Cheryl Patrick
Image copyright Symmetry magazine

Symmetry magazine's Valentine challenge

A Valentine for Two Quarks

Symmetry Magazine challenged readers to write a particle-physics love poem to celebrate Valentine's Day in 2017. Here's what I came up with

This poem was selected in Symmetry Magazine’s 2017 Valentine contest to write a particle physics love poem. I chose two write about quarks, which group up in threes to form baryons, such as protons and neutrons. What’s more Valentine-appropriate than a physics threesome? You can see this poem, and some of the magazine’s other favourites on Symmetry’s website. Here’s a nice article from Physics Today about the physics of quark colour.

Some people wish for one true love,
like dear old Ma and Pa.
That lifestyle’s not for us; we like
our quark ménage à trois.

You see, some like a threesome,
and I love both of you.
No green quark would be seen without
a red quark and a blue.

The sea is full of other quarks,
but darlings, I don’t heed ‘em.
You must believe I don’t exploit
my asymptotic freedom.

And when you pull away from me,
I just can’t take the stress.
My attraction just grows stronger
(coefficient alpha-s).

With you, my life is colourless;
you bring stability.
Without you, I’m unstable,
so I need you, Q.C.D.

I love our quirky, quarky love.
My Valentines, let’s carry on
exchanging gluons wantonly,
and make a little baryon.