Vandoren, Stefan

Stefan Vandoren

Professor in Theoretical Physics
Institute for Theoretical Physics
Utrecht University
Utrecht, The Netherlands

YouTube (and many others)


A sequel note: Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 5:27 AM

I am going way out on thin ice here…
forgive me, a fool.

We did a comparison between the two,
Planck Time to the Age of the Universe and
Planck Length to the Observable Universe
I am sure that you’ll find our chart to be totally idiosyncratic —
it is — but of some theoretical interest.

I believe there is a lot of exegetical work to be done in there!

It started because I was thinking of the first 65 doublings
from the Planck Length and how scholarship has virtually ignored them.
Then came the most remarkable Hooft-Vandoren work!
With your inspiration, well, I just couldn’t help myself.

I am sure people will say, “Lock him up.” And my mother
— if she were alive — would gleefully add, “And throw away the key.”
And she would only be slightly kidding with me.

Of course, I would enjoy your initial comments.

Warm regards,


First email: Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Time in Powers of Ten, Natural Phenomena and Their Timescales
(authors): Gerard ‘t Hooft (Utrecht University, The Netherlands) and
Stefan Vandoren (Utrecht University, The Netherlands)
Translated by: Saskia Eisberg – ‘t Hooft

Dear Prof. Dr. Stefan Vandoren:

Congratulations on your book with Prof. Dr. Gerard ‘t Hooft ! Thank you.
Our students and I have been looking for someone to do it. In 2011, we
suggested to a Washington State University mathematics professor that
he do it. He didn’t. You did. Three cheers!

Our only criticism is that we were hoping to see base-2 used just to add
a bit more granularity to it all. Yet, we were happy to finally see a Scale
of Time from the Big Bang (1090s) right down to 10-44s, certainly in the range
of Planck time, the accepted conceptual limits of time measurement.

We are a group of fifteen high school geometry classes who backed into
the Planck length, and then became aware of Kees Boeke’s 40 jumps,
the Ames film, the Morrison book, and more. We did note that if Boeke
wanted to go to the natural limits, the Planck Length to the Observable
Universe, he would have about 62 jumps. The Huang twins made
the correction when we pointed it out to them in January 2012.

Our work is simple, probably simplistic. We took the tetrahedron as
a starting point, divided each edge in half, connected those new vertices
and discovered the four tetrahedrons, one in each corner and the octahedron
in the center. We continued. The octahedron yields a half-sized octahedron
in each of the six corners and a tetrahedron in each face. So, we just kept
going until we had imposed that tetrahedral-octahedral-tetrahedral tiling
on the universe and came up with 202.34 to 205.1 notations.

In December 2011, we couldn’t find it on the web or in Wikipedia, so
we wrote up the first draft for Wikipedia in April 2012 but it was removed
as original research. We thought that was a bit contrived. It was all
out there, but not focused within one article.

We are constantly updating the websites. One of our recent summaries is here:
An index to all the article over the years is here:

Thanks again for your work on what is a pivotal book.

Most sincerely,

Bruce Camber

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