Dewey B. Larson
755 N.E. Royal Court
Portland, Oregon 97232
I have just returned from a short stay in California. I was not able to get around to answering your letter of Apr. 3 before I left, and in the meantime your letter of Apr. 14 has arrived. So before you begin wondering what has happened to me, I will get something in the mail.
Your correspondence with Dr. Gribbin is interesting. It apparently leaves the door open slightly. I hope you have impressed him with the fact that the science fiction type of time travel is just as preposterous in our system as in current science. The analogy that I like to use is to compare motion in time to the spatial motion that is taking place in a distant galaxy. The recession of the galaxy is analogous to the progression of time in our reference system, while the motions that take place within the galaxy are analogous to the changes of position in three-dimensional time. To complete the analogy we have to assume that the motions within the galaxy are limited to speeds less than that of the recession (analogous to the speed of light). It is then evident that the speed of any object within the galaxy cannot be negative; that is, the object cannot move backward along the line of the recession. Similarly, the net movement in time cannot be negative. We cannot go back and meet our grandfather.
We are still undecided as to how to design our advertising program. It would be very helpful if we could get a kind word or two in a review, and we have been waiting to see if anything of this kind might turn up. If it doesn’t we will have to undertake some kind of a promotional program anyway. When these questions are resolved we will be able to say whether we can make use of the labels that you offered.
Are you on William Corliss’ mailing list for his “Science Frontiers” publication? He has decided to sell The Universe of Motion along with the two earlier books that hs is handling, and I would be interested to know what he says about it to his customers.
With respect to your questions as to the status of my unpublished books, I have Volume II of the series at the stage where I am ready to begin the final draft of the manuscript, an operation that will probably take about six months. I do not plan to start work on this final draft until there is at least some prospect of publication appearing somewhere on the horizon, as I keep improving it while I am waiting for something to develop. As to Beyond Space and Time, I doubt if I will make any move on this book until after I have a good idea as to what kind of a reception U of M is going to encounter.
If you are still in the mood to spend some further time on the project, I believe the way in which you can be the most productive at the present time is to continue and expand your letter writing. What I have in mind in the way of expanding this activity is that there are expedients whereby you can appropriately send the same letter to a number of different individuals. For instance, if you write a letter to the editor of some journal, it only has a small chance of being published. But it would be entirely in order to reproduce the letter and send it to individuals with the explanation that it may not be published and that you want to get it to their attention anyway. You no doubt have some ideas as to subject matter, and I could supply you with more. In particular, I think that the time is ripe to call attention to the fact that many of my findings are actual physical discoveries, rather than theoretical conclusions, even though it was the theory that pointed the way to the discoveries.
A good one to start with is the identification of different classes of quasars. To the astronomers, a quasar is just a quasar, a strange object within their field of view. But, as I have shown, the first step toward understanding these objects is a realization that there are different classes of quasars. I would suggest that you say something to the effect that the appearance of Larson’s The Universe of Motion raises the issue as to why the scientific community—especially the astronomical community—has not made use of the physical discoveries Larson has described in his earlier works. It is understandable that many scientists are reluctant to change their basic physical concepts to the extent that is required by Larson’s theory of the universe of motion (even though this is the only general physical theory that has ever been proposed), but there is no legitimate excuse for failure to take advantage of actual. physical discoveries that are independent of any theory. For example, Larson finds that all of the quasars included in his sample (the 3C objects for which the necessary data were available at the time of his study) with redshifts above 0.650 belong to a class that can be differentiated from all other quasars by means of the U B color index and the radio emission. This is an important physical distinction, and the resulting separation of the quasars into two distinct classes needs to be taken into account in all studies of quasar properties. The prevailing refusal to utilize this, and the many other similar findings described in Larson’s works, just because of an unwillingness to subscribe to the theories that made the discoveries possible is indefensible.
If you are inclined to undertake a campaign of this kind, NPP will cover the cost of postage, etc. I don’t think that it makes too much difference what astronomical publication the letter is addressed to. One possibility is Sky and Telescope. I believe that the copies should be sent to some of the chairmen of university astronomy departments, preferably the institutions that have doctoral programs in astronomy. A list of these is available in a “Directory of Physics and Astronomy Faculties” that can no doubt be found in your university library.