Fermi National Laboratory

Volume 27  |  April 2004  |  Number 4
In This Issue  |  FermiNews Main Page

Ghost Leptons Beaming By
A POSTDOC LEGEND
(to the music of "Ghost Riders in the Sky—A cowboy legend")

A postdoc went to old Soudan
One dark and windy day.
Upon a wedge he rested
His detector to survey.
The particles he pondered
Were so puzzling in their dearth:
More downward through the atmosphere
Than upward through the earth.

Oscillations! Oscillations!
Ghost leptons beaming by!

The quantum law says if they change
You've got neutrino mass.
We'll send them out from Fermilab
And through the rock they'll pass!
In 2-plus milliseconds
They'll arrive there on the beam
A half-a-mile underground:
Will they still be what we've seen?

Oscillations! Oscillations!
Ghost leptons beaming by!

How much neutrino muon
And how much neutrino tau?
He'll scrabble at the data
'Till his hands are bleedin' raw!
For he's vowed to search forever
For just one defining change
Where MINOS miners seek new ore
In the lonely Iron Range.

Oscillations! Oscillations!
Ghost leptons beaming by!

As neutrinos zipped on through him
He heard one call his name:
"We're on our way to who-knows-where
Beyond this final plane
But your job is to think this through
And solve the mystery
To take precision measurements
And make some history!"

Oscillations! Oscillations!
Ghost leptons beaming by!

—Mike Perricone, with apologies to author Stan Jones, and to artists Vaughn Monroe, Peggy Lee, Bing Crosby, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Burl Ives, Marty Robbins, Frankie Laine, Eddy Arnold, Roy Clarke, The Ventures, Pioneer Pepper and the Sunset Pioneers, and many others.


An old cowboy went ridin' out
One dark and windy day
Upon a ridge he rested
As he went along his way
When all at once a mighty herd
Of red-eyed cows he saw
A-plowin' through the ragged sky
And up a cloudy draw.

Yippee—aye—oh! Yippee—aye—oh!
The ghost herd in the sky.

Their brands were still on fire
And their hooves were made of steel.
Their horns were black and shiny
And their hot breath he could feel.
A bolt of fear went through him
As the herd went thundering by
For he saw the riders coming hard
And he heard their mournful cry:

Yippee—aye—oh! Yippee—aye—oh!
Ghost riders in the sky.

Their faces gaunt, their eyes were blurred,
And shirts all soaked with sweat
They're ridin' hard to catch that herd
But they ain't caught 'em yet
For they've got to ride forever
On that range up in the sky
On horses snortin' fire
As they ride on hear their cry:

Yippee—aye—oh! Yippee—aye—oh!
Ghost riders in the sky.

As the riders loped on by him
He heard one call his name:
"If you want to save your soul from hell
A-ridin' on our range—
Then cowboy change your ways today
Or with us you will ride
Trying to catch the Devil's herd
Across these endless skies!"

Yippee—aye—oh! Yippee—aye—oh!
Ghost riders in the sky.




On the Web:

Ghost Riders in the Sky:
www.sunsetpioneers.com/WagonWheel/GhostRidersInTheSky.html


last modified 4/9/2004   email Fermilab