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The Big Bang Theory February 14, 2009

Posted by keithkchan in fun stuffs.

I was sick yesterday, so I stayed home spending most of the time sleeping. I also watched the Big Bang theory online. The Big Bang Theory I am going to talk about has nothing to do with the Big Bang Theory in cosmology except that it happens 13.7 billion years after the big bang. It is the TV show the Big Bang Theory shown on CBS. It has two seasons now.

This TV show is a situation comedy. It is the only comedy that I can catch most of the jokes, and the only TV I like after coming to the USA. Let me briefly describe the show. The main characters are Sheldon, a string theorist and Leonard, maybe an experimentalist of some kind. There are two other guys Raj and Howard. They are all scientists at Caltech. (BTW, Caltech is a beautiful place. I spent two months there a few years ago.) Leonard fell in love with their pretty neighbour Penny. The main reason I like this TV show is that it is about physicists. (Of course Penny is pretty is a another, although subleading, reason). Apparently they often do stupid things. For example they often argue about trivial things in daily life from the scientific point of view. They have great difficulties in talking girls, especially pretty girl like Penny. Raj could not speak anything in front of Penny. I find these stupid things happen to myself also.

Some of my colleagues, who are more observationally oriented, do not quite appreciate the jokes in the show. I disagree. The most interesting jokes I find are those related to physics. Let me give you some examples. In season I episode X (X is X, not 10 in Roman numeral), Leonard and Sheldon carried the Wardrobe upstairs. When they were almost done, the wardrobe slided down stairs. Sheldon complained, “Gravity sucks.” Well there are two levels of meanings. First, gravity pulls the wardrobe down, they have to do it again. Everybody gets that. Secondly, he is a high energy physicist, and one of the main goal of high energy physicist is to come up with a consistent theory quantum gravity. Gravity so far defies quantization, that’s why gravity sucks. Another joke I like is in Episode 3 or 4 of season 2, in which Leslie Winkles, who supports loop quantum gravity, argues with Sheldon, who studies string theory, about which theory is the right quantum theory of gravity. This “war” is fact happens in real life. If you go to Lubos’ blog you will get the feeling of the argument between loop quantum gravity people, such as Lee Smolin, and string people, such Lubos Motl. BTW, apparently, Lubos also like the Big Bang theory, maybe Sean Carroll also does. I will say the most deep jokes are related physics, in particular to high energy physics.

Well, why not google some links to watch the some episode online to see if you agree with me or not?
Update: I found this web site , which contains a lot of links to all the episodes of the Big Bang Theory.



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