9 February 2011

Fundamental Physics Research at the Institute of Retarted Study in Princeton

My hero Peter Woit points out this talk from Princeton: http://video.ias.edu/stream&ref=418 . You will not believe what you hear and see. Arkani-Hamed is a professor in a small institute there, and he shows with every sentence that Steven Weinberg at age 78 is still a better speaker and thinker than others at 38.

Arkani-Hamed starts by showing that he knows special relativity as well as your high school teacher next door. But then his talk takes a strange bend: he rapidly lowers the quality to a much lower level:

  • He makes slides like a high school student.
  • He does not know that the plural of `phenomenon' is `phenomena'.
  • He claims that higher dimensions exist (which is wrong), and that supersymmetry exists (which is also wrong).
  • He talks about AdS/CFT and dualities in a way that is so simplified that nothing sensible remains.
  • He explains that anybody who is doing anything incompatible with string theory is doing bad theoretical physics (which is wrong), and therefore such people are not at his institute.
  • He comes back to supersymmetry and fermionic coordinates (which are a pure figment of the human mind, and contradict reality) and claims that they are the only possible solution to all theoretical problems of the standard model (which is wrong).
  • He claims that supersymmetric particles exist and will be found soon (which is wrong).

In short, he gives a talk full of ideas from the 20th century, all known to be wrong, and calls the talk "Physics in the 21st century"!  At least in the field of fundamental physics, he shows impressively that his institute can be safely renamed as the Institute of Retarded Study.

What will happen as soon as supersymmetry and higher dimensions will be definitely shown not to exist in a few years? I bet that the Institute or some nearby institution will give him a promotion or a prize, for his "outstanding contributions to fundamental physics". Watch my lips.

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