A groundbreaking discovery in physics has been widely discredited after claims that it isn’t simple enough to describe in a picture or analogy.
The discovery of primordial gravitational waves, as they’re snappily named, has been greeted in the non-academic world by a groundswell of nonplussed nodding and feigned interest, followed by a long, awkward silence and an abrupt change of subject.
Physicists are at a loss to explain the lack of worldwide acclaim – CERN has allegedly looked like a cross between a rave and an orgy for the past few days while its Large Hadron Collider has been transformed into the ultimate conga line destination in celebration of a new era of physics. When it was explained that the rest of the world cannot even begin to pretend to understand what the hell they’re talking about, one of the researchers attempted to explain the discovery in layman’s terms:
“It’s really very simple……..<some long words>…….inflation…..<more long words>…..cosmic microwave background…….polarised….<even more longwords>….and it’s really that easy.”
Even with this apparently simplified explanation, many normal people have still not grasped the finer points of this discovery, or indeed any points of this discovery. Psychologists believe that the average Briton has given the subject around 9 seconds of really concerted thought before growing disheartened and flicking to the football pages or snaffling for crisps.
Spokesperson for regular people, Harold Wallace, released a statement:
“We have some questions:
1) Is there a picture which explains this discovery, maybe using arrows or cats?
2) If not, can you explain it in sporting terms or in relation to simple household objects like wine?
If the answer to both of those is ‘no’ then I think we’re done here, but we do have a couple of others:
3) You mentioned the word ‘polarised’. What do polar bears have to do with this?
4) Will this discovery break my microwave?”
The researchers, who have spent over three years analysing their data, have put their findings out for peer review, hoping that at least one of them can make people understand it without spending several years at university and several more under Switzerland:
“We’re confident that by September our peers will have independently verified our work and, more importantly, created a way of explaining it that doesn’t start with ‘imagine you are infinitely small, now imagine you instantly expand to the size of a marble’. And when that happens, it’s going to be fucking mental.