Thursday, June 30, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

The Guardian on the only agent who has infiltrated the CIA

Karel Koecher's story is unusual from many viewpoints

Hours ago, Benjamin Cunningham – who, acting as a writer for the Economist, gave me an hour-long telephone call last month because of the word "Czechia" – published a long story in The Guardian,

How a Czech 'super-spy' infiltrated the CIA.
The spy was Karel Koecher. As a teenager, he had pretty much violent relationships with the communist regime. But in the 1960s, the atmosphere began to improve and in 1965, he immediately agreed to be sent to the U.S. with the goal of infiltrating the CIA – which he did although it doesn't seem like he has used this success to achieve something particular.



At some moment, his supervisors in Prague ordered him to write down and send all the plate numbers of the cars of janitors who clean toilets for the CIA. He thought that his talent wasn't unused and found a more direct path to collaborate directly with Moscow instead of the losers in Prague.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Breitbart makes bland Visegrád statements sound more authoritative

Not too many things are happening in Britain's adventures that should lead to the departure from the EU. I am actually disappointed by the attitude of folks like Boris Johnson who don't seem excited enough and eager to act. Did Boris want to win at all? Was he prepared for that option? He should have been!

More events are arguably taking place on the continental side of the channel. Nicola Sturgeon is a Scottish nationalist prime minister, a proud feminist, and a left-wing demagogue screaming about "austerity" in ways that resemble folks like Alexis Tsipras. The introduction of an independent Scotland to EU could be similar to inviting another Greece – even though it would be just a softcore Greece. I guess that an independent Scotland would be far less fiscally responsible than the U.K. has been. Thankfully, the feminist was snubbed by everybody today.

Jean-Claude Juncker safely (5-to-1) survived the attempts in the European Parliament to remove him. It's sad and emphasizes the similarity of the EU to the USSR.

Two new independent dumb attacks on physics in just one day

Two "mainstream" news servers posted their stories based on delusions of cranks yesterday. One of them is supposed to be pro-business and is owned by a former Republican presidential candidate but it had no problem with spreading the "ideas" of our well-known Marxist whore Sabine Hossenfelder:

Could No New Particles At The LHC Be Exactly What Physics Needs?
Ms Hossenfelder paints the last 43 years of physics as a failure after another because the Standard Model has remained important. This continuing success of the theory is something very important. The readers are told that "We already know we’ve been doing something wrong" and so on. Your first big crime took place when you were born, Ms Hossenfelder, but it doesn't mean that actual physicists were wasting their time in the recent four decades.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Tanzania: helium reserves have apparently tripled

In 2012, I was answering a Stack Exchange question about the sky that is falling, we're running out of helium. I repost the answer at the bottom.



Well, according to the world media, including The Daily Mail and Gizmodo, a new method allowed the people to find 54 BCf (billions cubic feet) of helium in Tanzanian East African Rift Valley. The U.S. federal helium reserve (currently led by Janet Helium Yellen, assuming that algebra works) only has 24 BCf right now.

So Tanzania has more than twice the U.S. reserves. Since 2013, it was Qatar that was the main supplier of helium.

Monday, June 27, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

France, Germany demand the establishment of the Fourth Reich

Remaining 25 member states should be turned into protectorates

Due to the perceived loss of control over their immigration and other policies and the detachment of the EU officials from the citizens' concerns, a majority of the British voters have decided to leave the European Union. How do the politicians in the remainder of the European Union want to respond?



German and French foreign ministers arrived to Prague where they're meeting their Visegrád Group (PL, HU, CZ, SK) counterparts. The German foreign minister previously said that he didn't want a deeper integration anymore. However, the Polish TV TVP, Sputnik, TheNews.PL, The Express, and numerous others have pointed out a remarkable 10-page document

A strong Europe in the world of uncertainties (PDF)
penned by the German and French foreign ministers whose goal is to complete the project that Germany didn't quite complete around 1942.

ATLAS: a 2.3-sigma stop excess

This will be an extremely short blog post because one month ago, I discussed the search for gluinos by ATLAS based on the very same final states with 1 lepton, jets, and MET. See the relevant May 2016 paper.

Sunday, June 26, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Brexit: some differences in ideas about the future steps are comical

At the Politics Stack Exchange, I gave answers to three questions about the future steps in the wake of the Brexit decision. Some other countries led by Czechia and Denmark have a high enough but not overwhelming probability to follow in the footsteps of the U.K. The EU politicians may want to speed up things in order to quickly restore the illusion that nothing wrong has happened in the EU under their watch. But they have no official prescriptions to speed up the processes in the U.K. or tools to rapidly expel the U.K.

A well-known Czech public Sunday noon TV debate "Questions from Mr Václav Moravec" was rather interesting. The three main participants agreed about many things where you could be surprised by their agreement. They almost funnily disagreed about many others. And the two representatives of the center-left coalition government seemingly fought each other more violently than they fought the right-winger – whose party was partly vindicated by recent steps and, as Zahradil also more or less rightfully boasted, whose past views have been adopted by the other parties by now.

