Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Four physicists walk into BAR…

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Here’s a Big Bang theory with a beer chaser.

Yale physicist John Harris and several of his colleagues will gather on the evening of Oct. 16 for a free-wheeling, public science discussion at BAR, the Crown Street restaurant and tavern. The “Science Happy Hour” starts at 7:30 p.m., followed by a moderated discussion from 8 until 9:30 p.m.

“We hope to lubricate the mind,” said Harris, whose research has focused on collisions of atomic nuclei at nearly the speed of light, recreating the primordial quark soup of the Big Bang. He is chair of the Yale Science Council and director of undergraduate studies in physics at Yale.

“Science has really hit the streets in recent years,” Harris said. “My friends and neighbors ask about the Higgs boson. And who doesn’t know Sheldon from ‘The Big Bang Theory’ on television?”

On tap with Harris will be:

  • Sarah Demers, a particle physicist and an associate professor of physics at Yale, who is a member of one of the collaborations that discovered the Higgs boson (the so-called “God particle”) in 2012.
  • Ágnes Mócsy, a theoretical physicist and professor of physics and astronomy at the Pratt Institute, whose research focuses on the primordial conditions that existed a millionth of a second after the Big Bang.
  • Paul Sorensen, a physicist working on the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory, who is mapping out the phases of nuclear matter.
  • Moderator Ben Lillie, co-founder and director of Story Collider and contributing editor for

The panelists will hold forth on the latest trends in physics, briefly describe their own research and interests, and field questions from the crowd. It should be a conversational cocktail of quarks, gluons, neutrinos, and possibly tequila. Thursday’s event in the Back Room at BAR, 254 Crown St., is designed to foster conversation in a fun, informal environment where people get together and talk. Its website contains full bios.

“We’ll have some things to talk about, but for the most part, we’ll leave it up to the moderator and the audience to generate our discussion,” Harris said. “We want the audience to enjoy this stuff as much as we do.”

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Jim Shelton:, 203-361-8332