Sunday, March 26, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

When a layman has no chance to comprehend the bit-qubit difference

I am often dreaming about being able to extract 1/2 of my brain and donate parts to others. Why?

Because, as Sheldon Cooper has observed, being stupid isn't a reason to cry. Being sad is a reason to cry. For example, I am sad because other people are so stupid!

The Internet events that maximally influenced this beautiful sunny Sunday morning were comments by the Kansas-based user AP under the June 2016 blog post Leaning of information, not an interaction, is what causes the collapse. As you may recall, and as you can see by thinking about the title, the main point of the blog post was to say that ordinary small quantum objects' evolution – including interactions that make them entangled – doesn't cause any collapse, any irreversible change of the wave function, anything that we associate with the observations.

Saturday, March 25, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

An isolated standard model contradicts nothing we know

Today, the Moriond 2017 particle physics conference ends. Especially the CMS has presented the newest results – analyses of some 35 inverse femtobarns of the data collected at the two protons' total energy of \(13\TeV\).

Almost a decade ago, I made an asymmetric bet against Adam Falkowski, a particle phenomenologist now in Paris. He claimed that supersymmetry wouldn't be found before a deadline and I claimed it could be. If it were found, I would have won $10,000. If it weren't found, I would pay $100. So it was a 100-to-1 bet, basically implying the consensus probability of the early enough supersymmetry discovery at 1%. I accepted the bet because my subjective probability of a SUSY discovery was much higher than 1% and I still think it was reasonable – and an analogous assumption is still reasonable for the next collider.

The deadline was defined a bit arbitrarily – but it was "after the results of at least 30/fb of the data at design energy are collected". The design energy was \(14\TeV\) and \(8\TeV\) is clearly lower – the collisions at this lower energy may produce SUSY particles about 10 times less frequently than those at \(14\TeV\) – but \(14\TeV\) is close enough to \(13\TeV\) so it's obvious that those 35/fb at \(13\TeV\) that we have are basically equivalent to 30/fb at \(14\TeV\). So right now it's the ideal balanced moment that almost exactly agrees with the conditions of our bet, I think, and because supersymmetry hasn't been discovered yet, I should pay $100 to Adam.

As I have already mentioned, this lost bet is a technicality for me and doesn't change my belief that supersymmetry somewhere in Nature, beneath the Planck scale, is very likely and SUSY around the corner is always a possibility. I am sure that many of you agree that the opposite result would be way more interesting – from the financial viewpoint, from the viewpoint of our TRF community, and because of the excitement it would create among physicists.

Friday, March 24, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Learning about the laws of physics isn't a "yes we can" pissing contest

After Sabine Hossenfelder wrote her critique of "the world is a simulation" paradigm, I was a bit jealous about one apparent phenomenon: that her readers seemed to agree with her. Well, it didn't last long. After Scott Aaronson vented his absolutely stupid ideas about the same problem, many of his computer-science-worshiping but otherwise uneducated readers were apparently redirected to Hossenfelder's blog and started to give her a hard time.

The most obnoxious troll that repeatedly posted at Backreaction is nicknamed _Shorty, a man from the British Columbia who loves his air gun, guitar, and video games. For some reasons, this self-evident mediocre know-nothing thinks that it's very important for the world to hear what he thinks about the character of the physical law. It wouldn't be too hard to predict what an interaction between a physicist, even one such as Hossenfelder, and a stupid yet aggressive man who is "into the computer games" is going to look like.

Thursday, March 23, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

What mathematical thinking looks like and why schools should teach it

Go to the Character of the Mathematical Thought list...
A week ago, Doug K. sent me an essay
Why We Should Reduce Skills Teaching in the Math Class
by Dr Keith Devlin, a British American set theorist and mathematics teacher.

Like many postmodern promoters of feel-good education, Devlin argues that we should reduce the teaching of all hard mathematics at school. After all, almost no one actually needs mathematics in his life so it's fine. This change will reduce the math anxieties and math phobia in the society, make the world a better place, and so on. At the same time, most people will understand what is mathematics, how and where it is used, they will have a positive attitude to it, and they will be ready to learn it as soon as they need some because math phobia won't be deterring them.