Globalization is a vague term, it's not necessarily taking place

No one can "control" it although the "New World Order" fans would love to

One of the strange words that has been used many times after the British referendum is "globalization". The New York Times wrote about ‘Brexit’ in America: a warning shot against globalization. Xinhua asked in a commentary: Brexit, a move threatening an end to globalization? The Providence Journal believes that Brexit may mark the start of a rebellion against globalization. The Kansas City Star is already convinced that Britain just killed globalization as we know it. Inquirer.net also wrote about ‘Brexit’ and globalization. Florin Moldoveanu thinks that mass immigration is mandatory because it's a "part of globalization".

Slow down, comrades. None of this stuff makes much sense.

Saturday, June 25, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Worries about British science are mindless fearmongering

British scientists who voted "Bremain" outnumber the supporters of "Brexit" by a factor of 7-to-1 or so. Like other intellectual elites and would-be elites, even the physics departments have been largely overtaken by the European Union official propaganda.

So it shouldn't be surprising that many people use big words to show their hysteria. Peter Higgs said that Brexit is a "disaster" for the scientific research. (He hasn't recorded the rumors that the diphoton bump has gone away yet.) Yesterday, the BBC said that such views are common; see also a text in Wired and Physics World. There also exists an organization named "Scientists for Britain" that supported Brexit.

Friday, June 24, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

An arrogant centralized EU is no longer sustainable

The English voters' (not so much Scottish voters') decision to leave the European Union has certain implications for the United Kingdom that has preserved its independence, sovereignty, and democracy in this way. I think that even the consequences for the U.K. are being overestimated – I do think that the departure from the EU is a smaller change than e.g. Slovakia's departure from Czechoslovakia because the latter was a real country while the EU is not. The EU began to influence many aspects of the Europeans' lives but it is still deciding about a few percent of the GDP only etc. (and about a small part of non-economic issues, too). So although I often say bad things about the EU, I think it's a smaller deal for the citizens of the U.K. than the dissolution of Czechoslovakia was for us.

Yes, the United Kingdom will liberate itself from some decisions done by Brussels bureaucrats. But in practice, the effect of this change on the life of almost everybody is very small because the bureaucrats and ideologues in London don't differ from their counterparts in Brussels too much. After all, Britain has sent many sons and daughters to the EU headquarters and they were stauncher Eurocrats than many others – such as their Czech counterparts.

Britain is also a key country whose climatological institutions were the template from which the IPCC was created, along with the climate hysteria. Britain is also a home to many multiculturalists. Like Germany, it's largely a welcoming country – one that had no problem to pick an ethnic Pakistani as the mayor of the capital (whether you think it's great or not so great).

My point is that the decisions will be done more locally and more democratically once the United Kingdom leaves the EU. This will improve the feedbacks and the accountability of the politicians and the voters' ability to correct mistakes. But the content of all these decisions won't differ much – and the differences from the EU decisions will fluctuate in "both directions", if you get my point.

Central banks should intervene, push markets towards pre-Brexit levels

British voters have chosen to exit the European Union, 52-to-48 or so, which is the ethically correct decision. For example, the Klaus Institute praises Britain as a heroic essential country of Europe that decided to challenge the megalomaniac European plans for the third time – Napoleon, Hitler, Juncker ;-) and that created a wonderful opportunity for the Old Continent. However, the apparent costs are so intense that – I admit – I would have voted Bremain if I were a Briton yesterday.

PM David Cameron, the boss of the "Stay" camp, announced resignation later in the morning, saying that he isn't the right captain to steer the ships (British islands) now. Czech right-wing party chairman Prof Fiala says that the resignation of Tusks, Junckers, and Schulzes who have caused the problems would be more appropriate than Cameron's. Meanwhile, the world markets have kickstarted an absolute hysteria. This reaction could have been expected – we saw a small demo of that hysteria exactly 2 weeks earlier when polls indicated that the Leave side was ahead.

Within hours, the British pound lost some 8% on the dollar from $1.50 below $1.37 – low levels of the pound last seen in the 1980s. And the pound has seen the threshold $1.32 for a while, too. The stock markets are typically losing up to 10%, too. I am convinced that this hysteria is absolutely insanely unjustifiable. It doesn't reflect any underlying reality. And if economic problems begin, they will be consequences of the irrational hysteria itself, not the underlying event – Brexit – that is claimed to "justify" the havoc.

Some decisions will be gradually moved from Brussels to London but there's no reason to expect that the new London decisions will be worse or that some important processes will completely stop working.

