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Rhett Allain

Rhett Allain
Rhett Allain speaking at Cornell University in 2012
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materNorth Carolina State University, Benedictine University, University of Alabama
Scientific career
FieldsPhysics, blogging, science communication
InstitutionsSoutheastern Louisiana University, Wired magazine
WebsiteDot Physics Website

Rhett Allain is an American associate professor of physics at Southeastern Louisiana University and the author of the Wired magazine science blog Dot Physics. He received his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University in 2001 and works in the field of physics education research.[1]

In his blog, Dot Physics, Allain discusses physical concepts, answers questions related to physics and math, and debunks questionable physical claims. Many of his posts are supported by experiments, calculations, and models.[2] Recently, he has analyzed the physics behind the Angry Birds Space video game[3] and behind a now-debunked[4] video which purported to show a man flying with home-made wings.[5][6] He has also criticized television shows, including Fight Science, that perform poorly controlled experiments which are presented as scientific.[7]

In 2008 Allain rejected the concept of sailing dead downwind faster than the wind as a violation of conservation laws, stating that "this is the same situation as people trying to make energy from nothing".[8] When the concept was demonstrated to work in practice by the Blackbird in 2010, Allain didn't offer further explanations and merely noted: "If it works, does it matter what I say?"[9]

In 2011 Rhett became the science advisor for the Discovery Channel show Mythbusters and continues to work on it today with the new Mythbusters. He is also a technical consultant for the CBS show MacGyver. Rhett Allain is also a host on Southeastern's KSLU Radio with his show "STEM Science Radio", which Allain says is , "...redundant because science appears twice, but I didn't come up with the name."


Allain describes himself as "a slacker by night."[10] His favorite saying is "I like to take things apart, but I can't always put them back together." Allain has been married for 22 years and has 4 children.


  1. ^ Faculty home page, Southeastern Louisiana University
  2. ^ Discover magic of science with everyday physics | & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper
  3. ^ Thier, Dave (2012-04-02). "Professor Analyzes the Physics of Angry Birds: Space - Forbes". Forbes.
  4. ^ 'Bird man' hoaxster comes clean on Dutch television (Wired UK)
  5. ^ Allain, Rhett (2012-03-21). "Analysis of the Human Birdwings". Wired.
  6. ^ Human Bird Wings
  7. ^ "Fight Science = Bad Science". Dot Physics. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
  8. ^ Allain, Rhett. "Physics and directly downwind faster than the wind (DWFTTW) vehicles". Retrieved 2011-11-15.
  9. ^ Fisher, Adam. "One Man's Quest to Outrace Wind".
  10. ^ "Rhett Allain, Wired Science". Retrieved 2012-12-02.
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Rhett Allain
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