Monday, November 15, 2004

Heavier than the dreaded Top Quark?

Just last week I was talking with an engineer about the annoying properties of the Top Quark and the unbelievable nature particle physics.

Alone these lines, I found this particular Corner Post (Quoted on Manifest Content) to be quite amusing.
NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SCIENCE [John Derbyshire] This one's doing the rounds: "A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest chemical element yet known to science. The new element has been tentatively named 'Governmentium.' Governmentium has 1 neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 11 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of governmentium causes one reaction to take over 4 days to complete when it would normally take less than a second. "Governmentium has a normal half-life of 3 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause some morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to speculate that governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as 'Critical Morass.' You will know it when you see it."

That might be taking geeky science humor a little too far, but it's funny at the beginning anyway.

(Scientific sidenote: To be fair, Particle Physics would probably say that the Top Quark is a sub-part of "governmentium" and yet would somehow be more massive then the element in its entirety. See why the Top Quark is so annoying? And don't even get me started on the Higgs Boson...)

In bigger government news...Colin Powell is resigning.