Larry Fleinhardt

Professor of Physics 
Played by: Peter MacNicol

Full Name: Lawrence Fleinhardt

Address: Unknown

Birthdate: Unknown


Early Life
Larry has always been fascinated with the stars.  He has his first telescope at age three, is the president of the rocket club in the fifth grade and works as a docent at his local planetarium while in junior high school; he even plays a lot of Space Invaders as a child. His favorite comic book character is Galactus from the Fantastic Four seeing the character as a necessary force.

Throughout his life he keeps a diary in the form of a quipu.

Larry graduates college at the age of nineteen and is a grad student near Atlantic City in 1984 where he gambles heavily in a bid to prove the power of mathematics.  While in grad school he tries to go a whole year without electricity in order to impress a girl, Sandra Darwinkle.

Larry’s father is a painter and wants Larry to follow as an artist as well.  Larry does apply to an art school, but never takes classes.  He is a technically accomplished artist and has made several drawings of famous paintings.

Physics Career

Larry worked for four years on a DARPA funded project to develop a new space telescope, he quits when the design is used instead as part of the star wars missile defense project.

Larry has been teaching for twenty years, though his students find him boring and intellectually inaccessible. He meets a young Charlie Eppes when he is teaching and Charlie is a student at Princeton University. He is a coach for an intramural basketball team at CalSci, however he turns in his whistle as he easily loses his temper during competition. He is working on an eleven dimension super-gravity theory and wants to win a Nobel Prize when it is complete.  He suffers a set back in late 2006 when the theory is completely dismantled by another physicist. He is handicapped in needing Charlie to help him with the math involved as he doesn’t work the equations himself. Larry has won the Newton Lacey Pierce Award from the American Astronomy Society.

In 2005, Larry started an experiment of only eating white food to test super symmetry and in late 2006 is still on his white food only diet.  After his return from space in early 2007, Larry considers giving up his white food experiment; he also decides to spend time at a monastery in Altadena “exploring the universe of his mind”.  Late summer of 2007, Larry is still at the monastery and is no longer on his white food only diet; he has learned the art of meditation.  Larry is having problems adjusting to life back on Earth.  He mentions wanting to find and contemplate silence but he can’t seem to find it as he keeps thinking of so many other things.

As of late 2007, Larry has agreed to teach a seminar at CalSci and he has been offered the chance to help find the “God Particle”.  In early 2008 Larry accepts the offer to help find Higgs boson and asks Amita to be his computational partner; they spend roughly twenty hours a week working on the project. He has a crisis of faith wondering if he is a hypocrite to be searching for something he may not want to find.  Charlie points out to him the problem isn’t that Larry wouldn’t find the Higgs-Boson, but that he would and his feelings would be the same as his trip to the ISS.  The question becomes moot in early 2009 when Larry’s Higgs research is stopped due to problems at CERN. By late 2009, though Larry starts to withdraw from all of his research, he removes his application to work at CERN, he also drops all of his classes.  Charlie accuses him of running away, and Larry does not dispute him.  Charlie and Amita find Larry’s super gravity work written out on the walls of the steam tunnels under CalSci along with a Hindi sign that Amita thinks means Larry is leaving all of his physics work in Charlie’s care.

He also regularly competes in the Physics Department Paper Airplane contest, and food fights, and is the five time Texas Hold ‘Em champion at the CalSci Faculty Tournament. He dreams of one day going into space. This dream is realized in December 2006, when Larry is moved up from alternate to prime payload specialist on a mission to the International Space Station.  During his six month stay, Larry uses his knowledge of cosmic background microwaves to study the effect it has on satellites.

In early 2009, Charlie, Amita and Larry decide to start a once an month “think tank” to toss around interesting ideas.  After some initial hesitation, Charlie asks Alan to join the group. The group elects Amita as team leader and the group will consult with JPL on the next planetary rover.

Larry believes in the existence of alien races and the possibility of psychic ability.

