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Wednesday, 30 January 2008

image for Particle Physics: Is It Fun? Einstein thought it was fun. In this undated photo he had forgotten to ruffle his hair into its trademark "mad scientist" style.

We report on a recent seminar given at FermiLab by the acclaimed particle physicist, Prof. H. Wonky Legg, the content of which will allow you, the reader, to judge whether particle physics is fun, or just downright daft.

"Good morning! In this talk I would like to show some results from the di-parton Drell Yan working group on Higgs weak neutralino studies, who have been working in collaboration with the Arthur Negus Centre for Large Massive Bodies at the University of Upper Wangoby in Tonga."

(first slide shows graph with clouds of points and red lines, annotated in greek letters)

"In this slide I show the comdingly mass pairs of frothing di-quarks derived from the parton sea off the coast of Zimbabwe. You will notice the steeply falling Higgs cross-section as a function of chocolate biscuits."

(second slide, shows a photo of Nicole Kidman in the buff)

"My collaborators insisted I show this slide."

(third slide, shows a set of formulae featuring large omegas and other lesser-known Greek letters, with numerous subscripts)

"It is trivial to show, as seen here, that the upper bound on the tri-muon cross-section for production of sleptons is not unadjacent to the value obtained by adding the age of Mikhail Gorbachev to the number of seconds since the Big Bang."

(fourth slide, shows a photo of a large dildo disappearing inside a moss-lined tunnel)

"My collaborators also insisted I show this slide."

(fifth slide, with one word: "Conclusions")

"In summary, if we ignore the minimum bias wing nuts, the oscillating bubble tea, the large edifice recently found on Titan, and the overwhelming evidence for the intelligent life of coffee pots, we conclude that a maximum of one doughnut should be eaten in any given week. Thankyou."

(polite applause.)

"Questions?"

(From the audience)

"You bastard! You failed to acknowledge my work on flip flops!"

(The speaker)

"That work is discredited and you, sir, are a cad and a bounder. Step outside!"

(Seminar breaks up into warring factions, with each group wielding their weapon of choice e.g. avocado seeds, gobstoppers and pine cones.)

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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