Damn Minus Signs

A new entry in the best title ever contest, via Steve, arXiv:1002.0555:

A minus sign that used to annoy me but now I know why it is there

Authors: Peter Tingley

Abstract: We consider two well known constructions of link invariants. One uses skein theory: you resolve each crossing of the link as a linear combination of things that don’t cross, until you eventually get a linear combination of links with no crossings, which you turn into a polynomial. The other uses quantum groups: you construct a functor from a topological category to some category of representations in such a way that (directed framed) links get sent to endomorphisms of the trivial representation, which are just rational functions. Certain instances of these two constructions give rise to essentially the same invariants, but when one carefully matches them there is a minus sign that seems out of place. We discuss exactly how the constructions match up in the case of the Jones polynomial, and where the minus sign comes from. On the quantum group side, we are led to use a non-standard ribbon element.

More Fun with the arXiv

Did you know that there is author known as 26 pages?  Or, meet author A.  Or D and B.  Do you think LaTeX is a first name or a last name?  Author Development Center, Japan, and 210 all appear in one paper.
Among abstracts, there are some fun ones, including verses from the Bible (arXiv:0912.1053):

“And should I not take pity on Nineveh, that great city, with more than a hundred and twenty thousand inhabitants who do not know their right hand from their left, and many beasts besides?” [Jonah 4:11]

Here is an abstract which contains optional and mandatory headings.
Titles?  Well Holey Sheet!  I did know that 6+4=10, but am not sure what to do with the fraction 27/32, even though I know one of the authors.  Among my favorite titles is “Is topological Skyrme Model consistent with the Satandard Model?”
I also enjoy the comments where they admit the paper wasn’t so good: “withdrawn. It was a rediculously stupid notion”.
Some papers also tread in directions I never would have considered.  For example, The Socceral Force is about a strange dream and describes a little known markup language, Footballer and Football Simulation Markup Language or FerSML.

Holy Cow!

Chris sends me arXiv:1005.1381:

A Mathematical Model for the Dynamics and Synchronization of Cows
Authors: Jie Sun, Erik M. Bollt, Mason A. Porter, Marian S. Dawkins
Abstract: We formulate a mathematical model for daily activities of a cow (eating, lying down, and standing) in terms of a piecewise affine dynamical system. We analyze the properties of this bovine dynamical system representing the single animal and develop an exact integrative form as a discrete-time mapping. We then couple multiple cow “oscillators” together to study synchrony and cooperation in cattle herds. We comment on the relevant biology and discuss extensions of our model. With this abstract approach, we not only investigate equations with interesting dynamics but also develop interesting biological predictions. In particular, our model illustrates that it is possible for cows to synchronize emph{less} when the coupling is increased.

Includes an udder disaster of a last line: “Milking these ideas as much as possible should prove to be very insightful from both theoretical and practical perspectives.”

Must Resist Joke Blog Post Title


Quantum Dating Market
Authors: O.G. Zabaleta, C.M. Arizmendi
Abstract: We consider the dating market decision problem under the quantum mechanics point of view. Quantum states whose associated amplitudes are modified by men strategies are used to represent women. Grover quantum search algorithm is used as a playing strategy. Success is more frequently obtained by playing quantum than playing classic.

Childish QKD

Michael sends along an entry in the best title ever competition, this time a special baby Bacon edition:

The pulse wave arrival time (QKd interval) in normal children
The Journal of Pediatrics, Volume 95, Issue 5, Pages 716-721
B. Bercu, R. Haupt, R. Johnsonbaugh, D. Rodbard

“In this household, young man, we will keep our quantum key distribution pulses above the rate of 1000 keys per second!”

Seeing the Kingdom of God on the arXiv

A new entry in the best title every contest, arXiv:0907.4152:

Born Again
Authors: Don N. Page
Abstract: A simple proof is given that the probabilities of observations in a large universe are not given directly by Born’s rule as the expectation values of projection operators in a global quantum state of the entire universe. An alternative procedure is proposed for constructing an averaged density matrix for a random small region of the universe and then calculating observational probabilities indirectly by Born’s rule as conditional probabilities, conditioned upon the existence of an observation.

WWJD? Not quantum Born’s rule, apparently.

Machine Gun?

How did I miss this, an obvious entry into the best title ever contest:

A photonic cluster state machine gun
Authors: Netanel H. Lindner, Terry Rudolph

Quick, duck for cover, Terry is shooting us with cluster states!


A new entry in the best title every competition:

arXiv:0810.0827: Sine function with a cosine attitude
Authors: A. D. Alhaidari

Someday I promise that I will use the phrase “an exponential function with a logarithmic attitude.”

Dickian Physics Abstract

An entry into the “best abstract ever” subcompetition of the “best title ever” competition, arXiv:0809.3979:

Counterfactual Quantum Cryptography
Authors: Tae-Gon Noh
Abstract: The ‘quantum counterfactuality’ is one of the most striking counterintuitive effects predicted by quantum mechanics. This manuscript shows that the counterfactual effect is not merely an interesting academic theme, but that it can also provide practical benefits in everyday life. Based on the quantum counterfactual effect, the task of a secret key distribution between two remote parties can be accomplished even when no particle carrying secret information is in fact transmitted. The secret key obtained in this way may be used for secure communications such as internet banking and military communications. This manuscript also shows that, in some cases, the mere possibility that an eavesdropper can commit a crime is sufficient to detect the eavesdropper, even though the crime is not in fact carried out. In a sense, part of the story of the SF film Minority Report seems plausible.

Emphasis mine. Horselover Fat would be proud.

The Bar Scene

Someone at Caltech’s PR office sure was having fun:

Caltech Astronomers Describe the Bar Scene at the Beginning of the Universe
PASADENA, Calif.–Bars abound in spiral galaxies today, but this was not always the case. A group of 16 astronomers, led by Kartik Sheth of NASA’s Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology, has found that bars tripled in number over the past seven billion years, indicating that spiral galaxies evolve in shape.

Oh, I can tell you all about the bar scene near Caltech. Dive bar: The Colorado. Beer for graduate students: Lucky Baldwin’s. Quantum margarita night: Amigos. Quantum beer night: drive five hours north to Albatross in Berkeley, CA.