An Open Letter to James Peebles, 2019 Nobel Laureate

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“It’s very unfortunate that one thinks of the beginning…
in fact, we have no good theory of such a thing as the beginning.”
James Peebles, physicist, Princeton

My dear Nobel laureate and emeritus Professor Dr. James Peebles:

Thank you for your comment in Sweden about our theories about the beginnings of our universe. It stopped us cold.

In 2011 we unwittingly focused on a cold-start of the universe because there was very little temperature inherent within Planck’s four base units. We chose to ignore Planck Temperature. Built into the equations for the four base units, however, was an expansion and a rate of expansion through Planck Charge, the dimensionless constants, and Planck Time. In 1927 Georges Lemaître started his original theory cold. In 1931 he went hot. Also, given Lemaître’s primeval atom, most assume it all manifests as a point particle; we assume an infinitesimal sphere and the necessity of pi. We also assume there is a simple perfection of continuity, symmetry and harmony as defined by pi.

Now, we had started our trek into this domain of inquiry within a high school geometry class by going inside a tetrahedron (looking at the smaller tetrahedrons in the four corners and the octahedron in the middle). One of the students asked a Zeno-like question about the octahedron so we divided the edges in half, and discovered the smaller octahedrons in each of the six corners and the eight tetrahedrons, one in each face. We had a process! We continued. In just 45 steps going deeper within, we were down with the elementary particles (fascinating and fun), and in another 67 steps we were at his wall chatting with Max Planck.

It required just 112 steps going deeper within from the classroom to Planck’s scale.

We went out by multiplying by 2; and, in 90 steps we were observing the current expansion and current time. That’s just 202 base-2 steps from the first moment until right Now. Along the way we met many wonderful characters — Euler, Kepler (sphere stacking and cubic-close packing of equal spheres), Fourier, Poincaré, Lemaître… and the list goes on. It has been a marvelous voyage… just so fascinating.

Recently we decided to see what the universe might look like if we were to start with Lemaître’s primeval atom as the first sphere. Using Planck Time we discovered a really unbelievably-fast-large-and-quiet expansion and a natural inflation. It required a simple ordering structure that mimicked our geometry, so we observed our initial work was Euler’s base-2 notation. Then we thought about Lemaiître’s primeval atom and considered it a primordial sphere, “What primarily defines it?” We decided that pi (π) plays a most pivotal role as one of our earliest working equations (along with all the equations that defined each of the facets of Planck’s base units). I wrote it up:

I thought you might find its total naïveté amusing and possibly a breath of fresh air!  

Thank you again for your wonderful legacy of discovery.

Most sincerely,


PS. If possible, I would be deeply grateful to discuss the ways that this chart does not work!  It is our chart of base-2 numbers from the first instant to the current time in just over 202 notations.  -BEC

Editor’s note: This letter has been updated a little to add clarity and to correct simple errors. This page is a homepage as such; however, there is also a James Peebles resource page and a link to it from within our alphabetical listings (which has links to the resource pages of other scholars).

Related webpages:

Cold-Start versus Infinitely-Hot Start — Grasping the first instance
Power of Pi, Circles, Spheres — A Challenge for Pi Day!
The Essential Universe
Why is there so much trouble in our world?
Toward a mathematically-integrated view of the universe

The Mind, the Self, the Brain and Human Mystery
The First Instant of the Universe – Pi Circle, Sphere
These Six Key Pages Are Departures from the Norm
The Expansion of the Universe
Change the Metaphor – Rewrite the History