Dewey B. Larson in his Reciprocal System claims to generate a theoretical construct from two fundamental postulates which is in one-to-one correspondence with the observable physical universe. The primary purpose of this dissertation is to critically examine Larson's contention. This analysis consists of two aspects: to search for logical inconsistencies in the process by which Larson generates the theoretical construct and to compare that theoretical construct with a wide variety of observable phenomena. Discrepancies in either area would invalidate Larson's hypothesis. The first aspect is relatively simple: a prediction is either based on the fundamental postulates or it is not a logical consequence of the theory. The second aspect of the task is more difficult in at least two respects: first, only a finite number of comparisons can be made; secondly, even if one discovers one-to-one correspondence in all tested instances, there still remains the logical possibility that data may be collected in the future which will contradict the theory. Hence, like any other scientific theory, the Reciprocal System would remain tentative. Apparently no extensive critical analysis of the Reciprocal System has yet been undertaken except for Mr. Larson's own efforts in that direction. Perhaps this lack in the literature is sufficient justification for the present effort.
Four auxiliary purposes undertaken in the dissertation are intended to serve the primary purpose without significantly increasing its scope. One intent is organization or synthesis of the components of the Reciprocal System. Larson's writings over the past twenty years reflect his own continuing research and growth in perspective. Hence, no single publication yet available fully reflects the breadth and depth of his perception of the Reciprocal System. Therefore, the fifteen chapters comprising the body of the dissertation are intended to represent both the logical sequence of the Reciprocal System and its organized content to date. Secondly, an earnest effort has been made toward exposition of the Reciprocal System with mathematical derivation of conclusions and numerical examples as an aid toward grasp of its implications. Larson tends to provide an explicit example in one publication and to refer readers of later publications to the earlier one. Since many of these earlier works are now out of print, it seemed a useful service to the reader in his efforts to weigh the merits of the Reciprocal System to make these derivations available to him. Thirdly, wherever possible extensions of the theory occurred to one in the course of research, it seemed appropriate to include them for consideration and criticism. Thus, after generating basic properties of the electron, proton, and neutron, it almost naturally occurs to one to attempt quantitative derivation of their spins and magnetic moments from the theory. Finally, although the process is necessarily incomplete, an effort has been made to update theory with respect to data being rapidly accumulated, particularly in the areas of elementary particles and non-optical astronomy. i.e., does such data support or contradict predictions of the Reciprocal System?
It should be emphasized that chapter sequence represents a logical sequence - at least as perceived by Mr. Larson. If the logical sequence is valid, then the theory is unified. By hypothesis, the Reciprocal System is perfectly general or, one might say, cosmological. Hence, test of the claim of one-to-one correspondence with the physical universe requires a wide sampling over the scope of the observable universe. Hence, this investigation has been titled: Toward a Unified Cosmological Physics.
Therefore, as a final caution, any of the dissertation chapters taken out of sequence and context may well appear absurd and/or incomprehensible. The fundamental postulates cause the Reciprocal System to diverge rapidly from conventional physical thought. New thoughts call for new terminology and/or redefinition of older terminology. "Space-time", for example, will have entirely different senses in the theories of Larson and Einstein; new words such as "chronotopometric" have been coined where necessary to avoid confusion with older meaning-laden terms. Furthermore, evaluation of the Larsonian theory of stellar and galactic evolution presupposes awareness of the concepts of light, matter, gravitation, inverse processes, etc., as they occur in the Reciprocal System. Likewise, the theory of quasars and pulsars in the Reciprocal System is developed against the background of stellar and galactic evolution as perceived in the Reciprocal System.