Friday, November 23, 2012

Mathjax, note 10.1 and more

I have become really tired of the problems to have a proper way to display math in blogspot. I had previously used a latex renderer but I have had problems with it. On one hand the server has changed in a few occasions, and in another the blogspot people have deleted the modifications of the template that allows the to be used.

 Because of that I had become somewhat frustrated. After all some entries with maths in this blog doesn't work any more and I don't like the idea of change the template every time that the server of latex changes in the future.  I have been observing that from a months to now the Lubos blog uses mathajax and it looks like it is an stable solution so I have decided to give it a chance.

 This a text equation using the mathajax plugin:

 $$  ds ^2=H^{-2} dt^2 + H^2 dx^2 $$

Ok, to have an easy way to display formulas is fun, but it is only part of the game. You need to write them. That seams a trivial task, write the latex code. Yeah, it is truth, I know the latex code for math and I know how to write a full Latex document also, of course. But, you know, that is "last year technology. I mean, this year has arrived the note 10.1, the tablet version of the note family of tablets. It was presented in February  at the MWC in Barcelona (Spain) and it arrived the stores (and my home the very first day it was on sell) this September. Among the many goodies of that tablet is the math handwriting recognition that you can see working in this video:

That feature works really ok. it recoginzed well ther formula  (the plain text handwriting recognition works also fine, of course) and send the equation to wolphram alpha (if you want so) but it has an annoying aspect, it doesn't allows you to get the latex code that correspond to the formula. This feature has also been added to the phablets and I have used it in the note 5.3 (the original) form around march, long before getting the note 10.1. That means that writing an equation using latex has become a "too primitive" way to do things.

 Well, I have been learning to do android programs. But as far as I have had a bad experience in the recent past with writing for the symbian platform (I ended an app, send it to the nokia store, passed the quality standards, but never seen it published in the store so I have not made any money of the app) I have been somewhat reluctant to get too involved in that business. Still I have learned enough to know the theory of how to do a virtual keyboard that could allow write latex in a really easy way. I mean, for writing an alpha letter you need to type \alpha, and similar for other greek letters. It would be easiest to have an \[ \alpha \] symbol in the keyboard and that when you type it it would appear in the suggestion bar (candidate view) the option to write the latex code (that would be the default one), the mathajax code or the actual character. And similarly for many other math symbols. Maybe in the future I could make this keyboard, but if somewhat reading this blog entry decides to do it before I wouldn't ask him any money for the idea ;).

 Well, a latex keyboard would be fun. But it would be better still that the math recognition of the note would allow the option to show the latex code. I know that there is a SDK for the S-pen of the note, but I don't know if it allows access to the code of the math recognition program (I seriously doubt it, but I still have not watched too much the SDK). If so it would be fine that somewhat would try to write a variant of the S-note program that would include that latex presentation option. Of course if someone of Samsung reads this entry they are invited to include that functionality in an update. I really like the note tablet and I absolutly think that is the best tablet of the moment, specially for people who need to use equations often. If that LaTeX extra functionality is added it would convert a wonderful product into an even better one :)-

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The arrival of the Milner prices of fundamental physic

