Friday, May 22, 2015

More Subatomic Particles

First 13 GeV collisions at CERN: May 20, 2015
Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN have for the fiirst time begun to collide protons at the record-breaking energy of 13 GeV. They are currently adjusting the collimators that protect parts of the accelerator from leakage of its own Gigavolt radiation. Especially vulnerable to fast-particle impact are the 1232 superconducting dipole magnets which guide both beams into a roughly circular path with a circumference of 27 kilometers. Early next month, serious experiments will begin at the highest particle energy every achieved in a physics lab. Congratulations, guys and gals!

CERN's new high-water mark reminds me of the first science fiction story I ever published -- in a collection called Semiotext(e) SF, edited by Rudy Rucker and Peter Lamborn Wilson (aka Hakim Bey). This theme of the book was the exploration of dangerous edges and includes such gems as William Gibson's "Hippy Hat Brain Parasite", "The New Boy" by William S. Burroughs, Hakim Bey's "Antarctic Autonomous Zone", "We See Things Differently" by Bruce Sterling, "Six Kinds of Darkness" by John Shirley and Rudy Rucker's "Rapture in Space".

Compared to these literary heavyweights, my contribution to Semiotext(e) may seem paltry. But I'm going to take the liberty of sharing it with you anyway:


Only a few weeks before the Esalen Seminar on the Nature of Reality, where top physicists and philosophers gather each year to decide what portion of the Great Secret to release to the public, private researchers at the Strongly Non-linear Accelerator Center (SNAC), Bonny Doon, California, announced the discovery of a handful of new particles that sent theorists back to their blackboards and experimentalists into their tunnels for ritual confirmation. The SNAC facility, the largest of its kind, produces the strongest weird-particle beam in the Solar System.

The first of the new particles -- christened the "Sigma" in honor of San Francisco-based theorist Saul-Paul Sirag, who predicted its non-existence -- appears to be another heavy lepton, resembling in all properties (save mass) its lighter brothers Mu and Tau. Chief SNAC scientists Drs. Kenneth Goffman and Alison Kennedy are modest about their discovery. "We see weirder things on our coffee breaks," they said, insisting that the Nobel Prize be shared with their reclusive colleague Dr. Nic Harvard, who provided the drugs necessary for the fundamental break-through.

After months of secrecy, the SNAC group's unorthodox techniques were finally revealed in Kennedy's controversial article "Quantum Tantra" published in last month's "Physical Review", the major scholarly journal of the American physics community. Kennedy's paper was immediately repudiated by established physicists for its blatant violation of normal standards of professional conduct, scientific rigor, and common decency.

Unlike the Sigma, which can be observed by any physicist with a research budget the size of America's National Debt, SNAC's other new particles are invisible to everyone not in the proper state of consciousness, the first of many examples of "state-specific physics" emerging from research projects initiated in the 1960's and only now beginning to bear fruit. In addition to their unanticipated physical properties, the new particles seem to possess mental attributes as well. Making contact is easy, but scientific study of these psychic quanta -- or "Persons", as they are called at SNAC -- is possible only by researchers with strong egos, since the experience is more akin to demonic possession than data collection.

"Expect to be changed a lot, when you mess around with Persons," warn researchers Goffman and Kennedy. "Each one is unique -- an utterly alien island of consciousness. The're around us all the time now, and the only thing they want to do is get inside your mind."

"We can't keep them in the lab. They fly right through our thickest shields. Before we could shut SNAC down, trillions of merge-hungry Persons had already escaped through the walls. They're slithering into restaurants now, into laundromats, stock exchanges and shopping malls, even into your bathtubs and bedrooms, attracted by concentrations of human emotion,"

"We're terribly sorry, folks, but everyone alive is involved in this experiment now. The era of state-specific physics has arrived."

"Tantra Door" by Iona Miller


nick herbert said...

Ray Johnson adds this clip from "Lexx" to the mix:

Graeme Thomson said...

Do anti-matter and matter actually exist?

Please help. My head hurts.