Saltzberg, David

Screenshot 2018-10-15 15.51.29David Saltzberg
Professor, Chair
High Energy Experiment
UCLA Physics & Astronomy
475 Portola Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1547


First email: 15 October 2018

RE: A cry in the wilderness!

Dear Prof. Dr. David Saltzberg:

We are high school people who are still struggling with an extra-curricular project that began in December 2011. It came out of our geometry classes, but quickly involved our physics classes, and even our 6th grade AP classes! Net-net, we encapsulated the universe from the Planck scale to the Age of the Universe in just 202 base-2 notations or steps or groups. We initially thought it was a great little STEM tool. Then we got stuck trying to figure out the place of the first 64 doublings or notations.

The students enjoyed this tour de force of our universe, but… most scholarly people just think our project is idiosyncratic. And, we know that! So, we are trying very hard to find some scholar to tell us where we have failed to understand first principles somewhere along the way.

You certainly have been thinking about these things for awhile. Maybe you can help. Essentially we backed into a Kees Boeke-like scale of the universe by going deeper and deeper into embedded geometries (octahedron and tetrahedron particularly). His scale is a base-10 scale. Our scale applies base-2 to the Planck scale and goes to the age and size of the universe in 202 steps or doublings or notations. Our chart is here: Because so much of scientific growth is about doublings, we thought we had something worthy of being explored further. Until we know for sure that we are not leading the students astray, we’ve begun to hold back on this project.

Again, can you help or might you know somebody who can advise us? Thank you.

Most sincerely,


Brandenberger, Robert Hans

Brandenberger-RRobert Brandenberger
McGill University
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Articles: Alternatives to cosmological inflation (Physics Today, March 2008)
ArXiv: Beyond Standard Inflationary Cosmology (Sept. 2018)
YouTube: Emergent space and its possible observational signatures (June 2017)

First email: 14 October 2018

Dear Prof. Dr. Robert Brandenberger:

I have been listening to your lecture at the Rotman Institute of Philosophy from June 12, 2017 at Western University in Ontario. I am also reading Beyond Standard Inflationary Cosmology while you talk.  Every once and awhile, I have to look over to examine your illustrations within the lecture. And, to say the least, I am glad to hear your emphasis on the “s” of theories (as well as models).

Before going further, let me say that you project a sensitive and honest integrity that just might tolerate the strangeness of our simple work.

We backed into cosmology through a high school geometry class where we were watching the embedded geometries of our tetrahedrons and octahedrons become increasingly smaller. The initial edges were just two inches. Within just 45 steps our numbers were in the range of the CERN-scale.  In just 67 more steps we were touching the Planck Wall  defying Zeno’s paradox. When we multiplied by 2, our little geometry exercise opened the windows of cosmology. In just 90 more doublings, we were approaching the Age and Size of the Universe. There were a total of 202 doublings from the Planck scale!

That was December 2011. We’ve are not what one might call a “quick study.”  We initially thought of our chart as a good STEM tool. In April 2016, after developing many different visual aids, we evolved with a horizontally-scrolled chart that allow a closer examination of the natural inflation of the numbers:

I know how idiosyncratic it is. Still there is enough logic and commonsense and simple math that we continue our explorations.  Might you comment on this work? Have we totally lost it or is there some possibility that this model can begin to breathe?

Thank you.

Most sincerely,



Seiberg, Nathan

Seiberg-NNathan Seiberg
Institute for Advanced Studies
Princeton, New Jersey

ArXiv: Sigma Models on Flags (27 Sept. 2018) Emergent Spacetime (Jan. 2006)
CV: Publications Google Scholar
Talk: Where is Fundamental Physics Heading?

First email:  Saturday, 13 October 2018

Dear Prof. Dr. Nathan Seiberg:

Thinking about strings, might we say that very shortest distance is the radius (then the diameters ) of the plancksphere defined at the Planck scale by the four base units?

I had a brief view of it here:

Could the supersymmetries we seek to discover simply be below the quantum scale of measurement?  For example, from the Planck base units to the CERN-scale of measurement, there are no less than 64 successive doublings of Planck’s numbers. Given that there are simple doubling mechanisms built into the universe, might it follow that we have the beginnings of an outline for a new model of the universe with a natural inflation?

Our chart of numbers for that outline is here:

There are no wild ideas here. These are simple concepts but given the tightness of our academies, they could seem a bit radical. Perhaps this very different view draws on  John Wheeler’s simplicity.  In this outline of a model, space and time are not quite an illusion but certainly finite, discrete, and derivative.

