A Map of the Universe, The Road to Intelligence

Background. In 1957 Kees Boeke opened a new door with “Cosmic View: The Universe In 40 Jumps.” In 2011 Cary and Michael Huang (twins) enlivened the look-and-feel of Boeke’s book with their web-based “Scale of the Universe.” They were among the first to use Flash files to enliven online scrolling. They started with the smallest and went to the largest objects in the universe. By the way, the Huang boys were born on March 18, 1997; they were quite young when they did their initial project. In December 2011, a New Orleans high school geometry class scaled the universe using a very different approach with very different tools. They went inside a tetrahedron and the octahedron within it, dividing the edges in half each time to connect those new vertices. Within 45 steps they were down among the particles and waves of physics. In another 67 steps they were facing the Planck Wall. They introduced a consistency when they used the Planck base units. Multiplying those units by 2, in 112 steps, the size of the Planck Length was the length of one edge of the initial tetrahedron. In just 90 additional doublings, the Planck Length multiple became the size of the universe and the Planck Time multiple became the Age of the Universe. Here was an ordered view of the universe within just 202 steps.

Is it meaningful? What can we do with it?

Heuristics. Both Boeke’s Cosmic View and the Huang’s Scale of the Universe were extraordinary in their time; both are rather limited today. Neither has become the basis for a new worldview and model of the universe. Both are wonderful tours of the scale of things for their time. None of it is laced together with the mathematics that defines elements of our universe along each step.

Also, there are no questions to answer along the way to proceed deeper in one direction or another. Each is constrained to a linear path which goes left or right. It does not go up-down, along the bias, or inside-outside.

Key Question. Can we make it a game to learn a fundamentally new orientation to our universe, then to learn the mathematics and physics of hyperconnectivity? Without saying too much more, I believe the answer is an emboldened, “Yes.”

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