Following on from her earlier post (with Stefan) on the research effort to understand Brookhaven’s RHIC physics with string theory, Bee reports some things she heard about a nuclear physics conference in Shanghai (Quark Matter ’06). Apparently Larry McLerran -who is at Brookhaven- did a 20 minute anti-string (and anti-Brian Greene) rant. You can see some slides, etc, over there.
(Note for the non-expert:- RHIC means “Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider”. Picture on right (click for larger): Tracks from collision of two beams of gold nuclei -the heavy ions- recorded by the STAR detector at the RHIC experiment. More here. In a sense, a new form of matter is formed in these conditions – the issue is how to understand its properties.)
This sort of thing is rather funny, so far (apparently Brian Greene was given a “Pinocchio award” in the talk?! ). Let’s hope it does not turn into something serious.
In moving forward: