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Physicist proposes to physicist in a physics paper

Two physicists have been together for seven years. It's like the start of a joke. Instead, it's the start of something beautiful -- and, well, physic(s)al.

Love and physics. It can happen.
DeepHouseification/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I fancy some physicists can be overly rational about love.

They analyze before, during, and after every act. They ask for feedback during and after every act.

While a French photographer might be having a post-coital cigarette and looking airily toward a window, a physicist might turn to his lover and offer: "So when your left hand touches my right shoulder, there's a 15 percent greater reaction in my nervous system than when your bottom lip touches my clavicle."

So just imagine what happens when two physicists meet, are together for seven years, and then one asks the other to marry them.

Surely the utterly rational thing to do would be to write a physics paper. Oddly, this doesn't seem to happen very often.

Indeed, I had never heard of such a thing, until BoingBoing pointed me to a Reddit thread that contained an extraordinary marriage proposal called "Two Body Interactions: A Longitudinal Study."

It begins: "A two body interaction is studied over a period of time in a variety of locations, and with a multitude of additional bodies."

You are, perhaps, blushing already. But read on:

"Additional tests are conducted in the later period of the study, and a summary of the results are presented. Finally, the prospect of continued study is evaluated."

This might bring to your mind the idea that this couple has paid great attention to the development of their relationship.

It brings to my mind the words of Ben Affleck at the Oscars, when he charmingly suggested from the stage that marriage to Jennifer Garner was work, but the best kind of work.

This physics paper (I have embedded the whole work of science below) was posted to Reddit by the proposee -- who said she and her boyfriend had been together for seven years and this was, indeed, his way of going down on bended knee.

Naturally, Redditors wanted to know whether it had been peer-reviewed. Moreover, some wanted to replicate the study.

However one -- the perhaps aptly, if painfully, named LonelyCannibal -- offered: "No control group, inadequate sample size, and unwarranted assumptions about future conditions...but yeah, congratulations."

One does have to wonder about how the relationship between these two Australian physicists developed. The paper reads: "The second phase of the study involved moving into a multi-body state with between 3 and 5 additional principle (sic) bodies and their co-bodies."

This, in some normal minds, might conjure all sorts of strange clubs in the Mission District of San Francisco. However, physicists do speak their own language.

So who would not be moved by the conclusions of this paper? They show that the projected happiness is "upward with high confidence."

After these words, Brendan proposes to Christie "the indefinite continuation of the study."

All together now. Aah.