'Britney Spears' Guide to Semiconductor Physics' is the strangest fansite ever
by Jeremy Mersereau
November 30, 2015
Hit me with the fundamentals of semiconductor laser components baby, one more time.
Before the era of Weird Twitter, or even Twitter, trucker-hatted online rascals were imbuing what was then known as the World Wide Web with their own brand of strange websites, GI Joe PSAs, and myriad other proto-memes. Many of them were baed on the Dada-esque phrase “All Your Base Are Belong To Us.” We were so young! Can you imagine a world where the word ‘viral’ usually prefaced something you really didn’t want, like encephalitis?
One of these early bizarre relics of spoofs gone by is Britney Spears’ Guide to Semiconductor Physics. Created all the way back in the year 2000 by a postgraduate University of Essex student, the site aims to explain the fundamentals of semiconductor laser components that have made it possible to hear Spears’ music in a digital format. Well, it makes more sense than Lil Mama Crying, you have to admit.
For the most part, the site is a straightforward explanation of various semiconductor topics, but get this: interspersed throughout all the technical jargon about lattice vectors and finite barrier quantum wells are jpegs of Britney! Hahaha! How unexpected! Give them a break, it was the early aughts.
What would motivate someone to mix the early-aughts pop queen and dry physics explanations? As the site’s creator, Carl Hepburn, states in an old BBC article: “I used Britney Spears to demonstrate that physics can have a fun side to it as well – most of the images used of Britney relate to physics in some way.” Damn, this guy was probably a blast at campus parties. Nobody show him The Oatmeal, it’ll be too much for him and blow his mind.
The site’s wallpaper section is still up and functioning, for those of you craving poor Photoshops of Britney in the 5th Solvay conference in Brussels in 1927. And really, who isn’t?