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Jokes about Physicists

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Seen on the door to a light-wave lab:
"CAUTION! Do not look into laser with remaining good eye."



Absolute zero is cool.







An engineer, a physicist, a mathematician, and a mystic were asked to name the greatest invention of all times.
The engineer chose fire, which gave humanity power over matter.
The physicist chose the wheel, which gave humanity the power over space.
The mathematician chose the alphabet, which gave humanity power over symbols.

The mystic chose the thermos bottle.
"Why a thermos bottle?" the others asked.
"Because the thermos keeps hot liquids hot in winter and cold liquids cold in summer."
"Yes -- so what?"
"Think about it." said the mystic reverently. That little bottle -- how does it know?"







A hydrogen atom lost its electron and went to the police station to file a missing electron report. He was questioned by the police: "Haven't you just misplaced it somewhere? Are you sure that your electron is really lost?"
"I'm positive." replied the atom.



You enter the laboratory and see an experiment. How will you know which class is it?

If it's green and wiggles, it's biology.
If it stinks, it's chemistry.
If it doesn't work, it's physics.



A physics student was hit by a brick falling from a house. He fainted, but came to after a while and started smiling. The onlookers were worried, so they asked him why the smile. "I just realized how lucky I am because the kinetic energy is only half m v squared."



Physics professor has been doing an experiment, and has worked out an empirical equation that seems to explain his data. He asks the math professor to look at it.

A week later, the math professor says the equation is invalid. By then, the physics professor has used his equation to predict the results of further experiments, and he is getting excellent results, so he asks the math professor to look again.

Another week goes by, and they meet once more. The math professor tells the physics professor the equation does work, "But only in the trivial case where the numbers are real and positive."







A young physicist, upon learning that he was denied tenure after six productive years at a University in San Francisco, requested a meeting with the Provost for an explanation, and a possible appeal.

At the meeting, the Provost told the young physicist, "I'm sorry to tell you that the needs of the University have shifted somewhat, during the past six-years leading up to your tenure decision. In point of fact, what we now require is a female, condensed-matter experimentalist. Unfortunately, you are a male, high-energy theorist!"

Dejected but not defeated, the young physicist thought for a moment about the implications of the Provost's words. "Sir," he said, "I would be willing to convert in two of the three categories you mention, but ... I'll never agree to become an experimentalist!"



A theory is something nobody believes, except the person who made it.
An experiment is something everybody believes, except the person who made it.
Albert Einstein


The experimentalist comes running excitedly into the theorist's office, waving a graph taken off his latest experiment. "Hmmm," says the theorist, "That's exactly where you'd expect to see that peak. Here's the reason." A long logical explanation follows. In the middle of it, the experimentalist says "Wait a minute", studies the chart for a second, and says, "Oops, this is upside down." He fixes it. "Hmmm," says the theorist, "you'd expect to see a dip in exactly that position. Here's the reason...".



A mathematician, an engineer and a physicist sat around a table discussing how to measure the volume of a cow.

The mathematician suggested the use of geometry and symmetry relationships of the cow, but his idea was rejected on the grounds of being too time consuming.

The engineer suggested placing the cow in a pool of water and measuring the change in the height of the water, but his idea was rejected on the grounds of impracticality.

"It's easy," said the physicist. "We'll make an assumption that the cow is a small sphere, calculate the volume and then blow it up to the actual size."



A farmer has problems with his chickens: all of the sudden, they are all getting very sick. After trying all conventional means, he calls a physicist to see if they can figure out what is wrong. The physicist tries. He stands there and looks at the chickens for a long time without touching them or anything. Then all of the sudden he starts scribbling away in a notebook. Finally, after several gruesome calculations, he exclaims, "I've got it! But it only works for spherical chickens in a vacuum."








The renowned cosmogonist Professor Bignumska, lecturing on the future of the universe, had just stated that in about a billion years, according to her calculations, the earth would fall into the sun in a fiery death. In the back of the auditorium a tremulous voice piped up: "Excuse me, Professor, but h-h-how long did you say it would be?"
Professor Bignumska calmly replied, "About a billion years."
A sigh of relief was heard. "Whew! for a minute there, I thought you said million years."



Heisenberg was driving down the Autobahn whereupon he was pulled over by a policeman. The policeman asked, "Do you know how fast you were going back there? Heisenberg replied, "No, but I know where I am."



How do you know that the driver driving toward you is a physicist?
He has a red sticker on his bumper, saying: "If this sticker is blue, you are driving too fast."



What's the difference between an auto mechanic and a quantum mechanic?
The quantum mechanic can get the car inside the garage without opening the door.



