Duff, Michael James

Michael J. Duff  Michael_Duff

Emeritus Professor
Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Physics
Imperial College London
South Kensington Campus
London SW7 2AZ

Articles: “How fundamental are fundamental constants?” (17 December 2014)
ArXiv (105): Thirty years of Erice on the brane (Dec. 2018)
_______M-history without the M (2015)
______ Trialogue on the number of fundamental constants (2002)
Google scholar
Homepage   Weebly
JHEP:  SISSA (See the footnotes on Planck and Stoney)

Referenced page(s) within this website:
• Fundamental constants See section on “Standard Models”  (7th paragraph).

Most recent (fifth) email:  November 10, 2020

Dear Prof. Dr. Michael Duff:

Given your work with Gabriele Veneziano, I will copy this email to him as well. Recognizing that the Planck base units provide a rate for the expansion of the universe within the definition of Planck time itself, I have been checking that logic and those numbers.

Though in process, what we have to date is a bit interesting. Here we assume the universe begins with the Planck base units, and that (1).the first manifestation of physicality is a PlanckSphere which is, in part, defined by those Planck base units and (2).each doubling is ostensibly caused by the rapid generation of those Planckspheres.

Admittedly naive, this discovery process has been going on since 2011 and the logic is simple. To create a baseline for a rate of expansion, it is extended to one second between Notation-143 and Notation-144. At one second, Planck Time is 5.391 16(13)×10-44 seconds.

If there is one plancksphere per plancksecond, there are 1044 planckspheres per second. That is:
100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 planckspheres/second

Planck Length is 1.616229×10-35 meters and one PlanckSphere is equal to one PlanckLength. In one second, the PlanckSpheres will push out 299,792.458 kilometers, first as a point, momentarily as a line, lines, then sheets, then 3-D wall-to-wall PlanckSpheres.

Planck Mass, at 2.176.470(51)×10-8 kilograms, at one second will equal to 4.036862067×1034 kilograms. That’s raising many questions. Planck Charge, 1.875 545.956×10-18 coulombs jumps to 3.47877437×1023 coulombs, quite formidable. Of course, questions abound! Your comments at this stage might save us a lot of embarrassment and time. Might you advise us? Thank you.

Most sincerely,


Fourth email:  May 7, 2019

Reference: https://arxiv.org/abs/1412.2040

Dear Prof. Dr. Michael Duff:

In your 17 Dec 2014 arXiv “fundamentals” article (indexed above), you say,
To measure the speed of light we need a clock and ruler: if the distance between the notches on our ruler is the distance light travels between ticks of our clock then c = 1 whatever our theory and will remain so until the cows come home.”PlancTime

Though true, might we also take Max Planck’s simple formula for Planck Time and confirm the speed of light through simple division.

It appears to be true throughout all 202 base-2 notations as evidenced here within line 10 on our horizontally-scrolled chart: https://81018.com/chart/

Thank you.

Most sincerely,


PS. At c=1 within this configuration, the Planck Length multiple divided by the Planck Time multiple (which is between  Notations 143 and 144) is as you’d expect 299,792+ km 


Third email: April 25, 2019

Dear Prof. Dr. Michael Duff:

On chasing down a reference to your most-challenging work, I chided myself, “Go over this one more time.” And then puzzled, asked, “Have you ever written to Michael Duff?” Looking it up, indeed, I had. Twice. Almost a year ago and then again, almost three years ago, so with another rebuke, I concluded, “Put those notes up on the site so you can see what was written and what Duff references prompted those brief notes.”

That reference became this page: https://81018.com/duff/  Our work is simple and use a simple logic, but it still doesn’t seem to stand to reason or commonsense.

First, there is our map (or base-2 chart) of the universe from the Planck base units to this moment in time… “a simple logical construct.” Multiplication is multiplication. The Planck units are the Planck units. The 202 notations make it a construct. So I ask, “How is it that it does not follow… that it’s just a bunch of numbers?” Reference:  https://81018.com/chart/

Second, in the analysis of those numbers, many things seem to fall into place.  Should I could go on? Thank you.

Most sincerely,


Second email: June 21, 2018

Dear Prof. Dr. Michael Duff:

Could we assume the Planck base units of length/time and mass/charge
are the first manifestation within space-time? Could it naturally double and
continue doubling until in 202 notations it was out to the size and age of
the universe?

I struggle with that rendering: https://81018.com/growth

Could you help me understand why this is an impossible construct?
Thank you.

Most sincerely,

First email: August 26, 2016, 5:34 PM

Dear Prof. Dr. Michael Duff;

We need all the help we can get.

We went off course in 2011 when we chased a tetrahedron inside, dividing the edges by 2, over and over again, until in 112 notations we were within the Planck scale. To get out of that tight space, we reversed ordered and multiplied by 2 using Planck’s chosen numbers. By the 202.345+ notation we were out to the age and size of the universe. This happened in a high school in New Orleans.  A little history of our work is here: https://81018.com/home/

So what do we do now? We were told, “Nobody has done it.” “Nonsense,” we reply. Our simple geometries and simple base-2 pre-conditioned our thinking, we thought, “It’s all too simple. There’s got to be a catch.”

Here is my history: https://81018.com/bec/ (nobody special)
Here is my nonsense: https://81018.com/2016/06/01/quiet/

Will you guide us back to sanity or do you think there could be something here? Thank you.

Most sincerely,


PS. I had a project at MIT long ago that kind of anticipated this development:

Not for the general public…

M-Theory (the Theory Formerly Known as Strings),

M. J. Duff

“Superunification underwent a major paradigm shift in 1984 when eleven-dimensional supergravity was knocked off its pedestal by ten-dimensional superstrings. This last year has witnessed a new shift of equal proportions: perturbative ten-dimensional superstrings have in their turn been superseded by a new non-perturbative theory called {\it M-theory}, which describes super membranes and superfivebranes, which subsumes all five consistent string theories and whose low energy limit is, ironically, eleven-dimensional supergravity. In particular, six-dimensional string/string duality follows from membrane/fivebrane duality by compactifying M-theory on S1/Z2×K3 (heterotic/heterotic duality) or S1×K3 (Type IIA/heterotic duality) or S1/Z2×T4 (heterotic/Type IIA duality) or S1×T4 (Type IIA/Type IIA duality).”