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#1 2014-04-02 00:34:13

Registered: 2011-02-07
Posts: 3,416

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Famous physicist's answers (credit to David Morin - creator of most of these)

Albert Einstein: The chicken did not cross the road. The road passed beneath the chicken.

Isaac Newton: Chickens at rest tend to stay at rest. Chickens in motion tend to cross roads.

Wolfgang Pauli: There was already a chicken on this side of the road.

Carl Sagan: There are billions and billions of such chickens, crossing roads just like this one, all across the universe. [Apologies for perpetuating the misquote.]

Jean-Dernard-Leon Foucault: What’s interesting is that if you wait a few hours, it will be crossing the road a few inches back that way.

Robert Van de Graaf: Hey, doesn’t it look funny with all its feathers sticking up like that?

Albert Michelson and Edward Morley: Our experiment was a failure. We could not detect the road.

Ludwig Boltzmann: If you have enough chickens, it is a near certainty that one of them will cross the road.

Johannes van der Waals: Some say it was a sixth sense that led the chicken to cross the road. I say it was a sixth power.

David Hilbert: I was standing on the side of the road and a chicken came along, evidently in some kind of strange state. I informed it that it was nevertheless still in my space, so it went across the road.

Blaise Pascal: The chicken felt pressure on this side of the road. However, when it arrived on the other side it still felt the same pressure.

John David Jackson: You’ll find out after you complete this 37-page calculation.

Henri Poincare: Let’s try changing the initial position of the chicken just a tiny, tiny, tiny bit, and….look, it’s now across the road!

Enrico Fermi: In estimating to the nearest power of 10 the number of chickens that cross the road, note that since fractional chickens are not allowed, the desired power must be at least zero. Therefore, at least one chicken crosses the road.

Werner Heisenberg: Because I made darn sure it was standing right next to me on this side.

Richard Feynman, 1: It’s all quite clear from this simple little diagram of a circle with lines poking out of it.

Richard Feynman, 2: There was this good-looking rooster on the other side of the road, and he figured he’d skip all the games and just get to the point. So he asked the chicken if she’d like to come over to his side, and she said sure.

Erwin Schrodinger: The chicken doesn’t cross the road. Rather, it exists simultaneously on both sides…..just don’t peek.

Charles Coulomb: The chicken found a similar chicken on this side of the road to be repellent.

John Bell: Since there are no local hidden chickens, any hidden chickens you find must have come from far away. They therefore surely must have crossed at least one road on their way here.

Henry Cavendish: My dear chicken, I have calculated with the utmost detail and precision the density of your insides. Now, for the sake of my precious sanity, I beg you, stop that incessant clucking and be gone!

Arthur Compton: There were a bunch of chickens waving at me on this side of the road, but then a car came along and they all scattered to the other side. The funny thing is that the ones that ended farthest away were still waving at me a few minutes later. So apparently, the ones that scattered the most had the longest waves.

Hans Geiger: I don’t know, but I say we count how many times it crosses!

Howard Georgi: It can cross all it wants, but I’m going to sit here and wait until it decays.

Edward Teller: I will build a more powerful chicken, and it will cross the road with more energy than any chicken before!

Oskar Klein: Actually, it can get to the other side of the road without crossing it.

Satyendra Bose: An identical chicken already crossed the road, so this one was much more likely to do the same.

Wallace Clement Sabine: If you listen very carefully, you can hear the pitter patter of chicken feet, which implies that a chicken must be crossing the road.

Sir David Brewster: Let me give you my angle on this….

Galileo Galilei: The chicken crossed the road because it put one foot in front of the other and took a sufficient number of steps to traverse a distance greater than or equal to the road’s width. Note that the reason is not because the earth is the center of the universe. Oh, great… another jail term.

David Gross, H. David Politzer, Frank Wilczek: The road is not wide. And at short distances a chicken is free to do whatever it wants.

Robert Millikan: It didn't. It made it part way and then just sort of hovered there, apparently feeling an equal pull in both directions.

Peter Higgs: We must first find the chicken.

Nicolaus Copernicus: The chicken was moving at a slightly different orbital speed around the sun.

Fusion researchers: Because it knew that in 30 years it would get to the other side. [No insult intended here. Well, at least not to the physicists working hard with the meager funds they've been given.]

George Francis FitzGerald: It had its doubts, but after starting across the road, the chicken observed that the distance to the other side didn’t seem quite as large, so it figured it would continue on.

