November 29, 2016
“That’s nice dear, good for you,” everyone has said to scientists about to test a “radical” theory about the universe.
“We’re on the verge of proving the speed of light is not constant but may have been faster just after the Big Bang,” one scientist told Radio 4 before listeners collectively turned the sound down.
Smiling patiently as Professor Brian Cox explained how our entire understanding of the universe could be turned on its head, layman Ray Doyle said: “Hmm.”
“Structures in the universe such as galaxies formed from tiny density fluctuations which are now imprinted in the cosmic microwave background,” said Professor Cox before Mr Doyle frowned and went back to reading a newspaper story about the rise of populist fascism.
“Measurements of these fluctuations produce a spectral index which, if the theory is correct, will be 0.6478,” continued Professor Cox, before Mr Doyle closed his newspaper and shouted: “What does it mean, Brian, what does it mean? The new leader of the free world is a Nazi who thinks climate change is a Chinese hoax, Brian.”
“It would mean the laws of nature were not always the same and could lead to a modification of Einstein’s theory of gravity,” stammered a startled Professor Cox.
“Get out,” said Mr Doyle.
Mr Doyle’s friend Will Bodie said: “Light has a speed?”