Thursday, June 23, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Leonard Susskind vs Donald Trump

A co-father of string theory and lots of other creative ideas in physics and my once co-author Lenny Susskind (he's been surely more important for me than the very modest paper indicates) is the current director of physics at Stanford and he wrote a "letter on the lunatic" which he agreed to turn into an open letter. Here it is:

Letter to My Friends, by Leonard Susskind

I’m watching this thing that’s happening with disbelief, dismay, and disgust. There is a lunatic loose—I’m sure we all agree about that—but I keep hearing people say that they can’t vote for Hillary. I heard it at my daughter’s birthday party Sunday. Boy oh boy, will these people be sorry if the lunatic gets his way. Personally I do not find it an excuse that “I live in California, which will go Democrat whatever I do.”



(C) LM

I strongly believe in all things Bernie, but Hillary is not the Anti-Bernie. There is much less difference between Clinton and Sanders than the distortions of the nominating process might lead people to think. She’s for health care, he’s for health care; he’s for increased minimum wage, she’s for increased minimum wage; she’s for immigrant rights, he’s for immigrant rights; and on and on it goes.

The lunatic may be just that—a lunatic—but he is also a master of smear and innuendo. He is a gigantic liar, and he knows that if you keep saying something over and over, it sticks in people’s minds. It’s called the Big Lie, and it works. Say it enough and it sows confusion and distrust, not only among the know-nothings, but even among those who know better.

The lunatic and his supporters are exceedingly dangerous. Tell your friends: don’t be fooled. The only thing between us and the lunatic is Hillary. Get off your ass and vote in Nov.

Leonard Susskind
Director, Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics,
Stanford University
It's often being said that left-wing ideologies are unavoidably totalitarian in character and every leftist is a Stalin to the extent to which he is allowed to act as one. One's firm fist – either literally or metaphorically – is the only thing that protects tens of millions of lives from a leftist. It's hard to disagree when you read this Susskind's rant.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Negative rumors haven't passed the TRF threshold

...yet?...

Several blogs and Twitter accounts have worked hard to distribute the opinion that the 2015 excess of diphoton events resembling a new \(750\GeV\) particle at the LHC wasn't repeated in the 2016 data. No details are given but it is implicitly assumed that this result was shared with the members of ATLAS at a meeting on June 16 at 1pm and those of CMS on June 20 at 5pm.

In recent 5 years, my sources have informed me about all similar news rather quickly and all such "rumors about imminent announcements" you could have read here were always accurate. And I became confident whenever I had at least 2 sources that looked "probably more than 50% independent of one another".

Well, let me say that the number of such sources that are telling me about the disappearance of the cernette is zero as of today. It doesn't mean that those negative reports must be unsubstantiated or even that the particle exists – it is totally plausible that it doesn't exist – but there is a reason to think that the reports are unsubstantiated. The channels that I am seeing seem untrustworthy from my viewpoint.

A fixed numerical value of \(\hbar\) got a bit closer

The Parisian kilogram prototype should move to a museum in 2018

Yesterday, Phys.org published an interesting news report

Important milestone reached on road to a redefined kilogram
that explains some experiment that helps to realize my 2012 call to fix the numerical value of Planck's constant.



The experiment is described in "AIP Review of Scientific Instruments" article
Invited Article: A precise instrument to determine the Planck constant, and the future kilogram
by Haddad and 7 co-authors.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Václav Klaus' 75th birthday

On Sunday, I was honored to attend the magnificent birthday party of Václav Klaus, the second president of Czechia, which took place at the Štvanice [=Hunt or Exhaustive Effort] Island on the Moldau River in Prague. The island is named "Hunts" after dog hunts at animals (bears, bulls, deer, cows...) that have been organized on that island up to 1816 or so – this activity has been defunct for 200 years in this year. The ban of this entertainment was penned by Francis I of Austria in 1802 and after a delay, the island switched to more peaceful sports.



Lots of European politicians have sent him birthday wishes remotely (the video above was posted by AfD and is AfD+FPÖ-centered but if you're patient, Marine Le Pen sings) and lots of famous Czech politicians, economists, artists, and singers have attended. The party was located [bird's eye] in the real estate of the First Bohemian Lawn Tennis Club (founded 1893) which has owned it since 1901 but the current modern buildings were only opened in 1986.

Monday, June 20, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Formal string theory is physics, not mathematics

I was sent a book on string theory by Joseph Conlon and I pretty much hate it. However, it's the concise, frank comments such as his remark at 4gravitons that make it really transparent why I couldn't endorse almost anything that this Gentleman says.

I can’t agree on the sociology. Most of what goes under the name of ‘formal string theory’ (including the majority of what goes under the name of QFT) is far closer in spirit and motivation to what goes on in mathematics departments than in physics departments. While people working here like to call themselves ‘physicists’, in reality what is done has very little in common with what goes on with the rest of the physics department.
What? If you know the amusing quiz "Did Al Gore or Unabomber say it?", these sentences could be similarly used in the quiz "Did Conlon or Sm*lin say it?".