# The Bat Jar Conjecture

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The Bat Jar Conjecture
Big Bang Theory episode
Chronology
Season 1, Episode 13
Airdate
April 21, 2008
Guest star(s)
Teleplay
Story
Director
Episode guide

"The Jerusalem Duality"

"The Nerdvana Annihilation"
Season guide

None

Season 2

"The Bat Jar Conjecture" is the thirteenth episode of the first season of the American sitcom The Big Bang Theory. This episode first aired on April 21, 2008.

## SummaryEdit

For the annual Physics Bowl, the gang forms a team, but ends up throwing the obnoxious controlling Sheldon off the team.  They recruit Leslie Winkle because she is good at Physics and Sheldon takes them all on with his team of stand-ins.

## Extended PlotEdit

Howard is checking up on all the geeky news, when he stumbles upon information that the almighty team which always won the Physics Bowl will not compete this year. Leonard, Howard and Raj are eager to compete, but Sheldon isn't and offers the explanation that his talents are too good for the Physics Bowl. But after they quote Spock's dying words, Sheldon agrees to join their team.

Howard suggests they should name their team the Perpetual Motion Squad (PMS), although Sheldon suggests the Army Ants, as it is the most powerful animal gram for gram. Because Sheldon threatens to quit if he doesn't get his way, the team is named Army Ants (AA). Later, during team practice, Sheldon takes it upon himself to answer every question regardless of who buzzes in first. Eventually, he even promotes himself to team captain. Sheldon's insufferable attitude is becoming too much for the team to handle, and as a result, they kick him off the team with a consolation Batman cookie jar. Devastated, Sheldon decides to form his own team. Meanwhile, Leonard, Howard and Raj now need a fourth member for their team and decide to recruit Leslie Winkle, who initially refuses. Upon hearing they will be competing against Sheldon, she agrees, as she bears a grudge against him.

On the day of the Physics Bowl, Sheldon arrives with his team, which is comprised of poorly educated people (presumably) who only serve to qualify him, as the rules state that each team must consist of four people. Both teams rapidly increase their points and, when the final question arrives, the score stands at 1150 for AA (Sheldon's team) and 1175 for PMS (Leonard's team). The last question proves too difficult for PMS, and, in the end, Leonard panics and incorrectly guesses 8.4. However, they soon notice that Sheldon doesn't have an answer either, when suddenly the third floor janitor (one of his teammates) turns out to be a former Soviet physicist (credited as Dmitri and portrayed by Adam Gregor) from Leningrad Polytechnika and states the correct answer. In disbelief, Sheldon's pride gets in the way and denies that answer to be AA's official answer and declines to provide one after his childish demand for a different question is denied. Before the winner is announced, Leonard offers Sheldon a chance at redemption, asking if he'd rather lose by himself or win as part of a team. Sheldon simply replies that he doesn't understand the question. PMS is declared the winner, and the team celebrates (Howard tearing off his T-shirt in the process) to Queen's We are the Champions. Penny is still asleep in the audience.

In the final scene, Penny quizzes both Leonard and Sheldon about Pop Culture, in which neither of them can answer a single question.

## QuotesEdit

Leslie: Hello, Sheldon.

Sheldon: [looking terrified] Leslie Winkle!

Leslie: Yeah, Leslie Winkle! The answer to the question, "Who made Sheldon Cooper cry like a little girl?".

Sheldon: Yes, well, I'm polymerized tree sap and you're an inorganic adhesive, so whatever verbal projectile you launch in my direction is reflected off of me, returns on its original trajectory and adheres to you.

Leslie: [sarcastically] Ooooh... ouch.

Penny: Good afternoon, and welcome to today’s physics bowl practice round. I’m Penny, and I’ll be your host, because apparently I didn't have anything else to do on a Saturday afternoon, and isn't that just a little sad? Gentlemen, are you ready?

Howard: Okay, we’re going to need a strong fourth for our team.

