Quantum gravity physics based on facts, giving checkable predictions

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Electrons pass a pulse of energy along a cable at the speed of light in the insulator between the two conductors. Few people look at the problem of how information about the insulator flows into the electron. The problem is conventionally explained akin to a line of touching ball bearings in a wire, you push the end one and almost immediately the one at the other end moves. This model works when you forget about the speed of electricity, but then fails to account for the effect of the insulator on the speed.

Critically, when you consider a capacitor charging up, you find that the light speed energy flooding across the plates causes discrete, step-wise voltage increases when it reflects back at the far end of the plate and adds to further incoming energy. The issue here is that Maxwell’s special equation is based on the model of the capacitor charging up continuously, giving classical EM. When you take account of the stepwise increases which occur, you start to get a picture which looks more compatible with the view of quantum mechanics than Maxwell’s original theory. See curve at: http://www.ivorcatt.org/icrwiworld78dec2.htm


At 12:44 PM, Blogger Kevin Brunt said...

This is easily resolved by the careful study of a few crucial points.

The first is that the 'touching ball bearings' description is an approximation. It is, in fact, equivalent to the approximation that assumes that the spread of propagation of the current is infinite. It is not surprising that the description cannot be used to construct a model for the study of the velocity of propagation.

However, it makes an excellent basis for understanding the DC situation.

You consider the conduction electrons in a section of conductor (carrying constant current) as a single rigid mass. The mass is moving at the electron drift velocity, which is proportional to the current. It is a matter of simple, basic theoretical mechanics that there is a force acting with the motion of the mass which represents the input of energy from the source which (for constant current) is exactly balanced by the force delivering energy into the load plus the force delivering energy into the resistance of the conductor itself.

Juxtaposing mechanical work (force.velocity.time) and electrical work (voltage.current.time) and noting that current is proportional to velocity reveals that voltage is proportional to force.

To understand the velocity of propagation, you have to use a more sophisticated model where the charges on the electrons are taken into account and the forces are transmitted not by 'mechanical ' contact, but by the interaction of the electric fields, (ie 'like charges repel') The 'rigid mass' now has some 'springiness', and like a mechanical spring, there is associated storage of energy. A little thought will show that this storage of energy is, in fact, capacitance, from which it can be seen that the well-known reduction in the characteristic velocity of a transmission line as the square root of the capacitance per unit length is entirely reasonable.

Ivor Catt's 'energy currents' bouncing up and down an open-ended transmission line are based on a faulty premise.

While it is true that the voltage and current in a transmission line are 'in phase', a careful analysis will reveal what propagates back towards the source when a 'voltage edge' hits an open end is the infinite impedance of that open end. The reflected voltage edge actually marks the cessation of current flow, and therefore of energy flow.

This is easily seen by applying a voltage to an open transmission line through a resistor which matches the line's characteristic impedance, analysing the current flow in the resistor and then applying the result to any arbitrary point along the line which, of course, has exactly similar characteristics.

At 2:09 AM, Blogger nige said...

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for being the first commentator on the blog! Yes, voltage is proportional force, this is why Gauss's law is the electric field version of Coulomb's force law (by F=qE).

The fact is that nothing is stationary in a wire. The speed is light speed. The fact that the pulse goes at the speed of light in the insulator of the cable, proves that electric field is an energy exchange process causing electromagnetic forces (as vaguely described by QED), by analogy to Prevost's 1792 exchange process for heat (oscillatory photon radiation) that helped replace the vague 'caloric' fluid heat theory with two physical mechanisms, kinetic theory and radiation.

You also say:

'The reflected voltage edge actually marks the cessation of current flow, and therefore of energy flow.

'This is easily seen by applying a voltage to an open transmission line through a resistor which matches the line's characteristic impedance, analysing the current flow in the resistor and then applying the result to any arbitrary point along the line which, of course, has exactly similar characteristics.'

There is a lot of other experimental evidence published by Catt and his coauthors in IEE and IEEE journals by Catt for this, IEEE EC-16 1967, IEE Trans 1983 and 87, dealing respectively with cross-talk and with the inductor and transformer as transmission lines/capacitors, and that there is a hole in modern physics which this evidence fills. You can claim, by analogy, that God invented fossils and the cosmic background radiation to deceive man into believing in evolution and the big bang. You can claim that Jesus never existed, but had a twin brother of the same name who did the stuff he did. Go ahead. But where do you get by denying process?


"Einstein never knew that Oliver Heaviside, who had first 'popularised' Maxwell's equations, had experimentally found using a long cable that the invariant-speed transverse electromagnetic wave is the mechanism of electricity."

"AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: How many more air disasters?" (Cover story, Electronics World, January 2003, p12):

"In July last year, problems with the existing system were highlighted by the tragic death of 71 people, including 50 school children, due to the confusion when Swiss air traffic control noticed too late that a Russian passenger jet and a Boeing 757 were on a collision path. The processing of extensive radar and other aircraft input information for European air space is a very big challenge, requiring a reliable system to warn air traffic controllers of impending disaster. So why has Ivor Catt's computer solution for Air Traffic Control been ignored by the authorities for 13 years?"

When will people listen to save innocent lives? Why suppress Catt when you know it is condemning many people to death who would otherwise be safe? If Catt had not been ignored by New Scientist in 1989, not only would 50 deprived kids have been saved but the 9/11 disaster could have been averted in America because the computer control system would be capable of dealing with terrorist aircraft hijacking.

http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/EWD/transcriptions/EWD08xx/EWD839.html: Professor Edsger W. Dijkstra, Burroughs Research Fellow, writes:

‘The highlight, however, was being introduced to Mr. Ivor Catt, whom I had never met in person, though I knew very well who he was. By virtue of his involvement, Catt knows all the ins and outs of one of the major scientific scandals of the last 15 years, viz. the systematic suppression in the world of electronics of all publications about the phenomenon of the so-called glitch and its ramifications.’

Maxwell’s field theory which says displacement current flows from one capacitor plate to another to complete continuity of current in a circuit (vacuum dielectric between capacitor plates). Ivor Catt found problems with Maxwell but solved them by proving that a pair of wires is a capacitor, in IEEE Trans. EC-16, 1967, and Proc. IEE, June 83 & June 87, also in book Digital Hardware Design, Macmillan 1979 now free on line at www.ivorcatt.org

I've argued myself physically sick with people who overlook the obvious simple reality. I've got additional evidence on Catt at http://einstein157.tripod.com/ .

‘It had been an audacious idea that particles as small as electrons could have spin and, indeed, quite a lot of it. … the "surface of the electron" would have to move 137 times as fast as the speed of light. Nowadays such objections are simply ignored.’ – Professor Gerard t’Hooft, ‘In Search of the Ultimate Building Blocks’, Cambridge University Press, 1997, p27.

‘(a) Energy current can only enter the capacitor at the speed of light.

