physics talent show

This week will mark what I think is the 10th anniversary of the Hamline University Physics Talent Show. This is held after our Malmstrom Speaker dinner where we host a big name physics researcher who gives a public talk the next day (this year it’s Nobel Prize-winning physicist Wolfgang Ketterle). We eat, listen to the speaker give some remarks for a more technical audience, and then break out the guitars.

People often comment on how musical a lot of physicists are, and our department is no exception. I play guitar, trombone, and sing, and my buddy Bruce plays piano and sings. We anchor the talent show, busting out songs as we try to cajole the students to step up. What’s great is that a lot of them do. Many bring their guitars, or form impromptu bands, or show off some amazing talents. If they can’t think of anything, we open it up to the “imitate a physics professor” challenge. We try to put pressure on students to do something at a show before they graduate, and I’d say we do a pretty good job of getting that done. And, of course, we always sing “American Pie” since my other buddy Jerry made the mistake of letting us know that if he were to ever sing something, he’d sing that.

This year, as I’m sitting here bored at an airport, I thought I’d take to my social media buds to see if I can compose a physics-related song for the event. I went on twitter with this

and I’m hopeful that I get a few verses before Thursday. In my spare time, I occasionally write little chord progressions for my guitar, but I rarely put words to them. My wonderful wife has obliged to both be a writer for me, along with inspiration for some words of my own. I’ve got a few songs I could put to the verses that’ll come in. We’ll see if it works out.

If I do get something together, I’ll put the verses here along with, hopefully, a video of my performance. Wish me luck!

About Andy Rundquist

Professor of physics at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN
This entry was posted in fun, teaching. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to physics talent show

  1. Joss Ives says:

    Andy, I have no suggestions for you, but I have to say that I absolutely love the idea of a physics department talent show.

  2. Lisabeth Dayley says:

    i love the subject physics and i was always amazed by it.^

    Look at the most interesting blog post on our personal web site

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