After more than 3/4 of a million guesses, in over 50,000 games played in 67 countries, the results are clear: Science sounds like gobbledygook.

arXiv vs. snarXiv has been live for 6 months now, and it’s time to take a look at the results. Here’s how the game works. The user sees two titles: one is the title of an actual theoretical high energy physics paper on the arXiv, and the other is a completely fake title randomly generated by the snarXiv. The user guesses which one is real, finds out if they’re right or wrong, and then starts over with a new pair of titles.

I’ve been recording the result of each guess, originally just out of curiosity. I never expected to get reasonable statistics on the over 120,000 high energy theory papers on the arXiv. But after more than 750,000 guesses, that’s exactly what I’ve got, which means we can do some fun stuff. Continue reading…

*lie* is a python module for computations with Lie groups, Lie algebras, representations, root systems, and more.

I based it on the computer algebra package LiE, written by M. A. A. van Leeuwen, A. M. Cohen and B. Lisser in the early 90’s. They chose to implement a proprietary scripting language as a wrapper for all the fancy mathematical algorithms. While this language is useful for interactive computations and short scripts, python is more expressive and powerful — definitely what you want when exploring your favorite exceptional group.

### A Fun Example

Here’s an example of using *lie* to do a calculation that’s near and dear to every high energy theorist’s heart. We’ll show how the 10 + 5bar + 1 representation of SU(5) contains a single standard model generation. First we’ll fire up python and import the *lie* module. Continue reading…

The snarXiv is a random high-energy theory paper generator incorporating all the latest trends, entropic reasoning, and exciting moduli spaces. The arXiv is similar, but occasionally less random.

Actually, the snarXiv only generates tantalizing titles and abstracts at the moment, while the arXiv delivers matching papers as well. Details of the implementation are below. I’m the author, and I don’t remember exactly why I decided to do this. I did already have the framework lying around from a previous project, and I swear I spent more time doing research last weekend than implementing snarXiv.org.

### Suggested Uses for the snarXiv

- If you’re a graduate student, gloomily read through the abstracts, thinking to yourself that you don’t understand papers on the real arXiv any better.
- If you’re a post-doc, reload until you find something to work on.
- If you’re a professor, get really excited when a paper claims to solve the hierarchy problem, the little hierarchy problem, the mu problem, and the confinement problem. Then experience profound disappointment.
- If you’re a famous physicist, keep reloading until you see your name on something, then claim credit for it. Continue reading…

I should probably document the real origin of the Theorem of the Day and Philosophy of the Day. Coffee and Henry David Thoreau are perhaps less involved than originally indicated.

The theorem generator was written by a good friend of mine, Matt Gline, as a project for CS51: Abstraction and Design in Computer Programming, which we took together as freshmen.

The assignment was to use LISP to implement a context free grammar — basically a set of rules for computer-generated mad libs. The subject was whatever we wanted. Good ones from past years include computer-generated mystery novellas, course-guide reports, and performance art directions. Every year there’s a contest, and Matt’s theorem generator was hysterical enough to win him lunch at the faculty club. Continue reading…

New Philosophy

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