Explanation of science jokes, humor, and cartoons from Jupiter Scientific; Includes the reasons for the humor. There are physics jokes, astronomy jokes, biology jokes, and chemistry jokes.
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Science Jokes Explanations
Here is your chance to learn a little science.
Astronomy 1: "Asteroids" sounds like "ass-teroids" and reminds one a bit of "hemorrhoids". Asteroids orbit the Sun as planet-like bodies ranging in size from a few hundred meters to a few hundred kilometers. The difference between a planet and an asteroid is a question of size.
Biology 1: Multiplication in biology means reproduction, which is microscopically accomplished by cell division.
Chemistry 1: Several plays on words: "Positive" may mean affirmative or positively charged. A lepton is a particle not participating in the strong nuclear force such as an electron or neutrino; in the sentence, "lepton" should be read as "leapt on". An "ion" is a charged atom or molecule; in the sentence, "ion" should be read as "eye on". A buckyball is a soccer-like molecule of carbon atoms.
General/Miscellaneous 1: Asymmetry sounds like "a cemetery". Asymmetry in physics and mathematics is a lack of symmetry. Something is symmetric if it is unchanged when transformed. For example, a sphere has rotational symmetry because if you turn it, it looks the same.
Physics 1: Newton's first law states that a body in motion remains in motion and a body at rest remains at rest unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
Astronomy 2: Dew appears on plants because air cannot contain all its water vapor at cooler temperatures. The Moon orbits the Earth because of gravity. The taxi driver confused the words "magnets" and "maggots". Of course, if there were no Sun there would be no light during day and night.
Biology 2: There are lots of play on words in this title: Integration can mean the merging of two distinct disciplines (in this case physics and biology) or the mathematical process of finding the area under a curve, which is often performed in physics calculations. Epidermal cells are skin cells, which make use of sunlight for various biochemical processes. It is clever to refer to skin as a solar cell. A growth factor or growth hormone controls the growth of an organism. "Growth Vector" sounds like "Growth Factor." A vector is one of the most commonly used mathematical devices in mechanics: it has magnitude and direction and is used for an object's position, velocity and acceleration.
Chemistry 2: A solution in chemistry is a liquid containing dissolved substances. Precipitates are solid particles in a solution that arise as a result of a chemical reaction. The sentence makes perfect sense because precipitates in a liquid are not considered part of a solution because they are not dissolved.
General/Miscellaneous 2: (6) Einstein once said, "God may be subtle but He is not malicious." (7) Experimentalists often try to fit the data with a straight line.
Physics 2: An ohm is a measure of electrical resistance.
Astronomy 3: Copernicus argued that the Earth went around the Sun and not the other way around.
Biology 3: In microbiology, a culture is a growth of microorganisms for scientific study.
Mole/Avogadro's Number Jokes:
Chemistry 3: A mole is about 6.02 x 1023 and is known as Avogadro's number.
Chemistry 19: A mole is used as a count for atoms and molecules. "Molasses" should be read as "mole asses".
Chemistry 28: A mole is Avogadro's number.
"Mean old acids" sounds like "amino acids".
Opossums have prehensile tails, ones that can hold onto things.
The spinal column is the backbone.
The student confused the words "revolution" and "resolution".
Jokes Based on the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle:
Physics 3: The joke is based on the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which states that you cannot simultaneously measure both position and momentum accurately.
Physics 15: According to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, you cannot simultaneously know both your position and speed.
Physics 24: "Heineken Uncertainty" sounds like "Heisenberg Uncertainty."
Physics 37: Heisenberg uncovered the uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics, which places limits on what one can know or measure.
Black Hole Jokes:
Astronomy 4: A black hole is an extremely dense object whose gravity is so strong that nothing, including light, can escape from within.
Astronomy 7: Black holes draw in surrounding material.
Biology 4: This joke is a play on the word gene, which is a section of DNA responsible for encoding a protein.
Chemistry 4: In water, there are twice as many hydrogen atoms and oxygen atoms. Its chemical formula is H2O.
Chemistry 11: Ice is a cubic solid state of water.
Chemistry 17: "C" = "sea" and "H2O" = water. C is the symbol for carbon, the sixth element of the periodic table.
