David I. Kaiser
Germeshausen Professor Professor of the History of Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
ArXiv (25) Inflationary paradigm after Planck 2013 A. Guth, David I. Kaiser, Y. Nomura
Blog (Huffington Post) Physicists Golden Jubilee
Book: How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival (2011)
Most recent email: February 22, 2017
Dear Prof. Dr. David Kaiser:
I am reading your article, Viki Weisskopf: Searching For Simplicity in a Complicated World.
There are many successive “ah-ha” moments. Thank you. Just perfect at the right time.
Of course, you are “…not too far removed…” from anything and your
brilliance overflows. No self-deprecation accepted! The first 67 or so
notations are yet to be unmasked, but unmask them we will!
By the way, Viki opened the doors for me to visit with John Bell at CERN
in 1977. On that trip I spent a day in London with Bohm and his aspiring
PhD candidates. We talked about points, lines, triangles asking, “What
are we missing?” When Bohm died in 1992, I took down his little book
that he given to me, Fragmentation and Wholeness, and while reading,
I finally asked, “What is perfectly enclosed within the tetrahedron?”
I did not know. Even an old mentor, Bucky Fuller (he, too, was a “member”
of Arthur Loeb’s Philomorphs) answered the question in a rather cavalier
manner. There is more there than meets the eye. Base-2, applied to such
simple geometries, opens profoundly-simple, eternally-complex systems.
I so wish that I could have that discussion with Viki today.
Viki had a wonderful sense of the eternal. We became friends
when I suggested to a Wall Street Journal friend and Boston-based writer
that he do an A-hed article (the most-read column and considered a prize
We were at the faculty club over lunch. Too serious, my friend could not
get Viki to speculate about a God particle. Of course, Higgs has total
disdain for the expression. I say, “A Particle it isn’t; a Ratio it is.”Though the A-hed never shaped up for publication, it still needs to be
written. Months later in his home, we spent time looking through his
wonderful collection of art and art books talking about eternal things.
May I keep you informed of our progress? Simplicity is calling us.
When Lee Smolin and Anthony Zee attempted to combine Brans-Dicke
gravitation with a Higgs-like spontaneous symmetry breaking potential,
their preconditions of understanding were simply not simple enough.
If space-time is derivative, finite, discrete and quantized… doesn’t it
Enough of my blather. I need to get back to your article and
your ArXiv articles!
Again, I thank you. You’ve made my morning!
First email: October 6, 2016
Dear Prof. Dr. Kaiser:
Congratulations on all your work posted in ArXiv and for your many books and articles. I am just now starting to wade into all your work. I am trying to answer a question about base-2 notation from the Planck time to the age of the universe. In 2011 in a high school geometry class, we discovered just over 200 notations and we have been puzzled that nobody seems to find it at all interesting.
I guess that makes us idiosyncratic and probably a bit simple.
Now, quite a long time ago, I was a friend of Viki Weisskopf; and in the past few years, I have found the work of several MIT people to be most helpful, i.e. Wilczek on Planck (2001, Physics Today) and more recently, Guth on inflation and Tegmark on infinity.
Are bifurcation theory and base-2 related? Isn’t cellular production a base-2 phenomena? Where are we going wrong? Homepage
Could you help steer us in the right direction? Thank you.
PS. Very early on in my career I got hung up on David Bohm work, Causality & Chance in Modern Physics (1957) and particularly focused on pages 163-164 where he said:
“Thus, in the last century only mechanical, chemical, thermal, electrical, luminous, and gravitational energy were known. Now, we know of nuclear energy, which constitute a much larger reservoir. But the infinite substructure of matter very probably contains energies that are as far beyond nuclear energies as nuclear energies are beyond chemical energies. Indeed, there is already some evidence in favour of this idea. Thus, if one computes the “zero point” energy due to quantum-mechanical fluctuations on even one cubic centimetre of space, one comes out with something of the order of 1038 ergs, which is equal to that which would be liberated by fission of about 1010 tons of uranium.”