Introducing Jen Jones CPN, certified professional nuclear physicist


Hi, I’m Jen Jones, CPN, MA, PsD, a certified professional nuclear physicist (CPN).

I know what you’re thinking: a real nuclear physicist needs a PhD (instead of a PsD), must have spent years at a super expensive school like MIT and has to work in a place like Los Alamos in New Mexico where they built the atomic bomb. That’s what most nuclear physicists want you to think. The truth is that you can be a certified professional nuclear physicist, train by apprenticeship and work at home.

Atoms are totally natural. They have been around for the entire 6,000 years that the world has existed. Human beings have ALWAYS been made of atoms. Smash ’em together and you get energy. What more does anyone need to know?

[pullquote align=”right” color=””]I found out about Schrodinger’s cat and everyone who knows me knows I am totally a cat person.[/pullquote]

Certified professional nuclear physicists (aka lay nuclear physicists) are experts in uncomplicated atoms, like hydrogen and helium. We leave those super duper fancy elements made with interventions (like Einsteinium, Californium and Fermium) to the MIT crowd. They use unnatural interventions to make new atoms. They refuse to let a natural process unfold over tens of thousands of years because they have to get to their golf games.

Nuclear physics is a calling for me. As I researched atoms for my high school physics class (which I flunked), I found what I can only describe as “signs” that the universe intended that I be a lay nuclear physicist.

First there was the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. People who know me say I’m a bit of a ditz; I have so much trouble making up my mind. That uncertainty principle describes me to a T.

Then I found out about Schrodinger’s cat and I am totally a cat person.

Finally, I learned that there is a thing called “chaos theory.” If you’ve ever seen my kitchen, you know that I am an expert in chaos.

I learned all this stuff on Google, and other people could, too, if they bothered to educate themselves.

You probably think you have to know math to be a nuclear physicist, but that is so not true. There’s only one equation, and it has only one number in it: E=mc2. How hard is that for someone like me who was always good at the alphabet?

What does it mean? If you were educated like me, you would know that is means that energy equals mass (that’s physics-speak for weight) times the speed of light (how fast it takes you to flip a light switch) squared (that’s the same as “times 2”). I was never very good at higher math (the 5 times tables and above), but I’m really good at “times 2.” Anyways, E=mc2 tells you how much more energetic you could be if you smashed atoms together as fast as you can switch on a light.

I’m incredibly proud of my credentials, so proud in fact that I had them monogrammed on my towels. I have an CPN (certified professional nuclear physicist) PLUS I did advanced apprenticeship for my MA (mastering the alphabet), and (I’m most proud of this) my PsD (doctor of pseudoscience).

I bet you think it took me lots of hours a week for many years to get all these degrees. Nope, I really couldn’t give it much time since I’m a MAMA (that’s not a degree; it just means mom). Fortunately, you can get any of these credentials through self-study. Then you apprentice with another lay nuclear physicist. Those requirements are pretty rigorous. You have to watch her at least 20 times to learn how to turn on a light as fast as possible. Then you have to be the primary person to turn on the light another 20 times.

And that’s not all. You have to do independent research, at home of course. My project? Well everyone knows that energy comes from busting atoms apart (that’s “fission” in physics-speak). My project was to make my husband more energetic so he would do more chores around the house. He’s pretty lazy, doesn’t have a job and just sits around guzzling beer all day. I gave him more energy by repeatedly whacking his head with a big stick. Smashing the atoms in his head with the stick gave him so much energy that he has moved out and all the way across the country.

My friend has been trying to make her husband even more energetic than mine using atomic fusion (that’s physics-speak for smashing atoms together to make bigger atoms). She tried squishing her husband’s head in a vise to see if she could make the atoms in his head fuse. It didn’t work; he died. But hey, people die when nuclear physicists are around (they don’t call them atom bombs for nothing).

The key to being a great certified professional nuclear physicist is to EDUCATE yourself and not just blindly accept what those pinheads at MIT have to say. You have just as much right to do research with your own atoms as they have to do research with theirs.

Education never stops. Even though I have all those fancy degrees, I’m going to a special seminar at Los Alamos next month to learn more. No, not at the nuclear facilities in Los Alamos; I’m going to a Farm outside of Los Alamos where the greatest lay nuclear physicist of them all, Ima Frawde, will lead us in meditating on the beauty of Schrodinger’s cat. Best of all: we’ll be getting new letters to put after our names, CLNE, certified lay nuclear physicist educator. I’ll have to re-monogram all my towels, but it will be so worth it.


This piece first appeared in September 2011.

61 Responses to “Introducing Jen Jones CPN, certified professional nuclear physicist”

  1. sdsures
    August 26, 2015 at 12:17 pm #

    I wonder exactly how many NCB advocates’ husbands have up and left them? Is there any data on it?

