The Big Bang Theory revolved around science as much as it did around friendship, so the fact that Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler did something to win a Nobel Prize isn’t totally shocking. The couple first realized they were on to something big at the end of season 11. When Sheldon had a revolutionary idea about string theory on their wedding day, it took Amy’s point of super asymmetry to tie Sheldon’s theory together. As a unit, the two wrote down their calculations on a mirror, and it was off to the races as Nobel Prize hopefuls.
Shortly before The Big Bang Theory ended after 12 seasons, Sheldon felt he’d have a Nobel Prize in the future and has hinted at the notion throughout the series. When he met his girlfriend and future wife, Amy, his focus on science became hazy as he found new interests in the social construct. However, before the show came to an end, Sheldon realized his accomplishments were coming up short in the world of science and he joined forces with the very woman who brought him out of his shell to bring home a Nobel.
The Couple Won A Nobel For Their Work In String Theory
Sheldon and Amy rounded themselves out as the ultimate power couple by winning their Nobel Prize for super asymmetry. Even though some felt that Sheldon and Amy shouldn’t have won the Nobel because of time constraints on their end, their fictional theory is based on supersymmetry, according to physicist Adilson Motter (via Business Standard). Based on subatomic particles, the two created their theory when Sheldon realized imperfect things could still be perfect with his theoretical calculations. The idea was created by the show’s science advisor, Dr. David Saltzberg, and sped up for the sake of TV.
Showrunner Steve Holland said, “Saltzberg said supersymmetry is an actual thing but no one has ever talked about super asymmetry. There are no papers that mention it, which is a line that we put in the script for Leonard.” (via The Hollywood Reporter). With Sheldon being so smart, this was an area that made sense for him to touch. Holland went on to say that the theory is not real and is actually “all theoretical.” However, that’s not to say that a real scientific finding can’t stem from Saltzberg’s idea. In fact, most of The Big Bang Theory’s scientific banter being accurate was in large part because of Saltzberg.
How TBBT Got The Science Right
The Big Bang Theory’s science advisor, Saltzberg—the man and brain behind the majority of TBBT’s scientific lines, theories, and experiments—was confident in his work but even he was worried about messing up the science since there were some who hated The Big Bang Theory despite being popular. He joked, “People will randomly meet up with me and say, ‘You know, I really appreciate that the science is correct.’ And the truth is I’m just living in terror of making a mistake because I know I’ll get a hundred emails if anything is wrong.” (via Symmetry Magazine)
Although Saltzberg did right by TBBT, physicist Don Lincoln said that there was “a lot wrong” with Sheldon and Amy’s Nobel win. Not only were there not enough measurements confirming their findings, but the turnaround time was too short. “All of that work would take a lot of time,” Lincoln said (via Live Science). The physicist went on to say their win is a “mixed bag” of truths and fabrications, but at the same time, it’s all for TV. This could have been one of The Big Bang Theory’s more questionable arcs, but it’s what gave the series a happy ending since Sheldon and Amy were praised globally for their finding.
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