Chemistry 20: HOH is equivalent to H2O.
Chemistry 26: Dihydrogen monoxide is H2O or water. The joke illustrates how with clever English one can make a harmless substance sound dangerous.
Physics 4: Neutrons are particles without electric charge.
Astronomy 5: About 95% of the matter in the universe is dark matter. The nature of dark matter is unknown and is one of the great mysteries of astronomy. Missing mass refers to the mass of this dark matter.
Biology 5: A play on the saying "A way to a man's heart is through his stomach."
Chemistry 5: A hydrophobic substance is one that does not react with water.
General/Miscellaneous 5: The Big Bang is the birth of the universe during which energy and matter rapidly expanded outward under extremely hot conditions. High-temperature superconductors are copper-oxide substances that conduct electricity with almost no resistance at temperatures often exceeding 100o K. El Niño is a weather phenomenon in which winds in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean reverse direction to blow West to East causing lots of rain in South America and drier conditions in the south western part of the Pacific Ocean. DNA is the molecule containing the blueprints for life. A semiconductor is able to conduct electricity better than an insulator but poorer than a conductor. Dark matter is an unknown substance that makes up about 95% of the mass of the universe. It was mistakenly thought that fusion could take place in a jar at room temperatures; normally fusion only occurs in extremely hot environments such as the center of the Sun; the idea of room-temperature fusion is called cold fusion. Tang is an orange-tasting drink. Construction of the superconducting supercollider, which was a particle accelerator designed to explore new high energy physics, was halted in 1993; all that is left of the machine is a tunnel in Texas. Number one is a play on the book title, "Men are from Mars; Women form Venus," which means that scientists and journalists are very different.
Physics 5: "Atom" should be read as "at him." An atom is the smallest building block that cannot be divided without dividing electric charge.
Astronomy 6: Edmund Halley discovered a bright comet with a period of 77 years.
Biology 6: A microtome is an instrument for cutting very thin sections of tissues.
Chemistry 6: A cation (pronounced CAT-ion) is a positively charged molecule.
General/Miscellaneous 6: Scientists submit papers to journals, which send them to referees who decide whether to accept or reject them.
Physics 6: An atom without an electron is electrically positive.
Biology 7: An amoeba is a microscopic single-celled animal. A member of an animal is a body limb.
Chemistry 7: A benzene ring is is a hexagonal molecule of carbon atoms with six hydrogen atoms attached to each carbon:
C - C
H - C C - H
C - C
The formula for benzene is C6H6.
Chemistry 8: "Ortho" is a prefix indicating that a benzene ring has substitutions in the 1 and 2 positions. "Orthodox" should be pronounced "orthro - doc's". The PhD's in the molecule indicate higher-education degrees.
Chemistry 9: "Meta" is a prefix indicating that a benzene ring has substitutions in the 1 and 3 positions. "Metaphor" should be pronounced "meta - four".
A bond is what holds two atoms together in a molecule.
Isaac Newton (1642-1727) is the founder of classical mechanics and a newton is a unit of force.
James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) helped unify electric and magnetism; a maxwell is a unit of magnetism.
Alexandro Volta (1745-1827) was the inventor of the chemical battery and provided an explanation of why a dead frog's leg jumps when subjected to electric shock.
A watt is a unit of power equal to a joule per second and is names after James Watt (1736-1819).
A joule is a unit of energy and is named after James Prescott Joule (1818-1889).
An ohm is a unit of electrical resistant and is named after Georg Ohm (1787-1854).
A pascal is a unit of pressure equal to a newton per meter squared and is named after Blaise Pascal (1623-1662).
Robert Hooke (1635-1703) discovered Hooke's law, the law governing the force is a spring.
A coulomb is a unit of charge named after Charles de Coulomb (1736-1806).
A hertz is a unit of frequency of one cycle per second that is named after Henrich Hertz (1857-1894).
Ludwig Boltzmann (1844-1906) advanced the subject of thermodynamics.
A. M. Ampere (1775-1836) studied electric circuits; the amp, a unit of current, is named after him.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) noted that lightning was atmospheric electricity.
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) was a great American inventor.
