The Quantum Pontiff

An old friend from my undergrad days sent me a link to Physics discussion ends in skateboard attack:

A homeless man is on trial in San Mateo County on charges that he smacked a fellow transient in the face with a skateboard as the victim was engaged in a conversation about quantum physics, authorities said today.

Jason Everett Keller, 40, allegedly accosted another homeless man, Stephan Fava, on the 200 block of Grand Avenue in South San Francisco at about 1:45 p.m. March 30.

At the time, Fava was chatting with an acquaintance, who is also homeless, about “quantum physics and the splitting of atoms,” according to prosecutors.

Keller joined in the conversation and, for reasons unknown, got upset, authorities said. He picked up his skateboard and hit Fava in the face with it, splitting his lip, prosecutors said.

No word on whether it was Bell’s theorem which set off the brawl, or a debate about the validity of string theory.


  1. #1 john S. Wilkins
    June 24, 2009

    “Hidden variables?! That for your hidden variables, sirrah!”

  2. #2 Jon
    June 25, 2009

    This is San Francisco for you. Replace “quantum physics” with just about anything and the story would be just about as ordinary.

  3. #3 Andrew White
    June 25, 2009

    “And *I* say the many-worlds interpretation is ontologically excessive!” <thwack >

  4. #4 Aaron
    June 25, 2009

    and he thought the wave-particle duality was a doosey…

  5. #5 Dave Bacon
    June 25, 2009

    Maybe they were discussing quantum tunneling and wanted to see if a skateboard could tunnel through a head? WKB approximation is probably pretty good. Maybe they forgot the exponential…

  6. #6 Jonathan Vos Post
    June 26, 2009

    What’s that ringing in my ears? Resonance.

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