On following the work of James B. Hartle…

James Burkett Hartle, University of California, Santa Barbara, California

Articles: With Stephen Hawking… more to come
ArXiv (76): Recollections of Steven Weinberg (2022), Simplicial Quantum Gravity (2022), Alternative Decohering Histories in Quantum Mechanics with Murray GellMann (2019), The Physics of ‘Now’ (2004)
Books: Gravity and many others CV-Publications
Homepage(s): UCSB, The Quantum Universe
YouTube: What is Quantum Cosmology?

Most recent email: Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at 7:30 PM

Dear Prof. Dr. James B. Hartle:

Of course, the initial conditions of the universe cannot be observed; can they be known through simple logic and mathematics? Can pi, infinitesimal-primordial spheres, and Planck’s base units inform us? The top-down search has gone on much too long; let’s start from the bottom up. A base-2 container gives us 202 notations from the first moment to this day, right now. We can work Langlands, Witten, and a host of others into the first 64 notations. I know that you do not have time to reply. This is just a little thought experiment.

This note and my earlier note are online here: https://81018.com/hartle/

Best wishes to you and your family,


First email: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 12:46 PM

Dear Prof. Dr. James B. Hartle:

Our work started in a high school geometry class in December 2011, so I apologize in advance for our naiveté, especially my own.

We started with what we’ve call a tetrahedral-octahedral couplet (Numbers, page 5) and went inside each back to the Planck Length. It took 112 steps by dividing the two objects by 2. For consistency, we then started with the Planck Length and multiplied by 2 all the out to the Observable Universe. It required a total of 202 steps. In 2014 we added Planck Time and in 2016 we added Planck Mass and Planck Charge.

Our horizontally scrolled chart is here: https://81018.com/chart

It is fascinating to watch the progression from these Planck base units. It has a very special logic and flow.

Of course, the Planck units did not get too much attention until Frank Wilczek‘s three articles, Scaling Mt. Planck, in 2001 in Physics Today. Starting the universe with infinitesimals of space, time, mass and charge, of course, is not quite a singularity. Plus, there are the 31 dimensionless constants and so many formulas at work. We have so many questions.

First, would you encourage our continued work? Any advice will be cherished given your deep history and knowledge.  Thank you.

Most sincerely,