On Grasping our Exponential Universe
11 November 1931 in Berlin: Nobel laureates Walther Nernst (Chemistry, 1920), Albert Einstein (Physics, 1921), Max Planck (Physics, 1918), Robert Millikan (Physics, 1923) and Max von Laue (Physics, 1914) could have easily done our little base-2 chart over dinner.
by Bruce Camber, Initiated: January 25, 2018 First draft This article is being developed for the second meeting of the study group on the “nature of the finite-infinite relation.”
What a different world it would be.
Perhaps their formal wear (including Einstein’s white shirt and tie) was buttoned-up too tightly and their egos were too involved with the process of jockeying for position to speak. Though the stock markets had crashed (1929), there was not yet a sense of urgency about “those people” seeking political power, i.e. Adolph Hitler.
These Nobel Prize winners certainly had the bandwidth, the depth of knowledge, and creativity to engage a base-2 exponential definition of the universe. It would have opened up the mathematics of the first 64 notations.
They all seemed to have intuitions about it.
Max Planck has the fulcrum. He had the numbers. Seated in the middle, he held within him a deep sense of the boundary conditions of the universe. He had the calculations for length and time. All very decent mathematicians, two times two (2×2) was too simplistic, yet 2-to-the-64th and surely 2-to-the-202nd was still too mundane. But, is it? Though the Wheat and Chessboard story was well-known throughout their life, they chose not to think about continuity equations and symmetry relations from the infinitesimally small to the Observable Universe or the Age of the Universe. Euler’s exponentiation from 1742 was old hat. And, in 1931 they would not have had the advantage of the Hubble telescopes, yet they did have estimates of the age and size of the Universe. They could have pointed us in the right direction.
Walther Nernst was a power man. He had a concept of chain reaction in his back pocket that went back to his work in 1887 when he had an idea that there were electromotive forces produced by magnetism in heated metal plates.
Albert Einstein was the visualizer.
Robert Millikan was measurement man. No elementary electric charge got by him. The photoelectric effect was a friend. (more to come)
Max von Laue (more to come)