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.
Here is this week's advanced math problem of the week. We have several members who will check solutions, but we also welcome the community in general to step in. We also encourage finding different methods to the solution. If one has been found, see if there is another way. Occasionally there will be prizes for extraordinary or clever methods...
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 consistent-looking semiclassical effective field theories, which are actually inconsistent. What exactly does it mean that an effective theory is inconsistent?
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?
We commonly see lists of "best science" both here on PF and elsewhere. I think it is time for a little friendly rivalry from the engineering side. I arbitrarily chose 100 years as the period. The wheel and Roman aqueducts were great engineering but not much fun for us to talk about because we don't know much about the engineers...