Ivor Catt, 121 Westfields,
AL3 4JR, England.
copy sent 3 July 2006
copy sent 21 August 2006
May Chiao, Associate Editor, Nature Physics,
Nature Publishing Group, The Macmillan Building,.
4 Crinan Street, London N1 9XW TEL: +44 (0) 20
Dear May Chiao,
In Cambridge, my partner Libuse
Mikova and I had a long discussion with you
recently at dinner at Trinity College High Table and later in our cups. You
told us that your journal "Nature Physics" included Electromagnetic
Theory as part of its remit. I told you that I would approach you later with
some copy. "The
Catt Question" is an obvious candidate for
a Commentary in "Nature Physics".
Remarkably, my partner Libuse
Mikova insists that you also said; "What is
There is a precedent. In 1978, I noticed that
"Wireless World" was independently publishing articles by Dr. David
Walton and Malcolm Davidson. I telephoned the editor, the late Tom Ivall, and told him that Walton and Davidson were members
of a three man research team covering digital design and electromagnetic
theory. I further said that he, as Editor, had a problem because electronics
was moving rapidly from analogue to digital. I said that I was sure he did
not have cover in digital electronics. We were leading researchers in that
field, and could deliver to him the copy he needed for the transition from analog to digital.
After only ten minutes on the telephone, Tom asked
to visit me. He and his wife came to St. Albans for the day to discuss
matters with me. This led to Wireless World publishing articles and letters
discussing our contributions to digital design and electromagnetic theory in
every monthly issue for the ten years 1978 to 1988. The circulation at the
time was 60,000 per month.
Macmillan, the owners of your journal "Nature
Physics", later re-published much of our lighter material in "Digital
Hardware Design" . Wireless World also published some of our
findings at the heavier end, Electromagnetic Theory. Some of these heavier
Wireless World articles are now on the www, including "Displacement
Current". , "Maxwell's Equations Revisited" , "History
of Displacement Current" , "The Heaviside Signal"
mathematical rake's progress" , "The Hidden
Message in Maxwell's Equations" , "The Deeper
Hidden Message in Maxwell's Eqiations" "Maxwell,
Einstein and the Aether" , Death of Electric
As with Ivall and
Wireless World, "Nature Physics" needs cover over the developments
in electromagnetic theory resulting from the digital experience. I can
provide much of this.
The first, easy step will be for you to publish
under the remit in your journal which goes as follows;
"In addition to publishing original research,
Nature Physics serves as a central source for top-quality information for the
physics community through the publication of Commentaries, Research
Highlights, News & Views, Reviews and Correspondence."
Already the subject of an IEE
Article a decade ago, "The Catt Question"
is an obvious candidate for a Commentary in "Nature Physics". This very
elementary question in electromagnetic theory is answered in contradictory
ways by one half and the other half of accredited experts in the field -
Professors and text book writers. The "Southerners" are led by Sir Michael Pepper
FRS , Fellow of Trinity and Professor at The Cavendish. The "Westerners"
are led by Nobel Prizewinner Professor Brian Josephson, also Fellow of Trinity and Professor at The
Cavendish. Currently, Josephson is having
difficulty in getting clarity from Pepper.
Students at Cambridge and elsewhere have not been
warned that there is uncertainty , persisting for decades, at the core of the
Electromagnetic Theory taught to them.
I look forward to your reply to this proposal.
The larger opportunity for good copy for
"Nature Physics" comes later, when we can discuss whether advances
in Electromagnetic Theory are possible. Precursors are in "Wireless
World" twenty years ago. They include; "The conquest of Thought" , "The Conquest of Truth" and "The
Conquest of Science" .
