Communications between January and February 2020


  1. Edward Anderson, formerly of DAMPT of Cambridge and OTC, Paris
  2. Anousheh Ansari, CEO, Prodea Systems and sponsor of the Ansari X Prize
  3. Nima Arkani-Hamed, theoretical physicists, Institute for Advanced Studies, Pricneton
  4. Peter Diamandis,  founder/chairman, X Prize Foundation and Singularity University
  5. Gil Elbaz, founder and CEO, Factual, American entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist
  6. Brian Greene, professor, Columbia University; co-founder, World Science Festival
  7. Justin Khoury, Professor of Physics, University of Pennsylvania
  8. George Musser, contributing editor for Scientific American magazine
  9. Thanu Padmanabhan, theoretical physicist and cosmologist
  10. Tony Rothman, American theoretical physicist, academic and writer

Particularly looking at the first principles and assumptions
of those involved with the FQXi, Skeptical Inquiry, and the ΧPRIZE.





Lincoln, Don

Don Lincoln

Notre Dame Department of Physics, Notre Dame, Indiana
Fermi National Laboratory (FNL), Batavia, Illinois

Articles: Symmetry Magazine, Naturalness, 2013
ArXiv: Recent QCD Results
CV (pdf)
YouTubeWhat is supersymmetry?

Second email:  Thursday, August 15, 2019 @ 4:04 PM (updated)

Dear Dr. Don Lincoln:

Thank you for your video,
Why there is something, rather than nothing?”  (other viewpoints)
It really is the most timeless question in both science and philosophy.

That theory of leptogenesis needs testing so we are most interested
in learning the results of your FNAL’s reports!

Next up for us (for our viewing pleasure and learning):
The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment:
Your video on The science of DUNE:
Global benefits of LBNF/DUNE:

We’ll be looking for your new videos here on DUNE:

Thanks again,


First email:  Thu, Dec 20, 2018 at 9:57 AM

Dear Prof. Dr. Don Lincoln:

Thank you for your work to explain the speed of light. For me,
it appears to be profoundly related to the four Planck base units.

Simple questions, yet not so simple answers:
1. Does Max Planck’s simple formula for Planck Time work:
Planck Time divided by c is equal to Planck Length? It appears to work
(See line 10).
2. Does it follow that Planck Length divided by Planck Time is equal to c ?
It also appears to work. It begs the questions, however, does it also work within an expansion of the four Planck base units using base-2? Here the simple calculation gives us a variable speed notation by notation.

We are still thinking about those preliminary calculations within line 10
of our horizontally-scrolled chart:

Is it just jabber, circular speak, or could the simple logic of these numbers
be trying to tell us something? Thank you.

Most sincerely,

PS. That’s a two-hour drive between Fermi and Notre Dame. I suspect you know those roads very well!

On following Jacques Distler of The Weinberg Theory Group

Jacques Distler, University of Texas – Austin, on-going colloquia, Austin, Texas

ArXiv: Product SCFTs for the E-Theory (March 2018)
Google Scholar
Twitter: Time Travel
YouTube: An Introduction to Class-S and Tinkertoys (Nov 2018)

Second email: 28 April 2022 at 2:42 PM

Dear Prof. Dr. Jacques Distler:

I noticed a little activity on our website’s page about you and your work — — and thought, I wonder how they are all doing?

I just spent a few minutes on your webpages and wondered, “What might be their one or two key insights since I wrote that first email in October 2018? How do they grasp the first moment of the universe? Are they within the first unit of Planck Time? What’s it look like?”

I am searching for your answers now!

Best wishes,


PS. Of course, the majority of my emails went directly to Steven Weinberg. I am afraid we all study things and conclude, “Been there; done that” even though we barely scratch the surface. That’s especially my feeling about pi. I don’t think any of us know it really well. -BEC

First email: October 30, 2018 @ 7:57 PM

Dear Prof. Dr. Jacques Distler:

I found a reference to your work within NSF research grants, String Theory and Quantum Field Theory, and have tagged that page to follow. The subtitle stopped me: From the Planck Scale to the Hubble Scale.

Now, our work comes out of a high school geometry class so I hope you will forgive our naïveté and many blind spots, but we are studying a very similar scale. We started with a simple tetrahedron, found the octahedron within it, then continued dividing all the edges by 2, connecting the new vertices, until in 45 steps within, we were at what we call the CERN-scale (LHC measurements). In 67 more steps within, we were touching the Planck Wall. When we multiplied our original object by 2, in 90 steps we were out to the Age of the Universe (today). 202 steps encapsulate the universe. It was our classes STEM project in 2011. Now, it’s become our physics project as well.

We now have three pages on our website about your work and will build from here:

Will there be more reports of your group’s work within ArXiv or Physical Review D?

Thank you.

Most sincerely,

PS. Before becoming a Nobel laureate, Weinberg and I were talking about first principles in his office back in his Harvard days. -BEC


Schweingruber, Heidi

Dr. Heidi Schweingruber

Board on Science Education at the National Research Council (NRC)
National Academies of Sciences 
Washington, D.C.