Gravitation can not be held responsible for people falling in love.
Albert Einstein


Chemistry is physics without thought.
Mathematics is physics without purpose.







A rocket explorer named Wright
Once traveled much faster than light.
     He sat out one day
     In a relative way,
And returned on the previous night.
The Pan Book of Limericks


A Simpleton's Guide to Science

Relativity: Family get-togethers at Christmas.
Gravity: Strength of a glass of beer.
Time travel: Throwing the alarm clock at the wall.
Black holes: What you get in black socks.
Critical mass: A gaggle of film reviewers.
Hyperspace: Where you park at the superstore.



Useful Metric Conversions for the mathematically challenged

1 trillion microphones = 1 megaphone
1 millionth of a fish = 1 microfiche
1 trillion pins = 1 terrapin
10 rations = 1 decoration
10 millipedes = 1 centipede
3 1/3 tridents = 1 decadent
2 monograms = 1 diagram
8 nickels = 2 paradigms
2 wharves = 1 paradox



Teachers' remarks that changed the history of physics

Archimedes, you are late again. Don't tell me that you were locked again in the bathroom.
Copernicus, when will you understand that you are not the center of the world?
Galileo, if you will drop stones from the top of the tower one more time, you will be dismissed forever.
Kepler, till when will you stare at the sky?
Newton, will you please stop idling away under the apple tree?
Volta, I can see you have a lot of potential.
Ohm, must you resist Ampère's opinions on current events?
Nikola Tesla, I see that everyone is attracted to your magnetic personality.
Einstein, a crocodile is greener or is it wider?
Schrödinger, stop abusing cats!
Heisenberg, when will you be sure of yourself?



After Receiving an Invitation to a Physicists' Ball:

Volta was electrified and Archimedes was buoyant at the thought.

Ampère was worried he wasn't up on current research.

Ohm resisted the idea at first.

Boyle said he was under too much pressure.

Hertz promised that in the future he will attend with greater frequency.

Henry begged off due to a low capacity for alcohol.

Pierre and Marie Curie were radiating enthusiasm.

Born thought the probability of enjoying himself is pretty high.

Einstein thought it would be relatively easy to attend.

Heisenberg was uncertain whether he could make it.

Schrödinger had to take his cat to the vet, or did he?

Hawking said he'd try to string enough time together to make a space in his schedule.







Eight ways to use a barometer to find the height of a building:

  1. Measure the height of the barometer. Scale the side of the building, measuring its height in barometer-units.
  2. Drop the barometer from the top of the building. Measure the time until it hits the street. Correcting for the mass/surface ratio of the instrument, use basic acceleration equation to find the height.
  3. Tie string to top of barometer. Lower from roof to almost ground. Swing. Period of pendulum can be used to find distance from barometer's Center of Gravity to top of building.
  4. Tie a long cable to the barometer and lower it from the top of the building to the ground, and then measure the length of the cable.
  5. Take the barometer outside on a sunny day, measure its shadow and the buildings shadow.
  6. Drop the barometer from the top of the building. Measure how far was it shifted by Corriolis force. The rest is trivial.
  7. Sell the barometer. Purchase a tape measure long enough to measure the height of the building.
  8. Find someone who knows how tall the building is, and trade him the barometer for the information.

See also 27 ways to use a barometer to find the height of a building




Why did the chicken cross the road?

Aristotle: It is the nature of chickens to cross roads.

Issac Newton: Chickens at rest tend to stay at rest, chickens in motion tend to cross roads.

Albert Einstein: Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road moved beneath the chicken depends on your frame of reference.

Werner Heisenberg: We are not sure which side of the road the chicken was on, but it was moving very fast.

Wolfgang Pauli: There already was a chicken on this side of the road.







Physics Revisited

Gravity was discovered by Sir Isaac Newton. It is chiefly noticeable in the autumn, when the apples are falling off the trees.

You can listen to thunder after lightning and tell how close you came to getting hit. If you don't hear it, you got hit, so never mind.

When people run around and around in circles, we say they are crazy. When planets do it, we say they are orbiting.

The tides are a fight between the Earth and moon. All water tends towards the moon, because there is no water in the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum.

The moon is more useful than the sun, because the moon shines at night when you want the light, whereas the sun shines during the day when you don't need it.

To remove air from a flask, fill it with water, tip the water out, and put the cork in quick before the air can get back in.

Isn't it meaningless to speak of a 45 degrees angle unless you specify Fahrenheit or Celcius?

An object at rest will always be in the wrong place.
An object in motion will always be headed in the wrong direction.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.

