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Pulling power

By Louise Mayor

Love moves in mysterious ways, and try as we might to find one, there is no formula that will unlock the secrets of how to find and sustain romantic love.

So if you’re looking for foolproof tips on your love life this Valentine’s Day, I’m afraid they don’t exist. But you’ve come to the right place if you fancy watching three physicists from the University of Nottingham explain something even deeper – the four fundamental forces of attraction.

In some introductory comments to this new video, nanoscientist Philip Moriarty explains, “Generally, forces of attraction, when we’re talking about Valentine’s Day, mean people falling in love and what holds them together…Of course, I’m a physicist so I have to look into it a little bit more deeply than that.”

Ed Copeland, who is a particle cosmologist by trade, explains how three of the forces – the strong, weak and electromagnetic – can be beautifully described by quantum chromodynamics, or QCD. But he adds that gravity’s proving most difficult: “That remains the goal – to try and also bring gravity into this big picture.”

While the video might not explain the forces of love, it’s quite instructional if you fancy your chances at impressing the object of your affections with some good old-fashioned geek chic. Moriarty and Copeland, as well as Roger Bowley, are charmingly enthusiastic.

You can find plenty more videos from them, as well as other Nottingham University scientists, on the website Sixty Symbols.

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