Please, give me a break.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Aaronson's delusions about the universe as a simulation

Four days ago, I praised Sabine Hossenfelder's remarks about the hypothesis that our Universe is a simulation. It's rather clear that complexity theorist Scott Aaronson disagrees on some fundamental issues, as he wrote in his

Your yearly dose of is-the-universe-a-simulation,
and Aaronson is just completely wrong about all these points. Some of these two folks' views were mentioned at Gizmodo. Aaronson summarized the core of his opinion as follows:
In short: blame it for being unfalsifiable rather than for being falsified!
He claims that it's not a problem to reconcile the universe-as-a-computer with the Lorentz invariance, too. On the other hand, Hossenfelder (like your humble correspondent) emphasizes that all the predictions similar to "certain computer-like glitches, such as the failure of accuracy or continuity and deja vu cats" seem to be falsified. So at some imperfect but high confidence level, the "simulation hypothesis" has been ruled out. Aaronson doesn't like it and he's wrong.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Antiviruses: when the cure is worse than the disease

In the morning, my antivirus software suddenly told me that my main defragmenter is a virus.

Just to be specific: I have used the German AVIRA software (web) with the red umbrella icon for over 15 years. It's probably not the most patriotic thing to do because Czechia has turned into an antivirus superpower largely thanks to Avast which recently devoured its competitor AVG (for $1.3 bn) and the company's headquarters stayed in Prague. Avast actually has more employees than Avira etc. Avast was founded as a communist-era co-op in 1988, AVIRA is two years older. Almost all people on the Avast board are non-Czech today, however.

I think that AVIRA does a good job and I've seen some reports that it's among the antiviruses that don't slow down the PC too much.

The other part of the story is that I believe that fragmentation of files slows down PC and I am running a defragmentation periodically. I've tried many but Auslogics Disk Defrag Free seems like the best choice on the market – it's much faster than most others and it visualizes things appropriately and gives you all the information about the fragmented files, the number of fragments, and other things.

Monday, March 20, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Germans should be ashamed of their candidate Martin Schulz

Off-topic: I know that many ex-fans have already grown tired of The Big Bang Theory but I haven't and for folks like me, CBS has approved the 11th and 12th seasons of TBBT. Via syndication, the show has earned over $1 billion for Warner, I haven't been sent a penny (let alone Penny) yet.
In the recent decade, the German politician elite has drifted towards the arrogant, politically correct far left corner. Recall that Angela Merkel's predecessor was the social democrat Gerhard Schröder.

This 2002 parody of a famous Spanish ketchup pop song, "The Tax Song", still showed the innocent politics that Western politics had known for decades. Schröder was a social democrat and it was therefore sensible to assume that he wants too high taxes, too many taxes (I can't even tell you with any certainty whether high taxes were characteristic for his tenure), and he's making fun of the citizens who probably don't like to pay this much. The only other theme of the song I can identify are the accusations that Schröder had to color his hair, otherwise they couldn't have been so youthful.

Although Merkel's CDU should be more conservative than Schröder's SPD, I find it obvious that Merkel is more left-wing than Schröder was. He was really a guy with some common sense who was immune towards most of the insanities – and he's still resistant towards e.g. the postmodern Russophobia that is largely driven by Vladimir Putin's being too conservative for the self-anointed progressive ideologues who have multiplied like locusts in the West.

Sunday, March 19, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Do you really think the Moon is a planet, Kirby? informs us about lots of legitimate news but sometimes it loves to spread hype about some absolute nonsense. When it switches to the nonsense mode, it usually promotes the craziest articles to the "featured" category. On Friday, they posted a crazy article about a topic that everyone should be able to understand,

Scientists make the case to restore Pluto's planet status
Pluto is a hero of the title but this very fact is ludicrous. Some people feel sad about the downgraded status of a piece of rock they have never seen with their eyes. But there's something else that the title doesn't convey: The people who want to redefine a "planet" again intend to make sure that there are over 100 planets in the Solar System so that the list would include the Earth's Moon – where some TRF readers have been – among many others.

Two Plutos, taken from the article about a Daesh astronomer who wants to rename Pluto to the Moon of Mohammed LOL. See also ISIS plans to carry attacks on Pluto.

The main proponent of the new definition is Mr Kirby Runyon (and "Mr" should be understood in the same way as when Dr Gablehauser talks to Mr Howard Wolowitz), a graduate student at John Hopkins, a Christian, and an owner of a cat. Quite some credentials.

Saturday, March 18, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Hossenfelder sensibly critical of our "simulated" world

Sabine Hossenfelder writes a lot of wrong texts, especially about issues that depend on some nontrivial calculation. But she is often reasonable when she discusses certain conceptual issues, including the general properties of quantum mechanics (and the absence of non-local influences in QFT etc.).

