Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Tragedy in the Annals of Particle Physics

“There’s a Boson here to see you, sir.”
“Eh?  Which Boson would that be.”
“The Higgs, sir.”
"Bother the Boson.  I'm busy."
"He says it's urgent, sir."
“Don’t know any Bosons by that name.  One of the Dorsetshire Boson-Bosons, perhaps? “
“I believe he said he was from Porlock, sir.”
“Well, throw him out.”
“Very good, sir.  Although we must bear in mind what the Bard said about time and the forelock --“
“Bugger the Bard.”
“Yes, sir.”
“Bugger him thoroughly.”
“I shall endeavor to do so, sir.  The poet Keats --“
“-- be buggered, Jeeves.  Can’t you see I’m otherwise engaged?  I’m trying to balance this egg on its end.  They say Columbus managed it, but I’m frankly finding it dashed difficult.  Beginning to expect the old Genoese might have used some sort of trick.”
“The nation of Genoa are proverbial for their craftiness, sir.  Quoth Petrach --“
“Bother Petrarch.  Tell the Boson to ring back later.”
“I shall do so sir.  Although -- in a case of this kind, working near the Planck scale, where every yoctosecond counts --“
“-- we would do well to bear in mind the observation of the Swan of Avon, when he remarked that, if ‘twere done, when ‘tis done, ‘twere well it were done quickly.”
“Remind me to ask you someday what that might mean.  All right Jeeves, you win.  Show him in.”
“Very good, sir.”

But when Jeeves reached the foyer -- the Boson was gone !
Its decay products streaking across the cosmos in every direction.
And thus the chance of spotting that elusive particle was lost -- possibly for all time.

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We now return you to your regularly scheduled essay.

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