Catt Anomaly; Dr Arnold Lynch


December 8, 2002 [From Dr. Arnold Lynch, co-author with Ivor Catt in IEE paper ]

[Add to book ]


Dear Ivor,

I should like you to consider this rather as a draft than as a perfect statement of my position. If you disagree factually with me, or find my argument obscure, please let me know and I’ll try to improve it. Remember that I am a lab. worker, not a theorist except within my special field of electrical metrology. There is no general “Lynch theory”.

I still support much of what you have published about electromagnetic theory, but I will try to explain why I do not accept it totally.

You use the entirely respectable strategy of examining a simplified situation first, in the hope of getting an approximate theory and then modifying it to meet some slightly different conditions. In the history of science there are many examples of this strategy; the gas laws (Boyle, Charles, etc.) later modified by Van der Waals: study of the visible spectrum, beginning with the hydrogen lines and extending to fine structure and to other elements. But there are also some counter-examples; Milne’s “kinetic theory” of the expansion of the universe; Kelvin’s theory of the mechanical ether and all the pre-1908 theories of the structure of the atom before the use of quantum theory.

You have simplified the e-m theory by assuming ideal conductors and dielectrics, as might be possible with superconductors and a perfect vacuum. This leads to the idea that the charging of a capacitor will be oscillatory (so far I agree with you) and that the oscillation will continue indefinitely. But no real capacitor meets your conditions; there are no zero-loss dielectrics (not even a vacuum) and no zero-loss electrodes. This single example will show my point of view: real physical changes result in some loss of energy, possibly small. I have myself measured systems in which “Q” (energy-stored/energy-lost-per-cycle) is over 100,000, and I am aware of values of over 109 [One thousand million.] in superconducting resonators. But Q is never infinite; oscillations will always die away, usually in a time much less than 1 second. (The answer to one of your questions: I do not believe that the wave velocity becomes less; it remains the same, but the amplitude decreases.)

The Maxwell equations do not include loss. Nowadays they may be used with the insertion of a complex number as a multiplier ( <1 ) of the wave-velocity, but I am not happy with the results. I have published results which show that in a stationary-wave system, refraction at an interface is not correctly described by the Maxwell equations. There is really no reason why they should apply; Maxwell considered a uniform medium (i.e. one with no molecular structure) and he did not know that electric charge is associated with inertia. Of course the Equations are an excellent approximation in most practical situations, but that, and that only, is their true status.

You may be interested in another heretical view which I have reached in the last few years. I cannot understand the concept of space expanding, taking material bodies with it, which is used to account for the large red-shifts of very distant stars. What used to be thought of as empty space is now filled with various strange objects – neutrinos, wimps [sic], and even electrons (in which case, where is the corresponding positive charge?). The light we receive from stars is not c.w.; it consists of photons. If a photon collides inelastically with a particle, it will lose energy. But a photon cannot be attenuated; if it loses energy, the frequency of the remaining energy is reduced. Thus the light will develop a red-shift, proportional to the number and violence of collisions it has made. I accept, of course, that the much smaller red-shifts and blue-shifts of relatively-near stars are genuine Doppler effects.

I have no objection to your posting this letter, or preferably the second one based on an interchange of arguments as suggested in my first paragraph, on the Web. We might be able to bring our points of view more closely together, which I think both of us would prefer. If you publish it in part, please use complete paragraphs, not just parts of them.

Yours sincerely,

[signed] Arnold Lynch