In this episode, Sheldon and Leonard's relationship strains between the two when they are invited to present their joint research paper at the academic conference.
The gang is having fun using the X-10 system to send signals across the Internet and around the world from their apartment. Penny who joins them then asks "Why?", only to be met with a unified answer of "because we can". There is also a collection of remote-controlled cars in the apartment, equipped with wireless cameras, and these too can be controlled remotely. As Penny stands in the doorway, the cars move to her, between her feet with webcams pointed up her skirt. Sheldon recommends that she wear pants. After Penny leaves, disgusted, we learn that Howard was controlling one of the vehicles.
When the gang is cleaning up after their little activity, Leonard finds a letter in the trash addressed to Leonard and Sheldon inviting them to present their research paper at a conference on Paradoxical Moment-of-Inertia Changes Due to Putative Super-Solids. As Leonard ponders how the invitation ended up in the trash, Sheldon clarifies that "There's always the possibility the trash can spontaneously formed around the letter, but Occam's Razor would suggest that someone threw it out." He goes on to explain that he threw it away because he refuses to give a speech to a crowd of unappreciative people. Leonard is angered as Sheldon claims their work's success is largely due to him and as such, he makes the key decisions for it. Sheldon also belittles the audience that will attend the conference, noting that they "wouldn't recognize true genius if it was standing in front of them giving a speech...which if I were there it would be." Despite this argument, Leonard is still keen on presenting their paper at the conference.
Penny comes over to help Leonard pick out a suit to wear to the conference. She finds a closet full of clothes that he has had since he stopped growing in middle school. He also has a "Battlestar Galactica" flight suit that he refuses to wear as a Halloween costume and he explains to her that his situation with Sheldon has deteriorated. Later, Sheldon and Penny bump into each other while getting their mail, which includes Sheldon's latest copy of Applied Particle Physics Quarterly. On the way up, Penny attempts to mend Leonard and Sheldon's relationship, but instead she unintentionally worsens the situation. Before Leonard leaves for the conference he makes a final offer to Sheldon asking to present the paper together, but Sheldon refuses and again tries to blow up Leonard's head with his mind ala "Scanners", Leonard leaves for the conference. At the conference, after Leonard finishes presenting, he opens the floor for Q&A, with Sheldon quickly posing a mocking question. Sheldon confronts Leonard about missing over his part, before he finally tries to blow up Leonard's head with his mind. This leads to a fight between Leonard and Sheldon with Howard filming it with his phone.
After the conference, Sheldon arrived back home since Leonard refused to give a ride home. Sheldon apologized to Leonard for trying to blow up his head with his mind.
Suddenly, Howard and Raj burst in and announced that their fight was posted on YouTube (by Howard, under username "Wolowizard"). Howard also took a picture of Penny asleep on his shoulder and posted it as a picture of his girlfriend. Penny found it and mimicking Sheldon, makes the motions of trying to make Howard's head explode. The final scene shows two geeks from "Somewhere in China", who resemble Chinese versions of Leonard and Sheldon watching and mocking the aforementioned video. Howard uses the Internet to switch the two guys' lights on and off.
- Title Reference: The conflict between Leonard and Sheldon.
- This is the first episode to be released after the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike, which lasted from November 2007 to February 2008.
- The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization on The Big Bang Theory Wiki
- The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization at the Internet Movie Database