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ERIC Number: EJ860253
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Understanding the Fine Tuning in Our Universe
Cohen, Bernard L.
Physics Teacher, v46 n5 p285-289 May 2008
It is often stated that the physical properties of our universe are "fine tuned"--that is, they must be almost exactly as they are to make the development of intelligent life possible. The implications of this statement, called the "anthropic principle," have been widely discussed in a philosophical context, but the scientific basis for the statement is not widely understood outside the community of experts. My purpose here is to explain how I have presented some parts of this scientific basis, albeit with some glossing over of difficult and/or less important details, to undergraduate students majoring in humanities and social sciences and to senior citizens in "lifetime learning" programs who have no professional scientific background. In this paper, I concentrate on the vital processes of hydrogen burning and helium burning.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A