RECIPROCAL SYSTEM DATABASE Status Report: An Aperiodic Blog

May 18, 2012

Response to Article on Dewey B. Larson

Filed under: Science — transpower @ 12:57 am

Comments interspersed by Dr. Ronald W. Satz, in square brackets

Dewey Bernard Larson (1898-1990) was an American engineer best known for developing a Theory of Everything known as the “Reciprocating System.”

[Not “Reciprocating System”, it’s the Reciprocal System.]

Most of his writing dates from the 1950s and 60s and predates predating much of the Standard Model of physics, which effectively nullified many of his claims.

[The Standard Model is still based on the nuclear theory of the atom and the electrical theory of matter. Therefore, Larson’s criticism of “modern physics” stands. Also, Larson wrote well into the 80’s.]

However, Larson still maintains a strong and passionate following among a few cranks who think that they’ve stumbled upon some great secret body of knowledge.

[We are not “cranks.” We are scientists and engineers; there are many Ph.D.’s in the Reciprocal System community.  The Reciprocal System is not “secret.”  It is fully available to anyone who puts forth the time and effort to understand it.]

None of Larson’s work was ever published in any peer-reviewed scientific journal.[1]

[The peer-reviewed scientific journals are based on the conventional paradigm and so they will not consider anything contrary to their paradigm. All work done in the Reciprocal System is peer-reviewed by the Reciprocal System community.  If any supposed deduction from the Postulates is found to be wrong, it will be corrected. ]

The only evaluations of Larson’s work was performed by known supporters of the Reciprocating System, and have an alarming tendency to use the word “published” when they really mean “uploaded to a WordPress blog”.[2]
Because Larson was nothing more than a lone crank, his Wikipedia page was deleted for the non-notability of the subject.[3]

[Larson was not a “lone crank.” He has many followers around the world, including some very accomplished scientists and engineers. In our opinion, a group of fruits and nuts have taken over the theoretical physics “Establishment”—just look at all the nonsense the “Establishment” has cranked out: the Big Bang, black holes, white holes, worm holes, electron “holes”, the nuclear theory of the atom, and the bizarre equations of Quantum Mechanics. Fortunately, the “Establishment” doesn’t have control of WordPress.  The beauty of the Internet is that new and better ideas can no longer be suppressed.  Eventually, Satz’s papers on WordPress will be collected and published in book-form.  Quite a few inquiries have been made to publish the papers elsewhere (even in more traditional journals)–they may be, provided that nothing is changed (other than correction of typos) and that full attribution is made.  Satz has assigned the rights of all of his theoretical physics papers (past, present, and future) to ISUS, Inc.]

The article in question was entirely a piece of fancruft, based largely on a biography of Larson hosted by his supporters.[4][5]

[It was a fair and objective short biography of a great thinker.  The articles in Wikipedia on the current crop of conventional theorists are themselves a pice of “fancruft” by their supporters.]

The reciprocal system

Larson is best known – which is still “practically unknown” by most other standards – for his “reciprocal system” as an alternative to everything that every physicist has ever said about the nature of reality.

[We don’t’ reject “everything.” You need to read our literature to see what we accept and what we reject.]

A flyer[6] for the 30th conference of the International Society of Unified Science (the society set up to worship Larson) describes the reciprocal system as follows:
Conventional science considers space and time to be a framework in which the drama of the universe is played out, in manifest form. The thesis of the Reciprocal System, however, is that the universe is not a universe of matter, but a universe of motion, one in which the basic reality is motion, and all entities—photons, particles, atoms, fields, forces, and all forms of energy—are merely manifestations of motion.
Space and time are the two reciprocal aspects of this motion, and cannot exist independently. They have no significance except to establish a common reference in describing phenomena. Velocity is a relation of space per unit time; with energy being the inverse relation of time per unit space. We observe space as being 3-dimensional, but space does not exist without time, therefore time must be 3-dimensional as well. It is this discovery that opened the door to the quantum world, and the configuration space inside the atom, as a direct result of the basic postulates of the Reciprocal System of theory:
• The physical universe is composed of one component, motion, existing in three dimensions, in discrete units, and with two reciprocal aspects, space and time.
• The physical universe conforms to the relations of ordinary commutative mathematics, its primary magnitudes are absolute, and its geometry is Euclidean.
By developing the natural consequences of these postulates, Larson creates a theoretical universe that bears an uncanny resemblance to the universe we observe around us.

