An April Fool's research paper (Steve Mann, MIT E15-389, Saturday, April 1, 1995).

Scientists Discover New Particle

No such thing as light

Scientists who have been debating for some time as to whether light is a particle or a wave, have suddenly realized that the issue is a moot point because light does not, in fact, exist at all.

Light does not exist, apart from darkness; light is merely the absence of darkness.

For example, the sun does not produce light, but, rather, has an attractional force that draws in particles of darkness, called ``darkons''. When the earth turns toward the sun, the darkons are drawn away, leaving behind light, except in areas where the darkon field is obstructed by trees, buildings, or the like. The areas in which the darkon field is obstructed are known as ``shadows''.

Flashlights don't flash

Darkon fields can be generated artificially, by devices known as ``flashlights'' which generate a field that falls off inversely as the square of the distance from the source, so that the effect is mostly local. Further from the flashlight, the darkon attracting field is weaker, leaving behind more darkons, so that those areas remain largely dark.

The darkon field produced by a flashlight eventually becomes weak, even close to the source, and this is because the little cans inside the flashlight have become full, and need to be discarded and replaced (much like vacuum cleaner filter bags).

The cans, known as ``batteries'', have two markings on them, one called ``+'' and the other called ``-''. Particles, known as ``holes'', flow from the ``+'' to the ``-'' through the darkon attractor (called a ``light bulb''), causing it to draw in darkons. The flow of holes from ``+'' (hole surPLUS, meaning more holes), to ``-'' (minus, meaning less holes), is called ``electric current''.

Some of these cans can be made to work again by connecting them to a hole-pump, called a ``battery charger''. The battery charger requires an external connection into an outlet that most people have in their homes.

There are 2 theories explaining how battery chargers work:

Lights that *do* flash

The term ``flashlight'' is totally wrong for these devices, because they usually produce light that stays on constantly, and doesn't, in fact, flicker or flash like the turn signal of a car or the flash on a camera as the name might imply. Thus they should be called ``constant-on lights'', not ``flashlights''. Darkon theoreticians have often been confused by the trend to call everything by its opposite (to use words like ``light'' to indicate the absence of darkons, words like ``electron'' to indicate the absence of holes, and words like ``water'' to indicate the absence of dryness). Many darkon theoreticians even sustain the crazy notion that electric current goes from ``-'' to ``+'' because they are thinking about electrons which are the *absence* of holes. (If you're not a darkon theoretician, you've probably heard it stated "holes are the absence of electrons".)

Flashlights, in the true sense of the word ``flash'', were made practical by Harold ``Doc'' Edgerton. These devices use the flow of holes from ``+'' to ``-'' to induce a lesser flow of holes from the ``+'' to the ``-'' side of another device, called a ``condensor'' (or capacitor). The condensor condenses this difference in holes from the battery. While there are fewer holes displaced in the condensor that in the battery from where the difference was derived, they come across much harder when condensed, and if you have ever put a screwdriver across a charged condensor, you know that perhaps the end can be blown off the screwdriver, because, while the number of holes flowing is small, they really ``want'' to flow. The extent to which holes ``want'' to come out of the hole-surPLUS (``+'') wire and go into the ``-'' wire, is called the ``voltage''. Doc Edgerton's condensors were typically operating at 4000 volts, and sometimes when they went defective, they'd explode and leave large dents in the ceiling.

Now when the condensor is full, it can be used to create a sudden darkon field of very brief duration but great strength. Darkons are attracted in a quick burst, much like air is briefly attracted when you open a vacuum packed container, or a vacuum-sealed jar of jelly. In fact, the sound that the darkon-sucker (called a ``strobe'') makes when it is trigged (``flasher''), is a lot like the sound you hear when you open a vacuum sealed jar.

