Others on Ivor Catt in Wikipedia
by Ivor Catt, 31 August 2007
Copied from Wikipedia on 31 August 2007
Everything you write is ignorant lies or "errors". You're not revising the article, you're deleting all the referenced facts and replacing them with false drivel and personal insults, which are banned under Wiki rules anyway. Any changes you insert need references, and if you aren't expert in the subject of Catt (sadly cross-talk stuff is probably a long way from your PhD in electronic circuits), it isn't a good idea to delete the material you haven't heard of and replace it with personal insults and sneers about the person.
All the insults in your comment after the revert of your vandalism ignore the facts there on the page which you tried to delete. For example, key ideas you criticise were actually developed by Dr David Walton and Malcolm Davidson, and Catt was the activist trying to get discussion going inside the IEE and IEEE. Sometimes one of the censors of Catt pops up writing a letter to Electronics World or here on this Wiki page about Catt, claims he or she is a PhD expert or whatever, and then insists that Catt is self-praising himself and an egotist. That's no admissible really, it's contentless drivel which can claimed about many people. This is why the facts are more important than such opinions and insults, such as the fact that a lot of the work is not Catt's, and that his successful inventions built on the discoveries of others such as Heaviside, Dr Walton, Davidson, Mike S. Gibson, and several others.
The Wiki page is about the facts concerning Ivor Catt, not about your personal opinions or the fact - stressed in the original article - that his work is not mainstream. Your attacks on his work as being self publication are false since the science is actually the work of many others. If you have opinions, you are welcome to try to publish them somewhere more appropriate, such as in a journal if you can survive peer-rview. Then we can cite your wisdom here on Wikipedia!
Photocopier Photocopier 18:34, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
Photocopier, your comments above are objectively in violation of WP:CIVIL. Please read Behavior that is unacceptable carefully and please pay particular attention to No personal attacks. Also, please carefully read What vandalism is not. Regards: Alfred Centauri 20:50, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
Alfred: I'm making a response to vandalism, not an attack: many people's editing and referenced, carefully researched and checked information was deleted and replaced with some ill-informed opinions and insulting claims (with no supporting evidence whatsoever) about a "mainstream consensus" of authorities on Catt, which doesn't exist. There is no consensus because the only people in authority who comment on Catt make contradictory remarks: this is the opposite of a consensus. I was perfectly civil, I didn't call anybody a liar for making what are evidently hostile, personally insulting, misleading and possibly libellous false claims and unfounded assertions. However, the scale of the vandalism of the article was such that a civil, yet unequivocally worded, response seemed needed on this discussion page to explain that simply deleting a whole article and replacing it with some obvious fantasy based entirely on misunderstandings and complete ignorance (if not deliberate vandalism), was somewhat unhelpful. Photocopier 15:23, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Wow. Photocopier, no offense meant. I thought the Singapore thing was implied in the previous version, and I meant to just reword it into standard encyclopedia bio style ("John Doe was born in X on Jan 1 1901, and grew up in Y" rather than launching straight into childhood anecdotes. Thank you for correcting the facts. How is "Ivor Catt was born in XXX but grew up on RAF airbases around the world; he and his mother narrowly escaped the invasion of Singapore in 1942."? Please reword it to your satisfaction rather than reverting and accusing me of bad faith.
Next, after taking a deep breath: I know that the following is not your preferred version of the article, but please tell me which point is factually wrong in this shortened account:
Catt's views on electromagnetism Catt argues that much of mainstream electromagnetism is wrong: Catt does not admit the existence of electric charge as a fundamental entity and he claims that all charge is composed of trapped Heaviside energy current. He argues that capacitance and inductance are fictional, being artifacts of transmission-line effects in the devices; that displacement current is not needed to explain capacitor operation. As opposed to normal current (flow of charge), Catt uses energy current to describe most effects. Catt illustrates this with the Catt anomaly. When a step electromagnetic wave travels from left to right in a parallel twin-conductor transmission line, he asks, "Where does the charge on the bottom (return) conductor come from?" He does not answer that question, but states that simply asking the question proves that conventional electrodynamics must be false. The subtext of his argument here seems to be that charge from the conductors is not necessary for the transmission of EM waves in transmission lines. The electric field carrying the energy precedes and causes subsequent electron drift current, but the field is not itself charge, but rather Heaviside "energy current", light speed electromagnetic energy.
