Scalar Motion

Scalar motion is a term coined by Dewey B. Larson, author of The Structure of the Physical Universe (North Pacific Publishers, 1959). In this work, later revised and published in three volumes, Larson developed a physical theory based on his discovery of scalar motion. This theory, called the Reciprocal System Theory, or RSt, is based on the Reciprocal System of Physical Theory (RST) that posits that all matter and energy, in fact, the entire universe, consists of nothing but motion, which is the title of volume one of his work, Nothing But Motion. Volumes two and three, The Basic Properties of Matter and The Universe of Motion, respectively, treat the consequences of the theory in the realm of the microcosmic world of matter and the macrocosmic arena of astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology.

The theory is controversial, because of its unique approach. Larson didn’t spend a great deal of time and energy answering his critics’ charges directly, however, because he felt that eventually the world would, sooner or later, have to recognize that scalar motion does indeed exist, and that it plays a crucial role in the phenomena of nature. Indeed, he wrote another book, called The Neglected Facts of Science, (North Pacific Publishers, 1982), in which he reported his findings concerning scalar motion, based solely on observations, without regard to any theoretical considerations.

Scalar Motion - An Unrecognized Type of Motion

In The Neglected Facts of Science, Larson reviews current ideas of space, time and motion and contrasts these with established facts and observations. For instance, he points out that science has not considered the importance of the differences between scalar motion and vectorial motion even though he shows that it is crucial to understanding the concept of motion in general. Unlike ordinary vectorial motion, which is defined by both direction and magnitude, called a vector, scalar motion has no direction, but only magnitude. He explains the difference in the first chapter of his book using the analogy of an expanding balloon and plastic ball:

The type of motion with which we are familiar in everyday life is vectorial. This is motion relative to a fixed reference system. Like scalar motion, it has a magnitude, but it also has a direction in the reference system, and the effect of the motion depends on this direction, as well as on the magnitude of the motion. The difference between the two types of motion can be brought out clearly by consideration of a simple example. Let us assume that a moving point X is located between two points Y and Z on the straight line joining the two points. lf the motion of X is vectorial, and in the direction XY, then the distance XY decreases and the distance XZ increases. But if the motion of X is scalar, as on the surface of the expanding balloon, or in the expanding plastic ball, both XY and XZ increase. (The Neglected Facts of Science (NFS), Chapter 1)

Though the implications of this difference in the two types of motion aren’t immediately apparent, Larson goes on to show that one can conclude that some profound consequences follow as a result. The first thing that he establishes is that, unlike ordinary vectorial motion, scalar motion can be distributed over all directions. This so-called distributed scalar motion is then shown to have some peculiar characteristics when viewed from our ordinary, spatial reference system of physical coordinates, the familiar x, y and z reference frame of ordinary experience.

For instance, scalar motion can appear to change direction or even alternate directions, when coupled with a reference point in the reference system that gives it direction that it does not inherently possess. Consequently, says Larson, “Current science…does not recognize it as a motion.” This is an important point because, if these motions are not recognized as motions, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to understand their true nature. However, the existence of scalar motion, having magnitude only and no inherent direction in coordinate space, is an observable fact, says Larson:

Here, then, is one of the hitherto unrecognized facts that are being brought to light by this work, the existence of a type of motion that is quite different from the vectorial motions with which we are familiar. This is a fact that is undeniable. We can observe this different type of motion directly in phenomena such as the expanding balloons, and we can detect it by means of measurements of radiation frequencies in the case of the receding galaxies. As can easily be seen, this motion has no property other than magnitude; that is, it is a scalar motion.

The Force of Scalar Motion

The question that immediately comes to mind though is, “If this motion is so important, why hasn’t science recognized it as such?” Larson acknowledges this and sees it as understandable given the circumstances. Nevertheless, he believes there are some important conclusions to be made:

The status of scalar motion as a type of motion distinct from ordinary vectorial motion has not heretofore been recognized because the known phenomena involving such motion have not appeared to be of any appreciable consequence, and no one has undertaken to examine them critically. After all, there is not much interest in the physics of expanding balloons. But once it has been established that scalar motion is a distinct type of motion that can be originated by deliberate human action, it becomes evident that production of this type of motion by natural means is not only a possibility, but a definite probability. Indeed, we have already identified one naturally occurring motion of this kind, the galactic recession, and we are entitled to conclude that other natural scalar motions probably exist somewhere in the universe. Since no such motions are known at present, it follows that if they do exist, they are not currently recognized as motions. This further suggests that there must be some serious error in the current beliefs as to the nature of the phenomena in which these scalar motions are involved.

