New York Times, November 9, 1930, Sunday
Section: Editorial, Page E2, 5899 words
MR. RUSSELL MAY BE RIGHT
Dr. Jackson Withdraws Criticism of "Two-Way" Universe and Seeks Proof
To the Editor of The New York Times:
Some time ago The Times published a letter of mine severely criticizing Walter Russell for presuming to attack the "laws" of Kepler and Newton. Obviously, as a scientist, I resented the sweeping claim of a non-scientist "that science needed a major surgical operation to put it in line for a logical, cosmogenetic synthesis." I felt that it was ridiculous for anybody to criticize such laws, and especially anybody without recognized scientific standing to attempt such surgery. I now wish to modify my statements and criticisms, for, since writing tha tletter, my viewpoint has somewhat changed from scathing to one of expectation. What I considered the over-night inspiration of that revolutionary type of man we call a "crank" might be, instead, the result of an intelligent and prolonged study of Nature.
Coordination of Units.
Mr. Russell has evidently approached his solution to the greatest riddle from the point of view opposite to that of the scientist. He has considered the universe as a whole and offers explanations fo rthe workings of its units as they fit into the whole, while we scientists study the separate parts but as yet cannot fit them together perfectly.
Who is to say that Russell's method of approach is not as valuable as our own, especially when it is carried on by so keen an observer? Let us give him a chance for a proof. The future will tell. I believe we should welcome such a mind, with its freedom from the traditions by which our minds are bound to the extent that we sometimes forget to question. I, for one, do not want to be "set" and invincible.
I am not yet prepared to say that I thoroughly accept Mr. Russell's "two-way" principle, but I am immensely intrigued by it, for it gives this universe of motion a meaning to me that it did not have before. In fact, our universe is rather meaningless even to ourselves; we know very little of the why of anything and many researchers have practically ceased trying to fathom it. I n our experiments we see the effects, but do not always find a satisfactory explanation of the cause. If it "works" we are thankful, so we do not always worry about the "why."
Open to Conviction
Mr. Russell's theory may be the method of understanding the nature of electricity, the generation and degeneration of mass and the universal mechanistic principles, through his "two-way" swing of the universal pendulum. In this defending his principles I again repeat that I am only weighing them in my mind at present, but I think the entire scientific world should also seriously weigh them, for, if Russell is right -- and he surely thinks he is right -- his claim that science needs "a major surgical operation" is justifiable.
A few outstanding and seemingly irrefutable facts stand in favor of the "two-way" principle. First of all, the compression-expansion sequence constitutes a cycle of motion which is mechanistic; it conforms with the known oscillating character of all electrical force. It makes matter comprehensible when each mass is known to be a compression-expansion "pump," or storage battery of polarized force doing the work of the universe.
Russell says that every effect of motion gives birth to its opposite effect, that our degenerative, radiant energy which is wasting away our universe becomes generative energy simply through its gravitational change of direction toward mass instead of away from it. The same radiation which degenerates our sun regenerates this planet as light. Let us give him a chance to prove that and see what the outcome is.
Our "positive" and "negative" are admittedly meaningless words. Russell's dual principle gives them a rational and reasonable meaning which may be mechanically comprehensible. He says that "positive" is plus an equilibrium of a quantum of energy, and that "negative" is minus that equilibrium. In other words, a vacuous condition is created in a given quantum of energy by pumping some of it out of one part (the surrounding field) and into the other part (the central mass). How simple it is to understand an electrical short circuit, or a chemical reaction, when thus explained, or to understand the motion of energy as force seeking an equilibrium.
I remember when we used to think that the current in a battery flowed only in one direction. We now admit its flow in both directions. If nature expresses itself universally by a flow in both directions, instead of in isolated instances, it is well to know it even though we old-timers have to adjust our practice to it.
Kepler's Law Not Infallible.
I was especially vituperative toward Russell because he dared to tamper with the Kepler law. I can now see that Kepler's mention of a single focus, and his failure to mention the other, coupled with Newton's single attribute of matter to attract matter without mentioning its equally apparent power to repel, deprived science of a possible solution of the universal riddle.
The second focus of Russell's is physically and mathematically necessary to an elliptical orbit. Why did not some scientist think of this instead of waiting 300 years for an artist to tell us about it?
I am anxious to see that other focus proved as the seat of the vacuous force of negative electricity that Russell claims for it. When his present experiments with lines of force are completed, by means of which he expects to prove his contention, and are found to substantiate his claim experimentally, we shall then know that positive electricity is that which is flowing inward, accumulatively, toward a point of compression (which is one of the dead centres of force in the universal machine) and that negative electricity is that which is flowing outward, dissipatively, toward a vacuous field (which is the other dead centre of force).
We shall then be convinced that Russell's contention that matter does not attract nor repel matter is probably true and that attraction and repulsion are but the sequences of compression-expansion oscillations with which we have long been familiar in electrical practice, but did not connect up with gravitation or radiation.
I invite the collaboration and criticism of my fellow scientists at large to join me in this, because, should Russell be able to prove his claims, we should all give him due credit, and if he fails, it will then be time to add his theory to the long list of dreams. He is in earnest and at least deserves our support.
JOHN E. JACKSON.
New York, Nov. 4, 1930.