‘(b) Once inside, there is no mechanism for the reciprocating energy current to slow down… [magnetic field curls due to equal amounts of light speed energy going in each direction cancel out, while electric fields add up] … The dynamic model is necessary to explain the new feature to be explained, the charging and discharging of a capacitor …’ – Ivor Catt.

Draft of a manuscript sent to Dr John Gribbin for possible publication on a physics pre-print server (provisional):

The exact nature of the flaw in Maxwell’s classical electromagnetism, and the necessary correction with its implications for light theory, quantum mechanics, quantum gravity, and computer design


Maxwell’s classical electromagnetism was first found to be hard to reconcile with quantum theory by Planck. Bohr later proposed that the classical theory of Maxwell should co-exist with quantum theory, without any endeavour to discover and correct whatever error there might be in Maxwell’s equations. For this reason, the substance of Maxwell’s differential equations of classical electromagnetism has remained intact over the years although Heaviside, in 1893, expressed them in vector calculus, and Einstein expressed them in six-vector form (for compatibility with general relativity) in 1916. In 1978, Catt, Davidson and Walton published a paper showing that the central innovation made by Maxwell, the ‘extra current’ required for continuity of current in charging and discharging capacitors with a vacuum insulator, is not a true continuous differential equation, but quantum leaps, or a stepwise variation. This results from the fact that energy charges up the capacitor at light speed for the insulator, spreading across the capacitor plates and reflecting back to collide with more in-flowing energy. Each collision nearly doubles the voltage as a discrete jump on each reflection passage. Maxwell’s model wrongly ignores the energy flowing along the capacitor plates (it is based on a false model to explain the charging of a capacitor by means of a mechanical space filled with idler wheels and gear cogs). The problem was eventually highlighted by ‘glitches’ due to cross-talk (mutual inductance) in high-speed digital computers during the 1960s, and the solution was discovered in 1978. The proof that charge in a ‘static’ charged capacitor is light-speed reciprocating electromagnetic energy implies that the charge of the electron and proton is composed of such energy, implying a light speed energy model for fundamental charges which makes testable predictions for the strength of gravity and electromagnetism, confirmed experimentally. A new type of computer has been invented by Catt to take advantage of the resultant increased understanding of electromagnetism, using an array of microprocessors that is not currently being undertaken for fear of cross-talk problems that plague complex systems designed with the faulty theory.


Catt, Davidson, and Walton have discovered that when electricity enters a capacitor to charge it up via a resistor, it does so at the speed of light for the insulator between the two conductors. The energy floods outward from the point of entry until it reaches the outer edges of the capacitor plate, where it reflects back. Because electricity is still flowing into the capacitor, the reflected energy collides with this in-flowing energy. The electric fields from the energy components flowing in opposite directions add up to nearly double the original voltage. This is the mechanism by which the charge in the capacitor increases as the capacitor plates ‘charge up’. At no time does the electricity have a chance to slow down below light speed.

This has been experimentally confirmed using an oscilloscope. In this experiment, a capacitor plate x metres long is charged to v volts. When discharged, a pulse 2x metres long with v/2 volts is observed to flow out of the capacitor by the oscilloscope. This proves that the apparently ‘static’ charge is actually flowing at light speed in directions. When allowed to escape from one part of a capacitor x metres long, the energy already flowing in that direction, which consists of v/2 volts in a pulse x metres long, flows out first. The remainder of the energy is initially going in the wrong direction to leave by the available exit, so it must first go at light speed all the way to the far end of the capacitor plate, reflect back, and then leave. This is why the two components of the charge, each travelling at light speed in opposite directions, exit consecutively, giving a total pulse with precisely half the potential or voltage, and twice the length or duration corresponding to one transit of the plate at light speed. No net magnetic field appears from the ‘static’ charge because the magnetic curls from the two electric currents in opposite direction cancel out.


The first implication of the Catt, Davidson and Walton discovery is that Maxwell’s faulty equation is replaced by a stepwise formula. Because Maxwell relied upon the continuous formula, together with Faraday’s law, in his classical model of a light wave, we immediately see where the error in classical light theory lies. Since computers use capacitors in high-speed circuits, the true stepwise charging can have ‘unexpected’ cross-talk (mutual inductance) implications. Early attempts to build high-speed computers were plagued by ‘glitches’ which implied electromagnetic disruption at certain frequencies. This is the main reason for reliance on small numbers of processors. In most systems, there is just a single processor. Using the corrected theory, an array of a million processors on a wafer, including kernels in each processor to automatically test and by-pass the defective chips, has been invented by Catt; it is the ‘kernel machine’.

Apart from these relatively technical developments, there is also a scientific implication of the discovery. This is the proof that the nature of ‘static’ electric charge is indistinguishable from, and identical to, reciprocating, trapped light speed electricity. The mechanism of trapping must be gravitational, since the other fundamental forces cannot do it. The size of the ‘core’ of fundamental particle is that of a black hole (obviously, in quantum electrodynamics the core is also surrounded by polarised virtual pairs of particles, which increase the magnetic moment of an electron by 0.116 %). This size is independently confirmed by two quantum gravity calculations by Cook. Electron drift currents only exist where there is a gradient of the electric field with distance along the conductor. In a net ‘static’ charge consisting of extra electrons added to a capacitor plate, there are then more electrons than there are protons present in the atomic nuclei, but these spare electrons have no net drift because there is no gradient in the electric field with distance.

Therefore, because resistance is determined by electron drift, there is no electrical resistance in a ‘static’ charge composed of light speed electricity, so it does not dissipate heat. The speed of the electricity leaving a charged capacitor is experimentally determined to be equal to the speed of light in the insulator between the capacitor plates. This shows that information on the medium between the capacitor plates is available to the charges on the plates. Information must be flowing between the plates, parallel to, or along, the electric field lines, for the nature of the insulator to control the speed of electricity.

This gives rise to energy exchange along field lines, which causes the electromagnetic forces. This effect is linked to the gravitational force mechanism; both are causal boson energy exchange and shielding effects that predict experimentally discovered problems in physical features of cosmology, as described in CERN preprint EXT-2004-007 and updated on an internet site by Cook.


Catt, I., M. Davidson, and D.S. Walton, ‘Displacement Current’, Wireless World, December 1978: http://www.ivorcatt.org/icrwiworld78dec1.htm and http://www.ivorcatt.org/icrwiworld78dec2.htm

Cook, N, CERN preprint EXT-2004-007 and http://nigelcook0.tripod.com/

Lynch, A.C., and I. Catt, ‘A difficulty in electromagnetic theory’, in IEE publication HEE/26, 1998.

