested series of final matches. ## Saturday, April 20, 2013 ... ///// ### Chechnyan terrorist's favorite videos An insane combination of ignorance of geography and PC The hunt for the Boston Marathon terrorists turned out to be faster, more efficient, and more dramatic than I expected. One of the results of the developments is that most Americans want my country to be bombed. ;-) The Huffington Post offers some helpful graphics to help Twitter to remind itself that Czechia isn't Chechnya. Even the Czech ambassador to the U.S. had to publish a special press release LOL. Also, see this huge collection of tweeting Americans who confused the places, via Jason Brown. What I find characteristic is the symbiosis of this breathtaking yet proverbial ignorance of geography with the political correctness. All foreign nations are apparently equally good and equally important and it's OK to mix them up in this way. Well, let me tell you something. Chechnya, the original homeland of the terrorists (well, they're administratively from the adjacent Republic of Dagestan but they're still ethnic Chechen), is a tiny region in the Caucasus with 1.2 million inhabitants who are mostly savages with almost no economic activity. The Czech Republic is a somewhat important cultural nation in the middle of Europe, 1,500 miles away from Chechnya, while Chechnya is just a pain in the neck of Russia. ## Thursday, April 18, 2013 ... ///// ### Dirac's 1975 lectures Spiros found this remarkable 1-hour talk by Paul Dirac in New Zealand in 1975: Recall that Dirac was born in 1902 and died 1984; so he was 73 in the video above. He is a serious man but there's a lot of room for his memories as well as some jokes. ### Explosion in the Kolache Capital of Texas I am not sure whether the U.S. media dare to discuss such things at all but the town of West where the fertilizer plant explosion – a horror destroying a whole street and detected as a magnitude 2.1 earthquake – took place is an intrinsically ethnic Czech town (Google Maps). In fact, Wikipedia shows this picture of "Czech Stop" and "Little Czech Bakery" as the official image of the city with 2,700 inhabitants (there's also "the Czech Inn" and the "Czech Best Western Hotel" over there) and reminds us that it's nicknamed the "Kolache Capital of Texas". However, Caldwell, Texas claims the same title much like Montgomery, Minnesota and similar claims may also appear – due to kolache festivals – in Prague, Oklahoma; Prague, Nebraska; East Bernard, Texas; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Werdigre, Nebraska. ## Wednesday, April 17, 2013 ... ///// ### Dark matter may be a complicated sector Among the hints of dark matter, I believe that the three apparently decidedly non-background-like events seen by CDMS II represent the strongest hint of a dark matter particle we have seen so far. However, there are other hints, too. Even though the AMS-02 folks haven't told us everything they know yet, it seems very plausible that they have already seen somewhat clear evidence of a rapid drop of the positron fraction at high energies. CDMS suggests a WIMP mass of $8.6\GeV$; AMS-02 indicates $300\GeV$ or more; and we also have the Weniger line at Fermi which would imply a WIMP mass around $130-150\GeV$. These numbers are apparently inconsistent with each other. ## Tuesday, April 16, 2013 ... ///// ### Panspermia follows from Moore's law Just several years ago, when this blog already existed, I got converted to the idea of panspermia which says that the earliest forms of life were born somewhere in outer space before the Earth was formed – and they just found Earth to be a particularly hospitable destination where they could further evolve and flourish. Now, the Physics arXiv Blog discusses the preprint Life Before Earth by two biologists, Alexei Sharov and Richard Gordon, who aren't affiliated with any "top theoretical universities" that brings us a cool new argument in favor of the panspermia paradigm. ### Boston Marathon blasts The video below shows one of the blasts a few meters from the camera (that starts to swing); the other blast is heard elsewhere 13 seconds later. Think twice whether you want to watch it at all. It's a special negative feeling to see people murdered at a place that I know so well as the place above. There's the Old South Church on the left side of the video above (Google Maps); the Copley Square with the Trinity Church (and the Hancock Tower next to it) would be seen just 100 meters further on the right side. I've been in downtown Boston approximately (at least) every other weekend during my 6 years at Harvard. Boston proper was just a more attractive place for me than Cambridge – the latter is kind of provincial, boring, and full of hypocritical leftists while Boston is a proper, ideologically diverse megacity with the life and business of all kinds one expects from an unfiltered center of America. Moreover, one doesn't have to walk for 2 miles to find a fast-food restaurant with hamburgers in Boston – a type of business that the leftists apparently want to eradicate. ## Monday, April 15, 2013 ... ///// ### Dark matter direct search: CDMS suggests a light WIMP An unexpectedly precisely suggested mass: $8.6\GeV$; your humble correspondent totally persuaded by the graph For some time, I have been joining the "alerts" that it's plausible that the dark matter particle could be discovered very soon and it could be great. In fact, there are three complementary strategies