Guth, Alan

Alan Guth


Victor F. Weisskopf Professor of Physics

Cambridge, Massachusetts

ArXiv Blog BI inSpire Twitter Wikipedia YouTube
Key Article: Time Since The Beginning (ArXiv)
Key Book: The Inflationary Universe

Discussions within a homepage:
Email: The very first email, July 6, 2016  
Also, see: Stephen Hawking, Max Tegmark, Frank Wilczek, and Freeman Dyson.


Most recent email: Friday, March 12, 2021

Personal notes were sent around to many of those scholars with whom I have written in the past. There were three consistent themes from which those notes were generated and this is the one Prof. Dr. Alan Guth received. -BEC

Sixth email: Thursday, April 2, 2020

Dear Prof. Dr. Alan Guth:

I know you think our high school work is idiosyncratic
poppycock, yes, even crackpottery — yet I still feel it is only right
that you know where and how your name is being used.
You show up in a footnote (below) about the 1999 Structure Formation
conference within our homepage today:

Best wishes,
2 Albert Einstein. Some of the best of Einstein’s students (and his students’ students) gathered in 1999 for a conference, Structure Formation in the Universe. Held at the Isaac Newton Institute (INI) of Cambridge University, it involved Alan Guth, Stephen Hawking, Martin Rees, Joseph Silk, Paul Steinhardt, Neil Turok, and a highly-select group of leading living scholars. A result of that effort was the emergence of models of the multiverse (i.e. Lisa Randall). Yet, at no time did a commonsense redefinition of space-and-time truly emerge. More… The permanent URL for this page is:

Fifth email: Sunday, January 5, 2020

Dear Prof. Dr. Alan Guth:

Yes, even the idiosyncratic ones like me will tarry on into 2020.

You may remember the 202 base-2 notations from the Planck scale to the current size and age of the universe.  It’s a sweet little model with a natural inflation and a simple logic that has been readily ignored by the academy for the past eight years.

I have updated our working page about your scholarship (this page) because it is currently linked from today’s homepage. I have also updated the primary page that prompted my first email and those that followed.

Let me wish you a bright and prosperous 2020. We all have work to do!

Getting somebody with your history and of your caliber to test the assumptions, logic, and mathematics of base-2 model of the universe is very high among my short term goals. So obviously, I would so appreciate any help to understand why our simple logic and simple mathematics fails.

With warm regards,



Tweet: Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Happy Birthday indeed!
16 candles! (plus 55)
71 YEARS OLD. You look great.
If we all could be so lucky…  It has been just a little over 38 years since that 1979 lecture.

We now have some rough numbers, a natural inflation from the Planck units, using base-2 exponentiation to the Age of the Universe, and the logic flow just might be defensible with a Guth or Linde or Steinhardt depth of knowledge about cosmology.

Third email:  Tuesday, October 18, 2016 email

Is there any possibility that “natural inflation” is the grounding for base-2 expansion within cells, bifurcation theory, and quantum fluctuations?


Second email:  Monday, 10 October 2016 email

Dear Prof. Dr. Guth:

Might we create a new model of the universe by using the Planck base units and base-2 exponential notation to carry those units out to the Age of the Universe? We are a high school geometry class; our math and logic are all quite simple. There are a total of just over 200 notations. By the 144th notation, just over a second from the first moment, there is more than enough inflation (mass-energy-length-and-temperature) to produce a very compelling, exquisitely dense, quark-gluon universe without so much as a bang. It is a wonderland, and it seems that this Alice redefines the very nature of space and time.

Just silliness? I don’t think so. And given the gravity of the inherent nihilism within the big bang model, it is most important that the two leading theorists for it, be intellectually honest, even after a lifetime of devotion to it. Everyone must be prepared to challenge their most cherished concepts.

We all need to reconsider the necessity of a big bang. Thank you.

Most sincerely,
* * * * *
Bruce Camber


This note is a result of a posting about the so-called Inflationary Epoch.  In 1978 and 1979 Alan Guth of MIT wrote groundbreaking works whereby his concept of The Inflationary Universe became part of the core anatomy of the big bang theory. This note was sent to Prof Dr. Guth via email and it was titled, Inflationary processes.

July 6, 2016 The First Email

TO: Prof. Dr. Alan Guth, Victor F. Weisskopf Professor of Physics, MIT

Dear Prof. Dr. Alan Guth:

I was born in July 1947, so you are my senior; and, I write with admiration and respect for what you have accomplished. There is a special confidence that one gets from affirmations especially from being published. It seems so very eternal.