Larry has been to numerous conferences throughout his career, including one in Ethiopia. However for a string theory conference in Minneapolis, Larry wasn’t sure where he needed to be.

In late 2006, Larry has a paper on Zero Point Energy and Quantum Cosmology published in Physics Weekly. In early 2009, Larry states he holds the Walter T Merrick chair in Theoretical Physics at CalSci.

Personal Life
In late 2005 Larry sells his personally restored 1877 Victorian home. However he has not found anything else.  He is homeless by choice feeling a permanent address “constrains one’s intellectual vistas”. Charie becomes concerned about Larry’s living arrangement when he discovers Larry has been living in the steam tunnels under the school.  Charlie offers Larry space at the family home but Larry refuses on the grounds the Craftsman only has one tub, and he uses a tub frequently to think.  Larry eventually reveals this change was in anticipation of the NASA mission, but didn’t want to tell anyone about his accomplishment as it is questionable if he gets chosen.

He knows Rhonda Pickford had a crush on him in the fifth grade. He was also romantically involved with Jane Karellen, his boss during his time with DARPA.

In 2004 he starts going on regular hikes with Laurel Wilson, a professor of Philosophy of Science and has had intimate relations with her in 2005; Larry describes it as an untwinable event.

He has recently started thinking about marriage and family.

He mentions having at least one lunch with Megan Reeves and they have their first date at an Ethiopian restaurant in April 2006.  In late 2006, Larry and Megan have gone out on several dates, but Larry is feeling the relationship is affecting his ability to work.  He needs some structure to their relationship and the two of them work out a dating schedule. He tells Megan he is spending time at a monastery after returning from the ISS by leaving a note “in beautiful calligraphy” under her door. By late 2007, he and Megan are reconnecting after his time on the ISS. Larry feels even though she will be living in Washington, his relationship with Megan will continue.

In early 2009, Larry is interested in Lorna Ludlow, a biology professor at CalSci researching avian flu.  Larry is mum as to whether he is actually planning to date Lorna, however he is considering becoming vegetarian, like Lorna; he says while he sorts out his feelings on animals in general.

By late 2009, Larry has shed all of his responsibilities at Cal-Sci and in his personal life and decides to leave the modern, technological world behind.  He buys plane tickets to Greenland, Australia, Greece, Alaska, and Italy; in the end however he may end up buying a piece of land he finds on a road from LA to Las Vegas (he has all of the flights leave from Las Vegas so he doesn’t have to say any goodbyes at home.)

By early 2010, Larry is back and squatting in Charlie’s garage.  He spent his time, not at any of the destinations he mentioned, but on the Mojave Desert. He used teh time to think, watch the stars and talk to coyotes and discovers he is focusing all his time studying the past, seeing stars that may already be dead.  Instead he decides to look to the future and he thinks he has a theory on what the future holds for the cosmos.  He comes home to work out the kinks in the theory and test his conclusions. He states one of the things he missed most while living in the desert was the thrill of the chase with FBI cases. When Charlie and Amita are offered a chance to teach at Cambridge, Larry offers his services to Don.

Larry obtains an ordainment from the Universal Life Church specifically so he can officiate at Charlie’s wedding.

Larry has not talked about is family very often. His mother died years ago, and he has an Aunt Louise who, as of 2006, is still living in the LA area.  He has not specified what kind of a relationship he has with his aunt, but mentions two dreams he has about her; one involving her stealing his internal organs and another where she is trying to eat his flesh.  He also thinks she could tackle a bear and win.

Larry has taken steps for his retirement investing in both Syntel (where he lost $175,000) and Google.

Hobbies Likes/Dislikes:
Larry is very good at air hockey, and will watch Don and Charlie play Frisbee golf.  He also plays several retro video games including Asteroids and Tempest. He enjoys dancing.

