Love in the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider

Science journalist Dave Mosher found a perfectly charming way to propose to his girlfriend, Kendra Snyder. Snyder is a communications officer with Brookhaven National Laboratory, home of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, in which physicists collide gold ions in an attempt to study the state of the Universe in the moments after the Big Bang.

Just before 4:00 p.m., Kendra's boss Pete pulls her aside to say he has received an unusual phone call from a physicist at RHIC. The physicist -- aka Bill -- found a rare crystalline deposit in RHIC's beamline at the STAR detector, he says, and needs her to go down and see if it's worth writing a story about.

Conveniently, Pete and all of Kendra's other coworkers are tied up. Even Kendra's eager intern turns down the opportunity to see this bizarre deposit and the giant detector.

How weird, Kendra thinks.

After a 5-minute drive, she meets Bill the physicist at the fiveish-story loading dock outside of the detector's chamber. Bill starts to spout mumbo-jumbo about beamline metals, collision energies, crystallization environments, chemical reactions, and so on. They walk behind an enormous concrete radiation shield and there is the colossal detector, recently opened up for its usual summer maintenance period.

They walk up a dual staircase and onto a platform just below the particle beamline. "And that's the kind of crystal we found," says Bill, and quickly scurries down the other side of the staircase. It's a diamond ring in a box.

Many, many congrats, Dave and Kendra!

Dave Mosher's Physics Marriage Proposal

Video Link

Via Arikia Millikan


  1. So am I the only one who noticed that a person that hardly knows her just popped up a diamond ring and thought “what a creep”? Nothing in the quoted bit of the article Dave Mosher has been mentioned.

  2. My brother works at RHIC, programming the detection system. He’s obviously not done a very good job if it missed a diamond ring like that. This knowledge ought to make the holidays more entertaining.

  3. Saw headline, was hoping for entirely different kind of “love” in the supercollider. I am dissapoint.

  4. Awww! I worked at BNL until four years ago and worked with Kendra before she left and came back. I’m thrilled for both of you!

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