Feeds

Relationships like atomic nuclei, says physicist

Weak partnerships decay. Sigh

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.