A Capella Science – Bohemian Gravity!

This video has gone viral in less than a month. Quite strange, as it does not show Miley Cyrus’ latest stravaganza and there is no funny cat on it either. It is just String theory, you know…

And here, the lyrics:

Is string theory right?
Is it just fantasy?
Caught in the landscape,
Out of touch with reality
On S5 or T*S3

Space is a pure void
Why should it be stringy? 
Because it’s quantum not classical
Any way you quantize
You’ll encounter infinity
You see

Must interact
Via paths we understand
Using Feynman diagrams
Often, they will just rebound
But now and then they go another way
A quantum
Infinities will make you cry
Unless you can renormalize your model
Of baryons, fermions
And all other states of matter

Curved space:
The graviton
Can be thought of as a field
But these infinities are real
In a many-body
Loop diagram
Our results diverge no matter what we do…
A Quantum Soup (any way you quantize)
Kiss your fields goodbye
Guess Einstein’s theory wasn’t complete at all!

I see extended 1-D objects with no mass
What’s their use? What’s their use? Can they give us quark plasma?
What to minimize?
What functional describes this
Nambu-Goto! (Nambu-Goto)
Nambu-Goto! (Nambu-Goto)
How to quantize I don’t know
I’m just a worldsheet, please minimize me
He’s just a worldsheet from a string theory
Reperametrized by a Weyl symmetry!

Fermi, Bose, open, closed, orientable?
Modes! They become particles (particles!)
They become particles (particles!)
They become particles (particles!)
Become particles (particles!)
Become particles (many many many many particle…)
Modes modes modes modes modes modes modes!
Oh mamma mia mamma mia,
Such a sea of particles!
A tachyon, with a dilaton and gravity-vity-VITY

(rock out!)

Now we need ten dimensions and I’ll tell you why
(anomaly cancellation!)
So to get down to 4D we compactify!
Oh, Kahler!
(Kahler manifold)
Manifolds must be Kahler!
(Complex Reimannian symplectic form)
If we wanna preserve
Any of our super-symmetry

(Superstrings of type I, IIa and IIb)
(Heterotic O and Heterotic E)
(All are one through S and T duality)
(Thank you Ed Witten for that superstring revolution and your new M-theory!)

(Type IIB String!)
Dual! Dual!
(In the AdS/CFT)

Molecules and atoms
Light and energy
Time and space and matter
All from one united

Any way you quantize…


Note: Lyrics and arrangement by Tim Blais and A Capella Science
Original music by QueenLyrics and arrangement by Tim Blais and A Capella Science – Original music by Queen

You can even buy the track on iTunes, here.


The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics

One of the latest books I’ve read: “The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics”, a book by Stanford well-known professor Leonard Susskind. I say “well-known” because anybody with some interest in Theoretical Physics may find his lectures on iTunes or YouTube (of course, for free). A great communicator Mr Susskind, one of my favourites, and also one of the fathers of String Theory.

In this book, a book that I think I will read again in some near future, Professor Susskind tells us the story about a theoretical dispute between him (“Is information lost when something falls into a black hole?“) and dutch physicist Gerard ‘t Hooft (1999 Nobel Prize in Physics), on one side, vs. the most famous physicist to the general public, Stephen Hawking, on the other.

The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics

The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics (image: amazon.fr)


This is the book description from the publisher:

A mind-bending book about modern physics, quantum mechanics, the fate of stars and the deep mysteries of black holes. What happens when something is sucked into a black hole? Does it disappear? Three decades ago, a young physicist named Stephen Hawking claimed it did–and in doing so put at risk everything we know about physics and the fundamental laws of the universe. Most scientists didn’t recognize the import of Hawking’s claims, but Leonard Susskind and Gerard t’Hooft realized the threat, and responded with a counterattack that changed the course of physics. This is the story of their united effort to reconcile Hawking’s revolutionary theories with their own sense of reality–effort that would eventually result in Hawking admitting he was wrong, paying up, and Susskind and t’Hooft realizing that our world is a hologram projected from the outer boundaries of space.

A great book I strongly recommend to anyone interesting in this challenging and profound topics. You can find it, for example, on Amazon.com, here.

You can get a grasp of what is explained in this book in this short YouTube video: Hawking vs Susskind.

The original 2005 publication by Professor Hawking entitled: “Information Loss in Black Holes” can be found here.