Ivor Catt 8aug01

Measuring Voltage

Fundamentals of Electromagnetism

There is no instantaneous action at a distance. Space is that which prevents instantaneous action. Thus, what happens at a point in space is only the result of what is present at that point at that instant in time.

While researching the interconnection of high speed (1nsec) logic in Motorola, Phoenix, in 1965, I came across the Transverse Electromagnetic Wave (TEM Wave). This comprises an electric field, a magnetic field, and a velocity. These three factors are at right angles to each other. The electric and magnetic field are in a fixed ratio 377, and the velocity is a fixed 300,000.

To understand the TEM wave, think in terms of the very difficult concepts, which are the basis of the differential calculus. Consider a line (curve) in a two-dimensional graph. In the same way as a curve has a definite slope at a point, although at that point the curve has no length, and therefore no slope, so a TEM wave exists at a point but also exists in a region of space. (At a point it has only energy density, but in a region it has energy.) As another conceptual aid, consider the concepts mass and density. A body has density (but no mass) at a point, but it also has mass in a region of space. In the same way, a TEM wave is distributed through space. A portion of the wave at one point has no knowledge of the rest of the TEM wave.

In around 1887 Oliver Heaviside (OH), and 80 years later, independently, I myself conceived of the TEM wave of fixed magnitude travelling without change at the speed of light (300,000). OH called it a slab of energy current, which was a Morse pulse travelling unchanged down the undersea coaxial cable from Newcastle to Denmark. I saw it as a logic pulse travelling unchanged along a printed circuit board from one logic gate to the next, guided between the signal line and the 0v return line.

In this exposition, the term "wave" does not in any way imply a sine wave. There are no sine waves in my theory, which is based on the square pulse. The sine wave is not a Primitive, because it does not exist at only one point at one instant in time. Thus, it is anti-relativistic. It is regrettable that Einstein dismissed the logic pulse as "absurd", but he did not have access to Oliver Heaviside. Einstein excluded the only Primitive which was compatible with his own concept, Relativity, of no instantaneous action at a distance.

Convinced of the existence of the TEM wave, and sympathetic to Occam's Razor, it behoved me as a scientist to construct, or explain, as much as possible of what I saw in terms of these TEM waves. I concluded that a complete science could, and should, be built out of this single Primitive

It is quite difficult to correctly state the energy density at a point in a TEM wave, and it is incorrectly stated in a footnote to my sep84 article in Electronics & Wireless World. However, energy flow rate across unit area is correctly stated as E x H.

Since a TEM wave has only one velocity, and cannot remain stationary, events at a point in space at one instant in time result from the TEM wave which is passing through that point. However, it could be passing through in any direction, and more than one such wave can exist at (= be passing through) that point at one instant in time.

If only one TEM wave is passing, then it continues in the same direction unchanged, provided the aspect ratio of the space ahead remains the same. To grasp this, think of a river with uniform banks. The water continues forward at constant velocity. However, if the width of the banks changes, or the depth of the river bed, then the flow of the water changes. Similarly, if the space ahead of a TEM wave changes, then the TEM wave changes.

We know nothing of how information on a change in the aspect ratio of the space ahead of a TEM wave is communicated laterally across the face of a slab of energy current (= TEM wave).

We know nothing of how two colliding TEM waves at a point interact, except in a very limited case, that of two which collide frontally. In this case, they pass through each other unchanged. Superposition applies, except that, strangely, a lateral physical force arises while the two TEM waves are superposed. We know little about this mechanism, except that if the space is defined by two parallel conductors, with the TEM waves guided in between, then the two conductors experience a lateral force. If the electric fields of the two waves are in the same direction, this is a force of attraction between the conductors. (If there is only one wave, the conductors experience no physical force.)

Ivor Catt 8aug01


From Electromagnetic Theory vol 2 oct 1980

P237 The nature of space and the ether.

This whole subject is confused, but I think my long experience of fast digital transmission will clarify it.

An important cornerstone of my position is as I stated to A W Holt and C Seitz some four or five years ago:

Space is the ability to accommodate energy

Consider a signal (energy) transmitted from A to B. It is best to consider a narrow digital pulse.


Assume that A and B are separated by distance. The following sequence occurs:

  1. The signal is launched from A.
  2. The signal resides in the space between A and B.
  3. The signal arrives at B.

If (3) occurs at the same time as (1), the signal has "travelled at infinite velocity." That is, it has not resided in the intervening space. That is, there is no space between A and B, and A is at the same point in space as B.