One of these “serious errors in the current beliefs” that Larson refers to concerns the concept of force. Larson points out how science has strayed from its definition, because “In the absence of an understanding of the nature and properties of distributed scalar motion…it has not been possible to reconcile what is known about the ‘fundamental forces’ with the requirements of the definition of force, and as a result this definition has become one of the disregarded features of physics, so far as its application to the origin of the forces is concerned.” He goes on to explain:

As soon as this issue is raised, it is practically obvious that the difficulty originates in the present attitude toward the concept of force. For application in physics, force is defined by Newton’s Second Law of Motion. It is the product of mass and acceleration, F = ma. Motion, the relation of space to time, is measured on an individual mass unit basis as speed, or velocity, v, (that is, each unit moves at this speed) or on a collective basis as momentum, the product of mass and velocity, mv, formerly called by the more descriptive name “quantity of motion.” The time rate of change of the magnitude of this motion is then dv/dt (acceleration, a) in the case of the individual unit, and m dv/dt (force, ma) when measured collectively. Thus force is, in effect, defined as the rate of change of the magnitude of the total motion. It can legitimately be called “quantity of acceleration,”…It follows from the definition that force is a property of a motion; it is not something that can exist as an autonomous entity. It has the same standing as any other property. The so-called “fundamental forces of nature,” the presumably autonomous forces that are currently being called upon to explain the origin of the basic physical phenomena, are necessarily properties of underlying motions; they cannot exist as independent entities. Every “fundamental force” must originate from a fundamental motion. This is a logical requirement of the definition of force, and it is true regardless of the physical theory in whose context the situation is viewed.

It’s easy to see why Larson’s ideas are so controversial. Nothing is more sacrosanct in physics as the concept of the “forces of nature,” especially the so-called “fundamental forces,” but Larson is saying that they have not been seen in their true light:

It can be concluded that the so-called “fundamental forces” are the force aspects of the hitherto unrecognized scalar motions…The distributed scalar motions have not been seen in their true light because “motion” has been taken to be synonymous with “vectorial motion,” and phenomena such as gravitation that are effective in many, or all directions, and therefore have no specific vectorial direction, are clearly not vectorial motions.

This conclusion is tantamount to saying that modern physics has it wrong; That they have invented concepts that are inconsistent with their own definitions because they could see no alternative. Larson calls them to task for this saying that such a procedure is illegitimate:

The concept of autonomous forces has therefore been invoked to provide an alternative [to motion produced force]. [However], it is not a legitimate alternative, since force is defined as a property of motion. This leaves present-day physical science in a dilemma, because it cannot identify the motions that the definition requires. An electric charge, for instance, produces an electric force, but so far as can be determined from observation, it does so directly. There is no indication of any intervening motion. This situation is currently being handled by ignoring the requirements of the definition of force, and treating the electric force as an autonomous entity generated in some unspecified way by the charge.

However, armed with his discovery of distributed scalar motion, Larson now offers a way out of the unfortunate predicament that science has gotten itself into. He is now, he claims, able to identify the true nature of such forces such as the electric charge for the first time in history:

The need for an evasion of this kind is now eliminated by the clarification of the nature of scalar motion, which shows that the characteristics of rotationally distributed scalar motion are the very ones that are required in order to exert forces of the kind that are now erroneously regarded as autonomous. It is now evident that the reason for the lack of any evidence of a motion intervening between the electric charge and the electric force is that the charge itself is the motion. It is the distributed scalar motion of which the electric force is a property.

Such a declaration, that the electric charge has been identified as a motion, simply a relationship of changing space and time, were it to be taken seriously by the scientific community, would make world-wide headlines today. This is because the nature and origin of the electrical charge is considered to be one of those “unknowables” of physics, an unexplainable constant of nature. However, Larson doesn’t stop there. He goes on to identify other “forces” of nature as distributed scalar motions such as magnetic force, gravitational force, and the opposing force of gravity responsible for the expansion of the universe as well. Regardless of how astounding these claims may seem to be, insists Larson, it is important to understand that they are not based on ad hoc theoretical assumptions or hypotheses. They are, in fact, based solely on observational facts:

Inasmuch as…this [book] is purely factual, it does not offer any new inductive theories to replace the inventive theories currently in vogue. It merely calls attention to a large number of hitherto undiscovered, unrecognized, or disregarded physical facts, all of which the theories of physics, inventive or inductive, as the case may be, will hereafter have to be prepared to deal with. From now on, the requirements for acceptance of theories will be substantially enlarged. No theory will be viable unless it incorporates an acceptable explanation of scalar motion and its consequences.

