What is the smallest thing in the universe? What is the largest?

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The Smallest and the Largest
by Bruce E. Camber

  And, the answer is: Seven of the brightest asked the question. Everybody has an idea but nobody has the answer.

Durham, UK (2021): Graduate students of the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology (IPPP Durham University) were substituting for Sir Peter Higgs. That question for their audience is a major unsolved mystery. At their IPPP 23rd International Conference from the Planck Scale to Electroweak Scale (Planck 2021), Prof. Dr. Malcolm Fairbairn of Kings College London presented Dark Matter Hunting in 2021 – How do you look for something when you don’t know what it is? His presentation raises key issues about such open questions. On page 70, there is a challenge for us all, “We are well into an era of using novel approaches to learn more about dark matter.”[1]

There were another 20 scholars with similar presentations; each focused on a most mystifying open question within our smallest-scale universe. Those lectures are being scrutinized; see the footnotes below. The domain from the Planck scale to the Electroweak scale is filled with unanswered questions. Princeton physicist and 2019 Nobel laureate James Peebles lifts them all up as the penultimate questions in physics and cosmology today.


Students are our sacred trust and treasure. Notwithstanding, they are to be challenged in ever way. Nevertheless, we also need to listen carefully to the ways they challenge us. I’ve been a student all my life and I have no plans to change gears. Some of my most inspiring encounters have come within the naïvetés of high school students in the USA.We started studying the infinitesimal in December 2011 by falling into a Zeno tunnel within the tetrahedral-octahedral honeycomb that dropped down 112 steps to the Planck scale wall. We went 90 steps to the age and size of the universe, yet, the first 67 notations stopped us cold. EWe didn’t know what we didn’t know.

Observing, thinking, and trying hard to be logical, over time we came to several radical conclusions: “That’s a quiet big bang. It’s a natural inflation. Perfectly smooth, it’s the basis for homogeneity-isotropy. Isn’t it dark matter and dark energy?” To say the least, we got carried away! And, that is a problem.

What’s the smallest thing in the universe?” Their response is quick, “An infinitesimal sphere on the order of Lemaître’s primordial atom.” Nodding, I pushed the issue, “So what?” Immediately on it: “It’s defined by the Planck base units and there is one Planck sphere per Planck unit of time.” We had done the simple math so I asked,”What does that mean?” The answer is baffling: “One Planck sphere per Planck unit of time computes to 539 tredecillion spheres per second.” That’s a lot of spheres to track. We had applied base-2 notation and encapsulated everything, everywhere for all time within just 202 notations. A transformative surprise (and a first), we were profoundly challenged by a multiplicity of issues.

As crazy as it all seemed, we weren’t going to duck out. We learned to accept the idiosyncratic and to ask the experts for help. We continued on, but no longer as an extracurricular activity for our brightest students. They were going on to college and these concepts created much too much confusion. So, for the few still interested after their college graduation and at the start of a career, we have been making some guesses based on a few facts! It’s all becoming part of our simple-but-slowly-expanding history.

People have asked, about the thrust for the 539 tredecillion infinitesimal spheres per second. We had examined that question earlier, and continue to pursue it focused on (1) the infinitesimal thrust of numbers coming through pi and (2) the role of light.


If Planck’s base units are symbolically the smallest, what could be the largest? We became even more controversial. Built into our simple equations is an active finite-infinite relation. We say that only because these continuity equations are never-ending and never-repeating. Like pi (and with pi), all continue to expand. These numbers should be the most-dynamic and the largest numbers within each of the general categories within Notation-202 of our horizontal chart. Deep within pi and the sphere are continuity, symmetry, and harmony. These simple perfections manifest within the finite yet are not themselves finite. These three define the infinite. Historically it has been defined in numerous other ways. Most are personal matters. We avoid such language and defer to continuity/order, symmetry/relations, and harmony/dynamics.

For many, it is all too simplistic. For us, it is the simplicity that was within John Wheeler’s dreams. Thank you.


Editor’s note: The most dynamic part of each page follows. These are the evolving footnotes, references, emails, and instant messages. Your comments are most welcomed!


Editor’s note: This page was first posted on October 19, 2021 and the following sections will be under construction for several weeks.

[1] Scholars. Durham University’s Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology (IPPP) has achieved global recognition for her work and her graduate students. These seven pictured above are so good they stepped up when Sir Peter Higgs became too ill to make his speech. Another reason is that they host events like the 23rd International Conference from the Planck Scale to Electroweak Scale (Planck 2021).

By focusing scholars on these most-mysterious, open questions, new insights just might be sparked. This is especially true among the graduate students and postdocs. Our hope is in the new scholars and those who made a presentation for the conference. There is nothing like a deadline! By making time fundamental we experience its derivative nature.

In December 2011 we started working to understand the 202 base notations from the Planck scale to the current time. We have come to believe that the first 64 base-2 notations from the Planck scale to what we’ve called the CERN-scale (or Electroweak scale) are the hidden keys to help unlock silos of information that keep the key domains of physics separated. There is nothing like a ten-year anniversary to prompt a more critical review.

From this 23rd conference, we now have access to the PDFs of the 21 scholars who’ve made a presentation. We also always find their references to be a great resource.

All our emails to these scholars will be referenced from this footnote in the order in which they presented for this 23rd conference:

There are 21 scholars from around the world who made a presentation, Although each is a focus on possibilities, some are closer in spirit to the Fairbairn presentation which challenges us to stretch in new ways. In every instance, my focus is on the nature of that stretching.

  • More to come

So, yes, there will be many more footnotes to be added over the next few weeks.



  1. Caltech Professor David Goodstein, Episode 26. Harmony of the Spheres: Sensational review of continuity, symmetry, and harmony.
  2. Mikhail Shaposhnikov, Is there a new physics between electroweak and Planck scale? Nottingham, 14 November 2012, 110 pages (Emailed: 19 October 2021, will be added)
  3. Our smallest-largest studies: A Range of Numbers from the smallest to the largest
  4. Many more references will be added.



  1. Malcolm Fairbarin, Kings College London
  2. Marco Drewes, UC Louvain
  3. Agrawal
  4. Of course, many more emails will be added.



October 18, 2021: @BBCScienceNews@bbcnews@BBCNewsnight #RichardSharp Worldviews are incomplete; we all need a highly-integrated view of the universe. We’ve started here: http://81018.com

October 18, 2021: @MiddleEastEye @AlexandraPring Yes, true. Yet, even Gurnah’s work needs to be seen through a very different lens. We’ve all got to grow beyond our simple worldviews to fully integrated views of the universe. Sounds impossible… it’s not. We started here: https://81018.com/hypostasis/

Abdulrazak Gurnah received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2021.

Other communications to be added.



With whom do we collaborate? Of the thousands of people who visit this site every month, who among them might want to extend a right hand and say, “Let’s work together.” Our only thrust is that the foundations of this universe and life itself be seen in light of infinity and the continuity-symmetry-harmony that the infinite engenders. Please, talk to us. Thank you. -Bruce


Key Dates for this document, smallest-largest

  • This document was started early on Monday morning, October 18, 2021.
  • First posted for collaborations, late evening, October 18, 2021
  • This page became the homepage, late on Tuesday, October 19, 2021
  • The URL: https://81018.com/smallest-largest/
  • Prior Homepage:https://81018.com/hypostasis/
  • First Headline: The Smallest and the Largest
  • First Tagline: How do you answer, “What is the smallest thing in the Universe?”
  • Another possible homepage: https://81018.com/tredecillion Password: Tredecillion
  • The most recent update of this page: 21 October 2021