"Reactor" by Carl Goodman

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Quantum Physics: There's a Thing
by Graham Adair


Quantum physics. There’s a thing.
I’ve heard of nothing stranger.
You fancy juggling atoms? Well
Be mindful of the danger.
For thoughts of protons, quarks and muons:
Such exotic matter,
Are apt to tie your brain in knots,
Your sleepful nights to shatter.

The Big Bang. Sheesh! Well strike a light!
Is that what really happened?
You’re telling me we all began
As matter crushed and flattened?
And then some great explosion
Thrust us all forth into being?
I think The Big Baloney’s
A better name for what we’re seeing.

Black Holes -- what? You’re kidding me!
A huge contrivance, surely.
A ruse by Stephen Hawking
(Who accepts his praise demurely.)
So if it’s true that black holes
Suck and swallow up all matter,
Why don’t they eat up physicists
And all their nonsense patter?

And what of blessed Einstein
And his General Relativity?
Accepted though it may be
It’s a triumph of complicity.
You test it by experiment,
And analyse the outcome.
And if it makes no sense
You just amend the main theorem!

Herr Heisenberg is in a quandary,
Can’t make up his mind.
He’s dreaming up a Principle,
But unsure what he’ll find.
He thinks the laws of physics
Pose a crisis he’s averting,
But ‘til his theory’s testable
We’ll all remain Uncertain.

Well hip-hooray for SuperStrings!
A unifying theory!
At last we have a model
That’ll settle every query.
But hang on -- it’s just wacky concepts
Fraught with terminology…
It makes no sense; it’s full of holes,
It’s rubbish!
All apologies.

Now here’s a laugh: you take a clock,
And send it into space.
When down it comes, you check the time.
And Lo! It’s lost its pace.
It seems that hours pass slower
As you near the speed of light.
Time-travel’s a reality! And pigs are airborne.

There’s dark misgivings on the rise:
Dark Energy, Dark Matter.
A new theory for why
The Universe is getting fatter.
But is it really growing?
Maybe we ourselves are shrinking!
Collapsing to a speck
Beneath the weight of quantum thinking!

A Cyclic Universe
Is what they’re telling us we live in.
A Big Bang first, expand, contract;
Then Big Crunch, new beginning.
The contents of the universe
Are bound for all eternity
To grow and live, then shrink and die,
Repeating to infinity.

In which case, all the laws of physics
Won’t be here for long.
Like us, they’ll bend and buckle
When the Big Crunch comes along.
The point of Singularity
Will deconstruct all logic,
Our physics theories then will seem
Less real than Discworld magic!

In closing, here’s an observation
Likely to confuse.
The Uncertainty Principle
Declares surprising news:
“To take a thing and look at it
Will change its very state.”
So don’t read my opinions, lest you change them.
Oops. Too late.

Poem © 2002 by gmadair@yahoo.com

Artwork © 2002 by Carl Goodman carl.goodman@peppersghost.com

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