The Big Bang Theory

The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization

Season 1, Ep 9, Aired 3/17/08
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  • Episode Description
  • When they're invited to present at a physics conference, Sheldon's reluctance to share the credit leads to a tiff between him and Leonard, and Penny's intervention only exacerbates the situation.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Jim Parsons

    Sheldon Cooper

  • Kaley Cuoco


  • Simon Helberg

    Howard Wolowitz

  • Kunal Nayyar

    Rajesh Koothrappali

  • Johnny Galecki

    Leonard Hofstadter

  • Fan Reviews (13)
  • Blow Your Mind

    By AriSky, Sep 20, 2013

  • 109

    By Canogaparkcindy, Nov 04, 2010

  • Nerds. ♥

    By Sarah_LOST, Jul 27, 2010

  • Omg I love it. I LOVE IT.

    By Pucktweety, Dec 26, 2009

  • Leonard is uspet when finding out he and Sheldon are supposed to present a presentation on their paper

    By exterminator25, Apr 18, 2008

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (12)

    • Leonard: You are not Isaac Newton. Sheldon: No, no, that's true. Gravity would have been apparent to me without the apple.

    • Leonard: Sheldon, why is this letter in the trash? Sheldon: Well, there's always the possibility that a trash can spontaneously formed around the letter, but Occam's Razor would suggest that someone threw it out.

    • Leonard: (watching their fight on YouTube) Oh, geez, does this suit really look that bad? Sheldon: Forget your suit. Look at my arms flailing. I'm like a flamingo on Ritalin.

    • (at the mailboxes) Penny: Get anything good? Sheldon: Just the latest copy of Applied Particle Physics Quarterly. Penny: Oh, you know, that is so weird that yours came, and mine didn't.

    • Leonard: Are there any other honors that I've gotten that I don't know about? Did UPS drop off a Nobel Prize with my name on it? Sheldon: Leonard, please don't take this the wrong way, but the day you win a Nobel Prize is the day I begin my research on the drag co-efficient of tassles on flying carpets.

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    Notes (6)

    • The German episode title is "Der Cooper-Hofstadter-Antagonismus". The French title is "La Polarisation Cooper-Hofstadter". The Italian title is "La polarizzazione di Cooper e Hofstadter". The Spanish and Mexican title is "La polarizaciĆ³n de Cooper-Hofstadter".

    • International Airdates: Turkey: November 11, 2008 on CNBC-e; Czech Republic: June 2, 2009 on Prima COOL; Germany: August 29, 2009 on ProSieben; Slovakia: August 30, 2011 on Markiza

    • The video that Wolowitz posts to YouTube in this episode was, in fact, posted on March, 11 2008 by the user 'Wolowizard', and is available to view.

    • This episode's end titles has Chuck Lorre's Vanity Card #196.

    • Beginning with this episode, the series moves to 8:00, trading time slots with How I Met Your Mother.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (4)

    • The last sentence of the English translation of the conversation between the two chinese geeks is not correct. At the question "who is doing that" the 'chinese Sheldon' answers: "ige ren jiao Pasadena california zong Wolowizard" which means "a guy called Pasadena, California from Wolowizard".

    • In this episode Leonard reveals he got his doctorate at age 24, while Sheldon got his at age 16.

    • The video of Sheldon and Leonard fighting that the guys watch on YouTube is different than what actually happened. When it actually happened Sheldon said "heads up, you people in the front row, this is a splash zone." On the video, Sheldon says "you people in the front row, heads up, this is a splash zone." Also on the video, right after Sheldon's line Raj looks at Howard's camera even though when it actually happened he clearly did not look at the camera.

    • Leonard states to Penny while going through his closet that he had only one tie, the reversable one, but in "The Hamburger Postulate", a different tie hangs on Leonard's door knob with a completely different pattern.

    Allusions (3)

    • When Penny asks Sheldon how he feels and he responds, "I don't understand the question," is a play on Spock's interplay with a Vulcan examination computer and his mother in Leonard Nimoy's 1986 film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

    • The imagery of the guys beating their chests as Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra plays is an homage to Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    • The "little misunderstanding" Sheldon refers to the Pope and Galileo having involves Galileo championing Copernicus' theory that the earth circled the sun, in direct opposition to the Catholic Church's official teaching that the earth was the centre of the universe.

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