CERN Scientists are red-faced today when it was revealed that the bumps in the data of the two colliders that were thought to be the Higgs Boson turned out to be somebody dropping a cup of coffee in the analysis lab above the particle accelerator.
"We've got to admit," said Janet Werk, theoretical physicist at CERN, "this chase for the Higgs is a dead end."
Peter Higgs, who came up with the idea of the Higgs has also admitted that it could be a false lead.
"The problem with the standard model," said Higgs, who is eighty-two you know, "is that it says that nothing has mass. People talk about unifying relativity and quantum theory a lot, but what they're basically saying is that quantum theory has a big hole in it called mass. It says there is none, but drop a truck on somebody and it will hurt. So I came up with the Higgs field while eating a croissant in the student canteen."
In the fifties, Einstein, who many people credit with the invention of mass, attempted to combine his gravitational theory with Maxwell's equations for electromagnetism. Although he failed, some physicists have decided that perhaps quantum theory is a house of cards built on the probability that it is right and they should attempt to complete what Einstein started.
"Most of the forces in the universe," said Professor and D-Ream lead singer, Brian Cox, "are essentially electromagnetism. Light, heat, microwaves, and so on. You can even show how the forces that bind atoms, the strong and weak nuclear forces, are related to electromagnetism. This is what Einstein was trying to do with gravity. Show it was another face of electromagnetism. What if he was right? We know now that a strong electromagnetic force can warp space in the same way as gravity. What if the entire universe is nothing more than light? That would be amazing."
Those who are clinging onto quantum theory in the face of a crumbling model aren't giving up hope yet.
"It could be a coincidence," said Annette Werk, sister of Janet, and also a theoretical physicist at CERN. "We're going to re-run the experiments and not drop a cup of coffee this time. We can't give up on the standard model just yet. I've spent fifty years and not had sex in all that time, I'd hate to see that effort wasted."