The Richter scale, which measures the strength of an earthquake, was developed by C. F. Richter (1900-1985).
Charles Darwin (1809-1882) provided evidence and a mechanism for evolution.
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) is considered the father of psychoanalysis.
Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) developed a theory of heredity based on classical genetics.
Alfred Wegener (1880-1930) proposed that continents drift.
Uniform harmonic motion is periodic oscillatory motion.
Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976) developed the uncertainty principle.
Niels Bohr (1885-1962) developed a theory of atomic energy levels; an excited state is one in which an electron is in a quantum level of non-minimal energy.
The Pauli exclusion principle, which say that two identical fermions cannot be in the same quantum state, was discovered by Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958).
Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961) obtained the wave equation governing quantum mechanics.
A Bose condensate, which is when a large number of bosons collectively act like a single object, was theoretically predicted by Satyendra Nath Bose (1894-1974) and Albert Einstein.
The general theory of relativity of Albert Einstein (1879-1955) explains gravity as the curvature of space.
Jan Oort (1900-1992) postulated the existence of a cloud of comets far beyond Pluto.
Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) was a great observational astronomer who, among things, established that the recessional speed of a galaxy increases with distance.
James D. Watson (1928-) and Francis Crick (1916- ) came up with the idea that DNA is a double-helix molecule.
Eugene Wigner (1902-1995) applied group theory to quantum mechanics and other physics problems.
Burton Richter (1931- ) and Samuel C. C. Ting (1936- ) discovered the charm quark.
Richard Feynman (1918-1988) helped to develop quantum field theory.
Stephen Hawking (1942- ) wrote the best seller A Brief Summary of Time.
Supersymmetry is the idea that there is a symmetry between particles of half-integer spin (fermions) and particles of integer spin (bosons); a slepton is the bosonic partner of a lepton; a lepton is an electron, muon, tau or neutrino.
Physics 7: This joke is a play on the word "Vatican." A vacuum is a region devoid of any matter.
Astronomy 8: An astronomical unit is the distance between the Sun and the Earth, about 150 million kilometers.
Biology 8: Anatomy is the study of the body parts of a living organism. An anatomist is one who specializes in this field.
General/Miscellaneous 8: Straight lines are commonly used to fit experimental data.
Physics 8: If you don't understand, try the procedure but only when the professor is at the blackboard with his back to the class. By the way, in Arabic nations and Israel, you use your left hand. The right-hand rule in physics is used to determine the direction of a cross product of vectors. Such cross products enter, for example, in the computation of torque and angular momentum.
Astronomy 9: 299,792 kilometers/second is the speed of light. Nothing can travel faster than light.
General/Miscellaneous 9: A quark is a fundamental, microscopic elementary particle.
Physics 9: Physics is considered the most difficult academic subject.
Biology 10: The heart causes blood to circulate. Capillaries, not caterpillars, are very thin tubes through which blood flows. The alimentary canal is the digestive tract of an animal. Presumably, the high school dropout was thinking of the Erie Canal.
Chemistry 10: Ethers are organic molecules containing the group -O- .
String Theory Jokes:
Physics 10: String theory is a unification model based on the idea that all elementary particles are different vibrations of a microscopic string. Concerning (6), string theories are formulated in various numbers of spatial dimensions, of which nine is the most popular. Concerning (10), the phase "low-energy, observable particle" means that current accelerators are capable of producing and detecting it.
Physics 14: String theorists have uncovered thousands of string models that they hope might describe the world.
Physics 22: Superstring theory predicts extra spatial dimensions beyond three. These extra dimensions form hyperspace.
Biology 11: DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid.
Physics 11: The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of a closed system can only increase. Entropy is a measure of disorder.
Biology 12: The word "staph" is an informal version of staphylococci, a type of spherical parasitic bacteria that bunch together in irregular masses.
Chemistry 12: Urea is the molecule CO(NH2)2. The prefix "di" stands for two.
Physics 12: "Prism" sounds like "prison." A prism is used to separate white light into colors.
Biology 13: A chromosome is a structure in the cell nucleus carrying the genes that determine the characteristics of an individual. A chromosome is composed of a DNA molecule that is folded into a compact object.
