According to a recent article in The Guardian, there has been a significant boom in interest in physics in the past two years. The article discusses a number of possible reasons for the increase in interest, but the most unusual reason mentioned may surprise you:
The Big Bang Theory, a California-based comedy that follows two young physicists, is being credited with consolidating the growing appetite among teenagers for the once unfashionable subject of physics.
Enrollment in university-level physics courses has increased 10% and 17% in the last two years, respectively, and high-school level enrollment has increased 20% in the last five years. That’s many orders of magnitude less than the expansion rate theorized during the inflation period after the real Big Bang, but still encouraging to see.
Obviously Sheldon and company don’t deserve all the credit for this surge in the popularity of physics, and the Guardian article discusses a number of other recent positive portrayals of scientists as additional factors.
[This article, by Roy Wood, was originally published on Monday. Please leave any comments you may have on the original.]