Leo Szilard: First one chicken crossed. This then caused a few more to cross, each of which in turn caused a few more…

George Atwood: The chicken wanted to introduce a setup that would enable it to pose a question and thereby torture future students over and over and over...

Johannes Kepler: I don't know. But I'm glad it did, because as it waddled across, it was kind enough to sweep the area of the road with its wings. And it did so at an astonishingly consistent rate.

Robert Pound and Glen Rebka: It was out for a morning jog and wanted to get its heart rate up by crossing over the crown of the road.

Robert Hooke: At first, the chicken was drawn across the road. But after passing the middle, it felt an increasing desire to return to the original side. It did end up making it to the other side (just barely), but then decided to return. I believe it is still going back and forth on this.

Lisa Randall: The only thing about the chicken we ever discuss is why it crossed the road. There are many more dimensions to it than that!

Norman Ramsey: I don’t know why, but I do know that it took 4.71988362706153 seconds to get there.

Pierre de Fermat: Forget about why. I’ll show you how it can get there in the least amount of time.

Neils Bohr: In attempting to answer the question by observing the chicken, I collapsed its wavefunction to the other side.

Gustav Kirchhoff: It actually crossed the road twice, due to a strange desire to form a closed loop.

Louis de Broglie: Interesting, it always seems to flap its wings an integral number of times before it comes back.

Michael Faraday: No, again? How many times do I have to tell it to stick to the safety of its cage?!

Max Planck: It appears to be a white chicken. Sorry, I deal only with black bodies.

Sir William Hamilton: With regard to the issue of crossing the road, the chicken made it to the other side by taking as little action as possible.

Hugh Everett: I don’t know, but there’s another one over there that isn’t crossing the road.

Edward Witten: 50 years ago, you probably would have said there was no hope of answering this question either.

Archimedes: I was running through the streets yelling and screaming, and it was only afterward that I realized I was carrying a chicken.

Amadeo Avogadro: What, just one? I deal only with very large chicken numbers.

Ptolemy: Someone will probably think of a simpler explanation in a few thousand years, but the present understanding is that the chicken crosses the road because it is constrained to move on this here sphere, which in turn has its center on this one over here. The end result is that, except in the rare case of retrograde chicken motion, the chicken does indeed cross the road.

Marie Curie: Good question. And one that is much less hazardous to one’s health.

Willebrod Snell: I’m not sure, but I did notice that when it stepped onto the road, it changed its direction.

Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss: Draw a pillbox around the road, and consider the flux of chickens through the box. If a chicken leaves this side of the road, then assuming that there are no chicken sinks or sources, it must end up on the other side.

Johann Balmer: Why are there only two lines in the middle of the road?

James Clerk Maxwell: Ok, Miss Chicken, let’s figure this out together. Hold out your right foot…. yes, that’s it…. good…. now curl your talons…. right…. now look at your…. hold on – you don’t have any thumbs!

Osborne Reynolds: No idea. But I can see from the ruffled feathers that this was turbulent chicken flow.

Karl Schwarzschild: The sad thing is, I know I could have answered this question too. [This one isn’t meant to be funny.]

Christian Doppler: It always sounds a bit down when it’s heading over there, but rather upbeat when it’s coming back.

Edwin Hubble: Strange, it seems to move faster the farther away it gets.

Ernest Rutherford: The differential cross section for forward chicken scattering is quite large, so the chicken will most likely cross the road if it was initially heading in that direction.

Lene Hau: Well, I wish it hadn't. It cut right in front of me while I was out for a bike ride, chatting it up with a photon.

Stephen Hawking: Chicken fluctuations will inevitably create a scenario where a chicken ends up on the other side of the yellow line, in which case there is a nonzero probability that it will escape to the other side.

Lord Kelvin: I don’t know. But I think the road actually starts back there a bit.

Daniel Bernoulli: Because it enjoyed flying to the other side. Ok, wait, can someone tell me once and for all if I’m relevant to all this flying stuff or not?!

Robert Oppenheimer: Although it was deemed appropriate at the time, people will forever question whether it was correct for the chicken to cross the road.


#2 2014-04-02 02:43:17

Real Member
From: The Complex Plane
Registered: 2011-01-29
Posts: 14,404

Re: Why did the chicken cross the road?

Thanks for sharing, I did not even know that many physicists. BTW, I am copying this.

'And fun? If maths is fun, then getting a tooth extraction is fun. A viral infection is fun. Rabies shots are fun.'
'God exists because Mathematics is consistent, and the devil exists because we cannot prove it'
'Humanity is still kept intact. It remains within.' -Alokananda


#3 2014-04-02 09:06:37

Registered: 2011-02-07
Posts: 3,416

Re: Why did the chicken cross the road?


