Christine Dantas retires her weblog

In a blow to the physics weblog community, Christine Dantas has closed her weblog, and deleted all of the posts but one. She outlines her reasons on Physics Forum. She had gotten embroiled in the fight over string theory (even in the Brazilian media), and as she put it:

You see, I do not have the right temperament for “living in the blogosphere”…


I am a quiet person, and wish to go back to my quiet life, to my quiet readings and studies.

It’s a fairly tragic development: Christine had been teaching herself various alternate approaches to quantum gravity, and would summarize her readings. It was evolving into a handy guide to the literature. She was also unfailingly polite, an obvious rarity on the internet.

Via the comments at Not Even Wrong.

Navier-Stokes Problem Solved?

Penny Smith has posted a preprint to arXiv, Immortal Smooth Solution of the Three Space Dimensional Navier-Stokes System that, if correct, would solve one of the Clay Institute’s Millenium Problems. Christina Sormani has created detailed summary of Smith’s work on PDEs and Navier-Stokes.

The Navier-Stokes equation is a set of equations that describe fluid flow in Newtonian mechanics. The equations are notoriously difficult to analyze. The existence of smooth solutions for all time (the meaning of “immortal” in the paper title) has long been an open question. One now perhaps closed.

Via Peter Woit.

Update. The paper has been withdrawn. (Via John Baez in the comments.)

Back from Vacation and Open Access

I’m back from vacation. With any luck, I’ll even think of something to say. Until that happens, I wanted to link to Peter Woit’s post, Open Access Publishing, which links to this CERN task force report on the subject. I haven’t read the report, but Peter’s description makes it sound pathetically timid. As he characterizes it:

The CERN task force doesn’t seem to me to be providing a viable long-term plan for moving to the kind of open access model they are supporting. It doesn’t address the fundamental problem of keeping a system where physicists hand over the scientific literature to Elsevier, then have to figure out how to buy it back.