Undaunted by such practicalities, Cooper has also set up and solved by computer a set of differential equations for curved tunnels that would provide minimum gravity-powered travel time between any two cities on earth. These tunnels would swoop into the ground at steeper angles and penetrate to even greater depths. Though travel times would vary, all would be less than the 42.2 minutes required for straight-line trips. (p. 1/2)
Cooper has let his imagination soar even farther. Using different radii and gravitational forces in his formulas, he has laid out the mathematical groundwork for extraterrestrial travel networks. According to his calculations, straight-line tunnel travel between any two surface locations would be 53 minutes on the moon, 49 on Mars. (p. 2/2)
In scholarship, he was a great stickler for accuracy-perhaps a carryover from his scientific training. He was an indispensable guide to visiting scholars writing about James Fenimore or William Cooper. One recent visitor, Alan Taylor of Boston University, who had spent a week in Cooperstown in 1988 researching William Cooper, wrote afterwards, 'I could not have advanced my project so swiftly, without Paul Cooper's thoughtful advice.'Paul was an eccentric in the best sense of the word-totally dedicated to his interests, following them wherever they led him, which in his case was to the very ends of the earth.
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