Comins, Neil F.

Neil F. Comins, Professor of Physics
University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469

Book: Discovering the Essential Universe
Physics Today

First email: 20 August 2018

RE: On “how-to grasp the essential universe.”

Dear Prof. Dr. Neil Comins:

I was working on the title of our homepage; it’s all so overly
sensitive. “What most captures the imagination within
the appropriate context?” It is not an easy question to answer.
Also, not being a cosmologist, physicist, or mathematician,
but in love with all three, makes it even harder.

When I looked it up in Google to see who else might be
grappling with the same concepts, of course, I found your book,
Discovering the Essential Universe.” Congratulations. A very
serious book, by a very serious scientist. And, WH Freeman
is such an excellent publisher. Sixth Edition! Very impressive.

The key question of course, “Just what makes something
essential, a must-be part of our universe so it would become
this universe?”

My answer came out of work we did in a high school in 2011
in New Orleans. It is totally idiosyncratic and naive, but it just
might be on a better path than big bang cosmology. The
primary difference between our application of base-2 to the
four primary Planck units is just the first picosecond. That
is just the first three epochs. In our model, it is quite cool,
quite dense, yet infinitesimally (not infinitely) small, of an
infinitesimally short duration, and a very small charge and
mass. Base-2’s natural inflation seems to take care of the
rest of the Lambda-CDM epochs with just a little fudging
and fixing, but nothing on the order of the inflaton.

I thought you’d get a little laugh out of it all. And, to think
our work had its origins in Bremen, Maine where I summered
on the property where my mother was born and which now
keeps me grounded in New England while I wander the world!

Best wishes to you and all that you do, and do altogether marvelously!

Most sincerely,

PS.  Given your work on educational strategies and misconceptions, I give you total permission to tell me to stop doing what we are doing. I do not want to mislead any students, yet all the experts just shrug their shoulders and wave it off, with no explanations and no precautions.  -BEC

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