#2 NASA SpaceApps Challenge Report

Center for Perfection StudiesThe Big BoardLittle Universe Project New Orleans • USA • May 2017 •
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Redefining Space & Time

SAP - Palo Alto
One of the 187 locations in 69 countries with 25,000+ participants

Palo Alto, California: Videoconferencing from Huntsville, Alabama at NASA Marshall’s Space Apps Challenge, Bruce Camber[1] took a swipe at some of the biggest names in academia, “Nima Arkani-Hamed of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton wants to throw space-and-time under the bus. Max Tegmark of MIT and Hawking of Cambridge want to thrown out infinity, yet none of them are ready to throw out the big bang theory and I think that’s where we all need to begin.”

Camber has been communicating with leading scholars for as long as he can remember. In December 2011 he began coordinating the Big Board-little universe project; and by 2014, Camber began to question the voracity of the big bang theory. [2] He had multiplied the Planck units by 2, over and over and over again. In the process he discovered that there are about 202 steps to get to the Age of the Universe.  By focusing on the fractional seconds of the early life of the universe, Notations 1 to 143,  he began to identify the evolution of each of the big bang epochs, all without a bang.  “Not even a little bang,” he commented, “There is a natural inflation and it provides a more ordered, quiet expansion of the universe.”

Multiplying and dividing by 2 is called base-2 exponentiation. In his model space and time become finite, quantized and derivative. He continued, “We all once thought space and time were infinite. It was just commonsense. Thank you, Sir Isaac Newton. Instead of throwing out infinity, we need to redefine it.  Let’s try this:  continuity for our numbers; that creates an initial ordering.  And, symmetry for our geometries – that creates our initial relations.”

That is a paradigm shift for the universe. These numbers create a very different picture.  There’s no bang, but the big bang epochs remain as defined. Camber said, “One might say base-2 from the Planck units is a scripting language that simulates the big bang without-the-bang and defines the epochs better than they’ve ever been defined.”

Camber asked rhetorically, “How can we explore the universe if some of our most basic assumptions are off?”

From Stanford and NASA Ames comes the direct challenge

The Convergence. “I received an email from a friend at Stanford, Charlotte Thornton, and she introduced me to her friend, a NASA systems analyst, Timothy Wang. Wang was a veteran of prior SpaceApp Challenges and they were discussing the possibility of using the data set of the Big Board-little universe project. They thought they could wrap an impromptu Hackathon team around all those numbers.”  Camber commented, then asked, “Of course. Please. Why not? It’ll be great fun. What’s a Hackathon?”

All three of these folks gravitate to big challenges. Since 2000, Thornton has been working on a multi-trillion dollar concept to interconnect the world with a frictionless transportation system; she commented, “We started with Bucky’s Dymaxion Island in the middle of one ocean. By using systems design focused on convergent infrastructure upgrade —  Zero Emissions, Zero Waste flow of electrons —  this design literally interconnects the world. It pre-dates all the hyperloop mania (that’s all based on the Salter’s 1972 paper, Very High Speed Transit System). We’ve always been in Bucky Fuller’s camp; he opened our way to see the infrastructure of our Spaceship Earth in light of the infrastructure of the universe.”

Timothy Wang is a roughneck in today’s information industry. Instead of oil wells, he’s a driller through the galaxy and a toolpusher for solutions to the most difficult problems. After working with him for just three days, Camber said, “Timothy… tri-lingual, gifted and focused, he’s committed to take humanity out into Deep Space. He wants to unplug us from all our Earth-bound planetary hang ups.”

These three agreed to work together.

The SpaceApp Challenge would become their modus operandi. Both Thornton and Wang started recruiting and Camber began learning about hackathons and NASA’s involvements with it. “We should embrace this opportunity in order to engage a wider audience with the key questions about our understanding of space and time in the light of Big Board-little universe matrix.