He prefers classic cars and owns at least two: a yellow one seen only in the Pilot and a 1934 Model A he purchases in 2005. He is a member of a classic car club and admits to Charlie his biggest rival is Al McNabb, a fellow member of the club who covets Larry’s 1934 Ford.

He is a member of the North American Sundial Society.

Larry likes the band The White Stripes, Mel Torme and the Three Tenors. He is an avid reader, among his favorite authors is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  He also reads comic books including The Green Lantern and The Fantastic Four.  He also likes jazz, is a big fan of Star Trek and enjoys magic and illusions.

He does not own a cell phone considering them “electronic leashes” and doesn’t want to. He does buy a cell phone (with a Star Trek ring tone) when he starts getting calls from NASA.  When he leaves NASA he also gets rid of the cell phone.  However Don soon “shoves another one” at him so he can be reached during FBI cases. Larry gives up the phone when he leaves on his trip.  Once again, though he is soon saddled with another phone after he offers to help Don on FBI cases while Charlie is away in England.

He does not eat red meat.

He has a tendency to get sea-sick.

  • Reportedly, the Model A car used in several episodes beginning with Obsession is owned by Peter MacNicol
  • The first use of Larry-inspired math explanation is in the episode Calculated Risk
  • In Graphic, Ross Moore draws Larry as a superhero called the Quantum Avenger.
  • Larry admits he’s been nicknamed “The Rocket Man” by the internet blog-sphere