Darkon particle launchers

There are also devices that repel darkons, and people refer to the repelling of darkons as ``shooting''. Darkon practitioners sometimes say ``I'm going out on a shoot''. Devices for shooting darkons come in various forms, from the simplest ``point and shoot'' to the 35mm semiautomatic. The ones called ``point and shoot'' are so-called because they are fully automatic. Darkon shooters (known as ``cameras'') sometimes come with built-in darkon attractors called ``flashes'', so that they can launch and receive darkons simultaneously. Now some people like to be shot, while others do not, and this has seldom been a problem with human-operated darkon shooters, because each situation can be easily negotiated (between the person doing the shooting, and the person being shot) as it arises.

Darkness and evil

However, a few years ago, a darkon theoretician was in a gambling casino, and noticed that, on the ceiling, there were numerous mysterious spherical objects -- ceiling domes of wine-dark opacity. He asked one of the employees what they were, and the employee told him that they were light fixtures. However, he was kind of curious why they were not producing any light. Gambling casino operators, afterall, do not always tell the truth, so he was wondering if they were really dark-fixtures instead of light-fixtures because they looked kind of dark.

It could be, thought the darkon theoreticians, that the casinos were in the darkon-laundering business, shooting all those darkons at people who came to gamble there.

That idea was not particulary bothersome to the darkon theoreticians becuase they didn't go to gambling casinos that often, and didn't have much sympathy for professional gamblers -- modern equivalents of Al Capone who spend most of their lives there.

The casino operators regarded the darkon theoreticians as ``paranoid'', and told them so in no uncertain terms. However, ironically, when the darkon theoreticians would take out their darkon-shooters (``cameras''), the casino operators became very concerned. The casino operators calling the darkon theoreticians paraniod was the pot calling the kettle black.

The darkon theoreticians also noticed some dark windows in automatic teller machines, and wondered what those were. Afterall, another theoretician had established that money is the root of all evil:

$$money = \sqrt(evil)$$,
and so it was not surprising that banks might also be in the darkon laundering business, secretly shooting darkons at innocent patrons of their establishment.


Many of the darkon theoreticians were from MIT, so they were quite disturbed by the ceiling domes of wine-dark opacity installed at the MIT bookstore (``Coop''). These looked just like the dark-fixtures installed at the casinos. The researchers inquired about these fixtures, and were again regarded as ``paranoid'' by the management of this and other establishments. No amount of discussion with the various levels of management, privacy committees, etc., brought them any sympathy.

Now some people like to be shot with darkons and others don't. Darkon shooting is not always bad. Some people even smile when they are being shot. So the darkon theoreticians cannot conclude that darkon shooters are pure good or pure evil. And some people like being shot some of the time and not at other times. This makes life quite confusing for the darkon shooting hobbyist.

Thus, the darkon theoreticians concluded that darkon shooters carried by human beings are fine because the recipient of the darkons may express his/her preference to be shot or not -- the recipient could express this preference to the source of the darkons -- another human being. It is the dark-fixtures mounted on ceilings, or the like, that had to be dealt with, and so, the darkon theoreticians pulled their darkon launchers from their holsters, and began blasting darkons at any dark-fixture they came across. After blasting a substantial amount of darkon flux back into many of these darkon-emitting-fixtures, they realized it was time to reload. Their darkon launchers could only spray out a fixed number of rounds (e.g. rolls of 24 rounds or 36 rounds) per loading. This was an important discovery in the field of darkon theory. Even with computerized darkon launchers, which derive their particles of darkness from sectors of emptiness, were limited in their capacity. Using such a darkon launcher, one eventually runs out of sectors of emptiness. While one may start out with an initially full hard drive (full of empty sectors right after being formatted), eventually the hard drive becomes empty of empty sectors.

The researchers realized that they were fighting an unfair battle because the buildings had an infinite supply of darkons coming down coaxial cables. They realized that they would need antennas capable of picking up an infinite supply of darkons from all over the world. A world wide web of darkon repeaters had the added advantage that no building owner could ever demand that a darkon be sent back to its origin since its origin would be unknown, even to the darkon theoreticians.


This work has focused on the darkness particle, but a similar theory has been discovered for the darkness wave. Strictly speaking, darkness is neither a wave nor a particle, but, rather a ``wave-packet'', sometimes called a ``wavelet'' for short.

--Steve Mann, Saturday, April 1, 1995.

Happy April Fool's