I used to work as a teacher so I’ve heard all kinds of excuses for not getting homework done. I really have heard “My dog ate my paper.” Little dudes can get very creative when they’re trying to skeeve out of work. They, however, have nothing on these scientist dudes.
They work with the elementary-est of sub-atomic particles. In particular, Holger Bech Nielsen, of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, and Masao Ninomiya of the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics in Kyoto, Japan, are trying to find the Higgs boson (or particle if the word boson makes you giggle). So far, the Higgs particle has eluded all our attempts to produce it so that scientists can confirm that it does, in fact, exist and is what gives all other elementary particles mass. It is the current Holy Grail of high-energy particle physics.
Well, Nielsen and Ninomiya have an interesting idea why we haven’t found it yet.
According to them, the creation of a Higgs particle could be so abhorrent to nature that it could cause time ripples that would travel back in time to interfere with experiments in the current day. Yes. What they’re saying is they couldn’t get their work done because the universe hates them and sent time-traveling warriors back in time to eliminate them.
Mmmmmmmm. Why does that sound so familiar? Oh, well. I’m sure it’ll come to me. In the meantime, let’s hear what Nielsen has to say about why experiments to find the Higgs particle in the Large Hadron Collider were terminated.
“It must be our prediction that all Higgs producing machines shall have bad luck,” Dr. Nielsen said in an e-mail message. In an unpublished essay, Dr. Nielson said of the theory, “Well, one could even almost say that we have a model for God.” It is their guess, he went on, “that He rather hates Higgs particles, and attempts to avoid them.”
This malign influence from the future, they argue, could explain why the United States Superconducting Supercollider, also designed to find the Higgs, was canceled in 1993 after billions of dollars had already been spent, an event so unlikely that Dr. Nielsen calls it an “anti-miracle.”
This is beautiful. It’s the perfect all-purpose excuse.
“I wrecked the car because it was so abhorrent to the future that bad karma came back in time to pull my attention away from the road and onto my smartphone at exactly the wrong moment.”
“Why, of course, sir. That sounds reasonable. No ticket for you.”
I will definitely use this one in the future. I just hope my little dudes don’t find out about it.