Wednesday, June 30, 2010 ... /////

New Czech government

Just two months ago, it looked like Czechia would obtain a disasterous socialist-communist government. Instead, we have something that seems to be the best (and potentially most stable) government in decades. All fifteen of the ministers are men so imagine Mr everywhere.

ODS = Center-right Civic Democrats, 6 chairs
TOP 09 = Tradition Responsibility Prosperity 2009, 5 chairs
VV = Public Affairs, 4 chairs

Prime minister
Petr Nečas, ODS, plasma physicist

F-theory model building: an exceptionally flavored hidden sector

The first hep-th paper today is pretty fascinating:

An Exceptional sector for F-theory GUTs
Jonathan Heckman and Cumrun Vafa realize that D3-branes are frequently floating in the realistic bottom-up F-theory compactifications. They're being attracted to the loci with enhanced, exceptional symmetries.

So the authors study the probe theory at these D3-branes. They're led to highly, N=2 supersymmetric theories by Minahan and Nemeschansky I, II (1996).

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 ... /////

Painting mountains white to save the world

This news is just amazing. As The Telegraph told us, the World Bank is funding a GBP 135,000 project to paint the Earth white in order to revert some global warming.

Eduardo Gold who has won a "100 Ideas to Save the Planet" competition in 2009 has already completed two hectars of the mountains.

13 billion hectars of the Earth's land surface are still waiting for him. So far, he has lowered the absolute global mean temperature of the Earth by something like 1/2 x 2/51 x 1/4 x 1/billion = 1 over 150 billion of the current absolute temperature - i.e. by about 1.5 nanokelvins.

Congratulations!

If the painting is going to be this expensive, in order to lower the temperature using this Al Gore Rhythm by 5 Kelvins, we will need GBP 135,000 times three billions which is about 500 trillion pounds - almost a quadrillion of dollars. ;-) This sounds like an insane amount of money but it is actually cheaper than the regulation of CO2 if he manages to paint 70 hectars instead of 2 hectars for the same price.

AGW tipping point: end of world moved to 2200

The Independent has published some optimistic news yesterday:

Scientists 'expect climate tipping point' by 2200
They asked 14 climate scientists what is the length of the Chinese emperor's nose and when will the tipping point destroy the Earth. None of them had any clue but the person who asked those questions apparently thought that he gets a very accurate, scientific answer if he computes the average of the 14 answers.

Burton Richter: natural gas vs oil, energy, price, and reserves

Burton Richter was the boss of SLAC when it co-discovered J/psi particle on November 11th, 1974. Samuel Ting at MIT led the Brookhaven team that discovered it on the same day, so these two experimental apparatchiks shared the 1976 physics Nobel prize.

I find it a bit unfortunate to give Nobel prizes to officials. It's bad if someone is rewarded as a top scientist for having been elected the director.

The J/psi particle itself was important to support the GIM mechanism - the existence of the charm quark, as deduced from the strange quark and the SU(2) weak symmetry (or its equivalent) but I don't think that it's been among the most important discoveries of the last 50 years.

Monday, June 28, 2010 ... /////

LHC: nominal bunches circulated

If the plugin below doesn't work, try to click the title above and go to the separate page...

 Launch in external player

Temporary: "Angels, Demons and Black Holes - Experience from communicating the LHC", from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm Swiss time, by James Gillies, Head of CERN Communications Group

For the first time, the Large Hadron Collider has collided full-fledged bunches of the planned nominal intensity - which is 100 billion protons per bunch.
BBC: LHC smashes beam collision record (click)
The two other key quantities that determine the luminosity are linked to the focusing - and my feeling is that they're pretty good at it - and the number of bunches per beam - which may go up to 2,808 around 2016.

Sunday, June 27, 2010 ... /////

Ms Milada Horáková executed 60 years ago

Since 2004, the Czech Republic has commemorated June 27th as the Day of the Victims of the Communist Regime. Exactly 60 years ago, on June 27th, 1950, Dr Milada Horáková, a brave lawyer and a top politician of the democratic Czechoslovakia, was hanged by the communist regime.

After a disgraceful trial, Czechoslovakia's "first working class president" Mr Klement Gottwald signed the order to murder her, despite lots of polite begging to save her life by Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, and many others. It was great for the communist regime to get rid of someone who had had close ties to the first and second Czechoslovak presidents - Masaryk and Beneš - and who had contacts with the politicians in the outer world, too.

G20 riots in Toronto

Toronto is a peaceful city and Canada is a tolerant country, I have been told many times.

But one may sometimes see the scary pictures above, too. They really seem to be in charge of the situation, at least locally. In comparison, the "far right" Workers Party racist leftist demonstrators that regularly meet in Pilsen seem to be suppressed well-behaving teenagers who make me feel compassionate. ;-)

Saturday, June 26, 2010 ... /////

Judithgate: IPCC relied on one solar physicist

That's her. She's cute, isn't she? But that's not the point here.

(Her CV lists some lower-grade institutions and reveals she didn't get an academic job at some point. And her education is in environmental and atmospheric sciences only - no solar physics etc.)