The Nature of Space & Time Revisited

In 1716 Gottfried Leibniz died; as a result, he lost the de facto debate that he was having  with Isaac Newton about the nature of time and space. Absolute or relational? Current work by theoretical physicists,  Carlo Rovelli and Richard Muller (Berkeley), side with Leibniz. “Eventually,” Camber comments, “I think everybody will abandon Newton. It may take a few generations. The key challenge will be to redefine infinity if space and time are understood to be finite, discrete, quantized and derivative.”

Max Tegmark of MIT appears to be leading the attack on infinity.  He just wants to stop using the concept altogether. Camber says, “No, no, no, let’s redefine it. I think continuity (numbers) and symmetry (geometries) could easily replace time and space. We shouldn’t abandon infinity. It is a key part of mathematics and physics and science in general. Every non-repeating, never-ending number — I’m told there is an array of of over 300 such constants —  these are the access paths between the finite and infinite. We just need to find ways to plug them into all 202 notations.”

There are 202 columns and ten rows of numbers that currently define the Big Board-little universe. If taken as a given, these numbers demonstrate how space and time are thoroughly quantized, finite and discrete.

2017 Hackathon NASA SpaceApps Challenge: Ideate and Create! 1D, 2D, 3D– Go! 

Of the five general groups of challenges, the Camber-Thornton-Wang team gravitated to Ideate and Create!  Out of its eight options, they were encouraged by the specific challenge called 1D, 2D, 3D– Go!  In NASA’s six-year hackathon history, this challenge was new. A technical manager at Marshall Space Flight Center, Daniel O’Neil, had proposed the challenge. His father, Tony O’Neil, retired from NASA as a mission manager that spanned the Apollo, Skylab, and Shuttle programs. In conversation with Camber, all three concurred that visualizing data is the first step towards understanding it and enabling the development of practical applications.

Now, these Hackathons are always a bit chaotic. It takes a very special personality to tolerate the abstractions and disconnects to invent something new.  It is impossibly difficult and all 25,000+ participants should be congratulated for their spirited engagement of the unknown.  Yet, in all that chaos something magical happens.  Creativity reaches deeper and further and new ideas and applications are birthed.

Timothy Wang attracts experts. Charlotte Thornton attracts experts.  Bruce Camber constantly connects with leading scholars from around the world. That mix made the natural chaos of any Hackathon team development even more chaotic.

Now, there is more to come. This summary is the second about the NASA SpaceApps Challenge, April 29-30, 2017 (187 locations, 69 countries,  25,000+ participants).  In this report we summarize key issues. In the next report we will learn how their team came together and their initial results.  The fourth report will focus on their future aspirations.  So, yes, there is more to come…


Endnotes & footnotes

[1] In 1977 Camber was invited to visit with John Bell at CERN to discuss the Einstein Podolsy Rosen (EPR) paradox. In 1980 he more pointedly studied this thought experiment with Costa de Beauregard and JP Vigier in Paris. Yet, he was also a resident theologian at The American Church in Paris. Too much physics for religion and too much perfection for physics, he stood on the sidelines for 30 years until finally recognizing the importance and relational character of base-2, combinatorial geometries and the Planck units. The Big Board-little universe (BB-lu, pronounced “bib-blu”) matrix was the result. Until 2011, nobody had see the universe mapped with Planck numbers, simple geometries and simple math.  In 1986 the Princeton physicist, John Wheeler, anticipated this development; he said,  “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?


From the previous report:

“It was a first. The ever-so-simple and all-natural process of multiplying and dividing by 2 was taken to a new level. Called base-2 exponentiation, this resulting map of the universe opened unknown territories, secret doors, and unexpected challenges. Camber commented, ‘It appears that this Big-Board, base-2 model simulates the big bang epochs but without a bang. It’s a natural inflation, a quiet expansion. Everything is necessarily related to everything. It’s an integrative model that just might address our cultural nihilism and solipsism throughout this world.‘”