Since many readers are aware that most of my previous publications have been devoted to presenting a new general physical theory, and discussing various aspects thereof, I should explain that this present work is totally independent of that theory. It simply fills a vacuum in existing science, identifying a number of physical facts that have been overlooked by previous investigators, together with other facts that are known, but are disregarded because they do not fit into the current structure of physical theory. When their consequences are fully developed, these hitherto neglected facts clarify many physical issues and provide the answers for a number of previously unsolved fundamental problems. The work should therefore be of interest to all who are concerned with the foundations of physical science, irrespective of whether or not they are inclined to spend the time and effort that are required to become familiar with a new theoretical development.
The plan of this work is the direct opposite of that of my previous books. In those publications, the presentation was purely theoretical. A set of postulates defining a universe of motion was formulated, and the necessary consequences of those postulates were then developed by logical and mathematical processes, without introducing anything from any other source. All of the conclusions reached in that development are independent of experience, and no use is made of the results of observation and measurement, except in comparisons with the theoretical results to show agreement between the two. This present work, on the other hand, is purely factual. It deals entirely with observable facts, and the necessary consequences of those facts, without introducing any theoretical ideas or concepts. It therefore has essentially the same status as a report of a series of experimental discoveries.
However, even though the contents of this volume are entirely factual—that is, limited to observed facts and the logical or mathematical consequences thereof—and are independent of the theory of a universe of motion that I have developed, they are, in a sense, products of that development, inasmuch as the results of the theoretical study provided the clues that enabled recognition of the previously neglected physical facts. Some comments about the theoretical development should therefore be appropriate.
For more than forty years I have been investigating the consequences that necessarily follow if we make the assumption that the universe in which we live is a universe of motion: one in which the basic entities are units of motion rather than units of matter. This is by no means a new idea. It has long been recognized that the discovery that matter can be transformed into non-matter, and vice versa, by appropriate processes, cuts the ground out from under the currently accepted concept of a universe of matter, in which the basic entities are assumed to be elementary units of matter existing in a framework provided by space and time. Over several centuries, a great deal of time and effort has been put into attempts to find an acceptable substitute for this now untenable concept. The only candidates thus far located that appear to warrant serious consideration are energy and motion. Energy is the current favorite, but as Werner Heisenberg, one of the principal supporters of this possibility, conceded, there is little likelihood that a workable theory can be constructed on this basis. The motion alternative has been extensively studied by many scientists and philosophers, including such prominent figures as Descartes, Eddington and Hobbes, but they have been no more successful than Heisenberg and his energy school of thought.
In spite of the uniform lack of success thus far, this is a task that cannot be abandoned, as we certainly cannot be satisfied to continue indefinitely with a basic concept that we know is erroneous. As it happens, I have been able to put the motion concept on a totally new footing by postulating that the universe is composed entirely of motion. On the basis of this concept, I have been able to formulate a set of postulates, the consequences of which constitute a general physical theory, one in which all conclusions in all physical areas are derived from the same set of premises.
A change in the base of the system naturally necessitates many modifications of the details of physical theory. However, the amount of change that is required is not nearly as great as might appear on first consideration, because the new development calls for very little change in the mathematics of present-day theory. The changes are mainly in the interpretation of the mathematics, in our understanding of what the mathematics mean. Since the case in favor of the currently accepted theories is primarily—often entirely—mathematical, there is little that can be said, in most cases, in favor of current theory that is not equally applicable to the mathematically equivalent conclusions that I have reached. The substantial advantages of a fully integrated general physical theory are thus attained without any violent disruption of the mathematical fabric of the physics of familiar phenomena. All that is necessary in most instances is some alteration in the significance attributed to the mathematical relations, and a corresponding modification of the language that is utilized. These new interpretations, integral parts of a consistent, fully integrated general theory, can then be extended to a resolution of the problems that are currently being encountered in the far-out regions.
When the true situation is more widely understood, it is probable that more individuals will be willing to spend the time and effort that are required in order to understand the new development. In the meantime, however, there are a number of places where the investigations in connection with the development of the new theory have disclosed some significant, and hitherto overlooked, physical facts that are independent of the physical theory in whose context they are viewed. These items stand on their own foundations, and they can be incorporated into physical thought without regard to the modifications that I am proposing in the general structure of physical theory.
The most important of these advances in physical understanding is the clarification of the nature and properties of scalar motion. The existence of this type of motion, which has magnitude only and no inherent direction, is undeniable, since we can observe it, but it has never previously been critically examined, probably because on casual consideration it does not appear to have any significant impact on physical activity. The results of my investigation indicate that this superficial impression is mistaken, and that scalar motion is, in fact, one of the primary physical phenomena. As will be demonstrated in the pages of this volume, clarification of the nature and properties of this type of motion opens the door to a greatly improved understanding of many aspects of the physical universe, including its large-scale structure and behavior.
© Copyright 1982
by Dewey B. Larson
All rights reserved