[ISUS members do not “worship” Larson; we respect and appreciate his genius.]


One of Ron Satz’s equations. Donald Knuth is rolling in his grave and he isn’t even dead yet.

[Why would Knuth be rolling in his grave (if he were dead)? The equation (reprinted in the article) is extraordinarily clear. All of the physics papers at are written in Mathcad and are therefore 100% computational—this is why the equations are more detailed than they would be in the usual physics journal. Also, because SI, cgs, and natural Reciprocal System units have to be used to explain the theory, the variables have to be set up in such a way as to make the units clear.]

One of the most striking features of Larson’s work, and the source of tremendous criticism, is his almost total lack of any mathematics anywhere to be found amongst his books.[5] This is particularly galling to most mainstream scientists who view equations as essential for making the numeric predictions required to match theory with experiment – experiments that tend to punch out numbers, such as transition frequencies, absorption co-efficients, energy ratings in particle accelerators and so on. Yet Larson avoids doing any rigorous mathematical analysis at all.

[Larson did not have the software tools we now have. Satz has translated Larson’s work into the language of mathematical physics, so this criticism no longer stands. Also, please keep in mind that Larson was fundamentally concerned with getting the physical concepts correct.]

It’s not entirely sure if he just sucked at the subject (though his biographies claim that he had a “gift” for mathematics) or genuinely did think it wasn’t needed. Certainly, the lack of it in his main reciprocal system theory causes a lot of scientists to scratch their heads when figuring out exactly what observations he’s saying to expect for the theory to be right.

[The Reciprocal System is a fully quantized theory and has a complete set of natural units and dimensions.   All dimensions are expressed solely in space, s, and time, t, only.  The Reciprocal System Data Base has thousands of computations on the properties of matter.]

However, that doesn’t mean the Reciprocal System has been without any mathematics. Ron Satz has extended and computerised Laron’s “System” and even produced equations that might lead to predictions – none of which Satz seems keen to actually use.

[The Reciprocal System Data Base makes it easy to actually use the calculations! Satz uses the equations every day.  There are numerous predictions.]

While Larson’s publications are long text walls, Satz’s work often features pages upon pages of badly formatted equations.

[Badly formatted equations? In what way? In printing a Mathcad document, or creating a PDF of one, the spillover of the equations to the right of the page is often unavoidable; the remainder of the equations are found at the end of the document; you can blame Mathcad for this problem (it should wrap the equations automatically).  And even in those cases, graphs are provided so that the relationship of the variables is clear, regardless of the spill-over.]

This usually renders his work completely unreadable because of the ambiguity in what constants he’s using and how these equations fit together – at worst, some of them fall off the page so can’t be read even if you can somehow translate it all into something recognisable to a mathematician or engineer.

[There is no ambiguity whatsoever. There is a Nomenclature at the beginning of each major paper which explains all of the symbols used and the units. There is usually a section for Reciprocal System physical constants.  Satz and other ISUS members are happy to answer questions on the Reciprocal System.]