Maybe we are just stuck in silly loop-de-loop out in quirky left field!

If you have any comments for me, you know I will be entirely grateful. Thank you for all that you have done and all that you are doing to open scholarship to everyone.

Most sincerely,


Laughlin, Robert B.

LaughlinRobert B. Laughlin
Stanford University
Department of Physics, McCullough 301
Stanford, California 94305

YouTube:  The Crime of Reason and the Closing of the Scientific Mind (2011)

Most recent email: 11 October 2018

RE: From Emergent Quantum Field Theory to TOES, GUTS and the like

Dear Prof. Dr. Robert Laughlin,

In our extreme naïveté we outlined the universe in 202 base-2 notations,
simple doublings from the Planck base units to the age and size of the universe.
I sent a note about it to you back in 2013 (when we were young).

To have a theory of everything, wouldn’t it be good to have
included everything, everywhere throughout all time?

I believe that our chart outlines such a universe.
Might you take a look? Our simple chart of the universe: is a horizontally-scrolled chart
that I started for our high school students back in 2016.
The project started back in December 2011.

Isn’t science asking “too much fundamentality” from our particles?
Assuming our Planck base units are the starting points,
the CERN-scale does not begin until the 65th to 67th doublings.
That gives us at least 64 doublings, a huge array of possibilities
for mathematical physics to develop every sort of flavor, spin,
and emergent behavior required, measured, or observed.

Just a naive (totally idiosyncratic) thought.

Warmest regards (as I read your NAS, November 1999 paper),

First email:  Friday, Mar 15, 2013 at 2:50 PM


Dear Prof. Dr. Laughlin:

I had written to Don Kennedy (attached) an earlier note and he deferred any critical review to NAS to find an appropriate scholar. Given our simple logic, it will take a bold-but-kindly person to engage it.

Perhaps you can advise me and our best students from five high-school geometry classes what to do with out little formulation.  I fully realize that with your background and engagement with life, you are very busy as well but a colleague at Stanford suggested that you might be intrigued enough to tell us how it is right and why we are wrong.

I was the substitute for my nephew ‘s high school geometry classes just up river from New Orleans. Similar to Kees Boeke base-10 scientific notation, we were working on base-2 exponential notation  to examine the inside structure of the platonic solids. We started with the tetrahedron. By dividing each edge in half, using that point as a new vertex and connecting all the new vertices, we end up with a half-sized tetrahedron in each corner and an octahedron in the middle.  By doing it again with the octahedron, we emerge with half-sized octahedrons in each corner and eight half-sized tetrahedrons in each face.  One might assume it can be done ad nauseam, but one comes bumping into the Planck Length (PL) in about 100 notations.  Going out, one hits the edges of the observable universe in about 100 steps.

Because we were getting so much conflicting information,  we asked a NASA physicist to help us calculate that the total number of notations (doublings or steps or layers) based on recent results from SDSS-III BOSS measurements. Just 202.34 from the PL to the EOU!  Now, we were quite surprised.  Why haven’t we seen this before?  How did we miss it?  So, we did a literature search and found very little (at that time).

What are we doing wrong?  If nothing, then, is the information worthy of deeper exploration?  If not, why not?

In the intervening years since we started this trek, we have pushed on the edges of academia, but have had limited response.  We have also written it up and attempted to get it out for a larger critical review.  I’ll put some links to those pages below if you would like to read a little more.

Thank you.


Bruce Camber (a lowly television producer)
Small Business School, a television series on PBS-TV and VOA-TV

PS. Updated links for more:
1.  Chart in 202 notations:
2. Redefine Space, Time And Infinity:
3. How’d it all begin? Which model works best?
4. Basic assumptions:
5. Quiet Expansion:

Ballantine, Kyle Edward

Kyle E. Ballantine

St Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom

AAAS profile:
There are many ways to spin a photon: Half-quantization of a total optical angular momentum
Articles: Meissner-like Effect ,  Phys. Rev. A: Dicke Models
ResearchGateWhat are the different methods of separating a light beam into components, having different orbital angular momentum?

First email: 9 October 2018

Dear Dr. Kyle Ballantine:

Congratulations on your work with John Donegan and Paul Eastham. And, of course, congratulations on that PhD.

I have started an article about your work in light of our on-going studies about the Planck base units. Most scholars are sure our work is specious thinking (and we have too many times over the years). Yet, doubling mechanisms are abundant throughout science and there are so many open questions and there must be root-root causes to everything, so we tarrying on.

