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Physics Forums Featured Threads

Math Challenge  October 2018
Summer is coming and brings .... Oops, time for a change! Fall (Spring) is here and what's better than to solve some tricky problems on a long dark evening (with the power of returning vitality all around). 
LHCb Discovers Two New Particles
"The LHCb collaboration has found two neverbeforeseen particles, as well as hints of another new particle, in highenergy proton collisions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Future studies of the properties of these new particles will shed light on the strong force that binds subatomic particles called quarks together."  LHC 
Has the Riemann hypothesis been proven?
I have heard through the grapevine that the Riemann hypothesis has been proven. What I read was this is a claim made by none other than Sir Atiyah himself and that he is planning to give a talk next week. So *if* the statement is true that it is a claim made by Atiyah, then it is of course an extremely serious and probably correct solution... 
Nobel Prize 2018 Announcements
The Nobel Prize winners of 2018 will be announced during the first week of October, starting with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday October 1. As most of us are biased towards physics: The physics prize will be announced Tuesday October 2 @ 11.45 (Stockholm time  CEST) at the earliest. 
Hardy's approach to quantum gravity and QM interpretation
Work in quantum foundations is partly considered important because of the hope that the way we think about QM may point to a road to quantum gravity. Lucien Hardy, who is wellknown in quantum foundations for his reformulation of QM in terms of five "reasonable" axioms, is one of the people who try to make this really tangible... 
The Rise of Incentivized Competitions for Humanity
The recent rise of incentivized competitions for humanity has prompted me to create this thread, to tell PFers what's out there and to share my meager experienced in "almost" entering one. The largest and arguably most influential one has been the XPRIZE organization which finds sponsors and puts out many competitions to solve some of our worst problems. Its a competitive game with many teams worldwide... 
Is a trip Alpha Centuri system feasible?
Can the journey be completed within the lifetime of a human adult? Assuming we have got around little problems like having an adequate form of propulsion, shielding from radiation, and avoiding deadly collisions with milligram sized dust particles. Let's say our engines can provide constant acceleration then deceleration at 1g. 
Does the Principle of Least Action Have a Physical Meaning?
I have found that some people say “yes, definitely”, and other days “no, definitely not”. Those who say “no” seem to regard PLA as merely a neat way of packaging the equations. Those who say “yes” seem to regard PLA as somehow fundamental. Is there a consensus among physicists that I am unaware of? If not, why not? What could the physical meaning of PLA even be? 
Swampland conjecture
The swampland conjecture is currently a very hot topic. Can someone explain, in simple terms, what exactly the swampland idea is? In particular, the conjecture states that the string landscape is surrounded by an even larger swampland of consistentlooking semiclassical effective field theories, which are actually inconsistent. What exactly does it mean that an effective theory is inconsistent? 
Intermediate Math Challenge  September 2018
Summer is coming and brings a new basic math challenge! Enjoy! For more advanced problems you can check our other basic level math challenge thread! 
Basic Math Challenge  September 2018
Summer is coming and brings a new basic math challenge! Enjoy! For more advanced problems you can check our other intermediate level math challenge thread! 
Double blind peer review winners and losers
Double blind peer review is a process in which not only the author does not know the name of the reviewer (which is the standard practice), but also the reviewer does not know the name of the author (which is not a standard practice). What would happen if the scientific community suddenly decided to shift to the double blind review process? Who would be the winners? Who would be the losers? 
Analyzing the game of tennis
I am trying to analyze the game of tennis. I started very simply by analyzing just the ground strokes, ignoring the serve, and calculating the odds of winning a single point given the odds of returning each ground stroke. I got a surprising (to me) result showing that the player to goes first always has a lower probability of winning the point than the opponent... 
Cellphone Distraction in Classroom Can Lead to Lower Grades
This is something many of us instructors have to deal with, something that was never an issue when I was still in college. Students now come to class equipped with notebook laptop, tablets, and of course, the ubiquitous cellphones. Different instructors have different policy on the use of the electronics, ranging from an outright ban, to "I don't care if you use these during class session as long as you don't distract... 
The 2018 Fields Medal has been awarded...
The 2018 Fields Medal has been awarded to: Caucher Birkar, Alessio Figalli, Peter Scholze, Akshay Venkatesh. More inside...
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