I tried in different ways to get this paper through the community with standard channels. As far as I can tell, this paper is unpublishable. By this I mean that journals not even send it to referees to start a normal review process or all people try to stop it from making it known. The argument is always the same: A reformulation of quantum mechanics using stochastic processes but using noncommutative geometry this time. I apologize to the community if this unacceptable approach has bothered people around the World but this is the fate of some ideas. Of course, if somebody has the courage and the willing to publish, let me know and I will appreciate the tentative with infinite gratefulness.

Now, back to sane QCD.

Happy new year!

Bad practices


Today, I made a serious mistake. I have sent again a rejected paper to the same journal. The point is that this is the kind of journal that has several Editors that can manage papers. So, one could improperly think that a rejected paper sent to different Editors could in the end go through. The Editor that received my paper did not even think to an error and called for a bad practice warning the Editor in Chief of the journal.

I never applied this practice. The reason is that I have currently about 70 papers published in peer-reviewed journals and so, I have the greatest respect for the work of people that permitted to achieve this result of mine. Worst, I have written more than one hundred papers and a part of them is unpublished for a reason or the other and generally I am in difficulty to get trace of all of this. Indeed, it is quite common practice to send a rejected paper to another journal. The paper I sent out was written about three years ago and I have forgotten about it. In these day, I am revisiting my computations on the scalar field theory both classically and quantum and turned back to this article. Wrongly, I thought I had not sent it to this journal before and that is it.

American Physical Society obviated to this problem by producing a database, available to authors, with all their history.  In other cases this is practically impossible to trace and when the number of papers is overwhelming an error can occur. So, my apologize for this and I do it publicly.

It was twenty years ago today . . .



With these beautiful words starts a recollection paper by the founder of arXiv, Paul Ginsparg. This is worth the reading as this history spans a number of years exactly overlapping the computer revolution that definitely changed our lives. What Paul also changed through these new information tools was the way researchers should approach scientific communication. It is a revolution that is not stopped yet and all the journals I submit my papers have a link to arXiv for direct uploading of the preprint. This change has had also a great impact on the way these same journals should present to authors, readers and referees as well at their website.

For my readers I would like just to point out how relevant was all this for our community with the Grisha Perelman’s case. I think all of you are well aware that Perelman never published his papers on a journal: You can find both of them on arXiv. Those preprints paid as much as a Fields medal and a Millenium prize. Not bad I should say for a couple of unpublished papers. Indeed, it is common matter to have a paper largely discussed well before its publication and often a preprint becomes a case in the community without not even seeing the light of a publication. It is quite common for us doing research to console colleagues complaining about the harsh peer-review procedure by saying that today exists arXiv and that is enough to make your work widely known.

I was a submitter since 1994, almost at the very start, and I wish that the line of successes of this idea will never end.

Finally, to prove how useful is arXiv for our community, I would like to point out to you, for your summer readings a couple of papers. The first one is this from R. Aouane, V. Bornyakov, E.-M. Ilgenfritz, V. Mitrjushkin, M. Müller-Preussker, A. Sternbeck. My readers should know that these researchers always do a fine work and get important results on their lattice computations. The same happens here where they study the gluon and ghost propagators at finite temperature in the Landau gauge. Their conclusion about Gribov copies is really striking, comforting my general view on this matter (see here), that Gribov copies are not essential not even when one rises the temperature. Besides, they discuss the question of a proper order parameter to identify the phase transition that we know exists in this case.

The next paper is authored by Tereza Mendes, Axel Maas and Stefan Olejnik (see here). The idea in this work is to consider a gauge, the \lambda-gauge, with a free parameter interpolating between different gauges to see the smoothness of the transition and the way of change of the propagators. They reach a volume of 70^4 but Tereza told me that the errors are too large yet for a neat comparison with smaller volumes. In any case, this is a route to be pursued and I am curious about the way the interpolated propagator behaves at the deep infrared with larger lattices.

Discussions on Higgs identification are well alive yet ( you can see here). take a look and enjoy!

