The tired and true method of proposing involving one’s knee, a ring and “I do!” is old news. Thus, when someone finds a way to perform this rite in a fun or creative way, we can’t help but be intrigued, especially if the couple happens to be a pair of physicists from Australia and the method of proposal a science paper.
This is how Brendan McMonigal of Sydney delivered his message of eternal lovey-dovey to his then girlfriend Christie Nelan. As an article on the two in the Sydney Morning Herald explains, McMonigal still got on one knee, but the first thing to appear in his hands wasn’t made of gold or diamond, but of ink and pulped trees.
The paper, entitled “Two Body Interactions: A Longitudinal Study”, frames McMonigal and Nelan’s relationship as a research paper with all the bells and whistles, despite being just a page long. It finishes with the following conclusion:
“The summary of the findings of the study are presented in Figure 1, and show that the projected happiness is upward with high confidence. Taking these results into account, the author proposes to Christie Nelan the indefinite continuation of the study. The subject’s response to this proposal should be indicated below.”
Two check boxes, allowing for a yes or no answer, are then provided. Before you ask, the former is indeed the one with the tick.
The proposal itself happened a year ago, but it was only recently that Nelan threw the paper up on Reddit. As you’d expect, the response was insane and the thread has 1128 comments and 2937 upvotes as of writing.
If the name “Brendan McMonigal” sounds familiar, he’s the same physicist that explored the unintentional destructive power of a real warp drive. Fortunately for McMonigal, his proposal paper has a much happier ending.