Electronic Universe. Part 2, Electronics World, N. Cook Electronics World, Vol. 109, No. 1804 (2003), downloads of two articles titled ‘An Electronic Universe’; first part 2002 and second part 2003 containing illustrations of the mechanism of the electron and electromagnetic forces:

(For the diagrams get the PDF version of the APRIL 2003 "ELECTRONIC UNIVERSE" article – note that there is also the earlier part 1 dated August 2002 available under the same title! – from the Electronics World website at http://www.softcopy.co.uk/electronicsworld/ or http://members.lycos.co.uk/nigelbryancook/Penrose.htm for a low quality idea of what they look like. Version below is the draft version with amendments, it was condensed to 6 pages of print by the magazine’s editor, Phil Reed)

The nature of matter

The speed of electric energy entering a pair of wires, and leaving them is that of light in the medium between the wires. The speed of electric energy is identical to the speed of light. Energy entering and leaving a capacitor has no mechanism to slow down, and maintains light speed. Cutting up the capacitor, each unit is found to have light speed energy as ‘static’ electricity, right down to the electron. The phenomena of transmission lines, capacitors, inductors, tuned circuits, and static electricity have been experimentally and theoretically proven to be entirely the result of 300,000 km/s electromagnetic waves. Everything in existence is based on these waves. We live in a ‘single velocity universe.’ When a conductor x metres long is charged to v volts via a resistor, the energy flows into it at light speed for the surrounding medium, and there is no way for the energy to slow down. Catt and Dr Walton measured the discharge speed with a sampling oscilloscope, and found as they had predicted that the energy comes out in a pulse 2x/c seconds long and at only v/2 volts. This is because energy scatters inside a charged conductor, bouncing around, and passing through itself equally in both directions.

The magnetic curls from each equal and opposite half of the energy going up and down the charged up conductor oppose one another and cancel out, but the electric fields add up, giving v/2 + v/2 = v volts as observed. No resistance is encountered while equal amounts of energy pass at light speed through one another, so no heat is generated in the static charged object. When discharged suddenly, the half of the energy which is already going towards the discharge point exits first, while the remainder reflects at the other end before exiting, so the output is a pulse 2x metres or 2x/c seconds long at v/2.

Ivor Catt’s experimental work, with contributions theoretically by Malcolm Davidson, David Walton, and Mike Gibson (see Part 1, Wireless World, August) rigorously proves that a charged particle is a standing wave (circular motion) of transverse electromagnetic (TEM) energy, always having electric field E, magnetic field B, and speed c at right angles to one another (Fig. 1). This TEM wave, trapped by its own gravity, has a spin which produces a spherically symmetrical electric field, and a magnetic dipole, explaining the wave packet in physics. The ‘particle’ is a trapped transverse electromagnetic wave.

If a particle propagates in a direction along its spin axis, it can spin either clockwise or anticlockwise around that axis relative to the direction of propagation. This gives rise to the two forms of charge, positive (positrons, upquarks, etc) and negative (electrons, downquarks, etc). The orbital directions of the electrons can be in such a direction as to either add or cancel out the magnetic fields resulting from the spin, which gives rise to the pairing of adjacent electrons in the Pauli exclusion principle. Arrows can be drawn in opposite directions from charges to distinguish positive and negative. The existing speed of the TEM waves which constitute charges give rise to electricity which travels at the same speed. For copper wire, the outer electrons have a spin at about 99% of light speed, and a chaotic orbital motion at about 1% of light speed that is at right angles to the spin. For the magnetic field to occur as observed around a wire carrying a current, the field is not being caused by the electrons but by energy that is carried like ‘pass-the-parcel’ by electrons at light speed. [The electrons’ magnetic moment as determined to 13 significant places theoretically by QED calculation, is normally cancelled by Pauli (exclusion principle) ‘pairing; of adjacent electrons.]

Everything seems to be either static or in motion at relatively slow speeds. The idea that everything is always in constant 300,000 km/s motion, together with the statement that there is no significant energy transfer by an electric drift current, sounds ridiculous. But we see using such motion all the time, in the sense that sight itself necessitates 300,000 km/s electromagnetic energy entering the eyes. The origin of the constant speed of light lies in the matter which physically emits the light, and this offers an obvious and simple mechanical explanation to account for the phenomena of relativity.

The solution to the biggest problem, particle-wave duality, is that the electron is the negative half oscillation of a light wave, proven by Anderson in 1932 when he stopped gamma rays with matter in a cloud chamber, and got two particles from the light/gamma ray, each curling in opposite directions in the magnetic field, thus the pair-production process. The transformation of light of 1.022 MeV energy or more into an electron and a positron, was a great discovery in science.

Unification of quantum mechanics and relativity .....

Kevin, the harder I try to explain to people, and the harder Catt tries to argue with people, the easier it becomes to say we're egotists or after money or friends. Catt then escapes into a fantasy world of censorship campaigning, imagining that by opposing powerful dictators, string theory and all that it represents - dictatorship, paranoia, insanity over many dimensions, propaganda, brainwashing, egotism, vanity of leaders - will somehow collapse.

It won't. I'm not usually a supporter of neo-right wingers, but I agree a bit with Frederick Forsyth's essay in yesterday's Daily Express (7 Oct 05, p11):

'Fascism is not a doctrinal creed; it is a way of behaving towards your fellow man. What, then, are the tell-tale hallmarks of this horrible attitude?

'Paranoid control-freakery; an obsessional hatred of any criticism or contradiction; the lust to character-assassinate anyone even suspected of it; a compulsion to control or at least manipulate the media...

'... the majority of the rank and file prefer to face the wall while the jack-booted gentlemen ride by. ...

'An interesting man, John Reid. A socialist (actually he started out as a communist) all his life, he too has sold the pass. Now he is happy to send British troops to die in a faraway place in a war he knows perfectly well was started on a tissue of deliberate lies.

'It's a pity. I never flagged John Reid as a second-rater. The other apostates, Prescott, Straw, Blunkett, yes; and of course the founding Blairites, who never had a faith at all, yes; and the stark-naked power lusters, yes. But to see Reid unfazed by what happened to the old Jewish refugee and pacifist [Walter Wolfgang] and making limp excuses... that was sad. ...

'But I do not believe the innate dececency of the British people has gone. Asleep, sedated, conned, duped, gulled, deceived, but not abandoned.'

The same applies in science!

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Kevin Brunt said...

You really ought not to start so many hares in a single thread; it makes it difficult to follow a chain of argument through to a conclusion.

To jug a couple of leverets....

Edsger Dijkstra was a mathematician working in the area of computability, just like Alan Turing (whom Ivor Catt despises so much.) In fact, Dijkstra's most famous piece of work, the letter "The GOTO statement considered harmful," was in large part an outcome of applying Turing's "Halting Problem" to work on formal proofs of program correctness.

Even if you discount the (distinct) possibility that Dijkstra was being satirical (he often was,) he was not an expert on transmission lines, so you can't quote him as validating Ivor Catt's assertions, as opposed to merely verifying that the assertions had been made.

What Dijkstra was an acknowledged expert on was the synchronisation of multiple processes - he published one of the first significant papers in the area.

