Monday, April 11, 2011

Physics Prom

Recently, I dated a theoretical physicist, an experience I would recommend to anyone, particularly those who watch The Big Bang Theory.  It was educational not only in an academic sense—my knowledge of math and science doubled—but also in an anthropological one.  For, during a period of two months, I got to run alongside physicists, to study them in their native habitat, and, a privilege afforded few others, to attend Physicist Prom.

Like gazelles or other species who suffer depredation, theoretical physicists travel in packs and establish communities where the resources they need (whiteboards, Trader Joes) are close at hand, and the annoyances they’d eschew (civilization) are far away.  The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey provides just such an environment.