Wüthrich, Christian

Christian Wüthrich
University of Geneva
Switzerland

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First email: February 6, 2021

Dear Prof. Dr. Christian Wüthrich:

I’ve just registered for your online Wednesday’s lecture, “Laws Beyond Spacetime.” Your overview is helpful. I have also done a search on ArXiv.  The ontology of an idea as it becomes a conceptual frame of reference is fascinating process. As often as possible, I work back to see how ideas are shaped. To that end, I’ve begun reading your talks. It is also quite fascinating to go back to your earlier lectures about the subject, i.e. Thursday, July 12, 2018 at Utrecht conference, Foundations, 19th UK and European Conference on the Foundations of Physics. There are no earlier references (with the title delimited by quotes) so we know that you own the concept. Excellent!

The Humean references will require some time going back to remember those olds days with Hume. I am sure I’ll still be full of questions: What is the first instance of spacetime? What does it look like? Are Max Planck’s base units involved? Are infinitesimal Planck Time and Planck Length the first units? In what shape?

We unwittingly started working in this arena thinking that we had a solid STEM tool. We had backed down into the Planck units within our high school geometry class by going deeper and deeper inside by dividing the edges by 2 (tetrahedrons and octahedrons). That required 112 notations. Then we went larger simply  by multiplying by 2. In 90 steps we were somewhere around 13.82 billion years. It was a sweet little model, very approachable with its 202 notations. That was 2011; we started with numbers and eventually emerged with a chart based on the Planck Length. By 2013, we made it into a desktop chart. In 2014, we brought in Planck Time, and finally in 2016 we added Planck Mass and Planck Charge and made it into a horizontally-scrolled chart. Now what do we do with it?

Excuse the rather long note. I’ll try to do better next time! Thank you.

Most sincerely,

Bruce


A group: Nick Huggett, Carl Hoefer, Craig Callender, Chris Smeenk, Vincent Lam,