Theoretical Physics and the Good Tune Particle

Aardvark Hornsection is, of course, the world’s leading authority on what had become known as Tune Theory. This is an attempt by both theoretical and applied physicists to understand just why certain tunes get stuck in the head, sometimes irrespective of whether we like them or not.

Of course, it was Einstein himself a physicist and amateur violinist, who first came up with the General Theory of Earworms. This was back in the late 1940’s when an especially grating advertising jingle was stuck in his mind for over four weeks.

Although he was later to say ‘God doesn’t play the Celestial Jukebox on random free play,’ Einstein himself was concerned about the typically random nature of what tune is stuck in the head. He was worried it meant that quantum uncertainty could be involved at – what was then thought of as – the macro level of the universe.

However, some early work by Einstein’s contemporary, Nils Bohr on the quantum nature of the earworm particle expanded on Einstein’s early theory. Also, there was Heisenberg’s less famous second thought experiment. This examined whether a cat will randomly or not hide in a box when you keep playing your favourite tune over and over again at it.

Eventually, physicists discovered that music depended on various subatomic particles. Theoretical physicists postulated there must be particles such as the tune boson, the lyric quark and the beat, or rhythm, particle as well as the then theoretical Good Tune particle. The latter, of course, being almost undetectable to most available experimental apparatus of the time.

Of course, with the theoretical world in some doubt as to whether or not the fabled Good Tune particle actually existed. Or if it was just a convenient fiction invented by physicists to make their equations work out, Hornsection, therefore, decided to devote his working life to discovering whether or not such a particle existed.

Eventually, after much debate and several funding rows, the European TUNE agency managed to construct their Large Song Collider on the French-Italian border. At this facility, they hoped to send streams of song particles around the 15-mile diameter torus. The particles circling at the speed of a good beat in the hope that the random collisions of the potential song particles would collide together. The physicists hoped that by bringing the particles of a song together at a decent beat would – even if only occasionally – cause the spontaneous creation of a good tune. This meant the physicists would finally be able to prove the existence of the Good Tune particle. Hornsection also pointed out that the scientists at the TUNE facility would also own the royalties from any such good tune created there. He said the physicists would eventually plough any such royalties back into improving the facility. Thus helping finance the creation of more good songs. Hornsection emphatically denied that any of the money would be spent on laboratory groupies, as some tabloids had claimed.

‘Maybe in this way,’ Hornsection declared, ‘Europe as a whole can go some way towards atoning for inflicting the Eurovision Song Contest on the world. Instead, for once, Europe could come up with some good tunes.

Many ordinary people, though not as conversant with the physics as they should be, have joined in the general acclaim for the TUNE facility. Every one of them each hoping that it will live up to its promise and rid the world of the sheer horror of the Eurovision Song Contest once and for all.


Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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