Chemistry 13: Nitrates are salts (such as sodium nitrate (NaNO3) or potassium nitrate (KNO3)) or esters (such as nitroglycerin C3H5N3O9) of nitric acid, containing the ion NO3-.
A conductor is a material that allows electricity to flow through it. A bad conduction, or insulator, does not allow electricity to flow. "Sir Ramick" should be read as "ceramic." Ceramics are insulators.
Physics 13: A capacitor is an electronic device that stores charge. An inductor is a coil of wire that creates an electromagnetic force (emf) or voltage potential when a changing current goes through it. When the emf affects the inductor itself, it is called self inductance. A solenoid is a cylindrical coil of wire and the main component of an inductor. A megacycle is a million cycles per second. The Wheatstone bridge is a setup of resistors in a diamond-like circuit configuration that can be used to measure the resistance of an unknown resistor. A sine wave is a curve that goes up and down in the shape of the trigonometric sine function. A microfarad is a unit for capacitance. A milliamp is a thousandth of an amp, an amp being a unit of electric current. A characteristic curve is the most typical, essentially defining shape of a plot of the output of something. Fields, like the electric field and the magnetic field, are forces that spread throughout space. A potential that is attached to the surroundings is called a ground potential. Frequency is the number of times something oscillates per second. Resistance is the property of an electric device to retard the motion of charges. Voltage is the impetus causing charges to move through a circuit. Two electronic components can be joined in parallel by having a wire split in two and having the wire rejoin; electronic components joined in series are located on a single wire one after another. A shunt is a resistor inserted in parallel to reduce the current in a wire; it can be thought of as partial short-circuiting. An ohm is a unit of electrical resistance. Mho is the reciprocal unit of an ohm. A capacitor discharges when its stored charge is removed. To flux is to flow. A tickler is a small coil used in old vacuum tube amplifiers. To oscillate is to move up and down; when an inductor and capacitor are connected together, the current oscillates.
Biology 14: An otolaryngologist is an ear-nose-throat doctor. The esophagus is the tube in the throat leading to the stomach. A play of the saying "A way to a man's heart is through his stomach."
Chemistry 14: The symbols for carbon, holmium, cobalt, lanthanum and tellurium are respectively C, Ho, Co, La and Te.
Chemistry 16: "Helium", "curium" and "barium" should be pronounced "heal him", "cure him" and "bury him".
Helium, curium and barium are the 2nd, 96th and 56th elements of the periodic table.
Speed of Light Jokes:
Physics 16: The symbol for the speed of light is c.
Physics 25: The travel agent was not listening carefully. It is impossible to travel faster than the speed of light.
Physics 31: It is impossible to travel faster than the speed of light. However, if one extrapolates the ideas of special relativity to faster-than-the-speed-of-light moving objects, then clocks on such objects would go backwards.
Physics 40: This is not exactly what Einstein meant when he argued that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
Chemistry 18: CoRnY is corny. Co, Rn and Y are respectively the symbols for cobalt, radon, and yttrium.
Physics 18: String theory is the idea that the fundamental particles are extremely small vibrating strings. The most interesting types of string theories are superstrings, which are strings that exhibit supersymmetry. Supersymmetry is the idea that there is an approximate symmetry in Nature in which, for every boson (particles spinning with integer units), there is a fermion (particles spinning with half-integer units), and vice-versa.
Physics 20: Elementary particles such as electrons, neutrons and protons make up all microscopic matter. High energy physics send them crashing into each other in beams (not "dreams").
Chemistry 22: K is the symbol for potassium.
Chemistry 24: Bohrium pronounced "BORE-ee-um" is a synthesized element appearing as number 107 in the periodic table. It is named after the great Danish physicist Niels Bohr.
Physics 26: Quarks are the particle constituents of protons and neutrons.
Physics 28: "Matter" is a physics term meaning stuff or substance.
Physics 30: Newton's third law says that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Physics 32: CERN is a huge particle accelerator laboratory located on the border of France and Switzerland. Neutrons have no electric charge. "SF" stands for Swiss Francs.
Physics 34: According to special relativity, the notion of time is relative in the sense that it depends on the motion of the observer.
Physics 36: Observations are observer dependent.