Let me say, “Thank you for your work.” You will see that the article that I’ve started is replete with questions that I have directed to Prof. Paul Eastham.

Notwithstanding, I thought as a young, vibrant mind, you might have some comments (guidance) for us as well.

Thank you.

Most sincerely,

PS. I keep a record of every email/tweet to all the scholars. It keeps my work focused (perhaps it just helps to control the redundancy). You’ll see my link to our working page of references to your work and to this email embedded within your picture on the article’s webpage.

Notes (to be deleted before formal release of the article):

In 2011 in a high school geometry class we applied base-2 to the Planck base units to outline the universe in 202 doublings. The first 64 doublings are well below the threshold of instrumental measurements so we’ve been studying transformations between what we’ve called the CERN-scale at 67th doubling (or notation) and any of the smaller notations.

We believe each of the 64-to-67 doublings are potential keys to understand the deeper dynamics of light.

Within the article’s Abstract, the following claims are made:

“In the usual three-dimensional setting, the angular momentum quantum numbers of the photon are integers, in units of the Planck constant ħ. We show that, in reduced dimensions, photons can have a half-integer total angular momentum. We identify a new form of total angular momentum, carried by beams of light, comprising an unequal mixture of spin and orbital contributions. We demonstrate the half-integer quantization of this total angular momentum using noise measurements. We conclude that for light, as is known for electrons, reduced dimensionality allows new forms of quantization.”

Within the Introduction, the following claims are made:

(3). Angular momentum effects are also emerging in the radio-frequency domain, for applications in astronomy and communications (4). Fundamental interest focuses on optical angular momentum in the quantum regime (5). The angular momentum of single photons has been measured (6), and entanglement (7) and Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen correlations (8) have been studied. This unique degree of freedom provides a basis for quantum information applications, with high-dimensional entanglement (9)…

(14) F. Wilczek, Magnetic flux, angular momentum, and statistics. Phys. Rev. Lett.48, 1146, 1982. CrossRefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • The orbital angular momentum of an electron orbiting in two dimensions around a magnetic flux need not be an integer, but can include an arbitrary fractional offset (14).
  • Here we show, in analogy to the theory of fractional spin particles (14), that an unexpected half-integer total angular momentum can arise for light.
  • For the electron, there is a fractional offset in the spectrum arising from the Aharonov-Bohm phase accumulated over a complete orbit around the flux line (14).

(15 & 16) F. WilczekQuantum mechanics of fractional-spin particlesPhys. Rev. Lett. 49957959 (1982).  CrossRefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

The same mechanism introduces a phase factor in the exchange of particle-flux composites, implying that such particles have generalized or fractional statistics (15) as well as fractional spin.

Paul R. Eastham and Bernd Rosenow,  “Disorder, synchronization and phase locking in non-equilibrium Bose-Einstein condensates” in  “Universal Themes of Bose-Einstein Condensation”, eds. Proukakis, Snoke, Littlewood (CUP 2017)

Focus, focus, focus:


Emary, Clive

EmaryClive Emary
Newcastle University
Newcastle, England, United Kingdom

Articles: Google Scholar
The Conversation: Scientists discover fundamental property of light – 150 years after Maxwell, June 30, 2015
ArXivDecoherence and maximal violations of the Leggett-Garg inequality
Video: Quantum transport and quantum effects in photosynthetic systems

First email: 14 October 2018

Dear Dr. Clive Emary:

Your June 29, 2015 article, “Scientists discover fundamental property of light…” came to my attention as a result of trying to think through the work of Ballantine, Eastham and Donegan at Trinity College Dublin where some have reported that they have discovered a new form of light.

It caused me to ask myself, “What do I know about light?”  I decided the answer is, “Not much.”

To dig into it all, I fashion my analysis as a web page and a series of emails to ask questions.  The web page about light will ultimately be three related pages:
1. An initial analysis of the work of Ballantine, Eastham and Donegan, Trinity College Dublin.
2. Letters / emails: Ballantine, Eastham and Donegan and people like you.
3. The two other pages will be written soon. There is just so much to learn!

You can see from my analysis of your work cited above, I know you are tremendously qualified to be a lecturer, teacher, professor.  Though substantially older than you (71), I have too much to learn in too short of time.  This may seem like a terribly impertinent question, and if so, I apologize; however, is there any possibility that a person like you might be interested in becoming a paid consultant/tutor for an old duff in the USA? I need somebody to ask questions and get tight, terse, answers and who will not hesitate to call something silly or even stupid.