Paul Ginsparg (2011). It was twenty years ago today … arXiv arXiv: 1108.2700v1

R. Aouane, V. Bornyakov, E. -M. Ilgenfritz, V. Mitrjushkin, M. Müller-Preussker, & A. Sternbeck (2011). Landau gauge gluon and ghost propagators at finite temperature from
quenched lattice QCD arXiv arXiv: 1108.1735v1

Axel Maas, Tereza Mendes, & Stefan Olejnik (2011). Yang-Mills Theory in lambda-Gauges arXiv arXiv: 1108.2621v1

A physics software repository


Scientific publishing has undergone a significant revolution after Paul Ginsparg introduced arXiv. Before this great idea, people doing research used to send preprints of their works to some selected colleagues for comments. This kind of habit was costly, time consuming and reached very few people around the World until the paper eventually went through some archival journal. Ginsparg’s idea was to use the web to accomplish this task making widely known papers well before publication to all the community. This changed the way we do research as it is common practice to put a paper on arXiv before submission to journals. This has had the effect to downgrade the relevance of these journal for scientific communication. This is so true that Perelman’s papers on Poincaré conjecture never appeared on literature, they are just on arXiv, but the results were anyhow generally acknowledged by the scientific community. This represents an extraordinary achievement for arXiv and shows unequivocally the greatness of Ginsparg’s idea.

Of course, research is not just writing articles and get them published somewhere. An example is physics where a lot of research activity relies on writing computer programs. This can happen on a lot of platforms as Windows, Mac, Linux or machines performing parallel computations. Generally, these programs are relegated to some limited use to a small group of researchers and other people around the World, having similar problems, could be in need of it but are forced to reinvent the wheel. This happens again and again and often one relies on the kindness of colleagues that in some cases could have not the good will to give away the software. This situation is very similar to the one encountered before arXiv come into operation. So, my proposal is quite simple: People in the scientific community having the good will to share their software should be stimulated to do so through a repository that fits the bill. This could be easily obtained by extending arXiv itself that already contains several papers presenting software written by our colleagues that, aiming to share, just put there a link. But having a repository, it could be easier to maintain versions as already happens to paper and there would be no need to create an ad hoc site that could be lost in the course of time.

I do not know if this proposal will meet with success but it is my personal conviction that a lot of people around the World has this need and this could be easily realized by the popularity of certain links to download programs for doing computations in physics. This need is increasingly growing thanks to parallel computation made available to desktop computers that today is a reality. I look forward to hear news about this.

Gian Giudice and Lisa Randall in Rome



As usual, also for this year there has been the Festival delle Scienze (Festival of the Sciences) in Rome. This lasted for all the last week and ended this sunday. This is the chance to hear from leading scientists the status of forefront research. This year’s theme was “The End of the World – Instructions for the Use”. Two leading theoretical physicists were present in different events: Lisa Randall and Gian Francesco Giudice. I have had not the chance to listen Lisa Randall but something she said come out in Italian newspapers. Lisa declared that KK particles are spies of other dimensions and that these are in the reach of LHC. I think that readers of the blogosphere already know what we are talking about. Indeed, KK stays for Kaluza-Klein and these particles generally arise as an effect of compactification of the other dimensions beyond the four we everyday experience. Lisa has written a paper, in collaboration with Ben Lillie and Lian-Tao Wang, providing an expectation of mass for a KK particle arising as an excitation of gluons at LHC. Some hints in this direction appeared with the measurement of charge asymmetry at Tevatron. I would like to remember that the Randall-Sundrum scenario to explain the hierarchy problem between interactions is one of the most successful ones devised so far due to the real cleverness of the idea. I regret to have missed the opportunity to listen from Lisa due to my very few time, being her present on Friday evening.

Of course, on Saturday I have much more time to spend and so I have had the opportunity to hear from Gian Francesco Giudice from CERN Theoretical Division. His talk was scheduled on Saturday evening at 19 o’clock. The talk was addressed to a non-specialist public so it was also a good opportunity to take my thirteen year’s old boy to listen. The title was “Black holes, accelerators and the end of the World”. I think you have already heard of the fine book Gian Giudice wrote recently in Tommaso Dorigo’s blog. The talk was in-line with the content of the book trying to make common people aware of what are the endeavors we physicists are pursuing with such an enormous enterprise. What makes me hope for the better has been to see a really crowded room such that the saturation point was promptly achieved and the talk started ten minutes in advance with respect to the scheduled time.

Gian started the talk discussing with a lot of irony the question of the LHC and the end of the World. He cited Nostradamus, Apocalypse by S. Giovanni and the date when the construction of the LHC started that sums up to a worrisome 666, the number of the devil. But he pointed out how a fine report to which he collaborated shows that no black hole could possibly form swallowing Earth and its neighborhood. The idea is that cosmic rays already produced even larger energies than LHC and corresponding collisions without ever producing such an effect. In this way, the probability of an unknown event can be evaluated and the event itself ruled out.

He then showed the extraordinary numbers of LHC that prompted a former NASA engineer participating to Apollo project to say that the latter was just a game for children with respect to the machine that was assembling.

