The Super Asymmetry paper that Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy (Mayim Bialik) have been working on all season long has recently encountered a major setback, but Leonard (Johnny Galecki) may actually be the key in salvaging the study if they're willing to ask for his help in The Big Bang Theory. For a time, Sheldon suffered from a career crisis after he felt that his goals to receive a Nobel Peace Prize in Physics is nowhere near reality. Following a string of failed projects, a casual interaction with his then-fiancée led to a major breakthrough during their wedding day. As a sign of his personal growth, Sheldon opted to set aside the scientific discovery and focus on the ceremony. But following their honeymoon at the beginning of the season, he's back at it working relentlessly on the paper.
Sheldon has been engrossed in the project, fully believing that it's the discovery that he's been waiting all his life that will finally make his academic dreams come true. At one point, he even attempted to sabotage Amy's career so that she can focus on their collaboration that devotes her time to her personal experiments. Fast-forward to this week's episode of The Big Bang Theory, Leonard and Raj (Kunal Nayyar) discovered that there's not only been a study about Super Asymmetry, the 1978 paper authored by a Russian scientist also dubbed it "inherently flawed and does not bear the weight of further examination."
Understandably, the Coopers were devastated upon learning about the bad news from Leonard - so much so that they both skipped work the following day. Unlike most episode plotlines in the show, however, this particular one didn't get a resolution. The episode ended with the couple still miserable, with no hint whatsoever that they have any plans of bouncing back from this academic snafu. This means that there's a good chance that this won't be the end for the Super Asymmetry paper from Sheldon and Amy.
Considering what we know about the study that supposedly disproves Super Asymmetry, it's not lost on us that The Big Bang Theory made the explanation as vague as possible. Granted that the concept is fully fictional, the show has always liked to root their science-centric episodes on real-world studies. While they've deviated from those the last couple of seasons to focus on the characters' relationships, it seems odd that they didn't go technical regarding the Russian paper. Moreso, it's also off-putting that Sheldon gave up on the study just because another paper (an outdated one) said that it's a dead end.
This unexpected turn of events could lead into another collaboration between Leonard and Sheldon - given of course, that the former genuinely asks his best friend for help and the latter willingly participate (they've tried working together before but there's always conflict). Since Leonard is an experimental physicist, he can recreate the experiment to verify that the Russian research is accurate. Depending on how CBS wants to push through with this subplot, they can eventually collaborate on the project if Leonard's experiment yields a different result postulating that Super Asymmetry is actually a plausible concept. Either way, fans will get new Sheldon and Leonard content which is only fitting in the shows's final season considering that the show started with their relationship.
Additionally, introducing this brand new subplot continues the trend of showing Sheldon how being intellectually superior than his friends doesn't automatically make him a better person than all of them. Last week Howard's (Simon Helberg) magic tricks - which Sheldon mocks all the time - amused Sheldon's father-in-law, Larry Fowler (Terry), whom he had been trying to impress the whole day to no avail. Asking Leonard for his help regarding his academic failure will undoubtedly be more a humbling experience for Sheldon, as he would also have to share the credit with his best friend (on top of Amy) if things go well with Super Asymmetry.