EINSTEIN SEEMS TO SAY THAT UNALTERABLE CAN BE ALTERED Therefore, One Holds, Views of Both Dr. Jack- son and Mr. Russell Are Borne Out
To the Editor of The New York Times:
The letters of Dr. John E. Jackson and Walter Russell in The Times of Aug. 3 contain, respectively, "For nearly 300 years no one, not even a scientist, has had the temerity to question Newton's laws of gravitation," and, "science needs the imagination of an artist or poet to synthesize her heterogeneous complexities. * * *" both of which statements seem to be representative of academic static and dynamic thought, for the contributions of science to art and art to science are relative with respect to the analysis and synthesis of primitive symbolism.
The questioning of Newton's laws and Kepler's extensions is a timely and healthy inquiry directed at contemporary cosmogenetics. The assimilation of knowledge within an individual experience, therefore, can be regarded rightly as either static or dynamic, can be applied as a simple correlation of established facts, or can be accepted as a means for concentrating on and contributing to progressive thought.
In the latter instance it is clear that a metaphysical perspective upon the collective result of recent scientific research is causing many to refer to earlier basic laws. For the most part this reversion seems to extend as far as Newton and from thence is carried forward again, in general, through Faraday and Maxwell, Eddington, Compton, Heisenberg and Einstein. The net result permits a repostulation of the laws of gravitation linked with the electromagnetic theory and tied to the cosmic continuum by means of a conception or reconception of time, space and matter.
The Artistic "Centre."
In supporting Mr. Russell's request for fair treatment, it may be added that the abstractions of science, along with the reality of art, present a fundamental intellectual and physical process to which the effort and production of the individual is irrevocably linked. The binder is found in the symbolism of primitive form.
Just as the mathematician frees his mind from the concrete by conceiving modern zero to be infinity, and from it working out or back to his problem by means of symbolic devices in common usage within his field, so the metaphysician accepts the assumption of a point as the centre for induction, and the scientist regards it as the beginning for all deduction and correlation.
If the laws of gravitation be considered as contributory rather than final, and if the electro-magnetic theory of a "field" be accepted as local rather than inferential, then it is evident that the Russell genero-radiative concept of foci postulates an inert but not a natural centre -- the "centre" used by the artist, poet, philosopher and scientist alike as a point for departure for all creative work. This "centre," however, seems to serve an additional purpose, for it defines and subordinates the orbit of Newton and the ellipses of Kepler -- both of which are in elaboration of the Cartesian and Pythagorean theorems and axioms of coordinates.
Must Assume Foci.
But in assuming the existence of "centres" (foci) as purely scientific abstractions within the cosmic structure (the recognition of the actuality of coordinate systems of reference in relation to infinite solar and planetary systems), we are able to differentiate within our mind the idea of force, acceleration, rotation and speed (time and distance), and to minimize the zero of the mathematician along with the esthetic and spiritual significance of the circle. The hypothesis then possible to establish provides a mental perspective on the metrics and geometries of both physical and cosmic space, and we find that Newton's laws contribute rather than define, and space itself resolves and evolves into a measurable unit in terms of physical content and direction. It remains to articulate and delineate our current knowledge from an inert point, which we can place into abstract, real or natural movement within our particular field as a true centre -- the pure symbolism of which is evident because of the simplicity of the concept. If we do just that, and no more, we find that we must introduce the basic elements that form our individual opinion or experience with the laws of centripetal and centrifugal force. The application of these elements in logical or structural sequence (elements drawn from the contemporary research field of pure and applied science) provides a simple "tool" for effecting abstract, physical and social deduction so that we can bring any inert point into continuous movement, the direction of which is horizontal or vertical, with respect to the laws of gravitation, and the delineation of which forms a true and natural centre.
Newton's Laws Questioned.
To aid and abet an escape from academic finality by means of such generalities is admittedly the essence of temerity, but Newton's laws have been repeatedly, consistently and profitably questioned by applied science since their inception. They are rightly finite in analysis, so why not let them provide for the infinite in synthesis?
In The Times of June 29 the pioneer achievement of Frand Lloyd Wright, in the field of architectural form, design and the adaptation of materials, was outlined in a comprehensive article illustrating not only the functional relation of the engineer, the architect and the draftsman within the creative accomplishments of an individual, but also including contributions to modern architectural practice which may be attributed almost entirely to an understanding of Newton's dynamics. The catalogue of the Harvard Society for Contemporary Art states that Buckminster Fuller's dymaxion house is "the first complete attempt in architectural design to acquire a symbolism of the fourth dimension, as the designing method is literally from the 'inside out' on a radionic, time, space and quantum basis." Mr. Fuller's approach to his problem is through spherical geometry and the application of simple dynamics to the evolution and introduction of new materials in a logical relation to height, bulk and weight requirements.
"Roadtown" of Edgar Chambless, a practical conception of continuous structure within which is integrated all ways of communication, and the utilities of service, along with a balanced social system, constitutes a recognized application of the laws of centripetal and centrifugal social force (the centralization and decentralization of population) and is based upon social dynamics.
My adaptation of historical and chronological time (the "inverted" or "coreless" pie-chart outlined in a letter to The Times of June 29 last) delivers a "linear scale," the simple graphics of which postulate the inert foci of Mr. Russell and give natural movement and direction to real and abstract deduction, the dynamics of which is based upon the articulation of multiple correlations carried along at one time in logical integrated and continuous sequence.
Recent correspondence from Geneva published in The Times leads us to believe that Dr. Einstein has the temerity to extent the pure symbolism of his mathematical abstractions to include a world application to child education -- an indication which seems to bear out the viewpoint of Dr. Jackson and Mr. Russell that the future is behind us, is common property, and that any one, even a scientist, is privileged to alter the unalterable.
Ridgefield, Conn., Aug 6, 1930.