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A middle school teacher across the restaurant is wearing this shirt, and I certainly don't get it.

"Let There Be Light" shirt with equations on it

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Those are the equations governing electromagnetism. –  HDE 226868 Aug 29 '14 at 22:45
The version I am familiar with was more explicit. It says "And God said", followed by Maxwell's equations, followed by … "and there was light.". A direct play on Genesis 1:3 ("And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.") –  Floris Aug 30 '14 at 0:52
You must have had a really good camera to get a very detailed (and creepy) picture of a middle school teacher (don't know how you knew it was a middle school teacher) from across the street. Oh, the wonders of modern technology (and physics, light physics)! –  seventeen years a bmw Aug 30 '14 at 2:53
Related: physics.stackexchange.com/q/51753 –  Chris White Aug 30 '14 at 3:55
haha.. at my local restaurant, some large group of teachers from a local middle school have a tradition of taking the place over every Friday afternoon. His shirt should read, "let there be carousing" –  nickckaye Aug 30 '14 at 15:51

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

As most people know, "let there be light" is a famous biblical quote, from Genesis. Now, on to the teacher's shirt.

Those equations on his back are Maxwell's equations. "Let there be light" is a joke, because Maxwell's equations describe electromagnetic fields, and light is a form of electromagnetic radiation, so the equations can be used to describe light.

So, as a physicist, one could (jokingly) say that God's "let there be light" refers to him 'inventing' Maxwell's equations.

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