The latest example of the penetrating texts is

No, we probably don’t live in a computer simulation
I've discussed the proposals that "our world has been programmed by our overlord, Ms Simulator" in 2011, 2013, 2016, aside from other moments.

But let's look primarily at the comments by Hossenfelder and her readers – who surprisingly seem to agree.

Particles' wave functions always spread superluminally

It's been almost a week since we discussed Jacques Distler's confusion about some basics of quantum field theory. He posts several blog posts a year, a quantum field theory course is probably the only one he teaches, and he was "driven up the wall" by a point that almost every good introductory textbook makes at the very beginning. I expected that within a day or two, he would post a detailed text with the derivations saying "Oops, I've been silly [for 50 years]".

It just didn't happen. He still insists that the one-particle truncation of a quantum field theory is perfectly consistent and causal. In particular, he repeated many times in his blog post (search for the word "superluminal") that the relativistically modified Schrödinger's equation for one particle (with a square root) guarantees that the wave packets never spread faster than the speed of light. Oops, it's just too bad.

Friday, March 17, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Budget 2018: America will eliminate funding for climate hysteria

For more than a decade, I've been urging the responsible people to stop their support and especially government funding for the climate hysteria, a political movement that pretends to be all about science even though it brutally violates even the basic principles of the scientific method and threatens the integrity of the institutionalized science, prosperity of whole countries, and the freedom of their citizens.

There have been partial victories that have made us smile at one moment or another. But up to 2007, it seemed clear that the movement was growing and after 2007-2009, whatever the exact date of the Peak Climate Alarm was, it still seemed extremely likely that the climate alarmists were here to stay and consolidate their influence – much like we thought that communists were here to stay in Czechoslovakia in the late 1980s.

Well, the victory of Donald Trump was the first event that seems to change the big picture and reverse the trends in major ways – the first sign that the climate hysteria could be unsustainable, after all, much like Nazism, eugenics, communism, and other fads currently residing at the dumping ground of history. We didn't know whether Ivanka Trump and Rex Tillerson would "allow" the U.S. president to do something that has been a not so negligible part of the campaign. But things look better again.

Thursday, March 16, 2017 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Why research at Czech institutions sucks

Yesterday, a Czech expert in spintronics and nanoelectronics Mr Tomáš Jungwirth has provoked some naive Czech patriots who think that their homeland is very good in things like science:

Researcher: Czech science is average, wins few ERC grants (Prague Monitor, widely discussed in Czech press)
Jungwirth is a member of the European Research Council. Well, I think that I was still a high school student when I was pretty much decided that the Czech contributions to science in general and physics in particular are pretty much negligible. In fact, before I came to the college, I was already worried whether there could be someone in our homeland who could teach me/us things needed for the cutting-edge physics etc.

Just to be sure, the Czech education bringing you up to the early 1970s or so is very good, I still think. But at the research level, the numbers speak clearly:
Researchers from other EU countries submit two or three times more applications for ERC grants than those from the Czech Republic, Jungwirth said. Moreover, 12 percent of the grant applications are successful on average, while Czech projects succeed only in 5 percent of cases. Czech projects have won ERC 25 grants worth 41 million euros since 2007, while Austrian and Hungarian projects have won 189 and 54 grants, respectively.
Austrian and Hungary - totally comparable countries – have won 7.6 and 2.2 times more grants than Czechia, respectively. The deviation of these numbers from 1 obviously cannot be considered noise and – despite the EU's numerous fundamental shortcomings – I don't think that it's an effort of the evil EU organs to hurt Czechia, either.

LHCb discovers five \(css\) bound states at once

The LHCb detector is way smaller and cheaper than its fat ATLAS and CMS siblings. But it doesn't mean that it can't discover cool things – and many things. The letter \(b\) refers to the bottom quark. It's often said that the bottom quark is the best path towards the research of CP-violation and similar things.

But for some reasons, the LHCb managed to discover five new particles without any bottom quark – at once:

The collaboration proudly tweeted about the new discovery and linked to their new paper,

Observation of five new narrow \(\Omega^0_c\) states decaying to \(\Xi^+_c K^−\)
You may count the new peaks on the graph above. If you haven't forgotten some rather rudimentary number theory, you know that the counting goes as follows: One, two, three, four, five. TRF contains new stuff to learn for everybody, including those who would consider any mathematics exam unconstitutional and inhuman. ;-)