This morning, I got to spend a little time chatting with Daniel Bowring, a physicist who designs particle accelerators for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. During our conversation, Daniel told me about something really cool. On at least two separate occasions, once in New York City and once in Chicago, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Leon Lederman has basically just set a card table up on a street corner and allowed all comers to bring him their physics questions.
I was imagining something like "Particle Physics Advice: 5 cents", which is a little off. But not by much. In the video above, you can see him in New York, hanging out in front of a wipe board that says "ASK A NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING PHYSICIST!" (Another sign to Lederman's left just has a picture of a model of the atom and an arrow pointing at him.)
It's pretty damn wonderful. And Lederman is great at quickly making physics concepts understandable. Enjoy! (And keep your eyes peeled. I really hope he does this again sometime.)
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.