Authors: Daniel Danser
Tags: #CERN, #Fiction, #Particle Accelerator, #Conspiracy Theory, #Hadron Collider, #Thriller
The God Particle
Published By @ventura eBooks
207 Regent Street, London, W1B 3HH
This Edition eBook Kindle – November 2013
Copyright © Daniel Danser 2013
The Author asserts the moral right to be identified as
the author of this work.
This novel is entirely a work of fiction. Names,
characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of
the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to
actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any
means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without
the prior permission of the publishers.
The book is sold subject to the condition that it shall
not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated
without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other
than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including
this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
Cover design © Daniel Danser
For my wife Paula
‘Lord, grant that my work increases knowledge and helps
Failing that, Lord, grant that it will not lead to man’s
The Vemork Heavy Water Plant, Nazi occupied Norway, 1942.
The Professor’s anxiety manifested itself as a small, involuntary
tic above his left eye as he waited in the anteroom to be summoned.
It had been much worse as a child. The constant
eye-blinking, mouth twitches and facial grimaces had elicited derision from his
classmates and frustration from his parents, who were referred to one physician
after another in an attempt to cure his affliction. By the time he’d reached
puberty, he was an introverted loner, preferring to study in the seclusion of
his bedroom, avoiding any and all social interaction with his peers.
His disorder seemed to lessen by itself as he moved into
adulthood, but the years of reclusiveness had taken its toll, making him feel
awkward around people his own age. He was much more at ease with his teachers;
they were only concerned with his academic ability, which was bordering on
genius. He was always the top of his class in every subject, which compounded
the alienation he received from his fellow pupils; however, it also gave him a
sense of self-worth, an inner resolve to rise above the taunts and jibes, the
mimicry and the mockery.
As a young man, he was able to control the twitches almost
completely using the techniques taught to him by the psychologists he’d seen
over the years. Whenever he felt an attack coming on, he would take a deep
breath and think of something that was comforting, a secure place that he
created in his mind.
As an adolescent, he would project his mind back to when he
was a child and focus on the times his mother would wrap her arms around him.
Nestled in the warmth of her bosom, she would gently rock him backwards and
forwards, reassuring him that it would be alright. But, when she died, the
memory became too painful, feeling only grief whenever he thought of her. It
took years of uncontrollable tics before he was able to regain a mental image
that worked as successfully. The contentedness he felt through the loving
embrace of his wife was a strong enough panacea in all but the most extreme of
situations. This was one of them.
He wasn’t daunted by the individuals in the next room; he
had dealt with their kind for most of his life. They were, quite simply,
bullies. They had achieved their status through fear and intimidation, removing
any individual that was a threat to their authority by whatever means was
available to them. That meant, certainly for two of the people next door,
having them arrested on trumped-up charges and shot.
No, his nervousness was for the lie he was about to deliver
and whether they would swallow it. His life, the lives of the select number of
people whom he had taken into his confidence, and those of millions of others,
depended on it.
He had worked at the Vemork Heavy Water Facility since it
was re-commissioned by the Nazis following the invasion of Norway in 1940.
Prior to that, he’d been Director of the German nuclear energy project
Uranprojekt, informally known as the Uranium Club, based in Leipzig, where he
met his wife Clara, who was working as a research assistant there. She was the
only woman, other than his mother, that had seen the person behind the
affliction. She accepted his twitches for what they were. She hadn’t reacted
the way most people did on first meeting him, embarrassed to make eye contact,
but had made light of his involuntary facial tics in a playful way.
‘Are you winking at me, Professor?’ she had teased. He’d
reddened, and started to give her his practised formal explanation of the
condition, when she laughed that mischievous laugh of hers, disarming him
instantly. A brief courtship ensued and they were married in the following spring.
It had been over two years since he’d last heard that laugh
and he missed it, and her, every waking moment. He wrote to her at least once a
week but was never allowed to post the letters; such were the restrictions
surrounding his top secret research. External contact was limited to fellow
academics that could assist him in achieving his goal, and only then if they
had been fully vetted by the Gestapo.
‘They’re ready to see you now, Professor Reinhardt,’ the
woman dressed in a khaki green knee-length skirt, beige shirt and black tie,
said expectantly, holding the door open for him.
