Feeds

Relationships like atomic nuclei, says physicist

Weak partnerships decay. Sigh

Top three mobile application threats

A physicist has built a computer model of the dating world, which he says shows people behave like decaying atomic nuclei, when it comes to finding love.

Richard Ecob, a postgraduate student, noticed similarities between the histories of people's relationships and the decay histories of atomic nuclei, the BBC reports. For example, he said, the probability of a person having been in two relationships matches the probability of a nucleus having decayed twice.

Inspired by this observation, Ecob went on to develop a computer model of a social network in which virtual people were looking for their perfect partners. These "software singles" were each allocated interests, which they would be looking to match with those of any potential partner.

The model suggested that those who have lots of partners don't do better than those who only have a few. It also found that the serial daters could end up making things better for everyone, breaking up weak partnerships so that each person can move on to something better.

Ecob, who developed the model as part of his masters research degree, thinks the same model could be applied to business relationships. He is working with his supervisors to develop it further.

Is this phenomenon behind the decline of the nuclear family (groan)? Is it proof that physicists should never be trusted to unentagle complex social situations, or is it just a daft story, perfectly suited to an August afternoon? We may never know. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.