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Two Nerds . . . One Love . . . and A Great Golden Ring

August 17, 2011 - 4:26pm


Two scientists got engaged in the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. | Video from The Daily

The work of the Energy Department has led to many scientific and technological breakthroughs. Today, we’re highlighting a different kind of breakthrough – the engagement of two former Office of Science interns, who recently celebrated ‘the nerdiest engagement ever’ at a great golden ring.

Dave Mosher and Kendra Snyder were both interns at the Energy Department's Fermilab, a high-energy physics center located close to Chicago, although not at the same time. They first met in Chicago, during an intern reunion at the 2009 American Association for the Advancement of Science conference.

Love – of science writing, that is – led Kendra to another Department lab, Upton, New York’s Brookhaven National Lab. As Dave contributed to a variety of science publications, Kendra put her pen to work at Brookhaven.

One of Brookhaven’s primary vehicles for discovery is the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). RHIC is a great golden ring, a roughly 2.4 mile loop about the size of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway around which ions (charged atoms) of gold and other materials race at nearly the speed of light. They collide in an intensely hot blast, akin to conditions in the instants after the universe began. Those heated moments are intended to lead to results that last – a better understanding of matter, and the makeup and nature of the universe.

A beginning and a bright future; a hope wrapped around a great golden ring: Perhaps for those reasons and others (Dave said there were many), it was the place he chose to propose to Kendra. He enlisted the support of her colleagues from Brookhaven, who told her to check out a rare crystalline deposit that had been discovered in the heart of the RHIC. The crystal was a diamond ring, and Dave was there too. And yes, Kendra said yes. To see what the happy couple proudly called ‘the world’s nerdiest marriage proposal,’ check out the video above.

Visit the Office of Science website for more information on the Energy Department’s work in science and technology.