Gian clarified that the mass arising from the Higgs field is not the same seen at a macroscopic level. Indeed, this is due to other reasons explained more and more in this blog and gives also another strong motivation to understand the behavior of Yang-Mills theory at low energies. To explain Higgs field, Gian used the example of a fish moving in the water. The fish cannot say there is a medium but if some excitations like waves are perceived these are an evidence in this sense. So, in the same way, we need LHC to get such excitations for the Higgs field and prove its existence. A small boy, claiming to be a physics amateur and well aware of quantum mechanics, asked if such a “Higgs fluid” could slow down particles as happens for normal fluids. Of course, we are talking of different things as relative motion is perceived in a case but not in the other. Higgs vacuum is absolutely indifferent to motion but not in the way it couples to different particles.

A question that naturally arose was if the fact that we have such a fixed space-time stage does not implies a resurrection of Newton’s absolute space. Gian explained with the example of general relativity that this idea is well dead and buried.

An important point Gian made was to note how, starting with a simple field, this field can give the seeds for fluctuations in an otherwise homogeneous space-time producing the galaxies and the large scale structures we observe today in the Universe. So, LHC is an essential starting point to understand our Universe and to answer fundamental questions by observing the particles that are the excitations of this kind of fields. Indeed, he said that are already several years that fields like cosmology, astrophysics and particle physics are going entangled inextricably together. He also pointed out how there are recurring ages in physics when some fields seem to have more results than other but this is just due to the fact that research goes through hits rather than with continuity.

Gian presented the contents with beautiful slides and animations keeping always alive the attention of the public. This was confirmed by the large number of questions people asked. What I have found interesting was the numbers Gian declared for “brains at work” for the LHC at CERN. He said that 4500 experimental physicists are involved against a mere 80 theoretical physicists! But the point that appeared to me more exciting was his declaration that the Higgs sector in the Standard Model appears somehow misplaced in an otherwise very beautiful theory and we, the theorists, all suspect that here is hidden the new physics that LHC will uncover for sure. Supersymmetry was in the air more and more, sometime just whispered but it was clear, at least to me, that this is the next actor due to appear on the scene. I strongly agree with this view from my humble side. The fear is that the only finding of LHC will be the Higgs boson and nothing more. This would decree the end of particle physics as devised since now. In any case, due to the needed long times, it is today that we are already doing feasibility studies for the accelerator of the next generation. Gian pointed out that the fact that the LHC will uncover something for sure is inside the Standard Model that seems to fail exactly at the order of energies the LHC works. A fine description of the Higgs particle was also given and this prompted several questions from the public. Indeed, it is easy to think that we are back to ether again but this is easily seen not the case as the Higgs vacuum is invariant by Lorentz transformations. Some people in the public seemed really informed about the experiments at CERN and a question arrived about the heavy ion collisions. Gian was very able to explain what are the aims and the reasons why humankind should keep on pursuing research like this.

The journalist Claudia Di Giorgio of the editorial office of Italian version of Scientific American (“Le Scienze”) was the host. She asked some recurring questions that surely was helpful for the public to be answered. A nice moment was when Gian clarified the question of the name “God particle” given to the Higgs boson by Leon Lederman and that Claudia used frequently asking for a reaction. Indeed, Gian explained that he asked the question to Lederman that claimed that the real title of his book was “The God damn particle” but the editor of the book did not like it and removed the word “damn”.

My son was very enthusiastic about Gian’s presentation and, at the end of the talk, I took him to greet Gian. It was also my chance to shake his hand and to cite him Tommaso Dorigo… Gian Giudice represents a great example of what means following a right track and surely he was one of the right people for my son to be known.

Lillie, B., Randall, L., & Wang, L. (2007). The Bulk RS KK-gluon at the LHC Journal of High Energy Physics, 2007 (09), 74-74 DOI: 10.1088/1126-6708/2007/09/074

Exact solutions go published!


My paper presenting exact solutions to classical scalar field theories, with a corresponding quantum formulation, has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Nonlinear Mathematical Physics.  The replacement on arxiv will appear tomorrow, the link is here. I would like to thank the Editor, Norbert Euler, and an anonymous referee that pointed out to me the existence of a zero mode in the quantum fluctuations.

Problems at arxiv


Today I received the following message from arxiv at Cornell:

Access Denied

Sadly, you do not currently appear to have permission to access http://arxiv.org/

If you believe this determination to be in error, see http://arxiv.org/denied.html for additional information.

All the mirrors seem to work well.

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