By the way, some of these (okay, only a few) were made by me.
Here are a few others (note that a few may be repeated):

This one is my favourite
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: The answer is trivial and is left as an exercise for the reader.


         For the greater good.

Karl Marx:
         It was a historical inevitability.

         So that its subjects will view it with admiration, as a chicken
         which has the daring and courage to boldly cross the road, but
         also with fear, for whom among them has the strength to contend
         with such a paragon of avian virtue?  In such a manner is the
         princely chicken's dominion maintained.

         Because of an excess of light pink gooey stuff in its pancreas.

Jacques Derrida:
         Any number of contending discourses may be discovered within the
         act of the chicken crossing the road, and each interpretation is
         equally valid as the authorial intent can never be discerned,
         because structuralism is DEAD, DAMMIT, DEAD!

Thomas de Torquemada:
         Give me ten minutes with the chicken and I'll find out.

Timothy Leary:
         Because that's the only kind of trip the Establishment would
         let it take.

Douglas Adams:

         Because if you gaze too long across the Road, the Road gazes
         also across you.

Oliver North:
         National Security was at stake.

B.F. Skinner:
         Because the external influences which had pervaded its sensorium
         from birth had caused it to develop in such a fashion that it
         would tend to cross roads, even while believing these actions to
         be of its own free will.

Carl Jung:
         The confluence of events in the cultural gestalt necessitated that
         individual chickens cross roads at this historical juncture, and
         therefore synchronicitously brought such occurrences into being.

Jean-Paul Sartre:
         In order to act in good faith and be true to itself, the
         chicken found it necessary to cross the road.

Ludwig Wittgenstein:
         The possibility of "crossing" was encoded into the objects
         "chicken" and "road", and circumstances came into being which
         caused the actualization of this potential occurrence.

Albert Einstein:
         Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road crossed the
         chicken depends upon your frame of reference.

         To actualize its potential.

Samuel Beckett:
         It got tired of waiting.

         If you ask this question, you deny your own chicken-nature.

Albert Camus:
     The gods had commanded it to cross and recross the road.

Winston Churchill:
     It was moving into broad sunlit uplands...

Howard Cosell:
         It may very well have been one of the most astonishing events to
         grace the annals of history.  An historic, unprecedented avian
         biped with the temerity to attempt such an herculean achievement
         formerly relegated to homo sapiens pedestrians is truly a
         remarkable occurence.

Salvador Dali:
         The Fish.

         It was the logical next step after coming down from the trees.

Emily math:
         Because it could not stop for death.

Conan Doyle:
     It is quite a three-pipe problem, Watson.

T. S. Eliot:
     To examine the wasteland for worms.

         For fun.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:
         It didn't cross the road; it transcended it.

Richard Feynman:
     Surely it was joking.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:
         The eternal hen-principle made it do it.

Ernest Hemingway:
         To die.  In the rain.

Werner Heisenberg:
         We are not sure which side of the road the chicken was on, but it
         was moving very fast.

David Hume:
         Out of custom and habit.

Saddam Hussein:
         This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite
         justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it.

George Mallory:
     Because it was there.

Jack Nicholson:
         'Cause it (censored) wanted to.  That's the (censored) reason.

Pyrrho the Skeptic:
         What road?

Ronald Reagan:
         I forget.

John Sununu:
         The Air Force was only too happy to provide the transportation,
         so quite understandably the chicken availed himself of the

The Sphinx:
         You tell me.

Mr. T:
         If you saw me coming you'd cross the road too!

Henry David Thoreau:
         To live deliberately ... and drag all the marrow out of life.

Mark Twain:
         The news of its crossing has been greatly exaggerated.

Molly Yard:
         It was a hen!

Zeno of Elea:
         To prove it could never reach the other side.

     It was a long and winding road...

Pennsylvania/NJ travel guide:
     When travelling along the Road, visit the beautiful town of Chicken

George Bush:
     Read my lips: no more chicken crossing roads.

O. J. Simpson:
     His wife lived across the road.

Umberto Eco:
     It was a part of the Plan.

     He was solving the cross-road puzzle.

A palusible Russian explanation:
     They ran out of vodka, and he wanted to get to the liquor store
     three miles down the road.

Elmer Fudd:
     He cwossed the woad to kill the wabbit. 

Charles math:
     It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, chicken were
     crossing roads, chicken were staying behind...

