25 September 2011

Science World in Shock after Claims That Light Has Been Broken

CERN physicists at last week’s press conference.
From left to right: Rolf-Dieter Heuer, Thomas Edward Witten, Stephen Wolfram, Klaus von Luge, and Angelina Jolie.

GENEVA -- The scientific community was left in shock when workers at the world’s largest physics lab announced they had broken the light, a spokesperson for the European Organization for Nuclear Research [CERN], near Geneva, announced this week, immediately casting doubt and considerable shadows on the theories developed by 20th-century physicist Albert Einstein.

Specifically, Einstein’s theory of special relativity, proposed in 1905, cannot be read the same way, CERN director Rolf-Dieter Heuer said, because it is now too dark to read anything. However, experts warned, these findings cannot be confirmed because scientists at the CERN lab can’t find the findings, or anything else, given current conditions.

“We believe that the light was broken by neutrinos [electrically neutral, weakly interacting elementary subatomic particles],” Rolf-Dieter Heuer said. Heuer dismissed the possibility that the light was struck by a hockey stick improperly carried in a duffel bag belonging to a visiting scientist, Dr. Klaus von Luge of the Institute for Advanced Study, upon his arrival at the CERN lab last week.

“Bad, naughty, wicked neutrinos!” von Luge interjected.

“We were amazed by the speed with which the light was broken,” Heuer told reporters.

“We encourage our colleagues in the United States and Japan to run their own tests to confirm our data,” Heuer declared. “Do they obtain the same results when they break the lights in their laboratories? Or were our results a fluke, or perhaps a misreading of the data, due to the lack of adequate lighting? And will someone please explain to us where Moses is, now that the light is broken?”

Einstein’s theory of relativity had a profound impact not only in science but also in philosophy, politics, and the arts, especially when the theory was read in a clear, bright light, to avoid eyestrain. Although widely known in shorthand as “E = mc2” (energy equals mass times the speed of light squared), the theory is not completely understood by anyone who has been unable to read it.

Reaction in the scientific community was swift. “It is premature to comment on this. Further experiments and clarification are needed,” Stephen Hawking told another reporter for a different publication, talking about something else.

Stephen Hawking: Extremely bright.

But Johann Gambolputti, Director of Princeton University’s Laboratory of SPOVSTTAELPLCPTJLPE Research,* argued that, in independent tests run concurrently at his laboratory, he had lost the key to the front door and could not find it in the dark.

“The solution is currently beyond the reach of modern scientists,” Gambolputti said. “Indeed, this mystery may remain locked for several generations, or until the sun comes up in the morning, which ever comes first. Please bring me a sweater.”

Einstein himself would not have been able to find the key to the front door — where the broken light is located — according to one biographer, journalist Walter Isaacson. “I’m just speculating here,” Isaacson said, “but I believe that, had he lived, Einstein would be sitting in the dark right now, waiting for someone from security, or perhaps a janitor, to open the door and replace the broken light. Even a scientist of his genius would be unable to solve this on his own.”

While the potential implications of the new development are far-reaching, CERN’s Dr. Heuer urged scientists everywhere to engage in further study before flinging their physics textbooks out the window, and physics students are cautioned not to give up the major in favor of anything like the liberal arts, which include Italian Renaissance Poetry and Power Volleyball.

“These major subjects may increase the likelihood of your meeting girls, but they are otherwise extremely unrewarding,” averred Susan Hockfield, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; “stick with Physics.”

Einstein: Unable to enlighten us.

* Subatomic Particles and Other Very Small Things That Are Easily Lost in the Pockets of Lab Coats or Perhaps Tweed Jackets with Leather Patches at the Elbows.

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