The common analogy likens the galaxies to spots on the surface of a balloon that is being inflated. As the rubber stretches, all the spots move away from each other.
This statement, taken from a current astronomical text, can be found in almost any explanation of the recession of the distant galaxies, either in essentially these same words, or in terms of a three-dimensional analog, such as the one used by Fred Hoyle, in which he compares the galaxies to raisins in a pudding expanding in the oven. It testifies to the general recognition of the fact that the kind of motion typified by the movement of spots on the surface of an expanding balloon is, in some way, different from ordinary motion. This difference has not received any intensive scrutiny in physical thought, and is not given any attention in the textbooks. Indeed, the definition of motion is customarily expressed in terms that specifically exclude the kind of motion that we observe on the balloon surface. The results of the investigation reported in this present work indicate, however, that this special type of motion plays a significant part in many physical phenomena, and that a thorough knowledge of its nature and properties is essential for a full understanding of those phenomena.
As a first step in this direction, a critical analysis of the expanding balloon situation is in order. If the motion of the spots is examined in isolation, without placing the balloon in a reference system, or introducing a reference system into the balloon, which can easily be done conceptually, or if a similar mental picture of the receding galaxies is constructed, there is no way by which the motion of any one spot, or of any one galaxy, can be distinguished from that of any other. The only identifiable change that is taking place is a continuous and uniform increase in the magnitude of the distances between spots, or between galaxies. All spots and all galaxies are moving outward at a constant speed, but they are moving outward in all directions, which means that the motions have no specific directions. Thus the only property of this type of motion is a positive speed magnitude. Such a motion is, by definition, scalar.
With a little further exercise of the imagination, we can make the analogy with the galaxies somewhat closer by replacing the balloon with an expanding three-dimensional object, perhaps some kind of a transparent expanding plastic ball, with visible spots scattered throughout its volume. Here, again, the motion of all spots is simply outward, and unless a reference system is arbitrarily introduced to provide directions, the only property of the motion is its positive (outward) magnitude.
This view of the expanding plastic ball that we derive by mentally abstracting the ball from the local environment, and considering it in isolation, is exactly the same as the view that we get from observation of the distant galaxies. The only thing that we know about the motions of these galaxies is that they are receding from our own galaxy, and presumably from all others, at speeds that increase in direct proportion to the distance, just as the relative speeds of the spots in the interior of the expanding plastic ball obviously do. What we observe, then is a scalar motion of the galaxies, a motion that has no property other than a positive magnitude.
The currently popular view is that the galactic recession results from a gigantic explosion in which the entire contents of the universe were thrown out into space at the speeds now observed. The radially outward motion in all directions is explained as the result of velocity differentials. On this basis, the galaxies in one direction are receding because they are moving faster than the galaxy from which we are observing them. In the opposite direction, the galaxies are presumed to be slower than ours, and we are therefore moving away from them. There is no way by which this kind of a distribution of motions, if it exists, can be distinguished from motion of the type illustrated by the spots in the expanding plastic ball. Regardless of its origin, motion of this kind has no inherent direction. Each identifiable point, or object, is simply moving directly away from all others. Any further characteristics that may be attributed to those motions to fit a theory or explanation of their origin are nof relevant to the existing physical situation.
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 scalar motions readily accessible to observation are not isolated in the manner of those that we have been considering, but are physically connected to the spatial reference system. This physical coupling supplies the vectorial directions (directions relative to the reference system) that the motions themselves do not possess. The entity that actually enters into physical phenomena is not the scalar motion alone, but this motion plus the coupling to the reference system. In the condition in which it is physically observed, the balloon or plastic ball is connected to a reference system by placing it in that system in such a manner that some point X of the expanding object coincides with a specific point A in the reference system, the reference point, as we will call it, and the outward motion XY of a spot Y coincides with a vectorial direction AB.
The universe as a whole cannot be placed in a reference system, but the same result can be achieved by introducing a system of axes into the universe. The origin of these axes is then the reference point. The Big Bang theory of the origin of the galactic recession introduces a conceptual reference point of this kind, the location of the hypothetical explosion, but leaves the vectorial directions undefined. Thus, aside from being incomplete, and conceptual rather than physical, this Big Bang hypothesis does the same thing as the placement of the balloon in a position in the reference system. It connects a scalar motion with a reference system.
