Semi-Unified Science

To the tune of "Semi-Charmed Life," by Third Eye Blind
Lyrics by Tad "Baxil" Ramspott, Jan. 2002

I'm in here researching,
I'm watching, I'm spinning the atoms
They crash for me, yeah they crash for me
Discov'ry, the law'll be lovely
They'll go round and prove my the-o-ry
And it makes me smile,
like I'm finding God
Except I don't believe in God
Just a bunch of laws
That determine what we go through
Two laws for the forces that control you
One of them describes things like EM, strong and weak
One's for gravity, because gravity's a freak
But infinities I'll push aside
To make the Grand Unified

I said,

      I want one big law
      To help explain these
      Strange and charm kinds of quarks, baby, baby
      I want one big law
      Not leaving any force behind

The sky it is dark, it is cold
It is over ten billion years old
And I wish I could get back there,
Some time back there,
Looking at inflation taking place,
Seeing the Big Bang and how it generated space,
It will stop, it won't go crunch, I must guess
'Coz the mass we see is a tenth, more or less,
Of what is out there.  So take my word for it, baby,
It's all cold and dark.
I said it's cold and dark.  I said
How do we go out there to
Determine why space is smooth around us?
When will we fin'ly get to prove
That protons decay?


I believe in a final theory
Cause I have a feeling,
A certain feeling,
Like we've seen all there is to see
And the Strong Anthropic is a lie --
No evidence that IQ means design --
The weak one is all right, all right
And when strings came up they said I was crazy
I see what they mean
The dimensions extreme
There are 10 through which strings glide
And 16 more that just like to hide
But like every scientist, I must guess
Since no quark found is partnerless	
This spiffy new theory will pass the test
Explaining just why physics is in such a mess, now

Big equation
It's symmetric
But there's something that throws it off (just a little now)
Watch that break, see what it can do
Make quarks, in red and green and blue  (gluons too)
And I sit here in my lab
Doing research on things too small to see
Because I believe, now
Believe ...

      I'll find one big law
      To spend my research ... grant, baby,
      I'll find one big law
      Not listening when you say
      We can't
      We can't ... (repeats, out)  

About the Lyrics

I wrote this song parody back while on a physics kick, and tried to make it as faithful as possible to scientists' actual recent search for a Grand Unified Theory. At the time, I didn't post it, but always regretted that, and I think this has withstood the test of time.

Scansion has forced me into a few compromises (such as the age of the universe being "over ten billion" years old -- true by virtually all estimates, but almost certainly too low), and my layman's understanding of particle physics may have caused a slip or two, but you physicists out there should still get a kick out of it. E-mail me if any of my physics is egregiously wrong or out of date.

Sources: The End of Physics, David Lindley, Basic Books, 1994; Dreams of a Final Theory, Steven Weinberg, Vintage Books, 1994; Third Eye Blind, Third Eye Blind, Elektra, 1997

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