Bear teaches scientist a lesson in physics |

Bear teaches scientist a lesson in physics

A bear bowled over a physicist from Yale at the Aspen Center for Physics on Monday night when the scientist and bruin met in a hallway.The physicist, Yoram Alhassid, reportedly was not badly hurt during the encounter; there was no word as to the bear’s condition.An employee at the center, Patty Fox, said Alhassid was working in his office in the Stranahan building around 10 p.m. Monday when he heard noises coming from the kitchen noises he thought were from the cleaning staff.Fox said Alhassid, a U.S. citizen originally from Israel, got up to see what was going on and stepped outside his office into a hallway just in time to see a bear dashing toward him.The bear, which apparently was making for a door at the end of the hallway, knocked down the physicist and then “ran around in the hallway for a while, apparently trying to get out” as Alhassid ran back into his office, Fox said.Peering out a short time later, Alhassid saw the bear was still in the building and ducked back into his office, Fox reported. He soon heard “a loud noise” and came out again to find that the bear was gone.Fox said Alhassid, who was somewhat battered but not seriously injured in the encounter, checked out of Aspen Valley Hospital on Tuesday and was back at the Center for Physics that afternoon. He could not be found for comment Tuesday, and neither law enforcement authorities nor wildlife officials were notified.John Colson’s e-mail address is

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