A scalar motion physically coupled to a reference system in this manner may act in essentially the same way as a vectorial motion, in which case it is not currently distinguished from vectorial motion. Alternatively, it may have some quite different characteristics. Current science then does not recognize it as a motion. For an understanding of these hitherto unrecognized types of scalar motions, we will need to examine some of the fundamental facts that are involved.
These pertinent facts are not difficult to ascertain. They have hitherto remained unidentified not because they are hidden or elusive, but because no one has looked for them. This, in turn, has been due to the lack of any clear indication that they might have a significant impact on physical understanding. After all, expanding balloons and plastic balls play no major part in physical activity. It is often asserted that issues in science are investigated for the same reason that men climb mountains—just because they are there to be climbed—but small mountains get scant attention, and seemingly insignificant physical phenomena generally receive the same casual treatment. An attitude of benign neglect is all the more likely to prevail where, as in this instance, some readjustment of thinking is necessary before the existing observational situation can be seen in its true light.
The resemblance between the motion of the receding galaxies and the motion of spots on an expanding balloon might have stimulated some interest in exploration of the nature and properties of scalar motion had it not been for the invention of the Big Bang theory, which seemed to provide an explanation of sorts for the galactic recession in terms of vectorial motion, although, as can now be seen, the recession is actually a scalar motion that is assigned a reference point by the theory. The explosion hypothesis is not available to the supporters of the rival Steady State theory, but they have never developed the details of how the recession is supposed to be produced in their theory, and the need for an explanation of the special characteristics of the motion of the galaxies in the context of that theory has gone unrecognized. The event that has finally focused the attention of an investigator on the scalar motion issue, and has prompted a detailed study of this type of motion, is the development of the theory of a universe of motion. In this theory scalar motion plays a very significant part, and it quickly became evident that a full understanding of its nature and properties was essential to the theoretical development. This supplied the incentive for the investigation for which there had previously seemed to be no adequate reason. It should be understood, however, that the presentation in this volume stands on its own factual foundations, and is entirely independent of the theory that stimulated the investigation that produced the results now being described.
Although a scalar motion has no vectorial direction of its own, the scalar magnitude may be either positive or negative. The motion therefore has what we may call a scalar direction. This term may appear to be self-contradictory, inasmuch as the word “scalar” indicates a quantity that has magnitude only, without inherent direction. But we do not ordinarily deal with scalar motion as such; we deal with its representation in the spatial reference system, and that representation is necessarily directional.
If the scalar magnitude of a motion is positive, the spatial result of the motion is that the distance from object A to object B increases with time; that is, the scalar motion is outward. Conversely, a negative scalar motion is inward, as seen in the reference system. The magnitude is positive or negative; the resulting scalar direction is outward or inward. A simple scalar motion AB is inherently nothing more than a change in the magnitude of the distance between A and B per unit of elapsed time, but it is equivalent in most respects to a one-dimensional vectorial motion, and it can be represented in a fixed spatial reference system of the conventional type in the same manner as the corresponding vectorial motion, with a direction in the reference system, a vectorial direction, that is determined by the nature of the coupling to the reference system. If the vectorial direction, a property of the coupling, is independent of the scalar direction, a property of the scalar motion. Outward from point A, for example, may take any vectorial direction. Some consequences of this independence of the directions will be discussed later.
Applying these general principles to the balloon example, we find that when the expanding balloon is placed in a reference system—on the floor of a room, for example—the motion of each spot acquires a vectorial direction. This direction is totally dependent on the placement. lf point X is placed on point A of the floor, and point Y is placed to coincide with some point B in the reference system at time t, then the motion XY has the direction AB. If the correlation takes place in some other way—that is, if some point Z on the balloon surface is placed on point A, or if point Y coincides with some point C at time t—then all directions on the balloon surface, including the direction of the motion XY, are altered.
