I agree with James Jackson’s letter ( Physics Today, Physics Today 0031-9228 60

200714November 2007, page 14 ), “Advocating Real-World Physics Classes.” I will take the discussion further and include physics TV programs, such as some shown on NOVA and the Science Channel, that are even less relevant than physics classes.

Those TV shows emphasize irrelevant, unobservable, impractical, and inaccessible subjects such as mysterious dark matter, dark energy, black holes, parallel universes, and string theory—all subjects that have no relevance to the daily lives of ordinary people. Most of the programs turn people away from physics rather than draw them in.

It would be far more beneficial if the preponderance of the physics TV programs described phenomena people readily observe, and described them in a manner that viewers can actually understand. Such treatment would help establish physics as a useful, practical, interesting, and worthy subject.