I'm a particle physicist. Want to chat?
From New York Times, July 13, 2009
I always laugh when people say they don't want to talk to their seatmates. I'm a friendly guy and, on occasion, I wouldn't mind having a chat with a fellow passenger, especially if I'm not that busy with work.
But when my seatmates ask what I do for a living, the usual response is, "Oh" or "Oh, that sounds hard" or "Oh, I couldn't possibly do that."
I'm a physicist, and there's a perception about physics that it's somewhat of a remote discipline. People would probably love to talk to a musician or a doctor, but it's a no-go when it comes to making small talk with me.
Which is kind of amusing. As a particle physicist, I could talk to you about black holes, alternate universes and even the so-called and unfortunately named "God particle," which is really something called the Higgs boson. If it actually exists and we find it, we would be able to explain the origin of mass in the universe.