A 1946 DOCUMENT BY IMMANUEL VELIKOVSKY
In a 1946 privately published document, Cosmos Without Gravitation, Velikovsky outlined, without proofs, his cosmological ideas. The sub title, Attraction, Repulsion, and Electromagnetic Circumduction in the Solar System, was a challenge to Newton’s celestial explanations based solely on gravity. The arguments for Velikovsky’s ideas would follow in a series of books, long delayed because of the intervening years of WWII. Worlds in Collision, published in 1950, was the first of those books.
Velikovsky wrote, “The fundamental theory of this paper is: Gravitation is an electromagnetic phenomenon. There is no primary motion inherent in planets and satellites.”
At the time there was no concept in astronomy that electricity and magnetism played any part in celestials mechanics. Following the surprising discovery in 1958 of the electromagnetic Van Allen Belt, the story began to change somewhat. Nonetheless there remains to this day, the same resistance to electromagnetic effects in planetary motion.
Sitting in his living room, I shared Velikovsky’s excitement as the first reports arrived, seeming to confirm these earlier claims. Of course authorities downplayed such claims as ‘lucky guesses’.
It might be noted Velikovsky did not like the use of the word ‘predictions’ and opted for ‘prior claims’.