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This week a very novel marriage proposal by one Sydney Uni physicist to another captured the hearts of the online world after making the front page of Reddit. We tracked down our romantic researcher for the inside scoop on how his ‘proposal paper’ came together. Congrats Brendan and Christie!

What were your respective studies at Sydney Uni?
Brendan: We both did combined degrees of Advanced Science and Arts, with first class honours in Physics. I majored in Maths, Physics, Linguistics and Philosophy while Christie majored in Physics and Ancient Greek.

What's your PhD about, and what is Christie doing now?
I'm currently in the Gravitational Astrophysics group doing a PhD on galactic haloes as part of the Pan-Andromeda Archaeological Survey (PAndAS). Christie currently works as a science communicator in the Questacon Science Squad, however the program is closing down in June. So we don't know what she will be doing after that. She is hoping to continue working in science communication.

What inspired you to propose in this way?
I had been considering proposing for some time, but wanted to do it in a unique way that would be special to us.

How did you deliver the paper to Christie, and what was her reaction?
I had asked her to read over 'a paper I had been having trouble understanding' a few days earlier, and after I lured her to the spot we were standing when we met, I got down on one knee to get the paper out of my bag and hand it to her, then I just stood up and waited. She didn't notice what was happening at all, but, as a typical physics grad, she read the abstract then skipped straight to the conclusion and quickly realized!

Did you know she was posting it to Reddit, and were you surprised by the reaction?
I knew she was posting it to Reddit, but I had no idea it would go so viral.

Set a date yet?
We had been having a bit of an anniversary war for several years. She thought the most important anniversary was the day we started going out, while I thought it was when we met. I proposed on our 7th anniversary of meeting, and we are getting married on our 8th. I win.

Got a good (corny) science one-liner (fusion v. fission, attraction, chemistry etc.)?
We were entangled as soon as we observed each other….


Learn more about the subjects Brendan and Christie studied at Sydney Uni.

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