Rees, Martin

Rees-MartinMartin Rees

Book among many Books: Just Six Numbers

As part of our effort to discern the top numbers of key importance within our little universe for the Big Board-little universe Project, we have begun to study the work of Lord Sir Martin Rees of Cambridge, particularly his book of the title, Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe, 1999, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London (173 pages)

His six numbers are:

  1. N, the ratio of the strength of the electrical force to the gravitational force (reviewer, Peter Roberts, Visions.
  2. ε (epsilon)( definition of limits?)
  3. Ω (omega), measures the amount of material in the universe
  4.  λ (lambda) (?)
  5. Q,  the degree of structure in the universe
  6. D, the number of spatial dimensions, 3

Here is what Wikipedia says:

Martin Rees’s Six Numbers:

“Martin Rees, in his book Just Six Numbers, mulls over the following six dimensionless constants, whose values he deems fundamental to present-day physical theory and the known structure of the universe:

“N and ε govern the fundamental interactions of physics. The other constants (D excepted) govern the size, age, and expansion of the universe. These five constants must be estimated empirically. D, on the other hand, is necessarily a nonzero natural number and cannot be measured. Hence most physicists would not deem it a dimensionless physical constant of the sort discussed in this entry.

“Any plausible fundamental physical theory must be consistent with these six constants, and must either derive their values from the mathematics of the theory, or accept their values as empirical.”

“A long-sought goal of theoretical physics is to find first principles from which all of the fundamental dimensionless constants can be calculated and compared to the measured values.”


Ask the big questions, but be ready to accept the simple answers if simple works: