Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Most Attractive Physicist Contest!

Yes, folks, If you are looking for deep, profound physics issues, this blog post is NOT IT! :) I've decided, for this one post, to be shallow, perky, and superficial! After all, we know that such characteristics are what draws in the attention of the public and politicians! So I've decided to become just that!

I had a discussion with a friend regarding my post on the fact that I don't "look" like a physicist, at least, to many people who didn't have an a priori knowledge of my profession. In all my years of interacting with other physicists and scientists in general, there certainly is a type of "look" that one would associate with a physicist. I don't mean the absent-minded, hair-sticking-out-in-all-direction, socks-don't-match type of look. That's too stereotypical and inaccurate. I'm talking about the look of "intelligence", some might even called "dignified", and maybe even a few thick glasses here and there, that many people associate with being a physicist. But this also does not cover everyone. One would be very surprised to learn (or maybe not) that there are physicists, both men and women, who are quite attractive. I mean, there are those who could easily grace the covers of Vogue, GQ, etc. In fact, in my post on The Science Channel silly "documentary" on the Big Bang, I commented on the fact that the host of that show, physicist João Magueijo, might be one of the most attractive physicists that I've seen. And anyone who has met Lisa Randall would have to admit that she is also very easy on the eyes.

So there's ample evidence there that there are physicists, both male and female, who clearly tip the scale in terms of attractiveness. So what about this contest? Ah, this is where we dive into the depth of the world of superficial. I want to have a contest where we nominate the physicist who we think is attractive, and then we all vote on them! How much fun is that? :)

So here are the rules:

1. Anyone can nominate a physicist who he/she thinks is a candidate for being the most attractive. The deadline for nomination is Sept. 15, 2010.

2. You may nominate as many as you want. HOWEVER, you should include either a picture, or at least a link to a picture, so that the voters have an idea what this physicist looks like. The links can also be videos, etc., i.e. anything to give the rest of us a good idea on this person's feature. This will be useful especially if it is someone who is not a household name.

3. You may nominate someone based on his/her attractiveness at a different age. For example, the Albert Einstein who worked at the Swiss Patent Office may be more attractive than the one that landed at Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. So if you are nominating Einstein in his younger years, you have to accompany that nomination with a picture of him in that age.

4. If you are submitting someone who isn't a household name, it would also help that you include a link to show that this person is a physicist. A link to either a paper, or university position, etc. would be sufficient. But how do I define a physicist, you ask? To me, anyone with a physics degree, even if that person isn't a practicing physicist, qualifies! I may have to contact you if I can't verify a nominee's credentials.

5. Don't be afraid to nominate yourself, if you are a physicist, and if you think you might qualify as being attractive. Or nominate your colleagues, with their permission, of course! I want as many good-looking physicists as I can get for this contest.

6. Submit your vote by adding a comment to this blog post. If you do not wish to have your nomination made public, please clearly indicate as such and your nomination will not be released (all comments to this blog are moderated and will only be made public upon release by me).

7. At the end of the nomination period, I will tally up all the nomination, and will select the Top 5 the male and a separate Top 5 for the female physicist.

8. I will then open up the voting to all readers of this blog, so YOU get to choose who you think is the most attractive male and female physicist. I haven't decided yet on what I'll do if we end up with a tie, so I'll just make things up as I go along if that happens.

So off we go!!

Edit: Nomination period is now over. No more nominations please. New comments submitting nominations will not be approved, not because I disagree, but I don't want to include it on here so that I won't be confused on who got nominated when.



HM said...

I want to nominate Jacob Linder, an Associate Professor from Norway [1]. I came across him from some of his papers, and I am very impressed because beside the looks, he is a very good physicist.

He finished his Ph.D. last year and won several prizes for it [2],[5] and has already be given an "Associate Professor" position. He has already published 40+ papers (PRL, PRB,...), one of which has been chosen for a "synopses" [3] and he has also written a recent "physics viewpoint" [4].


That was the scientific credentials, now for pictures see:


I'm still a student myself and can't be nominated, otherwise it would've been an easy win! ;-)


ZapperZ said...

Whoa! Looks like we have a very strong contender already here! Well done, HM!


sandycharm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sandycharm said...

Just for the kicks, I'd also nominate Issac Newton. He is pretty.

Another contender is Werner Heisenberg. He seems a little bit on the short side in pictures (perhaps because of Dirac) but he was stylish. Cheeky, too.

Wernher von Braun (PhD in physics but known for rocket engineering and his allegiance)

Richard Feynman, too. But perhaps, it'd do better to focus on current physicists?

bat said...

Amy Mainzer

Lucy said...

Maria Goeppert Mayer

James Hartle

The Great Kabuga said...

I recommend Dr. Kimberley Hall of Dalhousie University.

You can cast a longing look at her research website.

