No More Quarks
For the second time within three months, the scientific world has been shaken by Professor Ovis Jopp, the lean, seven-foot-two, green-bearded ‘Sage of Trondheim’. Having dealt with the unimaginably large, the Dutch-born, Norwegian-naturalised polymath turned his incandescent intellect to the opposite end of the size spectrum. He says that we have been misled for decades by the alleged findings of numerous physicists. Jopp ascribes this to excessive communication, contending that having been criticised for remoteness, scientists have over-compensated by announcing a plethora of supposed discoveries, some exaggerated, others totally spurious. He claims that such confusion arises from people operating in teams, the members feeding upon each other’s hare-brained ideas until they don’t know reality from fantasy. Truly great scientists work alone, he maintains.
Jopp’s fertile mind has lately been occupied by the strange world of particle physics. His conclusions are dramatic, debunking seventy years of worldwide work on quantum mechanics. “From Max Planck onwards, they have all been wrong,” said the gaunt genius, speaking in the green room of his fjordside home. “They have been inferring, unjustifiably, ever smaller entities. Once, they were satisfied with protons, neutrons and electrons, then they sought – and supposedly found – an alphabet soup of sub-atomic particles, including quarks, of which they assert that there are six kinds. This is nonsense.”
As ever, Jopp tested his theory by experiment. The site this time was a soccer ground near Hammerfest, where the professor’s team built an immense hollow cube of green polythene, into which progressively smaller cubes were placed, the centre being taken up by Jopp’s celebrated secret green box. “It was a brilliant example of reductio ad nihilis,” smiled the triumphant boffin. “The last eight hundred containers and the green box were inserted by transmural filtration, for which I used an osmotic infuser, which I invented. You could call it a ‘ghost through a wall’ machine.”
What did retrieval of the mysterious box reveal? “Exactly what I expected,” said Jopp. “The atom consists of a single body, the groat, which varies in size according to the element concerned. It comes in shades of green and travels in a quadrilateral path around a massless focus, energy being discharged when the body is sufficiently agitated to lose matter on striking the corners of its circuit, or to coin a word, squarecuit. This is what gives us electricity and, I regret to say, mushroom clouds.”
Asked whether there was an equation involved, Jopp explained the bizarre world of groat mathematics; one in which he says we must abandon common sense and accept that two plus two gives the same answer as two times two. He expressed the formula as E=4GS, meaning that energy in ergs equals four groat strikes in mass loss.
Jopp’s chief critic, Dutch-born Doctor Terps Dunderklap, locally naturalised after many years in Stockholm, was derisive. “Jopp is an ass,” snorted the ‘Swedish Savant’, interviewed outside an Uppsala ladies’ academy. “Also, he is excessively thin. If he would keep abreast of the times, he would know that I demonstrated to my own satisfaction that apart from the electron which puts our lights on, there are no sub-atomic particles. The groat is as unreal as any other. All atomic cores are indeed of zero mass, in which respect they resemble Jopp’s brain. Any contrary ideas are products of human imagination and as illusory as the rest of our earthly existence. Let’s see what old Greenfingers makes of that.”
As he is occupied with another vast project, Jopp hasn’t yet responded.
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