Planck scale

A Slow Adoption of the Planck Scale


Max Planck 1 introduced his fundamental units within his 1906/1914 book, the Theory of Heat Radiation. Nobody knew what to do with the numbers. Even Max Planck was not entirely sure how to use them. Ignored for over 50 years, it took a chemistry professor from Minnesota to open up the initial question. Though ignored by most scholars, a door was finally opened. 

It was in 1964 C. Alden Mead 2 finally had an article published that used the Planck Length. Titled Possible Connection Between Gravitation and Fundamental Length (Phys. Rev. 135, B849, August 1964), it had been held up in peer review for over five years. Nobody quite understood the Planck base units. Mead’s article is the first-known to be published to use the Planck Length.

In 1982 John D. Barrow 3 wrote an article, Natural Units Before Planck,  mostly a quick study of George Stoney’s work as a precursor for Max Planck’s work to define basic units.

In 1985 Thanu Padmanabhan 4  wrote Physical significance of planck length (Annals of Physics, Volume 165, Issue 1, November 1985, Pages 38-58).

In 1992, John Archibald Wheeler 5 compiled Physics at the Planck Length, International Journal of Modern Physics A, Vol. 08, No. 23, pp. 4013-4018 (1993).

In 1998 Joseph Polchinski 6 published Quantum Gravity at the Planck Length.

And, in 2001, Frank Wilczek 7 wrote a series of three articles for Physics Today (Scaling Mount Planck, I, II, and III ) about the Planck units and finally the rest of the scientific community really began to take note.

This article on the Planck Scale is also part of a larger article, Transformation. In 2011 our high school geometry classes began to explore the Planck Length. We were chasing progressive doublings of the Planck Length until in 202 doublings, we were out to the approximate size of the universe. See chart: https://81018.com/chart/ Since 2016, within this 81018.com URL and website, we have been exploring the Planck scale, particularly the four Planck base units.

This is the first time to consider the possible concresence and transformations that could be occurring with cubic close packing, sphere stacking,  the Fourier transform, and period doubling.

These dynamics raise rather unusual questions about this scale that began in 1899 within Max Planck’s Theory of Heat Radiation. At a 1931 dinner in Berlin with other Nobel laureates in the home of Max von Laue, they could have laid out this chart within that evening’s discussion. They didn’t.  In 1947, anticipating his own death, Planck said, “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather… science advances one funeral at a time.”

This quote comes from his book, Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers, Max Planck, published after his death by the Philosophical Library, 1949.

Footnotes

1  These dynamics raise rather unusual questions about this scale that began within Max Planck’s Theory of Heat Radiation which was finally followed by the work of key scholars.

2  Go to the work of C. Alden Mead, Possible Connection Between Gravitation and Fundamental Length (Phys. Rev. 135, B849, August 1964)

3 Go to the work of John D. Barrow, Natural Units Before Planck, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 24, P. 24, 1983

4 Go to the work of Thanu Padmanabhan, Physical significance of planck length, Annals of Physics, Volume 165, Issue 1, November 1985, Pages 38-58  PDF (currently a distinguished professor at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, (IUCAA), Pune, India)

Go to the work of  John Archibald Wheeler, Physics at the Planck Length,, International Journal of Modern Physics A, Vol. 08, No. 23, pp. 4013-4018 (1993).

6  Go to the work of Joseph Polchinski.  Quantum gravity at the planck scale, 1998 Polchinski  

7 Go to the work of Frank Wilczek Physics Today (Scaling Mount Planck, I: A View from the Bottom June 2001, II: Base Camp, November 2001, and III: Is that all there is? June 2002 A key section of the Wilczek et al article on fundamental laws.