In late 2011, Ron Satz (currently Larson’s main torch-bearer for the Reciprocal System) appeared on the Bad Astronomy and Universe Today (BAUT) forums to discuss the theory and doubts about modern physics.[7] While initially met with an understandable “not another theory-of-everything crank” response, the discussion settled into what the Reciprocal System would predict in the behaviour of electronic devices. With such a testable statement then satisfied, one enterprising member of the forum actually tested it with easily obtainable equipment – something Satz seemed at a loss to try himself. The situation is best summed up by the final post in the thread:
While we’re waiting for the end times, it’s probably worth summarizing the plot so far, for future readers happening upon this thread. Transpower/Ronald Satz gave us a specific, easily tested prediction of RST. In short, RST (hereafter called “Wrong Theory”) says that the time constant of a resistor-capacitor circuit depends on charging voltage. Conventional theory (hereafter referred to as “Correct Theory”) says that the time constant is voltage-independent. RST’s prediction was based on the erroneous solving of a non-existent energy conservation paradox stemming from Satz’s ignorance of Correct Theory.
Cutting through the haze of word salad, cjameshuff ran a simple, dispositive experiment that falsified RST. He did in a few minutes what Transpower never bothered to do, what RST adherents never did in 30 years of working on Wrong Theory. The effort to carry out the experiment was certainly much, much less than Ronald Satz hiimself expended in writing the paper on capacitors that Papageno somewhat unkindly, but accurately, dismissed.
Simply put, RST is a failed theory. Satz introduced fundamental errors based on a misunderstanding of Correct Theory. Now scientists make mistakes all the time, but Satz absurdly never bothered to test the predictions of his Wrong Theory, despite having worked on RST for approximately three decades. He did not recognize that essentially the entirety of electronic devices would simply not function if he were correct. The able functioning of multiple billions of computers, cellphones, radios, televisions, clocks and the like show us that Satz and RST are not only wrong, but overwhelmingly so. Cjameshuff’s experiment puts the exclamation point on that conclusion. Anyone with an open, critically thinking mind must come to the same conclusion.

[The Reciprocal System theory described in Satz’s paper “Theory of the Capacitor” was based on capacitance having the dimension of s. Satz conducted numerous DC RC experiments and determined that RC is indeed the time constant. This means that capacitance has the dimensions s^3 / t. The theory has been modified.]

Not too long after, a BoN [8] appeared on RationalWiki to assert that, because they were electrolytic capacitors, the experiment totally didn’t count.

[Satz’s experiments included both ordinary and electrolytic capacitors. The time constant is RC and so the dimensions of capacitance in the theory have been changed. The error was in the deduction from the Postulates of the Reciprocal System, not the Postulates themselves.]

Quite why seems to be curiously absent – such as specification wasn’t cited by Satz and cannot be found in the (like Larson’s work, extremely long) paper proposing how the Reciprocal System would predict capacitors to act[9] but it did magically appear after the BAUT forum tore into Satz’s work.[10]

[We’re still waiting for experiments with vacuum capacitors.]

Flip-flopping and non-falsifiability

While Satz’s rapid goalpost moving over capacitors highlights his attitude, perhaps the most striking involves faster-than-light neutrinos. In 2011, neutrinos were spotted travelling faster than light by the OPERA experiment, which fired the particles between Geneva, Switzerland and San Grasso, Italy. Satz had this to say on the subject, jumping on the story pretty quick:
News Flash (10/01/2011): Dr. Satz’s new paper, “Theory of Faster Than Light Neutrinos,” is now available–this solves the conunbrum of the recently-reported CERN[11] experiment which shows that neutrinos can move faster than light. Only the Reciprocal System is capable of providing the solution! (emphasis added)
So, the reciprocal system explains the observation – so evidence for Larson’s work, and something that would make even quantum mechanics and the standard model tumble to nothing. Shame that, not long after, the results failed to be replicated and after several other ideas it was revealed to be most likely due to faulty wiring providing the timing equipment with a bit more of a delay than expected, hence the results.

[The “Establishment” came down hard on the CERN workers to “recant.” The Reciprocal System is very clear on this subject—if cosmic (inverse) neutrinos are used, than they should be moving faster than the speed of light through the earth, whereas material neutrinos would not. The difficulty here is in creating the cosmic neutrinos and distinguishing them from material neutrinos.]

So, were Satz’s equations and the Reciprocal System suddenly made redundant because of these new observations? Hell no, the only thing travelling faster than light were Satz’s goalposts:
Update: Another experiment has shown no such effect–however, again the Reciprocal System provides the answer – the retest, material neutrinos, rather than cosmic neutrinos, were used, and these cannot go faster than c in the material sector. (emphasis added)

[Obviously the experiments and the theory must pertain to the same events, or there can be no legitimate comparison of experiment with theory.]

