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At the Party with the Physicists

One day, all of the world's famous physicists decided to get together for a party (ok, there were some non-physicists too who crashed the party). Fortunately, the doorman was a grad student, and able to observe some of the guests...

  • Everyone gravitated toward Newton, but he just kept moving around at a constant velocity in an elliptical orbit.
  • Einstein thought he had a relatively good time.
  • Coulomb got a real charge out of the whole thing.
  • Cavendish wasn't invited, but he had the balls to show up anyway.
  • Cauchy, the mathematician, managed to integrate well with everyone.
  • Thompson enjoyed the plum pudding.
  • Pauli came late, but was mostly excluded from things, so he split.
  • Planck showed lot of energy; but in discrete packets.
  • Pascal was under too much pressure to enjoy himself.
  • Ohm spent most of the time resisting Ampere's opinions on current events.
  • Hamilton went to the buffet tables exactly once.
  • Volta thought the social had a lot of potential.
  • Hilbert was pretty spaced out most of the time.
  • Heisenberg may or may not have been there.
  • The Curies were there and just glowed the whole time.
  • van der Waals forced himself to mingle.
  • Wien radiated a colourful personality.
  • Millikan dropped his Italian oil dressing.
  • de Broglie mostly just stood in the corner and waved.
  • Joseph Weber returned the wave with gravity.
  • Hollerith liked the hole idea.
  • Stefan and Boltzman got into some hot debates.
  • Everyone was attracted to Tesla's magnetic personality.
  • Hawking looked radiant. Weakly.
  • Wilhelm Weber & Gauss argued as to had a more magnetic personality.
  • Compton was a little scatter-brained at times and thus got along very well with C V Raman.
  • Rutherford kept searching for gold foils to shoot at.
  • Bohr & Van Allen ate too much. Bohr got atomic ache while Van Allen had to loosen his belt..
  • Watt turned out to be a powerful speaker.
  • Hertz went back to the buffet table several times a minute.
  • Faraday had quite a capacity for food. But his son, Pico Farad only had a billion billionth of the quantity his father ate.
  • Oppenheimer got bombed.
  • Penzias and Wilson were the first to detect the microwave radiating in the background.
  • After one bite Chandrasekhar reached his limit.
  • Gamow left the party early with a big bang while Hoyle stayed late in a steady state.
  • Schrodinger theorised this was more a wave function than a social function.
  • Popper said this theory was not falsifiable.
  • Erdos was sad no epsilons were invited.
  • Born thought the probability of enjoying himself was pretty high.
  • Instead of coming through the front door Josephson tunnelled through.
  • Groucho refused to attend any party that would invite him in the first place.
  • Niccolò Tartaglia kept stammering throughout the evening.
  • Pauling wanted to bond with everyone.
  • Keynes was keen to question the marginal utility of this party.
  • Shakespeare could not decide whether to be or not to be at the party.
  • John Forbes Nash wanted to play a n-person zero sum game.
  • Pavlov brought his dog; which promptly chased Schrodinger's cat while Maxwell's Demon looked on.
  • Zeno of Elea came with two friends: Achilles and the tortoise.
  • Bill Gates came with windows.
  • Sir Humphrey Davy came with a miner's lamp.
  • Bertrand Russell kept wondering if the cook only cooks for the guests, who cooks for the cook?
  • Witten brought a present all tied up with superstrings.
  • Mendeleyev beautifully laid out the food on the periodic table.
  • Riemann hypothesised about who would arrive next; to which Newton retorted, 'hypotheses non fingo.'
  • Chadwick was handing out neutrons free of charge.
  • Everyone was amazed at Bell's inequality.
  • Watson and Crick danced the Double Helix.
  • While Fermat sang, 'Save the Last Theorem for me.'
  • On which Eddington remarked, 'I think there should be a law of Nature to prevent a man from behaving in this absurd way!
  • Gamow's Mr Tompkins argued with Dawkin's friend, the selfish Gene.
  • Russell and Whitehead insisted on checking the arithmetic in the bill for completeness and consistency.
  • Godel said it was incomplete and it can never be proved otherwise.
  • Epimenides the Cretan announced that all Cretans were liars.
  • Rontgen saw through everybody.
  • Descartes cogitated, 'I think I am drunk. Therefore I am at the party.'
  • Lotfi Zadeh thought this logic was a little fuzzy.
  • Degas, Monet and Renoir were there to make an impression.
  • Prof Abdus greeted everybody with a 'Salam'
  • Alan Guth discussed inflation with Alan Greenspan.
  • Vera Rubin showed off her rotation curves.
  • The law firm of Burbidge, Burbidge, Fowler and Hoyle was represented by all four Senior Partners.
  • Steven Weinberg arrived in the first three minutes.
  • Kip Thorne announced that he had taken out a year's subscription to Penthouse in the hope of seeing a naked singularity.
  • Penrose gently consoled him that Cosmic Censorship would make sure he didn't. Failing that, Mrs Thorne would.
  • MGM led a special unitary group discussion on the eight-fold way.
  • Music was provided by the Boris Zeldovich Quintet - Belinsky, Braginsky, Starobinsky; with Sakharov on drums.
  • Martin Gardner expounded on CRAP - the Completely Ridiculous Anthropic Principle.
  • Bondi, Gold and Hoyle expounded on the Perfect Cosmological Principle.
  • Minkowski announced that this was the last party he would be attending; because, henceforth, there would be no space and no time.
  • Lifshitz and Landau took a route through a classical field, Gauss and Weber got lost in a magnetic field, Hoyle and Narlikar came via the C-Field.
  • P C W Davies suggested that matter is a myth to which Samuel Johnson retorted, 'I refute it thus'.
  • Zwicky added that maybe all matter was dark.
  • Gribbin went in search of the Big Bang while Feynman lectured.
  • Barrow grumbled that his salary was a constant of nature.
  • Hubble worried that his constant was constantly changing.
  • Kekule came with his fiancée who showed off her benzene ring.
  • Heaviside insisted on eating a layered chocolate cake.
  • Galileo kept tossing peanuts out of the window to check the time of fall.
  • Archimedes could not make it as he was taking a bath.
  • Geiger kept writing down the guest count.
  • Hardy told Ramanujan that the taxi he came in had an interesting number 1729.
  • Szilard tried to convince Fermi that the Manhattan Project was not in Manhattan but in New Mexico.
  • Benjamin Franklin did not come as he went kite flying.
  • Alexander Graham Bell could not come as he was on a long-distance phone call to Marconi.
  • Darwin naturally selected the best dishes.
  • Mendel was interested only in wrinkled peas.
  • Edison thought the party was illuminating.
  • Morse said 'I'll be there on the dot. Can't stop now, must dash.'
  • Coriolis kept forcing people sideways.
  • Cantor came dressed as a transinfinite.
  • Glaser kept blowing bubbles in his beer.
  • Halley announced that he will return in 75 years.
  • Zweig's aces were disallowed by his peers.
  • Shannon could not communicate as there was too much noise.
  • Wheatstone had to cross a bridge to get to the party. and finally
  • There was a lady named Bright who left early and returned the previous night.
Any further party ideas? Help us grow this list ... send your idea to: click here to contact us

Special thanks to the following for contributing ideas:

Pervez Appoo from Sydney, Australia
Adrian Liu
Anton Skorucak




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Science Quote

'There is no inductive method which could lead to the fundamental concepts of physics. Failure to understand this fact constituted the basic philosophical error of so many investigators of the nineteenth century.'

Albert Einstein
(1879-1955)


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