What’s in a namesake? School mistakes fictional drug lord for renowned scientist


New Delhi: Heisenberg — the name was at once the similarity and the mistake.

A school, said to be in Punjab, has put up the photo of “Breaking Bad” actor Bryan Cranston on its “Hall of Fame” instead of that of German physicist Werner Heisenberg, renowned for his contribution to quantum mechanics.

The mistake could have possibly happened because Cranston plays the role of drug lord Walter White, aka Heisenberg, in the popular television series.

A video, taken inside the school’s science lab, shows Cranston’s portrait in his signature glasses as Heisenberg — one of the main characters in the show.

Cranston’s portrait could be seen alongside photos of other noted scientists including Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton.

The video, originally posted from the account Crazy Funny Stuff, was shared by Shilpa Kannan, India Curation Lead at Twitter, on the microblogging platform.

“Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston was mistaken for Werner Heisenberg, the scientist who discovered the uncertainty principle. These images seem to have been distributed to many schools in India. There was one from AP earlier and this one is apparently from Punjab,” she wrote.

Kannan also recalled a similar incident in Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur in 2019, where Cranston was again mistaken for Heisenberg.

Many on Twitter found the video hilarious, while some had their own theories on the goof-up.

Another user found the mistake “not inspirational” for school kids.

Alter ego

Cranston’s character, Walter White, in the Emmy-winning series transforms from a cancer-stricken high school chemistry teacher to a drug kingpin, producing and selling meth in order to make money for his family.

Walter White later adopted his alter ego “Heisenberg” after the “Heisenberg uncertainty principle” by his scientist namesake Werner Heisenberg, to depict his transition from a family-oriented man to a drug lord.

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