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kottke.org posts about string theory

String Theory, David Foster Wallace on Tennis

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 18, 2016

Roger Federer

String Theory, a collection of David Foster Wallace’s writings on tennis will be out next month.1 The five pieces in the book include his NY Times’ essay on Federer and a 1991 piece from Harper’s. John Jeremiah Sullivan wrote an introduction, which was published recently in the New Yorker.

The collection is also available on the Kindle, without the Sullivan intro.

  1. Hi, this is a footnote. Because Wallace. That’s it.

We Work Remotely

Embiggen, a perfectly cromulent word

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 04, 2007

Embiggen, the fauxcabulary word created for an episode of The Simpsons, has found its way into string theory. Here’s the usage from a recently published paper on Gauge/gravity duality and meta-stable dynamical supersymmetry breaking:

Embiggen

Here’s the original quote from The Simpsons episode, Lisa the Iconoclast:

A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.

The uses are probably not related, but you never know.

Jim Holt reports on a pair of

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 03, 2006

Jim Holt reports on a pair of books that argue that string theory is hurting theoretical physics. The article contains a good overview of the history and current status of the theory. For those looking to discover which book is better, Holt recommends Smolin’s The Trouble with Physics.

On the heels of two books critical

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 18, 2006

On the heels of two books critical of string theory, a look at the string theory backlash.

Interesting tour/visualization imagining 10 dimensions. (thx, james)

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 11, 2006

Interesting tour/visualization imagining 10 dimensions. (thx, james)

Robert Birnbaum interviews physicist Lisa Randall about

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 10, 2006

Robert Birnbaum interviews physicist Lisa Randall about string theory and science popularizers.

Lisa Randall and Raman Sundrum have proposed

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 03, 2005

Lisa Randall and Raman Sundrum have proposed some ideas about gravity, extra dimensionality, and string theory that may be testable when the Large Hadron Collider goes online at CERN in 2007.

The existence and behavior of dark matter

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 09, 2005

The existence and behavior of dark matter is puzzling indeed, but some UK astrophysicists speculate that adding three more spacial dimensions to the universe explains the gravitational behavior of dark matter. If they exist, these extra dimensions would be about a nanometer across. A baby step toward string theory?

Advice from Dr. Michio Kaku on formulating

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 05, 2005

Advice from Dr. Michio Kaku on formulating a proposal for the Unified Field Theory. I can just imagine all the crackpot theories that prompted this list.

Brian Greene on Albert Einstein’s miracle year,

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 08, 2005

Brian Greene on Albert Einstein’s miracle year, his discovery of the photoelectric effect, and his uneasiness with quantum mechanics.