Catt's views on digital logic Catt has a long-standing dispute about "exclusive-or" in Boolean algebra. He has noted that "and", "or", "exclusive-or" (and their inverses) are the six functions out of the 16 possible functions of two Boolean inputs for which A op B is the same as B op A. Catt calls this "symmetric", and complains that Boolean algebra deals with "and" and "or" and ignores "ex-or". He appears to have been arguing this since his IC design days, when he apparently failed to convince his boss of the business case for having an EXOR function in the product range. (De Morgan's Laws state that a "positive-logic AND" is a "negative-logic OR" and vice versa.)
Seriously, what part of this is misrepresenting Catt's views? Most of it is verbatim from your preferred edit. Next, for the criticism section, please give some detail on my revision:
Current status of Catt's ideas
The view of Catt's ideas by mainstream physicists is that his earlier work on digital logic circuits is of value, but his later ideas about electromagnetism are incorrect. Because Catt's views have been expressed mainly in popular-press articles, self-published books, and on informal Internet forums, mainstream physicists view Catt's ideas, to the extent that they have heard of them, as pseudophysics. In particular, the fact that Catt's views are not expressed in compact mathematical form (Catt's view is that the use of mathematics in physics is "skillful manipulation of meaningless symbols") means that, in the conventional view, his work is out of the scope of conventional physics and cannot make reliable predictions to compare to experiments. Catt claims that there are some workers who are beginning to re-evaluate his ideas on the transmission-line representation of the capacitor in order to achieve better modelling of these components.
That looks pretty reality-based to me, Photocopier. It is a fact that Catt's views are expressed mainly on his webpages; that Electronics World and Wireless World were both an edited popular-electronics magazines, not peer-reviewed journals. It is a fact that Catt's views on the nature of electromagnetism are mostly ignored and rejected by the mainstream; Catt himself seems to complain about this, which seems to confirm it as a fact (even if it's a fact he doesn't like ... but "facts you don't like" are not to be excluded from Wikipedia; wikipedia is not advertising, is not a personal homepage.) Note, also, that the paragraph above does not disparage anything Catt may or may not say about circuit design, practical aspects of crosstalk, etc.. It simply reports the plain and simple fact that Catt is an outsider and that essentially all mainstream physicists disagree with him. Bm gub 14:23, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
It's completely unsubstantiated opinion, similar to your false deduction that because Catt was in Singapore when the Japanese invaded, he must have been brought up in Singapore.
Sorry about the Singapore thing. That's the most easily fixed error
in the world. Thank you for fixing it. Bm gub 17:31, 27 July 2007
"a) Energy current can only enter a capacitor at the speed of light. b) Once inside, there is no mechanism for the energy current to slow down below the speed of light. c) The steady electrostatically charged capacitor is indistinguishable from the reciprocating, dynamic model. d) The dynamic model is necessary to explain the new feature to be explained, the charging and discharging of a capacitor, and serves all the purposes previously served by the steady, static model."
"All charge is composed of trapped Heaviside " etc. is
in the version you just reverted to. I didn't write it. Look. Bm gub
17:31, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
That's a semantic dispute. It's perfectly valid to say "Lomonsov
showed that phlogiston was fictional, being an artifact of the exchange
of mass with the atmosphere during burning" or "the pentaquark
turned out to be fictional; the observed bump was an artifact introduced
during data analysis." OK, reword it however you like. At some
point he has to be saying that some mainstream concept isn't really
there, but is thought to be there due to the misintepretation of Catt's
real concepts. Which concept is this? Charge current? Can we say,
"catt argues that charge-current is fictional, and that the mainstream
belief in is is due to XXXX"? Bm gub 17:31, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
So why is it such an exciting claim? Catt's claim to fame is that
he doesn't disagree with the mainstream model of current, charge,
and energy stored in the static field? Delete as non-notable, then.
