By the Numbers

Mathematicians Break Down the Great Romance of ‘Pride and Prejudice’

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It’s official: Love is a numbers game, according to a group of mathematicians who just published the solution to romance. At least, the solution to romance in Pride and Prejudice. In their paper, “A Mathematical Model of Pride and Prejudice,” they’ve proposed a set of differential equations that “describe the romance between Elizabeth and Darcy.”

Discover magazine explains sort of explains:

Apparently, the mathematical model of their love story is characterized by a “saddle-node bifurcation”; according to the authors, “A series of small discoveries can give rise to a sudden turning-point in the development of a love story. In mathematical terms these turning-points are nothing but so-called catastrophes, which, in the case of Pride and Prejudice, are technically revealed by the existence of a saddle-node bifurcation.”

Which looks like this:

graph p&P

It’s not clear if you can apply differential equations to your own non-methodically-plotted-by-Jane-Austen relationships, but worth a try. I mean, careful explications of text messages can only get you so far.