Could that be you? Thank you.

Most sincerely,


Sofia Wechsler of Technion (Israel) and Saeed Naif Turki Al Rashid (Iraq)

In ResearchGate, Sofia D. Wechsler of the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology asked about this research:
What is your opinion about the experiment that found angular momentum 1/2 for photons?” by Ballantine, Eastham and Donegan.

There is a discussion:

Prof. Dr. Saeed Naif Turki Al Rashid, University of Anbar, Ramadi, contributed this answer:

“Photons can have half-integer values of angular momentum when they are confined to fewer than three dimensions. That is the conclusion of physicists in Ireland, who have revived an experiment first done in the 1830s to show that photons are not limited to having just integer values of angular momentum. The discovery could have applications in quantum computing and could also boost the capacity of optical-fibre data transmission.

“The angular momentum of light comes in two varieties: spin and orbital. Spin is associated with optical polarization, which is the orientation of light’s electric-field oscillations. Orbital angular momentum rotates a light beam’s wavefront around its propagation axis, giving it a corkscrew shape.
Individually, the two types of angular momentum come in multiples of the reduced Planck’s constant, ħ. For spin, those multiples are either +1 or –1, while the orbital variety can take any integer value. To date, physicists have assumed that a photon’s total angular momentum is simply the sum of these two parts and that it therefore comes in integer multiples of ħ. But in the latest research, Paul Eastham of Trinity College Dublin and colleagues have shown that the total angular momentum can in fact take on half-integer values.

Hollow cylinders
“Inspiration for the work, says Eastham, came from celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Irish mathematician William Hamilton in 2005. Hamilton and physicist Humphrey Lloyd showed, in the 1830s, that a beam of light passing through a “biaxial” crystal takes on the shape of a hollow cylinder. The void at its centre is now known to be caused by the light acquiring orbital angular momentum. The bicentennial prompted renewed interest in this effect among physicists in Ireland, says Eastham, who joined Trinity College in 2009 and then started to think about exactly how such beams behave quantum-mechanically.

“Eastham drew on work from the early 1980s regarding matter particles confined to two dimensions, in particular Frank Wilczek’s prediction that electrons traveling on a plane around a magnetic flux could have non-integer angular momentum. Eastham and colleagues Kyle Ballantine and John Donegan realized that a similar effect could occur within a beam of light having spin and orbital momentum. Given that Maxwell’s equations require rotational symmetry in three dimensions for the normal summing of a photon’s angular momentum, and noting that the symmetry of a beam in a biaxial crystal is limited to rotation about its axis of propagation, they worked out that the beam’s photons should have half-integer angular momentum.

Topological defects
“The vortex of a beam with orbital angular momentum is a topological defect; it is a knot that you can’t untie,” he says. “We realized it is possible to make beams with a more complicated topological defect, where both phase and polarization vary across the beam.”
To demonstrate light’s fractional angular momentum experimentally, the team shone a laser beam through a biaxial crystal preceded by a polarizer and then split the beam inside an interferometer. Employing a technique devised by Miles Padgett at the University of Glasgow in the UK, they rotated the beam in one arm of the interferometer before recombining it with the (un-rotated) beam traveling through the other arm, and then measured the output.
To analyse the beam’s total angular momentum, the researchers rotated the orbital and spin components by different amounts: 180° and 90°, respectively. This enabled them to sort photons into two groups with half-integer values: those having +ħ/2 and others having –ħ/2. To make sure individual photons had angular momentum of ħ/2 – rather than half of them carrying ħ and the other half zero – they measured the beam’s “shot noise”. This noise will be lower if the quantum of angular momentum flow is smaller, which is what they observed.

Quantum computing
“In my undergraduate physics lectures I learnt that light has integer angular momentum, but we have now shown that it doesn’t have to,” says Eastham, who adds that he hopes the research will encourage others to “look more at the implications of low dimensions in optics”. He also points, somewhat tentatively, to possible applications of the work, including an optical analogue of “topological” quantum computing and a new way of exploiting angular momentum to increase bandwidth in optical-fibre communications.

Michael Berry of the University of Bristol describes the demonstration as “a new wrinkle on the old subject of the angular momentum of light, supported by a clever experiment”. Padgett says that the Trinity group has provided a “lovely treatment of light transmission through biaxial crystals, particularly as regards the angular momentum content of the light”. However, he adds that it is not clear whether the new findings could be applied to fibre-based communications.”