Dewey B. Larson
755 N.E. Royal Court
Portland, Oregon 97232
Mar. 24, 1984
This letter is intended to deal with the items, other than the proofreading, that are outstanding. First, as to the typesetting, which you say will run about $1200, I think we will have the publishers take care of this item, as part of their investment in the publishing project. To facilitate their dealings with the IRS it will be advisable to have the greater part of the payment made direct to the typesetters, whoever they may be. So if you will let me know when you want the money, and to whom the payment is to be made, I will get one check from the NPP for $1200 (or more if you change your estimate) made out to the typesetters, and another for two or three hundred made out to you , so that you can take care of whatever overruns there may be. If you have some preliminary expenses for which you need this money in advance, just let me know.
Next, as to the hyphenation, it looks as if I will have to resign myself to the machine age, and recognize that some things are going to look different from what they did in my horse and buggy era. Actually it won’t be the first time that I have had this same experience. Some years ago, when I was on a job in Brazil, I had to get used to the way things were done there. The office secretaries simply broke the words at the end of the space, paying no attention to syllables. It looked odd at first, but we get used to things. So I will leave the situation to your judgment. Just go ahead on whatever basis you think is best. I will make a few comments, but you can regard them as being merely informative.
I find that in most of the word divisions that look odd to me, the machine is technically correct, in that it divides by syllables. The problem is that in practice, we usually take the accent into account. A heavily accented word such as “physical,” for instance, is normally broken at the accent—physical—and the computer version, physical, looks odd, even though it is legitimate on the basis of the dictionary listing as phys-i-cal. I find it somewhat strange that I have written a theoretical book on astronomy, but, as I said earlier, I can get used to it. There are also some machine-made divisions that do not have the backing of the dictionary. I have enclosed a list of the ones that are particularly noticeable in the first half of the book. If this turns out to be of any use to you, I can compile a similar list for the last half.
Turning now to the matter of the index, since I am bowing to the machine age in the matter of the word division, perhaps I can be humored in the index case, and allowed to continue my antediluvian practices. The problem here is that the book is, of necessity, a combination of information and advocacy. Only the information should go into the index, and I doubt if I could explain to a computer how to make the distinction. For example, one of the entries in the index will have to be “black hole.” This term occurs in at least a dozen places in the book—perhaps two dozen. I have not counted them—but only two or three of them should be indexed. If the unnecessary entries are included, the index becomes too voluminous to serve its purpose. Anyway, the job is not as big a one as it might seem. It usually does not take me very long to get it ready once the page numbers are available.
As to the rotational speeds of the galactic components, the dense core in the spirals is too small to account for the kind of an effect shown in the diagrams, although it does play a part. The rotational pattern is no doubt due to the viscosity of the star and gas mixture in the galaxy. One of my important findings is that the stars in the galaxy occupy equilibrium positions, and that the aggregate consequently has the characteristics of a viscous liquid. Such a liquid has rotational characteristics intermediate between those of a solid and those of a collection of independent units. The core rotates like a solid, but after the speed on this basis reaches the point where the liquid structure begins to shear, the speed decreases. The exact speed distribution will, of course, depend on the magnitude of the viscosity effect, but it should not be difficult to account for a pattern such as that observed.
Since Rubin and her colleagues do not have the viscosity concept to work with the have come up with the idea of a large invisible mass in the outer part,of the galactic structure. This “conclusion is inescapable,” Rubin says (Scientific American, June 1983). But it is contrary to all that is known about gravitational aggregation, and it is totally without observational support. This is another of the “no other way” conclusions that I have pointed out so often in the book. The viscosity effect is the “other way” that Rubin and her colleagues have been unable to see.