David Saltzberg // Public Lecture

“How did Amy and Sheldon win their Nobel Prize?”

Saturday 4:00 pm : Mitchell Physics Lecture Halls 203-205 (2nd Floor)


Since 2006, I worked with the writers and other crew of the television situation comedy, The Big Bang Theory which just aired its season finale. I will talk about my experiences putting my University of Chicago physics PhD to work helping the writers and others tell this story as their “science consultant.” Along the way, I’ve learned that comedy is an empirical subject. I’ll share a few of the other things I learned about working with creative and dedicated people in an industry seemingly far from my own.


About David Saltzberg

Professor of Physics and Astronomy at UCLA. He received a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1989 from Princeton University where he worked at the cyclotron. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1994, where he measured the mass of the W boson at Fermilab’s Tevatron and contributed to the discovery of the top quark. He worked at CERN, looking for neutrino oscillations with photographic emulsion. His research interests include high-energy neutrino astronomy and the Large Hadron Collider. He received a Sloan Fellowship, NSF Career Award, DOE Outstanding Junior Investigator Award, and Antarctica Service Medal. Saltzberg was the science consultant for The Big Bang Theory since its pilot episode. He helped out by checking scripts and meeting with the producers, writers, set decorators, prop masters, etc. to ensure scientific accuracy. He subsequently consulted on a number of television programs, “Manhattan”, “The Leftovers”, “Scijinks”, and “The Watchmen”, and “Young Sheldon”. The asteroid “8628 Davidsaltzberg” is named after him.

David Saltzberg


Department of Physics & Astronomy
USA Science & Engineering Festival Science Festival Alliance