Letter to officials








See August04

Extract from

"Electromagnetic Theory Volume 1"

Ivor Catt dec 1979

pub. C.A.M. Publishing

ISBN: 0 906340 02 0


Digital semiconductor electronics has great potential, but is held back by two problems;

1} The practical day to day design procedures are virtually untaught and unknown.

2) The basic electromagnetic theory underlying the work is inadequate and in any case virtually unknown today.

The first problem is the subject of a previous series entitled Digital Electronic Design, currently extending to two volumes. (Except for North America, vol. 1 has been re-issued by Macmillan under the title Digital Hardware Design . [none of it taught even today, 2006 - thirty years later. Of course, the UK got out of digital electronics - Ivor Catt 23mar06]) The second problem is addressed in this series. However, the division is not rigidly maintained.

There is far less knowledge and understanding of electromagnetic theory today, and this includes those in the highest places, than an outsider could possibly suppose. Text book writers and lecturers generally repeat what they do not grasp. Tragically, they do not even realize that there is a large subject which they do not understand, fondly believing that their sometimes skilful manipulation of meaningless mathematical symbols is the subject. This creates a growing problem which is compounded by the inadequacy of the classical theory, so that we have to try to move the allegiance of the "experts" from their present theory, which they do not grasp, to another, called "Theory H" These theories are so far divorced, and the students have been so badly misled, that the process will only be accomplished by stages, with multiple approaches to the problem, rather than by a single, logical, ordered argument. We have to make an escape which is more difficult than that made from plato's cave. At least the cave-men knew and understood their shadow world. Our student does not even know where he is coming from, and we are trying to show him where he is going to.

The C.A.M. Consultants team, I. Catt, M.F. Davidson and D.S. Walton, have worked together for a number of years. Individual credit for work done is difficult to apportion. The previous two books were attributed to all three, and this volume is attributed to one only, but this is only a rough guide to the contributions by individuals.


.... .... ....

Electromagnetic Theory

Minor flaws in the conventional approach to research in industry coupled with fundamental flaws in the educational system have led us through crisis to super-crisis in the theoretical region linking digital design with electromagnetic theory. Whereas one would hope that digital electronic ideas would at least gradually infiltrate into academia, the situation is in fact one of polarization and a last-ditch, doomed-to-failure stand by academia against the fundamental implications for electromagnetic theory of the digital experience.

Since they are given no other option, experts in the new electromagnetic theory are being forced to discredit and destroy the ivory towers that they are unable to enter.

In Galileo's time, I believe that some academics refused to look thorough the powerful new telescopes. In the same way as a more powerful telescope, which made it possible to see other moons than our own for the first time, had major effect on astronomical theory, so it was possible that the high speed ( 1 nsec ) logic and high speed ( 100 picosecond ) sampling oscilloscopes which came into use in the 1960s might have repercussions for electromagnetic theory. [ Crosstalk pictures ]

I was the first man to study 1 nanosecond logic gates thoroughly, starting in 1964 at Motorola in Phoenix, Arizona. [See the 150 picosecond 10volt spike . In an epoxy glass board, this is 4 cm wide, travelling at the speed of light for epoxy glass. - I Catt mar2006.] I was one of the first users of the remarkable (now defunct) E-H 125 pulse generator, with its clean ten volt, approximately 100 picosecond rise time output. (Actually, for the record, it was a negative, fall time.) This made it possible for me to experimentally refute the reigning theory on crosstalk in digital systems. The high quality pictures of high speed signals in my paper "Crosstalk (noise) in digital systems" , IEEE Trans. EC-16, Dec. 1967, pp. 743-763, [ see our book for summary ] made it easy to convince any reader that the old (single velocity) theory must be discarded in favour of the new (two velocity) theory.

The implications of that I saw in 1964 with those expensive, sophisticated instruments have gradually been borne home to me during the succeeding fifteen years. However, still, today, [1979, but true in 2006 - I Catt,] probably no professor, lecturer or text book writer on electromagnetic theory has seen what I saw in 1964 .Probably none of them have ever used a sampling oscilloscope.

This creates an unequal competition which I am bound to win on the technical level. Certain notions are obvious and others ridiculous if you have been regularly looking at real cases with the best instruments. The analogy is the sight of other moons through Galileo's telescope.

Established astronomers clung to epicycles long after it was suggested that the earth moved. (Incidentally, today total adherence to the Theory of Relativity with no absolute velocities makes one agree that the pre-Copernican view with Ptolemy's epicycles is no less valid than Galileo's view, which only has meaning and can be distinguished from Ptolemy if absolute space and position are assumed.)

When one looks at a high speed (e.g. 200 picosecond wide ) pulse travelling down a printed circuit transmission line using a passive probe into a sampling oscilloscope, one gains a radical new insight into Einstein's seminal problem of an observer sitting on a beam of light as on a magic carpet. In a Kuhnian revolutionary sense, one cannot then talk meaningfully to the gedanken experiment Relativity gurus gedanken-ing their way along with their eyes shut.[ Note 1 ]

In the same way as we feel free to laugh at the scientists who insisted on clinging onto Prolemy's epicycles, the current dogged adherence to "total Fourier" and other hangups will be looked on with astonishment by future scientists. Some of the current hangups are as follows:

1) Any (periodic) waveform is the superposition of pure sine waves. (In the case of a aeries of square pulses, the set of sine waves from which it is constructed is infinite in time, space and frequency range. Whether the word "periodic" above is mandatory is persistently evaded.)

