Saturday, April 14, 2007

Shatner's Bassoon

As my more astute readers (a Mr Trellis of North Crewe) have already discovered, my attention has been drawn to an article in that excellent organ “The Scotsman”.

For those of you less well informed, I should point out that “The Scotsman” is the name of a newspaper, and not an indication that the world is down to a singular number of Caledonian males. Despite their propensity for irritating the shit out of their neighbours (porridge, Burns, bagpipes, midges, Glasgow Rangers), the Scots are not a threatened species.

Neither, alas, are physicists. The article in question refers to the arcane musings of the world community of physicists.

This picture:

Is not the centrepiece of the latest Saturday evening game show on the BBC, but rather part of a toy that these deluded individuals have had constructed in Switzerland. They are going to use it to search for something very small. Even smaller than the sum total of common sense present in the consciousness of physicists, should their propaganda be believed.

I have not troubled, and I counsel you to do likewise, to try to fully understand the exact nature of their experiments. I value what remains of my sanity too highly for that. I will try to distil some of the drivel for you courtesy of “The Scotsman”. The italicised sections are reproduced from their website. I hope that they will not sue me. The picture is from the same source, although I have not managed to italicise it. I only got grade 3 CSE physics.

“it will fire two beams of proton particles in opposite directions around a 17-mile ring some 300 feet under the earth's surface”

It sounds as if someone has a Scalextric fetish.

“Then the particles in the beams will collide ….. Each collision will cause an explosion similar to the Big Bang … creating conditions almost identical to those experienced less than a second after the universe came into being.”

No, I don’t believe it. Or rather my attitude is agnostic towards it. To believe that the scientific community can know the exact age of the universe to within a second requires a leap of faith that I am not prepared to indulge in, particularly when my Sky+ Box often misses the beginnings of programmes.

They are looking for something called the “Higgs boson”. No, really. They should have asked me, I have a complete set in my garden shed. They are truly very heavy. It takes both me and Mrs S ages to shift them whenever we want to get the chrysanthemum scissors out.

According to our deranged chums, without the Higgs boson there would be no mass in the universe. No, this is getting too fucking silly for me.

Mr Higgs, and this really grabbed my attention, is described thus:

"He doesn't say very much and when he does, it's not always easy to comprehend what he is talking about …. He is a model scientist."

I commented on this at “The Scotsman”:

I had physics teachers like this at school. I would advise you all that in this case first impressions are accurate. Physicists have nothing to teach us about anything other than the propagation of nonsense, and we should let them all play nicely, away from the rest of us.

I was criticised for my comments, until the aforementioned Mr Trellis came to my defence.

I suspect that the very nice man or lady (Eben Harrell) who wrote this article actually believes some of this stuff, but he or she explained it in a way that makes it approach intelligibility.

At the beginning of the article he poses three questions. I think I can help.

What is dark matter?

A polite term for the utterances of the scientific community.

Why is the universe expanding?

There are intelligent beings in the outer reaches who are trying to accelerate away from this area, so that they do not have to listen to the babblings of our intellectuals.

What are its building blocks?

Love and Grace.


Dave said...

Is this the same machine which was reported in the Times last week as not working because some American-supplied parts had been measured wrongly? How we laughed.

Dark matter was, in any case, disproved in my novel, Calling Project Hermes a week or so ago; the universe is heavier than expected because of a duplication of Earths.

Rol Hirst said...

Sounds like the sort of thing they cobble together on Dr. Who and accidentally destroy the galaxy while they're at it.

Can't wait!

Richard said...

It's Mr Trellis of West Crewe actually but he won't quibble. They haven't removed the tank traps from the north yet.

JolietJake said...

Sounds like throwing a lightbulb at a brick wall, that makes a loud pop too.

Granted, the Big Bang sounds more interesting than the Loud Pop, but it's easier reproduce and what else is there to do when the light are out but reproduce?

Homo Escapeons said...

"Ah yes, but no true Scotsman puts any sugar in his Haggis Boson."