Physics is fun
At the February Meeting of the American Physical Society, some of our colleagues put on a cabaret called “The Physical Revue”. Master of Ceremonies was Marvin Goldberger from Princeton, whose wife Mildred was Producer. Stars included Val Telegdi from Chicago (image, right) doing a travel agent sketch advising a young physicist on the choice of a European Summer School. He dismissed schools in Sweden because of the danger from women, in Italy because of the danger from food poisoning, in France because of the danger of having to work at physics and recommended Switzerland, where the only danger was linguistics – the school was to be conducted in Romansch! Arthur Roberts from Fermilab (image, left), who has had a dual physicist/musician career with works played by several orchestras, also had a prominent role, singing a medley of songs with sharply observed lyrics. Stage hands included past APS Presidents – I I Rabi, Robert Serber, Philip Morse and Chieng-Shung Wu.
The physics-world-renowned Christmas plays put on by CERN’s Theory Department date back 30 or more years, but it seems that APS got there first. CERN has links with their show nonetheless, with roads on site named after APS stagehands, I I Rabi and Chieng-Shung Wu. Crew member Rabi is acknowledged as being the father of CERN, while Madame Wu is honoured for her scene-setting 1956 experiment demonstrating parity violation in beta decay, for which she was awarded the first Wolf prize in 1978.