|1014 Lygon Street,
Dear Mr. Larson,
Once again I am in your debt for the time and trouble that you have taken to answer my questions. All the time I feel that I am getting a better comprehension of what is so. My main hold up is lack of basic knowledge, and greater lack of time to catch up on it all. I still have to utilize some of my spare time for my hobby of mathematics and its various implications. I have just completed an analysis of Symbolic logic, which I hope to have published, but probably not till early next year. Then of course the obligations of family life and working back three nights per week on night prescription service; the months pass so quickly. I took the family away for 10 days late in August last, but there was no time to relax, we were going out every day, so I decided then to take another holiday by myself in October, as I had done in October ’67, when I first wrote to you. I have certainly become a different person in my thinking in that last 12 months. So here I am in Sherbrooke, and not wasting any time in writing to you.
That photostat, which you sent me was so incredibly fascinating, that I could hardly believe what I read wasn’t just a dream. To my way of thinking it is something which you could use as necessary corroborative evidence to the world, that there is something vital in your theory regarding the three aspects of time. Yet you appear to treat it lightly. I typed up the photostat leaving out the penciled endorsements of your friend, and I left a copy for my cousin the physicist to read. He was out when I called around to his home, so I rang him the next day, and he was about to leave for a conference in Vienna, where he was to present a paper on a new particle that he and his team discovered here in Melbourne. He says that this particle has twice the mass of a proton and there appears to be positive, negative and neutral forms. He told me that he would probably read this paper of Pontecorvo and Bertini when he returns. He did mention that Pontecorvo was a scientist of great repute from the scientific point of view, but that he defected to Russia and for this reason western scientists don’t think much of his character. H sounded very interested. I rang his home a few days ago and his wife told me that he had only returned a few days earlier, that his papers was delivered and that he was pleased with its reception. Also she told me he was extremely busy with University exams so I should wait to contact him till late in November. It’s very frustrating. Now back to the Photostat. paper. I went to the University library to look up the article in Doklady in English translation, and I found it with little effort, but I searched in vain to find the subsequent article, which Bertini claimed he would publish later. The index of the next volume didn’t contain anything by Bertini or Pontecorvo. Please tell me, have you had any contact with either of them at all, and if so what transpired, or are you really interested in that approach and its implications. Needless to say, the topology was outside my detailed understanding, although I certainly got the general picture.
Thanks very much for the pictures of the liquid state etc. I read them straight away and was very taken with them. The following week I rang up the University of Melbourne and asked to speak to the professor of theoretical physics. He came on the phone and I asked to seem him on the following day regarding some interesting research on liquid state and its implications. Straight away he was on the defensive, and said that this was not his realm of active interest. Nevertheless I said that I wanted to see him personally and leave the papers with him to read them in his own good time. He reluctantly agreed, and when I saw him on the next day he wasn’t very friendly. He seemed to be just like the various American orthodox-school types, you have described in your various books. I took great care not to say anything too contentious, or to be too enthusiastic in my speech, but merely to say that if he would accept the papers to read, they would speak for themselves. He declined to d even this much, but said that he would have a quick look through them then. This took about ten minutes of scanning some of them. I could have screamed in fury. He picked out your terminology “liquid molecules” and “solid molecules” as though this was the faulty foundation and therefore everything should crumble. My counter-assertion that this was merely a deliberate labeling of the molecules so as to divide them into groups according to their respective thermal energies didn’t even get a flicker on his face, let alone a comment. So then he said, “Well, what do you expect me to do about it.” I said that I expected nothing, but perhaps if this wasn’t his interest, he may know somebody in the physics department who was interested in the liquid state. He said that there was no one. He suggested that perhaps Mr. Larson was in the same category as Eddington, who in later years, he told me, became obsessed with numbers and came out with extraordinary claims as to the number of electrons in the universe, etc. none of which was falsifiable, but was certainly suspect. I assured him that this was not the case, so he asked me with what University you were associated; once again he felt he had a winning argument against your theory on the basic premise by inference that only people associated with universities can produce worthwhile material. He also asked why hadn’t Mr. Larson applied for the papers to be published in Physical Review, or other American journal. Of course I didn’t know the answer. Have you attempted to have them published in such a journal? Also he resented that a non-Australian might want to have his work promoted in Australia. I assured him that my visit to him was my own idea, and that if it had worth then the origin wasn’t important. He said that it if it had worth it would eventually get its recognition, however he conveniently neglected to say how this could happen, where there was such prejudice. There is an Australian Physical journal and this professor is a referee, to determine the value for inclusion of anything submitted. He thereby discouraged me from pressing the matter any further.
