I have a few A Mathematician And... jokes for you this week.
A physicist and a mathematician are sitting in a faculty lounge. Suddenly,
the coffee machine catches on fire. The physicist grabs a bucket and leap
towards the sink, filled the bucket with water and puts out the fire. Second
day, the same two sit in the same lounge. Again, the coffee machine catches
on fire. This time, the mathematician stands up, got a bucket, hands the
bucket to the physicist, thus reducing the problem to a previously solved
A biologist, a physicist and a mathematician were sitting in a street
cafe watching the crowd. Across the street they saw a man and a woman entering
a building. Ten minutes they reappeared together with a third person.
- They have multiplied, said the biologist.
- Oh no, an error in measurement, the physicist sighed.
- If exactly one person enters the building now, it will be empty again,
the mathematician concluded.
Several scientists were all posed the following question: "What is 2
* 2 ?"
The engineer whips out his slide rule (so it's old) and shuffles it
back and forth, and finally announces "3.99".
The physicist consults his technical references, sets up the problem
on his computer, and announces "it lies between 3.98 and 4.02".
The mathematician cogitates for a while, then announces: "I don't know
what the answer is, but I can tell you, an answer exists!".
Philosopher smiles: "But what do you mean by 2 * 2 ?"
Logician replies: "Please define 2 * 2 more precisely."
The sociologist: "I don't know, but is was nice talking about it".
Behavioral Ecologist: "A polygamous mating system".
Medical Student : "4"
All others looking astonished : "How did you know ??"
Medical Student : :I memorized it."
A physicist, a mathematician, and a mystic were asked to name
the greatest invention of all time. The physicist chose the fire,
which gave humanity the power over matter.
The mathematician chose the alphabet, which
gave humanity power over symbols. The mystic chose the thermos bottle.
"Why a thermos bottle?" the others asked.
"Because the thermos keeps hot liquids hot in winter and cold liquids cold
"Yes -- so what?"
"Think about it." said the mystic reverently. That little bottle -- how
does it *know*?"
A mathematician, a physicist, and an engineer were traveling through
Scotland when they saw a black sheep through the window of the train.
"Aha," says the engineer, "I see that Scottish sheep are black."
"Hmm," says the physicist, "You mean that some Scottish sheep are black."
"No," says the mathematician, "All we know is that there is at least
one sheep in Scotland, and that at least one side of that one sheep is
A mathematician, a physicist, and an engineer are all given identical
rubber balls and told to find the volume. They are given anything
they want to measure it, and have all the time they need.
The mathematician pulls out a measuring tape and records the
circumference. He then divides by two times pi to get the radius,
cubes that, multiplies by pi again, and then multiplies by four-thirds
and thereby calculates the volume.
The physicist gets a bucket of water, places 1.00000 gallons of water
in the bucket, drops in the ball, and measures the displacement to six
And the engineer? He writes down the serial number of the ball, and
looks it up.
There are many more here. Enjoy!