On Thursday, Mr Vítězslav Kremlík (Czechia) discovered an interesting fact. The analyses of the influence of the Sun on the climate in the latest IPCC report relied on one solar physicist, Dr Judith Lean. He published the finding on his Czech blog, klimaskeptik.cz (and kremlik.blog.idnes.cz)

Judithgate: IPCC relied on one solar physicist (autom. transl. to EN, klimaskeptik.cz, Thursday)

Kremlík's extended version written in English (Friday)
and it went viral. Judithgate has joined the dozens of similar scandals revealing the true character of the IPCC activities. By the way, Sean Carroll has hid his head in the sand and he decided that the ClimateGate has evaporated. Congratulations to your solution to the problem, Sean, but don't get suffocated!

The situation is even more awkward because the IPCC really relied on a single paper - and Ms Lean is a co-author
Lean J., Roltmann G., Harder J., Kopp G.: Source contributions to new understanding of global change and solar variability, Sol. Phys., 230, 27-53, 2005
- to claim that the solar activity didn't rise when the global climate was heating up a little bit in the recent decades. There were no other solar physicists or astrophysicists in the IPCC.

Friday, June 25, 2010 ... /////

Quantum gravity: minority report

Clifford Johnson is giving introductory lectures on string theory at

Quantum Gravity Summer School
in Morelia, Mexico. Veronika Hubeny and Per Kraus are giving AdS/CFT-related talks, too. The other speakers are working on non-stringy quantum gravity - without realizing (or admitting) that it is an oxymoron - that they even pompously call simply "quantum gravity". ;-)

If Greenland melted, sea level in Iceland would drop

Eduardo Zorita wrote a very amusing and insightful text about the sea level rise induced by the melting of Greenland - as a function of the position on the Earth. This effect is caused by Newton's gravitational force coming from the ice.

A cute town in Greenland

I just made a full-fledged calculation in Mathematica and I can confirm the basic statements by Eduardo. They're kind of funny. Here is the summary:

Indeed, if the average sea level rise induced by the melted ice of Greenland is 7 meters, the rise of the sea level at the antipodal point would be around 8.3 meters.

However, near the center of Greenland, the sea levels would actually drop. Imagining the Greenland ice (today) as a mass point, the sea level rise would be zero about 1,700 kilometers from the center of this ice.

Below 1,700 kilometers, the elevation change would be negative, and it would behave as -1/D for a very small distance D. The simple formula implies about 25 meters of sea level drop at the distance of a few hundreds of meters.

Of course, the point mass approximation can only be trusted if D is kind of greater than the actual radius of the ice - around 1000 kilometers. Later, I may make a more accurate calculation that takes the actual pancake-like shape of the ice into account.

Thursday, June 24, 2010 ... /////

Kids are shown scientistesses at Fermilab

A few people have made an experiment with kids; see also Restructure, a Canadian PC blog, Boing Boing, and Geekosystem. They invited 14 girls and 17 boys - seventh graders - to the Fermilab and showed them some women who work there, together with a few men.

Some of the kids' ideas about the scientists have changed in the wake of this propaganda shtick. For example, this is how Amy imagined a scientist before and after the visit:

Why string theory implies supersymmetry

Human Spanish translation is available.

Future piece of evidence in favor of supersymmetry:

Prev: Supersymmetry and gauge coupling unification
Next: SUSY and dark matter
Next: SUSY and hierarchy problem
Next: SUSY exists because the number 3/2 can't be missing
By far the most important argument in favor of supersymmetry is the fact that it seems to be implied by string theory, the only known - and, most likely, the only mathematically possible - consistent unifying theory of fundamental forces including gravity.

Let us look at this relationship a bit more closely.

In the 1960s, people would discover the "dual models" which would ultimately be known as "bosonic string theory". One-dimensional relativistic strings embedded in D spacetime dimensions carried spacetime coordinates on their world sheet. The vibrational energy eigenvalues corresponded to allowed masses of particles that a string is able to mimic.

Technicalities and vices of bosonic strings

In particular, the allowed physical states on the string must be invariant under the coordinate reparametrization symmetry: the world sheet theory is equipped with a small, two-dimensional theory of gravity itself. Even after some gauge-fixing, a part of this symmetry remains in the form of the so-called "Virasoro algebra".

Roughly speaking, it's the algebra that generates the group of reparametrizations of a circle. In fact, a closed string has two copies of such an algebra, one for left-moving waves and the other one for the right-moving waves.

IPCC 5AR: Working Group 1 authors chosen

I hope that the IPCC will be abolished or dramatically rebuilt - or it will become inconsequential - within two years.

But we must be ready for the other scenario, too. If the IPCC survives in its present form, here are the recently selected authors of the Working Group I - the physical science basis:

Working Group I Contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (PDF)
Pachauri is still there but Jones, Mann, Briffa, Schneider are not. You still find the likes of Trenberth, Thorne, Comiso, Osborn, Scott, Hegerl, Wratt in the list.

The empty seats were not filled by any climate skeptics but rather by third-world (and third-rate) scientists who will be happy to be allowed to travel. They will be correspondingly grateful, too. The number of authors from the poor world has been actually doubled relatively to IPCC AR4.