You may notice that this claim wasn't put there by me but by previous
editors; I just shortened it. You may notice that my longer version
of the "criticism" section---the one you initially reacted
to---said basically what you are saying now: "displacement current
isn't real and everyone knows this; it is not clear why Catt labels
this as an important claim." You deleted this bit with extreme
prejudice, but now you're restating it. (I stand by my version: displacement
current is a silly artifact which arises when you want to use Kirchoff's
Laws instead of Maxwell's Equations. The correct description can come
straight from Maxwell without invoking quantum field theory. But this
is beside the point.)Bm gub 17:31, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Dude, I left that line in 'verbatim' from the previous version of
the page. You reverted to this version yourself. If you like I can
accuse you of vandalism for saying such utter nonsense .... just kidding.
:) If this is wrong, it was wrong in your long version and wrong in
my short version. What's right? Why don't you put that into the article?
Bm gub 17:31, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Catt doesn't state that "asking the question proves that conventional electrodynamics must be false", the question is an assessment of the degree of consensus and scientific discussion possible in electromagnetism between experts, and it is the answer he gets from experts which decides whether or not conventional ideology is helpful to a student who asks questions and hopes to get a similar answer from each expert. Professors asked by Catt, who he names and publishes, give different answers.
"The subtext of his argument here seems to be that ..."
You write this after making a false summary of Catt's question. So you make your own false conclusion, and then you write about the "subtext" to your own false conclusion. You are writing about your own personal ideas. This is your own opinion, which must be published in a peer reviewed journal before it can be mentioned here in a Wiki article about a living person. Thank you.
Again, that's all verbatim from the 'previous version' that 'you
have reverted to twice'. You're quoting yourself and arguing with
it. Please read the old edit (the one before I ever showed up) more
carefully. Figure out who wrote that and go yell at them instead of
at me. Bm gub 17:31, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
"Most of it is verbatim from your preferred edit. Next, for the criticism section, please give some detail on my revision: Current status of Catt's ideas. The view of Catt's ideas by mainstream physicists ..."
Here, you are giving your views and claiming to be giving a consensus by "mainstream physicists". You don't quite seem to be aware that mainstream physicists have contradictory views. If you read Catt's book "Catt Question", you will notice that there are two different views on a simple question. There is no consensus whatsoever. So all your writing on this page is insulting self-opinions, unsubstantiated by even a grain of evidence. It's rubbish, it's offensive, ... Photocopier 16:00, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Alfred Centauri: Bm gub ignores the facts and writes rpeatedly things
which are untrue. I've explained this twice and it is ignored. See
also the discussion and edits of the Jeremy Webb page for vandalism
by Bm gub who is a sock puppet for New Scientist, who has been sending
out abusive insults (lacking science and ignoring the facts entirely!)
about Ivor Catt for years [].
 The Catt Question, yet again
The Question starts
.... when a TEM step ....
When a battery is connected to a resistor ....
The upshot of this is that whereas Catt thinks that the two versions of his question have the same meaning, they are entirely distinct questions when read by a physicist who applies the consensual meanings of the terminology.
Once you realise that there is a serious ambiguity in Catt's Question, it is perfectly clear that Prof Pepper (who was unaware of Catt's non-standard position) was trying to answer ".... when a TEM step ....", while Dr McEwen (undoubtedly a Wireless World reader) was answering "When a battery is connected to a resistor ....".
This is not a problem with the physics, but rather with Catt's Question. See Minor_characters_from_The_Hitchhiker's_Guide_to_the_Galaxy#Majikthise_and_Vroomfondel Vroomfondel and Forty-two. -- Kevin Brunt 20:11, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Kevin, Catt asks "where does the charge come from?" If
those experts did not understand what this question means, they could
have asked for confirmation from Catt. Neither did so. Hence they
were both confused by the question, which resulted in their differing
answers to it. Your claim that the answers were not in conflict because
the answers were answers to different interpretations of the question
"where does the charge come from?" is really in self-contradiction.
