The Reciprocal System of Physical Theory

The Reciprocal System of Physical Theory (RST) is a new system of physical theory in which the properties of all physical entities from the photons of radiation, to subatomic particles, to the atoms of elements, to galactic clusters, is deduced solely on the basis of the assumption that the universe consists of nothing but motion, as opposed to the conventional assumption that the universe consists of matter contained by space and time, as in quantum theory, or consists of an interaction between matter and spacetime, as in general relativity. The RST, is the work of Dewey B. Larson, an American engineer and author, and was originally published in his book The Structure of the Physical Universe in 1959, as a preliminary edition, but has more recently been published in three revised and enlarged volumes: Volume I, Nothing But Motion, Volume II, Basic Properties of Matter, and Volume III, The Universe of Motion.

Motion versus Matter Paradigms

Larson’s RST, and the reciprocal system theory (RSt), which he developed using it, are a complete departure from existing physical theories, based on the traditional system of physical theory, such as general relativity, quantum mechanics, big bang, string theories, etc. Indeed, the RSt is the first ever general physical theory of the universe. Larson believed that the failure to recognize that motion is the most basic physical constituent of the universe has handicapped the progress of the traditional study of physics, which focuses on forces. He defended this startling conclusion, by arguing that, since matter can be converted into non-matter (e.g. energy) and vice-versa, there must be a common denominator between matter and non-matter. He writes in Quasars and Pulsars (Larson, 1984):

All existing physical theory is based on the assumption that the universe in which we live is a universe of matter, one in which the fundamental entities are “elementary units” of matter existing in a framework provided by space and time…This concept is no longer tenable, because many ways are now known in which matter can be transformed into non-matter, and obviously that which can be changed into something else is not basic. There clearly must be some common denominator underlying both of these interconvertible entities.

Some critics argue, however, that energy is the fundamental unit upon which modern physics is founded, not matter. Yet, since these two are clearly interconvertible, this point is moot. Although, Larson concedes that the idea that motion is the basic entity of the universe is certainly not a new one. He observes in Nothing But Motion:

The concept of a universe of motion is by no means a new idea. As a theoretical proposition it has some very obvious merits that have commended it to thoughtful investigators from the very beginning of systematic science. Descartes’ idea that matter might be merely a series of vortexes in the ether is probably the best-known speculation of this nature, but other scientists and philosophers, including such prominent figures as Eddington and Hobbes, have devoted much time to a study of similar possibilities, and this activity is still continuing in a limited way.

However, while these efforts have never proven fruitful in the past, Larson blames the previous failures of the concept on the lack of recognition that the universe “is composed entirely of motion.” Previous investigators failed, he asserts, because “they did not use this concept in its pure form. Instead, they invariably employed a hybrid structure, which retained elements of the previously accepted matter concept” (emphasis added). For example, he quotes Hobbes’ contention that all things have “one universal cause, which is motion”, but, he writes, “the assertion that all things are caused by motion is something quite different from saying that they are motions.”


Motion and Matter Paradigm

In fact, the latest example of this “hybrid” approach using both matter and motion assumptions is string theory. String theorists posit that matter is composed of the motion of infinitesimal “loops” or “strings;” that is, it posits that vibrations (motions) exist in various modes, forming different elementary particles of atoms. According to Edward Witten of Princeton University, the foremost authority on the subject, string theory is the most promising line of investigation in the current attempt to resolve the ongoing conflict that has existed since the discovery of the quantum nature of matter in the early twentieth century. This problem, which is at the very heart of modern physics, basically involves the operation of gravity at the quantum level, in the context of general relativity’s definition of space-time curvature. It appears, after nearly a century of effort, that this conflict simply cannot be resolved by recourse to the concepts of quantum mechanics such as the “uncertainty principle” that has been used so successfully in quantum field theory to analyze the nuclear model of the atom.

However, string theorists say that because string theory assumes that the elementary entity of the universe is a motion (a vibration), and not a point particle as in quantum mechanics, it can be used to overcome the problem of infinities, which plagues the quantum field theories of gravity.

The trouble is, according to Witten, this triumph comes at a price. “Just as quantum mechanics puts a bound on how precisely defined can be the trajectory of a particle,” says Witten, “so string theory puts a bound on how precisely one can describe space-time.” As Larson has so emphatically pointed out, however, motion is space and time. Therefore, the existence of this bound in string theory is tantamount to a self-contradiction. Such a condition arises, not because the motion-based approach is unworkable, but because, as Larson observed, the theorists have “retained elements of the previously accepted matter concept.”


