Physicists seem to me always in pursuit of new postulated particles. They whimsically label properties of the subatomic particles called quarks as up, down, bottom, top, charm and strange.
As a mathematician, I find it delightful that new particles have been predicted because their existence would mean the mathematics (Group Theory) behind their behavior more symmetric and beautiful. It is that inherent belief in the beauty of nature that led them to their hypotheses, which included the properties of the postulated particles. It’s as if biologists predicted a new animal, which was raccoon-sized and loved strawberries. One need only take a raccoon trap and bait with strawberries. The physicists were able to build their trap and discover new particles.
Recently a single new high-energy neutrino called a ghost neutrino crashed into an atom in the Antarctica. It was detected by a cosmic team of 1,000 researchers. It is deemed to have originated from a black hole in a galaxy billions of light years away and thereby is a messenger from outer space. Heidi Schellman, a particle physicist at Oregon State University said “Scientists will be able to use these messengers to answer questions about distant cataclysms, test theories about the composition of the universe, and refine their understanding of the fundamental rules of physics.”
I am reminded of a memo from the Physics Department on a new element called administratium. Here’s its puckish description. I don’t know whom to credit for the original. I found it again on Google, but I can’t tell who deserves credit for delighting me.
Investigators at a major research institution have discovered the heaviest element known to science. This startling new discovery has been tentatively named Administratium (Ad). This new element has no protons or electrons, thus having an atomic number of 0.
It does, however, have 1 neutron, 125 assistant neutrons, 75 vice neutrons, and 111 assistant vice neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by a force called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since it has no electrons, Administratium is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact.
According to the discoverers, a minute amount of Administratium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete when it would normally take less than a second. Administratium has a normal half-life of approximately three years; it does not decay but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons, vice neutrons, and assistant vice neutrons exchange places.
In fact an Administratium sample’s mass will actually increase over time, since with each reorganization some of the morons inevitably become neutrons, forming new isotopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to speculate that Administratium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as the “critical morass.”
This is a better representatiion of the minds of physicists than those on the Big Bang Theory.