# Physics, mathematics and love life?

1. Aug 11, 2008

### ephedyn

Rather bored, so I was just wondering - only considered generalizations with the underling principle here, but I'm looking for specifics: have your interests in physics/mathematics altered your love life in any way?

Say, have you pissed your significant other off with your obsession with physics/mathematics?

Have you chosen to do work on some problem over a date? Over intimacies?

Has your mathematical acumen conditioned your strategy (for better or worse) in finding a partner? Or do you find better payoffs in mimicking the strategies of those less competent in physics and mathematics?

Are your partying iterations rather Newtonian?

Or have you wandered into this thread with a null set?

2. Aug 11, 2008

### cristo

Staff Emeritus
An interest is not the same as an obsession.

Err...
Great: another "I'm good at maths/physics thus cannot possibly have a normal social life" thread

Have you turned into Anne Robinson? (Ok, so I doubt many people will get that)

3. Aug 11, 2008

### ephedyn

Please don't feel offended as I didn't intend to - and it's not possible to because: personally, I think I have barely any social life; or at least people tell me that I don't. But both you and I know that from personal point of view that the named stereotype is untrue. I was just trying to find a casual topic of common interest, and I'm just intending this in good humor that's all - the same way I'm sure Mlodinow meant no insult in Feynman's Rainbow, where he mentioned plenty of social peculiarities among his colleagues.

I'd say an obsession is a subset of interest. And I was suggesting that if one so happened to fall under that category, to share your thoughts.

Please don't feel offended as I didn't intend to - and it's not possible to because: personally, I think I have barely any social life; or at least people tell me that I don't. But both you and I know that from personal point of view that the named stereotype is untrue. I was just trying to find a casual topic of common interest, and I'm just intending this in good humor that's all - the same way I'm sure Mlodinow meant no insult in Feynman's Rainbow, where he mentioned plenty of social peculiarities among his colleagues.

I'd say an obsession is a subset of interest. And I was suggesting that if one so happened to fall under that category, to share your thoughts.

And sorry, I typed that with a pie in one hand and didn't about how I should phrase it. I have no idea who's Anne Robinson though.

(Note on edit: Something seems to have been removed while I was editing)

And I was playing a game over the internet for a moment just a few days ago while I was reading a chemistry article. Darted my concentration back to the game, where I saw an amazing correlation, and

I typed: All your coordination sites belong to me ^_~
and the rest of the blokes (all of which were more related to computational fields by their making) quickly responded: Huh?
then I replied: Uguu~

In fact, I think those who can't appreciate it are rather peculiar themselves (I also doubt you'd understand that) - but I still find them likable as friends.

Last edited: Aug 11, 2008
4. Aug 11, 2008

### Staff: Mentor

I don't have an understanding of physics or math and I don't have a love life.

5. Aug 11, 2008

### ephedyn

Heh, how did you come across this forum then?

And that seems to alter my question to a new extremity: has your time spent in this forum altered your undertakings at love life?

6. Aug 11, 2008

### tribdog

Oh, there's a little bit of truthness to to it. Keep hanging around here for a while, there are some nerds here.

7. Aug 11, 2008

### ephedyn

My bad. I'll surely love to hear their take on the subject too, but I'm guessing the title has turned away these candidates.

Well, he said "... cannot possibly...", which I suppose is a question of sufficient conditions for having no social life.

8. Aug 11, 2008

### George Jones

Staff Emeritus
My wife and I both understand physics and math, and our daughter could pick out equations from prose (can't understand either, though) in books by the age of eighteen months.

Science geeks, all!

9. Aug 11, 2008

### BobG

William Hamilton did.

Hamilton spent his honeymoon writing Theory of System of Rays.

He finally figured out the secret to quaternions while on a moonlight walk with his wife. He carved his key equation into the stone of the Broome Bridge over the Royal Canal in Ireland.

$$i^2=j^2=k^2=ijk=-1$$

In spite of his sense of romance, Hamilton remained an unhappily married alcoholic with a wife he considered "not at all brilliant" until he finally died of gout.