(We can get over relativity quibbles by sending the signal on a round trip A - B - A. The argument still applies.)

For space to exist between A and B, it is necessary that a signal travelling from A to B be "lost" for a period of time between A and B.

We know that velocity c is 1/ sq.rt. ue . For space to exist between A and B, c must be finite. If c = 0 , then signals will not travel from A to B, and there is no space between them; no link. Instead, there is a "brick wall". If c = infinity on the other hand, the signal arrives at B at the same time as it leaves A. Is follows that:

Space which supports infinite propagation velocity is non-space. That is, it does not exist.

There would be no means of detecting such "infinite velocity supporting" space, so that it does not exist as a scientific concept, being non-measurable and performing no function. I.e. if space cannot accommodate energy, it has no function and so does not exist.

Conclusion. We are left with the only real space, that which supports a finite velocity, and where 1 / sq.rt. ue is non-zero and non-infinite.

In this context, ether is a synonym for space. Space has the characteristics uo and eo; ether has the characteristics uo and eo.

The Charged Capacitor

I discuss the Catt, or Contrapuntal, model for the "steady" charged capacitor in Wireless World, sep84, under "Energy Current". Also I show it in Fig. 7 in my 1995 book Electromagnetics 1, pub. Westfields Press.

[Additional note planned for p29 of the next (i.e. after 2001) edition of Ivor Catt, Electromagnetics 1, 1995;]

4jan02. Ivor Catt. There is a rudimentary approach to this subject, which does not refer to my earlier dec80 Wireless World article, in the Ramo 1994 edition (but not in the 1984 edition or in the earlier 1944, 1953 versions) of the classic book by Simon Ramo et al., Fields and Waves in Communication Eelctronics, pub Wiley 1965/94, p227;

5.6 PULSE FORMING LINE .... charging a transmission line of length l to a dc voltage Vo and then connecting to a resistor [R] as shown in Fig 6a .... If .... [load] R is matched to the characteristic impedance, a pulse of height Vo/2 is formed across R for a time 2t, where t is one-way propagation time down the line and the line completely discharged. .... It may at first seem puzzling that voltage across the [load] is not just Vo when the switch is closed, but this is because a travelling wave [back into the source] is excited by the connection .... the wave [into the load] discharges half the voltage initially on the line, and the wave [back into the source] the other half ....

[The contrapuntal model for a charged capacitor is evaded by Ramo et al. 14 years after it was published in 1980 in Wireless World, which then had a worldwide circulation of 60,000.]


On page 28 my 1995 book Electromagnetics 1, pub. Westfields Press, repeats my discussion of the Reed Relay Pulse Generator touched on by Ramo (above).


Ivor Catt 5jan02


[See above.] "The Transverse Electromagnetic Wave (TEM Wave). This comprises an electric field, a magnetic field, and a velocity. These three factors are at right angles to each other. The electric and magnetic field are in a fixed ratio 377, and the velocity is a fixed 300,000."

The only person who latched onto a further development of this by me some decades ago was Nigel Cook. It is "The Single Velocity Universe". Not only can nothing travel faster than 300,000. Also, nothing can travel slower than 300,000.

The illusion that something is travelling slower than 300,000.

In normal life, in some ways the child on a swing can be regarded ar stationary. Certainly, the next step, the rotating flywheel, can give the impression that it is stationary. In fact a rotating flywheel could be described as stationary, even one with a hole in its middle. In that case, no part of the flywheel is really stationary.

In a more rarefied atmosphere, we regard a block of metal as stationary even while we accept the kinetic theory of heat, by which every atom of the metal is moving.

In "The Hidden Message in Maxwell's Equations" I wrote;

"So the only information about electromagnetism contained in the apparently sophisticated equations (9) and (10) is about the two constants in electromagnetism: the fixed velocity c, and that E, H at every point are in fixed proportion Zo. The remaining content of Maxwell’s Equations is hogwash."

Maxwell's Equations give us only two morsels of information; (1) 377 - that the impedance of free space is 377, and (2) that the only possible velocity is 300,000.

To stay within Maxwell, I propose mechanisms by which a TEM Wave might appear to travel slower than 300,000. They are leopard space and zebra space. Trapped energy currents create an environment where (leopard) an incident TEM Wave takes a zig-zag (and therefore longer) path or (zebra) trapped layers of (black) energy currents cause an alternating value for apparent Zo, leading to multiple reflections to and fro, so that the main bulk of the incident TEM Wave appears to travel more slowly - two paces forwards, one pace back, two paces forwards.

Ivor Catt 3July06