Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Quantum Sock Theory

I wrote this piece up for Quantiki, thought it may be good to share here (especially considering the glacial pace of my posting history):

Quantum Sock Theory

The advent of mechanised means of cleaning clothes brought new challenges and exposed new phenomena unexplainable by the old manual theory of laundry. In particular, the discovery of spontaneous sock disappearance was totally contrary to the principles of pair production. A new theory of laundry was required, one that took into account quantisation of the textilo-clothic field, whose quantised carriers are called lint. Not only did the new theory correctly predict the spectral distribution of coloured lint on a black garment, but also the phenomenon of tunneling, the disappearance of socks from a nominally closed laundry system being one of the more startling consequences.

Socks obey Hoson article statistics which apply to indistiguishable articles of clothing such as a pair of socks. Socks do not like to be in the same state, even the same country, let alone the same washing machine. When brought into violent collision within the agitation cycle, and the spin cycle in particular, the inter-sock potential can reach such high levels leading to an interdimensional tear in the fabric of spacetime. How this actually occurs is still uncertain, requiring a deeper theory which can take into account the discontinuous nature of fabric at the Pluck length. The leading, or most vocal, candidate for such an ultimate explanation is called Thread Theory.

Sock Chromo Dynamics (SCD) is a development of the basic theory to take into account another property of socks, which Sockocists whimsically have called colour. However, it seems that, unlike spin or charge, colour is not a conserved quantity, especially in the presence of bleach. It has also been posited that a phenomenon call mixing can also occur. Observed is also the related phenomena of Fashion Violations, such as the wearing of different coloured socks, but this is usually only observed in Universities, especially Maths, Engineering and Physics departments.

Sockocists are eagerly waiting for the completion of the LHC (Large Hosiery Collider) which will be able to explore the collision of heavier or larger articles, such as stockings, pantyhose and tights. Vigorous tumbling of these larger articles may lead to insights into the elegant, but yet unproven, Twisted Theory and even the more abstract Knotted Theory.