Frank Fenner: humans extinct by 2110

Frank Fenner is an 95-year-old Australian scientist who helped to eradicate smallpox. He wrote a 3.5-kilogram book on it, too.

However, now he claims that humans will be gone in 100 years: Google News, China People's Daily. It's an irreversible situation. Anthropocene has accelerated urbanization etc.

Who are the two main culprits?

He also believed that humanity's impact on earth is much worse than the ice age and even a comet's hitting on the planet. Without science and carbon dioxide, ancient people could live for 40 to 50 thousands of years, but current human being cannot make it any more.
You could have guessed one culprit: it's global warming (and carbon dioxide), of course, However, the other villain is science itself. Good job, Mr Fenner.

However, this conclusion indicates that there exist two things that are worse than global warming and science, namely senility and gullibility.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 ... /////

SUSY and gauge coupling unification

Future piece of evidence in favor of supersymmetry:

Prev: Why string theory implies supersymmetry
Next: SUSY and dark matter
Next: SUSY and hierarchy problem
Next: SUSY exists because the number 3/2 can't be missing
Because the LHC is hopefully going to study previously unseen realms of particle physics within months or a year, I plan to write a couple of articles explaining the basic points that make me believe that despite the negative opinions of the rest of the Internet, supersymmetry is likely to be seen at the LHC.

Let me begin with the gauge coupling unification.

Curiosity is one thing that makes us human. But let's admit that this chimp is more curious than most people. Via David Simmons-Duffin.

One of the most popular constants of Nature that armchair physicists (especially numerologists) want to explain is the fine structure constant,
alpha = e2 / (4 π ε0 hbar c) = 1 / 137.0359997...
When the squared electric charge is divided by some universal constants (in the SI units), it becomes a mysterious dimensionless ratio that all civilizations in this Universe would agree upon, regardless of their choice of units (because there aren't any units in the ratio).

It's nice and you may try to explain the number by a simple formula except that you should know that the number has no reason to be given by a simple formula. Why? Because it is no longer quite fundamental, primarily for these two reasons:
1. the electric charge is no longer a natural quantity in our unified theories
2. the values of similar constants depend on the energy scales - they run
Electroweak reparametrization of the couplings

Concerning the first point, the electroweak theory has unified the electromagnetic interaction with the weak nuclear force (responsible for the beta decay) into a U(1) x SU(2) gauge theory. However, the original electromagnetic U(1) group is not the same thing as the first factor in the U(1) x SU(2) product. Instead, its electromagnetic U(1) generator is a combination of the U(1) generator "Y" (hypercharge) and the third, z-rotation generator of the "isospin" SU(2):
Q = Y/2 + T3.
That's the combination that keeps the Higgs vacuum condensate (which carries both Y and T_3, but no electric Q) unchanged. This invariance is needed for the vacuum to stay electrically neutral - and for the photons to remain massless (and for the corresponding electromagnetic to remain a long-range force).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 ... /////

Black list study: heretics are successfully suppressed by the AGW cult

Picture: Al Gore, a carbon giga-criminal also known as Mr Stone, has apparently nearly raped a gorgeous massage therapist in Portland, 2006, according to the National Enquirer
William R. L. Anderegg (a Stanford ecology grad student), James W. Prall (a computer assistant), Jacob Harold (a program officer at a foundation), and Stephen H. Schneider (an AGW and new ice age prophet) published a bizarre paper in PNAS,
Expert credibility in climate change (full text PDF, abstract)

Promotion of this "scientific work" by The Telegraph
The authors have reached an incredibly surprising conclusion: the climate heretics are less enthusiastically worshiped by the AGW cult than the AGW cultists! What a surprise.

For example, the average number of papers accepted for publication that were written by the AGW cultists exceeds the analogous number for the "climate deniers", which is the #2 keyword of the article, by a factor of two.

Naomi Oreskes has claimed that the ratio was infinity rather than two. The skeptics "didn't exist" and even if they did, they would have 0% of the papers and the citations of the believers. Suddenly the new tables admit that there are 496+ of the skeptics and each of them has 50% of the papers and citations - which makes up thousands of papers written by skeptics. But the new authors still claim to support Naomi Oreskes' findings; her paper is the 1st citation of the new paper.

CERN accepts non-European full members

A week ago, I discussed a recent talk by David Gross where he predicted that by 2020, the U.S. would be a full member of CERN, the Center of Europe for the Research of Nuclei.

CERN's Globe

That was a bold prediction because when he gave the talk, CERN didn't even accept full members from outside Europe. But Gross's prediction is doing very well. Yesterday,

"Big Bang" research center open[ed] membership to world (Reuters).
Press release, Symmetry breaking
So the leaders of Micronesia who just joined the world of cutting-edge Western science and technology - by endorsing Greenpeace hippies who sleep in front of Czech coal power plants - may share the scientific adventures at CERN, too.

Bonus: solar music

See FoxNews and others...

Monday, June 21, 2010 ... /////

Five faces of the God particle

One month ago, Fermilab's D0 Collaboration claimed the evidence for a new source of CP-violation in their comparison of muon-muon and antimuon-antimuon final states.

