Cosm(et)ology

I’ve mentioned before that in some parts of the world, cosmology is likely to be confused with cosmetology. I now think cosmologists are missing a trick, and should in fact be borrowing terms from the world of cosmetics.

I suggested on Twitter that the Dark Energy responsible for making the Universe expand more rapidly should henceforth be known as Volumiser, a term which could also apply to the scalar field that drives cosmic inflation. I do think, however, that it might be better to think of inflation as an anti-wrinkle agent, as it smooths away any primordial irregularities.

Anyway, esteemed Nobel laureate and even more esteemed wine producer Brian Schmidt offered this contribution to show that someone has already had the idea…

I’m sure Quintessence isn’t the only example of physics that’s entirely made up, and no doubt you’ll be offering your own suggestions through the comments box…

9 Responses to “Cosm(et)ology”

  1. “I’ve mentioned before that in some parts of the world, cosmology is likely to be confused with cosmetology.”

    Not a surprise, really, considering the amount of thought (in the former case) and money (in the latter case) spent on trying to solve the flatness problem in the respective cases.

    More seriously, there is a common Greek root.

  2. Anton Garrett Says:

    Is this post a reference to the problem of inflation in regard to the recent concerns about breast implants?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9671000/9671060.stm

    Let me make clear that for reconstruction after cancer, I have every sympathy. For cosmetic reconstruction…

    PS What you call ‘cosmology’ used to be called ‘physical cosmology’, because the word originally had a theological meaning.

    • “Is this post a reference to the problem of inflation in regard to the recent concerns about breast implants?”

      Perhaps, or perhaps about the brain being more important than the bulk.

      After cancer, OK, but what about after capricorn?

      Note that the famous book by Peebles is called Physical Cosmology for a different reason.

  3. Alan Heavens Says:

    I think we may be about to have surgery: I’m sure people tell me we have entered the era of preincision cosmetology.

  4. Anton Garrett Says:

    Shurely it’s a typo for cometology, which is certainly part of astrophysics?

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