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Article

The ‘Oumuamua Encounter: How Modern Cosmology Handled Its First Black Swan

Department of Finance, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia
Academic Editor: Maxim Yu. Khlopov
Symmetry 2021, 13(3), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym13030510
Received: 19 February 2021 / Revised: 16 March 2021 / Accepted: 17 March 2021 / Published: 20 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 30 Years of Econophysics: Symmetry in Physics and Economics)
The first macroscopic object observed to have come from outside the solar system slipped back out of sight in early 2018. 1I/2017 U1 ‘Oumuamua offered a unique opportunity to test understanding of gravity, planetary formation and galactic structure against a true outlier, and astronomical teams from around the globe rushed to study it. Observations lasted several months and generated a tsunami of scientific (and popular) literature. The brief window available to study ‘Oumuamua created crisis-like conditions, and this paper makes a comparative study of techniques used by cosmologists against those used by financial economists in qualitatively similar situations where data conflict with the current paradigm. Analyses of ‘Oumuamua were marked by adherence to existing paradigms and techniques and by confidence in results from self and others. Some, though, over-reached by turning uncertain findings into graphic, detailed depictions of ‘Oumuamua and making unsubstantiated suggestions, including that it was an alien investigator. Using a specific instance to test cosmology’s research strategy against approaches used by economics researchers in comparable circumstances is an example of reverse econophysics that highlights the benefits of an extra-disciplinary lens. View Full-Text
Keywords: ‘Oumuamua; interstellar objects; black swan event; non-gravitational acceleration; interdisciplinary research; reverse econophysics ‘Oumuamua; interstellar objects; black swan event; non-gravitational acceleration; interdisciplinary research; reverse econophysics
MDPI and ACS Style

Coleman, L. The ‘Oumuamua Encounter: How Modern Cosmology Handled Its First Black Swan. Symmetry 2021, 13, 510. https://doi.org/10.3390/sym13030510

AMA Style

Coleman L. The ‘Oumuamua Encounter: How Modern Cosmology Handled Its First Black Swan. Symmetry. 2021; 13(3):510. https://doi.org/10.3390/sym13030510

Chicago/Turabian Style

Coleman, Les. 2021. "The ‘Oumuamua Encounter: How Modern Cosmology Handled Its First Black Swan" Symmetry 13, no. 3: 510. https://doi.org/10.3390/sym13030510

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