Distorted Reality

First published on the Golf Monthly website on Thursday 11 September 2008

Fergus always manages to find something to feel stressed about. This week It’s nuclear physics.

Yesterday the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) switched on their Large Hadron Collider. Two beams of protons were successfully fired down a 27km long tunnel on the French/Swiss border in the first stages of the largest physics experiment of all time.

The objective is, eventually, to fire protons into one another at the speed of light causing new sub-atomic particles to be formed in an attempt to re-create the conditions just after the Big Bang.

When I first heard this, I was a little worried. I don’t know much about physics but I do know that the Big Bang must have been pretty big. To create a universe from scratch must require a fairly significant amount of energy. The idea of trying to do this in a little metal tube on our little planet just seemed a touch risky.

I then heard Professor Stephen Hawking on the radio stating everything was going to be just fine and I felt a lot less anxious. But then I thought, “How do I know that was really Stephen Hawking?” He’s pretty easy to impersonate.

Anyway, the machine was switched on and we’re all still here, although they haven’t really got going yet. It might not be until they start belting particles into one another at ludicrous speeds that a new universe is created, maybe a parallel universe will be created where we all exist but things are slightly different:

– Golf is called by the Dutch word Kloppen (meaning to hit or strike) because the Dutch actually did invent the game.

– Tiger Woods is stacking shelves in K-Mart and playing to a handicap of 17, Michelle Wie heads the men’s Official World Golf Ranking.

– I am the greatest chipper in the world able to get up and down from any situation within 50 yards of the green.

– John Daly is a fitness guru advocating a diet of wheatgrass and pulses.

– Colin Montgomerie is a 12-time Major champion with an appalling Ryder Cup record.

– Kloppen is one of the world’s principal religions. Old Tom Morris is worshipped as the Messiah (something to do with the beard I think.)




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