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Nothing but Motion by Dewey B Larson

Nothing but Motion by Dewey B Larson

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Published by Jason Verbelli

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Jason Verbelli on Aug 11, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/19/2014

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Nothing But Motion
 
DEWEY B. LARSON
 
Volume I of a revised and enlarged edition of THE STRUCTURE OF THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE
Preface
Nearly twenty years have passed since the first edition of this work waspublished. As I pointed out in the preface of that first edition, my findingsindicate the necessity for a drastic change in the accepted concept of thefundamental relationship that underlies the whole structure of physicaltheory: the relation between space and time. The physical universe, I find, isnot a universe of matter existing in a framework provided by space and time,as seen by conventional science, but a universe of motion, in which spaceand time are simply the two reciprocal aspects of motion, and have no othersignificance. What I have done, in brief, is to determine the properties thatspace and time must necessarily possess in a universe
composed entirely of motion,
and to express them in the form of a set of postulates. I have thenshown that development of the consequences of these postulates by logicaland mathematical processes, without making any further assumptions orintroducing anything from experience, defines, in detail, a completetheoretical universe that coincides in all respects with the observed physicaluniverse.Nothing of this nature has ever been developed before. No previous theoryhas come anywhere near covering the full range of phenomena accessible toobservation with existing facilities, to say nothing of dealing with thecurrently inaccessible, and as yet observationally unknown, phenomena thatmust also come within the scope of a complete theory of the universe.Conventional scientific theories accept certain features of the observedphysical universe as given, and then make assumptions on which to baseconclusions as to the properties of these observed phenomena: The newtheoretical system, on the other hand, has no empirical content. It bases a11of its conclusions solely on the postulated properties
of space and time.
Thetheoretical deductions from these postulates provide for the
existence
of thevarious physical entities and phenomena-matter, radiation, electrical andmagnetic phenomena, gravitation, etc.-as well as establishing the
relations
 
 
between these entities. Since all conclusions are derived from the samepremises, the theoretical system is a completely integrated structure,contrasting sharply with the currently accepted body of physical theory,which, as described by Richard Feynman, is “a multitude of different partsand pieces that do not fit together very well.”The last twenty years have added a time dimension to this already uniquesituation. The acid test of any theory is whether it is still tenable after theempirical knowledge of the subject is enlarged by new discoveries. AsHarlow Shapley once pointed out, facts are the principle enemies of theories.Few theories that attempt to cover any more than a severely limited field areable to survive the relentless march of discovery for very long without majorchanges or complete reconstruction. But no substantive changes have beenmade in the postulates of this new system of theory in the nearly twentyyears since the original publication, years in which tremendous strides havebeen made in the enlargement of empirical knowledge in many physicalareas. Because the postulates and whatever can be derived from them bylogical and mathematical processes, without introducing anything fromobservation or other external sources, constitute the
entire
system of theory,this absence of substantive change in the postulates means that there hasbeen no change anywhere in the theoretical structure.It has been necessary, of course,
to extend 
the theory by developing more of the details, in order to account for some of the new discoveries, but in mostcases the nature of the required extension was practically obvious as soon asthe new phenomena or relationships were identified. Indeed, some of thenew discoveries, such as the existence of exploding galaxies and the generalnature of the products thereof, were actually anticipated in the first publisheddescription of the theory, along with many phenomena and relations that arestill awaiting empirical verification. Thus the new theoretical system is
ahead of 
observation and experiment in a number of significant respects.The scientific community is naturally reluctant to change its views to thedegree required by my findings, or even to open its journals to discussion of such a departure from orthodox thought. It has been a slow and difficult taskto get a significant count of consideration of the new structure of theory.However, those who do examine this new theoretical structure carefully canhardly avoid being impressed by the logical and consistent nature of thetheoretical development. As a consequence, many of the individuals whohave made an effort to understand and evaluate the new system have not
 
only recognized it as a major addition to scientific knowledge, but havedeveloped an active personal interest in helping to bring it to the attention of others. In order to facilitate this task an organization was formed some earsago with the specific objective of promoting understanding and eventualacceptance of the new theoretical system, the Reciprocal System of physicaltheory, as we are calling it. Through the efforts of this organization, the NewScience Advocates, Inc., and its individual members, lectures on the newtheory have been given at colleges and universities throughout the UnitedStates and Canada. The NSA also publishes a newsletter, and has beeninstrumental in making publication of this present volume possible.At the annual conference of this organization at the University of Mississippi in August 1977 I gave an account of the origin and early,development of the Reciprocal System of theory. It has beensuggested by some of those who heard this, presentation that certainparts of it ought to be included in this present volume in order to bringout the fact that the central idea of the new system of theory, thegeneral reciprocal relation between space and time, is not a product of a fertile imagination, but a conclusion reached as the result of anexhaustive and detailed analysis of the available empirical data in anumber of the most basic physical fields. The validity of such arelation is determined by its consequences, rather than by itsantecedents, but many persons may be more inclined to take the timeto examine those consequences if they are assured that the relation inquestion is the product of a systematic inductive process, rather thansomething extracted out of thin air. The following paragraphs frommy conference address should serve this purpose.Many of those who come in contact with this system of theory aresurprised to find us talking of “progress in connection with it. Someevidently look upon the theory as a construction, which should becomplete before it is offered for inspection. Others apparently believethat it originated as some kind of a revelation, and that all I had to dowas to write it down. Before I undertake to discuss the progress thathas been made in the past twenty years, it is therefore appropriate toexplain just what kind of a thing the theory actually is, and whyprogress is essential. Perhaps the best way of doing this will be to tellyou something about how it originated.

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