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  • [INAUDIBLE DIALOGUE]

  • Dr. Saltzberg, David...

  • ...is a physicist.

  • He is smarter than I am.

  • But truthfully, I don't know what he does.

  • - How was your day? - Mm.

  • You know, I'm a physicist, so I thought about stuff.

  • He's not only doing business for the world, he's doing business for our show.

  • He double checks all the science and--

  • You know, is also helpful in some of the jargon for us.

  • The right paradigm-shifting reinterpretation of the universe.

  • Loop quantum gravity better unites quantum mechanics...

  • ...with general relativity than does string theory.

  • Free electron laser from my x-ray diffraction experiment.

  • The footnote where I illustrate mirror symmetry...

  • ...by likening it to the Flash playing tennis with himself.

  • The locus of my identity is totally exterior to me.

  • I'm a particle physicist by training.

  • But lately I've been lured a little more into astrophysics and astronomy.

  • And so those of us who find ourselves in this situation...

  • ...are called particle astrophysicists.

  • I got a phone call from a friend of mine, who's a--

  • An astrophysicist now at University of Hawaii.

  • He was asked a few questions by these people...

  • ...who were doing a sitcom about physicists.

  • And they needed to find a physicist.

  • PRADY: Will you work by e-mail with us?

  • Once it was going to series, we realized we need somebody to help.

  • So we asked him for recommendation and we got to Professor Saltzberg...

  • ...and we contacted him and said:

  • "Do you have, maybe, a grad student...

  • ...or someone who could come in and help us?"

  • And he said, "Oh, could I do it?"

  • [CHUCKLES] And, "Okay."

  • LORRE: We knew we are out of our depth.

  • If we're gonna write about geniuses, we better damn well have one around.

  • My favorite moment is always when we get to the physics part of the script.

  • And we sit there and stare at the screen and I'm trying to figure out--

  • And Bill would always say, "We could sit here forever, Chuck.

  • We're not gonna become physicists and write this."

  • So we had no idea what we were doing.

  • This is the important scientific question that has to be--

  • Could we ask David to explain this?

  • Well, that's interesting because if it's-- If that ties in--

  • That is renormalization going on.

  • SALTZBERG: One thing I always look forward to do with the show...

  • ...is I get the scripts from Chuck and Bill and the other writers...

  • ...and often there's brackets and it says, "science to come"...

  • ...about some new project that Leonard's working on, for example.

  • I think you'll find my work pretty interesting.

  • I'm attempting to replicate the dark matter signal...

  • ...found in sodium iodide crystals by the Italians.

  • So no original research?

  • No.

  • Well, what's the point of my seeing it?

  • I could just read the paper the Italians wrote.

  • In those small places, I kind of have some free reign.

  • And I pitch a few ideas to them and see which ones they like.

  • And often it's something that you can Google about or check on Wikipedia...

  • ...and see that these are often current topics.

  • Myash drive has my paper on astrophysical probes...

  • ...of M-Theory effects in the early universe...

  • ...that I was going to give to George Smoot at the conference.

  • Why do you have to give your paper to George Smoot?

  • It's brilliant. He needs to read it.

  • The most fantastic thing about him...

  • ...other than the fact that he's doing fact checking...

  • ...is the fact that if there's a problem it's on him.

  • PRADY: He also spends time on the set.

  • The white boards that are on the set in Leonard and Sheldon's apartment...

  • ...and he makes sure they're right.

  • SALTZBERG: It's fun when we tie it to the episode.

  • Professor George Smoot was here.

  • And he was involved in some of the measurements...

  • ...of the cosmic microwave background radiation.

  • And won the Nobel Prize.

  • And so I had a diagram of the apparatus the team used on the COBE satellite...

  • ...and we put that on the board and he saw it and I think he liked it.

  • This is actually related to one of the jokes in last week's episode.

  • This physicist goes into an ice cream parlor every week...

  • ...and orders an ice cream sundae for himself...

  • ...and offers one to the empty stool sitting next to him.

  • The owner finally asks him what he's doing. The man says:

  • "Quantum mechanics teaches us...

  • ...that it is possible for the matter above this stool...

  • ...to spontaneously turn into a beautiful woman...

