APS News

Zero Gravity: The Lighter Side of Science

Haiku Contest Winners

Ed. Note: In the May issue of APS News, we announced a physics haiku contest, with a deadline for submissions of October 1. We received a large number of entries, most of them either just after the announcement in May or just before the deadline in October. We are now proud to announce the results. Every entry was considered on an equal basis, except for those that had nothing to do with physics or that didn't scan properly (three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively).

Our overall winner is Celia Elliott of the University of Illinois. We reprint two of her entries below. She will receive a copy of the coveted coffee-table book "Physics in the Twentieth Century" and a World Year of Physics t-shirt.

In addition to the winning entries, we reprint several more that qualify as "honorable mentions." These were selected by our dedicated haiku-evaluation team. Each of the authors will receive a World Year of Physics t-shirt. We regret that we don't have room for even more of the excellent contributions that we received. In due course, we intend to post all the entries on our APS News online web site.

Physicist am I. Mortals
Tremble before me.

Irresistible Force
Tripped. Fell on my ass.
Awesome demonstration of
F = ma.
         —Celia Elliott

Newton's Laws of Motion
1. A body maintains
    Its rest, or straight-line motion
    Unless net force acts.

2. F equals p-dot.
    That is all you need to know.
    Use it with wisdom.

3. To ev'ry action
    There's an equal reaction

E is m c-squared!
Mass, energy—the same stuff!
One makes the other!

A quark is a quark—
There are no smaller pieces;
Or so I believe.

Two ups and a down—
(What other virtual quarks?)—
Dwell in a proton.
          —Frank R. Paolini

Quantum paradoxes
I've had it to here
With quantum paradoxes;
My wave functions ache.
          —Edward O. Stejskal

Quantum Uncertainty
Schroedinger's cat is
Dead or alive, they tell us
I can't bear to look! 
          —J. D. Jackson

Tell me, did the sun
Just burn out? I guess we'll know
Eight minutes from now.
           —Jed Brody

Wither dynamics?
There is chaos in my soul.
Poincar‚ is proud.
            —Mason Porter

Leptons have needs, too.
A lonely muon
meets SUSY at the H Bar, l
eaves as a slepton.

In the dark
Behold the cosmos:
dark matter and energy,
playing hide and seek

Kids these days. !
Like grumpy old men,
Inductors tend to oppose
Any current change

Pivotal moment
Teaching r x F
Puzzled class does not know what
I'm torquing about
             —C. J. Chiara

APS encourages the redistribution of the materials included in this newspaper provided that attribution to the source is noted and the materials are not truncated or changed.

Editor: Alan Chodos
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette