By Professor Lord Lord – Chief Science Writer
In an unprecedented turn of events, a man from Pucklechurch has successfully quantum tunnelled through a lamppost.
“Now I can’t get my hand out,” says Rob Able, 27, a local. “I’ve been walking around trying to get my hand to quantum tunnel through things for a month with no success, and all of a sudden – this happens! I always expected my hand to go straight through…”
Quantum tunnelling is well-known to scientists, but has never before been observed on a macroscopic scale. “Even if everyone on Earth were to walk into a door every second, it would take us trillions and trillions of years before one of us managed to do it,” says physicist Cerys Lee Longtemps. “To put this into perspective, the human race would have gone extinct, the Sun would have become a white dwarf and the universe would be twice as old as it is now, and we’d still have trillions of years left over. So as you can see, this is an astronomically rare event. Now that I’ve given you an example of how tiny and inconsequential we truly are in this universe, anyone fancy a cup of tea?”
As a consequence, scientists from all over the world have been flocking to see Mr Able, who now has an improvised bed and an experimental coffee maker, amongst other contraptions.
“It was actually just a normal day when I got my hand stuck in this lamppost,” Mr Able tells your correspondent. “My girlfriend and I had been discussing quantum tunnelling for a while now and she said I wasn’t likely to be able to quantum tunnel through anything due to my mass. I asked her if she was calling me fat and she said no, she’s a physicist you see, and I told her that she shouldn’t be giving me problems, she should be giving me solutions. So I go out and it’s a bit of a drizzly day when all of a sudden I felt a tingling in my hand. I thought it was the rain, but the next thing I know I can’t move from the lamppost. Then I look down and my hand won’t budge!”
“I actually can’t believe this has happened,” says Dinah Seit, a researcher working on the applications of quantum dots and Mr Able’s long-term partner. “Rob called me as soon as he quantum tunnelled through and I laughed it off, but then I turned on the news and they’ve got reporters down there and everything. Of course I drove down from the conference I was attending. This is really fantastic, but…I don’t know. He’s got tubes sticking out of him and into him every which way because this has never happened before. I do just think the most responsible thing to do would be to try and cut away that lamppost.”
“It’s weird because his circulation is actually fine,” says Gabe Klein, who has been carefully testing Mr Able’s vitals since he first heard of the strange case. “Everything else is fine too, which is astonishing. People were talking about how his hand might have melded with the lamppost, but it all seems to be complete in there.”
This would make the removal process easier. “I never expected any of this to happen,” continues Mr Able. “And now that it has, I just want my hand out. I just want to be able to get on with my life normally instead of being poked and prodded and sleeping under a ridiculously bright light.”
Other Pucklechurch locals agree with Mr Able. “Obviously this has been a massive boost to the economy,” says Jenny Marr, a long-time resident. “But all the hotels everywhere are fully booked up, we’ve pretty much replaced our entire tea supply, and we’re all just getting a bit fed up with it. We don’t mind a bit of darkness on the road or pestering the councils for a replacement, but I wish all these scientists would please just leave us alone for a little while.”
Separating Mr Able from the lamppost is estimated to take place in the coming weeks, right after other news stories come in and distract the public.