Thursday, September 11, 2008

Junior scientists sacked for using Large Hadron Collider to play conkers

Two junior particle physicists were dismissed today after using the Large Hadron Collider to smash conkers into each other at near-light speed. Thousands of scientists had arrived in Cern for the big switch on of the world’s largest particle accelerator, only to find that the interns had ruined the equipment by leaving the debris of horse chestnuts scattered everywhere.

One of the disgraced pair told a friend ‘We thought there would be a clear winner, with one conker smashed and the other carrying on going round and round the accelerator. However, all that happened was that they both shattered into a big conkery mess. We spent a few minutes trying to clean the lumps off the detector. But it’s quite difficult to clean a Large Hardon Collider in the dark.’ The young researchers’ case was not helped by them repeatedly calling the billion dollar construction ‘the Hard-on’ collider, and then giggling at the innuendo.

However the research notes of the young scientists showed that they had at least taken some trouble to prepare properly for their experiment, soaking the conkers in vinegar and baking them in the oven. ‘The conkers selected weren’t just ordinary ‘one-ers’ but had beaten many other conkers on the way to this ultimate encounter. Simon claimed his conker was actually a ‘sixty-two-er’’. Previous experiments had included putting conkers in the middle of the road and seeing whose got run over first.

With the world’s press gathered in Cern, the leader’s of the ground-breaking research project were forced to explain that there would be no major scientific breakthrough today. ‘We had hoped with the near-light speed collision of particles we might have found a Higgs-boson, creating the material that holds the universe together’ he said. Journalists stared blankly before asking if they could see some more conkers smashing into each other.
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