to search for the dark matter particle and there are good reasons to expect that they could provide us with some powerful evidence in favor of a specific dark matter particle rather soon: the direct production at the collider (LHC), the analyses of cosmic rays and radiation by space telescopes (AMS etc.), and the direct search experiments (germanium etc. in the abandoned mines). It's a time for some potentially shocking news from the "third leg" of the WIMP witch hunt. ## Saturday, April 13, 2013 ... ///// ### Complex, real, and pseudoreal representations I decided to extract the comments about "structure maps" to a special blog entry and add lots of details. Everyone knows what a group is. A group $G$ is a set of elements – operations – that may be composed ("multiplied" – most typically, we imagine products of matrices; the word "addition" and the sign ${+}$ is only appropriate for commuting, Abelian groups) so that the operation is associative,$(ab)c = a(bc),$ that includes the unit element $1$ obeying $1a=a1=a$ for each $a\in G$ and the inverse for each element. Groups may be finite – a finite number of elements such as $\ZZ_n$; infinite; countable, continuous, infinite-dimensional, and so on. For continuous groups, it's useful to consider the Lie algebras which may be imagined as the tangent space of the group manifold placed e.g. at the unit element, with the "commutator" operation that remembers how the group elements near the identity refuse to commute with each other. ## Friday, April 12, 2013 ... ///// ### Why quantum mechanics can't be any different Classical physics and quantum mechanics are the only two frameworks for physics that are worth mentioning. And it's quantum mechanics that is more true in Nature, that is more fundamental, and that is more legitimate as the starting point. Classical physics may be derived as a limit of quantum mechanics but quantum mechanics can't be obtained by any similarly straightforward, guaranteed-to-succeed procedure from classical physics. And yet, quantum mechanics remains wildly misunderstood and underestimated. Many people, including professional physicists, can't resist their primitive animal instincts and they keep on trying to rape quantum mechanics, insert their prickly objections and modifications into it, and make it more classical. However, quantum mechanics is well protected and it can't get pregnant with bastards. It's just patiently saying "f*** off" to these deluded non-physicists and equally deluded physicists. Even those who realize that quantum mechanics – the framework respected by Nature – is fundamentally different than classical physics and that there won't be any counterrevolution that would make physics classical once again often underestimate the rigidity and uniqueness of the universal postulates of quantum mechanics. They think that many things could be altered, mutated, and quantum mechanics has many possible cousins and it's an accident that Nature chose this particular quantum mechanics and not one of the cousins. They're wrong, too. In this text, I will demonstrate why certain properties of quantum mechanics are inevitable for a consistent theory. ### Accidents killing professional climate alarmists This blog entry will review some recent sad events. This pretty, 35-year-old lady is Dr Katharine Giles of London. Unfortunately, the bike accident on the picture is no accident. She hit a lorry and died. ## Thursday, April 11, 2013 ... ///// ### Shapes of torus and modular group In June 2012, I emphasized that the Higgs field was the first experimentally observed elementary scalar field – the Higgs boson is the first elementary spinless particle we know – and because string theory loves to predict scalar fields and gives them many roles while many alternative thinkers love to invent legends claiming that there's something wrong about scalar fields, the discovery of the Higgs boson may be viewed as a minor, modest victory for string theory. I would like to spend some time with some scalar fields in string theory and with their interesting properties. Quite generally, string theory predicts the existence of many dynamical scalar fields that would be replaced by non-dynamical parameters in quantum field theories. Because they're dynamical, string theory either implies the existence of new long-range forces (these vacua are more or less experimentally ruled out); or it implies that there's a potential that prefers some value or values of these scalar fields so these "parameters" suddenly become calculable. A two-dimensional torus may be obtained from a rectangle (or a square) if we identify the upper edge with the lower one; and the left edge with the right edge. So much like in PacMan-like games, you reappear on the opposite side of the screen if you try to escape from it ("periodic boundary conditions"). The first identification turns the rectangle into a cylinder; the second one bends it into a doughnut. The simplest scalar fields – such as the type I string theory coupling constant $g_s$ – take values in the set $\RR^+$ or, if we take the natural logarithm (the dilaton), in $\RR$. The one-dimensional lines cannot have any curvature and they are too simple. So we will focus on something that may be the second simplest configuration space for scalar fields – the set of shapes of a two-dimensional torus. ## Wednesday, April 10, 2013 ... ///// ### Andrew Wiles: 60th birthday Andrew Wiles, the man who proved Fermat's Last Theorem, is 60 