He promptly gathered his files together, brushed past her
and entered the room. She followed him in, closing the door behind her and took
up a seat in front of a typewriter in the far corner.
The room was brightly lit and dominated by a large, polished
mahogany table, around which sat his audience dressed in their full ceremonial
military regalia uniforms adorned with their medals. It was clearly a display
of machismo. He felt decidedly underdressed – a peahen amongst competing
peacocks. He recognised most of the faces – some he had met before, others he
knew by reputation only. He had been given a list of attendees by his secretary
that morning; it read like a who’s who of the upper hierarchical tier of the
Reichsmarschall Göring was the most senior of the
dignitaries and was, therefore, chairing the meeting at the head of the table.
To his right sat Generalfeldmarschall Keitel, Supreme Commander of the Armed
Forces and, to his left, was Heinrich Himmler. Reinhardt had never met the man
before and wondered whether he was there in his capacity as Minister of the
Interior or, more unsettlingly, in his other guise as Reichsführer of the
Schutzstaffel, otherwise known as the SS. Sitting next to him was Albert Speer,
Minister of Armaments and Munitions and, opposite him, was Philipp Bouhler,
Chief of the Chancellery of the Führer.
The final two Reinhart knew well, having worked with both of
them before the war. The first was Paul Harteck, director of the physical
chemistry department at the University of Hamburg, but today acting as an
advisor to the Heereswaffenamt, the Army Ordnance Office. The second was
Abraham Esau, head of the physics section of the Reichsforschungsrat, the Reich
Research Council. The latter two were obviously invited to verify what
Reinhardt was about to deliver. The only person missing was the main man
himself. However, as he made his way to the projector, the Professor noticed a
hastily-hung picture of Mein Führer looking down at him from the normally bare
‘I trust we can dispense with the formalities, Professor
Reinhardt?’ Göring’s voice boomed from the far side of the table, filling the
room with a rich, baritone resonance.
‘Er, yes, by all means,’ the Professor replied, nervously
pulling the steel-rimmed glasses to the edge of his nose and peering at the
bull of a man over the top of them. The beads of perspiration had started to
multiply on his forehead as though someone had just switched a shower on. He
took out a handkerchief and mopped his brow and ran it over his balding pate.
‘Does anybody mind if I open a window? I find it a little stifling in here.’
He was referring to the immense pressure he was under to
convince the people around the table to abandon the project, but he knew they
would take it as a benign comment about the stuffiness of the room. Nobody
objected, so he went over and slid the window up. The cool breeze of a
September morning wafted over him, giving him a slight respite and enabling him
to clear his mind for the task in hand. He thought of his wife – her hair, her
eyes, her mouth, her laugh, her embrace – and hoped he was doing the right
thing. If he succeeded, he would feel her arms around him again soon; if he failed,
they would probably execute her, along with the rest of his family.
He returned to the projector and faced his inquisitors.
‘Gentleman, as you are all aware, this facility was set up with one purpose in
mind – to establish the feasibility of using nuclear fission as a weapon
against our enemies. I am here today to tell you that it is scientifically
Excited murmurs went around the table. This was the news
they’d flown all the way from Germany to hear.
He ignored the rapacious looks on their faces and pressed
on. ‘However, the cost and resources required to produce a sufficient quantity
of Uranium-235 may prove to be prohibitive. Having said that, my primary
concern is for the theoretical proof that a bomb can be produced that has the
capability of winning the war for Germany. I do not presume to evaluate the
size of the nation’s coffers or its willingness to divert those assets into a
full-scale production facility, as I will leave that to the financial
analysts.’ He looked pointedly at Bouhler, who shifted uncomfortably in his
seat. That was all he intended to say on the practicalities of manufacturing a
device. He thought it would be enough to plant the seed and let the bean
counters do what they did best, which was to save money.
Unfortunately for him, Speer had other ideas. ‘What makes
you think it wouldn’t be viable?’
