Chemistry department discovers new element: Fu

Satire by

This week has brought a multitude of positive academic news for University faculty. On Monday, professors Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson were awarded the Nobel Prize in economics, and today a cohort of researchers from the chemistry department announced their discovery of a new element.

Lead researcher and Chem 33 professor John Kimble explained that the initial breakthrough for this monumental discovery — dubbed Nofunium — came to him while grading quizzes.

“I had just gotten up from my desk to grab another palette of red pens when I was struck by a burst of inspiration. I rushed back to my desk and began furiously scribbling extremely complex equations and calculations — all of which will be on the Chem 33 midterm, by the way.”

The next day, Professor Kimble and colleagues built the equipment necessary to synthesize the new element. It took a few tries, but by the afternoon they had worked out the bugs and had created the first sample of Nofunium on Earth.

When asked about his choice of name, Kimble explained that he had dedicated the discovery to his students, hence the ‘no fun’ moniker. All elements added to the periodic table need a symbol in addition to a name, and Kimble has settled on the abbreviation Fu.

“Again, in honor of my students,” he explained. “I originally wanted to go with ‘No,’ but it turns out that was already taken by Nobelium.”

Sent a PDF form for comments on the honor of having an element dedicated to them, no Chem 33 students submitted valid responses to The Daily. Apparently they all made the prohibitive mistake of typing directly onto the form instead of printing it out, handwriting their answers, then scanning and uploading the form to The Daily’s website.

Editor’s Note: This article is purely satirical and fictitious. All attributions in this article are not genuine and this story should be read in the context of pure entertainment only.

Contact Benjamin Midler at bmidler ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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A chronic anachronism, Ben enjoys well-punctuated texts and oatmeal cookies. He's also majoring in psychology, so he knows how many fingers you're thinking of holding up. Spam him at bmidler 'at' stanford.edu