The direction AB is not inconsequential. It has an actual physical significance. For instance, the motion terminates if there is an immovable obstacle somewhere along the line AB. But this direction AB is a property of the physical coupling between the balloon and the reference system, not a property of the motion, and it can be altered without any effect on the motion itself. For instance, the expanding balloon can be moved. The only inherent property of the scalar motion of any one spot, its scalar magnitude ( including its scalar direction) can be correctly represented in the reference system in any vectorial direction.
These facts are well understood. But it was not recognized, prior to the investigation whose results are being presented in this work, that the ability of a scalar motion to take any direction in the context of a fixed spatial reference system is not limited to a constant direction. A discontinuous or non-uniform change of direction could be maintained only by repeated application off external forces, but once it is initiated, a continuous and uniform change of direction, such as that produced by rotation of the representation in the reference system, is just as permanent as a constant direction.
Aristotle and his contemporaries argued that a change of position of an object could be accomplished only by the application of some outside influence, and they provided an assortment of angels and demons for this purpose in formulating their physical theories. “A universe constructed on the mechanics of Aristotle,” says Butterfield, “was a universe in which unseen hands had to be in constant operation, and sublime Intelligences had to roll the planetary spheres around.”1 By this time it is well understood that these conclusions of the Greek thinkers are erroneous, and that a continuous uniform change of position is just as fundamental and just as permanent as a fixed position. The essential requirement is the continuity. This principle is equally as applicable to direction as to position. Here, too, the essential requirement is simply continuity.
To illustrate a rotational change of direction of the representation of a scalar motion in a reference system, let us place the expanding balloon in the position previously defined in which point X rests on point A of the floor, and point Y coincides with point B of the reference system at time t. Then let us turn the balloon around point X (and A). Instead of continuing in the constant direction AB, the line XY representing the scalar magnitude now takes successive directions AC, AD, AE, etc., where C, D, and E, are points on the circumference of a circle centered on the axis passing through A. The total magnitude of the change of position, the distance moved by point Y outward from X in a given time interval, remains the same, but it has been distributed over all directions in the plane of rotation, instead of being confined to the one direction AB. The motion is unchanged; it still has the same positive magnitude, and no other property. But the representation of that magnitude in the reference system has been rotated. A further rotation of the original plane will distribute the representation in all directions.
In this illustration, the scalar motion XY of the balloon appears in the reference system as a distributed series of motions AB, AC, AD, etc. The common point is A; that is, by placing point X of the balloon on point A of the floor we have made A the reference point for the representation of the scalar motion XY in the fixed reference system. It can easily be seen that such a reference point is essential to the representation. We can therefore generalize this requirement, and say that in order to represent a scalar motion in a spatial coordinate system, it is necessary to give the motion, by means of a physical coupling to the reference system, both a reference point and a vectorial direction (which can be either constant or changing continuously and uniformly).
The significance of the reference point is that while this point is actually moving in the same manner as all other points in the scalar system of which it is a component, it is the one point of that system that is not moving relative to the fixed reference system. A distributed scalar motion is thus a quasi-permanent property of an object, even though the status of that object as the reference point for its scalar motion makes the object appear stationary in the coordinate system.
An important consequence is that since the scalar motion of the object alters the distance between this object and any other in the spatial reference system, the motion that is not represented by a change in the position of the moving object itself must be represented in the reference system by a change in the position of the other object. This conclusion that the motion of object X appears to observation as a motion of object Y appears strange, or even dubious, when it is encountered in a new situation such as the one now being discussed, but an apparent change of this kind always takes place when the reference system is altered. When traveling by train, for instance, and viewing another train moving slowly on the adjoining track, it is often difficult to determine immediately which train is actually in motion. In this case, if the moving train is mistakenly taken as stationary, its motion in the reference system is attributed to the other train.
In the present connection, the conclusion as stated can easily be verified by examination of the expanding balloon that is resting on the floor. Obviously, the true motion of spot X has not been changed by placing .this spot in a fixed position on the floor. The balloon expansion is still occurring in exactly the same way as before the placement, and spot X is therefore moving away from its neighbors. It follows that in the context of a fixed reference system, where X does not move, the scalar motion of spot X is distributed among the spots from which it is receding. For example, a part of the motion of spot Y, as seen in the fixed reference system, is actually a motion of spot X, the spot that occupies the reference point. The same is true of the motion of the distant galaxies. The recession that we measure is simply the increase in distance between our galaxy and the one that is receding from us. Unless we take the stand that our galaxy is the only stationary object in the universe, we have to concede that a part of this increase in distance that we attribute to recession of the other galaxy is actually due to motion of our own galaxy.