tomorrow. Congratulations. In 1996, Simon Singh produced this 50-minute documentary for the BBC Horizon series. And I just watched it again and liked it a lot. ### Physics World on sub-$46\GeV$ neutralinos Colin Stuart wrote the following article for Physics World yesterday: Are there signs of SUSY in Planck data? A week ago, AMS showed us much more accurate data about the high-energy positrons and electrons that haven't qualitatively changed our beliefs about the dark matter particle, at least not officially. Very recently, Planck – the successor of WMAP – released its data as well and it contained no clear SUSY smoking guns, either. The Physics World article seems to be mostly based on the following preprint Naturalness of Light Neutralino Dark Matter in pMSSM after LHC, XENON100 and Planck Data by Boehm, Dev, Mazumdar, and Pukartas. They argue that some scenarios with neutralinos – the most likely lightest supersymmetric particles – that are around the corner remain compatible with all the data and could be discovered in the next batch of the Planck data in 2015. ## Tuesday, April 09, 2013 ... ///// ### Margaret Thatcher: 1925-2013 Link added later: See Aidan on Thatcher, the scientist and the politician The world's most important female politician of the 20th century – and Britain's #1 peacetime politician of the same era – left us yesterday after a stroke. Her physical health has been tolerable in recent years but her mental health wasn't which is why her life's work was essentially wrapped up already a decade ago. Klaus reminds us of Thatcher's speech about the EU in Burges, Belgium. See also what our current president Miloš Zeman wrote in the condolence letter to Cameron. Her departure marks the end of an era. Together with Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher was the politician who won the Cold War for the free world but she has done much more than that. She has re-energized the United Kingdom – after decades in which the influence of the once powerful and advanced empire only knew one, downward direction – and she has helped to restore the market economy and the self-confidence of freedom in the whole world, at least for several more decades. ## Monday, April 08, 2013 ... ///// ### Scott Aaronson: Quantum Computing since Democritus Guest blog by the man who is Shtetl-Optimized It's an exquisite, delicious, life-changing honor to be invited to guest-blog on Luboš Motl's Reference Frame. In terms of The Big Bang Theory, imagine Sheldon (to whom Luboš likes to compare himself) inviting Howard Wolowitz to guest-post. Lo, how far the brilliant string theorist has condescended! On the other hand, I confess that finding myself on Luboš's blog, with the freedom to write whatever I please, feels a little like finding myself in front of an open mic at the Republican National Convention. One part of me feels a moral obligation to seize this rare opportunity and say something like the following: CONSERVATIVE LUBOŠ FANS: GET OUT OF YOUR BUBBLE! GLOBAL WARMING IS A REAL PROBLEM! IT'S HAPPENING, HUMAN ACTIVITY IS A MAJOR CAUSE, AND THE CONSEQUENCES ARE SERIOUS! EVEN LUBOŠ'S OWN STRING-THEORIST HEROES, LIKE ED WITTEN AND BRIAN GREENE, BELIEVE SO! VIRTUALLY EVERY SERIOUS SCIENTIST DOES — AT SOME LEVEL, ONE SUSPECTS, EVEN LUBOŠ HIMSELF! BUT HE CAN'T ADMIT IT, BECAUSE HE ASSOCIATES CONCERN ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING – OR ANY OTHER "LEFTY" CAUSE – WITH THE EVIL COMMUNISTS WHO OPPRESSED CZECHOSLOVAKIA IN HIS CHILDHOOD! BUT SOME US DESPISE COMMUNISTS EVERY BIT AS MUCH AS LUBOŠ DOES, BUT ALSO RECOGNIZE THAT THEY'RE NOT THE ONLY EVIL THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN! ONE HOPES LUBOŠ WILL EVENTUALLY COME TO THAT REALIZATION AS WELL! But enough of this. I don't want to abuse my host's hospitality. Luboš invited me here, not to dispute his views on climate change, but rather to promote my new book Quantum Computing Since Democritus (published by Cambridge University Press and available now in Europe, on April 30th in North America, and wherever and whenever on Kindle). So promoting my book is exactly what I'll do—by first telling you the story (such as it is) of my interaction with Luboš, and then explaining how that story relates to the book. ## Sunday, April 07, 2013 ... ///// ### Percival Zhang: cheap hydrogen fuel from any plant Joseph S. has sent me links to articles (e.g. UPI, Forbes) about an energy breakthrough claimed by Percival Zhang, a bio-engineer from Virginia Tech. He claims to have completed a system of biotechnologies that produce a large enough amount of hydrogen out of plants. ## Saturday, April 06, 2013 ... ///// ### Obama, beauty, and sexism I had to laugh when I learned that Barack Obama who has often benefited from political correctness has been caught to the PC trap himself. A very loud third of the Americans – the batshit crazy Americans – apparently think that the following comment about Kamala Harris is "sexist". “You have to be careful to, first of all, say she is brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you'd want in anybody who is administering the law, and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake. She also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country — Kamala Harris is here. (Applause.) It's true. Come on. (Laughter.) And she is a great friend and has just been a great supporter for many, many years.” You can't make it up. ### Dyson: Climatologists are no Einsteins The New Jersey