If the signal is real, supersymmetry is the most sensible explanation of this observation. In particular, a model based on "uplifted supersymmetry" has been proposed and advocated by Dobrescu, Fox, and Martin.

Tim Flannery walks away from his claims

Tim Flannery is a top Australian AGW activist. Andrew Bolt, a professional and bright journalist, has interviewed him:

How to Expose a Warmist: Andrew Bolt Interviews Australia's Al Gore
Bolt was amazingly prepared. He has read lots of articles by Flannery and stored many of the most catchy quotes. So he could present all the original sources. Throughout the years, Flannery has said and written many things about the insanely rising sea level, disappearance of ice sheets within two years, Australian cities without any water, and lots of other things.

Of course, they didn't come true. It's interesting - although expected - to observe Flannery how he denies most of his previous big claims. These people are deliberately spreading lies and extremely unlikely speculations, hoping that people would absorb them by osmosis. And some people have done so, indeed.

Update July 2010: The answers have been posted (click)

Separate page with the video above...

You may ask him a question - via YouTube or Facebook. If you choose YouTube, you have to record your question as a video and
post your question as a reply to the video above (click).
So far, 17 questions have been asked in this way. Some of them are strange. For example, a primitive idiot from the U.K. Labour Party who pompously calls himself Prof Robert Winston asks how Gross can possibly justify the research of something as useless as string theory. ;-)

MINOS: hints of CPT-violation in the neutrino sector

A month ago, I wrote about the detection of neutrino oscillations in Europe. For the first time ever, OPERA in Gran Sasso, Italy found a tau neutrino that evolved from a muon neutrino emitted by CERN, a facility that is 731 km away.

MINOS in Minnesota

America's Fermilab has a very similar pair of labs, too. NuMI in Batavia, Illinois is creating some neutrinos that are being detected 735 km away, in the Soudan Mine, Minnesota. That's where MINOS is located.

Sunday, June 20, 2010 ... /////

David Archibald: The Past and Future of Climate

I became the owner of a visually appealing book written by David Archibald that is endorsed by "four professors and one head of state" :-).

The head of state is, of course, Prof Václav Klaus, the president of the Czech Republic, and a photograph of the author meeting the leader appears on the back cover. You may order a copy of the book via the author's website:

DavidArchibald.INFO
The 142-page colorful book printed on a nice, resilient paper is stuffed with the hard data. There is a graph, a big table, or a relevant photograph on nearly every page. They're concerned with the climate reconstructions, the influence of CO2 and its absorption spectrum, the Sun and solar cycles, ocean cycles, production and effects of CO2, role of CO2 in the biosphere, and lots of other topics.

EU banned heated family houses built from 2020

The European Union has adopted a regulation that will ban the construction of ordinary family houses, starting from 2020. Only the so-called passive houses will be allowed:

iDNES.CZ (autom. transl. into EN), EU Business, EU Parliament, Euractiv, Panda.ORG, The Energy Collective;
Preliminary text of the directive (PDF)

Saturday, June 19, 2010 ... /////

Descartes' theorem on kissing circles

Ed Pegg Jr wrote a fun mathematical article (equipped with a Mathematica demonstration) on the Wolfram blog,

The circles of Descartes
The basic topic may be seen on this picture:

If you choose three radii of circles, you may always arrange the circles so that they kiss i.e. touch. But if you want to add another, fourth circle that touches each of the previous three as well - which is a special case of the problem of Apollonius, invented about 200 BC - only two possible radii may work. You may either add a nice circle at the center or a big circle that surrounds the three.

EPA report on a nearly certain catastrophe ignored by the media

The climate is always changing. Fortunately, the climate of the climate reporting is changing, too. News that would fill the front pages of all the newspapers just a year ago are ignored by the media today.

Five days ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its findings about the impact of the proposed American Power Act (APA):

EPA analysis of the APA in the 111th Congress (PDF)
The file reminds me of some of the crackpots' documents that want to revolutionize physics. They easily "prove" that the rise of temperatures by 2 °C is equivalent to the Armageddon - composed out of floods, drought, and sea level rise (you know, that's apparently how planets behave at 16.5 °C) - while any rise below 2 °C is safe.

And they "calculate" that the probability of the Armageddon is 99 percent if the APA is rejected and only 25 percent if it is approved. It's a great conclusion because it effectively identifies APA with non-Armageddon :-) and it was published by a "powerful" institution whose administrator has the right gender as well as the right race ;-) so it would surely be promoted by the media during the peak days of the AGW era.

Friday, June 18, 2010 ... /////

iPhone 4: Czech pictures and videos

In California, people can only see iPhone 4, Apple's future super mobile phone model, if they find it in the pub and steal it. As Steve Wozniak's T-shirt says,

"I went drinking with Gray Powell and all I got was a lousy iPhone prototype." :-)
The situation is much better in the Czech Republic. No one has to steal anything - and if he has to, no one will ever find him. :-) The Apple fans have a few servers, including Jablíčkář.cz - the domain name refers to a poetic name for a "guy of little apples", a kind of a derived word that you can only construct in Czech.

