Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Cohen Condition for Extinction

It is getting harder and harder to make a name for yourself in the science world.  Harder still, if, like me, you would like it to happen without putting forth much effort.

It seems as though it's all been done.  What's left?  The unification of general relativity and quantum mechanics?  That problem, which has stumped all of the greatest minds over the past half century?  I have an engineering background and teach college-level physics - it ain't gonna happen.

But, I had an epiphany recently.  If getting an equation named after you requires something novel, then maybe rather than try to push the boundaries of knowledge, I should think of something that is extremely simple.  There are probably ideas out there so stunningly obvious that academics didn't bother to point them out.

I'm not looking for a unit named after me, nor an element on the periodic table - just something to hang my hat on.  So, without further ado, let me unveil "The Cohen Condition for Extinction"...

Let N = TB - TD,

where TB is the total number of births for a given species throughout all of history

and TD is the total number of deaths for a given species throughout all of history.

If N = 0, the species in question is currently extinct.

If N = 1, the species in question will soon become extinct.

Again, to reiterate, I am not after the Nobel prize.  Ed Witten can keep his Field Medal.  Just having my name in some textbook will satisfy my ego.