Andy Weir's Favorite Science Jokes Are Perfectly Nerdy

Monday, 21 December 2015 - 1:34PM
Monday, 21 December 2015 - 1:34PM
Andy Weir's Favorite Science Jokes Are Perfectly Nerdy
The Martian was one of the best sci-fi novels written in the last few years, because it was both incredibly scientifically accurate and lightly funny. Now, The Martian author Andy Weir has combined those two talents to tell his favorite science jokes, and they're pretty funny- and hilariously nerdy.
Opening quote
"An ion walks into a bar and says 'I think I left an electron here last night.' And the bartender says 'Are you sure?' And the ion says 'I'm positive.'"
Closing quote

This one is fairly easy to understand. A normal atom has a neutral charge with an equal number of positive and negative atoms, or protons and electrons, respectively. When an atom loses an electron, it becomes a positively charged ion, because it would have more protons than electrons. 

His second choice is a little more obscure:

Opening quote
"What do you get when you cross a mountain climber with a mosquito? Nothing! You can't cross a scalar with a vector."
Closing quote

In mathematics, vectors have both magnitude and direction, while scalars have only magnitude. As a result, they can't be directly compared with each other. The word "scalar" is a play on the fact that mountain climbers "scale" mountains, while a "vector" in the medical sciences is any agent that carries a pathogen into another living organism, such as a mosquito catching malaria. 

We love these. They're like dad jokes- if your dad is a chemist, mathematician, or epidemiologist.

Via Business Insider.
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