Imaginary Physics

“What do you have?” he said.

Chi-particle. Can you break it?”

“Can I break it. We can break anything here. I’ll give you a tachyon and a baryon.”

“That’s not enough.”

“I think that’s fair.”

“It’s not enough. Throw in a meson.”

“No way. A chi-particle isn’t worth a tachyon, baryon, and meson.”

“I disagree.”

“Take it somewhere else, then. Know how hard it is to get rid of a chi-particle?”

“Know how hard it is to capture an extra one?”

“If it’s so hard, and they’re so special, why are you trying to get rid of it?”

“These are special circumstances.”

“I’ve heard that before.”

“I need to change a chi-particle.”

“Look, I feel you, buddy, but I’m pretty limited. It’ll be hard as hell for me to get rid of that. People don’t want them. And Chi-particles have imaginary mass. Know what that does to real mass?”

“Yes, but they’re faster than light. They’re faster than tachyons. They have the longest half-life of anything out there. Hell, they’re the fundamental energy-particle of life.”

“That’s why people don’t want them. They already have them. Everyone has one. They worry about what another chi-particle will do to the relativity of simultaneity.”

“Yes, but Blink drives won’t work without them.”

“Blink drives are in the future. I have to deal with the present.”

“There is no future or past, there’s just now.”

“Oh, no, don’t start trying quantum bullshit on me. I’m an eternalist. I’ll not have presentism in my shop. You want to talk presentism, take it somewhere else.”

“Okay, okay, forget about time.”

“Forget about time?”

“Just give me a pentaquark and a tachyon, instead.”

“Where do you think you’re at? Look around you. You think I have anything as exotic as a pentaquark here?” He laughed. “Next, you’ll be asking for a heptaquark.”

“Well, what can you give me, then? Make an offer.”

“What about some leptons? I got every flavor you want.”

“I’m already lousy with leptons. Try again.”

He thought. “What flavor of chi-particle is it?”

“Human, of course.”

“Human huh?”

“I wouldn’t be dealing with you, if it wasn’t a Human chi-particle.”

“Okay. I’ll give you a tachyon, baryon, and boson.”

“A boson?” 

“Yeah, that’s a good deal.”

“You kidding me?”

“You won’t get that anywhere else.”

“A Higgs boson?”

“Now you’re trying to take advantage of me.”

Both accepted the swap after sniping at one another for a few minutes. Neither was satisfied, but then, nobody ever was, dealing with imaginary physics.



Wednesday’s Theme Music

Awoke with these words nibbling my ears. “Well, I just got into town about an hour ago.
Took a look around, see which way the wind blow.”

Ah, yes, that’s a song from my youth. “L.A. Woman,” nineteen seventy-one, The Doors. I was unfettered by fears and worries in those days, except rioting, the Vietnam War, air and water pollution, nuclear or chemical attack, equal rights, and civil rights.

Ah, the good old days. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.


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