Arcadian Functor

occasional meanderings in physics' brave new world

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Location: New Zealand

Marni D. Sheppeard

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Quick Update

Hat tip to Carl for the link to this nice new talk by Bob Coecke at PI. Not long til this conference now. And they're letting me attend this conference too!

Back in Oxford, there are still plenty of seminars to attend. This afternoon, Steve Simon gave a beautiful talk (on TQFTs, the Kauffman invariant and why string theory is wrong ... OK, so he didn't use those words exactly), starting with the story of Lord Kelvin and Peter Tait, who first developed knot theory on the motivation that knots in the aether should have fundamental physical significance.

And today being May Day, I was up at 5am to join the crowds under the Magdalen tower.


Blogger Kea said...

P.S. Bob, it's re-see-pee - not re-cipe.

May 02, 2009 6:28 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Great that you are coming to Perimeter in May. The cosmic constant indeed has a problem, one of non-existence.

When you get back to Oxford, maybe you will see Subir talk on June 22. (He doesn't believe in "dark energy.") The June 29 talk on "Alternatives to Standard Cosmology" looks interesting, but I may be elsewhere that day.

In 1874 the same Lord Kelvin and Tait published a paper claiming the speed of light is slowing down! "Knots in the aether" shows that strings and dark energies are not even new ideas.

May 02, 2009 7:01 AM  
Blogger CarlBrannen said...

The part I had trouble understanding was what a "pot" and a "car" were in the cooking. After several hours of playing the tape over and over, I figured out that these were abbreviations for the main ingredients in the potato / carrot mush recipe.

May 02, 2009 8:34 PM  
Blogger Kea said...

Yes, I also had trouble with the cooking show, Carl. And I would say potato carrot mash, not mush.

Hi Louise. Well, I do confess to actually having a little to do with Subir Sarkar giving a talk in our department. And of course I am looking forward to it.

May 02, 2009 11:56 PM  
Blogger CarlBrannen said...

Check out 0905.0030, How Well Do We Know the Orbits of the Outer Planets?

It shows that the pioneer anomaly could be present in the outer planets as well but we'd never know it from the observations we've made so far.

May 04, 2009 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Tony Smith said...

Carl, thanks for mentioning the Pioneer anomaly paper 0905.0030 by Page et al about the outer planets.
I had just recently put up a paper on the web (not on arXiv due to blacklisting) about the Pioneer anomaly. It is at
and a mirror site at
(sorry for the long URLs)


May 05, 2009 2:57 AM  
Anonymous Tony Smith said...

Sorry that the URLs were too long to show up.

Here they are with a line break (which must be removed) to make them visible:

My Pioneer paper is at

and a mirror site at



May 05, 2009 3:00 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

Thanks for the link Tony. Kepler would be proud.

You know, it's not hard to learn how to make a link ...

May 05, 2009 5:04 AM  
Anonymous Tony Smith said...

Kea, you said "it's not hard to learn how to make a link".

That is easy for you to say -
you are young (old folks like me have a hard time learning new things and what ability we have is used up dealing with social security and medicare)
female (women are smarter than men - and hugely exponentially smarter than the men who don't know that).


PS - If I had to guess how to do it,
I would guess to "use some HTML tags"
but I tend to mess up such stuff since
for many years I have not done much
explicit HTML coding for web stuff,
as I am using Claris Home Page 3.0
(Mac Classic) for my web site work,
which I guess shows how archaic I am.

May 05, 2009 5:44 AM  
Anonymous Tony Smith said...

OK, I will try a doing link because I need to do it to ask a question.
Kea, you mentioned the Magdalen tower.

What is the symbolism of this image

image from the web site of Magdalen College Oxford ?


PS - I tried to use IMG SRC as a tag, but I got what I expected from my previous comment:
"Your HTML cannot be acccepted: Tag is not allowed",
so even if this (my second attempt at this post of this comment) works, I feel that this stuff is beyond my abilities.

May 05, 2009 6:04 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

You see! Even old dogs can learn new tricks!

Cute picture of the deer. There are actually deer at Magdalen College, which has extensive gardens.

May 05, 2009 6:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See these war time poems from Oxford.

May 05, 2009 6:09 AM  

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