If the world of physics doesn’t work out for Tim Blais, there’s always show biz. The McGill University grad student is a master at reworking iconic pop songs into heavy duty scientific ballads. His latest YouTube video stuffs a great deal of string theory from his recently completed physics thesis into the lyrical structure of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” with fantastic results.
Sample lyric: “Space is a pure void/Why should it be stringy?/Because it’s quantum not classical, nonrenormalizable.”
Queen was aready pretty nerdy–Brian May, the band’s guitarist, has a Ph.D. in astrophysics–but this takes it over the edge. For anyone without a physics doctorate, “Bohemian Gravity” is about as nonsensical as the original, but Blais’ passion for quantum theory is incredibly endearing; there’s some real emotion here. Make sure to stick with it–sock puppet Albert Einstein shows up around minute three.
Also recommended Friday viewing: “Rolling in the Higgs,” a lovely marriage of Adele and particle physics.