If two kids are asked what is 2 + 2, and one gives the answer 3 while
the other gives the answer 6, it might well be the case that they
both misunderstood the question (poor hearing, frequency distortion,
causes misunderstandings). But that doesn't disprove the fact that
the answers are different, and if you have different answers, then
the answers are in disagreement, regardless of the cause. You seem
to be assuming that because the experts possibly didn't understand
the simple written question, their differing answers are not evidence
of a conflict. However, the answers are in conflict, regardless of
the underlying cause behind the differences of opinion they express
concerning where the charge comes from. The fact remains, the responses
are different by 90 degrees. That's a contradiction, whatever is the
The experts are in perfect agreement about where the charge comes from - it is already in the conductor. It has been known since the start of the 20th Century that an "uncharged" mass actually contains vast (but equal) quantities of positive and negative charge, in the form of sub-atomic particles, and that the phenomenon of "charge" in the 19th Century sense is a statistical statement about the displacement of the particles from their equilibrium state.
In the absence of any additional context, Catt's Question appears to be about an electromagentic wave impinging on a conductor, which is quite clearly what Pepper's answer is about. McEwen, on the other hand, has not tried to answer the Question (and it is perfectly clear from what he wrote that it was not his intention to answer the Question.) Instead, (being very obviously aware of Catt's theories) McEwen has set out to explain how the "mainstream" consensus can accommodate the idea of near-light-speed propagation of a wavefront in a conductor with the millimetre-per-second drift velocity of the electron mass. Your "2 + 2" example is not helpful, or representative. A better one might be "What is the difference between an Apricot and a Tangerine?" which has different answers depending on whether you are referring to fruit or to obsolete British microcomputers.
RE: energy current... Let's start by noting that you mentioned the electron first. It is the discovery of the electron in 1897 and the evolution of the Drude model of conduction (and its quantum mechanical successors) that solves the dicotomy between "charge current" and "energy current". Catt's theories derive from Heaviside's 1888 publication (ie before the electron!) and it is clear that Catt does not really want to extend his theorising. Note particularly that Catt's Question only tangentially approaches the concept of the electron with the mention of the "drift velocity of the electric current".
I hold by my statement as to Catt's position, for which see The Death of Electric Current. Catt distinguished between "Theory N" - flow of charge + flow of energy (no attempt to explain why); "Theory H" (Heaviside) flow of charge + flow of energy (defined by Poynting Vector E x H) and "Theory C" (Catt) flow of energy.
Theories N, H and C appeared originally in Digital Hardware Design Chapter 10 and it is clear exactly where Catt's theories diverge from Heaviside's conception. At the bottom of page 65 (first page of the chapter) appears the quote from Heaviside that ends "We reverse this....." Now what Heaviside is reversing is not, as the following text would suggest, Theory N, but rather a suggestion by Maxwell that the flow of energy is the sum of the energies held in the electric and magnetic fields as they are carried through the conductor by the flow of charge. Maxwell is thus suggesting that there is no flow of energy distinct from the flow of charge.
Heaviside's "reversal" is a repudiation of Maxwell's suggestion. Heaviside requires both a flow of energy and a flow of charge. By invoking the Poynting Vector Heaviside automatically gets the magnitude of the flow of energy to be related to the vector product of the electric and magnetic fields, and thus proportional to the product of the voltage and current (which Maxwell's sum of energies simply cannot be made to do.)
When you look at Catt's detailed working of his theory, in Electromagnetism 1, chapter 1, you see that his energy current, like Maxwell's, is the sum of the separate energies held in the electric and magnetic fields. Catt's conception is the counterpart of Maxwell's; where Maxwell's energy flow is "in phase" with the current, Catt's energy flow is in phase with the voltage. Catt's version has the same problems as Maxwell's, and Heaviside would have dismissed as comprehensively. -- Kevin Brunt 19:59, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
What's the point of Catt's argument that "displacement current"
doesn't exist? Of course it doesn't "exist". It's an artifact
which shows up if you try (incorrectly) to use Kirchoff's current
law in a circuit where there is a variable charge density. It's convenient
in circuit design when you want to write equations strictly in terms
of I and V, without having also a Q term. But of course it's not a
real thing; the real things are electrons and electromagnetic fields.