Nothing But Motion Paradigm

To appreciate what Larson means when he says that the universe is composed entirely of motion, one must recall that, in a universe of matter, a background or setting is necessary in which matter can exist and interact. It is assumed that space and time provide this setting for matter, but since motion itself is defined by the ratio of space to time, in a universe of nothing but motion, space and time cannot be a background or setting for itself.

However, in a universe of nothing but motion, the definition of motion stems from the same simple equation of velocity, v = ds/dt, that we are accustomed to using in physics, but the fact that no properties of an object appear in this equation is taken to mean that the delta of space magnitude in the equation, ds, requires no object to define it, just as the delta of time magnitude in the equation, dt, requires no object to define it. Instead of depending upon the change of the location of an object to define an arbitrary “quantum” of space per “quantum” of time, such as miles per hour, or meters per second, the RST assumes that the observed universal passage, or progression, of time is one aspect of a universal motion that necessarily must be accompanied by a universal “passage,” or progression, of space. The reciprocal relation of these two aspects of the posited universal motion constitutes the sole meaning of space and time, in the universe of motion, and, therefore, their properties are the properties defined by a universal magnitude of motion, a magnitude that is assumed to be the observed constant speed of light.

Thus, there is a huge difference between the assumption of a universe of matter, where the space aspect of the only motion recognized is defined solely by changes in the locations of matter against a background of space and time, and the assumption of a universe of motion, where the space aspect of motion is first defined as the reciprocal aspect of time, in a universal equation of motion, which actually defines matter in a given location. Indeed, in the physical universe defined by motion, radiation, matter, and energy, all have a common denominator, the discrete units of motion, instances of which are measured in terms of the ratio in the rates of change of their two, reciprocal, aspects, space and time. The difference in the necessary consequences that follow from these two radically different assumptions, as to the nature of space and time, diverge dramatically.


The Gravity of the Universe of Motion

For example, the RST predicts unequivocally that gravitational radiation, a requirement of general relativity, does not exist, and that gravity operates instantaneously without the need for any medium or continuum, such as the four-dimensional (4D), curved, spacetime continuum of general relativity, and that it operates without the need for any process of energy transmission between gravitating bodies. This is in complete accord with existing observations, although it is at odds with existing theory, which requires that gravitating mass aggregates transfer energy by means of radiation at the speed of light.

Physicists, studying the decay of the orbits of certain binary star systems, believe that they have found indirect evidence of gravitational radiation, as the orbits of these unusual star systems seem to decay from the loss of energy due to the hypothetical radiation. Though this decay has been observed in very rare instances, and the rate is as predicted by general relativity, to an accuracy of 0.5%, other causes cannot yet be ruled out, especially since the behavior of these systems is not well understood. It’s not even firmly established that the pulsing light from these systems is produced by binary, eclipsing orbits. Clearly, until new gravitational wave detectors, such as LIGO, VIRGO, LISA and others, provide direct evidence for the existence of gravitational radiation, the jury is still out on which theory is correct in this regard.


The Geometry of the Universe of Motion

The RST posits that the geometry of the universe is flat, which is consistent with recent observations of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation. It also is completely consistent with the value of the cosmological parameter, Omega, which is precisely equal to one. However, these data are in conflict with traditional big bang cosmology, where Euclidean (flat) geometry would appear to be highly unlikely. Currently, the ad hoc theory of cosmic inflation is the method accepted by most physicists for overcoming this apparent contradiction in the big bang theory. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that the issue doesn’t even arise in the RST since matter can’t affect a background or setting that does not exist in the theory, and the need for an expedient such as the ad hoc big bang theory to explain the expansion of the universe, and the need for an ad hoc theory of inflation to explain its rate of expansion and large-scale structure, are totally superfluous.


The Expansion of the Universe of Motion

Now, with the recent discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe, another puzzling and dramatic anomaly is exacerbating the problems of the cosmologists. The observed acceleration is thought to be produced by a gravity-like repulsive force. Some quantum physics theorists think that this force, dubbed “dark energy,” by Michael Turner of the University of Chicago, might be vacuum energy, represented by the “cosmological constant” (Λ) in general relativity. Others speculate that it possibly could be something called “Quintessence.” While this new force is thought to be similar to gravity, and though it is in conflict with established theories, a similar outward motion has been an integral part of Larson’s RST-based theory from its beginning, and is a major component in his calculations and explanations of both the large-scale structure of the universe and its atomic and molecular scale structure.

