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How likely is it that scientists are engaged in a conspiracy?

Frauds in scientific research

From time to time, the scientific community is rocked by cases of scientific fraud. Needless to say, such incidents do not help instill confidence in the public mind that is already predisposed to be skeptical of inconvenient scientific findings. Some notable cases include: (a) a series of papers in nanoelectronics by

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Data vs theory: the mathematical battle for the soul of physics

Introduction

These are exciting times for the field of physics. In 2012, researchers announced the discovery of the Higgs boson, a discovery four decades in the making, costing billions of dollars (and euros, pounds, yen and yuan) and involving some of the best minds on the planet. And in December 2015, researchers at the Large

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More mathematics (and Pi) in the media

The present authors never cease to be amazed at the amount of material on mathematics in general, and mentions of Pi in particular, that have been appearing in the popular media in recent years. We hope this is evidence of a resurgence in both interest in and knowledge of mathematics, although only time will tell

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Antisocial Networking Kills, Again

The latest mass shooting in the USA emphasises that this form of violence is not just a gun issue or a mental health problem but is tightly linked to radicalisation by the extreme right-wing and conspiracy movements. In this piece we highlight the disconcerting ubiquity of conspiracy movements. The two current authors are unfortunate enough

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Interview with Andrea Rossi, LENR energy pioneer

Andrea Rossi, Sven-Kullander and Hanno-Essen

Background

As we explained in earlier Math Drudge blogs (MD#1 and MD#2) and Huffington Post articles (HP#1) and HP#2), a revolution of sorts is brewing in the clean energy field, with the emergence of fusion and “low energy nuclear reaction” (LENR) energy. These processes, unlike fission reactions used in

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A prime puzzle in honor of Richard Crandall

From David Broadhurst, October 5, 2015.

In honour of the memory of Richard Crandall (1947-2012), I have devised a puzzle on prime numbers obtained from moments of Bessel functions:

Richard Crandall

 

I commend this puzzle to Richard’s many colleagues, noting that “hand-to-hand combat with thousand-digit integrals” may be insufficient to solve it, without

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The Princeton Companion to Applied Mathematics is out at last

For those readers anxiously awaiting the publication of The Princeton Companion to Applied Mathematics, the day has come. The book can be purchased either from Princeton University Press or Amazon.com. It is a companion to the prize-winning volume Princeton Companion to Mathematics, edited by Timothy Gowers, June Barrow-Green and Imre Leader, which was reviewed by

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Cold fusion heats up: Fusion energy and LENR update

Introduction

As we noted in previous Math Drudge blogs (#1 and #2), and in Huffington Post articles (#1 and #2), the world faces a grim future if we do not immediately rein in consumption of fossil fuels. Risks include rising sea levels, more frequent extreme temperatures, flooding, drought and conflicts among human societies. An eventual

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Is US crime soaring? Do gun controls encourage crime? The science of crime statistics

Introduction

It is widely believed that modern society is in sharp decline. Crime, especially, is widely considered to be steadily soaring out of control. American politicians frequently join the fray, using the crime issue to assert various political points. For example,

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is an advocate of the death penalty, but hopes to

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New York Times features mathematician Terence Tao

The New York Times has published a feature article on mathematician Terence Tao of UCLA, regarded by some as the most brilliant mathematician alive.

Terence Tao was born in Adelaide, Australia, the son of Chinese immigrants. His intelligence and mathematical precocity were evident at a very young age. He taught himself to read at age

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