2) Physical reality is composed of sine waves.

3) A T.E.M. step of zero rise time is philosophically inconceivable.

4) I you do a Laplace or other transform; that is, if you stand on your head, squint your eyes and bite your tongue hard, you are still looking a physical reality; still handling real concepts.

5) The "=" sign has only one meaning.

6) If you don't understand something, it becomes understandable, controllable and real if you bury it in large quantities of inter-related, obscure mathematical symbols, formulae and equations.

(1), (2) and (3) are remarkable in that they are anti-relativistic. At the core of Relativity is the outlawing of instantaneous action at a distance. A sine wave is anti-relativistic as a primitive because it necessarily exists at more than one point in space at the same instant in time. (3) is a statement diametrically oppsed to Relativity. The only conceivable primitive waveform in a relativistic universe is a step (or spike) of zerop rise time, because it exists at one point only in space.

(6) points to the excessive faith in symbolism; a failure to realize how ambiguous many symbols are, in particular the " = " sign, means that almost all the apparently impressive hieroglyphical work in science is meaningless.

" = " is used for the flooowing distinct and mutually contraidctory meanings:

a) Identity (i.e. conguence) Circle = Circle

b) Causality Force = mass acceleration

c) Implication Sun = light

d) Correlation e : mc2

If you study the set of equations representing Newton's Laws, or Maxwell's Equations, as normally stated, concentrating on the " = " sign, you can easily see what an ambiguous mess they are. The algebraic manipulations to which, for instance, Maxwell's equations are then subjected are a travesty of physics, science, logic and truth, and no meaning can be attached to them. (See ofr example "Classical Electrodynamics" by J D Jackson, 1962, page 178; "Electricity and Magnetism" by B I Bleaney and B BLeaney, Clarendon, 1957, page 236.)

However, if in conversation you insisted that your elder daughter was identical to your younger daughter, whereas in fact their "equality" only related to their parentage, every conclusion that followed this absurd assertion would not necessarily be absurd. For instance, if you knew the address of one daughter you might therefore know the address of the other. In the same way, it is possible for "valid" results to come from absurd postulates based on misuse of the " = " sign..... ....



[Note 1. Added in 2006 http://www.ivorcatt.com/4_1.htm

at "Properties of a Transmission Line"

This observed and photographed phenomenon [ 150 picosecond 10volt spike ] (see Ref.15, Fig.7 , Ref.3a, Fig.9.4 and Ref.6a, p57) contradicts the starting point of Einstein's theory of relativity. Einstein dismissed such a possibility as absurd (Ref.19, Ref.6a,); ".... If I pursue a beam of light with the velocity c (velocity of light in a vacuum), I should observe such a beam of light as a spatially oscillatory electromagnetic field at rest. [This is what I assume the observer to see, Fig.38.] However, there seems to be no such thing, either on the basis of experience or according to Maxwell's equations."]

.... ....


page 112

[In the 1970s, this article "Negative Time" and the similar article "The Sign of Time" in vol. 2 were rejected for publication by all journals in the world. They remain unpublishable. When "New Scientist" rejected it, they said that it was well known that time could be reversed. It was in the writings of Professor Paul Davies. I wrote to Paul Davies, and he said it was in his first book. I read through that, and told him I could not find it. He then wrote that it was in his second book. I read through that, and told him I could not find it. He wrote back that he had nothing to add to those two books. However, that did not deter him (or the media) from publishing streams of codswallop during the next decades. Later, Davies received the £800,000 Templeton prize for his contributions to Physics and Religion; "Physics and the Mind of God"

- Ivor Catt March 2006.].

Negative Time

A misunderstanding lies in mathematical formulations of Newton's Laws of Motion. At the relatively simplistic, comonsense level of Newton it is harmless enough, but it has wrought havoc in later developments, by maxwell and Einstein, where commonsense is not so readily at hand to steer us away from absurdities.

The source of the confusion is the numbering of the hours, from 1 o'clock to 12 o'clock in ascending order. This creates the impression that as time goes by, we gain time; that time increases. This leads to the idea that an interval of time (delta)t is positive. If (as in Relativity) we assume that all distances travelled are positive, we conclude that velocity, (delta)s/(delta)t , being the retio of positive values, is positive. However, this leads to absurdity, as we demonstrated on page 97 [infortuantely only in the book].

When we walk across town to catch a train we gain distance and we lose time. The hour we spen walking five miles is a loss, not a gain, and there is a negative relationsnhip between distance and time. When we have walked the five miles and succeeded in catching the train, we do not have more time on our hands; we have less. It follows that the universe started at +(infinity) time and will end at -(infinity) time. In the past we had more time than we do now, and a clock hand points to hours lost, these hours being numbered in an awkward manner.