St. Albans AL3 4JR
I have lectured
on censorship in science (see Maddox ). I have published
my theories, leading to"The
clever take the brilliant"
- Catt's views on electromagnetism
........- The Nobel Prizewinning Master of Trinity drops a clanger
at High Table
Maddox , the greatest suppressor of all,
the band-waggon of concern about suppression. With his track record, that is
"Reference. [Note 1] Ed. Stuart G. Shanker, Philosophy of Science, Logic
and Mathematics in the Twentieth Century, pub. Routledge 1996, p391;
[Glossary of terms] "electromagnetism - …. the final form of the theory
was devised by MAXWELL and is one of the triumph[s] of the nineteenth century
science." This assertion, that electromagnetic theory was complete in
around 1900 and could not be improved upon, is frequently repeated, (for
instance, as far as I remember, by Solymar and Ash). Since Heaviside (1850 - 1925) was given the
first Faraday Medal and has never been
repudiated by anyone in the Establishment, it is tragic that so many of his
concepts, including that of energy current, have disappeared. They are now
not known to a single Professor of Electrical Engineering or a single text
book writer in the world. Their grasp of the Transverse Electromagnetic Wave
diminishes every decade, even though it is the basic intellectual building
block for digital electronics. - Ivor Catt, 31dec01"
Editor: May Chiao
Before joining Nature Physics, May was an Associate Editor at Nature and
Nature Materials. She undertook postdoctoral research at the Solid State
Laboratory at ETH-Zürich and the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of
Cambridge, investigating fundamental properties of superconducting and
magnetic states by tuning quantum critical systems using temperature,
pressure and magnetic field. She obtained her PhD in 1999 from McGill
University where she studied heat transport in high-temperature
superconductors in the vortex state.
and scope of the journal
Nature Physics publishes papers of the highest quality and significance in
all areas of physics, pure and applied. The journal content reflects core
physics disciplines, but is also open to a broad range of topics whose
central theme falls within the bounds of physics. Theoretical physics,
particularly where it is pertinent to experiment, also features. Research
areas covered in the journal include:
Atomic and molecular physics
Statistical physics, thermodynamics and nonlinear dynamics
Information theory and computation
Electronics, photonics and device physics
High-energy particle physics
Astrophysics and cosmology
Nature Physics is committed to publishing top-tier original research in
physics through a fair and rapid review process. The journal features two
research paper formats: Letters and Articles.
addition to publishing original research, Nature Physics serves as a central
source for top-quality information for the physics community through the
publication of Commentaries, Research Highlights, News & Views, Reviews
Commentary on electromagnetic theory
agrees with Landis.
Given the Landis comment below, Landis will not approve of the comments by
Sir Michael Pepper FRS, recently knighted "for
services to physics", who says (under instruction) that electric charge
will emerge sideways (from the south) to terminate the electric field which
appears in behind a voltage/current step. See Pepper . It will be very useful if
Landis confirms that he thinks Pepper is wrong. Pepper says that "....
As the wave travels at light velocity, then charge supplied from outside the
system [from the west] would have to travel at light velocity as well, which
is clearly impossible. ...."; and; ".... as a TEM wave advances so
charge within the conductor is polarised and the disturbance propagates at
right angles to the direction of propagation of the wave ....".
If Landis says that Pepper is wrong, then we can expect Landis to agree with
Nobel Prizewinner B Josephson, who says that the required charge comes from
the west (which Pepper says is impossible). Pepper and Josephson are both
Fellows of my college, Trinity Cambridge. They are also both Professors at
the renowned Cavendish labs.
Following my urging, the Nobel Prizewinner approached the Knight of the Realm
to discuss their differences, but came away saying that Pepper was evasive.
However, Pepper's view is supported by the leaders at the IEE (Institution of
Electrical Engineers, London) and many other luminaries , so the problem is not
resolved by deciding that Pepper is discredited and technically incompetent.
In around February, Josephson asked for respite from the problem (that
Cambridge students are not being told that leading academics disagree on an
important fundamental aspect of what they are being taught) until April 2006,
and I agreed to this. I trust that BDJ is now well rested.
