Monday, November 09, 2009

The Big Blog Theory

The fact that this post is nearly two months late indicates that I haven't figured out how to travel back in time and post it earlier.

I am an enthusiastic fan of The Big Bang Theory. Both of them, actually. For this post, I'm referring to the CBS sitcom. It is a sitcom for "my people." I'm a physics-type who's been known to enjoy a bit of the science fiction. And somehow I manage to go about my day without being mobbed by ladies pining for my attentions. Go figure.

So yes, I harbor special affection for TBBT.

Among its charms is the correctness of the science references that range in importance from tangential to pivotal in plot development. TBBT gets the science right. How refreshing is that?

The key person responsible for this accuracy is TBBT Science Consultant, David Saltzberg. Saltzberg is a real-life professor of physics at UCLA.

The Big Bang Theory is a commercial network situation comedy that must operate and succeed in that environment. It is not educational programming. I laugh out loud when I watch TBBT. When I watch NOVA? Not so much. TBBT and NOVA are different series with different purposes and goals. And NOVA is excellent in its own right.

But Saltzberg now takes the science on each episode of TBBT and expands on it in his weblog, The Big Blog Theory. Talk about value-added! Saltzberg's essays are accessible and easy to read. Much more conversational than you have any right to expect from a co-author of "Inclusive Search for Anomalous Production of High-pT Like Sign Lepton Pairs in Proton-Antiproton collisions at 1.8 TeV."

If you're a fan of the show, don't miss the blog. You'll be learning physics (and/or physics lore) without even knowing it. He's sneaky, that Saltzberg!

Oh, The Big Blog Theory is being translated into Spanish. If you habla the EspaƱol, check out the Spanish-language version!

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