27 August 2011

Three mathematicians - one famous - make a fool of themselves

Three men, the famous Michael Atiyah, together with Nicholas S. Manton and Bernd J. Schroers, propose "Geometric Models of Matter".

This is modern academic comedy writing. You will note that they do not speak about quarks, nor about W and Z bosons. They also have problems incorporating spin 1/2. Nor do they describe interactions.

In short, they neglect most of modern physics, but still claim to have done something sensible. What is the truth? They just played a little with their favorite mathematical concepts. But they did not do anything sensible.

It seems that Atiyah has completely lost contact with reality. What a pity - he was one of the sharpest minds of mathematics.


  1. I am not sure of how much blame should I get for this; during the last year I have pressed here and there (including Atiyah) for more work explaining the relationship between CP2 and S4, but I didn't expected this result. What I expected was something about the fiber bundles with fiber S3 and basis S4 and the similar objects with basis CP2. The former have SO(8) symmetry, the later have SU(3)xSU(2)xU(1).

    Perhaps some other will think about this; at least this work has the virtue of giving an example (and a full appendix) about how to relate CP2 and S4. It is important because almost nobody knows that one is the branched covering of the other.

  2. All this might be true, interesting and beautiful. But there is connection to reality.