Australian Physicist Uses Scientific Paper to Propose to His Girlfriend

Marriage proposal via a scientific paper may not be everyone’s idea of romance, but for two physics grad students, it was the perfect medium.

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Brendan McMonigal proposed to Christie Nelan with this scientific paper presented on March 23, 2012.
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Brendan McMonigal proposed to Christie Nelan with this scientific paper presented on March 23, 2012.

Marriage proposal via a scientific paper may not be everyone’s idea of romance, but for two physics grad students, it was the perfect medium.

On Sunday, Reddit user bogus_wheel (whose real name is Christie Nelan) posted a scientific proposal online authored by her then-boyfriend Brendan McMonigal, entitled “Two Body Interactions: A Longitudinal Study.” The paper summarizes their meeting and relationship of more than seven years, finally concluding that happiness was likely to increase over time.

(MORE: The 5 Most Elaborate Marriage Proposals Ever)

The pair both originally met at the University of Sydney while pursuing degrees in physics. In a graph showing the correlation between happiness and time, Brendan McMonigal writes in his conclusion:

The summary of the findings of the study are presented in Figure 1, and show that the projected happiness is upward with high confidence. Taking these results into account, the author proposes to Christie Nelan the indefinite continuation of the study. The subject’s response to this proposal should be indicated below.

McMonigal actually sent Nelan the proposal last March, on the seven-year anniversary of their relationship; but it was only recently that Nelan decided to post it online.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald:

“I subtly got down on one knee to get the paper from my bag and hand it to her, then stood up to wait for her reaction,” [McMonigal] said.

“She hadn’t noticed what was happening at all, but as a typical physics grad, she read the abstract and then skipped straight to the conclusion and quickly [figured out what it meant].”

McMonigal is now pursuing his doctoral degree in physics, while Nelan continues to work in science as a educator. Nelan, of course, accepted the proposal in the end.

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