Emerging Technology from the arXiv

A View from Emerging Technology from the arXiv

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

  • October 5, 2010

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

Tech Obsessive?
Become an Insider to get the story behind the story — and before anyone else.

Subscribe today

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus ad-free web experience, select discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.