One of our particles is missing

Me1 Now that Higgs Bosun has been discovered – but deemed “too heavy” – the search for another particle (dubbed ‘inflaton’) has finally been completed. It’s called that because it is alleged to have inflated space, and thus made the initial rapid growth in the Universe possible. There’s just one tiny snag: it doesn’t exist.

The site Science Alert thus asks the question, “If this didn’t cause the Universe to explode, what did?” In keeping with contemporary practice in all walks of life, however, nobody asks the question, “What if Big Bang Theory is wrong?”

Personally, I blame Higgs’s lifestyle for all this. With just a little more exercise and a lot less junk food, he could’ve become the Boomer that kicked things off. But just like all we Boomers who so selfishly stole every Millennial’s future, he ballooned into a great fat lump and became incapable of kicking anything except the bucket.

So it’s odd that – given his own inflation – nobody gave any credence to the possibility that it was a gigantic Higgs fart that inflated space. And on that basis, it’s equally hard to understand why anyone thought an inflaton might have been the starter for ten in the first place.

It would, after all, be silly to overlook those immortal lines from Twas on the Good Ship Venus, which – as I recall – asserted that:

The First Mate’s name was Carter – by God he was a farter:

so if ever the ship was becalmed, they’d ask

Carter the farter to start ‘er

Furthermore, we should not forget that the heavy particle is called Higgs Bosun – a maritime term, being an abbreviation of boatswain, one of two mates below First. So it is entirely feasible I think that Higgs was in the process of working his way up to First Mate Starter Farter, but never quite made it.

The other thing that makes the Inflaton something of a non-starter (so to speak) is that it sounds like – and is just as daft as – the old alchemic idea of phlogiston. Phlogiston was hypothesised to be a substance in everything that allowed it to burn, the residue being ashes of phlogiston. It really was a load of old Phlogicock, and now it turns out that the inflaton too has been caught in flagrante absent without leave, as in non-existent.

So we’re back full circle to “What if Big Bang theory is wrong?”

Science Alert happily accepts that “….given the scale of space, and the fact light from one side of the Universe hasn’t yet had time to make it to the other side, it seems odd that all of the light is spread out in such a similar way”. But the site stops short of adding “so it seems very likely that it’s time to consign Big Bang theory to the same dustbin containing a flat Earth at the centre of the Universe”.

I find science’s inability to even countenance this not so much odd as eccentric. None of the particles either available or imagined support the theory: the only thing that does is light belting out into “this” side of the Universe….but even there, they used to say it was slowing down, now they say it’s speeding up. And if we’re expecting light from “the other” side, we’ll have to be patient because the Universe is infinite. Allegedly.

Also I’d have doubts about all this “hasn’t yet had time” guff. If Time is both relative and an illusion, surely it can adopt any speed it bloody well wants to. But if there are two sets of Time going in opposite directions, does that mean the other side is going into the past? If it does, given there was no Time before Big Bang (and even this is now in doubt) where for the love of Mike is it going?

Let’s be real about this: if these cavalier conclusions and unknowns formed the basis of a further degree thesis, we’d be looking at Gamma minus.

It’s not as if we’re short of alternatives to the received wisdom. Perhaps it was a small, more gradual bang. Or an obese bosun’s silent but deadly fart. Maybe Time was bored stupid by standing still, and simply legged it when nobody was looking.

The one so-called “solid” conclusion everyone agrees about is that Time is a continuum. But an infinite continuum must by definition have been there forever. Ergo, who needs Big Bang anyway? Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Bang?

I rest my case. Then I rest my head on my case, because it hurts. And it needs all the rest it can get, as I am just about to start Your brain is a Time Machine: the neuroscience and physics of Time by Dean Buonomano.

Wish me luck as you wave me Goodbye.