From the Greek meaning 'heavy with wine'
A blog devoted to science and reason
Written after a glass or two of Pinot Noir.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Stripper Physicist

Columbia University requires all undergraduates to complete a set of courses "considered the necessary general education for students, irrespective of their choice in major." One of those courses is Frontiers of Science.
The course is designed both to introduce students to exciting ideas at the forefront of scientific research, as well as to inculcate in them the habits of mind common to a scientific approach to the world. Each semester, four scientists in different disciplines deliver a series of three lectures each describing the background, context, and current state of an area of research; readings and other activities supplement the lectures. Consistent with the Core tradition, the course also includes small seminar sections in which these topics are discussed by students.
Professor of Physics Emryn Hughes took a rather unusual approach to introduce freshmen to the concepts of quantum mechanics.  He stripped down, changed clothes, lay on the floor all while a strange video played on the screen with the audio being Lil Wayne's Drop It Like It's Hot.  Then some ninjas showed up and stabbed some puppets.

Here's the link to the Vimeo video uploaded by Bwog.

While this is an approach I would never take and for as strange as it is, his explanation at the end of the video makes some sense.
To understand quantum mechanics, you have to undress everything, start new, and forget all the bad stuff.

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