If you have earned the right to call yourself a scientist, then you have invested years of time and effort in deep study and experimentation. Science has become an integral (pun intended) part of your life. So why not make it a permanent part of your skin?
Turns out that plenty of scientists get their passions inked on to their bodies in the form of a tattoo. Stevens Johnson, a professor of Physics and Engineering, is one of them.
The right shoulder tattoo [above] is a 3D perspective abstract view of a gaussian photon, a “particle of light,” the red vertical undulations represent the electric field, the black horizontal undulations the magnetic field. It is propagating to the right, seen here as a snapshot in time. The photon is the single most common manner in which information is transmitted from one place in the universe to another. The tattoo artist suggested adding the faint shadows to give it depth, but the real reason I agreed was the ironic (oxymoronic?) humor of a particle of light casting a shadow.
The left shoulder tattoo [below] is a 3D perspective of the Periodic Table with the Planck Snake weaving around it (note the h-bar, Plank’s constant, in the eye). The snake represents the wave nature of matter, and Physics in general. (The infinity symbol the snake forms is a bonus.) The combination of the Periodic Table of Chemistry with the Planck Snake of Physics is also an inside joke at the expense of chemists: It took the Quantum Mechanics of Physics to explain to Chemistry its own Table of Elements.
More — many, many more — at the Science Tattoo Emporium.