In Larson’s theory, this motion plays a fundamental and crucial role in the recession of galaxies and galaxy clusters, star and galaxy formation, and the explosions of stars and galaxies called supernovae, without the need for the big bang explosion or black holes to explain these processes. In fact, the new system enabled Larson to predict galactic scale explosions (quasars) in the 1959 publication, several years before they were confirmed by observation in the early 1960s.

Interestingly, Einstein himself originally inserted the cosmological constant term into the Friedmann equation, based on general relativity, in order to offset the expansion of spacetime that the equation otherwise predicts, because, at the time, it was not known that the universe actually is expanding. Later, when Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe is expanding, just as predicted by relativity theory, without the offsetting constant, Einstein reportedly kicked himself for having resorted to this expedient. Though he did it to conform to the incorrect belief of the time, that the universe is static, if he had stepped out boldly and predicted the universal expansion before it was actually observed, it would have been a magnificent triumph of science (as if he needed another one.) Later, he is reported to have characterized the insertion of this compensating constant into the Friedmann equation as the “worst blunder” of his life.


The Consequences in the Observable Universe of Motion

While, it is not known if Larson ever commented on this Einstein story, it nonetheless serves to graphically illustrate an important difference that exists between his RST-based theory and existing theories of matter. As Larson writes (Universe of Motion, 1984):

Stars and galaxies are found in the existing astronomical theories because they are put into these theories. They are aggregates of matter, they exert gravitational forces, and they emit radiation, and so on, in the theoretical picture, because this information was put into the theories…On the other hand, the Reciprocal System of theory…is independent of existing scientific thought. Stars and galaxies composed of matter appear in this theory, but neither these objects nor the matter itself are put into the theory; they are consequences of the theory: results that necessarily follow from the only things that are put into the theory, the postulated properties of space and time.

 The reason Larson can make this claim has to do with the unusual nature of the RST-based theory itself. Unlike existing physical theory that Richard Feynman characterized as “a multitude of different parts and pieces that do not fit together very well,” the RSt, Larson says,

Has no empirical content. It bases all of its conclusions solely on the postulated properties of space and time. The theoretical deductions from these postulates provide for the existence of the various physical entities and phenomena-matter, radiation, electrical and magnetic phenomena, gravitation, etc.-as well as establishing the relations between these entities. Since all conclusions are derived from the same premises, the theoretical system is a completely integrated structure, contrasting sharply with the currently accepted body of physical theory.

 In other words, the RST-based RSt is a general theory of nature, unprecedented in the history of science, which defines a complete theoretical universe. The test of the theory resides in the comparison of its consequences with the observed physical universe. A short list of the major consequences of the RSt that have been developed so far follows below:

Scalar motion. The concept of motion in the RSt is defined by the RST’s fundamental postulates from which everything in the RSt is deduced. This new definition of motion, and the postulates of space and time that make it possible, constitute a new system of physical theory, the RST. Scalar motion is a super set of the ordinary vectorial motion with which we are familiar, and has unusual properties that sometimes prevent it from being recognized as motion in the limited representation of the conventional reference system. However, it is the basic constituent of the theoretical universe from which all things derive.

Radiating photons. Beginning with the updated definition of motion, the RSt derives the existence of theoretical entities that have the properties of electromagnetic radiation, photons, which propagate outward from their source at the speed of light in all directions.

Subatomic entities. Continuing the development by logically extending the initial units of motion, or photons, into combinations of units, additional theoretical entities emerge from the theory that correspond to more advanced physical entities including electrons, positrons, neutrinos, protons, and neutrons. Properties of these entities, their mass, charge, and inertia, also begin to manifest themselves as a result of certain configurations of these motion combinations.

Non-nuclear atomic model. Compounding these motion combinations further produces a theoretical entity with the properties of the corresponding physical atom of hydrogen. Moreover, there is no electron - proton/neutron pair present in the RSt model of the atom, as there is in the nuclear model, but only a total combination of units of motion built up in succession from photon, to electron, to neutron, to proton, to atom, etc. Hence, there is no need for wave equations and the principle of uncertainty to explain the properties of electrons, protons, etc, in atoms, because, in the RSt, they don’t exist as such within the atom, as its constituent parts.

