Believe it or not, but it has taken 103 years and the combined power of various of the world's top supercomputers to prove Eintein's biggest equation right, resolving e=mc2 at the scale of sub-atomic particles. The feat has been achieved by a team of French, German, and Hungarian physicists led by Laurent Lellouch at the Centre for Theoretical Physics in France, and has finally answered a question that has puzzled scientists for decades: The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Atom Mass!
The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Atom Mass
The night that the Frenchy called me I didn't have any plans. Susan took the day off for shopping. Something about new stockings. I said yes. She never seemed to have enough of those. I never had enough of her in them either. Taking her down to the club for the usual bourbon and dancing was out of the question. Maybe that's why I said yes to Lellouch. I never was fond of the froggies. Not even while I was shooting Nazis in Normandy.
Laurent Lellouch. That was the name. I liked it as much as the sound of the case he wanted me to take: Nothing at all. Something about a war between gangs of Prussian gangsters, the Neutrons and the Protons. I didn't know them. It was all weird and related to that stuff they did at Los Alamos and then dropped in Japan. I knew Uncle Sam wasn't going to be far behind this one, but Louis said he was ok to trust him. A bit. I didn't have anything better to do, anyway. Pork chili down at George's while listening to what Lellouch had to tell me was a better plan than going with the boys to the 42nd. I looked out the window and saw it was still raining nails. Hot chilli was it.
When I arrived, Lola nodded behind the bar and looked to the table where the guy was waiting. She rolled her eyes and shouted the usual order to George at the kitchen. The Frenchman was nervous, mumbling something about international conspiracies and computers and that guy from Germany who turned everything inside out with his theories. That equation. E=mc2. The told me about the protons and the neutrons. While I was downing my chilli he went on and on about it. Inside those families there were quarks, which are bound by gluons. I didn't have a clue what he was talking about. The mass of a gluon is zero, he said, while the mass of the quarks is only five percent. So, where is the missing 95 percent?
Maybe he was onto something. I finished my chilli, dropped a couple of Washingtons, and went on to see Janos the Hungarian. He wasn't going to talk. Fortunately for him, I'm a reasonable man. It was nothing that a simple knuckle kiss couldn't fix. Ten minutes and three teeth later he spilled. The key is in the quantum chromodynamics, something about equations running at the sub-atomic level. More gibberish, but I know he was telling the truth. I left him trying to fix his bloody nose and went to meet the Germans. I knew that if anyone had the answer, it was going to be Otto.
I was right. He knew about Janos, so I didn't have to get nasty again. Too bad. I was thinking about how much I wanted to see Susan in her new stockings. Wasting my time listening to this was making me angry. Otto said that the unaccounted mass came from the energy from the movements and interactions of quarks and gluons. The computations involved envisioning space and time as part of a four-dimensional crystal lattice, with discrete points spaced along columns and rows.
I still didn't know what the hell he was talking about, but I crossed the street to call the Frenchy. I had his answer. When he picked the phone he was excited like a little girl in her first date at the back of the movie theatre. He wanted to meet right away. Get all the details. I just wanted to get my money and go meet Susan at her place. I told him to meet me at the park, on the corner of Fifth and 64th.
He was there when I arrived, sitting on a bench with a stupid smile in his face. He'd had a lead overdose. Someone got him before I could tell him that Einstein was right. E=mc2 was corroborated for the first time thanks to those computers they stole from the Germans and the Hungarians. I don't know who killed him. Probably the CIA. Or the KGB. Maybe the Italians. Or all of them. I knew it was time for some silk and alcohol. I took the envelope he still had in his coat and I closed his eyes. There are things that mere mortals don't need to know. And none of them were Susan's legs. [AFP]