Star Ledger printed a nice interview with Freeman Dyson: Climatologists are no Einsteins, says his successor (Star Ledger) Beginning in the GWPF (Benny Peiser et al.) They mention that when Einstein was still around, Dyson was hired by the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton after the search for the planet's most brilliant physicist. He has done quite some work to justify these labels although I wouldn't say that it has put him at the #1 spot. He's still one of the giants of the old times who keep on walking on the globe. At any rate, he is saying some things that should be important for everyone, especially every layman, who wants to understand the climate debate. The climatologists don't really understand the climate; they just blindly follow computer models that are full of ad hoc fudge factors to account for clouds and other aspects. ## Friday, April 05, 2013 ... ///// ### AMS: the steep drop is very likely there Reconstructing the dark matter particle from sloppily censored data On Wednesday, Sam Ting gave the talk about AMS-02 at CERN. If you missed the talk, you may watch the 85-minute recorded video here: Recent results from the AMS experiment (CERN web, thanks to Joseph S.) What I want to focus on are the slides 82-85, and especially 85, around 0:48:00-0:49:00. They show some particular events they have seen. The first three slides show a $1\GeV$ electron and a positron with the same energy; a $10\GeV$ electron and a positron of the same energy; a $100\GeV$ electron and a positron of the same energy. It could be a foolish IQ test – checking whether you know the geometric series – to ask you what is the next slide. Well, it could be a $1\TeV$ electron and a positron of the same energy. Except that it's not. ;-) ### Holy week with the EU: an insane EU propaganda video The iDNES.cz news server and other Czech media have brought us a trailer of a new movie funded by the national branches of the top EU institutions. The movie is called "Holy Week With The EU" and it describes the EU from the viewpoint of high school students preparing for the GCSE (final) exam. The trailer is just stunningly repulsive. Fortunately, over 90% of the Czech citizens seem to agree with me. The hugely negative reaction has led the film director to demand that the trailer shouldn't be aired anywhere because it was created by amateurish cherry-picking by some jerks among the EU officials. However, whether cherry-picking took place or not, these 6+ minutes surely appear in the movie and probably show the spirit of the film. And it's bad enough. ## Thursday, April 04, 2013 ... ///// ### Reframing string theory in terms of observer horizons Yasunori Nomura and Jaime Varela – sometimes with Sean Weinberg – wrote several papers that explain a reason why the argument by AMPS that black hole firewalls have to exist isn't warranted. If I try to summarize the error by AMPS as phrased by these authors, I must say that AMPS assume that the equivalence principle holds for the "entire state vector" and they impose a "one size fits all" classical background geometry for all possible quantum states. In reality, the equivalence principle only holds for states that respect a classical background and different classical backgrounds are mutually excluding – and in practice, soon decohered – alternatives whose mutual coherence, not analyzable by classical GR, is needed to restore the unitarity of the black hole evaporation process. So depending on Alice's fate (does she fall into the black hole?), she may reinterpret the same "qubits" differently. I've been saying the same thing in different words. Fine. Unless something unusual happens, this was the last paragraph on this blog explaining why there is no black hole firewall; the question has been settled for me for quite some time. But the newest paper goes beyond this controversy. ## Wednesday, April 03, 2013 ... ///// ### AMS-02 seems to overcautiously censor solid evidence for dark matter The case for a $350\GeV$ neutralino strong but probably made look weaker Quick links: the new AMS-02 paper (open access); liveblog from the CERN talk (US LHC blogs); a remarkably accurate popular overview of the situation and the implications of SUSY models (The Economist!) At 5 pm CERN Summer Time, I was watching a CERN talk by Sam Ting of MIT, a Nobel prize winner for J/ψ and the boss of the AMS Collaboration, via webcast.cern.ch. I was impressed by the complexity of the problem to do such an experiment in space, by the professional attitude by Ting and lots and lots of collaborators, and by the number of subtleties and tests they had to be careful about. The AMS Collaboration released a press release. Just to be sure you know what we're talking about, the 7.5-ton gadget on the board of the International Space Station measured the number of electrons, positrons, and protons at various energies between $1$ and $350\GeV$ coming from various directions of the heavenly sphere. ### Ernst Chladni: an anniversary Ernst Chladni, the father of acoustics and the father of meteoritics, passed away in Wrocław (German: Breslau, Czech: Vratislav) on April 3rd, 1827. He was born 70 years earlier, in 1756, in Lutherstadt Edward Wittenberg. However, his family came from Kremnica, a mining/minting town in Central Slovakia (a part of the Kingdom of Hungary). The name "Chladni" plus minus small variations means "cold" in Slavic languages. ### Italy seizes$1.7 billion from Sicilian counterpart of Al Gore