The periodic order of the elements. As the combination of motions continues to build, the RSt accurately derives the elements in correct order without employing the concept of electrons orbiting an atomic nucleus, and predicts that the maximum number of elements in the periodic table is 117. With this insight from the RSt, it is possible to construct a theoretically derived, alternate, representation of the periodic table of elements called the Wheel of Motion that more clearly illustrates its periodic nature and the theoretical relations of its series of elements. This is in stark contrast to the predictions of quantum mechanics which cannot be reconciled with the periodic order of the elements, even in the approximate case, when only the principle quantum number is used. Solving the Schrödinger equation for heavier elements has never been accomplished.

Physical constants. In the RSt, one of the greatest mysteries of physics, the origin of the so-called “fundamental constants,” is finally explained and the constants are shown to reduce to unity and disappear when all quantities are expressed in the natural units of motion of the theory.

The basic properties of matter. The RSt predicts four states of matter: the gaseous state, the vapor state, the liquid state and the solid state. Based on the properties that define these states, Larson makes theoretical predictions for a large number of properties of a range of chemical species, including atomic mass, viscosity, interatomic distance, compressibility and heat capacity. These values are calculated from simple, closed-form, analytic formulas, a vast improvement on the complex calculations required to make theoretical predictions under quantum mechanics.

The source of electric charge, electric current, electromagnetism and magnetostatics. Special cases of the motion, which constitutes matter in the RSt, produce forces that are identified with electric charge and magnetism. The relationship between these motions produces electromagnetic interaction phenomena including induction of electrical current and production of magnetic fields, eliminating the inherent contradictions in existing theory, wherein the electron is assigned two mutually exclusive roles in the electrical theory of the structure of matter, and in the theory of electric current. It also shows clearly why magnetic monopoles cannot exist.

The effect of high-speed in the equations of motion. For example, the precession of the perihelion of the planet Mercury. This problem was first solved using Einstein’s equations of general relativity, which assumes relative values of space-time in the equations of motion, as opposed to Newton’s assumption that space and time should be treated as absolute concepts in the equations of motion. Larson, in the RSt, also assumes absolute values of space and time, but goes beyond Newton in the definition of these crucial concepts. Using these definitions, K.V.K. Nehru produced a paper describing the orbital motion of high-speed planets. The result he found from the RSt was precisely the same as that from relativity. Hence, the RSt is fully in agreement with accurate measurements of Mercury’s orbit, but without sacrificing the concepts of absolute space and time, as relativity theory is required to do.

Radioactive decay of elements. As combinations of motion are compounded in the heavier elements, instabilities arise resulting in the spontaneous ejection of some of the combined motions constituting mass (alpha decay) in some cases, and the ejection of less complex combinations in others (beta decay.)

The energy production process of stars. In the RSt, the energy produced in the stars is not produced by nuclear fusion, as in current theory. Instead it is the result of a much more powerful ionization process that involves the complete transformation of matter into energy, yielding magnitudes of energy capable of accounting for the most energetic events observed today, when these are adjusted down in accordance with certain theoretical considerations.

Speeds faster than the speed of light. Although the RSt agrees with current theory that speeds faster than the speed of light are not possible in space, it does not agree that this limit is an absolute limit of the universe in general. In fact, many of the perplexing astronomical phenomena, which, in a universe of matter, are difficult to explain, are shown to be phenomena resulting in speeds that are in the range of two and three times faster than the speed of light in the universe of motion.


The Consequences Beyond the Observable Universe of Motion

As the above list demonstrates, the scope of the RSt is unprecedented. No previous physical theory in the history of the world is of such a general nature as this, enabling it to cover the full range of phenomena accessible to observation. However, the consequences of the RST postulates don’t stop with the observable universe, but also extend into the observationally unknown and inaccessible regions of the universe. To understand how these consequences develop, it is necessary to understand the nature and the details of the definition of motion in the RST from which all things in the theory based on it are derived.

Understanding this concept of motion enables one to see that motion in time is as natural and as comprehensible as motion in space. Motion in time is the reciprocal of motion in space. Time is three-dimensional and space is scalar in this motion, which is the inverse of motion in space, where space is three-dimensional and time is scalar. Thus, an entirely new sector of the universe is suddenly brought into view that consists of an inverse relationship of time and space. In this inverse sector, which Larson calls the Cosmic sector, physical phenomena such as radiation, matter, gravitation, etc., act, react and interact just as they do in our sector, which Larson calls the Material sector of the universe.

