Hossenfelder, Sabine

Sabine HossenfelderHossenfelder

Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies
Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Article(s): Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder Fears Theorists…Scientific American, 2016
ArXiv (48): Rethinking Superdeterminism (13 Dec. 2019)
Books: Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, Basic Books, 2018 (AAPT Review) (Amazon)
Blog: Backreaction: What is emergence? What does “emergent” mean?
Google Scholar
Homepage  (Research Fellow)

Tweet:  11:25 AM · January 13, 2021 @skdh (SabineHossenfelder): You are brilliant, a lightbulb for the sun. Our favorites, Kepler and Wilczek, play their violins as we contemplate pi over an Italian dinner. Yes, that simple pi with its deep continuity, those ubiquitous symmetries, and never-ending harmonies, and ask, “Is that all there is…”

My editorial note: Sabine’s book, Lost in Math, is indeed, quite brilliant, but all our complexity within mathematics and physics leads back to pi and the sphere. Add the Planck base units, and apply a bit of base-2 exponentiation, and you have yourself a most-simple beginning of a model of the universe.

Most recent email: 5 April 2020

Since 2016 I have probably wasted a huge chunk of my time exploring and re-exploring our little base-2 model of the universe from the Planck scale, particularly Planck Time to this moment, our current time, all in 202 notations.

In that same time you’ve gotten a most, prestigious new job, published a most provocative book, Lost in Math with Basic Books (2018), written a dozen technical articles that appear in ArXiv and many of the best journals, have had dozens of articles written about you, and richly extended your blogging within Backreaction. Your production values climb as you continue to extend your YouTube activities and you burn the lines of Twitter. You’re (expletive) incredible. Congratulations. You’ve become a super star!

…and all the while I’ve become more and more idiosyncratic out here inside an Alice-in-Wonderland passage into the Planck’s base units.


Third email: Aug 15, 2018, 8:13 PM (slight corrections)

I don’t come out of my shell too often. Old age is catching up to me.

Regarding our base-2 model of the universe from the Planck units to current time all within just 202 notations or doublings, I am rather sure that you find it all quite idiosyncratic. It is. But, is it going in the right direction? Is it more right than wrong?
How about the simple logic? Is the universe a highly-integrated whole?

Allow me please to include a recent “Ten Functions To Construct Our Universe.” Your comments and criticisms would be highly appreciated.


Ten Functions To Construct Our Universe

202.34 successive doublings of the Planck scale outline our universe.

  1. 202.34 successive doublings of the Planck scale outline our universe. [1][2]
  2.  Doubling mechanisms are built into the universe[1][2][3]
  3. A natural inflation/thrust is within the first moment of space and time. [1]
  4. We are primarily defined by ratios, all the dimensionless constant
    (all appear to be natural bridges between the finite and infinite).
  5. Space, time, and light are more fully integrated. Time appears to be finite. 
    (Length/time continuum suggests this model may actually be on target.)
  6. Consider 64 Unexplored Doublings from the Planck Scale to CERN’s Scale. [1] [2]
  7. One might conclude that it defines an exponential universe.
  8. It quite possibly opens a geometry for quantum fluctuations.
  9. It is becoming clear that infinity needs to be reopened as a key study.
  10. Key concepts like continuity and symmetry, are all reopened for re-evaluation.
Second email: Sat, Jun 30, 2012, 8:13 PM

Hi Sabine –

Thank you for your straightforward response.

It was a genuine question. No trick.
And, you understood the question in the proper
context. I appreciate your answer.

That is what I thought, but I certainly do not
have the depth of knowledge or scholarship
to know with any certainty if life becomes more
than peculiar at that point, i.e. the Planck length.

I was looking for an informed scholar’s
deep-seated insights regarding the functional
nature of the Planck length.

It is so small, so seemingly unknown-but-known,
I decided to explore it in some manner of speaking.
In the first 20 steps of exponential, base-2 notation,
that s-called point, a width/length/height expands to over
one million points (or lines or strings or forms or …. )
and, I assume, a specific length/width/height.

Do you happen to know Ed Fredkin (MIT, Carnegie Mellon, BU)?

He was a long-standing friend of a mutual friend, so while talking about life, I asked him about the Planck length. He responded that exponential, base-2 notation of the Planck length is numerology with physics. Essentially it’s meaningless.

I am not so sure.

If we were to assume that math, particularly simple geometry applies across all space and time, right down to the Planck Length, then those million of points begin to have some value.

Is that a faulty assumption?

I have been thinking about these concepts since
December 2011 while preparing for that geometry class.
I hadn’t seen base-2 from the Planck Length to the edges
of the observable universe — I just thought that I had fallen
asleep in those classes when this topic was introduced,
yet after doing some due diligence, it appears to be
an oversight.

I would dearly appreciate any insight you may add to this
direction of thinking. Thank you.


First email sent: Saturday, June 30, 2012 1:15 AM

Subject: A simple, quick question?

Sabine Hossenfelder, aka Bee

Dear Bee:

I am not a scholar, but I do appreciate good scholarship.

In this past year, I have been introduced to Planck’s length
in my research of basic structure in preparation to substitute for
a high school geometry class (Yes!).

My simple question, “Is there any conceptual error in multiplying
the Planck length by 2, exponential notation from its single point
out to the edges of the observable universe?

That high school geometry class — where I was substituting
for my nephew that day — we found 202.34 notations
or steps or doublings.

A YES or NO answer would be a wonderful starting point.
An explanation of NO would be extraordinarily informative.

Thank you.

Bruce Camber

PS. I am a television producer with over 51 seasons on PBS-TV and
the VOA-TV around the world. I am currently working on early-stage
ideation for a new series that could touch on this question.