Description: This Columbia University professor’s approach to teaching quantum mechanics is a real eye-opener.
Prof. Emlyn Hughes gave students a bizarre performance Monday, stripping down to his underwear as images of 9/11 and the Holocaust showed on a screen behind him.
Hughes remained in the fetal position on the floor as two people dressed as ninjas blindfolded two stuffed animals and impaled one of them with a sword. The whole five-minute skit was posted on the website Bwog.
The students at first encouraged Hughes to dance to the music that was playing as he stripped, but then were dismayed when footage of the Twin Towers collapsing and wartime Nazi Germany began rolling, the video shows.
“What is happening?” one female student asks repeatedly. “I am so confused,” another says.
When Hughes pulled out a microphone, one female student mistook it for a firearm. “He has a gun,” she said before realizing her mistake.
Hughes then addressed the class and suggested that he intended to confuse them to better prepare their brains for the complexity of 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,” he said.
“Um, nothing you’ve learned in your life up til now is in any way going to help prepare you for this. . . . I’ve been tasked with the impossible challenge of teaching you quantum mechanics in one hour.”
Neither the professor nor the university immediately responded to messages seeking comment.