Integrated Physics and Chemistry – of Love and Relationships

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love-chemistry

Our education system doesn’t teach us how to learn science. It just encourages us to memorize facts and reproduce them in the examination answer sheets to secure the maximum possible marks with the minimum possible effort and the minimum use of the Grey cells. In spite of this, some determined souls (like me) manage to emerge from this extermination camp (our education system) unscathed with their imagination and thinking faculty still intact.

Such people view every aspect of life through colored glasses – glasses colored with the understanding of their chosen subjects. Let me take my example – I’ve studied physics and chemistry with a lot of interest. As a result, I’m able to see physics and chemistry in every aspect of life.

In this essay, I’ll attempt to explain relationships and the emotion of love using various analogies from science.
Analogy 1:

An extremely beautiful girl with a very charming face, perfect figure and a captivating personality can be compared to the most massive object in the solar system – the Sun. The Sun is the center of attraction for all the planets that revolve around it. Similarly this beautiful girl will be the center of attraction for all the guys (with average personalities) whose thoughts will be revolving around her. The mass of the object can be compared to the personality, independence and happiness of the individual. Just as the gravitational force of attraction increases with mass, the attractiveness of an individual increases in proportion to his/her cheerfulness and confidence.

Now, how can one attain a stable orbit around the ‘star’? Think of yourself as a comet. If you try to get too close to the Sun, your orbit will end up being too elliptical. As a result, though you can get very close to the Sun, your joy will be woefully short-lived, because you’ll spend very little time near the Sun. The elliptical orbit will force you to spend most of your time away from the beloved Sun. So, if you’re clever, you’ll strike a balance. You’ll aim for a circular orbit, so that you can remain close to the Sun separated by a constant distance. This gives space and freedom to the Sun, so that your relationship with the Sun doesn’t get too ‘hot’ after some time. The ‘binary star’ configuration is also an ideal state to aim for.
Analogy 2:

An attractive girl is like a powerful magnet and guys are like magnetic compasses. I’ve seen this effect very often: the girl walks across the room and the heads of all the guys turn (always pointing towards her) just as the compass needle turns when the magnet is moved near it.
Analogy 3:

A beautiful girl is an almost endless source of energy to guys. I’ve observed this effect many times (and even experienced it). Just a glimpse of a beautiful smile is enough to wash away all the fatigue and instill new life into an almost dead and exhausted guy.

Analogy 4:

The smile of a beautiful girl can travel through space at the speed of light (the property of electromagnetic waves) and also carries a lot of energy. When this smile hits a guy in ‘ground state’ (tired or depressed), it immediately transfers its energy to him and makes him reach an ‘excited state’. The telltale mark of such an excited state is, when the person’s face is suddenly found to be glowing like a bulb (of course in the vicinity of the light source or after a brief interaction with the light source). After some time though, if no more light photons (smiles) are incident on him, he’ll radiate away this excess energy and return back to ground state.

Powerful LASERS (Losers made Achievers by the Stimulated Emission of Rare Smiles) can be built if we can make an arrangement where these light photons can be incident on the target (the guy) frequently and at regular and short intervals. Remember, the light source must be monochromatic and of suitable wavelength (from the one important girl in his life) and coherent (filled with only one emotion – love) in order to have the desired effect. Such an arrangement is often found in successful couples who have kept the fire of love burning non-stop. For such guys, the saying – ‘Behind every successful man, there is a woman’ holds true.
Analogy 5:

When people fall in love, their body and mind undergo a chemical change. Just as every chemical reaction needs an ‘activation energy’ to get started, so does the reaction of ‘falling in love’. The ‘direction’ of the chemical reaction depends on the value of the ‘activation energy’. If the ‘activation energy’ is low, and if this energy is comparable to the thermal energy that can be provided by the temperature of the ‘surroundings’, then the reaction can be ‘spontaneous’. This is the typical case of two people falling in love at first sight. They meet each other at the right time and in the right circumstances, under the influence of suitable ‘catalysts’ (raging hormones and a suitable state of mind).

Some girls have extremely HIGH ‘activation energy’ because of their strict and orthodox upbringing. So the guys have to struggle extremely hard to muster enough energy (in the form of charm, charisma, position in life, physique, etc) to overcome this potential barrier. Most often the reaction does not proceed under normal circumstances. This is the typical case where the guy gets rejected by the girl (the girl is afraid to love, or rather incapable of even imagining the possibility of loving someone) for no major fault of his.
Analogy 6:

Just as different elements bond with each other according to their valencies, so do different kinds of people. People too can be classified into groups and placed in a periodic table. The group 1 metals will form the strongest bonds with the halogens (group 7 elements). The group 1 metals contain an excess electron and the halogens lack an electron. So, they feel an immense attraction for each other and form a powerful ionic bond as soon as they get close enough. The lack of one is satisfied by the excess of the other. But such bonds are fickle and can easily be broken by a suitable medium (a polar solvent like water). Similarly couples which are bonded to each other by the one-sided sacrifice of one for the other can be easily separated over time by the different solvents (people and circumstances) poured over them by time.

The covalently bonded compounds are formed by the mutual sharing of electrons. Such bonds cannot be broken by polar or even organic solvents (though the compound gets dissolved in organic solvents, its molecular structure remains intact.). These are the ideal couples where both partners share their lives with each other equally.

Analogy 7:

If an element has already bonded with another element to form a covalent bond, its “Octet Rule” is satisfied. It will not bond with any other element under normal circumstances. Similarly, if you love a girl who has already bonded with another guy, you’ll just be wasting your time. She’ll never bond with you under ‘normal’ circumstances.

Analogy 8:

If you put a copper rod in Zinc Sulphate solution, the copper atoms can never displace the Zinc atoms from the solution, to form Copper Sulphate solution. This is because Copper lies at a lower position than Zinc in the ‘Activity Series’. Similarly a guy who ranks lower in the ‘attrActivity Series’ can never displace a more ‘attractive’ guy from the solution of love brewing in the girl’s heart.

Analogy 9:

Motion always takes place in the direction of the net force (resultant force). So the direction of the stronger force determines the direction in which the object will finally move. Take the case of the guy hurtling towards a head-on collision with a girl because he has fallen hopelessly in love with her. He is unable to resist the strong attractive force pulling him towards her. Only the girl(the Sun) has the power to avoid the head-on collision and save the poor planet or comet (the guy) from certain destruction. She has to create a repulsive force powerful enough to overcome the attractive force, by being very rude to him.
Now I can study these analogies more deeply, but I am no Einstein to conduct thought experiments and find all the correct answers to all my questions with just a paper and pen. So I’ve put my investigations on hold until I can find a suitable lab-partner with whom I can conduct ‘practical’ investigations and do ‘real’ experiments to collect enough data to support my theories.

p.s: This was written by me on 18th Aug, 2005

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