A diseased sun burns through the wounded sky...
The dealer's cold, black, insectoid eyes kept shifting to and from Nielsen and Ninomiya, the only two players at her table. Sitting in the somewhat functional remains of what was once Singapore's finest casino they had doubledowned on a pair of diamond sevens. They were dealt a pair of suicide kings. Faye, their dealer, had 18. Nielsen and Ninomiya were all in with all of their available time.
Two sixes of spades.
"23," Faye said, her voice as cold and flat as her eyes, "you lose."
"No," said Nielsen, "we all win."
"What are the odds?" asked Ninomiya, shrugging as he attempted to fade from his chair.
Because of the strong fields associated with ultra-relativistic heavy-ions, the probabilities for several electromagnetic processes are very large at small impact parameters, and calculated, un-unitarized first-order probabilities may even exceed 1. This is for example the case for two-photon production of e+e− pairs.
The dominating process is photonuclear excitation of the target into a Giant Dipole Resonance followed by emission of one or more neutrons. The probability for mutual Coulomb dissociation reaches about 35% in a grazing Au+Au collision at the Large Hardon Collider.
"As anyone who has read the literature can attest," Dr. Benway said, "not all particles require collision as a means to reach a state of excitation. Many electron-hole interactions are often played out in the form of bondage and confinement scenarios, with the hole invariably the bottom. Typically the interaction lasts only three pulse-pumps. Photoexcitation is required for multiple excitations, but the second hardon won't be as large nor will it last any longer. Two is usually the limit."
Three a.m. and two graduate students at CERN were playing cards.
"Blackjack is a stupid game. Who in hell would want to play that? If you can count cards it's easy, if you can't you're a sucker. Plus someone has to be the house, so there's no point in playing if not in a casino."
"You're right. I don't know what I was thinking."
"When the largest quantum orgy of all time happened, what did electrons do when they had a chance to interact dangerously with positrons? They were as conservative and repressed as Lutherans!"
The large mass of the "W" Intermediate Vector Boson (IVB) is also interpreted as a re-creation of the dense spacetime metric of the primordial electroweak force unification era during the initial moments of the "Big Bang".
Looking at a simple example, we diagram the decay of a muon (u) to an electron (e-) (antiparticles are underlined and the symbol (v) represents a neutrino):
W-[u- (e+ x e-)] ---> vu + ve + e-
(Where the square brackets indicate the interior of (or the mediation of) the "W" IVB)
We see how natural a reaction this is when diagrammed via the catalytic action of the W- and a virtual electron-positron pair. The negative muon (u-) and positron (e+) simply cancel each other's opposite electric charges, which frees both their neutrinos (vu and ve), and forces the electron (e-) to become " real", as it no longer has an antiparticle annihilation partner. All the W has done is catalyze the reaction by bringing the muon (u-) and the virtual particle-antiparticle pair (e+ x e-) into intimate contact, where the charge cancellations and energy transfers can take place safely. Hence the "kissing box" of the IVBs is really a "conservation containment", which ensures that charge and energy transfers take place in a secure environment - a perfectly natural role in the well regulated and orderly conservation domain of spacetime.
"One can only hope," Dr. Benway drawled, "that the Large Hardon Collider is used to excite particles beyond the kissing box and get them outside of what they would normally consider a secure environment."
This quasi-Burroughsian pastiche and interictal interlude is brought to you by:
Extra Medication For All!! shirts.