Science Questions with Surprising Answers
Answers provided by
Dr. Christopher S. Baird

About this Website

1. What are Dr. Baird's qualifications for providing answers to science questions?
Dr. Baird is a physics professor at West Texas A&M University and has been for seven years. In this capacity, he teaches numerous entry-level and upper-level university courses and carries out research on quantum devices. Dr. Baird was awarded tenure in 2022 and promoted to the rank of Associate Professor. Before coming to West Texas A&M University, Dr. Baird worked for ten years at the University of Massachusetts Lowell as an adjunct physics professor and senior research scientist. While at UMass, Dr. Baird taught all of the PhD electrodynamics courses and supervised PhD student research in the Submillimeter-Wave Technology Laboratory.

Throughout his career, Dr. Baird has authored over sixty academic research journal publications, research reports, and conference presentations, including dozens of internal research reports for the military that are not publically available. In addition to his research publications, he has authored 14 articles for McGraw-Hill's AccessScience, 16 university physics laboratory class manuals, 350+ articles for this website, as well as numerous articles and consulting notes for general-audience publications such as Popular Mechanics magazine, All About Space magazine, Live Science, Newsweek, and Reuters News.

Dr. Baird has served extensively as a peer reviewer of research and has written peer reviewer reports for academic journals such as Applied Optics, the Journal of Optics, the Journal of Applied Physics, AIP Advances, Applied Physics Letters, Optics Letters, Optics Express, IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, and Nature Scientific Reports. He has also served as a peer reviewer of NASA fellowship applications, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) grant proposals, and academic book proposals for CRC Publishing, SPIE, and McGraw-Hill. Dr. Baird recently won the 2022 West Texas A&M University Professional Service Award at the college level. Additionally, Dr. Baird has served for five years as the Registration and Access Coordinator for the entire Texas Physics Consortium, which has involved overseeing all upper-level physics courses at nine Texas universities. He has helped win a million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and several multi-million dollar grants from the U.S. Department of Defence (DoD). Dr. Baird has served as an official science judge at various local, regional, and national science competitions and research conferences.

2. What is Dr. Baird's Media Availability and Exposure?
Dr. Baird is willing to give interviews, quotes, and science explanations to media outlets and news agencies without charge. Authors, editors, content creators, and media representatives are encouraged to contact Dr. Baird directly at for such items. As a general policy, Dr. Baird only provides interviews, quotes, and science explanations through email and online apps. Dr. Baird has neither the time nor the interest to participate in on-camera interviews or audio interviews. Furthermore, any request that involves Dr. Baird writing more than a few paragraphs will require a contract and payment.

Dr. Baird has enjoyed extensive media exposure. The following media outlets, content creators, and publishers have either quoted, referenced, or linked to Dr. Baird's "Science Questions with Surprising Answers" (SQSA) articles; have used Dr. Baird's SQSA images; or have interviewed Dr. Baird in conjunction with his SQSA articles.

General Audience Media Outlets

Specialized Media Outlets and Websites

Prominent YouTube Channels

PhD and Masters Theses

Academic Journals with Articles that Quote or Cite Dr. Baird's SQSA Articles

Prominent Academic Books that Quote or Cite Dr. Baird's SQSA Articles

3. What is the purpose of this website?
The purpose of this website is to teach science principles that are commonly misunderstood, surprising, or unusual. This includes correcting science myths, misconceptions, and errors that exist in the general populace and in science textbooks. The main purpose of this website is not to teach basic science principles. Aside from the misconceptions and errors that are addressed on this website, most textbooks, science literature, and science websites generally succeed in effectively teaching basic science principles.

4. How can I submit a question I have?
If you have a science question that you would like to have answered, email Dr. Baird at Dr. Baird will promptly respond to you via email to answer your question. If your question is original and has a particularly surprising answer, he will also turn your question and its answer into an article that will be posted to this website.

5. Why can't I post comments on this website?
Generally, the discussion boards, forums, and comment threads attached to high-profile science websites are magnets for non-experts. As a result, they tend to be sources of misinformation, which runs counter to the very purpose of this website. For this reason, commenting was intentioanlly never built into this website. This website and all of its articles and pages were produced by Dr. Baird using custom-made programming code. This website is not a blog and does not use blogging software. Unlike a blog, the articles on this website are continually updated, are highly technical, are not related to current events, and contain no opinions or personal commentary for the most part.

6. What is Dr. Baird's area of expertise?
Dr. Baird's research focuses on quantum cascade lasers, quantum devices, optics, electromagnetic scattering, and radar imaging. Through his research, writing, and teaching, Dr. Baird has expertise in the areas of quantum physics, optics, photonics, electromagnetism, and relativity. Because Dr. Baird's overall area of expertise is physics, the posts on this website that deal with biology, chemistry, earth science, health, and space science rely heavily on academic journals, textbooks, and institutional websites.

7. What is Dr. Baird's religion?
In order to carry out the scientific purpose of this website, it should be irrelevant what Dr. Baird's religion is. When science is done honestly and methodically, the same results occur no matter what the personal beliefs of the scientists may be. With that said, in order to answer the question, Dr. Baird is an active member in good standing of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

8. Why did Dr. Baird start this website?
Dr. Baird was bothered by widespread science misconceptions, some even appearing in high school and university textbooks. Also, he found himself answering the same questions over and over again from friends and students. He decided to post meticulously correct answers to common science questions in a public online location so that he could refer people to the posted answers rather than personally repeat the answers. This website has since grown into an educational outreach effort aimed at answering anybody's science question and teaching surprising, interesting, obscure, and poorly-understood science concepts to the world.

9. Does Dr. Baird have any experience with homeschooling?
Yes. Dr. Baird and his wife have homeschooled their six children and two foster children. They are involved in several homeschooling organizations. You can read a longer answer here.

10. Why has Dr. Baird posted so few articles to this website in the last few years?
Dr. Baird has written all of the articles on this website as a personal hobby and as a service to the world. He has not been paid to write any of the articles on this website or received any other type of compensation. Furthermore, writing these articles has not been a part of his official work duties. As Dr. Baird's career has taken off during the last few years, he has had little time to write new articles for this website. Additionally, he has written so many articles about surprising answers to science questions that there are few answers left that are truly surprising that he has not already written about. With that said, Dr. Baird continues every day to personally answer via email the science questions submitted to him. Over the last eleven years, Dr. Baird has personally answered several science questions per day, every day of the year. Just because Dr. Baird has not posted many articles to this website in the last few years does not mean that he will ignore your science question. He loves answering science questions! The answer that Dr. Baird emails back to you may be a few sentences long or several pages long, depending on how interesting and hard-to-explain the answer is.

11. Is there any type of question that I should not ask Dr. Baird?
Dr. Baird will respond to any sincerely-asked conceptual question in the areas of science, health, science literacy, and scientific aspects of history and society, no matter how simple or strange the question may be. Furthermore, Dr. Baird will attempt to answer, using his own educated opinion, questions related to the philosophy of science and the intersection of science and religion. Dr. Baird also loves feedback on typos that people find in his articles. Dr. Baird will not solve your homework problems for you, complete scientific calculations on your behalf, or tutor you on how to solve homework problems, so please do not ask. It is much more effective for students to receive help and tutoring on homework problems from an in-person instructor such as a teacher, teaching assistant, homework help lab employee, or personal tutor. Additionally, Dr. Baird ignores insincerely-asked questions that are not really questions at all but are actually rants or promotion of pseudoscience.