10. Aug 11, 2008

### Kurdt

Staff Emeritus
There was another thread floating around that suggested half the members of PF were single. I think that tells you all you need to know

11. Aug 12, 2008

### renz

well, here's how conversation goes,

a guy from my class: (at lunch time) so let's go to lunch together!
me: actually i have to go to the lab.
him: You're eating lunch in the lab!?
me: er... no ... just at the department meeting right outside the lab...

oh well, actually i think the school work keep me way too busy to care about love life :tongue2:

12. Aug 14, 2008

### BobG

I will admit that when confronted with relationship problems, I chose to pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering. Good choice. Really hard courses; very time consuming; doesn't leave much time to worry about personal problems.

There has been one small problem with that approach, though. I haven't quite pinpointed it, but I think I either left out a variable or solved the wrong problem.

13. Aug 14, 2008

### rootX

I also doing the same

I pissed my potential girl friend in high school because I over used my analytical thinking, probabilities (e.g. I am sure with P of 0.7..) and math/curves in our personal communications :uhh: .

14. Aug 14, 2008

### ekrim

15. Aug 14, 2008

### BobG

You mean her potential energy was converted into kinetic energy?

16. Aug 14, 2008

### moe darklight

I don't think there's anything wrong about being passionate about something to the point it consumes a large portion of your time. Nor do I think, regardless of the cliché of the "socially awkward mad scientist," that this is exclusive to math-heavy sciences; you see the same "obsessive" behavior in doctors, lawyers, psychologists, or artists like musicians who spend days on end in the studio, writers, painters ... car mechanics.

Hell, in anyone who is very passionate about their line of work, really.

I think this is only a problem if:

a) you're using work as an escape from an actual social deficiency (i.e: it's not that you're sincerely passionate about your work, it's that you really have trouble communicating with people and use work as a crutch to not dealing with your problem)

b) you're in a relationship with someone who needs more attention than you can give them (in this case it's not fair to the other person to involve them in a relationship when you know you won't be able to provide them with the personal time they need to make them happy. You should probably look for someone who either understands your lifestyle and is happy to share it with you, or someone who also leads a similar lifestyle)

But if you genuinely love working day in and day out, and have no desire for a different lifestyle, I don't see why this is unhealthy in any way; regardless of what others might think.

17. Aug 14, 2008

### WarPhalange

Enjoying working day in and day out without a desire for a different lifestyle is like falling from a great height. It's awesome unless you suddenly stop liking all that work. Splat. Then you're 20 or 30 years behind the social curve without any clue where to go or what to do.

18. Aug 14, 2008

### cristo

Staff Emeritus
But work is a social environment, and thus is conducive to learning social skills.

19. Aug 14, 2008

### moe darklight

How is it any less of a lifestyle than working a regular job for the money and spending most of your time with friends and family? You could just as well get sick of that after 20 or 30 years and suddenly decide you want to be a composer or a biochemist; then you'd be just as many years behind the biochemistry curve.

Not doing what I enjoy doing on the off chance that three decades from now I won't like it any more makes no sense.

And like Cristo said, work is a social environment too; I know I'd rather spend time with people who are equally passionate about my interests than at the local bar (which I enjoy too, but not 7 days a week like some of my friends).

Whatever floats your boat, as long as you don't sink anyone else's.

20. Aug 14, 2008

### BobG

And at work, those math and physics skills make you popular. Just a few months ago, several peasants, uh, I mean coworkers, came into my office wanting help on an incredibly difficult math problem. They hated to bother me, but I was the only person they could think of that might be able to figure this problem out. I was so excited . That's the kind of thing I live for.

I followed them to their classroom, where they'd just installed a new high quality projection screen. The instructions said that the screen was viewable with no distortion as long as the angle of the viewer relative to the screen was at least 10 degrees. They needed to know how far up they could put the seats at the edge of the room and still have the student see the screen with an undistorted view.

Uh, SOHCAHTOA? Geez, didn't these people even take a junior high math class? I was crushed inside, but I didn't let it show. They were happy. You should be friendly to your peasants, uh, coworkers. I just smiled and solved their tiny problem (IN ABOUT 2 SECONDS! :grumpy:) and told them I was happy I could help.