This is not difficult to understand when, as in the case of the galaxies, or the trains, the reason why the distant objects appear to move, or appear to move faster than they actually do, is obviously the arbitrary designation of our own location as stationary. What is now needed is a recognition that this is a general proposition. The same result follows whenever a moving object is arbitrarily taken to be stationary. As we have seen, the representation of a scalar motion in a fixed coordinate system requires the assignment of a reference point, a point at which the scalar motion takes a zero value in the context of the reference system. The motion that is taking place at that reference point is thus seen, by the reference system, in the same way in which we view our own motion in the galactic case; that is, the motion that is “frozen” by the reference system is seen as motion of the distant objects.
It should be understood, however, that this immobilization of the reference point in the reference system applies only to the representation of the scalar motion. There is nothing to prevent an object located at the reference point from acquiring an additional motion of a vectorial character. Where such motion exists, it is subject to the same considerations as any other vectorial motion.
The results of a directionally distributed scalar motion are totally different from those produced by a combination of vectorial motions in different directions. The magnitudes and directions of vectorial motions are interrelated, and their combined effects can be expressed as vectors. A vectorial motion AB added to a vectorial motion AB’ of equal magnitude, but diametrically opposite direction, produces a zero resultant. Similarly, vectorial motions of equal magnitude outward in all directions from point A add up to zero. But the scalar motion XY of the spot Y on the balloon surface retains the same positive (outward) magnitude regardless of the manner in which it is directionally distributed. In this case, the direction is a property of the coupling to the reference system, not of the motion itself. The magnitude of the motion, and its scalar direction—outward—are unchanged regardless of the changes of direction as seen in the reference system.
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.
Referring again to the example of a motion of a point X between two points Y and Z, if this motion is vectorial, the entire system of three points and the motion can be placed in a fixed reference system as a complete unit. This is equally true if the system is large and multidimensional. But if the system YXZ is scalar, only one point in that system can coincide with a fixed point in the conventional stationary spatial reference system. The other two points are moving relative to the coordinate system. This is a very different kind of motion.
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.
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,” and this term will be used in the following discussion where it is appropriate.
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.
In the absence of an understanding of the nature and properties of distributed scalar motion, however, 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. Notwithstanding the fact that force is specifically defined as a property of motion, the prevailing tendency is to treat it as an autonomous entity, existing prior to motion. The following statements, taken from current physics literature, are typical:
So forces provide structure, motion, and change of structure.2
The gravitational force, the electric force, and the nuclear force govern all that happens in the world.3
The electric force is perhaps the fundamental conception of modern physics.4
As far as anyone knows at present, all events that take place in the universe are governed by four fundamental types of forces.5
It is commonly recognized that the usual significance attached to the concept of force is in some way incomplete. Richard Feynman’s view is that force is something more than the defined quantity. “One of the most important characteristics of force is that it has a material origin,” he says, and he emphasizes that “this is not just a definition.” Further elaborating, he adds that “in dealing with force the tacit assumption is always made that the force is equal to zero unless some physical body is present.”6 This is unacceptable in an “exact” science. If a definition is incomplete, it should be completed. But, in reality, the definition is not incomplete. The prevailing impression that there is something missing is a consequence of the refusal to recognize that this definition makes force a property of motion.
The status of motion as the basic entity is the reason for the “material origin” that Feynman emphasizes. Without the presence of a “physical body” there is no effective motion, and consequently no force. The exact relation between the physical bodies and the motions of which the “fundamental forces” are properties will not be considered in this work, as it involves some matters that are outside the scope of this present discussion.
