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Derek Wise thesis is posted (Baez student, Cartan geometry)

  1. Oct 12, 2007 #1

    marcus

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    http://www.math.ucr.edu/home/baez/thesis_wise.pdf

    Derek has taken a position at UC Davis and been moving his webpages up there from UC Riverside.

    John Baez has discussed a chunk of Derek's research in a paper he delivered at a conference a few months back. Also Derek has summarized part of it in a paper he put on arxiv last year.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0611154

    Cartan geometry could turn out to play a crucial role in quantum gravity. Derek is a good clear writer so his earlier paper was a pleasure to read (the one everybody remembers as having the hamster in a ball rolling over a differentiable manifold).

    Here is Derek's new UCD webpage
    http://www.math.ucdavis.edu/~derek/

    I've looked thru the thesis and see that one useful thing it does is gather several related lines of investigation into one organized exposition. I suspect several of us have already read large portions of Wise's thesis in other formats (I certainly have, with interest!). A good deal of the content had already been made public in papers and online slides.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2007
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  3. Oct 13, 2007 #2

    garrett

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    This thesis has a lot of good stuff in it. My favorite, not surprisingly, is his thorough coverage of MacDowell-Mansouri gravity, which should probably start going by the more descriptive name, "modified BF gravity."
     
  4. Oct 14, 2007 #3

    garrett

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    I think it would be a good idea for marcus to read whatever he wants.
     
  5. Oct 14, 2007 #4

    marcus

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    Sounds like a good plan, Garrett :smile: and one others could follow as well!
    As i said in my first post, I looked through the 200-page thesis immediately when it came out and discovered that I had already read substantial parts of it in various forms (earlier papers and talks by Derek and by Baez about Derek's research etc. et al.)
    BTW the famous picture of the hamster is on page 138. And I was definitely reading it because that was what I wanted to read! Dr. Johnson had some advice about this*. :biggrin:

    Garrett, if you feel like taking the trouble to help an onlooker, please list some pages or sections where there is important new stuff that we have not already seen in Derek's earlier paper and the slides from his talk---papers with Baez, and so on.

    As I said in the earlier post, what I mostly see is a valuable gathering and fitting together of various pieces of a new direction of research which we've been hearing about for about two years. (maybe even earlier, going back to Freidel and Starodubtsev.)

    To me it's interesting that, just as the new approach Smolin is following (with Sundance, Wan, Hackett, Kauffman... https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=190053 ) is getting matter out of braids, so is the quite different approach that Derek assembles the pieces of ALSO looking to get matter out of braids. But braids made of different cloth.

    Anyway, if the spirit moves you to point to a few pages or sections for special attention, please do.

    *Basically Samuel Johnson's advice was to read what you want to read and put hostile-motivated stuff on your ignore list, if I remember correctly.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2007
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