The Quotable Larry Fleinhardt:
  • I’m gonna go contemplate to koi pond. (Uncertainty Principle)
  • Charrrlles … (Identity Crisis)
  • In response to Charlie asking if he has a minute: Yes, because we all have exactly the same number of minutes at all times, do we not? (Vector)
  • Here’s a discussion: Why is it we remember the past and not the future? (Pilot)
  • The statistics would favor the bear getting mauled by my aunt. (Sniper Zero)
  • Children are wormholes. They’re portals into the unreachable future and unattainable past. (Sniper Zero)
  • Don’t say tsk, tsk, tsk. (Dirty Bomb)
  • That’s not optimal. (Dirty Bomb)
  • Today was good, what about tomorrow? (Dirty Bomb)
  • Larry: What’s that old saying? Applied Physicists are from Venus, Theoretical Physicists …
    Charlie: Wonder why it rotates in the opposite direction. (Sacrifice)
  • Charles, the human spirit is immeasurable! (Sacrifice)
  • On exceptions to every rule: Yes, and aren’t they glorious! (Sacrifice)
  • Real science is discovery, Charles, it’s not invention. The truths are there whether we find them or not. (Sacrifice)
  • Little did I realize that me slender budgetary resources were being used to fund a UFO hunt. (Noisy Edge)
  • The fact remains we may not be alone. (Noisy Edge)
  • Here’s where I get reductive on your ass. (Noisy Edge)
  • Don: What’s the problem?
    Larry: Well apparently this seed spreader. (Man Hunt)
  • Note to self, never talk quantum theory again. (Man Hunt)
  • Girls in the fifth grade are 95% unknowable. (Judgment Call)
  • That was not clear. (Judgment Call)
  • Larry: Charlie, have you ever considered our place in the universe?
    Charlie: Certainly every time we speak. (Bettor or Worse)
  • My physics verses your geometry. (Bettor or Worse)
  • And for some reason they won’t let us move the walls of the actual house. (Obsession)
  • Cosmologists use it when we’re just plain lost. (Obsession)
  • Since when did my last name become a predicate adjective? (Assassin)
  • I think we need to give value to defenestration. (Assassin)
  • None of this explains why I always get stuck sitting between the great-aunts and the cigar smoking cousins. (Soft Target)
  • To Charlie: You’re a talented theoretician with an ego problem. (Convergence)
  • Wisdom and genius: rarely present in equal abundance. (Convergence)
  • Women have two ‘X’ chromosomes. Men have an ‘X’ and a so called ‘Y’. (In Plain Sight)
  • Curiosity: Not great for cats, but very good for scientists. (In Plain Sight)
  • There’s a symmetry to my chaos, OK?  My system is chronological according to height. (Bones of Contention)
  • There was another fire, and apparently a signed confession does not satisfy Professor Eppes’ standard of guilt. (Scorched)
  • Charlie: Can’t you just see this a field work?
    Larry: Unfortunately, it’s a poppy field. (Double Down)
  • Alan: All those schmucks who play the game for fun, they think it’s cheating.
    Larry: Those are the same schmucks who should stick to slot machines. (Double Down)
  • Poker is for professional card players and under-employed celebrities. (Double Down)
  • The constant quandary of crime analysis: to get more data you need more crime. (Protest)
  • Eppsie, I was born ready. (Mind Games)
  • To hold to one assumption, to exclude any and all contradictory data, that isn’t science, that’s politics. (Mind Games)
  • Eureka! Oh my word, eureka! (All’s Fair)
  • Larry: If your main goal is simply to shoot other students, why such a convoluted path
    Amita: I don’t know, insanity maybe? (Dark Matter)
  • It leads me back to those stars; when one dies and disappears, the whole cluster feels the loss. (Guns and Roses)
  • Charlie: You want me to be honest with you?
    Larry: No, I don’t. I want to remain a blithering idiot.  Yes, of course I want your honesty. (The Mole)
  • To Amita: CalSci made an offer you couldn’t refuse? (Traffic)
  • I never percuss for pleasure. (Longshot)
  • Alan: You figured out a grown woman won’t make out in the back seats of cars.
    Larry: … Plus, my car … no back seat. (Longshot)
  • Actually, I have known certain [mathematical] expressions to take on a shimmering quality. (Hardball)
  • Change is inevitable and those who adapt most quickly are the most likely to survive (Waste Not)
  • Larry: I believe that’s my copy of the Quarterly Review of Cosmology?
    Charlie: Yeah, it is …
    Larry: Why are we engaged in combat over it?  (Brutus)
  • To Charlie: Were I in a less ebullient frame of mind, I might well just bop you in the nose. (Brutus)
  • I am loath to become small again. (The Art of Reckoning)
  • Charles, the monks do not appreciate FBI agents knocking on their doors especially during morning contemplation. (Trust Metric)
  • You can contemplate silence, but you can never find it. (Trust Metric)
  • Other things keep thinking me. (Velocity)
  • On darts: Unfortunately, my bird keeps trying to nest in the hallway. (Velocity)
  • Charlie: You’re right.
    Larry: About what? (Robin Hood)
  • Larry: That page is blank.
    Charlie: Not after I sign it. (In Security)
