At Electric Peak Jacques Distler
Professor of Physics
Physics Department, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712

Hello unknown@54.197.42.206. So nice of you to stop by.

I'm a member of the Theory Group here at UT. I've been at UT since September 1994. Before coming here, I was an Assistant Professor in the theory group at Princeton.

My research interests are in string theory, quantum field theory and mathematical physics. If you want to learn more about what I do, you might want to look at my publications.

These are exciting times to be a theorist. It is fair to say that we really don't yet know what string theory is about, but we are learning.

Useful stuff . . .

I've written, or am the maintainer of several pieces of open-source software. These projects can be found in my Source Code Repository. Instiki and Heterotic Beast are, respectively, wiki and forum software geared to the needs of physicists and mathematicians. In particular, they provide LaTeX-like support for mathematical equations, via itex2MML. I've also written my own article class for LaTeX2e because the existing defaults are so unspeakably ugly. As a companion to this, I've written a HyperTeX-aware BibTeX style file. You can grab references in BibTeX format from inSPIRE and use them in your paper with essentially no retyping. And, in the height of coolness, e-print references automatically become clickable hyperlinks to the paper at the arXiv.org e-print archives.

For many years, Golem was a NeXTStep machine. It was a lovely operating system, but it had more than its fair share of security holes. In mid-2001, Golem migrated to a G4 running MacOSX, a much more modern operating system. Golem III was a burly dual processor G5, which died a spectacular death, due to a CPU coolant leak. Golem IV is a more demure 27" iMac.

Classic MacOS things that seemed useful once upon a time include this Internet Address Detector and the venerable Macintosh version of the Los Alamos uufiles utility.

Life beyond physics . . .

Austin is a really cool town. It has an impressive Arts scene, great restaurants and an amazing number of bats under the Congress Avenue Bridge. My wife Suzanne and I are enjoying living here a lot.

Our daughter was born on January 14, 1996. She has changed our lives irrevocably. At first, our cat was jealous, but they came to be pals. Our son was born October 23, 2000. There are lots of cute pictures in our photo album.

Here's a page with some recollections of the Holocaust.

Finally, if your insomnia is really incurable, you can try reading my weblog.


"Good Heavens!" he thought to himself, "surely I can never have meant to spend the whole of my life as a mathematician?"
--"The Man Without Qualities", Robert Musil