     All roads are crossable by all chicken, but some roads are more
     crossable than others.

     After having killed an old hen, the chicken was wandering deliriously
     along the empty night streets of St. Petersburg and waiting for the
     darkness that never came; he crossed Nevsky and after a while found
     himself in an unfamiliar part of the city.

     To prove that he was no chicken.

     Because for every road you cross, there are ten more roads yet

     There are times for the chicken to cross roads and there are times
     to stay at the roadside.

    For 'tis better to suffer in the mind the slings and arrows
    of outrageous road maintenance than to take arms against a
    sea of oncoming vehicles...

    For the touch of your skin, the sweetness of your lips...

J. R. R. Tolkein:
    The chicken, sunlight coruscating off its radiant yellow-
    white coat of feathers, approached the dark, sullen asphalt
    road and scrutinized it intently with its obsidian-black
    eyes.  Every detail of the thoroughfare leapt into blinding
    focus: the rough texture of the surface, over which count-
    less tires had worked their relentless tread through the
    ages; the innumerable fragments of stone embedded within the
    lugubrious mass, perhaps quarried from the great pits where
    the Sons of Man labored not far from here; the dull black
    asphalt itself, exuding those waves of heat which distort the
    sight and bring weakness to the body; the other attributes
    of the great highway too numerous to give name.  And then it
    crossed it.

Dorothy Parker:
    Travel, trouble, music, art / A kiss, a frock, a rhyme /
    The chicken never said they fed its heart / But still they
    pass its time.

Darth Vader:
    (Whshhhhhhhhsh) Because it could not resist the power of the
    Dark Side.

           [_Princess Bride_ section]

    It's terribly fashionable, I think everyone will be doing
    it in the future.

    Because if it did not it would be like a toad!

    Hello.  My name is Inigo Montoya.  You crossed my father's
    road.  Prepare to die.

George Bush:
    To face a kinder, gentler thousand points of headlights.

Julius Caesar:
    Because Pompey threw the die.

    Know ye that it is unclean to eat the chicken that has
    crossed the road, and that the chicken that crosseth the
    road doth so for its own preservation.

Bob Dylan:
    How many roads must one chicken cross?

T. S. Eliot:
    Weialala leia / Wallala leialala.

T. S. Eliot (revisited):
    Do I dare, do I dare, do I dare cross the road?

Paul Erdos:
    It was forced to do so by the chicken-hole principle.

Zsa Zsa Gabor:
    It probably crossed to get a better look at my legs, which,
    thank goodness, are good, dahling.

Martin Luther King:
    It had a dream.

James Tiberius Kirk:
    To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.

Groucho Marx:
    Chicken?  What's all this talk about chicken?  Why, I had an
    uncle who thought he was a chicken.  My aunt almost divorced
    him, but we needed the eggs.

John Milton:
    To justify the ways of Chicken to men.

Sir Isaac Newton:
    Chickens at rest tend to stay at rest.  Chickens in motion
    tend to cross the road.

Wolfgang Pauli:
    There already was a chicken on the other side of the road.

Wolfgang Pauli (bis):
        ... Chicken what?

Margaret Thatcher:
    There was no alternative.

Joe Premed:
    It was a requirement.

Edgar Allan Poe
    Never More.

Chief Dan George
    It was a good day to Die.

KINDERGARTEN TEACHER: To get to the other side.

PLATO: For the greater good.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross roads.

KARL MARX: It was a historical inevitability.

TIMOTHY LEARY: Because that's the only trip the establishment would let it take.

SADDAM HUSSEIN: This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it.


CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.

HIPPOCRATES: Because of an excess of phlegm in its pancreas.

ANDERSEN CONSULTING: Deregulation of the chicken's side of the road was threatening its dominant market position. The chicken was faced with significant challenges to create and develop the competencies required for the newly competitive market. Andersen Consulting ,in a partnering relationship with the client, helped the chicken by rethinking its physical distribution strategy and implementation processes. Using the Poultry Integration Model (PIM), Andersen helped the chicken use its skills, methodologies, knowledge, capital and experiences to align the chicken's people, processes and technology in support of its overall strategy within a Program Management framework. Andersen Consulting convened a diverse cross-spectrum of road analysts and best chickens along with Anderson consultants with deep skills in the transportation industry to engage in a two-day itinerary of meetings in order to leverage their personal knowledge capital, both tacit and explicit, and to enable them to synergize with each other in order to achieve the implicit goals of delivering and successfully architecting and implementing an enterprise-wide value framework across the continuum of poultry cross-median processes. The meeting was held in a park-like setting enabling and creating an impactful environment which was strategically based, industry-focused, and built upon a consistent, clear, and unified market message and aligned with the chicken's mission, vision, and core values. This was conducive towards the creation of a total business integration solution. Andersen Consulting helped the chicken change to become more successful.

