Huggett, Nick

Nick Huggett

Director of Graduate Studies, LAS Distinguished Professor of Philosophy
University of Illinois at Chicago
601 S. Morgan Street, Chicago, IL 60607

ArXiv: The (A)temporal Emergence of Spacetime
Books:  Physics Meets Philosophy at the Planck Scale: Contemporary Theories, 2012
Beyond Spacetime, The Foundations of Quantum Gravity, With  Keizo Matsubara, Uppsala Universitet, Sweden , Christian WüthrichUniversité de Genève, 2020
Google Scholar

Also see: Christian Wüthrich, Carl Hoefer, Craig Callender

Second email:  Saturday, December 7, 2019 @ 1:23 PM

Dear Prof. Dr. Nick Huggett:

Now a year since my first correspondence with you, I’ve had more time to reflect on your work with your colleagues.  The first question does seem to be “Is our physical universe finite or infinite?”  Would you agree?

Of course, the next question would be, “Do you a preference today and why?”

Also, as I get to know some of your collaborators, particularly Christian Wüthrich, Carl Hoefer, and Craig Callender, would you add some of your other co-authors such as Keizo Matsubara?

Warm thanks.

Most sincerely,

First email: Thursday, 8 December 2018 @ 12:05 PM

Dear Prof. Dr. Nick Huggett:

I share your interests in the philosophical foundations of quantum field theory. Then, I found your work in the Stanford Encyclopedia and simply wanted to thank you for all of it. When I opened Physics Meets Philosophy at the Planck Scale, I wish I had started studying with you years ago.

In 2011 we did a Zeno-like walk back inside a 1.5″ tetrahedron (and octahedron within it), each time, dividing the edges by 2 and connecting those new vertices. In 45 steps, we were in the range of particle physics. In 67 more steps within, we were facing the Planck Wall. It didn’t take us long to multiply our little tetrahedron by 2 to discover in 90 steps, we were at the age and size of the universe. Our chart with all the numbers is here:

I thought you might enjoy our very idiosyncratic approach and either discourage or encourage us. You have already given us some comfort within your writings.

Thank you.

Most sincerely,

Bruce Camber

PS. Key links include:
Simple geometry:

Other References:


Dr. Christopher S. Baird

Texas A&M


Second email: Tuesday, 3 December 2019 @ 4:15 AM

How very wonderful to hear from you! Thank you. Three cheers for UM-L professors and now Texas A&M. Very, very fine.

The first question is, “Are the four Planck units the first logical moment of physical space and time?”

The next question is, “If yes, then has our chart — — encapsulated everything, everywhere, for all time?” If not, why not?

It is all so simple to be silly!



First email: Tuesday, 3 December 2019 @ 8:10 AM (updated)


Dear Prof. Dr. Christopher S. Baird,

I grew up in the Lowell area… delivered newspapers for the Lowell Sun and in the summer of ’68 was a cub reporter. In 2011, helping out my nephew and his five high school geometry classes, I introduced the Platonic solids. Our clear plastic tetrahedrons and octahedrons were particularly interesting. We built models to see how each were enfolded perfectly within the other:

It was all straightforward until we asked Zeno’s question and started dividing by 2. We discovered within 45 steps we were down among the particle of physics and in 67 more steps we were at a wall. We discovered Max Planck’s 1899 work and wondered if anything could get any smaller. The consensus seemed to suggest, given his dimensionless physical constants, we could not get smaller. We then multiplied by 2, doubling the edges of our two embedded objects, and in just 90 steps we were out within the estimated (Hubble) size of the universe. This total of 202 doublings to encapsulate the universe was profoundly intriguing. It seems like simple logical, but something was wrong.

We could not find any scholarly references to it.

The closest we came was Kees Boeke 1957 work in a Dutch high school; they used base-10. Over time we’ve talked to scholars who should know. Either we’ve struck gold or we’ve found fool’s gold.

Might you be able to help us? Thank you.

Most sincerely,

Cliff, Harry

Harry Cliff

Science Museum Fellow, LHCb
Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2DD UK

ArXiv (it appears that all papers are CERN collaborations of the many)
Homepage (Personal). Cambridge
Twitter (August 2016)
YouTubeThe Royal Institution

First email:  26 November 2019 @ 11:45 AM

Dear Dr. Harry Cliff:

I love your energy and engagement and zest. You’ve got the “IT” from bits… a deep passion for life and a boldness for truth. Given your deep involvement with CERN, you might enjoy my little note to Dr. Fabiola Gianotti ( ):

“Your comments are prescient. You said, “Science has no passport, no political party, no gender.” Yes, so true, so profoundly true. Yet, I think we can agree, however, that science has a personality, biases, and intransigence. It has an attitude. It has a belief system. And, the fundamentals of that belief system just may not reflect our so-called “really real” universe as well as it could. Just maybe in 1687 Newton threw us off with his “absolute” space and time. Just maybe Leibniz was closer to the truth! We know from the 1999 conference on structure formation at the Newton Institute at Cambridge that Hawking and Guth and so many others were challenged — something is not quite right with the “infinitely hot” start of the universe.