  2. Anna
    August 26, 2015 at 6:37 am #

    In my country homebirths ARE illegal, but they stiil take place. In these cases the self-proclaimed midwifes have even less responsibility, they never transfer their patients in trouble, they just leave! In fact anyone can announce themselves a midwife without any education at all! They claim to know all about childbirth on the grounds of having given birth without complications themselves. They believe all women’s bodies function identically. Why would people do something that isn’t even legal (you have a lot of trouble registering the baby afterwards) and clearly dangerous (if something goes wrong they just leave and you go to hospital all by yourself)? These ladies know how to flatter and caress your ego. They know how to make you feel special and above the crowd, extra-spiritual and in control. Like in the Devil’s Advocate, “vanity is my favourite sin”.

  3. Daleth
    August 25, 2015 at 2:14 pm #

    I feel called to become a Certified Professional Neurosurgeon. How long can it take?!? It’s about brains, and everyone has one.

    • Erin
      August 25, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

      Surely 10 minutes playing Life & Death II: The Brain* is all it takes to make the leap from enthusiastic amateur to committed professional?

      *My husband loved that game when he was little, didn’t have a great patient survival record though but that was naturally down to their illnesses not his “skills”…

    • Sue
      August 25, 2015 at 9:01 pm #

      Neurosurgery? Meh. It’s not rocket science.

      • Who?
        August 25, 2015 at 9:16 pm #

        But it is brain surgery. ;-_)

  4. attitude devant
    August 25, 2015 at 2:08 pm #

    Could the stock pic be any more perfect?

  5. Zoey
    August 25, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

    I’ve been studying to become a lay theoretical physicist. Since theorists don’t do experiments, then I think this means that I can just make stuff up and call it my new theory. All I need is a few more hours of internet research before I come up with something really paradigm changing. I think it will involve gravity or wormholes or something, but we’ll see. I haven’t read those Wikipedia entries yet.

    I’m hoping to apprentice myself to the guy that that discovered Time Cube. But a genius like that already probably has a bunch of lay theoretical physicists wanting to be his apprentice…

    • Young CC Prof
      August 25, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

      Next you should write your grand unification theory and email it to some random university physicists. I’m sure they can’t wait to hear it.

      • Mel
        August 25, 2015 at 1:56 pm #


        An astronomy professor I had a few years ago got unsolicited grand ideas from folks all the time. He explained the academic dilemma as “you know there’s a 99.99999% chance that the idea is just bat-shit crazy and will waste 10 hours you could have been doing real research, but part of you worries that you could be missing the next big thing.”

        A few other non-traditional age students and I solved the problem for him. We thought he should list a high level physics elective titled something like “Special Issues in Physics Research”. When the students come in, there is a heap of those unsolicited lay papers lying in the front of the room face-down. Students take turns picking one paper from the pile – WITHOUT LOOKING AT IT until they each have 4 papers. For each paper that you can demonstrate is correct – or horribly incorrect – through theory or experimentation, you earn 1 credit for the class.

        The main downside is that I think you could only offer the class about once every 5 years since word would get around about the crazy class….

        • Roadstergal
          August 25, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

          I heard some possibly-apocryphal story about a physics prof who dealt with the barrage of Unsolicited Great Idea emails he didn’t even want to read – wait for the next one, then say, “There’s this fellow you should talk to…” and hook them up.

        • Who?
          August 25, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

          That was smart thinking on your part. So did people stop sending their ideas? If so, clearly not very confident about them in the first place.

          • Young CC Prof
            August 25, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

            The supply of people in the world who think they’ve proved grand unification theory (or P = NP, or the Riemann Hypothesis) is unlimited.

          • Who?
            August 25, 2015 at 6:41 pm #

            Not sure when I’ll have the chance to use that in my everyday life, but good to know. I wonder if Big Bang Theory has much to answer for in bringing the existence of these ideas to a broader public?

    • Sarah
      August 25, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

      You could combine midwifery AND physics and come up with some really amazing theories to throw around. I suggest something along the lines of “unmedicated birth releases euphoric atoms that, in extreme cases, create wormholes of never ending bliss.”

      • Young CC Prof
        August 25, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

        Unfortunately, someone beat you to it.

        • Roadstergal
          August 25, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

          I was about to say ‘needs more quantum’ to Sarah, but I just saw the title of the link you posted and couldn’t bear to click.

          Quantum epigenetic changes to the microbiome to orgasmically welcome the baby earthside! Deepak is definitely missing a whole new market base of bullshit.

        • Sarah
          August 25, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

          Noooooo! a) I was planning on marketing it. b) How can this be a thing?!

          ETA: If we’re getting into the quantum level of midwifery, shouldn’t the mantra be “Love and a potential absence of light”?

          • Young CC Prof
            August 25, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

            Quantum midwifery: We deliver babies discretely.

            Too subtle?

          • Roadstergal
            August 25, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

            We take the uncertainty principle one step farther. We’ll refuse to measure either the baby’s position _or_ when it’s supposed to be here!

          • Young CC Prof
            August 25, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

            Well, if you don’t do cervical checks, you don’t know how fast the baby is moving, and if you don’t do ultrasounds, you don’t know its position.

