In The Field

APS: Prime-time physics

In a plenary talk this morning on his latest measurement of the electron’s magnetic moment, Gerald Gabrielse of Harvard entertained the packed audiorium with a discussion of what he called ‘perhaps the most obscure paper I’ve ever written’.

He showed a slide with the title of his PRL paper at the top: Stochastic Phase Switching of a Parametrically Driven Electron in a Penning Trap. And below it a clip from a February 2007 interview between Jim Carrey and talkshow host Conan O’Brien.

In a moment straight out of a parallel universe, Carrey tells Conan O’ how much he likes reading about quantum physics before repeating verbatim the title of the Harvard paper. The contortionist star and the host both go on to discuss the physics of electrons in a Penning trap to much audience applause.

Before it was removed from YouTube the clip was viewed more than 90,000 times, try wrapping your head around that! You can still view the clip here:’Brien/video/index.shtml#mea=64956


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