The Professor tried to control the tick above his left eye,
which was more pronounced now than it had been for years. His lie was audacious
in its simplicity. He had calculated the amount of the radioactive isotope it
would take to make a bomb and simply multiplied the figure by a factor of a
hundred. So, instead of 65 kilograms of Uranium-235, the conclusion in his
research paper stated that it would require at least 6,500 kilograms for a bomb
to be effective. He was aware that the newly-developed Heinkel He 177 bomber
was capable of delivering such a large payload, but it would have to be
modified to carry the ordnance under its fuselage. The problem he had created
wasn’t with the logistics of the device, but in the manufacture of the raw
He could feel the perspiration soaking into his shirt
beneath his brown plaid waistcoat and jacket. ‘As you may or may not be aware,’
he continued, ‘Uranium is an element that occurs naturally in low
concentrations in certain rocks, predominantly pitchblende – or, to give it its
geological name, uraninite.’ He directed his comments to the non-scientists in
the room. ‘We currently have a mine in Joachimsthal, near the Czech border,
that is capable of processing over ten thousand tonnes of ore each year, out of
which we are able to harvest approximately ten thousand kilograms of pure
Uranium. Unfortunately for us, the radioactive isotope that we require,
Uranium-235, makes up less than one per cent of the chemical composition of
Uranium. Therefore, with our current production capabilities, we are only able
to produce approximately one hundred tonnes per annum of the radioactive
isotope we need. It doesn’t take a mathematician to work out that, at the
current rate, it would take us sixty-five years to produce enough fissionable
material to make a bomb, during which time we would have won the war by more
He paused to let the information sink in, before continuing.
‘Our only option is to expand the facility at Joachimsthal to increase
capacity, or source a new supply of Uranium from elsewhere.’
‘And where do you suggest we source it from?’ asked Himmler,
his tone far from cordial.
‘I understand the Russians have been stockpiling it as a
by-product of their radium production, which they use in luminescent paint,’ he
responded, trying not to sound intimidated.
‘I don’t think they’re just going to hand it over to us,’
Himmler grumbled. He turned to face Keitel, who was sitting opposite him. ‘And
how is the war progressing on the Eastern Front, Generalfeldmarschall?’
He enunciated Keitel’s official title with undisguised
animosity. There was no love lost between these two senior officials. Himmler
regarded Keitel as a spineless sycophant, nicknaming him ‘Lakeitel’, a pun on
his name, meaning ‘lackey’. Keitel had seen the atrocities that Himmler had
ordered first-hand whilst in the field and regarded him as a monster. He would
never admit to it, but he was actually terrified of the man.
He flushed at being put in the spotlight. ‘We have launched
an offensive on Stalingrad and are confident of a glorious victory for the
‘That just leaves the rest of Russia then,’ Himmler said sarcastically
under his breath, but loud enough for the rest of the table to hear. He turned
his attention back to the Professor. ‘Assuming we don’t get the resources we
require from our enemies, how long will it take to get Joachimsthal up to the
capacity we need?’
‘As I alluded to earlier,’ replied the Professor, ‘That is
not in my remit. But what I will say is that, if we commit to producing an
effective weapon, we would need to increase the output at Joachimsthal
substantially. It would require a significant amount of manpower to build a
large enough plant to produce the Uranium required, as well as a separate
facility for the manufacture of the bombs.’
‘We could always use the Jews,’ Himmler sniggered. A few
people around the table followed suit, but Reinhardt wasn’t one of them.
‘We could if you hadn’t exterminated them all!’ Keitel’s
impetuous remark brought the joviality to an abrupt halt, leaving a pregnant
silence in the room as all eyes turned on him. His facial hue deepened further
to a bright crimson colour as he realised he may have just overstepped the
mark. ‘What I meant was, er… we could use the Russian prisoners of war. They’re
in a much better physical condition than the Jews and are used to manual
His backtracking seemed to diffuse the awkwardness in the
room and even elicited a nod from Göring.
‘Okay, Gentlemen,’ he said. ‘I think I have all the
information I need to take back to Mein Führer. From what I understand from
Professor Reinhardt, it is theoretically possible to make a nuclear bomb, but
we would have to expand our production facilities accordingly. We have the
man-power to achieve this, but we would still need to reassign valuable
resources away from the frontline in order to realise our objective. Am I