Conceptual Physics Costumes for Halloween

For various reasons I can’t talk about, I’m not in a good mental place for deep and thoughtful blogging just at the moment. But prompted by yesterday’s Surviving the World, I’ll revisit a past post topic, and suggest some abstract ideas you could dress as for Halloween, if you’re so inclined.

The Doppler Effect: Wear an outfit that’s blue in the front and red on the back. Answer questions from people in front of you in a high-pitched voice, questions from people behind you in a deep voice. Bonus points if you carry small bottles of helium and sulfur hexafluoride to inhale for the appropriate pitch.

(Yes, I know that “The Big Bang Theory” had Sheldon wear a “Doppler Effect” costume once, but it sucked. Hat tip to andre3 at the original conceptual physics costumes post for this improvement.)

Bell’s Theorem: Requires two people. Go to a party, stay on opposite sides of the room at all times, but use spooky Leverage/ Burn Notice earpieces and microphones to ensure that your conversation is perfectly correlated with your partner on the other side of the party. Alternatively, write down conversation topics in advance, and work off that script. See if the other guests can tell which you’re doing.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics: Trash the place like a coked-up rock star. Potential drawback: often mistaken for Charlie Sheen (or Keith Moon, if you want to skew old).

Quantum Information: Any time somebody asks you a question, reply with a superposition of all possible answers at the same time. Potential drawback: often mistaken for Mitt Romney.

Gravitational Time Dilation: Red shirt, blue pants. Go to a party in a multi-storey dwelling, set the clocks on the top floor back an hour, and when they throw you out, insist that the party hasn’t ended yet.

The Global Positioning System: Requires at least four people. Go to a party dressed like satellites, then stand on chairs in the corners of the room and yell out the time at regular intervals: “Nine-oh-five and ten seconds!… Nine-oh-five and twenty seconds!…”

Erwin Schrödinger: Show up dressed like an extra from The Untouchables. Leave with somebody else’s spouse.

That’s enough to clear my head a little so I can work on other stuff. I hope. If you have suggestions of ways to improve these, or ideas of your own, leave them in the comments.

11 thoughts on “Conceptual Physics Costumes for Halloween

  1. ISTR a TV show where someone dressed as Maxwell’s Demon. He stood in a doorway, and by the end of the night, all the “hot” guests were trapped in the kitchen.

  2. You want people to use the conspiracy loophole to violate Bell inequalities! Drawback: might be mistaken for ‘t Hooft or for someone else? Wolfram, perhaps?

    String theory. Go with a closed-string halo. Drawback: might not be thought super enough.

  3. Sorry, but if you work off a pre-arranged script, then you can’t violate the Bell inequalities. That’s kind of the point. So it better be the earpieces and microphones.

  4. Bell’s theorem shows that there are limits to the degree of correlation possible in measurements made on systems that are working off a pre-arranged script, and that those limits can be exceeded by an entangled quantum system with the proper choice of measurement bases. Thus, the other party-goers ought to be able to tell the difference between two people working off a pre-arranged script and two people using telecommunications to coordinate their answers. Hence the last sentence of that entry.

  5. Doppler costumers, be careful with the SF6, it doesn’t leave the lungs as well as helium. You need to breathe deeply to exhale the heavier than air gas.

  6. Oppenheimer: Hat and cigarette a la this book cover. Use/borrow a child to dress up as Fat Man and stand by your side all night.

    Bonus: Find the couple in costume as Linus and Ava Pauling (he’s the only one at the party with two solo costume Nobel prizes). Keep asking Ava to go home with you.

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