Doppler effect is the tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when you come at them rapidly.



How physicists do it...

Physicists do it a quantum at a time.
Physicists do it at the speed of light.
Cosmologists do it in the first three minutes.
Mathematical physicists understand the theory of how to do it, but have difficulty obtaining practical results.
Quantum physicists can either know how fast they do it, or where they do it, but not both.
Particle physicists do it energetically.
Particle physicists to it with charm.
Aerodynamicists do it in drag.
Astrophysicists do it with a Big Bang.
Astronomers do it all night.
Astronomers do it in clusters.
Astronomers do it on mountain tops.
Astronomers do it with white dwarfs and red giants.






     You Might Be a Physicist if...

  • the water in your kettle is boiling at 373 Kelvin.
  • you know that the speed of light is 299,792.5 km/sec.
  • you know the direction the water swirls when you flush.
  • you've already calculated how much you earn per second.
  • you are sure that differential equations are a very useful tool.
  • you are at an air show and know how fast the skydivers are falling.
  • you know the size of the elactron, but don't know your own shirt size.
  • when you break a vase you blame the second law of thermodynamics.
  • you try to explain entropy to strangers at your table during casual dinner conversation.
  • you avoid stirring your coffee because you don't want to increase the entropy of the universe.
  • your three year old son asks why the sky is blue and you try to explain atmospheric absorption theory.
  • you're at a wine tasting event and find yourself paying more attention to the cork screws than the Chardonnay.
  • you carry on a one-hour debate over the expected results of an experiment that actually takes five minutes to run.





How many physicists does it take to change a light bulb?
Eleven. One to do it and ten to co-author the paper.

How many astronomers does it take to change a light bulb?
None, astronomers prefer the dark.

How many radio astronomers does it take to change a light bulb?
None. They are not interested in that short wave stuff.

How many general relativists does it take to change a light bulb?
Two. One holds the bulb, while the other rotates the universe.



Why did the cat slide off the roof?

It didn't have enough Mu.

Drew


Two physicists are are in Victoria's Secret when an extremely attractive sales girl approaches them and asks, "Can I help you?".

One physicist looks at the other and says, "No thanks. We're just collapsing wave functions."

Don Peloquin


It's strange that Isaac Newton never got married, after all he was the one who discovered that bodies attract each other!
Peter Schmidt


The physics professor was giving a boring lecture and was filling the blackboard with equitations. When the blackboard was full he said: "We now see there is one proton lost. Where is that proton?"

Nobody answered, so he repeated in a loud voice: "Where is that missing proton?"

From the back of the room came a sleepy voice: "Nobody leaves the room!"

Peter Schmidt


A well known physicist (I will not give out his name) worked at CERN in Geneva, Swiss.

One day his wife said: "You spend most of your time at work, I want you to take a day off so we can go downtown and do some shopping."

Well, they went downtown, and his wife asked him to wait for about an hour while she went to the hairdresser. He was sitting at a sidewalk café having a cup of coffee, when a car stopped right there with a flat tire. A young, very attractive woman got out to look at it. Of course our physicist offered his help, and he jacked up the car and changed the wheel. After it was fixed, the young woman thanked him and said: "I live close to here, come up to my apartment and wash your hands."

He went with her, and of course one thing led to another. After a couple of hours he realized how late it was. "God, my wife must be waiting for me. Have you got some flour in the kitchen?"

He dusted a little flour on his sleeves and went to meet his wife. He explained exactly what had happened, but she looked him straight in the eyes and said:

"You are a damn liar, I can see you have been over at CERN and work on one of your problems on the blackboard, I can see the chalk dust on your sleeves!"

Which shows that it takes a nuclear physicist and not a psychologist to really understand women.

Peter Schmidt


Werner Heisenberg, the renowned 1932 Nobel prize winning theoretical physicist, is caught speeding. The cop knocks on his windscreen; Heisenberg calmly rolls it down. "Do you realize how fast you were going?" Asks the traffic cop. The physicist replies: "No, but I know exactly where I am."
Niall Scott


Which is the result of 1+2+3+4+...?

The mathematician: I cannot respond if you do not say to me what it follows after the dots..

The physicist: it diverges!

Polchinski=-1/12

juan


Sedona doctor to out-of -state patient: "Well, Mr. Zee are you enjoying your stay in our fine city?"
Patient: "Not exactly, Doc. I've had a splitting spectrum all the time I've been here."
Carolyn


A Higgs-Boson enters a church one Sunday morning and is stopped by the priest. "We don't allow your kind to enter the Catholic church!" to which the Boson replies "But Father, you can't have mass without me!"
Ryan