"I loved the original 'Ghostbusters,'" says Conrad. "And I thought the switch to four women, the girl-power concept, was a great way to change it up for the reboot. Plus, I love all of the stuff in my office. I was happy to have my books become stars."
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The Ghostbusters' arsenal of proton packs, ghost traps and other paranormal equipment were also designed with an eye toward actual cutting-edge physics technology.
James Maxwell was a postdoc at the Lab for Nuclear Science when the film was in production. He drew up actual schematics for all the Ghostbuster equipment, including details on notional technology like cryocooler pulse tubes, spectral feedback displays and plasma ignition chambers. ("Plasma stream convergence not recommended.")
Maxwell hopes the work put into background details pays off: "I wanted to be sure that boys and especially girls could pore over my schematics, plug the components into Wikipedia, and find out about real tools that experimental physicists use to study the workings of the universe."
Young people, knock yourselves out: