David I. Kaiser

David I. Kaiser Kaiser

Germeshausen Professor Professor of the History of Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

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)
Homepage  (MIT)
YouTube: Manhattan Project

Most recent email: January 29, 2020 at 11:18 AM

Dear Prof. Dr. David Kaiser:

About three years ago, I sent a note of thanks for your article about our mutual friend, Viki Weisskopf.  Now, given the challenge of the Structure Formation conference (1999, Newton Institute, Cambridge, England), I think that the old guard, people like your friend, Alan Guth, have not given us the breakthrough about which so many like Tegmark, Arkani-Hamed, and Turok have dreamed.

In my first email to you, I asked, “Where are we going wrong?” Now, perhaps a bit more succinctly, I ask, “How can simple math and logic be so idiosyncratic? What are we doing wrong?”  Should we attempt to grasp the first 64 doublings from the Planck-to-the-CERN scale? What is the deepest or smallest reach of CERN?

It is all quite idiosyncratic and often I feel like an idiot, but such is life!

Any and all critical comments are most welcomed.  Thank you.



Second 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 among the journalists) about Viki’s work within the Pontifical Academy.

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 that 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 change everything?

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

Inflationary paradigm after Planck 2013
Alan H. Guth, David I. Kaiser, Yasunori Nomura


Dear Prof. Dr. David Kaiser:

Congratulations on all your work posted in ArXiv and for your many books and articles.  I am just now starting to wade into it all. 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 Max 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?  (Our little history)

Could you help steer us in the right direction?  Thank you.

Most sincerely,

* * * * *
Bruce Camber

PS.  In and around 1975 I discovered and became fascinated with David Bohm’s work, Causality & Chance in Modern Physics (1957).  On pages 163-164 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.”

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