Key Research Report: A Framework for K–12 Science Education (2011)

Most recent email: Thu, Oct 11, 2018

RE: Might you advise us or might you know somebody who can?

Dear Dr. Heidi Schweingruber:

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, then we even got our middle school (advanced placement) classes involved.

The students enjoyed the tour de force, but… our scholarly people just think our project is idiosyncratic and we agree!

We are trying desperately to find some scholar to tell us why 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. BTW, congratulations on your work at Rice. …love that school.

Essentially we backed into a Kees Boeke-like scale of the universe by going deeper and deeper into embedded geometries (octahedron and tetrahedron particularly). 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. 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,

Bruce Camber

First email: Mar 31, 2015, 9:19 AM

2. Helen Quinn, Heidi Schweingruber, and Thomas Keller, Editors; Committee on Conceptual Framework for the New K-12 Science Education Standards; Board on Science Education; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; National Research Council

Dear Dr. Heidi Schweingruber:

We are very impressed and excited to find your history of activities within K-12 science education.

In our high school geometry classes, we were following embedded or nesting platonic figures (like the Russian nesting dolls) until we could go no further on the small side In about 100 steps we were at the Planck Length. When we multiplied by 2, in just over 100 steps we were at the edges of the observable universe.

Unwittingly we had a container universe where everything was indexed. When we went looking for some experts to help guide us through our wonderfully-simple, entirely-engaging chart that we had created; we couldn’t find anybody. There were almost no Google references to base-2 exponential notation from the Planck Units to the Observable Universe. We began asking more general questions of cosmologists and senior scientists and we received remarkable encouragement from Nobel laureates from MIT, Stanford, Oxford and more. Along this path we learned about Kees Boeke’s base-10 notations (also out of a high school). We thought that our base-2 work was much more granular, natural, and informative.

It became our working STEM program. Because of your work with STEM education, we would dearly like to know what do you think:
•  What are we missing?
•  Do you find it of interest?
•  As we progress, would you want to learn more?

Thank you.

Most sincerely,

Bruce Camber, teacher (among other things)
New Orleans

Following Andy Parker and his work…

Michael Andrew (Andy) Parker, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University
J.J. Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0HE England

Article: What is the smallest possible thing in the universe? BBC News, September 2012
ArXiv (17 articles)
CERN: founder of the ATLAS experiment for the Large Hadron Collider
CV:  “…research interests involve experiments to reveal new physics such as extra space dimensions, quantum-sized black holes, and supersymmetry… the physics beyond the standard model of particle physics… (and) supersymmetric particles and strong gravity processes in extra space dimensions.”
inSpire: M.A. Parker (Cambridge U.) Also: Beyond the Standard Model

Most recent email: 14 February 2020

Dear Prof. Dr. Andy Parker:

How refreshing it is to find an experimentalist who works with number theory and basic ideas! Though I have communicated with many within the Cambridge University Department of Applied Maths and Theoretical Physics, John Barrow‘s work has most impressed me. Of course, Hawking was the superstar and beyond the approach of people like me, but because this simple mathematical model seemed so obvious, I tried! Yes, the Lucasian Professors are only available to Nobel laureates and people like you!

Because I have reached that time in life when short term memories do not stick as well as they should, I log everything within our little website. Your work is included and every time I come upon references to you and your work, I smile thinking about the wonderful history of achievements of those within the walls of Cavendish.

How we understand the start of the universe is a key; here, I summarize keys to doors that apparently have not been opened or they have only been explored in a cursory way. One such view is within the infinitesimal notations, perhaps Notation-1 to about Notation-50 (within our 202 notations defined from Planck Time to the Age of the Universe today), just prior to quantum indeterminacy and fluctuations, where things still fit perfectly. Silly concepts for most, yet perhaps not for those with dreams of supersymmetries…

Thank you again for all that you have done and all that you are doing today.



Fourth email: Sep 3, 2019, 11:32 AM

Dear Prof. Dr. Andy Parker:

What you are doing is exquisitely important. My work with Harvard folks
goes back to 1979 with Weinberg and Glashow. More recently Wilczek
(MIT) provided the most direct influence. Though Randall‘s work is important,
what we are doing is much too simple (simplistic) for her work.

Simple is good. Simplistic is not so good. I am trying to be sure we stay
on the simple side of the equation.

Because our base-2 chart (that expands the Planck base units) is entirely
numbers, there will be many opportunities to do “gut checks” with actual
experimental work. For our time and efforts, picking through your work
I think will be the most rewarding.

I think both Witten and Langlands (Frenkel) will begin to see their way into
the first 64 doublings once more benchmarks are established. There is
too much going on within this simplicity to ignore it.