Synchronisation is a matter of fundamental importance in any computer system; the "Kernel Machine" does not deal with it effectively because it solves the "von Neumann bottleneck" (of processor-to-memory bandwidth) by dividing up the memory between multiple processors at the expense of the bandwidth of the path between the fragments. The Kernel Machine would work very nicely for those problems which happen to fit its architecture, but, even more than the ICL Distributed Array Processor, or the Cray vector computers, its performance with an unsuitable program would be abysmal.

To return to charging (or discharging) transmission lines.

Take a length of 50-ohm co-ax cable. Tidy up one end as a clean open circuit. Strip back the other end and solder a 50-ohm resistor to the centre conductor.

Now apply a 100V voltage source capable of delivering 1A between the free end of the resistor and the braid.

Obviously the 100V is divided equally between the resistor and the impedance, and a 50V 'edge' travels down the cable and is reflected as an edge of 100V total at the open end. This reflection travels back up the cable and disappears into the matching impedance of the resistor.

Mr Catt's "EM Theory" requires that there be a 1A current associated with the outbound 50V edge which (rather like an Olympic swimmer) turns round at the end and returns as a 1A current flowing in the opposite direction, so that once the edge has travelled out and back there are 1A currents flowing in both directions in the cable.

Of course, this also means that there ought to be 1A of current flowing in each direction in the resistor as well. (It is. of course, a match for the characteristic impedance.) Since a resistor dissipates energy when the current flows in either direction, this means it should be dissipating twice 1A squared by 50 ohms each way, (ie 100 Watts), so we ought to be able to create a spectacular proof of the Mr Cat's Theory by seeing how big a bang we can get with a 0.25W resistor.

Of course, that is not what happens.

The contrary currents are associated with equal and opposite electron drift velocities. Since the drift velocity is an average motion imposed on the much larger random velocities due to the thermal energy contained in the electrons, the two currents average each other out in the volume of the conductor.

Ivor Catt's EM Theory is incompatible with the observed properties of a metallic conductor.

A more correct interpretation is that the electrons move only in one direction. The outbound edge marks where the electrons are accelerating, the inbound edge, where they are being brought to a stop. Between starting and stopping they move at a constant velocity.

The time it takes to bring the electrons 'up to speed' causes a change in the spacing between the electrons; it represents stored energy - capacitance. Both edges alter the spacing in the same direction, hence the doubling of the voltage. The motion at the source end does not cease until the edge has been all the way down and been reflected all the way back, hence the doubling of the time.

From this, the 'before JJ Thomson' description of a transmission line can be derived. 'Charge' does not move down the line at propagation speed, it is the surplus or deficit of electrons in a given volume as the spacing is compressed or stretched. At no time does any electron have to move very fast - the true message that physics textbooks perhaps fail to convey is that the "electron drift velocity" means that current should not be thought of as a small, variable quantity of charge moving at a large, fixed velocity, but as a large, fixed quantity of charge moving at a small variable velocity.

The total surplus/deficit behind the outbound edge is proportional to time. Thus the (pre-JJ) charge stored behind the edge is proportional to time and since Q = It, this implies a constant flow of current at the source end, which is what is observed.

That the degree of compaction/expansion is proportional to applied voltage is less obvious, but must be the case (at least approximately) since the characteristic impedance is demonstrably resistive.

I've no doubt that a real expert in the subject could pick lots of holes in the above. Apart from anything else, I've been more than a little cavalier about the motion of the electrons. They are, in reality, in constant motion at a reasonably significant fraction of the speed of light. They can only be said to 'start' and 'stop' with the voltage edges "on average". In reality, the averaging is done by the integration of the forces on each electron as it moves around.

The full theory, of course, goes further. It can, (at least for metals, which are comparatively simple,) produce a reasonably good estimate of the resistivity.

At 4:51 PM, Blogger nige said...

Hi Kevin,

You write: 'Mr Catt's "EM Theory" requires that there be a 1A current associated with the outbound 50V edge which (rather like an Olympic swimmer) turns round at the end and returns as a 1A current flowing in the opposite direction, so that once the edge has travelled out and back there are 1A currents flowing in both directions in the cable.'

There is only a drift current where there is a gradient in electric field along the cable. Therefore it isn't possible for a 1 A current to flow in both directions. Electron's can't be made to have an equal net drift in two opposite directions at once.

Dr Walton sorted this out for Catt in about 1979. When two equal TEM waves moving in opposite directions pass through one another, there is no electron current and no resistance.


At 11:14 AM, Blogger Kevin Brunt said...

Hi Nigel,

You write: There is only a drift current where there is a gradient in electric field along the cable. Therefore it isn't possible for a 1 A current to flow in both directions. Electron's can't be made to have an equal net drift in two opposite directions at once.

Now at this point we are entirely in agreement.

What we need to do now is look at chapter 1 of Ivor Catt's book, at

This is where some very careful reading is required. What Mr Catt argues is this:

There is a voltage step travelling down a transmission line. There is a current related to the voltage by the characteristic impedance. There is stored energy in two forms:
a) due to the voltage charging the capacitance
b) due to the current flowing in the inductance

Mr Catt then applies Ohm's Law and the formula for the characteristic impedance in terms of the capacitance and the inductance to eliminate current and obtain an expression for the inductive energy in terms of the voltage. This reveals that the inductive and capacitive energies are identical.

Now this I'm perfectly prepared to accept - it makes sense.

At this point, however, Mr Catt makes a fundamental error - he adds the two components together in an expression in terms of voltage. In doing so, he hides the fact that half the energy is due to flowing current.

He then goes on to examine the reflection of the voltage step at an open end, where he asserts that the energy is reflected, and the total energy is the sum of the energies flowing in both directions.

Now we know that the voltage is reflected, but for all the energy to be reflected there must be contrary currents, which we both agree cannot be right.

At this point Mr Catt's theory must be abandoned. What is actually happening is that the reflected voltage step marks where the current comes to a stop and the inductive energy in converted into capacitive energy, which is why the equal amounts sounds so plausible.

At 2:55 AM, Blogger nige said...

Dear Kevin,

I only use Catt's books for experimental results which I interpret using my knowledge of quantum mechanics, see my page.

You point out some of the possible drivel in some book of Catt's which has already been ridiculed by B. Lago in an IEE publication, and conclude:

'At this point Mr Catt's theory must be abandoned. What is actually happening is that the reflected voltage step marks where the current comes to a stop and the inductive energy in converted into capacitive energy, which is why the equal amounts sounds so plausible.'

The conduction electrons, Kevin, are going all ways, all over the place. They have a composite velocity shared between spin and orbit speed which is c for the surrounding insulator.

Air pressure is a bit like this situation. If there is no wind, you can claim that air molecules are going at 500 m/s in both directions at the same time. Yes, ok.

I'm interested in Catt's experimental work, and some of the theory, not his obsession with Heaviside's 'slab of energy current'.

Notice I have a new post on this blog about a book calling Heaviside a mean scrounger because he lived off other people and started arguments.

There is a rumour that the author of that book is now going to write a money-spinner very similar about 'Jesus the preacher who lived off his friends fish and bread while denouncing a poor guy (called Thomas, I think) who merely expressed a rational doubt'.

