APS News

May 2008 (Volume 17, Number 5)

Zero Gravity: The Lighter Side of Science

Practical Corollaries To Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle

By Dale Dobson

The Cocktail Corollary: No personal opinion may be freely expressed until a preliminary assessment of the listeners’ related opinions has been completed.

The Sartorial Corollary: The fashion value of any wardrobe-related purchase cannot be measured by its originator.

The Trailer Corollary: A motion picture’s true qualities cannot be measured until a ticket has been purchased, at which point opinion of the film will exist in an indeterminate state until the credits roll or the instrumentation leaves the theatre.

The Flirtation Corollary: No flirtatious comment or salacious remark may be unambiguously stated before the receptiveness of its target has been confirmed.

First Vacation Corollary: The binary state of an iron, burner, space heater or other potentially inflammatory electric device cannot be determined without returning home after merging onto the freeway.

Second Vacation Corollary: The arrival of a body in motion cannot be accelerated by repeated measurement.

The Piscean Corollary: Any inaccuracy in estimation regarding the size of any sport fish will be magnified by the number and frequency of conversational references.

The Spiritual Corollary: Evidence for any deity’s existence will be recognized in direct proportion to the observer’s degree of belief in said deity.

The Nostalgia Corollary: No element of pop culture may be accurately measured until sufficient  time has passed to document statistical significance in relative decay rates of lovabiliate and suckium.

The Fermentation Corollary: All known corollaries may be modified in an alcohol-enriched environment.

Dale Dobson writes, animates and acts in the metropolitan Detroit area, and occasionally gets around to updating daledobson.com. This article originally appeared in the Science Creative Quarterly.

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
Contributing Editor: Jennifer Ouellette
Staff Writer: Ernie Tretkoff

May 2008 (Volume 17, Number 5)

Table of Contents

APS News Archives

Contact APS News Editor

Articles in this Issue
PRL Showcases Milestone Papers
Macromolecular Self‑Assembly a Promising Alternative to Photolithography
APS Recognizes Cornell as Birthplace of the Physical Review
Diamond Sparkles in Quantum Computing
Physics Rebounds in Post-Katrina New Orleans
Economic Models for Stock Markets Should Incorporate “Outlier” Events
“Mixed Reality” States Explore Link Between Real and Virtual Worlds
March Meeting Briefs
Sessions Cover “Designer Viruses”, Spread of Global Disease
March Meeting Prize and Award Recipients
March Meeting Session Addresses Climate Change
Workshop Opens Door to Energy Research
Members in the Media
This Month in Physics History
Washington Dispatch
International News
Zero Gravity: The Lighter Side of Science
Profiles In Versatility
The Back Page