In Search of the
Everyone knows that
calories cause weight gain. But what is a calorie?
Scientists believe that the
answer to this question will not only cure
obesity but also provide the key to understanding
the nature of the Universe.
At school, we learned that
matter is made from atoms, and that atoms are
made of protons, neutrons and electrons.
Scientists have now discovered that these, in
turn, are constructed from even smaller sub
atomic particles of which the Calorie is
one of the most mysterious.
Calories are very difficult
to study. A typical ham sandwich contains
millions upon millions of atoms but just two or
three hundred calories.
In order to examine
individual calories, scientists have built
particle accelerators like the twenty-seven
kilometre ring at CERN, near Geneva. Within this
machine, blocks of lard or cream buns are
collided at speeds close to that of light.
Calories dislodged by these high energy impacts
are then collected by detectors.
At CERN, detectors are
members of the Geneva branch of Weight Watchers
who for years had been disbelieved when claiming
to gain weight simply by looking at food. It then
emerged that they were absorbing calories from
the residual background radiation caused by the
sister phenomenon to The Big Bang that physicists
believe brought calories into being The
This ability was perfect
for CERN experiments. By weighing detectors who
had been sitting on the particle accelerator, the
number of calories emitted during collisions
could be exactly calculated.
experiments have occurred in the United States
where volunteers from the obese community have
been collided with one another. Impact speeds
have been too low for the emission of calories,
however, and so these experiments have had no
The researchers involved
have been sternly reprimanded by their bosses and
firmly told that the joke was not funny.
The fact that calories
cause weight gain illustrates that they have mass.
Indeed, scientists believe that the Calorie, or
Higgs Boson as some particle physicists call it,
causes matter to possess mass.
Scientists have calculated
that the Universe contains a significant quantity
of matter which, currently, cannot be detected
so called Dark Matter. Calorie
research has raised the exciting prospect that
this missing ninety per cent of the
Universe could be packed in and around the
arteries and internal organs of oversized Brits
University Departments of
Nuclear Physics and Dieting have explored ways to
neutralise calories in the bodies of the
overweight. There was initial optimism when it
became possible to manufacture and contain anti-calories.
These interact with calories, annihilating one
another. Unfortunately, massive quantities of
energy are released in this process, which led to
a number of dieters leaving craters, hundreds of
Devotees of beer, chocolate
and cakes are pinning their hopes on developments
in Quantum Dieting. This is based on Hugh
Everetts theory of parallel universes. At a
quantum level it appears that calories may be
able to migrate between universes. The hope is
that huge quantities of yummy grub could be
consumed in this universe, but that the resultant
bum or gut would only be visible in another.
Who would have thought that
the humble Calorie held both the secrets of
weight loss and the secrets of the Universe?