Tim Salimans makes the Terminator look like Pokémon
As recently as two hours ago, I thought it was conceivable that I would end up in the top three of the Higgs Kaggle challenge. See the leaderboard.
The top 5 contestants hadn't changed for a week. Gábor Melis was at the top followed by the Marijuana Hybrid guy, by your humble correspondent, and by 1,100+ other participants.
Terminator, Ironman, Batman, and a few Transformers as seen from the optics of a company in Utrecht.
Times are changing. For more than an hour, Tim Salimans of Utrecht, the Netherlands has been the new #2 warrior. His 7th submission with the score 3.81888 catapulted him to that place and made the victory of Gábor Melis uncertain.
Tim Salimans makes the Terminator look like Pokémon
While at Strings 2014, Clifford Johnson particularly liked one of the "visions talk", the talk by Andy Strominger.
The amount of progress in the last 30 years really looks impressive with the hindsight.
A few days ago, we talked about Wigner's friend. But who was he?
Edwin Steiner told us about a remarkable interview with Paul Dirac that was done by one of Dirac's few friends (and brothers-in-law), Eugene Wigner, and by Thomas "paradigm shift" Kuhn:
Interview with P. A. M. Dirac By Thomas S. Kuhn and Eugene Paul Wigner At Wigner’s home, Princeton, New Jersey April 1, l962Spoilers
Dirac talks about the absence of any social life during his childhood. He lived with his parents in an isolated house. The parents didn't sleep with each other and didn't even eat with each other. He could only talk to his father in French. He had one younger and one older sibling. One of them committed suicide at age of 24.
Since the beginning of this month, the ATLAS and CMS collaborations have reported several intriguing excesses such as the apparent enhancement of the \(W^+W^-\) cross section (which may be due to some large logarithms neglected by theorists, as a recent paper indicated), a flavor-violating Higgs decay, leptoquarks, and a higgsino excess, among others.
Bizarrely enough, all of us missed another, 2.8-sigma excess exactly one week ago:
...they are not that rare...
The Daily Mail is the most influential source that wrote that
Why has the sun gone quiet?Surely it must be a miracle that days without any sunspots began last week, inside the Solar Cycle 24. This shouldn't happen, should it? The Sun is going to be turned off, or at least an ice age is coming. But is it? Should we be stunned?
Scientists baffled as sun spots disappear during peak period of solar activity
To answer the question, I downloaded the SIDC daily sunspot numbers from a website. Between January 1820 and June 2014, the database provided me with 68,076 daily sunspot numbers. With an 11-year quasiperiod, the sunspot numbers are changing between the minimum near 0 and the maximum between 50-100 or so.
"Interpreters" of quantum mechanics deny nothing less than Born's rule
In classical physics, if we know that the system has generalized coordinates \((x_i,p_i)\), i.e. that it sits at the corresponding point of the phase space, then we may say that it certainly doesn't have generalized coordinates \((x'_i,p'_i)\) if the collections of numbers differ,\[
\] Different points of the phase space are mutually exclusive even if they are very close to each other. This lesson holds in any classical theory, including classical field theory. If two configurations of a classical field differ as functions\[
\] then we may say with certainty that if the system is found in the configuration \(\Phi(x,y,z)\), then it certainly isn't found in the configuration \(\Phi'(x,y,z)\), not even if the latter is close to the former (but not equal).
The people who are incapable of understanding that the quantum revolution has overthrown the general framework of classical physics almost universally assume that the state vector \(\ket\psi\) in quantum mechanics is a form of a classical variable. They're wrong and their being wrong has very dramatic consequences.
A year or two years ago, several experiments were claiming the existence of rather similar signals of an apparent dark matter particle lighter than \(10\GeV\). The experimental groups were split almost evenly, to the "Dark Matter Is Seen" allies and the "Dark Matter Is Not Seen" axis.
LUX in South Dakota has totally changed the game 9 months ago and with its precise observations of nothing, it obliterated all the competing experiments that had claimed a signal. Those humiliated "Dark Matter Was Seen" experiments included DAMA, CDMS-Silicon, CoGeNT, and also... CRESST. It didn't become quite clear why they had seen something but with LUX's superiority, it was pretty much guaranteed that what they saw was a mirage i.e. an overlooked or poorly understood systematic effect or background.
As Jester points out, CRESST is no longer an ally and became a LUX-led axis member, too. Incidentally, the LUX experiment itself will be replaced by its king-sized cousin, LUX-ZEPLIN.
