Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Coincidentally Disconnected

Another interesting paper today with rather miraculously good results by my former supervisor and his newest recruit here. The idea being that in the AdS/CFT correspondence the asymptotically free UV of QCD will not be well modeled by classical supergravity, so this region of the space is simply removed with a cutoff. Using techniques often used in lattice QCD where artifacts of finite lattice spacing are important, irrelevant operators are introduced and tuned to fit data. What's impressive and perhaps surprising about this work is that with this technique, the resonances of the rho meson are predicted to around one percent. Indeed, the correct high 'n' scaling derived by Karch et al is demonstrated numerically. The anomalous dimension of the operators in question is studied briefly answering some questions about the validity of this approach. AdS/QCD is a really exciting area to be working in with genuine steps forward being taken all the time.

I've just returned from what was nominally called an English lesson, but in reality was a meal at a very fine restaurant chatting and occasionally writing down a phrase or word for clarity. This is an exceedingly enjoyable way to spend one evening every couple of weeks and because my student has had amazing opportunities to see and do things in China which are beyond the scope of most, I'm also learning as we go along.

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I was hoping to write about the huge festival held this weekend in Chaoyang park where Supergrass amongst others were playing, however, consigned to my flat, moping around with a throat infection and miserable cold meant that I resigned myself to reading a book on the history of mathematics rather than jump and mosh with the best of them (not that I've ever moshed in my life). The book is actually a simple highschool level text (perhaps occasionally undergrad where it turns to number theory and logic) the key is that concepts are introduced alongside the original texts on the subjects, be they by Galileo, David Hilbert or some ancient Sanskrit writings. I'd advise this book as a present for any keen 15 year old who could do with something with a little more depth than the usual highschool text book, without removing any of the content. 15 is a guess as I find it harder and harder to know what would have baffled me and what would have grabbed my interest at different ages.

Anyway, apart from being ill (now much better thanks to TCM) I've been working hard. The lack of science recently on the blog is not for lack of interest on my part. As a blog primarily for friends and family as I get to grips with life out here, in an attempt to keep as many friends interested as possible I figure that a site with as much science as many of the fine blogs on mixedstates (see right for link) would probably not do the job. I also hope that it gives some hint about the life of a physicists outside the office, whether this be a typical one or not.

In terms of science or perhaps scientific communication however, I'm finding internet instant messenger programs (various) to be a gold mine. Though the department here has many very fine physicists, there are few who work in areas similar to mine and the instant connectivity to friends around the world to discuss work related issues with is great. It makes up to some extent for the lack of coffee break physics discussions which we'd have regularly as PhD students in the UK. It may be my lack of language skills but though I see the students here working incredibly hard all hours of the day, night and weekend I don't see the interaction that I'm used to. We may have been particularly lucky in Southampton but, as I've said before, to me that dynamic was a creative and healthy one, just a thought...

5 comments:

Ronald McDonald said...

Happy Birthday you old sod.
Give me and Timmykins a shout when you're up and around and we'll try and sort out some kind of cam/present opening.

Donald McRonald said...

I second the Cherry-one's birthday greetings. Happy birthday! Next stop - baldness.

Jonathan Shock said...

Good to chat,

Many thanks for the excellent presents. It's lovely to have somewhere to rest a second cup of tea that I won't mind damaging.

Truth be told, they're all superb and I shall give write-ups as soon as possible.

All the best,

J

ronald mcdonald said...

You're just getting a coaster next time biscuit

Jonathan Shock said...

Marvelous, then I can have two friends round for tea.

J