LOUIS FARRAKHAN: The road, you see, represents the black man. The chicken `crossed' the black man in order to trample him and keep him down.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question.

MOSES: And God came down from the Heavens, and He said unto the chicken, ``Thou shalt cross the road.'' And the chicken crossed the road, and there was much rejoicing.

FOX MULDER: You saw it cross the road with your own eyes. How many more chickens have to cross the road before you believe it?

RICHARD M. NIXON: The chicken did not cross the road. I repeat, the chicken did NOT cross the road.

MACHIAVELLI: The point is that the chicken crossed the road. Who cares why? The end of crossing the road justifies whatever motive there was.

JERRY SEINFELD: Why does anyone cross a road? I mean, why doesn't anyone ever think to ask, What the heck was this chicken doing walking around all over the place, anyway?

FREUD: The fact that you are at all concerned that the chicken crossed the road reveals your underlying sexual insecurity.

BILL GATES: Our soon-to-be-released Chicken '98 will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook.

OLIVER STONE: The question is not, ``Why did the chicken cross the road?'' Rather, it is, ``Who was crossing the road at the sametime, whom we overlooked in our haste to observe the chicken crossing?''

DARWIN: Chickens, over great periods of time, have been naturally selected in such a way that they are now genetically disposed to cross roads.

EINSTEIN: Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road moved beneath the chicken depends upon your frame of reference.

BUDDHA: Asking this question denies your own chicken nature.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON: The chicken did not cross the road... it transcended it.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die. In the rain.

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: It was an instinctive maneuver, the chicken obviously didn't see the road until he had already started to cross.

COLONEL SANDERS (Famed for Kentucky Fried Chicken): I missed one?

PHYSICIST: Because the chicken's momentum had a positive component towards the other side of the road.

QUANTUM PHYSICIST: Because you measured its momentum too precisely.

MATHEMATICIAN: Because of the intermediate values theorem.

ALGEBRAIC GEOMETRIST: Well, consider a faithfully flat etale coherent sheaf...

C PROGRAMMER: cross_road() was called from get_other_side()

C++ PROGRAMMER: chicken->CrossRoad() was called from chicken->GetOtherSide()

RMS: The licenses for most roads are designed to take away your chicken's freedom to cross it. By contrast, the GALLUS Road Public Licence...

GARY LARSON: ``THE OTHER SIDE - Why do you need a reason?''

ENS STUDENT: Contretest.

I sent my Chicken across the Road,
Some Letter of that Other-side to download:
   And by and by my Chicken return'd to me,
And answer'd ``I Myself am Princess and Toad:''

MARKETING DIVISION OF MICROSOFT CORPORATION: Where does your chicken want to go today?

MARVIN: The other side is just as dull as this one. Don't talk to me about chickens.

ARTHUR DENT: Why did the chicken cross the road? 42? No, that doesn't make sense.

GOETHE: Es irrt das Huhn, solang es die Straße übergeht.

HARI SELDON: It's part of the Plan.

To cross, or not to cross, that is the question: -
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind, to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous side;
Or to take arms against a road of troubles,
And by crossing end them?

THERMODYNAMIST: Because the pressure of chickens was greater on this side of the road, and the chicken's crossing made the entropy greater.

Last edited by ShivamS (2014-04-02 09:07:11)


#4 2014-04-02 10:37:02

Registered: 2014-03-18
Posts: 78

Re: Why did the chicken cross the road?

ShivamS wrote:

Satyendra Bose: An identical chicken already crossed the road, so this one was much more likely to do the same.

Wolfgang Pauli disagrees: The chicken crossed the road because there was already an identical chicken on this side, so it could not stay here.

"Having thus refreshed ourselves in the oasis of a proof, we now turn again into the desert of definitions." - Bröcker & Jänich


#5 2014-04-28 09:27:48

Registered: 2014-04-28
Posts: 3

Re: Why did the chicken cross the road?

The best one I came across was: a couple were showing someone round their eco-friendly farm.  They said they got eggs from the chicken every day and when it stopped laying they intended to eat it.  So every day the chicken bought eggs from the local shop to put in it's nest - it had to cross the road to get to the shop; THAT is why it crossed the road, LOL.


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