The Dimensions of Scalar Motion

In his analysis of observed scalar motion, Larson concludes that its magnitudes must be three-dimensional since it exists in a three-dimensional universe, that is, it takes three magnitudes to completely define it. He writes:

From a mathematical standpoint, an n-dimensional quantity is merely one that requires n magnitudes for a complete definition. As one dictionary explains, by way of illustration, “a2 - b2 - c is a term of five dimensions.” A scalar motion in one dimension is defined in terms of one magnitude; a scalar motion in three dimensions is defined in terms of three magnitudes.

However, Larson insists that only one of these three magnitudes can be represented in the conventional reference system of spatial coordinates, as a vectorial motion, because it takes three dimensions of space to represent the direction of one dimension of vectorial motion. However, in spite of this, since scalar motion has magnitude only, all three of its magnitudes can be accommodated by the universe.

For Larson, it’s important to realize that this apparent limitation of the reference system is a serious deficiency, which distorts the physical picture and creates difficulties for physicists trying to compensate for it, unawares. He observes:

Since the conventional reference system cannot represent all of the distributed scalar motions, and present-day science does not recognize the existence of any motions that cannot be represented in that system, it has been necessary for the theorists to make some arbitrary assumptions as a means of compensating for the distortion of the physical picture due to this deficiency of the reference system. [Basic Properties of Matter, Chapter 12]

One of these assumptions is the assumption of the existence of forces without identifying the required antecedent motion as discussed above. This has led to many difficulties. However, another consequence of this limitation of the reference system, which is on the other side of the coin, so-to-speak, is that there exist two dimensions of motion that cannot be represented in it.

This discovery changes the physical picture in a dramatic fashion, for Larson. As long as motion is viewed only as a one-dimensional change of position in a 3D spatial coordinate frame, only such motion can exist. However, as soon as it is recognized that motion can exist that has magnitude only, it is readily apparent that there can be motion in all three dimensions in a three-dimensional universe. Albeit, these three dimensions of scalar motion must now be reconsidered in light of the geometrical dimensions represented by the reference system. As they are proper mathematical dimensions, their existence is real and therefore their properties, such as force, must be manifest in physical phenomena.

Fundamental Motions

Larson is able to identify physical phenomena related to rotationally distributed scalar motions in all three of these dimensions in various combinations; that is, he finds that physical properties of matter, on both a micro and a macro level, can be explained as a result of combinations of three-dimensional scalar motions, two-dimensional scalar motions, and one-dimensional scalar motions. One-dimensional scalar motion, or electrical motion, is identified with electrical phenomena, two-dimensional scalar motion, or magnetic motion, is identified with magnetic phenomena, and three-dimensional scalar motion, or gravitational motion, is identified with gravitational phenomena.

The similarity between the classification of these motions as “fundamental” and the designation of the “fundamental forces” of quantum mechanics is not incidental. Nevertheless, as discussed above, Larson insists that force is a property of motion, and, therefore, any force measured in nature must be associated with a corresponding motion. Yet, since the RST-based RSt rejects the nuclear concept of the atom, the manner in which these forces interact to produce the properties of matter is quite distinct from the way it works in current theories. Larson stresses the importance of understanding that, in the RSt development, every “entity or phenomenon that exists in this universe is either a motion, a combination of motions, or a relation between motions.”

This means that fundamental properties of matter and the interactions of matter such as energy, velocity, gravity, mass, inertia, momentum, acceleration, density, pressure, work, power, viscosity, torque, etc. must reduce to terms of motion, which by definition is a ratio of units of space and time. In Larson’s words:

Inasmuch as motion in general is defined as a relation between space and time, expressed symbolically by s/t, all of the different kinds of motions, and the relations between motions, can be expressed in space-time terms.

In Nothing But Motion, Larson begins this analysis with the mechanical system of classical physics, later this is extended to the strange regimes of the very small (quantum mechanics) and the very fast (relativity.)

See also: Reciprocal System of Physical Theory;  Reciprocal System Theory; Larson’s New System of Physical Theory