First email: 9 September 2016
Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science
Arizona State University
P.O. Box 870506
Tempe, AZ 85287–0506
Dear Prof. Dr. PCW Davis:
If my memory serves me, I was one of two people who introduced you at your first Boston Colloquium lecture back in-and-around 1974. It was a little experiment with student introductions. I had been a groupie of the series for three years and because I was one of those who read as much as possible before the lecture (and always crafted sensitive questions), Bob Cohen would often invite me to the pre-lecture dinner and sit me next to the guest. Looking back, it was as if I was a decoy for what I always thought were nasty comments immediately after the lecture during the Q&A.
If your memory serves you better than mine does me, might you happen to remember that auspicious evening? I suspect your topic was related to your book, The Physics of Time Asymmetry, or perhaps a precursor of Space and Time in the Modern Universe.
The lectures and that community were important to me; I was seeking to define “a moment of perfection” within spacetime. Impossible task and an unlikely group within which to be involved, by 1980, I went back to work in a business that I had started in 1971. Fast forward, in 2011, I had pulled back from 9-5 and had been dubbing around with basic geometries.
Something happened when I was helping a nephew with his five high school geometry classes. We chased the tetrahedral-octahedral clusters from the classroom models back to the CERN scale (dividing by 2) in about 47 jumps, and then back to the Planck scale in 67 additional jumps. The next day we multiplied by 2 and in 90 jumps we were out to the Observable Universe and the Age of the Universe. It became our sweet little STEM tool until we started questioning the first 67 notations.
Math is math. Continuity is continuity. Symmetry is symmetry. Only math can fill those notations. Who might make sense of that math? Sir Martin? Barrows? Maybe Langlands can, maybe Wilczek can, maybe you can.
I’ll continue dabbling along in my own way, but as idiosyncratic as it is, we just may have stumbled into something here. That little model does wonders for space and time!
I know it is a bit out to the left of left field line (foul ball). Is it just specious thinking or might we be able to bring it into the playing field?