Fox News and all the other media are full of the breaking news that the Italian police have seized €1.3 billion from Vito Nicastri.

This guy with unsurprisingly close ties to the Mafia (including Matteo Messina Denaro, the widely believed Sicilian Mafia godfather) – which has an intertwined history with "renewable energy" – is accused of being the "Lord of the Wind" and the "King of Alternative Energy". The confiscated assets include 43 wind and solar companies, 98 real estate properties, and 66 banking accounts (it must be handy to have this many).

## Tuesday, April 02, 2013 ... /////

### Dwindling AGW and retired Hansen

Post-retirement Hansen has no reasons for self-glorification

Juliet Eilperin, an alarmist hired gun at the Washington Post, is among the reporters who took notice of some results from a new U.S. Pew Research Center survey.

Two thirds of Americans favor the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline which is sensible because the project will make the transfer of oil more efficient and will politically improve the composition of energy sources that America relies upon.

The number of folks infected by the AGW hysteria dropped by 6 percentage points since October 2012 but 60% of the respondents still say that AGW is either somewhat or very serious. Only 42% of the people say that warming "exists" and is mostly due to humans (number hasn't changed). See that page for more numbers like that. Eilperin is combining this news with a reminder that James Hansen decided to retire as we heard yesterday.

### UCSC study: sea lions like Backstreet Boys

...but the metronome is pretty good, too...

The University of California in Santa Cruz – where I spent the first half of the year 2000 – has done research into the question which mammals aside from humans like Backstreet Boys. And I must emphasize that this is not an April fool's joke.

The winner is Ronan, a sea lion.

## Monday, April 01, 2013 ... /////

### AMS-02: dark matter is composed of a cosmic string

...and its shape seems very "wiggly"...

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer finally decided to expose its first batch of data at Princeton, two days before the talk at CERN. And it's pretty interesting. They detected a clear peak at the positron spectrum located at $E=m_p/2$. Why would positrons carry the same energy as the proton mass?