Third email: 26 August 2019

Dear Prof. Dr. Andy Parker,

For us, you are among the top scholars whose citations are counted
within inSpire. Notwithstanding, I thought you might be a bit interested
to know there is another reference page on the web to your work: (also

We initially were introduced to your writing by Clara Moskowitz, then
found your original BBC article, and now the floodgates are opened.

We would say that the Planck base units represent the smallest
possible thing in the universe. Because that thingness would be
below the thresholds of measurement for a length or unit of time
the mass-charge might be followed. So we applied base-2 and
followed them:

We asked you back in 2015 and we are still asking today:
Is this chart just mathematical nonsense? If you have a moment…
I thank you.

Most sincerely,


Second email: Monday, 14 September 2015 @ 3:58 PM

cc: Clara Moskowitz, Scientific American

Dear Prof. Dr. Andy Parker:

We have enjoyed reading Clara Moskowitz’s 2012 article, “What is the smallest thing in the universe?” where you are her expert on things that are very small.

You may enjoy our work within a high school in New Orleans where we went inside the simple tetrahedron by dividing each edges by 2 and connecting those new vertices. We could see four half-sized tetrahedrons in each corner and an octahedron in the middle. We then went inside the octahedron; we found six half-sized octahedrons in each corner and a tetrahedron within each face. Our geometry classes were exploring the question, “How far within could we go by continuously dividing by 2 each tetrahedral-octahedral layer?” Then we asked, “How far out can we go by continuously doubling what we had?” With just these two Platonic solids, we could tile and tessellate each layer and between layers or doublings throughout the entire model. We learned about the limits in both directions and we have begun learning about this progression called base-2 exponential notation.

There were 202 notations from the Planck Length to the Observable Universe. Subsequently we also charted that with Planck Time, then with the other Planck base units. It is an entirely idiosyncratic voyage into the universe. You just might find it a bit intriguing and perhaps you could advise us, “What should we do with it?”

We know it is a perfectly fine STEM tool. We’ve all learned from following these progressions. But more recently, we think it has a bit more to offer.

We would be so pleased to hear what you think. You’re the expert on such matters!

For five classes of geometry students, we thank you.

Most sincerely,

Bruce Camber
New Orleans

PS. The teacher for these classes is my nephew and he uses me to help stir up the kids’ thinking.

First email: 31 March 2015

Key reference:
Who: Andy Parker is Professor of High Energy Physics at Cambridge University and a founder of the ATLAS experiment for the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

Dear Prof. Dr. Andy Parker:

Congratulations on the Atlas project at CERN and your 500+ articles. Amazing.

Our high school classes are on a rather strange adventure and we have been for three years now. We are pushing into Penrose’s continuum and Wilczek’s grid. We are even studying writings such as the Jiu Zhang SuanShu (Chapter 8 ). But, we are doing it in an unusual way; we start with the Planck Units.

There are some physicists who do not think Max Planck’s units are meaningful.
We do, but we have questions:
1. Are the Planck Units a singularity? …an ontological non-reducibility? I don’t think so.
2. Can the Planck Length, Time, Mass all be multiplied by 2 over and over again? I believe that’s nature!
3. Is there any way to know if the universe is finite?

I have been looking for your answers within your published works, however, have not yet found your answers. Thank you.

Most sincerely,


About Bruce

In 1970 Bruce Camber began his initial studies of the 1935 Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) thought experiment. He became active within the Boston Colloquium for the Philosophy of Science.  In 1972 he was asked by Robert S. Cohen, then chairman of the Department of Physics and a co-founder of the Center for Philosophy and History of Science, to visit with Harold Oliver of the Boston University School of Theology. Oliver had been on sabbatical with Fred Hoyle at Cambridge University. From those discussions with Oliver and based on (1) his research of perfected states in space-time through work within a think tank in Cambridge, Massachusetts, (2) his work within the Boston University Department of Physics and their colloquiums, and (3)_his work with Arthur Loeb (Harvard) and the Philomorphs, he was invited to come to study focusing particularly on the Newton’s concept of absolute space and time.  In 1977, with introductions by Victor Weisskopf (MIT) and Lew Kowarski (BU), he went to CERN on two occasions, primarily to discuss the EPR paradox with John Bell. In 1979, he coordinated a project at MIT with the World Council of Churches to explore shared first principles between the major academic disciplines represented by 77 peer-selected, leading-living scholars. In 1980 he spent a semester with Olivier Costa de Beauregard and Jean-Pierre Vigier at the Institut Henri Poincaré focusing on the EPR tests of Alain Aspect at the Orsay-based Institut d’Optique. In 1994, following the death of another mentor, David Bohm, Camber re-engaged simple interior geometries based on several earlier discussions with Bohm and his book, Fragmentation & Wholeness. In 1997 he made the molds to create the plastic tetrahedrons and octahedrons used in the images online. In 2002, he spent a day with John Conway at Princeton to discuss the simplicity of the interior parts of the tetrahedron and octahedron. In 2011, he challenged a high school geometry class to use base-2 exponential notation to follow the interior structure of basic geometries from the Planck Length and to the edges of the Observable Universe.