Experimental physicists seem to be hunting quite a list of particles at present in the hope of ascertaining whether any of their theoretical colleagues are on even vaguely the right track. Most recently I read of a hefty device (the IceCube laboratory – presumably named after the America rapper, late of NWA) being built in Antarctica to hunt for neutrinos.
At the same time, we in the UK have a sizeable number of people with red jackets, horses and beagles who since the work of our last government are unable to hunt foxes (or several of our other furry friends).
Surely, there is a win-win here. We just need to train the beagles on the scent of a neutrino (or other desired particle) and it will surely only be a matter of time before they have brought one to bay. I can’t see the animal cruelty lobby objecting to the hunting of neutrinos – and unlike a fox, the hounds will be unable to tear a neutrino (be it electron, muon or tau) to shreds as it is a fundamental particle. (On the off-chance they can tear it to shreds, we will have discovered exciting new physics – so win-win again).
A final positive is that I’m fairly sure that the hunting lobby are willing to work for nothing (or at least, I assume no-one was actually paying them to chase foxes around the countryside) which will help to make our limited research budgets go that bit further in these straightened times.
I just hope a member of the Coalition is reading this blog.