If you work through the behavior of a capacitor using charge currents,
charge densities, and fields, it gives you an exact physical description---including
the electric fields in the capacitor gap, the attraction/repulsion
of electrons on the other side of the gap, and the appearance of a
current on the other side. If you work through a capacitor using Kirchoff's
Law, you have to invent the "displacement current" to rescue
the conservation law when you analyze the gap itself. Does Catt's
entire argument spring from "There is no displacement current;
therefore the mainstream professors, who taught me that there is,
I've archived all the old discussion here as it really was irrelevant! To make sense of it you need to know that (towards the end at least) there were 3 participants in the discussion:
"Light current", who originally created the page and whose
position on Catt's ideas I never did quite work out, as he (LC) tended
to put forward a contrary argument to everything. He appears to have
been indefinitely banned from Wikipedia after getting into a messy
argument with the Administration.
The problem really starts in his book "Digital Hardware Design", where the "stepwise" charging of a capacitor is first presented. This is done using the concepts of the characteristic impedance of a transmission line, and the velocity of propagation along it. There is no problem with the analysis; rather it is in the presentation of the formulae deployed as being somehow "fundamental", rather than deriving from the solution of the Telegrapher's Equations for an applied step waveform. Indeed, on page 14 of the book, Catt (et al) deny the derivation of the Tel. Eqns as the application of calculus to the delta V and delta I of the series L/shunt C representation of a finite length of a TL.
In fact, Catt argues that because he shows that "a capacitor is a transmission line", that it is "absurd" to assert the converse, that "a transmission line is a capacitor". I think that this is at the heart of the whole thing. Catt elsewhere talks about "causality". He appears to want to read the equation "A = B" as "A is caused by B", rather than the more neutral "where there is B there must also be A". Consequentally, by arguing that the current is "caused" by the magnetic field, he thinks that he is disproving the Ampere-Maxwell equation. -- Kevin Brunt 20:57, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
+++ New Scientist
"Depending on who[m] you talk to in the generally conservative semiconductor industry, Catt is either a crank or a visionary. For 20 years, he has been refining the theoretical foundations for a revolution in the semiconductor industry ...." - "On the importance of being creative; Innovative thinkers should be allowed to come to the fore", New Scientist, 12june86, p35;
".... Ivor Catt, an innovative thinker whose own immense ability in electronics has all too often been too far ahead of conventional ideas to be appreciated: significantly, Catt is beginning to get some high-level backing from companies who see the possibility of major breakthroughs from his work ('Wafers herald new era in computing', New Scientist, 25 February 1989)." - New Scientist, 25nov89, p75. [In the end, the backing ran to £16 millions of foreign and British Government money. The resulting product came to market and was "best product of the year" for two US electronics journals - ELECTRONIC DESIGN 26oct89 and another. See WSI on this website.]
Photocopier had reverted Bm gub's edits because Photocopier claimed they were "vandalism". This statement is incorrect; although Bm gub did rewrite the article, the rewriting is not explicit vandalism.
Here is Wikipedia's definition of vandalism (from Wikipedia:Vandalism): "Vandalism is any addition, removal, or change of content made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of Wikipedia.... Any good-faith effort to improve the encyclopedia, even if misguided or ill-considered, is not vandalism." The edits that Bm gub made, as far as I could tell, were good-faith edits. Therefore, I reverted to Bm gub's text, since Photocopier's rationale for making reversion was incorrect.
Photocopier claims that "Vandalism included the false unreferenced claim Catt grew up in Singapore". It's hard to see how this statement can be called "vandalism", however, I added a fact tag to this statement. Photocopier claims that bm gub removed "factual referenced material". The references for this material is primarily Catt's various websites and Catt's writings about his many theories; it is not material for an encyclopedia, and it's available in the external links for those interested. Finally, Photocopier claims "addition of insults contrary to Wiki rules". These putative insults appear to be the statement "mainstream physicists view Catt's ideas, to the extent that they have heard of them, as pseudophysics." This statement is correct, and in fact Catt quotes many times the fact that mainstream physicists dismiss his ideas.
Overall, Bm gub's rewrite makes the article concise; this seem to be the preferred text to me over the previous version, which had been an unsorted collection of unrelated claims Geoffrey.landis 14:19, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Hi. Thanks for injecting some sense here, though I doubt it will