Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Physics of Dumplings

The research team

Up until recently, high energy dumpling research in this country has languished, the victim of budget cuts and a research community focussed on turning tricks for the private sector. However, with the recent opening of the Hu Tong Dumpling Research Facility in Market Lane, primary dumpling research has started the long march into the 21st century. With the failure of the Large Hadron Collider, allegedly as a result of being sabotaged by a future God in order to save the world, the Hu Tong facility may be mankind's last greatest hope of understanding the dumpling, and the fundamental particles that theory suggests it consists of: the dumpleton and the souptrino.

Evidence of Garlic Field Theory

Professor Helen, Director of the Transport Dumpling Institute, leads the multinational research team at the Hu Tong facility, and she is joined by researchers Miranda, Kathryn, Stephen, Nicola, Dominica and, of course, Dr Phil and his research assistant. Today, the team was focussed on one of the major questions left in the field of dumpling research: the mystery of the Shao-long Bao dumpling. If the team could explain this strange phenomena, they would then have the basis for a truly Grand Unified Theory of Lunch.

Testing begins

Ever since Schrodinger put a cat in a box (maybe), scientists have longed to understand the drive to put things into other things, and never is this more manifest than the study of food. If cheese can be put into a sausage; if a sausage can be put into a pancake; then putting soup into a dumpling must be possible. And that is the grand claim of the Shao-long Bao dumpling - that these Schrodinger's dumplings exist in a state of quantum indeterminacy, where probability wavicles collapse into a flood of glorious soup once bitten.

The sauce substrate

So this was the purpose of today's experiment - to understand what was in the core of these four-dimensional quantum dumplings, and whether the dream of soup-within-a-dumpling is just a dream and nothing more. Previous attempts, involving the acceleration of souptrinos to near light-speed, had ended tragically with a dry cleaning bill of almost $16.

This time, however, the experiment started well. First a pork dumpling, flavoured with ginger and spicy with chili oil was used to fine tune the equipment. Lacking soup, or even the theory of soup, made it the perfect control subject.

Control dumplings. Perfect, and free from soup

Once the testing apparatus had been confirmed, two further rounds of dumplings, one a plain pork, the other vegetarian, and some braised leafy vegetables were assayed. The greens displayed high levels of garlic, which was consistent with predictions made using Dirac's little known Garlic Field Equation.

The test subjects

It was time. The Shao-long Bao dumplings were brought into the laboratory as a hush descended over the table. Was there actually soup inside these dumplings, or was current dumpling theory wrong?

The first result was disappointing. I lifted a dumpling too quickly from the bamboo petrie dish and tore the skin. While there was visual evidence of soup, none was tasted. On the second and all subsequent tests, however, evidence of soup was clearly identified. Celebration! Success! The soup/dumpling relationship, previously only theorized, was true! We arranged a hasty media conference and announce our results to the world. The rest, of course, is history. And lunch.

Pausing to celebrate

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