In the on-line Merriam-Webster, "pataphysics" is defined as "intricate and whimsical nonsense intended as a parody of science." Looking around the internet, I discovered the term was coined by French writer Alfred Jarry. Here are a few links treating the word:
Le Collège de ’Pataphysique
I was moved to read about the term because there is a journal called Pataphysics that will soon publish selections form Michael Butterworth's forthcoming book My Servant the Wind. There will also be selections from Mr. Butterworth's new book in the upcoming volume of Emanations.