Brian May playing a guitar back-to-back with Paul Erdős giving a lecture.

Brian May has an Erdős number

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).