Raj: You know who’s apparently very smart, is the girl who played TV’s Blossom. She got a PhD in neuroscience or something.

Leonard: Raj, we’re not getting TV’s Blossom to join our physics bowl team.

Raj: How about the girl from the Wonder Years?

Howard: Gentlemen, I believe I’ve found the solution to all our problems.

Leonard: We can’t ask Leslie Winkle.

Raj: Why? Because you slept together and when she was done with you she discarded you like last night’s chutney?

Leonard: Yes.

## CriticsEdit

"A straightforward sit com plot without the straightforward sitcom jokes. The show is losing its way but hopefully it is not terminal." - The TV Critic's Review

## TriviaEdit

• Raj speaks to Penny, though inadvertently, by agreeing with Howard that the story of Zod is a good one.
• Although he does not speak to (or in front of) Penny, he laughs his "Cruella de Vil" laugh at Sheldon when he, Leonard and Howard confront Sheldon just before the start of the Physics Bowl.
• Sheldon at first doesn't agree to join the team, citing "Would you ask Picasso (a famous artist) to play Pictionary? Would you ask Noah Webster (a famous lexicographer) to play Boggle? Would you ask Jacques Cousteau (a famous naval explorer) to play 'Go Fish'?". In Sheldon's view this would be inviting these famous people to trivialize their area of expertise, suggesting that he feels participating in the quiz would be 'beneath his station'.
• Spock's dying words ("The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one."), which inspires Sheldon to join the team are from the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
• Sheldon designs uniforms that are emblazoned with the initials "AA", which he designed to mean "Army Ants", though Leonard points out it could imply something else (likely implying "Alcoholics Anonymous"), though Sheldon misses the point and guesses "Anodized Aluminum" as the next most likely acronym expansion. Though the other team's name isn't much better; 'Perpetual Motion Squad', a double entente reference to a violation of the laws of thermodynamics and being able to go all night, abbreviates to PMS, more commonly associated with " Premenstrual syndrome".
• Raj suggests "the actress who played TV's Blossom" for their physics bowl team to replace Sheldon. That actress would be Mayim Bialik, and she does have a Ph. D in neuroscience. Coincidentally, Mayim Bialik joins the show in the Season 3 finale and becomes a regular cast member in Season 4 as Amy Farrah Fowler. Raj also says, "How about the girl from The Wonder Years?" He is referring to Danica McKellar, who has a degree in mathematics, and appears in the Season 3 episode "The Psychic Vortex" as Abby.
• Sheldon's Spanish is really bad. Apparently, he could not differentiate the Spanish words hijo and carnicero to ascertain if his third teammate was the son or butcher of his second.
• Sheldon's long-winded insult of "I'm polymerized tree sap and you're an inorganic adhesive so whatever verbal projectile you launch in my direction is reflected off of me, returns on it's original trajectory and adheres to you." is a much longer (and detailed) version of "I'm rubber and you're glue; whatever you say bounces off me and sticks onto you."
• Queen's] We Are The Champions plays during Howard's triumphant moment at the 29th Annual Physics Bowl. Fittingly, the lead guitarist for that song, Brian May, is an astrophysicist.
• "Leningrad Polytechnika" most likely refers to the Saint Petersburg State Polytechnical University in St. Petersburg, Russia (formerly, Leningrad, U.S.S.R.).
• It's surprising that Leonard (and P.M.S.) won a trophy for a non-championship match. When Dr. Gablehouser first introduces the teams, he states that it is "today's preliminary match." Unless there were only a few teams in the tournament, it is unlikely that they would get a trophy for an early-round victory.

## GoofsEdit

• Sheldon also makes a categorical error in this episode. When Howard says he should answer the engineering questions since he is an engineer, Sheldon compares this to him answering all the anthropology questions because he's a mammal. Anthropology is the study of humans, not mammals; all humans are mammals, but not all mammals are humans. He ought to have said 'mammalogy', or claimed he was a human.

