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SLAC Theory Group Alum Featured on PBS Web Series

Stephon Alexander.
(Photo by Teresa Robinson for Symmetry magazine.)

Stephon Alexander, one-time member of the SLAC theory group, may be on the threshold of his fifteen minutes of fame. The associate professor of physics at Haverford College is the subject of the latest installment of The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers, a Web-based series produced by the same people who bring the program Nova to the screen. His segment goes live today.

Alexander's life as a scientist focuses on such areas as dark matter, dark energy and quantum gravity, while his secret life is spent in jazz clubs playing tenor saxophone with a band. His segment of the program includes blog posts and videos about both his lives. Visitors to the site can post questions for Alexander, as well.

Whether or not Internet fame arrives, Alexander said he definitely had a good time preparing video and blog posts for the series. The videos required "a continuous video shoot that lasted a few hours and was lots of fun," Alexander said, but he declined to give spoilers for his blog posts. "The blogging format will be revealed after the show has been released."

Is it intimidating to have his segment follow the segment on Rachel Collins, the microbiologist/professional wrestler? Not at all, said Alexander.

"I'm glad that I'm in the company of the wrestler/biologist," he said. "It makes a good complement for a theoretical physicist/saxophonist—all I need is a cool outfit."

—Lori Ann White
SLAC Today, November 3, 2010