Metallica’s James Hetfield Celebrates a PhD in Astrophysics

Belvedere, CA — Heavy metal guitarist and Metallica lead singer James Hetfield announced on his personal Facebook page that he had just defended his Ph.D. dissertation at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena (CalTech), CA.  Mr. Hetfield, or Dr. Hetfield as he prefers now, had been secretly attending the esteemed university off and on for the last 12 years, often taking courses via correspondence.

“I like playing music because it’s a good living and I get satisfaction from it. But I can’t feed my family with satisfaction,” noted Dr. Hetfield in a The Fazzler telephone interview following the announcement. “So I figured if Brian May could do it, so could I. Which is why I did this other gig. Turns out, I was pretty good at it.”

According to the CalTech dissertation roster, Dr. Hetfield expanded on Dr. Misty Benz’s 2007 seminal work on black holes entitled Black Hole Scaling Relationships: New Results from Reverberation Imaging. Hetfield’s work focused on improving the light refactoring and the effects of gravity on the Hubble telescope. His work helped with a major breakthrough in our understanding of not only black holes, but distant quasars as well.

“So that’s the thing,” continued Dr. Hetfield. “I analyzed micro-lensing in gravitationally lensed quasars to yield measurements of the structure of their continuum emission regions. I first described our lensed quasar monitoring program and RETROCAM, the auxiliary port camera I built for the 2.4m Hiltner telescope to monitor lensed quasars. I know it seems obvious, but the math wasn’t playing out quite right.”

Fellow CalTech astrophysicist Dr. Tral Aldrich was not only ecstatic about Hetfield’s discovery but was also “thrilled beyond belief” to work with the iconic musician.

“OK,” said Dr. Aldrich in a The Fazzler telephone interview. “I can’t take credit for James’s discovery, but I did work out some of his equations. And they’re genius. They really are. And I have to tell you, working with him was the thrill of a lifetime. He’s surprisingly down to Earth and incredibly cool.”

As for his music career, Dr. Hetfield has no plans on giving that up anytime soon.

“Why can’t I do both, you know?” questioned a pleased Dr. Hetfield. “We have a lot of downtime on the road and I can work on my equations there. Besides,” he continued chuckling, “I’m making the rest of the band call me ‘The Doctor’ from now on. Lars hates that shit.”

Loretta Splitair
Loretta Splitair
Loretta Splitair is Gish Gallop's Media and Cultural Editor. She has written widely including publications such as Rolling Stone, The Atlantic and the Lady's Home Journal where she hosts a regular column on the ravages of Billy Joel's music entitled, Billy Joel is a Piece of Shit. Loretta is married to her second husband after her first died protesting railway expansion in Kansas. Please do not ask her about it.

More from author


Related posts


Latest posts

Tim Hortons Installs Canadian Space Arm at Ottawa Location

Tim Hortons has unveiled a surprising new addition to its flagship Ottawa location: the Canadarm. Known for its crucial roles on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station, this iconic piece of Canadian engineering will now be serving coffee and donuts to delighted patrons. Dubbed the "Timbitsarm," this futuristic barista promises to bring a touch of zero-gravity magic to the everyday coffee experience, making morning routines in Ottawa more extraordinary than ever.

Louisiana Teacher Under Fire for Posting 10 Commandments in Pig Latin

History teacher Bernie Carver stirred controversy by displaying the Ten Commandments in Pig Latin, provoking ire from conservative parents. Earl "Big Earl" LeJeune fumed, "This is part of a larger conspiracy. Next, they'll be speaking French! And you know what they say about French – it's the language of the devil!"