About the book

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The Science of TV’s The Big Bang Theory, by Dave Zobel (ECW Press, June 2015), can be enjoyed even by those with no special aptitude for science or math.

It’s been called “The Physics of Star Trek meets Click and Clack from Car Talk.”

Aptly subtitled Explanations Even Penny Would Understand, the book provides humorous and easily digested explanations of many of the science topics that have been referenced on The Big Bang Theory: some centuries-old, some cutting-edge.

Subjects range from how Leonard’s free-electron laser works, to why Raj’s discovery of a trans-Neptunian object is so sexy, to an analysis of Sheldon’s optimal strategy in playing Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock. Interspersed among these are profiles of real-life researchers, discussions of some of the (very infrequent) science errors in the dialogue, lighthearted ramblings on where in the city of Pasadena the main characters’ apartment could possibly be located, and more.

A recurring sidebar called “Ask an Icon” features commentary from such luminaries as Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart, laser inventor William Bridges, original Catwoman Julie Newmar, and physicist Stephen Hawking.

The Science of TV’s The Big Bang Theory proves what audiences realized long ago about Ricky Ricardo’s rapid-fire Spanish tirades and Dr. Gregory House’s insanely convoluted diagnoses: you don’t have to “get it” to love it—but it’s so much more satisfying when you do.