The mysteriously lost MH370 flight of the Malaysian Airlines hasn't been found and there's another tragedy for the company: MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down near Shakhtar in the Donetsk People's Republic, about 30 miles from the Russian border. The 295 people on board (280 passengers + 15 crew members) died.
I was saddened and shocked at the same moment. People get harassed with all kinds of security regulations but when it comes to the actual trajectories of airplanes, they continue to fly right above the de facto warzone as if nothing were happening over there.
John Rennie – who is going to jump above me at Physics Stack Exchange in a few months unless I will find motivation to prevent him from doing so – has asked a very nice question:
Has someone measured this effect that should be measurable?
The New York Times have published a relatively friendly story by Michael Wines about John Christy, a well-known climate skeptic:
From an emotional viewpoint, they treat Christy well. However, as James Delingpole nicely discusses, there is some hidden negative message in the article because the author partly intends to legitimize the isolation of Christy in certain circles of his colleagues.
In science, confirmations are always ultimately empirical in character but science has always been more than just naive empiricism
A year ago, philosopher (and trained theoretical physicist) Richard Dawid wrote a book named String Theory and the Scientific Method where he essentially argued that science is becoming less dependent on empirical observations.
Off-topic: a huge black hole (diameter 80 meters) was discovered at the Yamal Peninsula, Siberia.
Two amazon.com reviewers admitted that they haven't read the book but as homeless losers, they don't like the price of the book. I have a trouble with this kind of "reviews". If they are homeless losers who can't afford to buy a product, why don't they just shut their mouth? Reviews should be written by someone who knows what he is reviewing. If they haven't seen the book, they can't even say whether the price is appropriate.
Maybe a week ago, Richard Dawid was interviewed by the 3 a.m. magazine:
People like Sabine Hossenfelder along with assorted über-šitheads whose names are banned on this blog (and who should be banned in the Solar System, too) disagreed with Dawid.
I am tired of these debates. The basic philosophical framework is so clear.
There are diverse ways to visualize a climate fearmonger.
You may think that a typical representative alarmist looks like a Luddite maggott who lives in the Stone Age, sleeps in the treetops, eats earthworms, and consumes no electricity.
Another, very different way to visualize a climate alarmist is to think about Al Gore, a hypocritical jerk who preaches about the reductions of the carbon footprint but whose household resembles a medium car factory and whose frequent flying emulates the evacuation of an island.
Which visualization is more accurate?
RAF has told us about a new quant-ph preprint
If you put 3 pigeons in 2 pigeonholes, at least one pair of pigeons (12/23/31) ends up in the same pigeonhole.It should be true because the number of pigeonholes is lower than the number of pigeons so they can't be hosted in accordance with the Pauli exclusion principle.
But is that statement right quantum mechanically? The authors claim that the seemingly obvious proposition isn't right which is why quantum mechanics assaults the "very core" of what numbers are and all the mathematics – lots of big words.
One must avoid prejudices. The technical claim in the paper may be right or wrong, and they may either say that they have found a problem with quantum mechanics (like hundreds of cranks love to claim these days) or not (just another example of the failures of the common sense). Which option is right?
PC ideologue and cosmologist Matthew Francis wrote a rant titled
We are told that it's so bad that he was picking girls in bars. Feynman would pretend he was an undergraduate and had some successes with girls, including the graduate students' girlfriends.
Well, Feynman could afford to market himself as an undergraduate because he looked like one – and he was spiritually a lively undergraduate for most of his life.
Taxes are a form of institutionalized theft. When they get too high, subjectively or objectively, successful people start to escape – covertly or overtly – the nation that is stealing in this way. That's why Depardieu became a Russian chap.
Czech tennis players (plus some other athletes) generally employ their residence in Monaco to get rid of their Czech taxes. It is totally legal and understandable. Our best female tennis player is open and honest about it and I appreciate it. Needless to say, if I could legally save millions in this way (and if I found the amount of paperwork "doable"), I would do the same.
Yesterday, a socialist lawmaker named Stanislav Huml (formerly a politician for Public Affairs VV; during communism, he was a communist party member and a cop; in 2006, he was running for a Eurofanatical party; in 2011, he switched to Jana Bobošíková's strongly Euroskeptical party for a while – quite a record) ignited a tax haven storm; see e.g. Radio Prague or Mid Day or others in English (or hundreds of Czech media sources).