Posts tagged ‘physicist’

I’ve Gotta Get Out of This Place…

A physicist was arrested for conducting experiments deemed unethical by authorities. He was thrown in jail, and he learned that his cellmate was a mathematician.

“I have to get out of here,” said the physicist. “Is there any way to escape?”

“Sure,” said the mathematician. “There’s a large water pipe in the laundry room that leads past the walls of the prison. You can escape through that pipe.”

Within a week, the physicist escaped through the pipe, just as the mathematician had told him. Unfortunately, it led to the middle of a burning desert, hundreds of miles from anywhere. The physicist wandered through the desert for a few days, but sunburned, parched and hungry, he walked back to the prison and turned himself in. The guards returned him to his cell.

Man In Desert

Upon seeing him, the mathematician said, “I could have told you that escaping by foot was impossible.”

The frustrated physicist yelled, “What? Why didn’t you tell me that sooner?”

The mathematician just shrugged and asked, “Who publishes negative results?”

October 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm Leave a comment

Which Calculus Joke is Funniest? Nun of the Above

My friend Pat Flynn, a teacher at Olathe East High School, recently told me about his childhood experience with math education.

Sister Mary Constance only used her ruler to measure pain, not distance.

That’s one of the funniest lines I’ve heard in a long time! Along similar lines…

What do you get if you cross a zero and a pigeon?
A flying none!

Pat is a calculus teacher, and I once heard some students discuss his humor.

When our calculus teacher would tell us a joke, my friend would laugh twice: once when he first heard it, then again when he got it.

Here are some jokes that Pat would surely like his calculus students to suffer through.

What did the calculus teacher ask the dazed and confused student?
“Young man, have you been taking derivatives?”

What’s the difference between a mathematician and a physicist?
A physicist will take the average of the first three terms of a divergent series.

But it’s not just calculus… Pat enjoys making students groan at every level, so here are some all-purpose jokes.

Why did the variable break up with the constant?
The constant was incapable of change.

Did you hear about the bodybuilding mathematician who was always positive?
He had nice abs().

January 13, 2012 at 10:41 am 1 comment

Behind Closed Doors

No profession is safe…

A physicist, an engineer, and a mathematician are using a public restroom.

The physicist finishes at the urinal, washes his hands very well using lots of soap and water, and says, “Physicists are very clean.”

The engineer finishes, then washes his hands with a very small amount of soap and water. He says, “Engineers are able to make maximum use of scarce resources.”

The mathematician finishes and walks out the door without washing his hands. On his way out, he says, “Mathematicians know enough to not piss on our hands.”

After the other three have finished, a minister walks in, washes his hands first and then goes to the urinal. He says to the others, “At seminary, they taught us to wash our hands before handling sacred objects.”

November 8, 2010 at 1:38 am Leave a comment

Science Festival

If you’re in Washington, DC, this weekend, check out the USA Science and Engineering Festival.

With over 1,500 exhibits for math, science, and engineering, the National Mall will be filled with geeks-a-plenty. NCTM will be participating in the event, running an activity based on the Bears in a Boat lesson from Illuminations. (I’ll be manning the exhibit on Saturday; if you’re there, stop by Booth 410 to say hello.)

A mathematician, an engineer, and a physicist are scheduled to appear at a science and engineering festival. Arriving in Washington, DC, they spy a festival (*) on the National Mall.

The physicist is driving the car. While stopped at a stoplight, he performs some calculations to determine the exact amount of acceleration needed so that the car will roll to a stop at the entrance to the festival. When the light changes green, he depresses the gas pedal for 2.837 seconds and then releases it. The car accelerates to 22 miles per hour, then slowly decelerates and comes to a stop approximately 150 meters beyond the festival. “Hmm,” he says, perplexed that his calculations failed him.

“You missed,” says the engineer. “My turn.” The engineer and physicist swap seats so the engineer can drive. They return to the same stoplight. The engineer then estimates the distance to the festival based on the position of the sun and the length of the shadow cast by the Washington Monument. He then finds the answer to the problem in a look-up table. He depresses the gas pedal until the car reaches a speed of 21 miles per hour and releases his foot. The car gently rolls to a stop 150 meters short of the festival entrance.

“Well,” says the physicist, “it seems that your method wasn’t very successful, either.”

“What are you talking about?” says the mathematician.  “On average, the two of you arrived perfectly!”

(*) How did they know it was science and engineering festival?

The physicist observed that it behaved like a science and engineering festival, so it must be a science and engineering festival.

The mathematician compared it to a festival he had attended a year before, thereby reducing it to a previously solved problem.

The engineer was looking for a science and engineering festival; therefore, it was a science and engineering festival.

October 23, 2010 at 12:05 am Leave a comment

Three Jokes from Italy

Thanks to Maurizio Codogno, who bought my book from bookdepository.co.uk (they were kind enough to ship it to him in Italy), and who also shared a few jokes that weren’t in Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. Enjoy them, hot off the presses from Milan!

Question and Answer

Q: What is the difference between a mathematician and a physicist?

A: The mathematician thinks there is only one straight line that passes through two points; the physicist, however, needs more data.

Logic Exam

A student asks his logic professor, “Sir, did I pass or fail the exam?”

The professor replies, “Yes.”

Quantum Mechanics

Every Friday night, a mathematician goes to the pub, sits on the next-to-last stool, turns to the last stool, and asks to a non-existent woman if she would like a drink. The mathematician returns every Friday night for a year, yet the bartender says nothing.

Finally, the last Friday before summer break, the bartender asks the mathematician, “Excuse me, sir. You are clearly aware that there is no woman sitting in that chair. Why do you keep talking to an empty stool?”

The mathematician responds, “According to quantum mechanics, an empty space is not really void. Virtual particles materialize and disappear at every instant. Nobody knows whether the appropriate wave function collapses in such a way that a beautiful girl will appear out of nowhere.”

The bartender raises his eyebrow. “Really? That’s interesting. But couldn’t you just ask one of the women already in the bar if she’d like a drink? Who knows, maybe one of them would say yes.”

The mathematican laughs. “Oh, sure!” he says. “And what is the probability of that happening?”

September 15, 2010 at 3:18 am 1 comment


About MJ4MF

The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

MJ4MF (offline version)

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is available from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, NCTM, Robert D. Reed Publishers, and other purveyors of exceptional literature.

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