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Alice, Bob and Carla: Quantum Love Triangle Revealed

The relationship between the quantum world’s most famous couple is thrown into question by the revelations of a quantum mistress

There’s gossip afoot in the quantum world. For decades, Alice and Bob have served the quantum community to the highest standards of dedication and loyalty. In countless experiments, the pair have lent their formidable observing prowess to the proceedings, whether it be for quantum cryptography, teleportation or just plain old quantum communication.

Today, however, Fabio Bagarello at the University of Palermo and Francesco Oliveri at the University of Messina, both in Italy, suggest that there may be more to Alice and Bob’s relationship than anyone expected. And Alice, the poor soul, is in for a shock.

Bagarello and Oliveri today investigate the nature of love affairs using the physics of quantum mechanics as their microscope. The shock news is that Alice and Bob have been having and affair. This affair has the property that as Alice’s level of attraction for Bob increases, his level of attraction for her decreases, and vice versa. This say, Bagarello and Oliveri, is a well known, albeit simplified, law of attraction.

Various people have analysed the dynamics of love affairs. What’s interesting about Bagarello and Oliveri’s attempt is that they have applied the ideas of quantum mechanics to the situation. This is an example of an increasingly popular trend in which quantum ideas are applied to classical situations such as in economics, sociology and biology.

They find that Bob and Alice can enjoy either a stable, periodic or quasiperiodic relationship.

What Alice doesn’t realise, however, is that Bob is also seeing Carla and the properties of this love triangle can also be modelled by quantum ideas. Again, Bagarello and Oliveri say various types of periodic and quasiperiodic behaviour emerges.

Of course, this model isn’t entirely realistic. So Bagarello and Oliveri say there next attempt will include a time decay in the level of attraction between the parties involved. So it looks as if we haven’t heard to the last of quantum love triangles.

Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1010.0210: An Operator-like Description of Love Affairs

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