The Very Model Physics Doctor of Philosophy

More processing! Today I thought I would share an excerpt from one of the songs in the “School Songs” file. It appears to be a parody of the “Major-General’s Song” from the 1879 comic opera The Pirates of Penzance. Platt gives us a glimpse of his sense of humor, while making fun of what it means to be an expert in physics.

I am the very model physics doctor of philosophy.

I don’t know much of X-rays, electronics or spectroscopy.

Though I’ve recently developed a lamentable proclivity

For positions and deuterons and radioactivity.

I’m very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical,

I understand equations if they’re simple, not quadratical.

I can solve a wave equation but I realize my need is

For understanding simple laws like that of Archimedes.

I can rattle out Beethoven on a freshman lab sonometer,

But I always burn the coils of a d’Arsonval galvanometer.

In short, outside of X-rays, electronics or spectroscopy,

I am the very model physics doctor of philosophy.

Well, we know Platt was indeed a very intelligent physicist, contrary to the satirical lyrics. This serves as a reminder to not take life too seriously.

More next week!