Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Grand Unified Theory of Dating

Well may be not, but it's a start. From the BBC...

"Richard Ecob adapted a system for modelling atoms in radioactive decay to investigate how we look for partners.

He found that "super daters", people who have many short relationships, have a good effect on others' lives.

This is because they break up weak couples, forcing their victims to find better relationships.

Transit states

At the root of the system, says Mr Ecob, is the similarity between the probability of the nucleus of an atom decaying and that of a couple breaking up.

The decay of a nucleus is described in terms of "transit states": the series of change it has been through to get to its current situation.

The probability of someone having been in two relationships, for example, is the same as that of a nucleus decaying twice.

"We had an inkling that it might be the same because we saw similarities," he told the BBC News website.

"When we worked it out, the graphs we got were very similar."

The sweet decay of love. But seriously, all this guy showed was that the mathematical function is the same. To go on and say that there is a similarity between dating and nuclear decay is, well, just plain geeky.

So in the same spirit, here are other phenomenons "similar" to dating, I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to flesh out the analogies:

Voltage decay in a capacitor. Hint: Electric discharge.
Cooling of an object.
Drug metabolizing. (Love is a ...)

Here are phenomenons "opposite" to dating (exponential growth):
Bacterial growth.
Nuclear chain reaction.