At the time I first undertook publication of the results of my investigation of basic physical processes it was my belief that those individuals to whom the presentation was primarily addressed, the experts in that field, would have no difficulty in understanding the new theories and concepts developed in my work, and that my major objective should be that of proving the validity of the new theoretical structure. My first book, The Structure of the Physical Universe, therefore outlined the new theories in what I believed was an adequate, although rather brief and highly condensed, manner, and was principally concerned with carrying the development of the theoretical structure into minute detail in a number of areas in order to show that the conclusions derived from the new theories were in agreement with the observed facts to a hitherto unparalleled degree of accuracy and completeness. By this time, however, it has become apparent that existing habits of thought are much more firmly entrenched than I had realized, and that even where an individual has a genuinely receptive attitude toward new ideas it is very difficult for him to accomplish the reorientation of thinking that is necessary for an understanding of the nature and implications of the new concepts upon which my theories are founded. The effectiveness of the proof which I have offered has therefore been lessened to a considerable degree by reason of a widespread inability to understand just what it is that I am proving.
Obviously some more extended and detailed explanations of the new basic ideas are essential, and my more recent publications have been directed toward that end.
In The Case Against the Nuclear Atom I subjected one of the principal segments of modern physical theory to a searching and critical examination, with the objective of showing that present-day theory, in spite of its impressive accomplishments in many areas, is full of defects and inconsistencies, and fails by a wide margin to meet the demands that are imposed upon it by the continued progress of experimental discovery; hence the door is wide open for the construction of a new and better theory. In Beyond Newton I presented what may be called a “vertical cross-section” of the new and better theoretical structure that I have developed in response to this need, taking one particular subject, gravitation, and following it all the way from the fundamental postulates of the new system down to the minor details, demonstrating how accurately the findings of the new system reproduce the behavior and characteristics of this phenomenon which has presented so many difficult problems to previous theory.
Having thus introduced my work and established its general background in these previous publications, I believe it is now appropriate to present a concise unified picture of the new theoretical structure as a whole—a bird’s—eye view of the entire development and this present volume is designed for that purpose. Since the new concepts of the nature of space and time which have emerged from my investigation are the essential elements of the new structure, the plan of the book is to develop the background of these concepts in full detail, and then to explain, somewhat briefly, their application to each of the general fields of physical science, with particular emphasis on the simple and logical answers, usually of a totally unexpected nature, which the new system provides for the major unsolved problems of physics.
In carrying out this program, a certain amount of duplication of material previously published is, of course, unavoidable, particularly since it seems desirable that the book be self-contained, but an effort has been made to hold this duplication to a minimum.
DEWEY B. LARSON