Brian May

Brian May is most famous as the lead guitarist for the British rock band Queen. Before he became a rock star, he was a Ph.D. student in astrophysics; he published two papers before putting his academic career on hold. In the 2000s, May went back to Imperial College London and finally completed his degree.

“I don’t know a scientist who looks as much like Isaac Newton as [Brian May].”
—Sir Martin Rees

May can claim an Erdős number of 5 through his popular science books written with Chris Lintott and Sir Patrick Moore. A stronger (if longer) path can be traced through a Nature paper he published in the ’70s about the zodiacal light. It is no surprise that he has a Sabbath number of 1: he has a guitar solo on the Sabbath album Headless Cross. May’s Bacon number comes from a voice role in The Adventures of Pinocchio.

Erdős 5

There is a longer (length 7) collaboration path between May and Erdős using only published journal articles:

Bacon 3

Sabbath 1


Proposal: Timeblimp

Improvements: Chris Lintott

Photo: Mark Kent (Creative Commons)

  1. Bang! is a popular science book written by May, Lintott, and fellow Erdős Bacon Sabbath member Patrick Moore.