Nima Arkani-Hamed is a theoretical physicist with broad interests in high-energy physics and cosmology. He was educated at Toronto and Berkeley, held a postdoctoral fellowship at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and was a professor of physics at Berkeley and Harvard before joining the Institute for Advanced Study in 2008. He was an inaugural recipient of the Fundamental Physics Prize in 2012, and was one of six physicists featured in the documentary “Particle Fever” in 2014.

# Longest Straight Line Paths on Water or Land on the Earth

**Rohan Chabukswar, Kushal Mukherjee**

There has been some interest recently in determining the longest distance one can sail for on the earth without hitting land, as well as in the converse problem of determining the longest distance one could drive for on the earth without encountering a major body of water. In its basic form, this is an optimisation problem, rendered chaotic by the presence of islands and lakes, and indeed the fractal nature of the coasts. In this paper we present a methodology for calculating the two paths using the branch-and-bound algorithm.

Read more at https://arxiv.org/pdf/1804.07389.pdf

# Upper limit on the Stiffness of space-time

Adrian Melissinos

From the recently observed propagation of gravitational waves through space-time an upper limit can be deduced for the stiffness of space-time through which the gravitational wave propagates. The upper limit is extremely weak, implying that the stiffness of space-time is at least 14 orders of magnitude weaker than that of jello.

Read more at https://arxiv.org/pdf/1806.01133.pdf

# Temporal relationalism

**Lee Smolin**

Because of the non-locality of quantum entanglement, realist approaches to completing quantum mechanics have implications for our conception of space. Quantum gravity also is expected to predict phenomena in which the locality of classical spacetime is modified or disordered. It is then possible that the right quantum theory of gravity will also be a completion of quantum mechanics in which the foundational puzzles in both are addressed together. I review here the results of a program, developed with Roberto Mangabeira Unger, Marina Cortes and other collaborators, which aims to do just that. The results so far include energetic causal set models, time asymmetric extensions of general relativity and relational hidden variables theories, including real ensemble approaches to quantum mechanics. These models share two assumptions: that physics is relational and that time and causality are fundamental.

Read more at https://arxiv.org/pdf/1805.12468.pdf