National Physical Laboratory of the UK (NPL)

National Physical Laboratory

NPL Tel: 020 8977 3222
Hampton Road, Teddington, Middlesex, TW11 0LW UK

Peter Thompson, CEO
Peter Thompson LinkedIN

First email:  Monday, 23 September 2019 @ 10:40 AM

Dear Dr. Peter Thompson,

Congratulations on your leadership of the NPL.

We discovered your work through your redefinition of the kilogram so significantly announced on World Metrology Day, May 20, 2019. We’ve been advocating for a slightly different SI shift for our standards in length, time, mass and charge. But we are high school people! What do we know? …just thinking outside the curriculum!

We started a project in December 2011 — — whereby we mapped the universe using a simple base-2 expansion from Max Planck’s 1899 natural units. We had been following the embedded geometries of the tetrahedron and octahedron — — from manipulatables (models) in the classroom down to Planck’s length in just 112 steps. Reversed, it took just 90 steps to go out to the Age and size of the Universe. It was a great little STEM tool.

A NASA scientist — –helped us with our calculations. I asked Kolecki if we might compute the meter using the Planck Length. That’d be quite a different standard! The readings close to the meter would be 2-to-the-115 which corresponds to 0.67 meters and 2-to-the-116 corresponding to 1.35 meters. A standard could use one or the other or get as accurate as you want by taking a fractional that brings it equal to 1.

It didn’t take long before we suggested the same for Planck Time to define the second, Planck Mass to define the kilogram, and Planck Charge to define the Coulomb.

Knowing next to nothing about the larger issues, we’ve rather naively kept the project alive. The harshest criticism we received was from John Baez who called it idiosyncratic. Now, since that time we’ve learned enough to know how right he is!

My best wishes,