Thursday 14 February 2008

Happy Valentines Day

Puppy Love
Originally uploaded by westius.
Science is the tool we use to solve our problems. But can science explain the secrets behind love? Given that love is a game, and mathematical game theory can be used to find the best strategies to win at games, why not try and apply science and maths to love?

We've had plenty of stories on love on Mr Science, so here is some advice from society's most lucky in love, the scientists.

If you are single and looking to get the attention of that one special person, you should check out the following stories:

If you are lucky enough to be waist deep in romance, then check out the following:
And if you think this whole love and sex thing is just one big joke, then perhaps the idea that those who are more sexually appealing may be dumber might be up your alley.

All our love stories are listed over in the Mr Science series on love, The Loving Scientist.

And if maths and love is your thing, check out some of the love stories on Plus:

  • Love's a gamble — Delve into the application of game theory to love. Is it really in your best interests to buy an expensive present for the object of your affection, or will they merely find your show of ostentatiousness pretentious?
  • Maths, love and man's best friend — Finding your perfect partner, it seems, is simply a mathematical process. Dr Peter Todd, of the Max Planck Institute in Munich, says that by the time you have met 12 potential partners, you have enough information to make a good choice as to who should be your life-long love.
  • 'Calculus' — Why sex is like mathematics? Because both can lead to productive results but that is not what we are thinking when we conduct it....
  • 2007 Nobel Prizes won by mathematicians — The maths behind one of last year's Nobel Prizes ensures happy marriages!
  • Symmetry, dance and sexual selection — There are not many concepts that are fundamental to both maths and sex, but symmetry is one of them. In maths the study of symmetry forms the basis of a vast field called group theory and can be exploited to understand the patterns inherent in nature and the abstract world. On the other hand, scientists have long suspected that the symmetry of a person or animal's body is an indicator of health and strength and therefore desirability as a potential mate. Does it make us more attractive?
  • And finally, does the Golden Ratio really have anything to do with beauty?
These stories may help us understand this crazy little thing called love, but I think that love goes beyond science and the only way to understand it is to get out there and enjoy it! Have a great Valentine's Day!