However, because of the inverse relation of time and space, the two sectors are mutually inaccessible from each other. Therefore, only processes where the boundaries of the two sectors exist can be examined directly. These are the regions of the very small and the very fast. In the region of the very small, the boundary exists at the limit of one unit of space, or one unit of time (motion, in the RST, is postulated as existing in discrete units.) This limit is called the unit boundary and on the velocity (space) side of it, motion in space is possible, but beyond it, on the energy (time) side of the equation, motion in space is not possible, but only motion in time. Thus, when motion is examined beyond the unit boundary, its nature is radically altered and seems to possess strange properties. Phenomena in this regime are known as quantum phenomena and are termed non-local phenomena by conventional physicists.

In the region of the very fast, the boundary exist at the limit of unit speed, the speed of light. This limit is called unit speed, and on the velocity (space) side of it, motion in space is possible, but beyond it, on the energy (time) side of the equation, motion in space is not possible, but only motion in time. Thus, when motion is examined beyond the unit speed boundary, its nature is radically altered and seems to possess strange properties. Phenomena in this regime are unrecognized by conventional physicists as connected with motion in time, but are noted as strange and bizarre astronomical phenomena.


Atomic Scale (Unit Boundary) Phenomena

Since motion at these two boundaries inverts, that is, the relation of the space and time terms in the equation are altered, one should expect that the properties of the associated physical entities are altered as well. One of the most important properties of matter is mass. In the RST-based RSt, mass is the measure of the inward motion of matter and is the motion that gives rise to phenomenon of gravity and inertia. Thus, at the unit boundary, the inversion of the motion, from motion in space, to motion in time, occurs on the small scale, the atomic, or molecular, scale of matter, where the distance between atoms, or molecules of atoms, is reduced to one unit of space or time.

When the inversion takes place, upon crossing the unit boundary, the direction of the inward motion of the atom or atoms towards other atoms, which constitutes the mass of the atom, inverts to outward, and the opposing outward motion of the Material sector (motion causing the expansion of the Material sector) inverts to the inward direction. Like the coupling mechanism of train cars, this inversion of the direction of the two principle motions involved binds the atoms together. These bonds can be varied and complex depending upon the nature of the atoms or molecules of atoms involved and the environment in which the encounter takes place, but in general the bonding results in a solid, liquid, vapor, or gaseous, state (and admixtures of the same) of the matter.


Large Scale (Unit Speed Boundary) Phenomena

On the other hand, at the unit speed boundary, the inversion of the motion, from motion in space, to motion in time, occurs on the large scale, the stellar, or galactic, scale of matter, where the speed of great aggregates of matter is increased to unit speed by means of explosions of unimaginable power. When the inversion takes place, upon crossing the unit speed boundary (the speed of light), the direction of the outward motion of the aggregate in space, inverts to inward, and the opposing motion of gravity inverts to the outward direction. These motions, which are now motion in time, thus reverse roles, and what was formerly an inward gravitational motion, is now an outward motion in the Cosmic sector (motion causing the expansion of the Cosmic sector,) and the motion that was the outward speed of the aggregate in space, now becomes the inward gravitational motion in time. The effect on the matter is enormous, essentially decomposing it from the perspective of the Material sector, where it was formerly concentrated, and concentrating it in the Cosmic sector, where it was formerly decomposed from the perspective of the Cosmic sector. These effects can be varied and complex depending upon the nature of the matter aggregates involved and the environment in which the high speeds are reached, but in general, the inversion of space and time that results produces white dwarfs, pulsars, quasars, etc., with their strange and bizarre properties that are so difficult to reconcile in current theories.

As the high-speed aggregates of matter exit one sector of the universe, they enter the inverse sector as high-speed, dispersed atoms of matter, known as cosmic rays. Subject to the processes of the gravity and the expansion motions of their new environment, they once again begin to aggregate and concentrate, forming matter, stars, galaxies, and clusters of galaxies, over billions of years, until, eventually, they are propelled in huge concentrations over the boundary once again as the process cycles through the eternities. Thus, like a phoenix rising from its own ashes, we see a universe of ever expanding proportions, and yet one which will never grow old and die, because it is constantly being renewed. Truly, a universe of motion.

See also: Tutorial Introduction to the RSTScalar MotionRadiationMatterDewey B. LarsonNothing But MotionBasic Properties of MatterThe Universe of Motion