Notice that Catt does not cite my scientific work or internet site anyplace on any of his extensive sites. Good for him!

Best wishes,

At 4:05 PM, Blogger Kevin Brunt said...


You write: 'The conduction electrons [...] have a composite velocity shared between spin and orbit speed which is c for the surrounding insulator.'

This, of course, is where you part company with the physicists, who don't think that the conduction electrons in a metal are orbiting anything, but are loose between the atoms, possess thermal kinetic energy and generally behave so much the molecules in a gas that the mathematical techniques used for gases (which Maxwell had a lot to do with) also work well here. They say that the (average) velocity of the conduction electrons is determined by the temperature of the conductor.

Nigel, here is a little experiment that raises an interesting question that I don't think your theory currently addresses.

Take a rectangular prism of glass. Purely for descriptive convenience, let's say it's 1m long by 10cm by 20cm. Glue a 1m long by 1cm wide strip of copper foil down the centre of each long face, so that we have two pairs of parallel conductors on the opposing faces which, depending on your point of view, are either capacitors or transmission lines. As capacitors they differ only in the spacing between the plates, so they have different capacitances. (In fact in the same 1:2 ratio as the separations.) The same argument applies to the transmission line case, except that we're now really talking about differing unit capacitances. We know (from theory and observation) that the velocity of propagation is proportional to the reciprocal of the square root of the unit capacitance, so the two transmission lines have propagation velocities in the ratio root(2):1.

Since we're dealing with a block of (transparent) glass we can get the speed of light in it easily - it's the speed of light in vacuo divided by the refractive index of the glass.

So here is the question.

Is your 'c for the surrounding insulator'

a) the speed of light in glass?
b) the speed of light in the air on the other side of each conductor?
c) an average (or similar) of a) and b)?

d) the velocity of propagation for the 10cm separation case?
e) the velocity of propagation for the 20cm separation case?

The idea for this experiment came to me while I was travelling on the Underground this afternoon. It is such a simple, obvious refutation of the assertion that a wavefront travelling down a transmission line is a "TEM something" (for the physicists' definition of "TEM") that I'm surprised that no-one has used it before.

At 3:06 AM, Blogger nige said...

Dear Kevin,

If the 4s (or whatever) conduction electrons are completely free, they wouldn't stay on the conductors but would fall at 9.8 m/s^2 towards the ground. I'm well aware that conduction zone electrons are well shielded by the inner shells of electrons in conductors like copper. The word 'orbit' applies to the Schroedinger wave orbitals for the conduction zone, where the electrons are indeed a gas of electrons with wave characteristics. See my internet page where I derive the wave equation from the gas model: http://nigelcook0.tripod.com/

Conduction electrons are bound to the atoms of the conductor, although they are relatively free to drift along (although there is always resistance to this!!!).

Now for your question about the speed of electricity being c. You ask if it is c between the two conductors if glass is placed there, or outside them where there is air or whatever else, or an average of the two values.

I asked this of Catt, who responded by digging out Aristotle's book and reading a section, then banging it shut. Whoops! I mean Catt took out Heaviside's book, not Aristotle's (it's easy to get me confused, you see!).

Well Heaviside (or was it Aristotle?) wrote someplace that a conductor is like a drainpipe, and the real physical processes are mainly occurring in the surrounding medium, like rain falling down and causing the water current in the drain pipe!

Personally, I don't value Aristotle (or Heaviside for that matter) to guess the final theory from analogies to rainfall and drain pipes.

However, Catt worships this stuff, since he used it to interpret his experimental data in IEEE Trans. on Electronic Computers, vol. EC-16 (Dec 1967), et al. In this paper Catt allegedly "answers" just the queston you ask. He says that when you do the experiment you get a separation of signals (a degeneration into two pulses), one going at the speed for the epoxy resin he had between two conductors, and one going at the speed for the surrounding air.

However, Catt was doing crosstalk analysis using three conductors, not just two, and my analysis of Catt's results casts some doubts on his use of the Heaviside 'slab of energy current' concept for this. I don't think you should take anything in physics that anyone says as being correct, whether they are humble or arrogant, famous or infamous.

In 1995, physicist Professor Paul Davies - who won the Templeton Prize for religion (I think it was $1,000,000), wrote on pp54-57 of his book 'About Time':

'Whenever I read dissenting views of time, I cannot help thinking of Herbert Dingle... who wrote ... Relativity for All, published in 1922. He became Professor ... at University College London... In his later years, Dingle began seriously to doubt Einstein's concept ... Dingle ... wrote papers for journals pointing out Einstein's errors and had them rejected ... In October 1971, J.C. Hafele [used atomic clocks to defend Einstein] ... You can't get much closer to Dingle's 'everyday' language than that.'

Now, let's check out J.C. Hafele to check if Davies is right or not. J. C. Hafele is actually ANTI-HORSES***. Hafele writes in Science vol. 177 (1972) pp 166-8 that he uses G. Builder (1958) as analysis for the atomic clocks.

G. Builder (1958) is an article called 'ETHER AND RELATIVITY' in Australian Journal of Physics, v11, 1958, p279, which states:

'... we conclude that the relative retardation of clocks... does indeed compel us to recognise the CAUSAL SIGNIFICANCE OF ABSOLUTE velocities.'

Best wishes,

At 2:41 PM, Blogger Kevin Brunt said...


you write: If the 4s (or whatever) conduction electrons are completely free, they wouldn't stay on the conductors but would fall at 9.8 m/s^2 towards the ground.

You've left out two things. Firstly, although the electrons are loose within the conductor, they are still in 'orbitals' - because the 'conduction band' is made up of a lot of orbitals of very similar energies the electrons can hop from one to another without a significant change in energy. Removing an electron from the conductor altogether is a different matter. The amount of energy needed to lift an electron right out of the conduction band is of the order of 5eV (which is a bit less than 10^-18 joule). Not a large amount, but to get that much energy by the motion of an electron under gravity, you would need to move it about half an Astronomical Unit. Gravity is a very weak force. It simply doesn't pull hard enough to pull an electron out of the conductor.

The second point is one that you keep forgetting. Electrons have charge! At the sort of spacing that is found in metals the individual forces acting on an electron are in the order of 100nN, or about 10^22 times greater than that due to gravity. The distance the electrons move before the force due to the electrostatic imbalance overcomes the force due to gravity is too small to notice.

You write: Conduction electrons are bound to the atoms of the conductor which is why I wrote that the "electrons are loose between the atoms.

It's not much use quoting Heaviside on drainpipes without giving the date of writing. Anything written before the discovery of the electron can only speculate on the nature of conduction. Heaviside's drainpipe analogy is valid, because it looks very much as if he was saying that all the theory up to, and including, Maxwell's equations was founded on the concept of 'conventional current' flowing in an empty conductor (Heaviside's drainpipe.) The charge that flows is, obviously, 'conventional charge', moving at the velocity of propagation for the conductor.