The general theory of relativity says that mass warps the space-time surrounding it and that curved space-time is responsible for the force of gravity.
Superstring theories predict that space is nine-dimensional but that six of the dimensions curl up into a tiny, unobservable hyperspace.
Radioactive elements exist in at least minute quantities in everything so that there is always low-level radiation.
The protons and neutrons in a nucleus are held together by gluons.
A wormhole is a tube connecting one region of spacetime to another; it is unknown whether wormholes really exist.
The entropy, which is closely related to disorder, of a close system always increases with time.
Atoms and molecules, which make up matter, are mostly empty space.
The observation of a mixed quantum state causes it to collapse or change.
Electrons move in materials (especially metals) at high speeds.
If mass is converted into energy, a lot of energy is released (E=mc2).
The uncertainty principle says that measurement of the momentum and position of an object is restricted; the faster an object moves, the higher its momentum and the more uncertain is its location.
When matter and anti-matter come together, energy is released in enormous quantities according to the formula E=mc2.
Protons, neutrons and electrons, which are the constituents of atoms, are always the same.
In quantum tunneling, an object can move through a region forbidden by classical mechanics.
The second law of thermodynamics says that the entropy of the universe increase with time.
A black hole is an extremely dense object whose gravity is so strong that nothing, including light, can escape from within; the pull of gravity near a black hole is enormous.
Physics 42: Bar magnets have a north pole and a south pole at opposite ends. Like poles repel and unlike poles attrack.
Thus, when one magnet is oriented with (say) its north end facing the north end of the other, the magnets repel, but when one magnet is turned around, the two attrack.
Chemistry 15: "Alkynes" should be pronounced "all kinds." An alkyne is a molecule with the general formula CnH2n-2.
Physics 17: Einstein's general theory of relativity is a modification of Newtonian gravity and is based on the idea that gravity is due to the curvature of space-time.
Physics 19: In the optical Doppler effect, the light of a source moving away from you is lengthen and becomes "reddened".
Chemistry 21: H2SO4 is sulfuric acid. Presumably, Susan drank acid instead of water.
Physics 21: "Transistor" is read as trans-sister." A transistor is an electronic device allowing one current (known as the base current) to control the flow of another current.
Chemistry 23: In an atom or molecule, an electron can move from one energy level to another by emitting or absorbing a photon (or ray of light). Such a process is called a transition. Those transitions that do not violate any symmetry-restricting rules are called allowed. These symmetry-restricting rules, however, are not exactly valid. Thus transitions that violate such rules still occur but at much slower rates and are called forbidden.
Physics 23: The half-life of a radioactive substance is the time it takes for half of it to decay away. Ordinary cats are said to have 9 lives, so the issue is whether a radioactive cat has 9 or 18 half-lives.
Chemistry 27: A free radical is an organic compound in which some of the valence electrons are not paired.
Physics 27: Uranium-238 spontaneously fissions (splits) into thorium-234 and an alpha particle (which is a Helium nucleus).
Physics 29: The word "relatives" is almost the same as "relativity." Einstein's special theory of relativity modifies Newtonian mechanics. The effects are small at everyday speeds but dramatic as objects move near the speed of light. Einstein's general theory of relativity is a modification of Newtonian gravity and is based on the idea that gravity is due to the curvature of space-time.
Physics 33: Observations are relative, meaning that depend on the point of view of the observer.
Physics 35: According to special relativity, the length of an object decreases as the speed of the object increases.
Physics 39: (1) Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
(3) When a light-emitting object moves away at great speeds, the wavelength of the light is increased or red-shifted; a red-shift reindeer must be moving extremely fast.
(4) The general relativity theory of gravitation is responsible for bodies attracting one another but has little to do with love.
(5) The speed of light is constant.
(6) Energy is conserved meaning that it is neither created nor destroyed.
(7) The speed of time is dt/dt=1.
(8) The laws of physics are the same for all constantly moving observers.
(9) Moving objects are shortened in the direction of their motion.
(10) Energy and mass are equivalent, but the destruction of a little mass produces an enormous amount of energy.
Physics 41: The symbol for an ohm (a unit of electrical resistance) is the Greek symbol omega. A coulomb (pronounced "cool ohm") is a unit of charge.
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