My question comes out of work done in a high school geometry class when we ducked inside a tetrahedron, found half-sized tetrahedrons in the four corners and an octahedron in the middle.

We then went inside that octahedron, divided each edge by 2, and found half-sized octahedrons in each of the six corners and a tetrahedron in each of the eight faces. A perfect tessellation, it was easy to continue. In about 45 jumps within, we were down among the protons. In another 67 we were in some kind of exquisitely-busy “singularity” with the Planck base units.

Feeling a little uncomfortably tight, we quickly multiplied those base units by 2 and in a total of 202 notations we were out in-and-around the Age of the Universe and the Observable Universe.

Now, this is all happening just up river from the New Orleans Zoo, downriver from the NOLA international airport. We’re just high school folks and the kids.

That was 2011. We rushed right by Kees Boeke whose work MIT’s Phil Morrison embraced. When we included all the Planck base units, it got very challenging.

1. Nobody talks about those 67 notations from the fermion-proton range down to the first Planck base units’ doublings.

“Much too small to be meaningful!” say the kings and queens of physics.  Why? “Off with your head!” (in the spirit of Alice in Wonderland’s Queen of Hearts).

2. Really now, if Max Planck found a path to such small numbers (length, time, mass) and to the not so small charge, and to an absolutely gargantuan temperature, shouldn’t there be a way to get to them through a bit of simple logic and simple math?

Why not?

We’ve mapped it out in a large horizontal chart:

It’s rich with information, but it could be all wet.

Any advice for us literal abstractionists?


Most sincerely,



Bruce Camber

PS. Long ago, in 1976, I was the guest of Victor Weisskopf at the MIT faculty club where I had arranged for a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) writer to interview him for an “A-Hed” article. It was to be about how the chairman of the MIT physics department was involved with the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Rome. Though the article was never published, Weisskopf invited me to his home to review great artwork, some quite religious, that challenged our understanding of space-time and infinity.

About six months later, on a trip to visit with folks in Geneva at both CERN and the World Council of Churches, Weisskopf arranged my first meeting with John Bell to talk about the EPR paradox and his inequalities.

Then, in 1979, I had a display project under the dome at 77 Massachusetts Avenue called, “What is life?” after Schrodinger’s book of the same title. It was an attempt to examine the first principles and answers to the question by 77 leading, living scholars from around the world.

Jerome Wiesner buttonholed me at that time, “What’s this?” thinking it was a right-to-life group! Such memories. So, I am still wrestling with the same old questions!

These paragraphs from the preface of your book, The Inflationary Universe, I enjoy:

The Inflationary Universe - Guth

Thanks. -BEC


Guth realized that a sudden, ultra-rapid stretching of the universe could take a tiny uniform patch and expand it to a size where it ultimately would grow and become the observable universe. During the fleeting instant of inflation, any irregularities in the primordial cosmos would be propelled beyond detection, offering a kind of blank slate. It is like taking a crinkled tablecloth and stretching it out so quickly that it appears flat on a tabletop and any wrinkles left are off the table and out of view. Only tiny, jiggling quantum fluctuations would disturb the uniformity; these fluctuations would be the seeds of the galaxies and galaxy clusters we see today.

“Inflation solved critical problems in cosmology, but it also split the Big Bang into distinct phases: In the inflationary portrait, the creation of almost all of the matter and energy in the universe takes place at the close of the inflationary period, through a process called “reheating,” rather than before inflation. Reheating involves a massive release of energy from inflation’s driving engine: an entity called the “inflaton,” thought to be a fluctuating energy field that ignited ultra-rapid cosmic expansion.”

“Theorists think that at the end of inflation, the inflaton field released an enormous reservoir of potential energy into space—which, following Einstein’s famous equivalence between energy and mass, converted into a deluge of particles. Before then, because stretching causes cooling, the universe was actually relatively cold. As the cosmos rapidly expanded, its hot initial temperature dropped by a factor of many thousand (the precise amount depends on the particular model), becoming extraordinarily hot only after reheating. If you feel that an event should be fiery if it’s going to be called the “Big Bang,” then reheating, not the cosmic dawn, was the true “bang.” That’s because the energy fields created then wouldn’t have been very hot.”

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