Published On: Tue, Feb 19th, 2013

Columbia physics professor, Emlyn Hughes, strips to underwear during lesson, shows Hitler and 9/11 videos

Columbia professor strips down to underwear in bizarre lesson to confused students quantum mechanics.

“In order to learn quantum mechanics, you have to strip to your raw, erase all the garbage from your brain, and start over again,’ Prof. Emlyn Hughes said. Against a backdrop of 9/11 and Holocaust images, he remained in a fetal position as two people dressed as ninjas blindfolded stuffed animals.”

The Columbia Spectator describes the scene as students entered the class as follows:

As students filed into the lecture hall, all of the lights were off, except for two spotlights on stage where Hughes was sitting. With Lil Wayne’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot” playing in the background, Hughes stripped down to his underwear, then proceeded to change into a black T-shirt and pants. Afterwards, he sat down on the chair, hugging his knees in a fetal position.

Then, as a jumbled video that included footage of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers on 9/11 continued to play on the screen, two figures dressed in black came on stage with long swords. One of them proceeded to chop a stuffed animal in half on a stool.

When Hughes’ presentation was over, he attempted to quell the nervous laughter with an explanation: “In order to learn quantum mechanics, you have to strip to your raw, erase all the garbage from your brain and start over again.”

One student can be heard: “How does this relate to anything?”


Prof Emlyn Hughes Columbia strips video class

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter

* indicates required

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

Displaying 9 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Columbia physics professor, Emlyn Hughes, strips to underwear during lesson … – The Global Dispatch | TENMAR says:

    […] Link: Columbia physics professor, Emlyn Hughes, strips to underwear during lesson … – The Glob… […]

  2. wankersremorse says:

    I spent years quietly bubbling with anger and self hatred for not being able to get into Columbia. Today I feel as though a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

  3. dirt pirate says:

    You want to know what makes QM weird? Sure I’ll tell you, imagine a tree growing in the Forrest, in a tiny crack. Imagine it growing for years and years and years. Now imagine a plane crashing down right next to that tree… You get my point?


    Ohh, well the point is that this story is a pretty weird attempt at explaining QM, and QM is pretty weird, so that all works out perfectly. Right?
    In seriousness, this dumb stunt was definitely not “one way to teach quantum mechanics”, its a dumb fucking antic.

    And teachers like this who would rather just instill you with a notion that QM is “hard and weird” rather than teaching you the mechanics and actual deviations from CM, should not be teaching QM.

  4. drunk physicist says:

    Can we really guess what it was a supposed to be? Quantum mechanics isn’t magical, it isn’t make-believe. It produces verifiable predictions and accurately portrays reality on a small scale. Sure there are things in it that aren’t intuitive. I don’t think that you need to throw out all your past experiences and knowledge when trying to understand the quantum world. What you need is an open mind and a willingness to get dirty mathematically. Besides, everything is either a two-state system or a simple harmonic oscillator anyways. You learn that in basic physics. Basic physics is taught in a way that helps you with the math you’ll need to understand quantum mechanics.

  5. gage says:

    Somebody shut that girl up, I’m trying to watch mediocrity at work.

  6. lost in nature says:

    “How to make students lose all respect for you in three easy steps”, by Emlyn Hughes.

    And c’mon, 9/11 footage in an NYC college with “drop it like it’s hot” in the background? Let comedy shows push the boundaries, leave it out of the classroom.

  7. mesonic interference says:

    If nothing else, it’ll probably be a long time before these students forget this lecture. Maybe some of the physics will stick, too, and if that’s the case, so much the better.

  8. LaziestManAlive says:

    Some professors show electron diffraction or the Uncertainty Principle, but I guess this works too?

  9. Your Name... says:

    Lil Wayne doesn’t sing “Drop it like its hot”….. Snoop Dog does….

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter



At the Movies

Pin It