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An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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THE OLDER 'MATTER'
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of helium charged with a double positive charge of electricity, and that the (3-rays were negatively charged particles with the charge of an electron.
These few remarks already make apparent the structural fact that electromagnetic phenomena exhibit characteristics quite similar to those of 'matter', some of their processes are atomic, they have inertia , .
In the older days we tried to apply macroscopic mechanical structural laws to electromagnetic phenomena, but were not very successful. The laws which applied to those sub-microscopic levels were seemingly different from those which applied to gross macroscopic levels, just as the psycho-logics of the individual differ from the psycho-logics of the mob.
An epoch-making semantic step was taken by Rutherford when he formulated the electromagnetic theory of the structure of 'matter'. In this theory the atoms represent complex structures built up of positive and negative electrons, and their number and arrangements (structure) determine the chemical and physical characteristics of the atom in question. The old structural dogma of the immutability of the elements became untenable; and today, theoretically, and in a few instances experimentally, it has been established that a transmutation of elements is not only a possibility but a rather well-established structural fact of 1933.
It should be noticed that once more one of the fanciful linguistic, structural, 'infinities' has been abolished. The elements appear as transitory processes with a 'life' of a limited span of years. The experimental structural evidence which physicists and chemists have gathered is overwhelming and, though the positive theories (verbal structures) may not always be satisfactory, the negative results leading to the rejection of the older theories are conclusive. This point is of supreme structural importance to us.
A short description of the different atomic models comes later in this chapter, but first something must be said about the old quantum theory, which represents at present the central problem in science and out of the solution of which the most revolutionary consequences are bound to follow.
The main problems of the quantum theory may be described and contrasted somehow as follows. If we take a line X'X and select a point O as the origin, we may fix the position of a point P on this line by the co-ordinate *. In practice we find the values of x by measurement. If we assume that x varies continuously we can expect that by refined measurements we can find values of x as close together as we please.
Experiments show that for the processes going on 'inside of the atom' the structural conditions are somehow radically different. In comparing them with the above example, we should have to give our point only the freedom of occupying certain discrete points, let us say 1, 2, 3 . , but all fractional values, such as 1/2 or 2/3, would be impossible. If the only possible values of x are whole numbers, then the possibility of finding values of * as close together as we choose in order to make more precise measurements is excluded. If we find,