Bad physics jokes

Mini-column ‘Alison in Wonderland’, published in the Observant, Maastricht

An atom walks into a bar and says to the barman, “I’ve lost my electron.” “Are you sure?” says the barman. The atom replies: “Yes, I’m positive.” It’s bad physics jokes like this that keep me going when my PhD feels like it’s sunk into, er, a black hole. And they get worse: Schrödinger’s cat walks into a bar. And doesn’t. Said to be true (though very likely not) is the joke about the German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg, who developed the uncertainty principle. This states that we can accurately measure the position of something, or its momentum, but not both at once. Stopped in his car by a police officer, he was asked, “Do you know how fast you were going?” The response: “No, but I know where I am” [insert laughter here].


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