We now know that what actually moves in a metallic conductor is the mass of conduction electrons, which being negatively charged, move in the opposite direction. This does not in any way break the 'conventional current' description, which still comes up with the right answers, because it describes what seems to be happening from the outside.

Heaviside was right about the 'drainpipe'. I would doubt that anybody at the time who had thought about it properly would have disagreed.

Where Heaviside was wrong was his assertion that the conduction process took place outside the conductor. Now (even assuming that you haven't misquoted him) there was nothing wrong with Heaviside coming up with a speculation that didn't pan out. It is, after all, what science is about. Science is about observing what happens, constructing a hypothesis (speculation!) as to why it happens and devising experiments to test out the hypothesis. A hypothesis that works out get promoted to "theory" and is used until either something crops up that doesn't work (at which point the theory is discarded or revised) or someone comes up with a new theory which works better (usually because it makes one theory out of two hitherto separate ones).

Heaviside would appear to have been trying to reduce charge to a side-effect of an 'energy current'. In the absence of any experimental observation it was worth investigating, but since subsequent experiments did not yield any supporting evidences, but instead it was found that there really was charge and that any conductor was stuffed with mobile negatively charged particles, 'energy currents' were abandoned.

Without actually Hafele's and Builder's papers, it's not possible to know what's going on. Hafele could quite well have taken Builder's data and come to a contrary conclusion. It is, for example, what Lavoisier did when he reinterpreted Priestly's work on mercuric oxide and blew the Phlogistic theory out of the window. As for Dingle, it is very difficult to publish in a peer-reviewed journal when it's obvious to your peers that you've made a basic mistake in your mathematics.

By the way, you haven't answered my question. I was asking what the speed of the electrons was. The physicists say that the conduction electrons move at around 0.5% of the speed of light (in vacuo) (for copper at room temperature) on which is superimposed a systematic average 'drift velocity' which moves the electrons along the wire at an appropriate rate to match the definition of current as motion of charge.

Your reference to the 'speed of electricity' seems to be bringing in a new concept. If this is to decouple the characteristic velocity of the transmission line from the speed of light in the insulator, you will have conceded that what travels down a transmission line is not a TEM wave.

At 3:11 AM, Blogger nige said...

Hi Kevin,

You keep asking why I don't say what speed conduction gas or 'orbital' electrons go, you say it's 0.5% of light speed, whereas on my page http://nigelcook0.tripod.com/ I give a rounded figure of 1%. It varies depending on the metal, the distance of the conduction zone from the nucleus, the amount of shielding by inner electron shells, temperature, etc.

A guy called Sir Kevin Alyward ('Warden of the King's Ale', God knows why he is not Warden of the Queen's Ale, perhaps she doesn't like it?) sent a letter to the editor ridiculing my opinion page which validated Catt.

Although I was abroad on holiday, I retrieved the editor's email via hotmail from the hotel's public computer, and sent a quick immediate reply which was printed in the next issue.

As a result, the editor (Phil Reed, he has since left) said he received a further message from the guy, which dismissed Catt (now 70) as being an old fool, and presumably dismissed me as being a young fool. Very convenient indeed of him!

When you look at Kevin's photo at http://www.anasoft.co.uk/founder.html you see that he looks about 50:

"Kevin Aylward B.Sc.

"Kevin Aylward gained a B.Sc. Degree in Communications and Electronic Engineering from Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland in 1981. He also undertook 6 post graduate M.S. Physics courses, including obtaining an 'A' grade in Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.

"Kevin has had a wide variety of positions as an analogue design engineer in companies such as Texas Instruments, GTE, Philips Medical Systems and The SuperConducting SuperCollider."

I was wondering if you might ever have met him, seeing that you say you use the Underground? Presumably he does too, being Warden of the King's Ale!

Perhaps you can get him to give you lessons in general relativity, see his page http://www.anasoft.co.uk/physics/gr/ :

"This set of papers forms an introduction to General Relativity, in as simple a manner as possible.

"The goal of this approach is get to some sort of sensible comprehension of general relativity (G.R.) with out cluttering up the mind with all sorts of extraneous nonsense that’s not required, and only usually given in standard texts to try and impress you on how clever the author is.

"To mathematicians this approach will be akin to fingernails on a blackboard, but I'm an EE, and see no need to complicate matters with such posh talk.

"Its is assumed that the basic concepts of things such as why the grass is Greens, how to Div funds to offshore banking accounts, and how to Stoke a coal fire on a train has already been covered in other vector analysis courses. Certain things will be systematically ignored because every book by Tom, Dick and Harry already covers it. For example, proving that such and such is really a tensor and that tensor equations are true in all coordinate systems and so forth is a simple waste of time, the goal is to get a good grip on G.R., not pure mathematics. What's much more of use to have step by step derivations that don’t jump about into hyperspace leaving you wondering why you seem so thick for not understanding something of real relevance. Usually the author was on drugs at the time and had no concept at all of what a logical argument was.

"I have added some background math, just to get those of you punters who are more intellectually challenged up to relativistic speed.


"Simplified Summary

"1 Its is experimentally observed that all masses, in the same gravitational field, fall with the same acceleration.

"2 Gravitational fields are generated by a mass.

"3 There is a geometrical mathematical object, Gab, the contracted Riemann Tensor, that measures acceleration of geodesics (shortest distance between points on a curved surface).

"4 There is a physical object, Tab, the energy-momentum tensor, that measures the motion of mass (and energy).

"5 Both Gab and Tab satisfy the same mathematical identity, that is Gab;b = Tab;b = 0

"6 Therefore if Tab is set equal to Gab, then mass motion will be described by a geometric object that determines acceleration of geodesics, which necessarily means that it satisfies the physical observation of mass generating accelerations if mass moves along a geodesic."

In fact, it was while I was going through the endless drivel in Kelvin's page that I noticed the equation of mass continuity someplace there, and put in the Hubble law, coming up with a neat way of solving a trivial problem I'd been worrying about for a decade.

Best wishes,

At 3:17 AM, Blogger nige said...

Actually, I quite like Kevin's page http://www.anasoft.co.uk/quantummechanics/index.html :

"No Wave Particle Duality

"The wave-particle duality is the most common misconception of Quantum mechanics. There isn't any essential duality. Particles, apparently, are always particles and never waves. What they do do, is operate on the basis of Quantum Mechanics, not Newtonian Mechanics. Whether the phenomena is electrons or light, what is always observed are small localized impacts on screens that build up statistically in a pattern that is similar to that expected of pure waves. In reality, continuous structured waves have never been observed. True waves simply are no more than a convenient fiction used to approximate problems. For example, water waves, aren't. They are just collections of billions of water molecules behaving approximately as if they form a continuous substance. Electromagnetic Waves, aren't. All E&M phenomena are described in Quantum Electrodynamics as the momentum exchange of photons. The wave nature, for example, of radio waves is just an approximation to the true state of affairs.


"Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle

"The Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, HUP, is often misunderstood to imply that individual simultaneous position and momentum measurements can not be made. This is false.

"The HUP is a statistical statement, as is all of Quantum Mechanics. It is a statement about the 1standard deviations of momentum and position, not about individual measurements. Standard deviations are calculated from calculating the root mean square of many individual measurements. It says nothing about an individual measurement, indeed 2Jauch (1993) performs such a measurement that is much more precise than that would otherwise be indicated by HUP. Indeed, HUP is not even a statement about simultaneous 1measurements.

"The HUP is about the prediction of a state given the current position and momentum. It is predictions that are constrained by HUP, not measurements.


"No Schrödinger Cat

"Schrödinger's Cat was introduced to prove that one interpretation of the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics was false. It achieved this, yet many simply failed to notice. The fact that a cat can not be both dead and alive at the same time was simple ignored. The reason for this was that the mathematics worked, irrespective of the fact that the metaphysical interpretation to the mathematics was erroneous. However, the mathematics does not require this metaphysical add on.


"No Collapse of the Wave Function

"The collapse of the wave function or reduction of the state vector is simple not required in the correct ensemble interpretation, nor is it supported experimentally. No experiment has ever measured an object in two states simultaneously. Objects have only ever been measured in an eigen state, so to postulate that they do is unsupportable metaphysics. Objects only exist in eigen states, it is just not known which one they are in prior to a measurement. There is arguably, little place in physics for notions that cannot, in principle, be measured.

"Saying that a wave function collapses is just as meaningless as saying because there is an average of 2.4 children to a family, that when a particular measurement on a specific family is made, the wave function collapses on a measurement to say, 2 boys and a girl. The fundamental point is that the QM wave function only applies to a statistical ensemble, or collection of experiments, not a single experiment. ..."

At 8:21 AM, Blogger Kevin Brunt said...


If I have a question about Relativity I'll ask the emeritus professor of physics that I sometimes share a table with at lunch. I thought when I originally saw Kevin Aylward's letter that he hadn't taken the trouble to understand the issues properly. If he had done so, he would have realised that Ivor Catt's initial errors date back almost 30 years.

You appear to have a different electron velocity for each day of the week - I am coming to the conclusion that you are trying to conflate the behaviour of an electron as a fundamental particle, with some sort of theory of what is 'inside' an electron. This would explain the muddle that you are in about 'c' as the speed of light in a vacuum as opposed to 'c' as the speed of light in a medium, and this thing about the speed of light in the insulator defining the speed of the electrons in the conductor.

I've not found your 1% derivation in amongst everything else you've dumped on your webpage, but I doubt that I'd find it any more convincing than your 'proof' that the electrons in a conductor don't transmit the energy in current flow (where you ignore the forces due to the charge on the electron) or your calculation of the radius of an electron based on 's = mcr' (where you use the rest mass of the electron in a context where you should be using the apparent mass.)

You also seem to have swallowed several of Mr Catt's fallacies hook, line and sinker. You appear to think that the 'discharging transmission line' experiment is significant - in fact it produces precisely the result that the standard theory would predict. Mr Catt gets into difficulties because the truth is not that a capacitor is a transmission line, but that a transmission line is a long string of (infinitesimal) capacitors, each with its own separate voltage varying with time. A proper understanding of that fact and a proper understanding of how Maxwell's equations are applied in the context, and what the results actually mean, will reveal just how far astray Mr Catt is.

At 1:07 AM, Blogger nige said...

Hi Kevin,

This last post of yours, with all the handwaving waffle, is a disappointment!

Especially where you write:

"Mr Catt gets into difficulties because the truth is not that a capacitor is a transmission line, but that a transmission line is a long string of (infinitesimal) capacitors, each with its own separate voltage varying with time."

This is a vague restatement of what is on my internet site.

We depart company where you go on about "the truth is". This is where you join the string theorists and church of scientology, and I remain on the straight and narrow.

When you make or plagarise facts, you need to justify them, which you don't. Catt's case is best summarised by himself here:

"I entered the computer industry when I joined Ferranti (now ICL) in West Gorton, Manchester, in 1959. I worked on the SIRIUS computer. When the memory was increased from 1,000 words to a maximum of 10,000 words in increments of 3,000 by the addition of three free-standing cabinets, there was trouble when the logic signals from the central processor to free-standing cabinets were all crowded together in a cableform 3 yards long. ... Sirius was the first transistorised machine, and mutual inductance would not have been significant in previous thermionic valve machines...

"In 1964 I went to Motorola to research into the problem of interconnecting very fast (1 ns) logic gates ... we delivered a working partially populated prototype high speed memory of 64 words, 8 bits/word, 20 ns access time. ... I developed theories to use in my work, which are outlined in my IEEE Dec 1967 article (EC-16, n6) ... In late 1975, Dr David Walton became acquainted ... I said that a high capacitance capacitor was merely a low capacitance capacitor with more added. Walton then suggested a capacitor was a transmission line. Malcolm Davidson ... said that an RC waveform [Maxwell's continuous "extra current" for the capacitor, the only original insight Maxwell made to EM] should be ... built up from little steps, illustrating the validity of the transmission line model for a capacitor [charging/discharging]. (This model was later published in Wireless World in Dec 78.)"

- Ivor Catt, "Electromagnetic Theory Volume 2", St Albans, 1980, pp207-15.

I've said before, if you want truth, don't come to me, I'm no priest. I make errors, but I put them right or let others do so if they are not too busy trying to censor me completely.

Best wishes,

At 12:01 PM, Blogger Kevin Brunt said...


It is clear that you do not understand the relationship between "circuit theory" and the Telegrapher's Equations that describe a transmission line.

Circuit theory is an approximation based on the assumption that current flow propagates sufficiently quickly that the fact that the speed is finite, rather than infinite, can be ignored. It is an approximation that works as long as you are dealing with timescales that are large compared to the physical dimensions of the circuit.

It does not work, of course, for a transmission line, which is in principle infinitely long. This infinity can be dealt with by treating the series resistance and inductance and the shunt capacitance and (leakage) conductance of the line as being evenly distributed along its length and applying the circuit theory to a short segment of it. Obviously, this is still an approximation, but one that becomes closer to the exact solution as the length of the segment is reduced. By moving to the limit when the length is reduced to 0 you end up with a pair of partial differential equations which describe the voltage and current at an arbitrary point 'x' at time 't' in terms of each other and the properties of the line.

What you do not get is 'the answer,' but just something that you can plug your functions of voltage and current into to see if they correctly model the circuit. You could do a similar analysis for any circuit, but it would be a waste of time, because you'd need a degree in mathematics to change a fuse!

Heaviside worked on these equations and was thus able to understand how the properties of the line changed at frequencies where the reactance of the line capacitance has become close to the line resistance. It was this understanding that lead him to propose (correctly) that the effect could be counteracted by deliberately increasing the line inductance.

