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A Capella Science–Bohemian Gravity

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Who has not caught themselves singing along to Queen's number one hit "Bohemian Rhapsody"? Perhaps we've made up words when we didn't know them! But, have any of you attempted to explain string theory to the tune? I'll bet it didn't go as well as in this new version by Tim Blais of A Capella Science! Take a listen and marvel at the harmonies and the perfection of all the string theory/quantum physics buzz words matching the original cadence of Freddie Mercury's "treasure". I hope astrophysicist and Queen guitarist, Brian May has seen this!

Tim Blais hit the scene with his song about the Higgs Boson last year with an explanation set to the tune of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep". I featured him last year on PsiVid about his song "Rolling in the Higgs".

Here are the lyrics to "Bohemian Gravity", in case you are studying for an exam! It's not helping me, unfortunately, so I hope I'm not stopped on the street today, asked to explain it.

A Capella Science – Bohemian Gravity!

Is string theory right?


Is it just fantasy?


Caught in the landscape,


Out of touch with reality


Compactified


On S5 or T*S3

Space is a pure void


Why should it be stringy?


Because it’s quantum not classical


Nonrenormalizable


Any way you quantize


You’ll encounter infinity


You see

Quanta
Must interact


Via paths we understand


Using Feynman diagrams


Often, they will just rebound


But now and then they go another way


A quantum


Loooooop


Infinities will make you cry


Unless you can renormalize your model


Of baryons, fermions


And all other states of matter

Curved space:
The graviton


Can be thought of as a field


But these infinities are real
In a many-body


Loop diagram


Our results diverge no matter what we do…


A Quantum Soup (any way you quantize)


Kiss your fields goodbye


Guess Einstein’s theory wasn’t complete at all!

I see extended 1-D objects with no mass


What’s their use? What’s their use? Can they give us quark plasma?


What to minimize?


What functional describes this


String?
Nambu-Goto! (Nambu-Goto)


Nambu-Goto! (Nambu-Goto)


How to quantize I don’t know
Polyakov!


I’m just a worldsheet, please minimize me


He’s just a worldsheet from a string theory


Reperametrized by a Weyl symmetry!

Fermi, Bose, open, closed, orientable?


Vibrations


Modes! They become particles (particles!)


Vibrations


They become particles (particles!)


Vibrations


They become particles (particles!)


Become particles (particles!)


Become particles (many many many many particle…)


Modes modes modes modes modes modes modes!


Oh mamma mia mamma mia,


Such a sea of particles!


A tachyon, with a dilaton and gravity-vity-VITY

(rock out!)

Now we need ten dimensions and I’ll tell you why


(anomaly cancellation!)


So to get down to 4D we compactify

!
Oh, Kahler!


(Kahler manifold)


Manifolds must be Kahler!


(Complex Reimannian symplectic form)


If we wanna preserve


Any of our super-symmetry

(Superstrings of type I, IIa and IIb)


(Heterotic O and Heterotic E)
(

All are one through S and T duality)


(Thank you Ed Witten for that superstring revolution and your new M-theory!)

(Maldecena!)


(Super-Yang-Mills!)


(Type IIB String!)


Dual! Dual!


(In the AdS/CFT)
(Holography!)

Molecules and atoms


Light and energy


Time and space and matter


All from one united
Theory

Any way you quantize…

Lyrics and arrangement by Tim Blais and A Capella Science


Original music by Queen

I am of course, enchanted by the original, so here is "Bohemian Rhapsody" for comparison:

This song is incredible, and it is wonderful to hear Brian May, explaining this monumental song as featured at Open Culture.

What do you think of Tim's version? Do you have any requests for Tim Blais to tackle next?

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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