It cost some $6.3 billion to build, but the Large Hadron Collider may have finally found the car keys. It was some time in the early 1990s when physicist Brian Cox , then a student and pop musician, borrowed the car of Professor Stephen Hawking in order to get to a gig in Chiswick. Unfortunately Cox mislaid the keys during the gig and the car was stranded in an NCP car park.
“It soon became clear to myself and Dr Hawking that there was an effect here that had major ramifications for the world of physics and threw up a number of challenges” explained Cox. “The car keys had clearly undergone an inter-dimensional shift which had moved them through time, space, or one of the many other dimensions posited to exist, in such a way as to render them invisible to the human eye. Also, the car had been clamped and was clocking up 100 quid a day in storage charges.”. Cox based his PHD thesis on this problem, which led he and Dr Hawking to press Cern to develop the Large Hadron Collider.
“We were banging our heads against the wall” said Dr Hawking “Well, Brian was anyway. It was doing no good so we decided to bang particles together instead, but at massive speeds until he could recall where the car keys were”. It was also hoped that that the LHC could answer other questions such as “Where are my glasses?” and “Why did I come upstairs?”
Recent experiments at high energies have allowed Cox and Hawking to deduce that the keys are down the back of a sofa in the green room of the Chiswick theatre. “It turns out that one of the missing dimensions predicted by string theory is actually down the back of the sofa” explained Cox. “It explains why so much stuff turns up there. I believe that if we search down the back of the world’s sofas we will find all the ships and aircraft that were believed lost in the Bermuda Triangle.”
Hawking and Cox are now hoping to win the Nobel prize in order to help pay off the massive fine that is due to get the 1987 Nissan Micra released from the clamp in the car park.