Slovakia will try to torpedo the EU subsidies for Greece

In the Czech Republic, the social democrats won the greatest fraction of the votes in the recent elections - but the right-wing parties collectively won and are likely to form a robust right-wing government at the beginning of July.

In neighboring Slovakia, there were elections a week ago. The left-wing populist "Smer" ("Direction") party won an even bigger fraction of the votes - well above 30%. However, the right-wing parties won a bigger combined portion of the votes so there will be a right-wing coalition in Slovakia, too.

Such a change influences the European politics, too.

The most likely future Slovak prime minister, conservative politician Ms Iveta Radičová (see the picture - she's on the left), has explained - on behalf of most deputies in the new parliament - that the planned €0.75 trillion fund is a "bad, dangerous and [the] worst possible solution" because it allows the moral hazard to continue.

Slovakia doesn't intend to join the €110 billion help to Greece. After all, it would have to pay nearly €1 billion by itself and the country would have to borrow the money to give the the loan to Greece. Given the fact that the Greeks have 5 times higher pensions than the Slovaks who arguably work more than the Greeks, it is not hard to agree that the idea of Slovakia sending billions to Greece is absurd and unjust from any viewpoint.

Of course, intense pressure of the EU against Slovakia is underway.

Weinberg on 6D methods in AdS5/CFT4

After many years of active work in cosmology, Steven Weinberg decided to dedicate some of his time and energy to string-theory-inspired problems for a while:

Six-dimensional Methods for Four-dimensional Conformal Field Theories
The AdS5 space is a hyperboloid in a 4+2-dimensional space: "X^2" is (plus minus) "R^2". Instead, Weinberg describes it as a projective space - with the identification of vectors that differ by scaling.

In this 5D space - which is still an AdS5 parameterized in a different way - he defines the hypercone by the condition "X_{6}.X_{6}=0". And he projects the fields from the bigger space to the hypercone and derives some power laws for the scaling of the CFT fields in a new way - which are different for spinors and for other, ordinary tensors.

Antarctica 4 °C warmer 130,000 years ago

Click to zoom in

According to a new paper,

The deuterium excess records of EPICA Dome C and Dronning Maud Land ice cores (East Antarctica) (click for full text PDF)
by B. Stenni and 14 European co-authors - which was published in Quaternary Science Reviews 29 (2010) -, new high-resolution ice core data from two sites in eastern Antarctica show temperature proxies more than 4 °C higher during the last interglacial (~130,000 years ago) than the present interglacial. The high resolution data provides more accurate determination of the temperature proxies, shown at lower left of each graph above.

Thursday, June 17, 2010 ... /////

Prague will oppose EU bank levy

I think that too many ideas pushed by the contemporary European Union are just way too bad.

As DPA and others mention, the EU officials are trying to introduce a new bank levy in the EU - or even an international tax on bank transactions.

The very notion of an international tax of any kind sounds scary.

But even at the national or European level, the idea is irrational. The shallowness and emotionality of the thinking behind the proposal is obvious. For example, Juncker, the prime minister of Luxembourg, said:

'I think we need a financial transaction tax. It cannot be that international banks - financial market actors - don't contribute financially to the results of the crisis,' said Juncker, whose influence on EU economic policy is enhanced by his chairmanship of the Eurogroup, the panel of euro area finance ministers.
This reasoning is wrong at pretty much every conceivable level. Let me divide the issues to causes of the crisis, the methods how its implications were softened, guilt, and the influence of similar policies on the future behavior of the players.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010 ... /////

John Christy: an excellent witness in Montreal

The InterAcademy Council is reviewing the work of the IPCC.

John Christy (on the picture) - who is the director of a climate group in Alabama - and Hans von Storch - who is the director of a climate group in Geesthacht (near Hamburg), Germany - were among the four witnesses. And they did a nice job.

The audio above is "Session 1: Stakeholder viewpoints". See also

four audio streams including this one.
Click the link above if you can't play the audio above, too. The Windows Media Player should be displayed on the separate page.

(Download WM plugin for Firefox/Chrome if you don't have it.)

John Christy

John Christy (02:11:55 - 02:43:15 in the file embedded above, 31 minutes in total; questions begin on 02:24:08) has explained how the climate scientists (and especially IPCC lead authors) have become gatekeepers and their community has become a victim of groupthink, exaggerations, Hollywood movies; how his papers and opinions were deliberately ignored by the process; how good an idea it is to listen to Steve McIntyre; how unpredictable the climate is - especially the regional one; and how cruel it may be to make electricity less accessible, especially in the third world, so you should be damn certain about your assumptions (and you should better have several reasons to implement a far-reaching policy).

There are many other cool things that have been said.

Steven Weinberg on LHC, Higgs, SUSY, dark matter

Half a year ago, Steven Weinberg gave a nice talk about the LHC and related stuff.

