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A Joseph Polchinski's physics autobiography

  1. Aug 30, 2017 #1
    I'm posting here, because this memoir is actually full of comments about interesting BSM physics too.

    https://arxiv.org/abs/1708.09093
    Memories of a Theoretical Physicist
    Joseph Polchinski
    (Submitted on 30 Aug 2017)
    While I was dealing with a brain injury and finding it difficult to work, two friends (Derek Westen, a friend of the KITP, and Steve Shenker, with whom I was recently collaborating), suggested that a new direction might be good. Steve in particular regarded me as a good writer and suggested that I try that. I quickly took to Steve's suggestion. Having only two bodies of knowledge, myself and physics, I decided to write an autobiography about my development as a theoretical physicist.
    This is not written for any particular audience, but just to give myself a goal. It will probably have too much physics for a nontechnical reader, and too little for a physicist, but perhaps there with be different things for each. Parts may be tedious. But it is somewhat unique, I think, a blow-by-blow history of where I started and where I got to.
    Probably the target audience is theoretical physicists, especially young ones, who may enjoy comparing my struggles with their own. Some disclaimers: This is based on my own memories, jogged by the arXiv and Inspire. There will surely be errors and omissions. And note the title: this is about my memories, which will be different for other people. Also, it would not be possible for me to mention all the authors whose work might intersect mine, so this should not be treated as a reference work.
    Comments: 150 pages
     
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  3. Aug 31, 2017 #2

    atyy

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    Oh dear! I flipped to the end to see what brain injury he had, and was both dismayed and amused to find it was "brane cancer".
     
  4. Aug 31, 2017 #3

    Demystifier

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    I did exactly the same hing.
     
  5. Aug 31, 2017 #4

    MathematicalPhysicist

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  6. Aug 31, 2017 #5

    Demystifier

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  7. Aug 31, 2017 #6

    Haelfix

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    The issues the firewall paper brought to light and the refinement of the information loss paradox still holds (5 years later). None of the proposed solutions are viewed as settled, and the problem remains too difficult to broach with the tools we have. Therefore the current view of the community is to attack the problem from the side using the lessons that were learned and to build more progressive toy models. So you will see a lot about error correcting codes, emergent holography, the SYK model, tensor networks and entanglement as the glue of spacetime etc.
     
  8. Sep 1, 2017 #7

    MathematicalPhysicist

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    I've seen the error correcting codes' approach from Jim Gate's papers, didn't find the time to read it thoroughly though.
     
  9. Sep 1, 2017 #8

    Haelfix

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  10. Sep 1, 2017 #9

    arivero

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    The theories are supposed to depict dual theories close together,
    separated alternately by S and T dualities. But I somehow switched the two
    heterotic theories, both in the colloquia and in my book

    Good that finally someone is going to fix this. I have read some article actually labelling T and S the sides of the hexagon. But still I do not see how the six sides are either T ot S. For instance, IIB to I is orientifolding isnt it?
     
  11. Sep 2, 2017 #10

    arivero

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