In Maxwell's equations, as we have seen on page 97, the supposed negative (and thence imagined causality) relaitonship between E and H fields is spurious, and derives directly from the confusion illustrated on page 98 [not yet on the www]. None of the minus signs in Maxwell's equations are valid, but they have created a lot of nonsensical theorizing about causality. (See Kip and Carter, page 32 of volume 1..)

The effect of the misunderstanding is if anything more grave in Relativity, but before we discuss it we should set the scene carefully. (The text is "Principles of Relativity", A. Einstein etc., Dover, page 76.)

There are two conventional world views;

1) to be continued .... [in process of being typed onto the www by Ivor Catt in March 2006]

Ivor Catt 1979


Ivor Catt, 121 Westfields,

St. Albans AL3 4JR, England.

(01727 864257

+44 1727 864257

email ivorcatt@electromagnetism.demon.co.uk

website www.electromagnetism.demon.co.uk/


Second copy sent 4feb00 except to [10], [13] and [14]

25feb00, copies sent to [15] and [16]

Further copy sent to all addressees below in early 2004

Dear Sirs,

The Catt Anomaly

by I. Catt, pub. Westfields Press, 1996, ISBN 0 906340 13 6

(To exclude the possibility of personality problems, I have not until now communicated with the main parties direct.)

The book with the above title was published in 1996. It is available on my website, and there is a copy in Trinity College Library, Cambridge.

Since then, the Lynch-Catt paper on the problem was given at the IEE Group S7 Conference on 10 July 1998. This paper was later published in the Conference Proceedings, and is available on my website, (the key diagram, p3 of the book The Catt Anomaly, being enclosed herewith).

Your responsibility in this matter is discussed in the book, which is about to be re-issued.

You are invited to send me your comments for inclusion, unedited, in the new edition of the book. Your comments will also go onto my website.

You may also want to avail yourself of "Riposte", which is explained on my website Home Page. This enables you to have a hyperlink from anywhere on my website, to a website of your choosing, to rebut any assertion made on my website.

You may or may not wish to respond to these specific questions;

1. Is the Westerner view (Howie, McEwan) incompatible with the Southerner view (Pepper)?

2. Are you a Westerner or a Southerner?

3. Should a conference be convened to discuss The Catt Anomaly? (See p55 of my book.) If so, who should organise it, who finance it, and who should be guest speakers? (I note that G De Santillana, in The Crime of Galileo, pub. 1955, writes that the main mistake in handling Galileo [the earth moves] was to approach it administratively, which is your mistake over The Catt Anomaly. ".... if a decision had to be taken, a council was in order. To deal with the question on an administrative level [Note 1] was not only an arbitrary procedure; it was an inexcusable mistake, which is the necessary premise to the graver mistake of the trial sixteen years later...." - De Santillana, p137)

4. Should Ivor Catt have approached the matter differently, and if so, how? How should he approach the matter now?

Best wishes, Ivor Catt


Professor JG Gardiner, Dean of Engineering, University of Bradford, BD7 1DP, UK

2] Dr. N.J. McEwan, Reader in Electromagnetics, University of Bradford, BD7 1DP, UK

Professor M Pepper FRS, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge CB3 0HE

Professor A. Howie FRS, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge CB3 0HE

Professor Broers, Vice Chancellor, Cambridge University.

Professor Atiyah, Emeritus Master, Trinity College, Cambridge

Professor A Sen, Master, Trinity College, Cambridge

The Secretary, IEE, Savoy Place, London, WC2R 0BL

Professor Secker, IEE, Savoy Place, London WC2R 0BL

10] James W Mink, IEEE, Chairman MTT-15, North Carolina State University, Box 7911, Raleigh, NC 27695-7911

Robert T Wangemann, Managing Director, Technical Activities, IEEE, 445 Hoes Lane, PO Box 1331, Piscataway, NJ 08855-1331

Note 1.

".... Dr. Mink generously took his personal time to provide you with a reply. With respect to the views of Professor Pepper and Dr. McEwan, he stated that "I am in general agreement with their assessment of the "Catt Anomaly"."

We do not believe it to be appropriate to again search out a volunteer to review another volunteer's reply." - RT Wangemann.... 5feb97.

12] Dr. P T Warren, The Executive Secretary, The Royal Society, 6 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG

"Two Fellows of the Royal Society, Professor A Howie and Professor M Pepper, give diametrically opposed versions of a rudimentary aspect of electromagnetic theory, the subject central to their expertise which led to their appointment as Fellows of the Royal Society ...." - IC to Dr PT Warren, Royal Soc, 24sep95

23jan00, copies sent to [13] and [14]

13] Chief Executive, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, 345E 47th St., New York, NY 10017, USA

The President, Institute of Physics, 76 Portland Place, London W1N 3DH

14] Professor Ken Collier (Wheatstone Lecture Dec97),

University of Kent, Canterbury

25feb00, copies sent to [15] and [16]

15] Professor Malcolm Longair, The Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge.

16] Richard Friend, Cavendish Professor of Physics, The Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge

 McEwan's snow job, jan00

McEwan grovels to Pepper FRS

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