So A Theoretical Physicist And A Comic Enter a Room

I have to thank Studio 360 for letting me know about Here Comes Science, so I’m not surprised to find another seemingly odd little pairing come from this public radio show.

In this weekend’s edition they play a segment that excerpts part of a live show where they talked theoretical physicist.  The guests were Janna Levin, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Barnard College, and Reggie Watts, a musician and comic whose act defies easy description (at least by me).  Watts’ presence is no accident, nor simply for his tune on modern physics.  As the interview unfolds, it becomes clear that Watts, while not a scientist, gets a certain amount of enjoyment from physics, especially 20th century theoretical physics.

You can check out the show via the website.  If you’re just interested in the segment, here’s the audio:

Studio 360, January 14, 2011

If you want to see the full show where Watts and Levin appeared (and you can just listen if you prefer), along with Physics Support Specialist from Rutgers, Dave Maiullo, it’s embedded on this episode’s website (and not in YouTube, so I can’t embed it here).  There are a couple of expletives, both near the end of the show.  You’ll here much more from Levin and Watts, including a very good point about just why people have a fascination with 20th century physics (compared to earlier physics).  Much of the last 20 minutes is what passes for public radio crazy (in other words, not so much).

What is on YouTube is Watts’ performance from the show, which includes references to quantum physics and M-theory (listen carefully).  I’ll close with it.

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