Andrew Cook

ANDREW W. COOK {[email protected]} is a computational physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He grew up in Bountiful, Utah; served a Greek-speaking mission in Melbourne, Australia; received his B.S. at the University of Utah and earned his M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Washington. He and his wife Ann have six children.

Formulas and Facts: A Response to John Gee

Articles/Essays – Volume 45, No. 3

Dialogue 45.3 (Fall 2012): 1–10
In Winter 2010, Chris Smith and I published an article in Dialogue demonstrating that no more than ~56 cm of papyrus can be missing from the interior of the scroll of Hôr—the papyrus Joseph Smith identified as the Book of Abraham. John Gee has responded by claiming that our method is “anything but accurate” and that it “glaringly underestimates the length of the scroll.” He states that “Two different formulas have been published for estimating the original length of a scroll,” then attempts to show that “Hoffmann’s formula approximates the actual length of the papyrus,” whereas “Cook and Smith’s formula predicts a highly inaccurate length.” The fact is, the two formulas are completely equivalent. They are both exact expressions of an Archimedean spiral and they yield precisely the same results, if correctly applied.

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The Original Length of the Scroll of Hôr

Articles/Essays – Volume 43, No. 4

Dialogue 43.4 (Winter 2010): 1–42
The purpose of this paper is to introduce a robust methodology that eliminates the guesswork in determining winding locations by visual inspection of crease marks or lacunae features, and to determine whether the missing interior section of the Hôr scroll could have been long enough to accommodate the Book of Abraham. Fortunately, this is a question that can be definitively answered by examining the physical characteristics of the extant portions of the scroll. The haste and greed of Michael Chandler provide the key to unlocking this mystery.

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