The Case Against the Nuclear Atom

Larson’s 1963 book (self published, from what anyone can tell of the origins of “North Pacific Publishing, Portland”[12]) entitled The Case Against the Nuclear Atom proposes that the Rutherford model of the atom is wrong, and that the conclusions brought about by the Marsden-Geiger experiment were equally consistent with an atom the size of the atomic nucleus that is surrounded by energetic force-fields. In the book he actually dismisses quantum mechanics as an attempt to change established laws of nature (classical mechanics) to fit with a concept that was unfounded to begin with (the Rutherford model). The short version is that while Larson would be absolutely correct if that was all we knew about the atom, he might have been right. While he was writing only a few years before the Standard Model of physics came along to more fully refute his claims,

[The Standard Model of physics has never refuted Larson’s claims.]

he seems to very casually toss out all the successes of the quantum mechanical electron and what it has done to successfully predict more or less all of chemistry, even by the 1950s and 1960s

[The magical, jumping theoretical electron has been used to explain all kinds of things; the only problem is that it bears no resemblance to the observed electron.]

The books is mostly a rant about critical thinking, and in fact doesn’t postulate any experiments, equations, or testable ideas of any kind to back up his own model – he simply asserts that it fits equally with the evidence (except where it doesn’t) and if you “think critically” it should come out as self-evident.

[That we can change matter to non-matter and back is sufficient proof to show that the Standard Model is dead wrong in asserting that we live in a world of matter with space-time as the “setting.”]

It briefly got some attention in the 60s in a couple of review columns of engineering news journals. It even came to the attention of Isaac Asimov. Often cited by Larson’s advocates[13] is Asimov’s praise for the book’s ability to act as a critical thinking exercise:
“ As an iconoclastic work, Larson’s book is refreshing. The scientific community requires stirring up now and then; cherished assumptions must be questioned and the foundations of science must be strenuously inspected for possible cracks. It is not a popular service and Mr. Larson will probably not be thanked for doing this for nuclear physics, though he does it in a reasonably quiet and tolerant manner and with a display of a good knowledge of the field. ”
—Dr Isaac Asimov, Chemical and Engineering News, July 29, 1963
Less often quoted, however, is Asimov’s conclusion with the book, and its rebuttal to many of its points regarding the nature of electrons, although a full copy is hosted on[14] Asimov concludes:
“ If no electrons exist within the atom, as Larson suggests, I do not see how the photoelectric effect can be explained. From this I conclude that however stimulating Larson’s book might be as an intellectual exercise, it need not be taken seriously as anything more than that. ”
—Dr Isaac Asimov, Chemical and Engineering News, July 29, 1963

[Both the photoelectric effect and spectroscopy have been covered in Reciprocal System papers and so Asimov’s criticism does not stand. Massless, chargeless electrons do exist in matter, usually one per atom. These electrons are not “constituents” of atoms; the atoms harbor them. They are not necessary for the structure of atoms.  Matter is neutral, not because there are an equal number of positive and negative charges; rather, matter is neutral because ordinarily charges are not present. Also, Satz proposed a modified Rutherford experiment in the early 80’s in which neutralized alpha particles are beamed at a gold foil. If the resultant scattering is the same or similar to that for alpha particles, then the repulsive force would not be electrical.]


Larson’s works include The Structure of the Physical Universe (1959), The Case Against the Nuclear Atom (1963), Beyond Newton (1964), New Light on Space and Time (1965), Quasars and Pulsars (1971), Nothing But Motion (1979), The Neglected Facts of Science (1982), The Universe of Motion (1984), and Basic Properties of Matter (1988).
His fan Ronald W. Satz also summarises Reciprocal Theory in The Unmysterious Universe (1971).

[Yes, thanks.]

I wish to thank the author of this piece and I hope that he will continue his study of the Reciprocal System. There may be hope for him yet….

05/17/2012, last revised 06/11/2012

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