Quantum Dating

A User's Guide

Quantum dating, as an idea, is something that intrigues me. The word quantum, as a result of a lot of popular but horribly misinformed 'Sci-fi' novels and well-informed but confusing attempts to explain quantum theory, can have several meanings.

To make it easier, I've listed below a few meanings the term could have. As far as I'm concerned, they're all as valid as each other.

  • How to blame Science for your infidelities

    I'm sure everybody has met somebody like this - a person whose relationships always 'overlap'. This can be explained easily, and with minimal repercussions, with the concept of quantum superposition. Any given particle has a number of properties; these properties, like position or energy, can have more than one state. In fact, any particle at any given time is occupying more than one state. This holds true until it is observed, at which points the observer collapses the projection postulate, and the particle is observed to have only one state. This is called a quantum superposition.

    As far as this applies to dating, I don't doubt that many a smarmy grad student and possibly even someone higher up has maintained that they are at any given time in more than one state of relationship, and the specifics will only become apparent when observed. That is, when somebody walks up to you in a bar and your significant other is out of town, you're suddenly single.
  • How to not die

    Historically, there have been a number of ways to achieve immortality, the simplest being to not live. However, if you feel your willpower isn't up to Hob Gadling-esque proportions, try this.

    Quantum Theory is based on the idea that energy comes in discrete packets, right? So since aging is a macroscopic result of chemical processes in our bodies, and said chemical processes are governed at the molecular level by quantum mechanics, we must age a discernible step at a time, right? It's like an enormously accurate film projector - in actuality, your life is advancing one frame at a time. So if, hypothetically, we could observe every subatomic particle in your body at any one time, we would be able to calculate your age absolutely. This kind of quantum dating, as opposed to, say, carbon dating, would give a date that by definition couldn't get any more exact. Or could it?

    Well, actually, it could. Because all reactions at the subatomic particle level are reversible. So actually, there's no reason that you couldn't age the other way; that is, get younger. You're just not trying hard enough.
  • Why some physicists need to get out more

    You've heard of the many "Secret Life Of ..." books, documentaries and articles. It seems that the tendency to anthropomorphise, well, anything, is inescapable. However, some physicists seem to have been taking this a little too far. I've heard rumours of scientists spending the night in the lab with an atomic force microscope, conducting illicit affairs with tau neutrinos, or proudly introducing to their friends their new belle, the W boson (Well, what did you guys think of her? Isn't she something? What do you mean, 'she's a little heavy'?). There have even been whispers of a dark, underground dating agency primarily for particle physicists, concerned with translating actions between the macroscopic and the sub-atomic with multi-million-dollar equipment so the relationships they conduct can get further than just creating waves of interference in each other's lives.

Who says science can't speak to the common man?

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