Phail is a material able to disrupt natural law, and comes most commonly in a gaseous form known as Phailgas, or bonded with rock, as Phailrock, which can be mined, or as crystalline Phailinite. "Phail" is often used colloquially to refer to any of these forms.
The study of Phail and its unique properties is termed Phailogy, perpetrated by Phailogists.
Phail is largely utilised for its property of suspending normal physics, usually in the form of burned PhailPhule, but is thought to be involved in other applications. As per the Timeline of the LRRd, Phailrock and Phailinite are used in Phail Reactors, to produce a form of clean energy in place of traditional Plutonium and Uranium. Also according to the timeline, Phail is the basis for all time technology (Such as the Time Helmet) past iteration 2.4 in the form of a Phail Reactor.
The Phailinite Ring given to Paul by Graham is made of pure Phailinite, and has been used to cure Graham of PRP. It is also thought to cause Paul's recurring states of madness.
Phail is either confirmed or theorised to be responsible for some or all of the events in the following videos:
- A Sacred Duty
- Daylight Savings
- Installation Anxiety
- Out of Sync
- Schrodinger's Fridge
- Unnatural Resources
Others exist, but their relation with Phail is unknown or disputed.
Forms of Phail
Phailgas is at its most simplistic definition, a cloud of barely-contained Pp, and can cause Phail radiation poisoning. It exists naturally underground in pockets, where it will either burst through to the surface or bind with rock to form Phailrock. Phailgas is thought to have caused the explosion and subsequent cave-in seen in Unnatural Resources, by mixing with the overworked equipment, as well as Graham's douchebag behaviour in A Sacred Duty.
Phailrock is a coal-like substance mined for its high concentration of Phail particles, which are released as it burns. Phailgas can also be burned, but as a gas is far less easily contained than Phailrock. Phailrock is sold to companies and consumers in the brand PhailPhule, among others.
Phailrock pressurised underground in situations of intense heat and then rapidly moved near the surface, crystallises into the rare material Phailinite, which can also be refined through similar processes. Phailinite is a delicate crystal, which will shatter if subjected to significant vibration.
Phailinite naturally releases low amounts of Pp, but can be destabilised with ionising radiation to release higher volumes of Pp. The more Pp a chunk of Phailinite releases, the more its mass and volume decrease.
Phailinite is able to attract Pp, but the precise reason for this is disputed in two theories: The Bedmon Theory of Resonance and the Gunner Theory of Sticky Particles.
- According to the Bedmon Theory of Resonance, when Phailinite's crystalline structure is exposed to vibration, it resonants with a sympathetic harmonic that attracts Pp. In such an instance, vibration should be added through a separate medium, on which the Phailinite rests or is placed. See also: this comic.
- According to the Gunner Theory of Sticky Particles, Pp sticks to objects and is "shaken off" by vibration, and is then naturally inclined to travel towards Phailinite.
Phail particles (Pp [sic]) are particles that occur naturally all throughout the universe in an extremely low concentration. However, the occur in more useful concentrations in Phail materials (Such as Phailgas, Phailrock, and Phailinite).
The effect of Pp is easily visible as the suspension of normal physics, allowing contradictory or illogical events or actions to occur. Examples include an ice sculpture contest in an active volcano, successful use of video remotes on human beings, and faulty business decisions proving financially successful.
The precise function of a Pp is disputed, and heavily hindered by the lack of numerical or analytical data regarding it. Several theories are able to discern how they perform their effects, but none have yet been able to successfully and conclusively rationalise the coherence with which they function.
Theories of Phail particles
- The Bedmon Theory of Transdimensional Force Displacement
Given that the Higgs-Boson is evidence that forces can pass into different dimensions thereby dividing their strength, which is why gravity is much weaker than other forces, it then follows that there could be a particle that displaces forces other than gravity into these dimensions.
Assume that both positive and negative Pp exist, attracting and repelling the typical forces of physics respectively. The +Pp attracts the elementary physics particles, such as gravitinos (Which control gravity) and axinos (Which are thought to compose dark matter), from the dimensions, whilst the -Pp repels them into the additional dimensions where they cannot affect normal reality. Once the Pp are negated, the forces rediffuse into their normal concentrations, both in the additional dimensions and our own reality. Source: Lyinginbedmon
- The Gunner Theory of Entropic Reversal through Temporal Displacement
The Gunner Theory states that the decrease in entropy (chaos) in a Phail Particle Field in order to accomplish observed effects is translated on a temporal axis. That is, instead of an increase in chaos consistent with observed effects taking place in correlation with said effects (Events rationally coinciding with eachother), the chaos travels through time and manifests itself elsewhere in the timeline. So in the case of a perpetual motion machine, Phail Particles prevent energy loss due to heat and other effects, allowing the machine to function indefinitely.
The excess energy then emerges at a random point in the timeline, in a greater magnitude than what was originaly produced in the Phailphield, providing an increase in entropy/chaos in the universe as a whole, but in a thoroughly unpredictable manner (For example, the heat previously mentioned might cause a forest fire elsewhere). This also violates the second law of thermodynamics (energy cannot be created or destroyed), and this feature is due to be corrected in an upcoming publication. Source: Master Gunner
Phail Radiation Poisoning
Phail radiation poisoning (PRP) is an ailment resulting from prolonged or massive exposure to Pp on the human brain. Symptoms include obsession and mania, and the patient often exhibits Phail-powered behaviour as a result of the Pp. Examples of PRP include Paul's behaviour in Installation Anxiety and Graham's behaviour in A Sacred Duty is thought to have been PRP.
PRP can be cured via the use of the Phailinite Ring (As seen in use by A Sacred Duty) and is thought to have a medical antidote issued to Phail miners as part of the company health plan. There is some evidence that Paul is suffering a slowly worsening case of Phail Radiation Poisoning as a result of carrying around the Phailinite ring given to him in A Sacred Duty. This evidence however is still circumstantial and as of yet there is not enough evidence to draw a definitive conclusion
Based on the lack of respirators in use by Phail miners, PRP either cannot be prevented by avoiding inhalation or is not caused by inhalation of Pp.