Columbia physics professor Emlyn Hughes surprised his students on Monday morning by introducing his lecture on quantum mechanics by blaring rap music, stripping down to his underwear, putting on an all-black ensemble, playing video footage of war scenes and the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, then standing by as two people chopped a stuffed animal in half.
"In order to learn quantum mechanics, you have to strip to your raw, erase all the garbage from your brain and start over again," he declared.
Video of the presentation was published to Vimeo on Monday evening by a student wielding a smartphone.
“I walked in the class, and the lights were out, so I thought something was off,” student Darializa Chevalier told The Columbia Spectator. “Then the song comes on, and we were like, ‘What version of ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ is this?’”
Students said the professor did not explain the intro for context and simply carried on with his physics lecture as if nothing happened, wearing a pair of dark sunglasses all the while.
“I liked that he was captivating our attention,” another student told the Spectator. “But at the same token, he didn’t take off his sunglasses the whole lecture…I didn’t know what to think of that.”
Hughes did not respond to Raw Story's request for comment.
This video is from Vimeo, published Monday, Feb. 18, 2013.