The Catt Anomaly


15 March 2000

After some decades of failing to generate response to my new insights into electromagnetic theory, particularly Theory C, I retrenched to trying to communicate an alleged anomaly in classical electromagnetism as it is taught throughout the world. The Catt Anomaly is a very simple anomaly in classical electromagnetism, which I discovered and published in 1982.

The diagram illustrating the anomaly is on another page.


Traditionally. when a TEM step (i.e. logic transition from low to high) travels through a vacuum from left to right, guided by two conductors (the signal line and the 0v line), there are four factors which make up the wave;

- electric current in the conductors

- magnetic field, or flux, surrounding the conductors

- electric charge on the surface of the conductors

- electric field, or flux, in the vacuum terminating on the charge.

The key to grasping the anomaly is to concentrate on the electric charge on the bottom conductor. During the next 1 nanosecond, the step advances one foot to the right. During this time, extra negative charge appears on the surface of the bottom conductor in the next one foot length, to terminate the lines (tubes) of electric flux which now exist between the top (signal) conductor and the bottom conductor.

Where does this new charge come from? Not from the upper conductor, because by definition, displacement current is not the flow of real charge. Not from somewhere to the left, because such charge would have to travel at the speed of light in a vacuum. (This last sentence is what those "disciplined in the art" cannot grasp, although paradoxically it is obvious to the untutored mind.) A central feature of conventional theory is that the drift velocity of electric current is slower than the speed of light. End of statement as given to Pepper and McEwan.

Two luminaries in academia, Pepper FRS and McEwan, were instructed by their bosses to comment on the Catt Anomaly. They totally contradicted each other. (McEwan said the charge came from the west, while Pepper said it came from the south.) I took this contradiction to the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) in London, who wrote that their remit included facing up to such a basic contradiction. The chief executive instructed his top expert Secker to comment, and he did so. However, seven weeks later he wrote that he was no expert. The IEE then evaded the problem.

After their first statements, Pepper (1993) never communicated again, while McEwan (1995) remained incommunicado for five years. McEwan's silence was finally broken last month by an email to me, which compounded the confusion. Pepper remains silent. They refuse to communicate with each other, or, as did Secker of the IEE, to graciously assert their technical incompetence. Like the IEE, their institutions refuse to replace them. [Mar00, copy sent to the boss of each of the three.]

Some years later Arnold Lynch, an octogenarian luminary at the heart of the IEE, proposed to break the logjam by publishing a joint Lynch-Catt paper. He was assured that it would be thoroughly refereed, and if rejected, reasons for rejection would be given.

In the event, the joint paper was rejected for publication, and no reasons were given.

Lynch, while still trying to get it published, or to get reasons for rejection, then proposed to his friend Colin Hempstead, Chairman of IEE Group S7 (History of technology) a joint Lynch-Catt paper at their annual meeting. It was duly given, 10 July 1998, and published in the Digest of Papers given. [ I.E.E. 1998 article on the Catt Anomaly.] This has elicited no written comment whatsoever from any professional who draws salary for teaching or researching electromagnetic theory, or royalties from text books.

All that is asked for, and has been requested for many years, is a conference on the subject of the Catt Anomaly. The technical incompetence of Secker, McEwan and Pepper should not prevent a conference from being held. Scientific advance and consolidation should come before concealment of individual frailty.

Ivor Catt 15mar00