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Open letter to science editors



Checking the Checkered Checker[1]
George R. Talbott

Given that a body leaves the Moon at a velocity of 1 kilometer per second, or 100,000 centimeters per second, how far, directly upward, will it have travelled at the end of 1 second?  A similar question arises when seeking the distance and time relations for a bullet fired toward zenith with a muzzle velocity, in this case, of 1 kilometer per second, while working against gravity.  The problem is relatively elementary in physics, but is worth solving.  Mistakes are often made, even by professionals, in solving problems of this kind, thus no mockery and derision are called for.

Charles Ginenthal correctly used the muzzle velocity model in his computations.  When a gun is fired, one does not divide the muzzle velocity by two to get an average velocity.  Using the muzzle velocity of 1 kilometer per second and a surface acceleration for the Moon of 156.49 centimeters per second every second, both the total distance travelled to zenith and the associated time to zenith are computed.  For completeness, the distance to zenith is shown equal to the difference between the product of muzzle velocity and time to zenith, minus one-half the product of lunar gravitational acceleration multiplied by travel time squared.  The time is set at 1 second.  The confirmed equation finds distance as a function of time.  Ginenthal's original estimate is good, as usual.  The distance travelled upward is 3,278.25 feet.  A list of definitions, with the corresponding computations, follows:

a0 = gravitational acceleration at moon surface = 156.49 cm/sec2

Vm = muzzle velocity of projectile = 1 x 105 cm/sec

Sh = distance traveled at zenith

St = distance travelled upward at time T

Th = time expended at reaching zenith

Sh = V2/2a0 = 3.1951 x 107 cm

Th = 2Sh/a0 = 635.41 seconds

St = (Vm x Th) - (a0 x Th2)

3.1951 x 107 = (1 x 105) (635.41) - (156.49) (635.41)2

Let T     1 second

St  ((l x l05) x 1) - ( (156.49 x 12)) = 99,921 cm = 3,278.25 feet

If the muzzle velocity is taken as 3,000 feet per second, or 0.9144 kilometers per second, then the answer is nearly the same.  The distance travelled upward from the Moon's surface would be 2,997.43 feet.

Scholarly communication is dependent upon courtesy.  It sometimes happens that two scholars have quite different models in mind and neither should assume that the other person is ignorant, misinformed, inept, and so on.  If what I have stated here is not relevant, or is not applicable, this is not because I have failed to master applied mathematics or physics.  This charge, glibly made by so many bureaucrats, is not only discourteous, but manifestly ignorant.  I would recommend my own books as a possible corrective measure in these matters. (Both my Electronic Thermodynamics and my two-volume Philosophy and Unified Science have been used as university texts and references.  The two-volume work trains students in advanced mathematics, classical physics and modern physics.)  Many reputable scientists, people who have lived productive careers in science and who had to be correct in order to hold their positions, believe that Velikovsky has much to teach us.  Read the books, Velikovsky's and mine, before drawing conclusions about scientific ability.  My books are relatively conventional, while some of Velikovsky's work is speculative, but no more so than much of what passes today for "orthodox science."

It is true, as Velikovsky's detractors constantly remind us, that Velikovsky's thesis is not proven just because persons with advanced scientific skills, methodology and knowledge take Velikovsky seriously.  The detractors should understand their own argument: THE FACT THAT AN ACADEMICIAN OR NASA SCIENTIST MOCKS VELIKOVSKY DOES NOT PROVE THAT VELIKOVSKY IS WRONG.  The repeated charge that real scientists all reject Velikovsky is false.

Everyone in the scientific community realizes the abuse given in the name of "scientific criticism."  If the reader believes that only "fringe people" receive such abuse, he or she must review the facts about nearly every significant personality in the history of science.  Having been employed in both academic institutions and industry, I have observed hyena behavior in the front lines.  Where large financial or political gains are to be made, some participants have no decency.  I have heard the results and inventions of fine engineers and scientists "criticized," repeatedly, without an objective basis given for the criticism.  The critic's implication was always that the victim is wholly incompetent.  I have heard cases in which a critic began to crucify an idea, only to discover, halfway through his obscene assault, that its creator is among the elite of management.  He quickly reversed his argument, "accepting" what, a moment before, he had held up to ridicule.  IF A CRITIC CAN ATTACK ANYTHING, WHATEVER ITS QUALITY, THEN THE ATTACK IS NOT BASED UPON THE CONTENT OF THE VICTIM'S THESIS.

It is helpful to realize that if you or I wished to take on the arrogant, self-assured posture of these critics, we could make a career of our arrogance provided that a politician needed a staff member who could attack anyone (not merely "mistaken" individuals, but anyone).  The sort of behavior seen recently in the so-called scientific community is morally on the same plane as the destructive acts of street hoodlums.  Technically-trained hoodlums are still hoodlums.  They should command no respect.


The accompanying schedules (Tables 1 and 2, below) show both distance travelled and velocity as functions of time for a body launched at 1 kilometer per second from both the surface of Io and the surface of the Moon.  In reading these schedules, it is very important to understand the model portrayed.  There is no "power-up" period.  The velocity is established almost instantaneously, as in the case of a bullet fired from a powerful weapon.  If a space vehicle were similarly fired, no one inside it could survive the launch.  The G's used to express the surface force experienced at launch time is, simply, the body's acceleration divided by the local surface acceleration of the planet or lunar body. (For the Earth, this is the acceleration divided by 979 cm/sec2 [centimeters per second squared].  For the Moon, it is the acceleration divided by 155 cm/ sec2.  For Io, it is the acceleration divided by 181 cm/ sec2, using rounded numbers.)

The acceleration, itself, is computed by squaring the initial velocity and the final velocity, taking the difference between these two squared quantities, and dividing this difference by twice the distance travelled upward in the time interval characterizing the change from initial to final velocity.


Distance and G Force Results of Body Motion on Io for One Second

1 km/ sec         0.91440 km/sec (3,000 ft/sec)

Distance, km                           0.99910           0.91350

G's at launch                           276                  253


Distance and G Force Results of Body Motion on the Moon for One Second

1 km/ sec         0.91440 km/sec (3,000 ft/sec)

Distance, km                           0.99923           0.91363

G's at Launch                          323                  295

The G loadings are extremely high in comparison to those experienced by a space vehicle carrying living things.  And so it is with bullet-type models.  There is no "power-up" interval here.  Ginenthal stipulated quite clearly that his initial velocity was 1 kilometer per second, or 0.91440 kilometers per second, this second value being equivalent to 3,000 feet per second.  In the first second, the distances given and the G's shown will characterize the body shot from the surface of Io or from the surface of the Moon.

[1]        This is a collation of two papers written by George R. Talbott that we feel merit a full presentation to and analysis by our readers.

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