If I'd had a prof like this as an undergrad, I might have been more motivated. Or distracted. Zero-sum game, I guess.

Jared said...

Richard Feynman is easily the sexiest physicist to ever live. He was not only one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century, he also was a talented artist and bongo player. I also submit these pictures as evidence of how sexy he is.

FenellaS said...

I'd have to nominate James Gimzewski at UCLA, a pioneer in nanomaterials. Besides being brilliant, he's funny and charming.

Pics under the Pictures tab here:

I'd also nominate Jonas Braasch, but I'm not sure he qualifies because his masters is in physics, but his phd is not (he does musical acoustics).

Kent Leung said...

@sandycharm: I met Anna Wilson 3 years ago when I spent a month at ANU for some beamtime on the 14UD. You're right that photo is not that flattering, she looks a lot better in real life. She's very helpful and energetic too. This all explains why there was always a line of students waiting outside her office. ;-)

@Zz: This blog entry made it onto the symmetry magazine twitter/facebook feed. Congrads?

ZapperZ said...

To FenellaS and everyone else,

Anyone with a physics degree qualifies, even if that person gets other degrees or is not working as a physicist. So nominate away!


Patrick said...

i'd like to nominate

Robert Oppenheimer

Lisa Randall

Richard Feynman

Paul Dirac

Allison said...

I would love to nominate Prof. Brian Cox, not only for his attractiveness, but also, for passion in what he does.

sandycharm said...

@Kent Leung, Yay! You agree with me :)
Anna is great. Pretty, unpretentious and very friendly.
Amy Mainzer that Bat recommend looks really good. But I have never met her in real life. May be will get to see her one day :D
Anna, Markus and Elisabeth, I did.

ZapperZ said...

OK, so we have a nomination from someone who wishes to remain anonymous. So here it is:

Firouzeh Sabri


Peter said...

I would like to nominate Mark Jackson. He works at the Instituut-Lorentz for Theoretical Physics in Leiden, The Netherlands.

This is a link to his page:

Two years ago he was one of Chicago's Most Eligible Singles:

He is not only good looking, at 6'4'' he is also tall, even for Dutch standards.


John Hagel said...

I would nominate Deborah Berebichez. She is awesomely beautiful and accomplished.

Deborah Berebichez is an acclaimed physicist who focuses on both research and science popularization. As the first Mexican woman to graduate with a
Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University, she completed two postdoctoral fellowships at NYU and Columbia University.

Her collaboration with physics
Nobel Laureate Dr. Robert Laughlin has led her to create public science programs worldwide.

In 2008 she was the keynote speaker at Oprah Winfrey’s Women in Leadership Conference "Women Rule." She has appeared on numerous
media outlets such as CNN, National Geographic, Dr. Oz Show, Oprah’s magazine and others. Most recently she will appear as the physics expert in the National Geographic TV series "Humanly Impossible" (2011).

Her current projects include a science book for the public titled “The Physics of High Heels, and Other Cool Science” and a series of virtual lectures to schools and organizations across the US to promote science.

Deborah is the inventor of a highly effective technique to focus wireless signals in buildings for which she has received a number of technology awards. Her discovery has widespread applications for secure communications. She also
contributed to the important field of nanotechnology.

How could she not be the most attractive and accomplished physicist in this list? You can see some amazing photos of her and more of her work at

astrobewitched said...

I would like to nominate Madhuri Kaul, physics graduate student from the Univ. of Pennsylvania. You can check her physics creds from the CV posted on [1]. As for the other thing...look for yourself at [2]. Represent for the ladies!


coneslayer said...

An anonymous collaboration studied this question on a restricted domain (astrophysicists) in 2000, and published their results in the appropriate journal[1]. Their key finding was that Neil De Grasse Tyson was the Sexiest Astrophysicist.

[1] Anonymous, 2000, People, vol. 54, no. 20.

Vasudha said...

I've been a silent stalker for years, but I just had to comment on this post. =D

I'd like to nominate Hannes Alfven.

Trainee said...

I'd like to add Ard Louis, a theoretical physicist at University of Oxford. For picture and some info see here:


Pi-Guy said...

Here's a likely candidate: Janet Conrad, neutrino-mistress.

El Charro said...

Here's one, I'll send a few more later, once I find good photos for my nominees:

Kim-Vy Tran,

El Charro said...

If this message is repeated just publish one please.

My nominee is:

Kim-Vy Tran

Nick said...

Two nominations:

Henry Kendall (deceased)

Lisa Randall

Jackelyn said...

Female: Sarah Kavassalis

Easily the most beautiful, enthusiastic, and well spoken theorist you'll ever meet.

Tom said...

My vote is for Zach Keane. He's a post-doc at the University of New South Wales. Dartmouth alum, Rice Grad.... one of the smartest people I know. Handsome, rugged, smart...besides the looks, he is becoming a great sailor.