News Poetry Prose Cartoons Photos Author

Portrait of the Artist as a Lone Tree

Humour

Contents Page 32About

The Great Desert

Click to hear (.mp3)


To shouts and cries and loud applause,
the theoretician posits laws,
and then the learned bursars call
to give the grant that pays for all
the stuff that blows the atom up.
And lo! they've all been sold a pup.
Some think all laws amount to three;
the universe does not agree.

(In the 1980s, physicists were very excited about various particles which were postulated to exist. Supposedly these would prove a series of contentions regarding sub-nuclear physics and the fundamental laws of the universe. Physicists got the money to look for them, but found nothing. The energy range where they were supposed to have been was then dubbed Ďthe Great Desertí. That didnít stop the theory being taught to me as if fact when I was an undergraduate - before anyone had had the chance to look. At the time I felt this was more akin to religious fervour than hard science.)


Site, poetry, prose, images and audio © 2003-2018 Dave Knight except where otherwise attributed. All rights reserved. The right of Dave Knight to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988