Friday, August 17, 2007

Bang! Queen's guitarist turns in his thesis

Sorry for the lack of posts recently! alpinekat, Buzz Skyline, and I have all been out of the office for extended amounts of time over the last couple of weeks.

Call it what you will (a "star thesis", an "out of this world" thesis, or a "stellar thesis" from the Telegraph, ABC news, and Antara News respectively), Queen's guitarist Brian May just handed in his astrophysics doctoral thesis - 30 years in the making.

Now let me point out that his thesis hasn't been approved yet - if he is like most of my friends it probably won't pass the margin lady's inspection the first time and he still has the oral exam (scheduled for August 23). But cool is cool.

May's thesis, titled Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud, shows that dust clouds in the solar system are moving in the same direction as the planets. Did we know this? Beats me. But it's interesting to note that he was able to pick up where he left off 30 years ago when his music career got in the way...

But hey, his colleague Dr Garik Israelin told the press, "I have no doubt that Brian May would have had a brilliant career in science had he completed his PhD in 1971."

Then he added, "Nevertheless, as a fan of Queen, I am glad that he left Science temporarily!"

In addition to resuming work on his thesis, May recently joined forces with Sir Patrick Moore and Dr. Chris Lintott to produce Bang! The Complete History of the Universe.

"BANG! Space, time, matter … the Universe was born 13.7 billion years ago. Infinitely small at first, it expanded more rapidly than anyone can contemplate. Brian May, Patrick Moore and Chris Lintott explain how all this came about, from that moment when time and space came into existence, to the formation of the first stars, galaxies and planets, and to the evolution of human beings able to contemplate our own origins and ultimate destiny. Then on towards that destiny in the infinite future, long after the Earth has been consumed by the Red Giant Sun. The story is told in clear, straight forward terms, in the strict order in which the events happened, and uses no mathematics."

The book is available from the Official International Queen Fan Club ($30).

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