  • ...who might accept my offer and fall in love with me."

  • The owner says, "Lots of single beautiful women come in here every day.

  • Why don't you buy an ice cream for one of them...

  • ...and they might fall in love with you.“

  • And the physicist says, "Yeah, but what are the odds of that happening?"

  • It's a little insulting, don't you think?

  • And so we have here is a-- The basic diagram of quantum tunneling.

  • Which would be basically what's the physics behind that joke.

  • We trust David Saltzberg a lot. He may be, you know, completely conning us...

  • ...and this is all nonsense, so we wouldn't know.

  • I liked your paper on grand unification using string network condensates...

  • ...and wonder how you determined that three dimensional string nets...

  • ...provided a unified picture of fermions and gauge bosons.

  • I also once had a chance to play a very inside joke.

  • I had an Honors Physics class...

  • ...and they came to the audience to watch the show. They were fans.

  • And on the white boards, I had the answers to the exam they just took.

  • How would I know? I'm not even sure I get it.

  • PRADY: They are a group of people...

  • ...who are working to understand the fabric of the universe.

  • The people who sort of look into the eye of God every day as a job.

  • And what an amazing group of people they are.

  • And we made the decision to make them physicists.

  • Whatever small contribution I have is maybe...

  • ...what particular experiment they're doing that week or that season, or--

  • You know, what particular little objects Raj might be looking at.

  • So in the details, I get a chance to contribute.

  • I gotta ask. Why didn't you just get a license at 16, like everybody else?

  • I was otherwise engaged.

  • Doing what?

  • Examining perturbative amplitudes in n=4 super symmetric theories...

  • ...leading to a re-examination of the ultraviolet properties...

  • ...of multi-loop n=8 supergravity using modern twistor theory.

  • So Sheldon is a theoretical physicist.

  • And people like him, probably best described...

  • ...as intellectual descendants of people like Einstein or Niels Bohr.

  • Oh, there's my missing neutrino.

  • You were hiding from me as an unbalanced charge...

  • ...weren't you, you little subatomic dickens?

  • They're trying to make a mathematical description of everything in the universe.

  • A small order.

  • It takes a certain amount of arrogance to think one can do it...

  • ...but there's been quite a lot of success in that field too.

  • We're examining the radiation levels of photomultiplier tubes...

  • ...for our new dark matter detector.

  • Sweetie, sweetie, Dave was talking.

  • Most recently, the problem that Leonard's been working on...

  • ...is a problem called, what is the dark matter in the universe?

  • A lot of indirect measurements show us that 90 percent of the universe--

  • Ninety percent of mass in the universe...

  • ...is made of something that we don't know what it is.

  • And so there are lots of experiments going on right now...

  • ...people trying to detect what is this matter moving around in the galaxy?

  • What is it made of?

  • So, what's your news?

  • Remember that object I spotted beyond the Kuiper Belt?

  • Oh, yeah. 2008-NQ Sub 17.

  • Or as I call it, Planet Bollywood.

  • So Raj is an astronomer or astrophysicist.

  • Anything?

  • Actually, I was just checking my e-mail.

  • And his research has him studying objects orbiting the sun...

  • ...but in orbits very far from ours.

  • And these are something that we would have called planets back in the day.

  • But ever since Pluto was demoted...

  • ...they're now called dwarf planets or something smaller.

  • - Thank God, you're here. - What's the emergency?

  • I got the Mars Rover stuck in a ditch.

  • - Where? - On a dusty highway...

  • ...just outside Bakersfield.

  • Where do you think? On Mars.

  • Howard is actually not one of the scientists.

  • Howard is an engineer.

  • - Dr. Gablehauser. - Dr. Kootrappali.

  • - Dr. Gablehauser. - Dr. Hofstadter.

  • - Dr. Gablehauser. - Dr. Cooper.

  • - Dr. Gablehauser. - Mr. Wolowitz.

  • So of the four, he's the only that doesn't have a Ph.D.

  • Which is something which they've pointed out to him...

  • ...and why Sheldon called him one of the Oompa Loompas of science.

  • A loop counter...

  • ...and an escape to the least objectionable activity.

  • Howard, that's brilliant.

  • I'm surprised you saw that.