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Dr. Robert Wolcott is a brilliant, but reclusive topologist, noted for Wolcott's Theorem, who has made great strides in his work on nonlinear time while ignoring the rest of the world. Sheldon Cooper has corresponded with him over his string theory research, so he has invited Sheldon to his cabin in the middle of nowhere to discuss his own breakthrough. Dr. Wolcott has a new mathematical approach that would help Sheldon conceptualize the dimensions in string theory; the math is saying time has multiple dimensions, the same as space. How this works in the context of a singularity involves non-abelian group theory. He doesn't see where string theory fits into this, and surmises that is where they can be of help to each other.

Living off the grid as a mountain man, the not so cordial Dr. Wolcott is driven crazy and paranoid. He is wary of strangers, especially those of inferior intellect and academic rigor, stealing his work. Therein, his notebooks are written such that numbers and letters are interchanged, and all is backward. He also encodes his letters and instructs Sheldon to burn them. He has several locks and even collects the cellphones of visitors, since they are listening devices. However, these precautions are not completely unjustified since he was previously seduced by a prostitute hired to intercept his research. Moreover, Wolcott has a "grudge chair." He is so anti-social that he is in a long-distance marriage, as his wife lives in Munich (with her delightfully thinking he is in South America), they focus on their work, and they only send each other cards on birthdays. His head-scratching antics, frantic expressions, and whiny vocalizations further elucidate his mental instability.

His memory impairment, perhaps a result of his obsession with reconceptualizing time, is exemplified by the following scenario. Sheldon is amazed at how much he has accomplished by isolating himself from the distractions of day-to-day life, but forgoes the temptation to live like him by departing the cabin with his friends. This leaves Dr. Wolcott to initially wonder if Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, and Howard stole his work, but he then questions if they even arrived yet.

Trivia

  • He is portrayed by Peter MacNicol and makes his first appearance in "The Reclusive Potential". MacNicol previously played the role of brilliant theoretical cosmologist Dr. Lawrence Fleinhardt on the CBS crime drama Numb3rs.
  • Doctor Wolcott is Sheldon's idol, and he and his wife live in different places — something Sheldon Cooper always likes.
  • Since living as a hermit or recluse, he usually goes hunting for squirrels or rabbits, grows heirloom tomatoes, and also engages in a lot of mathematical or scientific research.