          • Sarah
            August 25, 2015 at 3:44 pm #

            Depending on the check up, we may even treat you as if you aren’t pregnant at all.

          • Daleth
            August 25, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

            At the quantum level, they’re alive and healthy. Even though they may appear otherwise in consensus reality.

        • Liz Leyden
          August 25, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

          “Woman free birth” sounds like something from a sci-fi story where humans are gestated in artificial wombs.

          • Sarah
            August 25, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

            Or Macbeth! “No man born of woman will ever defeat you.”

        • Amy M
          August 26, 2015 at 11:38 am #

          From the same website. It’s a very wordy piece about how she attended a birth where someone died, and doesn’t attend births anymore. However, she still “has a fire” for birth work, trusts birth and believes that if something goes wrong, the family suffering the loss must bear responsibility because they knew what they were getting into. Also, her heart exploded with grief when another midwife was prosecuted for a death during homebirth.

          • sdsures
            August 26, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

            Jimmy Swaggart as a birth attendant? “THANK YOU, JESUS!”

          • Wishful
            August 27, 2015 at 11:03 am #

            Umm have you read some of her recent posts? Her one on suicide is well…its got a lot to say. I think she is a quantum psychiatrist to.

        • sdsures
          August 26, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

          Lay midwifery, already Woo Central, collides with quantum…something. Because it sounds sciencey.

  6. Dr Kitty
    August 25, 2015 at 11:47 am #

    My son was born completely uneventfully by planned CS this morning.
    He weighs 6lbs 6oz, is breastfeeding well and seems to be a contented little soul so far.
    The “birth experience” was lovely, all the staff were so friendly and pleasant, lots of chat and laughing and jokes, and everyone has been so nice.
    NHS for the win today!

    I’m feeling good, post op analgesia working well, about to eat my second round of tea and toast of the day, he’s currently sleeping in a crib beside me.

    Thanks for all the good wishes!

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      August 25, 2015 at 11:49 am #


    • Karen in SC
      August 25, 2015 at 11:49 am #

      I am so happy for you!! What great news!

    • Inmara
      August 25, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

      Wonderful news! Best wishes for you and little one!

    • momofone
      August 25, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

      What wonderful news! 🙂 Enjoy!

    • Young CC Prof
      August 25, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

      Yay! Congratulations!

    • Wren
      August 25, 2015 at 12:31 pm #


    • Sarah
      August 25, 2015 at 12:34 pm #


      I found my planned CS to be lovely too. That first shower is going to be amazing, btw! :p

    • FrequentFlyer
      August 25, 2015 at 12:51 pm #


    • Megan
      August 25, 2015 at 12:55 pm #

      Congratulations! So happy for you!

    • Cobalt
      August 25, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

      All just as it “should” be, healthy mom and baby with as little fuss as you can safely get away with. Congrats to you and your family.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      August 25, 2015 at 1:16 pm #

      Congrats!!! So happy for you all! My CS was planned, too, and I thoroughly enjoyed it once I got past the initial nervousness. Glad your experience was similar!

    • Amazed
      August 25, 2015 at 1:37 pm #

      Congrats! Welcome Dr Kitten! I wish you a happy kittenhood.

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    • Montserrat Blanco
      August 25, 2015 at 1:51 pm #


    • demodocus
      August 25, 2015 at 1:53 pm #


    • Mel
      August 25, 2015 at 1:57 pm #


    • Daleth
      August 25, 2015 at 2:17 pm #

      Whee! Wonderful! Welcome, Dr. Kitten!

    • August 25, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

      Mazal tov, Dr. Kitty!

    • moto_librarian
      August 25, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

      Congratulations, Dr. Kitty! So glad that you had a lovely birth and that both you and your son are doing well!

    • SporkParade
      August 25, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

      Yay! Wishing you an easy recovery.

    • CrownedMedwife
      August 25, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

      Uneventful, lovely, friendly, pleasant and nice. Add a touch of healthiness, effective pain management and all the goodness that comes with having a little boy. That’s wonderful! Congratulations!

    • Who?
      August 25, 2015 at 6:04 pm #

      Congratulations, wonderful news.

    • araikwao
      August 25, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

      Congratulations!! May it all continue to go well for you & your family!!

    • Mishimoo
      August 25, 2015 at 6:52 pm #

      Congratulations on the safe arrival! Hope everyhig keeps going well and that you heal up quickly + properly.

    • fiftyfifty1
      August 25, 2015 at 8:24 pm #

      congrats! I am so pleased!

    • Sue
      August 25, 2015 at 9:03 pm #

      Yay for Dr Kitty and baby kitty! Best wishes to you both!

    • September 23, 2015 at 8:56 pm #


  7. Roadstergal
    August 25, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    Fission reactors are natural! Just wait and let them come about in their own time. It’s so antiatomist to confine them in ‘containment vessels’ and induce fission with modulators.

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