The way in which force enters into physical activity, and its relation to motion can be seen by examination of some specific process. A good example is the action that takes place when a space vehicle is launched. Combustion of fuel imparts a rapid motion to the molecules of the combustion products. The objective of the ensuing process is then simply to transfer part of this motion to the rocket. From a qualitative standpoint, nothing more needs to be said. But in order to plan such an operation, a quantitative analysis is necessary, and for this purpose what is needed is some measure of the capability of the molecules to transfer motion, and a measure of the effect of the transfer in causing motion of the rocket. The property of force provides such a measure. It can be evaluated (as a pressure, force per unit area) independently of any knowledge of the individual molecular motions of which it is a property. Application of this magnitude to the mass that is to be moved then determines the acceleration of that mass, the rate at which speed is imparted to it. Throughout the process, the physically existing entity is motion. Force is merely a property of the original motion, the quantity of acceleration, by means of which we are able to calculate the acceleration per individual mass unit, a property of the consequent motion.
In the earlier paragraphs it was deduced that there exists, or at least may exist, somewhere in the universe, a class of distributed scalar motions, not currently recognized as motions. Now a critical examination of the concept of force shows that the presumably autonomous “fundamental forces” are properties of unrecognized underlying motions. These two findings can clearly be equated; that is, it can be concluded that the so-called “fundamental forces” are the force aspects of the hitherto unrecognized scalar motions. The reason for this lack of recognition in present-day practice is likewise practically self-evident. A scalar motion with a fixed direction is not currently distinguished from a vectorial motion, whereas if the scalar motion is directionally distributed, which is possible because of the nature of the coupling between the motion and the reference system, the phenomenon is not currently recognized as motion.
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. The concept of autonomous forces has therefore been invoked to provide an alternative. As brought out in the preceding discussion, 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.
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. (t 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.
The products of an analysis such as the foregoing do not come equipped with labels. A process of identification is therefore essential where, as in this present case, the analysis is based on premises of a general nature. Ordinarily the identification is easily accomplished, and in any event, it is self-verifying, as a wrong identification would quickly lead to contradictions. As an example of how this process operates, we observe certain objects in space that we call stars and planets. The nature of these objects is not apparent from the observations. At one time they were regarded as holes in the sky that allowed the light to shine through. But we have ascertained the properties of matter where we are in direct contact with it, and we have ascertained some of the properties of the stars and planets. To the extent that these properties can be compared, we find them to be identical. This justifies the conclusion that the stars and planets are aggregates of matter. In exactly the same way we identify the electric charge as a distributed scalar motion. It has the properties of a distributed scalar motion.
The identification of the other basic distributed scalar motions is carried out in the same manner. The details of this identification will be considered in the next chapter, but it is practically obvious that the most general form of rotationally distributed scalar motion can be identified as gravitation. In the light of the information developed in the preceding pages, it can be seen that the gravitational force is not the antecedent of the gravitational motion; it is a property of that motion. The continuous existence of the force is a result of the scalar character of the motion.
A uniform vectorial motion does not exert a force. By definition, a force develops from such a motion only when there is a departure from uniformity; that is, when there is a change in momentum. However, the same well-understood geometrical considerations that lead to the inverse square relation in application to a force distributed over three dimensions likewise apply to a distributed scalar motion. If the total magnitude of such a motion is constant, the motion is accelerated in the context of a fixed reference system. The acceleration is positive for an inward motion and negative if the motion is outward. As noted by Wightman, since the days of Galileo it has been accepted that “whenever a body suffers an acceleration, there must be a force acting on it.”7 We now see that this is true only in the case of vectorial motion. A constant distributed scalar motion is an accelerated motion in the context of a fixed reference system, by reason of the geometry of that system. Once it is initiated, such a motion requires no outside force to maintain the acceleration.