This month came by surprise a new international prize for physicists. It is oriented for works of relevance in theoretic development, even if the theories worked hasn't be tested and they can't probably be for a large amount of time. It is created by a Russian physic doctorate Yuri Milner and it is named Fundamental Physics Prize.
It has been widespread announced in the English blogosphere. I also wrote a brief note about it in my Spanish blog and made publicity of it in some Spanish blogs about science. Since them I have not seen too many news about it. I neither have seen any signal of it in the TVs or newspapers of my country. That is too bad for a prize that in it's monetary recompense gives 3 million € to any winner and it has awarded, for it's first edition to NINE people,. That is, it has given a total amount of 27 million € to the physicist community. I think that only because of it it deserves a lot more of attention ;). Another point about the prize is the relevance of the winners. In the most theoretical size we have to Ed Witten, Juan Maldacena, Nima Arkani-Hamed, Nathan Seiberg and Asoke Sen. All of them are big names of string theory related research. Of course the most famous of them is Ed Witten who already had got in the ninties the field medal (the most famous and prestigious award in mathematics) for it's work in topological field theories. Probably next to him in fame is Maldacena and its broadly known correspondence. Nima is more on the phenomenological size with its work in possibly mesoscopic extra dimensions that have generated a lot of work for a few years (including the variant of them by Lissa Randal) and also had raised the possibility of creation of black holes in the LHC. Now this possibilities have something been gone with the null results of all the experimental searches but still there is a minor possibility of discovery when the LHC gets a bump in energy (or maybe when more data is available). In the last times Nima has been working in twistor techniques for amplitudes in certain kinds of maximal supersymmetric theories that, probably, can in the future be extended to more phenomenologically viable theories. Nathan Seiberg is well known by his works together wit Ed Witten. In particular he is well known for its cohomoloy. A teacher of a seminar in algebraic geometry told us that when his theory was announced during a course all the assistants started to use the new calculational tool to reobtian in a easiest and fastest way the cohomological groups of very well known spaces. Asoke Sen, on the other side, has made work in many areasm, but it is best known by it's work in tachyon condensation. I will not say any more and pont the interested reader to a post on it's work by Lubos motl: Asoke sen and tachyon condensation Well, there are winners in other subjects. For example in cosmology we have two very well known people, Andre Linde and Alan Guth. Guth is the father of inflationary theory and Linde the cofather who got the original idea and mutated it into the "eternal inflation" paradigm. Undoubtedly (at least for me) their work is the main contribution to the field of cosmology in the last decades and only the lack of a firm experimental verification of the idea has prevented them fro winning a nobel. There are also two other winner who works in quantum computing -Alexei Kitaev. and in mathematics (related to physic) Maxim Kontsevich whose work inspired Ashoke sen. I don't know about them so I will not say anything else. Overall the prize and the winners (at least the ones I know) are all really top people. Still the prize didn't get as mediatic as it should and I wonder why. Well, for sure there was a way in which the prize could have deserved a lot more attention from the mass media: awarding to Stephen Hawking who is probably the most famous physic alive. So the question is should Hawking have deserved the prize? Well, in my opinion he would. In fact I think that he was the ideal candidate to win it. It's work in emission of radiation for black holes has inspired lot, lot of work (the last line of research the "firewall" that according to some people is in the inner of old black holes). In fact it's work is considered the most firm candidate as the first quantum effect related to gravity. It the radiation would have been detected in an actual black hole (and not only in condensed matter analogues) hawking would have wined for sure the nobel prize. Hawking now is old (and as everybody knows, it¡s health is weak, because of it's illness), and it is probable that he would die without seeing it's idea tested experimentally. Sooo...YES! he would have wined the Milner prize as a recognition to it's work. Ok, there will be more editions of the prize, but unfortunately (let's hope not) the next year could be too late. Definitively not awarding Hawking looks to me both not of justice and a lost opportunity to make the prized best known. Well, even without Hawking the prize is great, and the awarded people are famous and important so let´s hope it will get the deserved media attention. Ok, I have talk about the winners of this year, who will win the next edition?. The decision is among the winners of this year (that is the dynamic of the prize). Maybe in the next 12 months it is made some really bright works that totally rocks, but among the already well known people, who should be potential winners? I see two major candidates (who, of course, could have already have win this year, but ok, it was necessary to choose someone and not everybody could win). I am talking of Cumrum Vafa and Joseph Polchinsky. I invite the readers to propose some more names. After all this kind of games are a part of the way to make a prize famous. Ok, it is too early, but still it could be interesting, when the date of the next edition arrives it could be made another round to see how the candidatures have evolved ;).

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Strings 2012

The LHC rules the physics blogosphere, specially since it's recent announcement about the Higgs. None doubt of the importance of the discovery and, in general, the labour of the LHC. But that doesn't meant that nothing else is going on on physics. On the experimental side we have new experimental results on dark matter detection: on the negative by xenon amd on the possitive (but in a very non fable way because of the early state of the experiment) by COUPP-4 On the theoretical side also there are some news. For example those last days we have assisted to a "black hole firewall" revolution of which I'll make a separate entry soon. But, in the theoretical side, I think that it is quite important to notice that this weak have begun the annual congress in string theory, that is, strings 2012. The place where it is celebrated is the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (in collaboration with the Max Planck institute). This is the web page Strings 2012
Some slides are available (and I guess that the links with an x that actually don't really have a pdf although they point to one in the future will have it). Some videos are also available. I'll try to see some of the important conferences and to read the slides. For now my next post is planned on the "firewall revolution" but maybe I'll post also another entries about this conference. Update: You can read a brief analisys of some of the conferences in Lubo's blog Strings 2012, a few words

Sunday, March 04, 2012

The LHC blues

Ok, I am being deliberately a little bit negative in the title. But the sad truth is that the runs of the LHC at the 7 TeV centre of mass energy have been somewhat bit disappointing in the respect of bringing us confirmed new physic. It has been a long time since my last post in this blog (I have keep posting in my Spanish blog) and in the while there were some interesting claims, extensively reported in the blogosphera such as the famous OPERA maybe super-luminous neturinos and the corresponding maybe rectifications. Also there were some claims about anomalies in LHC b related to CP symmetry violation, recently confirmed by the CDF analysis. A pity that this can be own to bad calculations in QCD and not to new physic. This negative results have also meant that most of phenomenological models for new physics have been driven into a very bad position. The only real almost discovering has been a Higgs at 125 TeV. Now we are near to a restart of the LHC activity to a somewhat increased energy, 8 TeV. And it is expected a lot more luminosity (around 19 fb^-1). So, maybe some new physics could appear, or maybe not. In the purely theoretical side I have not seen any revolutionary paper, and not even a simple "good although not amazing" one. At most some curious ideas that are beautiful but not particularly useful. Ok, again maybe I have been too negative again, but if you compare the amount of exciting new results in physic with the ones in fields such as consume technology (with a mobile/tablet revolution going on) and the revision that society and economy are undergoing right now high energy physics is going very slow. Anyway, I have keep reading most blogs, some of the new papers and rereading with care some not so new ones so I will come to blog again with some more regularity. Of course if the LHC is merciful enough to give as some new physic to deal with I will be happier with the task ;).