THEORY OF SOLIDS The objective of the project being undertaken by Professor Meyer and his associates is to test the validity of the explanation of the cohesion of solids derived from a development of the consequences of the fundamental postulates of the Reciprocal System of physical theory, the basic premise of which is that the physical universe is composed entirely of discrete units of motion. In a universe having the properties specified in these postulates, the natural system of reference, the datum from which all physical activity extends, is not the stationary system to which such activity is ordinarily referred, but an expanding system in which each location is moving outward from all others at unit speed. The atoms of matter occuping such locations are carried outward by this movement of the space-time reference system. Coincidentally, they are moving in the opposite direction by reason of their gravitational motion. The term outward, in this connection, refers to the direction with respect to unit distance. Since the atoms are separated by less than unit distance in the solid state, the progression of the reference system moves them closer together, and their gravitational motion moves them farther apart. The gravitational effect decreases with distance, while the space-time progression remains unchanged, and an equilibrium is therefore reached at a definite distance, which depends on the magnitudes of the atomic rotations and on the relative orientation of the interacting atoms. Where nothing exists but motion, as in the postulated universe, every physical entity or phenomenon is either some kind of a motion, a combination of motions, or a relation between motions. Development of the consequences of the fundamental postulates leads to the identification of atoms of matter as combinations of rotational motion in three dimensions, the nature of this motion being such that it has a scalar effect (gravitation) in opposition to the outward movement of the reference system. A certain minimum amount of such motion has been found necessary in order to produce the properties that we recognize as those of matter, and the minimum combination is identified as hydrogen. Successive additions of further units of motion conform to a definite pattern determined by probability considerations, and hydrogen is therefore followed by a series of specific combinations, which we identify as the chemical elements. The magnitudes of the three rotations of each of these elements can be represented by a unique set of three numbers. Inasmuch as the combinations of motions are the atoms, and the speeds of rotation in the three dimensions are the only significant features of these atoms, it follows that the set of three numbers which represents the rotational speeds of an element determines the numerical magnitudes of all of the physical and chemical properties of that element, and those of the contributions which that element makes to the properties of chemical compounds. It is theoretically possible, therefore, to devise a system of mathematical expressions for each physical property, into which the numbers representing the rotational speeds of the element or elements can be inserted to obtain the values of the property in question. Such expressions have already been develeped for a number of phyrsical properties, of which the volume relations have been the most extensively investigated. The basic equation for calculation of the inter-atomic distance in the solid state was included in the original presentation of the Reciprocal System of theory in The Structure of the Physical Universe, published in 1959, along with an explanation of the most common of the modifications of the basic expression that are required by alternate structural patterns. Calculations on this basis for the simpler types of crystals were shown to agree with values reported from experiment, within the accuracy of the experimental results. Professor Meyer is now undertaking to extend these correlations to a wider variety of substances and to a higher degree of accuracy to obtain a definitive answer to the question as to the validity of the theory. |