Frederick Soddy, who winned the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1921, composed The Kiss Precise, in which he rediscovered the Descartes' Circle Theorem
originally proved by Rene Descartes, which involves the radii of four mutually tangent circlesHe wrote his result in verses:
For pairs of lips to kiss maybeThe most interesting thing is the generalization of the result, that was submitted also(7) in poem by Thorold Gosset:
Involves no trigonometry.
'Tis not so when four circles kiss
Each one the other three.
To bring this off the four must be
As three in one or one in three.
If one in three, beyond a doubt
Each gets three kisses from without.
If three in one, then is that one
Thrice kissed internally.
Four circles to the kissing come.
The smaller are the benter.
The bend is just the inverse of
The distance from the center.
Though their intrigue left Euclid dumb
There's now no need for rule of thumb.
Since zero bend's a dead straight line
And concave bends have minus sign,
The sum of the squares of all four bends
Is half the square of their sum.(1, 2)
And let us not confine our caresIt's interesting to observe that Soddy's poetry is the oldest poem submitted to a scientific journal, being older than The Detection of Shocked Co/ Emission from G333.6-0.2 by J. W. V. Storey, published in 1984 on the Proceedings of the Astronomical Society of Australia and discovered by Maria Popova.
To simple circles, planes and spheres,
But rise to hyper flats and bends
Where kissing multiple appears,
In n-ic space the kissing pairs
Are hyperspheres, and Truth declares,
As n + 2 such osculate
Each with an n + 1 fold mate
The square of the sum of all the bends
Is n times the sum of their squares.(3, 4)