If you’ve heard of Erdős numbers, Erdős-Bacon numbers, and the fact that Queen lead guitarist Brian May has a PhD, you may have wondered whether Brian May has a well-defined Erdős number.

As a matter of fact, he does! I traced down a collaboration path of length seven through a 1972 paper he published in *Nature*.

Erdős number | Researcher | Citation |
---|---|---|

7 | Brian May | MgI emission in the night sky spectrum |

6 | T R Hicks | The structure of NGC 7027 |

5 | J P Phillips | QCD: quantum chromodynamic diffraction |

4 | K Golec-Biernat | Integrable Hamiltonian system in 2N dimensions |

3 | Th W Ruijgrok | On the dynamics of a continuum spin system |

2 | C J Thompson | On the mathematical mechanism of phase transition |

1 | Mark Kac | The Gaussian law of errors in the theory of additive number theoretic functions |

Paul Erdős |

This beats the best previous attempt I found, a path of length eight through a popular science book cowritten by May. It gives him an Erdős-Bacon number of at most 10 (and an Erdős-Bacon-Sabbath number of at most 11).