Holton, Gerald

Gerald Holton

Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Articles:  On the Role of Themata in Scientific Thought.”
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Second email: Monday, March 20, 2019

Dear Prof. Dr. Gerald Holton,

I’ll be making references to your work on this website  and will be referring people to your work through this page: https://81018.com/holton/

My Themata:

  • The primary search for unity begins with pi, the sphere, and the dynamics of the inside and outside of the sphere (Fourier’s transform).
  • The relation is primarily real (vis-a-vis Leibniz-Newton).
  • Everything starts simple before it becomes complex.
  • The need for “renormalization” tells us that we have not found a baseline for simplicity.
  • The faces of infinity are continuity/order, symmetry/relations, and harmony/dynamics.
  • There is a finite-infinite transformation that we begin to know through pi with its never-ending, never-repeating, always the same and then through the other dimensionless constants.
  • The sphere (Wheeler’s quantum foam or Plancksphere) manifests as space-time and mass-energy.

I could go on but I am already too far out of the mainstream and entirely idiosyncratic!

Let us continue on the very best we can! I wish you well,

-Bruce

 First email: 6 February 2019 at 11 AM

Dear Prof. Dr. Gerald Holton,

You were selected back in 1979 to be part of my display project at MIT following up Schrödinger’s What Is Life? and other questions about first principles.

There were 77 scholars from around the world so we talked at that time, ever so briefly, and I collected your papers and books for display under the dome off of 77 Massachusetts Avenue. Freeman Dyson was part of that entourage. I had visited him at IAS in the summer and he encouraged me to remain in touch. In a recent note, commenting on my greeting for his 95th birthday, he said, “But I think Nunc Dimittis is a better text for a 95-year-old.” I smiled. It is a lovely chant that I remember well from my Episcopal days.

Before you take leave of this world, I wanted to share a strange thing that happened to me on the way down inside the tetrahedral-octahedral complex. The kids in a high school geometry class and I were exploring dividing edges of our objects in half, particularly the tetrahedron and its internal octahedron. We went further and further inside, following Zeno, until at the 45th progression we acknowledged that we were inside particle physics the lengths had become so small. In another 67 steps, we were inside the Planck scale, touching Planck’s Wall. Back up in the classroom, when we multiplied the edges of our little model by 2, in 90 steps we were at the current expansion and the approximate age and size of the universe. All in just 202 notations. It took us five years of rather intermittent thought and work, but we added the other Planck base units and put them in a horizontal chart. That link is: https://81018.com/chart/

For the past few years we’ve been asking questions,
“Is it a good STEM tool?”
“Is it another possible model of the universe?”
“Does it necessarily and logically include everything,everywhere, for all time?

Then we began thinking about renormalization and infinity and space and time and Planck’s simple formula for Planck Time.

What do you think? Is it a good STEM tool? Is it another possible model of the universe? Does it necessarily and logically include everything, everywhere, for all time? Is space-time derivative? Should infinity be redefined?

Obviously, I hope you are active and well. I really hope to hear from you. Thank you.

Most sincerely,
Bruce