|Description:|| Within a month of adjusting its Mission Statement towards a greater emphasis on noble science, ASTRON has detected the Holy Grail of physics, the Higgs boson. It has beaten CERN's Large Hadron Collider, which cost 11 billion, and has taken two decades to build. "Large budgets are for girly men", quipped director Jock Steyn, "we find that poverty makes us creative."|
In the Standard Model of particle physics, the Higgs boson is responsible for intertia. In a sense, this makes it the most important particle of all. Without inertia, all particles would move at the speed of light, so atoms could not form, and Life would not be possible. It is as though particles move through a highly viscous Higgs fluid, which stops them from reaching their 'natural' but un-constructive velocity. It is an apt metaphore for the healthy effect of wise government on the unstructured flights and fancies of the scientific mind.
The revolutionary ASTRON approach to Higgs detection does not rely on expensive high-energy collisions. The picture shows the plethora of decaying particles emerging from between two delicate enstruments called the 'rock' (grey) and the 'hard place' (grey). This is somewhat analogous to the use of the crystal lattice of Palladium to squeeze protons together for Cold Fusion. The presence of the Higgs boson is inferred from the abrupt cutoff in the top-left corner. This is caused by a phaenomenon called a 'spacetime-sheet', which is closely associated with inertia. "Basically, it is a matter of gouging some gauge invariances, and switching on the serendipity. We do this all the time", enthused an anonymous ASTRON scientist.