Quantum Sock Dynamics

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on June 29th, 2005

Current mood: Fuzzy

Have you ever wondered why socks often lose their mates in the wash? I have a simple new theory to explain this phenomenon; a theory based on science, rather than superstition.

Quantum Sock Dynamics

A sock is a material expression of a special type of clothing-energy. This clothing energy has not been officially named, but for my own reference, I have been calling it Esock. This energy can exist as any scalar value, but it can only be quantized into physical socks in integer units. A pair of socks equals 2 units of Esock.

Now, the pair of socks I am wearing right now does not have exactly 2 units of Esock. That level of sock precision would be virtually impossible, even if we could discount the universe’s constant level of background sock radiation. I don’t currently have the means to accurately measure the energy in my socks, but for sake of example, lets say that they actually contain 2.0012645 Esock. The two full Esock‘s are materially expressed as the socks I am wearing, and the 0.0012645 of hypothetical sock energy remains in the form of static cling.

During daily wear, socks lose very little of their energy. Socks are fairly stable forms of cloth energy, and unlike hats on windy days, or women’s undergarments at a rock concert, they are unlikely to spontaneously vanish. The drying cycle at the laundry, however, is a different story. Washing and especially drying puts a great deal of electromechanical stress on a sock, and may cause a sock to lose enough energy that it dips beneath the quantum threshold for a pair of socks, and becomes merely a single sock instead. A pair of socks with 1.9995281 Esock will only be measurable as a single lonely sock, even though most of the sock energy from the second sock will still be present.

I intend to experimentally verify this theory by repeatedly washing a large sample-group of socks using varying levels of fabric softener, in an attempt to influence the quantization of lost socks… but I have to wait until laundry day.

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