The Physics Detective Part Nine — de Bruijn is Mr. Cranky

He certainly doesn’t pull any punches.
This week, I started getting a funny feeling that this story will end with Lister declaring that Jaeger committed suicide, or some similar type of cop-out ending. OTOH, do you know what’s not a cop-out? This:

“That damn Ludmilla princess. She’s gorgeous and she knows it. I have five times her publications, but I get recognized with ‘Ahh ? you’re that guy who works with Ludmilla!’ We may know maths, Inspector Lister, but we are still apes.”

“And you and Ludmilla…”

De Bruijn gave a bitter laugh. “No, Inspector, you are in a blind alley there. I think Ludmilla knows to bestow her favours where she stands to gain the most.” He glanced pointedly at Jaeger’s file on the table. “Although I tried warning her to keep a professional distance.”


I didn’t expect this. Honestly. Most of my Ludmilla comments have a combination of silliness/annoyance (ask yourself, how was it for you?) and wishful thinking.

A few loose ends were tied up. de Bruijn addressed my laser inquiry from several weeks back, i.e. why were they using such a powerful laser for this presentation? We heard yet another confirmation that Jaeger was a dumbass professor who had little or no good ideas, therefore relying on his students and postdocs for the upkeep of his reputation, even if it meant throwing them to the wolves when he felt that the pursuit of pristine self-preservation demanded it. Of course, these sorts of scientists do exist.

We could spend all day expounding on the line “We may know maths, Inspector Lister, but we are still apes” — probably the most confounding and provocative line of the story thus far.

One more week …