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June 27, 2010

Crib Notes

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his livelihood depends on him not understanding it.
— Upton Sinclair

You probably don’t want to read this post. It has an intended audience of one — my erstwhile coauthor, Skip Garibaldi.

Skip and I wrote a paper, last year, which proved that Garrett Lisi’s “Theory of Everything” (or any E 8E_8-based variant thereof) could not yield chiral fermions (much less 3 Standard Model generations worth of fermions). Anyone with training in high energy theory instantly apprehends the consequence that this “theory” cannot, therefore, have anything remotely to do with the real world. Unfortunately, if your PhD is in pure mathematics (or, apparently, in hydrodynamics), this may not be immediately obvious to you.

Skip has the unenviable task of lecturing on our paper at a workshop, next week, with Garrett in attendance. (Well, OK, the workshop is in lovely Banff Alberta, so perhaps some envy is warranted.) This post is designed to help him fill in the dots. It contains only material which — to someone schooled in high energy theory — is of an embarrassingly elementary nature.

You have been warned!

Posted by distler at 9:17 PM | Permalink | Followups (13)