David Politzer

Research Interests

Theoretical Physics, science of music

I received a charming T-shirt which would almost certainly prompt a conversation about information and black holes anywhere you'd wear it.

My public lecture, "The Dilemma of Attribution," delivered in Stockholm on December 8, 2004 as per the will of Alfred Nobel is available here in four formats:

as LaTeX, as postscript, as pdf, and as html.

Delivering said lecture:

photo copyright Nobel Foundation

"...step forward to receive your Nobel prizes from the hands of His Majesty the King."

Back at work, June 2005:

(These three photos copyright Peter Badge, the photographer)

posing for J. Vermeer, 1/1/08; photo copyright A. Politzer

Three years after eating

Two weeks later

Ready at last


same pot + 2 years

Caltech Alumni Sminar Day, 5/17/08. This and other photos by Bob Paz.

modified Goodtime (August 2010):

It needed an armrest (September 2010):

April 2011:

new frets for a 1925 tubaphone (August 2011):

I didn't know I needed one until I fixed up a friend's Fairbanks Electric. I got this one from Intermountain Guitar & Banjo of Salt Lake City, made a ferrule and arm rest, and restored the dowel brace.

Ssshhhh! The head is carpet glued to plywood, rubber backing side out. (November 2011)

The case of Dr. Frankenstein, 1 1/2" wider and 5" shorter than a tenor (April 2012)

new-found appreciation for dental hygienists (June 2012)

No, wonders never cease.

April 2013 -- Eight months, on and off, but finally playable: my own Fairbanks Electric banjeaurine (affordable because it needed new neck lamination and reenforcement, fingerboard reglue, minor rim (different serial number) repair.

Spring 2013 -- an eBay orphan arrived on my doorstep bereft of five tuners, nut, one fret, bridge, tailpiece, and tailpiece anchor and also with a cracked dowelstick. Most likely, it's an inexpensive 90 year old masquerading as a 140 year old. Nevertheless, it's rich in banjo mojo.

December 2013 -- I faced off the edges and glued it up. So now Rick can have one of his own.

And, for a limited time (for non-commercial purposes only), the original, long-lost, 1986 cult classic by Professor Politzer and the Rho Mesons, The Simple Harmonic Oscillator, copyright S. Lewicki, D. Politzer, and D. Priest.


politzer at theory.caltech