## NotesEdit

• Title Reference: The reason why Leonard gave Sheldon a Batman cookie jar, which was to soften the blow of kicking him off the team.
• Chuck Lorre's vanity card [1]
• This episode was watched by 7.51 million people with a rating of 2.9 (adults 18-49).
• Episode transcript [2]
• When Sheldon was kicked out of the team, Sheldon got very angry and was determined to take revenge. This is strange as he did not even want to take place in the Physics Bowl competition as shown at the beginning of the episode.
• More information about the questions asked during the Physics Bowl and during the practice round with Penny (The questions or answers written inside "()" indicate that both are not mentioned in the episode, or are somewhat to be true, or are generated by viewers):

### Physics BowlEdit

• What is the isospin singlet partner of the pi-zero meson? Eta meson
• What is the lightest element on earth, with no stable isotopes? Technetium
• What is the force between two uncharged plates due to quantum vacuum fluctuation? The Casimir Effect
• How does a quantum computer factor large numbers? Shor's Algorithm
• (What is the mechanical work necessary to produce 1 cal of heat?) 4.1855×107 ergs/cal
• (What theory proposed that the temperatures of two adjacent bodies will equalize due to the transfer of heat energy by radiation and absorption?) Prèvost's theory of exchanges
• (?) $\lambda=\frac{1}{\pi r^2 N}$
• (At what temperature does an iron magnet lose its magnetic field (the Curie temperature/point)?) 770 degrees Celsius (Howard's answer of 760 (the temperature of the young lady in the front row) was incorrect)

The final question asks to solve what looks to be the following equation: $\left ( 2 \pi \right )^4 \int \left [ \bar{v}^{(s_2)} \left ( p _3 \right ) \left (i \sqrt{4 \pi \alpha}\gamma^\mu \right ) v^{(s_1)} \left ( p _1 \right ) \right ] \frac{i g_{\mu\nu}}{q^2} \left [ \bar{v}^{(s_4)} \left ( p _4 \right ) \left ( i \sqrt{4 \pi \alpha}\gamma^\mu \right ) v^{(s_2)} \left ( p _2 \right ) \right ] \times \delta ^{(4)} \left (p _1 - p _3 - q \right ) \delta ^{(4)} \left ( p _2 + q - p _4 \right ) d^4 q$

PMS guesses 8.4, which is incorrect, while AA has no official answer, one of Sheldon's teammates suggests $-8\pi\alpha$, which turns out to be the correct answer.

Actually $-8\pi\alpha$ is not really the correct solution of the equation shown above, but it would take some effort to get the right answer, which surely won't be as simple as given in the show. Additionally, there's an error in this equation; if it should correspond to the Feynman-Diagram standing above it and if the answers should not have an open index $\nu$, because $\nu$ isn't contracted, then the second gammamatrix needs to have the index $\nu$. Even if one corrects that, one has to square this Matrixelement (expression) and sum over the Spins $s_1,s_2,s_3,s_4$ to get a better result than just the whole expression. Even then, the answer depends on some kinematic variables. If interested in calculating that, look in Peskin Schröder's Peskin Schröder "An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory" pages 131ff.

## Penny's quizEdit

Penny brings in what looks to be cards from a Trivial Pursuit game, to settle once and for all, who's smarter between Sheldon and Leonard. She asks them:

After her questions, it turns out that Leonard and Sheldon have trouble understanding pop culture and seem to be mainly smart in their comfort zone of science and other general knowledge. Like, when Penny asks the Tweety Bird question, Sheldon struggles to know the answer and comes up with Romulan, which Penny with her attitude of sarcasm sarcastically says yes. However, when Leonard hooks up with Penny in the third season, he has a much better understanding of it.

## GalleryEdit

• Sheldon vs. Leslie.
• Sheldon happy with his new Batman cookie jar.
• Eating lunch at the Caltech cafeteria.
• The final question. A toughie.
• Sheldon and his team.
• Dr. Gablehauser as moderator.