Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry
Physics (Princeton University)
Particle Physics (University of Chicago)
David is a lecturer and TV science advisor.
“Until I worked on the show, I never knew so much thought, effort and talent into making a TV program,” says David, who advises on the hit US comedy show, The Big Bang Theory.
“The writers send me scripts in advance. I check that they’ve got the physics right. Sometimes it’s something straightforward, like calculating how long it takes a bottle to drop down the elevator-shaft so that the sound effect can be put at the right time. Other times the writers want me to put something new in, and I end up writing the equations for time-travel using wormholes on Sheldon’s whiteboard”
David’s background is in particle physics. “After college, I studied physics at Princeton University, where I was hired to work as a research assistant at a cyclotron after my first year. I later carried out research at Fermilab’s Tevatron, which was the highest energy particle accelerator until the LHC at Cern came along.”
“I’m now a professor at UCLA and I really enjoy the balance between research and teaching. Interacting with students helps keep me on my toes. Lecturing is particularly rewarding, especially when students I have taught overtake my own knowledge and develop a new approach to problem I’ve been working on.”
“Young people might think that physicists work alone in a laboratory for days on end, and are socially inept, a bit like Sheldon from the show. But that is typically far from the truth. Even in the labs, we work in teams. We share our problems, results and ideas with each other – science can be very social.”
You can find more information about careers in physics by visiting www.physics.org