Category Archives: Guest Post

Guest Post: Katherine Freese on Dark Matter Developments

The hunt for dark matter has been heating up once again, driven (as usual) by tantalizing experimental hints. This time the hints are coming mainly from outer space rather than underground laboratories, which makes them harder to check independently, but … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Post, Science | 23 Comments

Guest Post: Lance Dixon on Calculating Amplitudes

This year’s Sakurai Prize of the American Physical Society, one of the most prestigious awards in theoretical particle physics, has been awarded to Zvi Bern, Lance Dixon, and David Kosower “for pathbreaking contributions to the calculation of perturbative scattering amplitudes, … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Post, Science | 19 Comments

Guest Post: John Preskill on Individual Quantum Systems

In the last post I suggested that nobody should come to these parts looking for insight into the kind of work that was just rewarded with the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics. How wrong I was! True, you shouldn’t look … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Post, Science | 8 Comments

Guest Post: Joe Polchinski on Black Holes, Complementarity, and Firewalls

If you happen to have been following developments in quantum gravity/string theory this year, you know that quite a bit of excitement sprang up over the summer, centered around the idea of “firewalls.” The idea is that an observer falling … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Post, Science | 62 Comments

Guest Post: Doug Finkbeiner on Fermi Bubbles and Microwave Haze

When it comes to microwaves from the sky, the primordial cosmic background radiation gets most of the publicity, while everything that originates nearby is lumped into the category of “foregrounds.” But those foregrounds are interesting in their own right; they … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Post, Science | 14 Comments

Guest Post: Terry Rudolph on Nature versus Nurture

Everyone always wants to know whether the wave function of quantum mechanics is “a real thing” or whether it’s just a tool we use to calculate the probability of measuring a certain outcome. Here at CV, we even hosted a … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Post, Science and the Media | 23 Comments

Guest Post: Marc Sher on the Nonprofit Textbook Movement

The price of university textbooks (not to mention scholarly journals) is like the weather: everyone complains about it, but nobody does anything about it. My own graduate textbook in GR hovers around $100, but I’d be happier if it were … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Guest Post, Words | 40 Comments

Guest Post: Matt Strassler on Hunting for the Higgs

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Higgs boson. Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “desperately seeking” in this context. We need it, but so far we can’t find it. This all might change soon — there are seminars scheduled at CERN by … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Post, Higgs, Science | 56 Comments

Guest Post: David Wallace on the Physicality of the Quantum State

The question of the day seems to be, “Is the wave function real/physical, or is it merely a way to calculate probabilities?” This issue plays a big role in Tom Banks’s guest post (he’s on the “useful but not real” … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Post, Philosophy, Science | 73 Comments

Guest Post: Tom Banks on Probability and Quantum Mechanics

The lure of blogging is strong. Having guest-posted about problems with eternal inflation, Tom Banks couldn’t resist coming back for more punishment. Here he tackles a venerable problem: the interpretation of quantum mechanics. Tom argues that the measurement problem in … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Post, Science | 93 Comments