I love scientists. Their curiosity and dedication to discovery inspire me to never stop asking questions and learning.
Their sense of humor and gambling nature make their discoveries entertaining. I’ve heard several stories of major discoveries being fueled by bets. The biggest, most recent one I remember involved Stephen Hawking and a set of encyclopedias on baseball.
So when I stumbled across an article about the title of a paper on dark matter, I wasn’t surprised. Symmetry Breaking, the online element of Symmetry, a particle physics magazine, posted the story behind the title of a paper: “Poker face of inelastic dark matter: Prospects at upcoming direct detection experiments.”
Turns out the reference to Lady Gaga is indeed the result of a lost bet. Which is fantastic.
Frequently, scientist get pictured as out of touch nerds who don’t really care about the world everyone else lives in. I’m sure there are some scientists like that, just as I am sure there are some pop culture fanatics that are out of touch with the world everyone else lives in. But the point is that each group is not necessarily dominated by the stereotypes. If these scientists didn’t pay attention to the world outside of their labs, they would not have such great stakes for their bets.
I hope the science community doesn’t stop with what they’re doing. Especially their betting. Life would be a little dimmer if I couldn’t look forward to whatever the new Britney Spears’ Guide to Semiconductor Physics will be.