The Physicist's Lament

William Hughes

TTTO: Both Sides Now , by Joni Mitchell

    Extremely tiny billiard balls
    Exert a force on every wall.
    Moving much too fast to fall:
    I've looked at light that way.
    But now this doesn't seem to fit
    When looking through a double slit.
    And shadows blur a little bit
    With this peculiar ray.

    I've looked at light from both sides now:
    From speck and wave, and still somehow
    It's light's illusions I recall.
    I really don't know light, at all.

    Moving steady as can be
    With lots of simultaneity.
    A smooth increase in entropy:
    I've looked at time that way.
    But near the speed of light I've found
    All rates of change start slowing down.
    While antimatter turns things around
    And goes the other way.

    I've looked at time from both sides now:
    From where and when, and still somehow
    It's just equations I recall.
    I really don't know time, at all.

    Yellow, red, and sometimes blue
    Just u's and d's will nicely do
    To make protons and neutrons too.
    I've looked at quarks that way.
    But lambdas now are acting strange
    They're taking much too long to change
    But nothing's lost and nothing's gained
    During a strong decay.

    I've looked at quarks from both sides now:
    From up and down, and still somehow
    It's only hadrons I recall.
    I really don't know quarks, at all.