Perhaps it is not well enough known that, as I have been told, Landis himself
is a heavyweight when it comes to status in these matters, possibly ranking
close to Nobel and Knight of the Realm. However, I have not run a full check
----- Original Message -----
From: "Geoffrey A. Landis" <email@example.com>
To: "David Tombe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: <email@example.com>; <firstname.lastname@example.org>;
<email@example.com>; <firstname.lastname@example.org>; <Monitek@aol.com>;
Sent: Thursday, April 13, 2006 4:15 PM
Subject: Re: The Catt Question
From Geoffrey A. Landis <email@example.com>
Apr 13, 2006, at 8:18 AM, David Tombe wrote:
I've studied the Catt question in this web link,
My own personal answer would be that there is no extra accumulated charge on
either wire. I maintain that the wires are electrically neutral at all times,
whether current is flowing or not." - [Tombe]
Unfortunately, you're muddying the waters here. If the top and bottom wires
are at different voltages, then there are electric field lines running from
the top wire to the bottom wire. Coulomb's law says that all electric field
lines terminate at charges. So if there's an electric field going from wire 1
to wire 2, there are charges in the wire. If you run the numbers, the static
charge is small in magnitude compared to the moving charge, but it is not
(if this is not obvious; draw a Gaussian surface that is a cross- sectional
slice containing both wires, and integrate E. The easiest way to solve this
explicitly is to solve for the voltage difference as a function of the charge
on the wires.)
Interestingly, David Tombe here makes the
same mistake (now corrected) as did Dr. Arnold Lynch. They discuss the
electric current. “The Catt Question” is about the electric
charge appearing on the lower wire, not the current in the wire.
been censored out for decades, I left it to Arnold Lynch to do all the
writing of our joint paper http://www.electromagnetism.demon.co.uk/y7aiee.htm
, to see whether it would still be censored out of the IEE (now IET) refereed
journals, which it was anyway, no (previously promised) reasons for rejection
being given. In the end, as a good friend of the chairman of a section of the
IEE (which Lynch helped to found; “IEE Science, Education and Technology”), Lynch got it
published in the proceedings of their conference, at http://www.electromagnetism.demon.co.uk/y7aiee.htm
Original Message -----
From: David Tombe
Sent: Sunday, May 15, 2011 5:08 PM
Subject: RE: The Catt Question
I hope your talk on
4th June will be available on video.
Anyway, as regards the
amendment for your web link http://www.electromagnetism.demon.co.uk/64maychiao.htm,
This is the corrected form of my letter,
I've made a statement below which
corrects the position which I adopted on 13th April 2006.
The 'Catt Question' concerns the issue of the electric field lines which cross
the space between the outgoing wire and the incoming wire in a transmission
line. Conventional theory teaches that these lines must begin and end on a
charge, and that as such, the wires must possess a net electric charge. What
the establishment have never been able to explain is where exactly is the original and ultimate source of this extra electric charge.
If these wires lose their net neutrality when the current flows, then there
is no existing theory which can adequately account for that loss of
neutrality. If it's a case of feeding an increasing electron density in the
outgoing wire from the return wire, then it would be a case of a sink feeding
a source, and this clearly cannot be so. The extra charge must be supplied
externally from the power source. And since the literature does not teach
that the extra charge is injected into the system from the power source, or
how, the Catt Question therefore
creates a legitimate problem for the scientific establishment. It would seem
that the answers of Pepper and McEwan indicate that they
have both simply failed to comprehend the core of the issue, having given
conflicting answers, both of which have totally missed the point. Frederick David Tombe 19th April 2011
It corrects the spelling
mistake on the first version and gives a stronger support for the merits of
the Catt Question. Also, I do get your point about
focusing their attention exclusively on the lower wire. It gives them less to
"The Catt Question" in "Electronics
World", May 2009
Geoffrey A. Landis , Visiting Professor at MIT
Plumbing the Depths
Homepage | Electromagnetism1 | Old Website