  • I’m the only one here who has visitors.  Even the vow of silence guys are grumbling. (In Security)
  • Charles you look like someone stole your chalk. (Primacy)
  • Who is this person that belongs to this mess! (Primacy)
  • I sense a big hairy but coming.  Ooooo, pardon my terrible pun. (Primacy)
  • Charlie: I have the will power of a field mouse.
    Larry: But within that field you are a very popular mouse. (Primacy)
  • [to Alan]: You could move in with me but I don’t live anywhere. (Primacy)
  • Charlie: Thereis nothing wrong with my driving.
    Larry: So the chorus of car horns that follows in youe wake … what is that? A spontaneous phenomenon? (Breaking Point)
  • [to Megan] I’m merely suggesting that if you’re reasons for doing this work have been challenged or invalidated, then yeah, you need to find some new reasons … or find some new work. (Black Swan)
  • Larry: I haven’t heard of any of these artists; and it’s not like I’ve been living in a cave.
    Charlie: No, just a space station and a monastery; and oh yeah, the steam tunnels.
    Larry: Point taken. (Pay to Play)
  • Last year I was 217 miles above the Earth.  Our relationship has never depended on geographic proximity. (When Worlds Collide)
  • Amita: This analysis is pretty deep stuff.  Do you know how to do it?
    Larry: I know how — to get it done (High Exposure)
  • Larry: Ever get the feeling we’re just these celestial bodies orbiting Charlie?
    Alan: Having trouble with our resident genius are you? (Scan Man)
  • Charlie is still determined to predetermine the results. (Magic Show)
  • Larry: My own quest for god has been inextricably intertwined with my work.
    Does that help you sleep?
    No, it keeps me awake. (Magic Show)
  • Amita: Two words everyone needs to remember …
    Larry: Plausibly deniability. (Conspiracy Theory)
  • Larry: Of course Paul McCarty dying in 1966 and being replaced with a look alike, that of course is pure fact.
    Charlie: What?
    Larry: Oh yeah.  Check out the cover of Abbey Road, the clues are all over it. (Conspiracy Theory)
  • Larry: Wait a sec, did you just call me a moron?
    Charlie: HL Menken did. (Conspiracy Theory)
  • Boys don’t make me pull the math car over. (Frienemies)
  • Don: Is this going to get us anywhere or are we just digressing?
    Larry: When do I digress? (Sneakerhead)
  • Alan: Is this the way you treat all your lab assistants?
    Charlie: No.
    Larry: Actually they spend a week in horticultural boot camp at the Eppes house. (Sneakerhead)
  • Alan: It’s not how you play the game; it’s whether you win or lose.
    Larry: That doesn’t sound right … (First Law)
  • Larry: Is this tie really necessary?
    Charlie: All aspects of the games are controlled by forces: look sharp, play sharp.
    Larry: How about this annoying athletic supporter?
    Charlie: That’s for the players, Larry.
    Larry: Oh! (12:01AM)
  • Amita: He seems to really despise human beings as inferior and corrupt.
    Larry: One might surmise that from the fact he’s holding several of them hostage. How does that help us? (Animal Rites)
  • Charlie, you’re living and working out of boxes, now.  You’ve become a previous incarnation of me! (Disturbed)
  • I prefer the term conspirasist.  I dropped the word nut all together. (Disturbed)
  • Nikki: We’re the devils?
    Larry: For the purposes of this particular game theory. (Angels and Devils)
  • I’ve always fancied myself more of a Mycroft than a Doctor Watson. (Angels and Devils)
  • Larry: Actually, there is no proven correlation between physical proximity and promise of result.
    Nikki: What?
    Liz: It’s not gonna go any faster with you looking over his shoulder.
    Nikki: Will it go any slower? (Angels and Devils)
  • The Milky Way tastes like raspberries. (Hangman)
  • Larry: In principle we have succeeded.
    Alan: Actually, in a much more realistic way we have failed. (Friendly Fire)
  • Charlie:  This guy’s [Alan] gotten lost driving back from the supermarket.
    Alan: So I once ended up in San Pedro, big deal.
    Larry: Who among us hasn’t. (Friendly Fire)
  • Larry: You know my favorite part about running? You don’t have to plan your route, but you do have to keep on moving. (Friendly Fire)
  • I’ve spent me entire life looking into the past.  So, I turned my inner eye 180 degrees to look to the future. (And the Winner Is …)
  • Larry: At the request of the bride and groom, I will keep my remarks short and non-technical.  As you all know, the four fundamental forces in physics are electromagnetism, strong nuclear interaction, weak nuclear interaction and gravity.
    Colby: So I wonder what the technical version sounds like.
    Larry: I heard that. (Cause and Effect)
  • Larry: I think I just inadvertently Tweeted. (Cause and Effect)
  • Larry: Any good equation monkey needs to be familiar with the applicable tools of mathematical crime fighting. (Cause and Effect)

On the ‘Net:

    • IMDb — internet movie database entry for Peter MacNicol
    • Peter MacNicol Online — fan site for Peter MacNicol maintained by Deb.