So there are two workshops going on here at the KITP in Santa Barbara that pertain to issues in condensed matter physics. (You may recall that I am here for some of the week, and in LA at USC for the rest of the week – adds up to a full week each week.) One is Holographic Duality and Condensed Matter Physics (often referred to as AdS/CMT), concerning applications (I’ve told you about this here before) of techniques from string theory to issues in condensed matter theory and experiment, and the other is Topological Insulators and Superconductors. there are people from both communities on both workshops, and so it is an exciting and interesting time.
The KITP Fall picnic was yesterday, and this means that there’s the traditional football (i.e. soccer) contest between workshops. Not to resolve physics issues, you understand, but to blow off some steam before getting down to the business of eating all the food… Well, at the top of this post and in the following, you can see some pictures of the process of the string theory crowd getting slaughtered for a change:
The score was 5-0.
The KITP Director, David Gross, who has presided over very many matches where the string-related workshop triumphs, was quite disappointed, understandably. Eva Silverstein, who was the presiding referee (you can see her pictured in discussion with David at some point early in the match), joked at the end that somehow the result proved the success of the physics – the string theorists had truly become condensed matter people… or perhaps vice-versa… thus throwing the usual expected results into disarray.
Rumour has it that there are plans to have a series of rematches…
Some Related Asymptotia Posts (not exhaustive):