The introduction by a woman takes the first minute. Around 4:30, Weinberg finally learns how to speak to the microphone. ;-) But don't get too optimistic prematurely: he unlearns it before 8:00 again. At 22:00, he uses the microphone as a pointer. But he's re-taught the microphone lesson at 25:40.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 ... /////

EU wants to lower CO2 by 30% by 2020 unilaterally

By Hynek Fajmon, a member of the European Parliament

I have already described the European Union's fight to save the planet from "global warming" and "climate change" several times on the EU Portal blog. Right now, I have a serious reason to revisit the topic: the European Commission has recommended the EU to unilaterally pledge a 30% reduction of the greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. That would increase its previous pledge of a 20% reduction by a hefty fifty percent. Do you find such a step incredible, especially after the disappearance of the Green Party from the Czech Parliament? So do I. But sadly, it is true. Fortunately, chances are slim that this nonsensical policy meant to raise the electricity prices for all the consumers in EU will pass.

Let us analyze the situation a little bit:

CERN exhibition: Universe of particles

Click the picture above for more pictures.

CERN is going to open a new permanent exhibition, "Universe of Particles" ("Univers de Particules" in French).

CERN press release, India blooms, Portal to the Universe
Pictures, Video, Factsheet PDF

Betting on stability of exchange rates

I include the following financial exercise because it seems strikingly similar to some aspects of the climate.

In particular, people often feel that the "natural" variations of the temperatures are small. In the same way, many people think that the currency exchange rates are reasonably and "naturally" stable, up to relatively small or infrequent swings. They may end up with a completely wrong intuition.

So I will do the exercise - and debunk the intuition - in the case of the exchange rates but I do think that the same lesson should be learned in the case of the temperatures, too.

Fine. So what's the problem? LBBW, a German-owned bank that also operates on the Czech market, offers the following cool product (that is denominated in Czech crowns, CZK). It's called IQ bonus deposit EUR/CZK: a guaranteed structured depositum.

Pachauri loves climate skeptics

Four months ago, Rajendra Pachauri became our skin care & beauty adviser.

In an interview for the Financial Times, he has famously described the climate skeptics and he recommended us a talcum powder:

They are people who deny the link between smoking and cancer; they are people who say that asbestos is as good as talcum powder – I hope that they apply it to their faces every day – and people who say that the only way to deal with HIV/AIDS is to screen the population on a regular basis and isolate those who are infected.
However, the InterAcademy Council's (IAC) review of the IPCC is underway. They must have told the atrocious man the self-evident fact that his job is no longer sustainable. All of us hope that such an inevitable cosmetic change won't be the only result of the IAC's investigation.

David Gross: Theoretical visions

David Gross's talks have been linked or embedded into The Reference Frame many times.

But what can you do about it - he's just a favorite speaking physicist of mine - not only because I agree with 99+ percent of his opinions about fundamental and particle physics. ;-)

At a recent Physics at the LHC 2010 conference in Hamburg (the conferences began in 2003 in Prague and continued in Vienna 04, Cracow 06, and Split 08), he gave this 42-minute talk:

Theoretical visions (video)
He considers the LHC as the greatest technical achievement of mankind - our generations' answer to the pyramids.

Monday, June 14, 2010 ... /////

Margaret Thatcher as the first AGW skeptic

As recently as on Thursday, Christopher Booker was entertaining us on the French Riviera - using many tools that included his excellent knowledge of many Czech words. ;-)

However, on Thursday, the Telegraph published his article

Was Margaret Thatcher the first climate sceptic?
Booker reminds us of Thatcher's scientific background: the former British leader has actually received a postgraduate BSc degree in crystallography. In the late 1980s, she would be impressed by arguments by the likes of Hansen and Houghton, among others, and she would promote the AGW worries.

ENSO 3.4 reaches La Nina threshold

According to the newest

weekly report about El Nino and La Nina conditions (PDF, HTML),
the sea surface temperature anomaly in the Nino 3.4 region reached minus 0.5 °C (see page 5 of 30) which is the threshold defining a La Nina.

However, similar or colder average temperatures have to exist in the equatorial Pacific for five consecutive overlapping three-month periods for the La Nina-like conditions to be declared a La Nina episode.

Although models are split, I think it is more likely than not that the conditions will actually become a La Nina episode. Note that the last complete 3-month period (MAM 2010) was still safely in the El Nino range, +0.8 °C!

Gravitinos and goldstini at the LHC

A few weeks ago, Jesse Thaler gave a pretty nice talk at Brown University based on their papers from February and April - 26 minutes in 3 parts.

Assuming a hidden sector, SUSY may be de facto broken independently in both sectors. Consequently, one gets the gravitino plus an additional "uneaten" particle, a goldstino. Its mass turns out to be exactly two times the mass of the gravitino: two is the dimension of "F", the SUSY breaking ordering parameter.

Saturday, June 12, 2010 ... /////

Back from a brainstorming session in Nice

wrApologies for the week of silence.

I am back from a retreat in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France. A group of 14 thinkers was debating the origin of life and everything. Because of the algorithm that David B. was creatively using to choose and kindly the participants and because of the invited people's algorithm to decide about their answer :-), I had the opportunity to meet the leading proponents of theories that require interventions during the creation of life and hear (and react to) their arguments, too.

Sunday, June 06, 2010 ... /////

We con the world: the flotilla speaks

Several readers have pointed out this cute video:

A million of visits in two days is not bad.

By the way, at a dinner in Cambridge, MA, Martin Luther King rebuked a student who spoke against Israel: "When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You are talking anti-Semitism." Shortly afterwards, King was murdered.

Back to the song. Of course, I had also loved the Bush parody of the same song and found it cutely pro-Bush even though it was probably not the creators' intent. ;-)

Saturday, June 05, 2010 ... /////

Dennis Gabor: 110th birthday

Gábor Dénes was born into a Jewish family in Budapest on June 5th, 1900 which makes it easier to calculate his age at various moments. ;-) In the World War I, he already served with the Hungarian artillery.

Of course, they lost but he didn't mind, unlike the current Hungarians who just declared the anniversary of the Trianon treaty an eternal national day of mourning. Czechs and Slovaks also lost but they became victors by creating Czechoslovakia. The Hungarians didn't have this option because it's much harder for the Hungarian freedom warriors to declare independence from the Hungarian expansive imperial bastards, especially if they're the same men. ;-)

CP-violation and our origins

I was honored to be invited to an event with some exceptionally distinguished and intellectually independent participants whose names and whereabouts probably shouldn't occur here before I ask anyone for permission. So unless I miss my flight or something like that, you won't "see" me at least until Friday.

But before I leave, let me mostly agree with Sean Carroll:

Marketing CP-violation (Cosmic Variance)
To summarize, I do agree with him that it is unfortunate to use titles such as A new clue to explain existence for articles about experiments that study technical issues of the CP-violation. Dennis Overbye of The New York Times is arguably among the best U.S. newspaper journalists who write about science but yes, I do think that the meme shown especially in the titles - and, to a lesser extent, in the bodies of such articles - is misleading.

However, Overbye is very far from being the first one who has use the theme.

Friday, June 04, 2010 ... /////

Google searches finally respect the law of gravity

Calling it a cover-up would be far too dramatic. But for years, Internet users were satisfied with a search engine, Google, that - much like the Standard Model - was neglecting one of the four fundamental forces of Nature: gravity. But they were aware of a dark cloud looming on a distant horizon.

Finally, Google managed to incorporate the laws of gravity into its Internet search engine. All objects should be accelerated by the Earth's gravitational field in the same way. The Internet searches are no exception. Today, Google has become consistent with the equivalence principle. Try it:

Sadly, Vladimir Arnold died in France yesterday, at the age of 72. As of 2009, he was actually the #1 most cited Russian scientist.

See Russia Today.

He was born in 1937 and he was provided with the standard fair Soviet quality technical education. In 1957, he solved the Hilbert 13th problem about some solutions to 7th order algebraic equations. At that time, he began to focus on symplectic geometry and topology - the science of the (classical) phase space, so to say.

In that context, he studied singularities, catastrophe theory, and co-fathered the KAM (Kolmogorov-Arnold-Moser) theorem about the stability of integrable Hamiltonian systems: yes, small perturbations preserve quasiperiodic oscillations.

Asymptotic darkness vs safety and non-heterotic F-theory

F-theory models without heterotic crutches

I will mention two hep-th preprints today. The first one is

A Note on G-Fluxes for F-theory Model Building.
Joe Marsano, Natalia Saulina, and Sakura Schafer-Nameki start with a nice explanation of the role of the heterotic duals in F-theory model building. The GUT group in F-theory models is localized near singular cycles where K3-like singularities develop.

Thursday, June 03, 2010 ... /////

Bigger, better, faster: gluinos at the LHC

The Symmetry Magazine and SLAC Today printed an article by Eder Izaguirre and Jay Wacker, two SLAC physicists, who rightfully worship the discovery potential of the LHC.

The experts will recognize the popular text as an advertisement for their preprint with Michael Manhart,

Bigger, Better, Faster, More at the LHC
which explains that it is much easier for the LHC to find a new colored particle such as the gluino than for the Tevatron - with the 1 inverse femtobarn expected by the end of 2011 (or with less) - essentially because the new particles may have a higher energy and can be more easily distinguished from the Standard Model background.

SNarXiv.ORG

One year ago, we were intrigued by viXra.org, Phil Gibbs' competitor to arXiv.org with no censorship or other quality requirements, for that matter. Unfortunately, the server hasn't attracted too many researchers and many people dare to think that the quality doesn't quite compete with that of arXiv.org, if you allow me to be unusually polite for a while.

Is there a variation of arXiv.org that would, on the contrary increase the quality? Can someone increase the sound of the content and the fame of the names of the authors? The answer is Yes. It's called:

 SNarXiv.org (click)

The names and the abstract rock, don't they? If you want many more great papers of the same caliber, just press "reload". Just to be sure, you should check your sanity by playing a game where you're offered real titles and fake titles. Can you tell which one is which in much more than 50% of the cases? ;-)

The Arctic doesn't amplify global temperature swings

In the previous posting about the RSS AMSU temperatures from May 2010, I have made one obvious observation explicit. If you look at the

you will notice that the month-on-month variations of the temperatures in the first column with temperatures - namely the global mean temperature anomaly - are much smaller than the variations in the other columns, especially the fifth (Northern) and sixth (Southern) polar temperature columns.