“It is interesting to think that Lemaître with his model initially started cold.
There is still so much we don’t know and so much to learn.

“Let’s take up the challenge to see something more fundamental than space and time. Can we find something more fundamental than particles and waves? All the dimensionless constants, plus the mathematics of Langlands programs and string theory open unexpected doors for a truly mathematical definition of the Planck scale physics as a foundation for CERN-level physics.

“This next time around, let’s bring the two together.”
I thank you for all you do to bring science alive!



References to you:

Homepage (personal)   Cambridge

Green, Michael B.

Michael B. Green

Lucasian Professor #18 (followed Stephen Hawking #17)
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP)
Cambridge University
Cambridge, England

ArXiv: Superstring Amplitudes…
 ..>>>.. Exploring transcendentality in superstring amplitudes

First email: Nov 12, 2019 @ 5:39 PM

Dear Prof. Dr. Michael B. Green:

Is there any possibility that we need to revisit Newton’s absolute space and time? I have attempted to re-open that question here:

If Planck Time is taken as a given and we apply base-2, in 202 notations, everything, everywhere throughout all time is encapsulated.  The first 64 notations (doublings) are where space-and-time are still infinitesimal and beyond physical measurements. Could it be a place for string theory, field theory, gravity, Langlands programs, and finally for quantum field theory and quantum gravity?

Thank you.

Most sincerely,


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!

Rothman, Tony

Tony Rothman

Lectuter, New York University

Collaborators: Stephen Boughn, George F.R. Ellis, E. C. G. Sudarshan
FQXi:  (7th paragraph)
Google scholar

First email: Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at 11:00 PM

Dear Prof. Dr. Tony Rothman:

I have come to you through a rather awkward path. I have just one quick question and, of course, it has several related questions.

Is this a an acceptable question:
“Can we use the Planck base units as a starting point for the universe?”

Here is a copy of my post about that concept:

“Planck Time (tP) opens basic questions. First, tP is a direct correlation and necessary relation with a length and light in much the same way Einstein’s well-known equation, e0=mc 2 necessarily and dynamically relates mass, energy and light. These four Planck base units are each natural units using only the most fundamental universal constants to define them.

“Could these four base units and light (and the dimensionless constants that contribute to the essential natural of the Standard Model of Physics) be the very first moment in time?

“Could the universe starts cold? If so, then what might be the first expression of these all these facets of reality ? …the very first manifest?

“Could it be a sphere? John Archibald Wheeler imagined quantum foam. Others are also suggesting a sphere and that we call these spheres planckspheres. What if there is an application of cubic close packing of equal spheres (ccp) at this scale and the stacking amounts to a doubling? Within 202 doublings of base-2 notations these Planck base units have become the age of the universe, the size of the universe, the total mass of the universe, and the total energy of the universe, and yes, it is still happening right now. The universe is expanding!”

Addendum: Exploring such a simple model has been our effort since December 2011: To see a chart of the numbers and to get a sense of the emergence and natural inflation:

It is too simple, so simple it seems a bit of silliness. But if you look at the numbers, there is a sweet logic that prevails.

I would be very pleased to hear from. you.
Thank you.


Lee, Jae-Weon

Jae-Weon Lee

Associate Professor
Dept. of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Jungwon University
Goesan-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do, Korea

References in order of appearance:

First email: Monday, July 8, 82019 @ 9:45 AM

Dear Prof. Dr. Jae-Weon Lee:

My work comes out of the Planck scale, particularly assuming that Planck Time is the first moment of time; and today, the now, is the current expansion. To get to such a conclusion, I applied base-2 exponentiation to the Planck base units. Such a configuration creates 202 notations or doublings that are easily followed:

It is all so very simple, I have spent years trying to understand why it has been quite so elusive:

John Wheeler anticipated something quite simple and logical. Could this be the pathway into that intuition back in 1986?

Your comments or critical review would be profoundly appreciated. Thank you.

Most sincerely,

Bruce Camber

“Behind it all is surely an idea so simple, so beautiful, that
when we grasp it — in a decade, a century, or a millennium —
we will all say to each other, how could it have been otherwise?”
– John Archibald Wheeler, 1911-2008, physicist
How Come the Quantum? from New Techniques and Ideas in Quantum Measurement Theory,
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 480, Dec. 1986 (p.304–316), DOI:10.1111/j.1749-6632.1986.tb12434.x