The general nature of gravitation and other so-called “fundamental forces” is consistent with the foregoing conclusion, as they are distributed forces; that is, force fields. The force aspect of a vectorial motion is a vector; that of a distributed scalar motion is a field. The concept of the field originally evolved from the earlier concept of an ether, and to those who follow the original line of thinking a field is essentially an ether stripped of most of its physical properties. lt has the functions of an ether, without the limitations. The ether concept envisioned a physical substance located in, and coextensive with, space. The school of thought generally identified with the name of Einstein has replaced this ether with a field that is located in and coextensive with space. “There is then no ‘empty’ space,” Einstein asserts, “that is, there is no space without a field.”8 He concedes that from his viewpoint the change from ether to field is mainly semantic:
We shall say: our space has the physical property of transmitting waves, and so omit the use of a word (ether) we have decided to avoid.9
The greatest weakness of the ether concept, aside from the total lack of observational support, was the identification of the ether as a “substance.” This established it as a physical connection between objects separated in space, and thereby provided an explanation for the transmission of physical effects, but it required the ether to have properties of an extraordinary and contradictory character. Calling this connecting medium a “field” instead of an “ether”eliminated the identification with “substance,” without putting anything else in its place, and enabled the theorists to ascribe patterns of behavior to the medium without the limitations that necessarily accompany the use of a specifically defined entity. Nevertheless, those who visualize the field as a purified ether still see it as “something physically real.” Again quoting Einstein:
The electromagnetic field is, for the modern physicist, as real as the chair on which he sits.10 We are constrained to imagine—after the manner of Faraday—that the magnet always calls into being something physically real in the space around it, that something being what we call a “magnetic field”… The effects of gravitation are also regarded in an analogous manner.11
Field theory is the orthodox doctrine in this area at present, but there is no general agreement on details. Even the question as to what constitutes a field is subject to considerable difference of opinion. For example, the following definition by Marshall Walker is a far cry from that expressed by Einstein:
A field is a region of space where a test object experiences its specific force.12
Here we see that the field is equated with space—“a field is a region of space”—whereas Einstein saw it as something real in the space. The difficulties in defining the field concept, together with others involved in its application, have raised many doubts as to the validity of current ideas. David Park gives us this assessment:
This does not mean that the ultimate explanation of everything is going to be in terms of fields, and indeed there are signs that the whole development of field theory may be nearer its end than its beginning.13
Clarification of the properties of scalar motion now shows that the present views as to the nature of a field are incorrect. A field is not a physical entity like the physicist’s chair, nor is it a region of space. It is the force aspect of a distributed scalar motion, the quantity of acceleration, and it has the same relation to that motion as an ordinary force has to a vectorial motion. The two differ only in that the ordinary force has a specific direction whereas the force of the field, like the motion of which it is a property, is directionally distributed.
This is another of the previously unrecognized facts of physical science that constitute the principal subject matter of this volume. It is not, like the existence of scalar motion, something that could have been recognized by anyone at any time, inasmuch as the discovery of distributed scalar motion was a prerequisite for recognition of the properties of that kind of motion. But as soon as the status of the “fundamental forces” as distributed scalar motions is recognized, the true nature of fields is clearly defined. And this answer that emerges from the scalar motion study is just the kind of an explanation that the physicists have expected to find when and if the search for an answer was successful. Again quoting David Park:
At present, we imagine all space to be filled by a superposition of fields, each named after an elementary particle—electrons, protons, various kinds of mesons, etc. As new species proliferate, it becomes more and more desirable that future theory, if it resembles the present one at all, should contain but a single field, with the present types of matter corresponding to different modes of excitation of it.14
This is essentially what we now find. There is only one kind of field, a distributed force, but the nature of the effects produced by any specific force depends on the characteristics of the motion of which the distributed force is a property.
The finding that the fundamental forces are properties of fundamental motions rather than autonomous entities does not, in itself, solve the problem as to the origin of these forces. In the case of gravitation, for instance, it merely replaces the question, What is the origin of the gravitational force? with the question, What is the origin of the gravitational motion? But it is a definite step in the right direction, and every such step brings us closer to the ultimate goal. A full-scale exploration of the problem has been carried out by the author, in the context of the theory of a universe of motion, and will be published in a series of volumes, the first of which, separately titled Nothing But Motion, is now in print.* This theoretical analysis, based as it is on a new concept of the fundamental nature of the universe, involves some significant alterations of existing physical viewpoints which not everyone will be prepared to accept. In order to make the results of the scalar motion study generally available, the presentation in this volume has been limited to those purely factual aspects of the scalar motion findings that are independent of theoretical considerations, and must be accommodated within every system of physical theory.