He did say that a scientific paper must be presented completely impersonally—it must be devoid of all reference to what people may think about it, etc. I think he picked this up from the note “To those concerned.” However he did hit on something by accident. My cousin who looked at your first book some time ago, said as much “that one mustn’t continually argue one’s case, but merely present it.”
Now to a thought of my own. Since you have now told me that the subject of scalar motion in its extended form does not occur elsewhere than in your books, I have a suggestion. I suggest that you prepare a complete treatise on this aspect of motion, with the following guidelines.
1) Completely formal treatment.
2) Plenty of diagrams and/or analogies
3) Absolute accuracy in the mathematical of probability
4) At no time during the treatise have any reference to your own postulates or any other aspects of the postulates than those of scalar motion.
Naturally you will have to find the necessary mathematician as collaborator, to help you over the hurdle of the probability aspect, so that it is presented in any easily-assimilated format, and then seek a publisher for this work in the appropriate journal. Since such a work would not appear to be of foundation-shaking consequences, but merely an original thought on some aspects of motion, it should draw interest in the right quarters.
This, in my humble, but well-considered opinion, is a vital step and worth all the time and trouble involved. I wish that I had the ability to help you in this matter in a more positive way, but at least his can be the prelude to greater things. I cannot stress too much how it must be formal. Naturally the cover notes can mention that the author has published certain books which find this theory a substantial help. I have thought of a few suggestions for method of approach, but that’s all. Viz., consider the possibility of probability distribution applied to motion and its directions, where randomness of direction is the more likely aspect than the usual treatment of cause and effect, which uses vectors.
E.g., if an explosive is detonated within an easily fracturable vessel (one that would break up into millions of pieces of approximate equal size). We will consider at first that this vessel was in a hypothetical space between galaxies, that that gravitational effects are small. This is an analogous case to a point source of light and the random distribution of the photons in all directions.
Secondly, consider the same explosion, but this time the vessel is in orbit around the earth. Here the distribution of the millions of particles may present a different mathematical probability due to each particle having a definite mass affected by gravity as opposed to the photons of light, which as yet your theory doesn’t cover for the description of the effect of gravity. Thirdly, consider the same explosion, where the vessel instead of being in free fall around the earth, is merely a projectile following an approximate tangential course.
Fourthly, consider the vessel to be stationary with respect to the earth, perhaps having been fired vertically upwards and being exploded at the instant of reaching its maximum height..
These are just my ideas, but they have come about from months of intermittent thinking of “where to get the leg in.” This work could be the “leg in” due to its non-contentious nature.
There could be other readers of your books, like me, who have erroneously thought that this idea of scalar motion was an already established maths. theory and that he (the reader) hadn’t come across it yet. This concept, as with all new concepts, needs to be pointed out to the reader that it is original to the author, thus putting the reader in the right perspective.
I’m glad that you like the review. Apparently the editor didn’t mail it out, as promised.
When are your new books to be published?
I you have the time, could you tell me some of the perspicacious points brought out by some of the students at Berkeley University; also what you did there for 3 days?
Also, please tell me about the interest in your work at the University of London. You mentioned this some time ago. Have they accepted it as something for the students to read and evaluate—and perhaps even investigate—further?
I have run dry.
So with apologies for taking up so long to answer your last letter, and for my terrible typing mistakes and alterations,
Yours sincerely,David Halprin