It is often said that the temperature changes in the polar regions are more pronounced than they are in other regions. But is it true? I made a comment - a guess - that the main reason why the first column is changing much less violently is simply that it describes a larger area of the Earth's surface, namely almost the whole world, and the local fluctuations are therefore averaged out more accurately.

RSS AMSU: May 2010 cooler than May 1998

RSS AMSU (OK, I will be adding "a" for "advanced" before the "microwave sounding unit") has defended the title of the fastest source of the global monthly temperature data and their May figures are out:

Surface land & ocean v3.2 temps
With +0.588 °C of the global monthly anomaly which matches February 2010 and beats April 2010 but is smaller than January and March 2010, it was the second warmest May in the last 31 years after May 1998 when the anomaly was 0.668 °C, i.e. 0.08 °C warmer than this year.

Later, UAH AMSU reported qualitatively analogous results.

You may often hear that we're living in the hottest days, weeks, and months ever. But the RSS data contradict this claim. The first five months of 1998 and those of 2010 had these anomalies in °C:

Wednesday, June 02, 2010 ... /////

Rachel Corrie: a suicide ship sent to defeat Israel

It's amazing to watch how many people - and (almost) whole nations - have lost their mind.

A few days ago, German President Horst Köhler suddenly resigned. The reason? He previously said an obvious fact in an interview, namely that soldiers are often sent to protect the trade and the economic interests of their homeland in general. He was criticized by some crazy people - and this criticism was enough for him to go. This top seat of the main European power is as stable as the Higgs at the SU(2) symmetric point.

But an even more amazing is the newest reincarnation of political correctness. The PC people compete who is the biggest hater of Israel and who is most eager to humiliate the Jews and their official institutions. At that point, this kind of PC becomes literally indistinguishable from ordinary Nazism as we knew it 70 years ago.

Several days after 9 haters of Israel had to be killed when they were trying to break the blockade of Gaza with their knives and sticks, there are clear signs that many people still don't understand that this is what has to happen to other people who attack the Israeli army with similar inappropriate weapons.

By the way, the aid from the flotilla has been sent to Gaza by Israel. Hamas has blocked it but it's a "detail" that you won't read in too many PC Nazi-like Western media.

The people who kind of support these provocations against the Israeli defense forces come from unexpected corners. They apparently include the Irish prime minister - "taoiseach" Brian Cowen who warned of the most serious consequences if the Irish ship is not allowed to break the existentially important Israeli law. Did he - with his army of 8,500 active men - just declare a war to Israel - with an army of 180,000 men - with no good reason?

In such situations, it's hard not to believe the jokes whose message is that the Irish are as dumb as a doorknob. He certainly is. The chairman of the Czech Senate, Mr Přemysl Sobotka, is just visiting Israel and he declared that the Turkish "humanitarian" ship was a planned provocation pretending to be an aid. That's obvious. The only question is what e.g. the Irish prime minister wants to gain by doing the same thing.

Fourth generation and scientific integrity

Nude Socialist has shown once again that the notion of scientific integrity means absolutely nothing for this magazine:

Matter: The next generation
Unfortunately, the fabrication of stories and distortion of the available evidence is being routinely applied not only to inferior scientific disciplines such as climate science.

In this case and many others, the most prestigious field of science, particle physics, became the victim. A writer called David Shiga decided that he would write an "exciting" story that there are probably four generations of quarks and leptons. So he has "improved" all the evidence to support such a story.

Let's look at the situation.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010 ... /////

Al Gore, Tipper Gore separating

after 40 years of marriage...

Original w/ Czech subtitles...
Slovak 1995 edition...

It turned colder - that's where it (AGW) ends
So I told her we'd still be friends...

The separation was "a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration."

Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider confirmed the statement but declined to say whether she's gonna marry her boss and whether she wants to live with him in Nashville or Santa Barbara.

She recommended the Global Warming Menopause Song to those who ask too many questions about the event.

Sexual assault

The likeliest #1 reason behind the separation is the 2006 sexual assault of Al Gore on a massage therapist in Portland, Oregon. Listen to the interview with the woman.

In the last sentence, BBC explains that she didn't complain earlier because her friends told her that she could save the world from global warming by hiding the audacity of Gore's giant tool.

The Japanese had spy cameras in the hotel and here is their cartoon reconstruction. ;-)

A generous hep-th Tuesday

On Tuesdays, the arXiv brings us papers that were submitted on Mondays - but also during the weekends. So the number of papers is higher than it is on the other days.

 arXiv.org

The absolute number of interesting papers is higher, too. But I often have the feeling that even the percentage of the interesting papers is higher on Tuesdays. ;-) It would be interesting to evaluate this conjecture statistically. If that's true, a possible explanation could be that better physicists - or those who have just found something neat - often work during the weekends while the worse ones don't.

Today, there are 18 hep-th papers. About 16 of them are related to strings, supersymmetry, or extra dimensions compactified in the stringy way - well, mostly strings. Most of them are interesting and long, too. The average is close to 35 pages.

Phenomenology