And this is where Ivor Catt's Dec 78 paper departs from "reality". It is constructed, not on the Telegrapher's Equations themselves, but in terms of the characteristic impedance of the line, the velocity of propagation and a description of how a voltage step is "reflected" at an open end. The paper is founded on someone else's analysis of the circuit. (Quite possibly it was Heaviside's work - he invented the "Heaviside Step Function" which would be the right tool for the job.)

However, the forms used in the Catt paper do not include a term for the series resistance. They are just as much an approximation as anything in "circuit theory".

The whole idea that the voltage is "reflected" at the open end is merely a convenient fiction to hang the equations on, and the further assertion that this reflection is an 'energy wave' is mere fantasy.

At 2:38 AM, Blogger nige said...

Dear Kevin Brunt,

You say: "However, the forms used in the Catt paper do not include a term for the series resistance. They are just as much an approximation as anything in "circuit theory".

"The whole idea that the voltage is "reflected" at the open end is merely a convenient fiction to hang the equations on, and the further assertion that this reflection is an 'energy wave' is mere fantasy."

Now Newton's theory of gravity leads to only half the deflection of starlight than that predicted by general relativity, because energy which would otherwise go into speeding up the falling object goes into additional deflection instead.

Therefore, why not dismiss every scientific discovery in history (everything) just because there is no complete theory yet?

The reflection off the open circuit (loose end of the transmission line) physically occurs because the electrons there at the very end are bound to their parent atoms. The EM pulse "reflects" list like the ball bearing at the end of the line in "Newton's cradle" - the old executive office desk toy.

You drop one end ball bearing, which swings and hits another, and they transmit a pulse that goes along at presumably the speed of sound for the steel, and then the ball bearing at the other end flies off, gets pulled back (by gravity in this case), returns and transmits a pulse in the opposite direction, "reflection".

The parts of your comments which appear to be critical are things which I've already dealt with and in general agree with. The only way forward is by improved approximations to reality. There is no place in science for bigotry or dismissing advances just because they are not complete. While it would be nice to have a complete explanation, with people like Catt you have to be prepared for a lot of weak approximations and fudge factors. Unless you can guess a final theory right off, you are stuck with having to include fudge factors to make things work. Particle-duality in electricity is not easy to completely resolve first time. Iterative corrections and evolution of ideas are as much a part of science as dismissals. Construction, as well as destruction, is how science progresses.

Best wishes,

At 5:19 PM, Blogger Kevin Brunt said...


I'm perfectly happy with an approximate solution - as long as it is understood that there are limits to its applicability.

You, on the other hand, have been arguing the superiority of the Catt transmission line capacitor over the circuit theory model. You clearly do not see where the Dec 78 Catt, et al paper steps outside the limits of its model.

Firstly, although the paper talks about a wedge of a circular plate capacitor (which would require a model where capacitance varies with distance), the mathematics are entirly those of a transmission line of uniform capacitance. The correct model would need to start from the partial differential equations with the capacitance constant changed into a function of distance, after which a complete new solution would have to be computed. Even then it would be necessary to demonstrate the validity of the assumption that the 2D wedge can be modelled as a 1D line with purely radial propagation.

Secondly, the paper asserts that the "model does not require the use of the concept of charge." This is the fundamental error. It is a complete failure to understand that at the heart of the "model" is a pair of equations describing the interrelationship of current (motion of charge) and voltage. The intermediate step employing "characteristic impedance", "velocity of propagation" and "reflection" is merely a fiddle to allow the ends of the line to be described in circuit theory terms.

This error set the stage for Mr Catt's foray into energy currents. Having mislaid charge (and current) it becomes impossible to tie energy to the standard formula of voltage.current.time and somewhere along the line he picked up Heaviside's concept.

What I don't know is what Heaviside meant by "energy current" - I only seen Mr Catt's "take" on it. In particular, I don't know whether Heaviside's version bounced off the end and came back or whether that part of it is Mr Catt's addition. You've recently mentioned Heaviside as refering to a "slab" of energy. The question is whether that "slab" folded over when it hit the end and travelled back up the line, or whether it "crumpled up". Mr Catt thinks the former; a proper understanding of voltage and current shows that the latter is a better description. Given that the pages of Wireless/Electronics World are littered with Mr Catt's misapprehensions, I would not bet against the possibility of Mr Catt misunderstanding Heaviside as well.

Your Newton's Cradle analogy supports my position. You are not modelling a voltage step, but a narrow voltage pulse. The "Catt Reflection Model" would require a "double cradle" with a mechanical contrivance to reflect the kinetic energy from one cradle back to the other.

The opposing model has the kinetic energy converted to potential (stored) energy and then converted back into kinetic energy in the reverse direction. This is what happens in the Cradle, with the kinetic energy converted into potential energy against gravity. It is what happens in a transmission line, except that not only is energy converted at the far end, it is stored in the electrostatic fields all the way along the conductor as the conduction electrons move relative to each other, the other electrons and the nuclei.

You seem to be entirely unwilling to consider the electrostatic fields. They are what is actually causing what you are trying to claim as "particle duality". The motion of an electron results in a change in the force on the next particle tending to move it in the same direction. The time taken that force to "cross the gap" is dictated not by the velocity of the electron, but the velocity of propagation of the electric field, which is that of light in vacuo. Consequently, a systematic motion of the electrons (which is what the electron drift is) propagates along the conductor much faster than the motion itself.

Because force is transmitted, your repeated argument that the kinetic energy of the electrons is insufficient is irrelevant - the forces are replenishing it as fast as it is being used! We get an equivalence between the mechanical equation of the energy and the electrical one, and a direct relationship between voltage and force which allows voltage to make sense in terms of Newton's third law. It also make sense of Ohm's Law and explains why resistance is related to the dimensions of the conductor. It works both for DC and for "transmission lines". It fits in with the theories of chemical bonding and provides a consistent framework for "electrochemistry".

None of which can be said for the assertion that it's all really a TEM wave travelling in the surrounding insulator which, because it ignores charge and therefore current, can't even formulate Ohm's Law. In fact, I don't think it can even explain the gold-leaf electroscope!

At 11:43 PM, Blogger nige said...


You say: "You, on the other hand, have been arguing the superiority of the Catt transmission line capacitor over the circuit theory model. You clearly do not see where the Dec 78 Catt, et al paper steps outside the limits of its model."

I've actually been arguing with Catt to correct all types of oversimplification and thus error in his theory for a decade, with zero success. However, this is his right. He could do more for science by regularly "backing off and reformulating" his theory when errors arise, instead of taking Einstein's advice to heretics to "be stubborn". Catt has all sorts of beliefs about things, like Occam's (now spelt Ockham's) razor. This is an arbitarary knife anyone can use for any purpose, since there is no agreed-upon definition of "simplicity".

Catt uses it to defend models so simple that for most purposes they are just plain wrong. However, as I've repeatedly said, the deeper hidden meaning of Catt's model is that the spin of a stationary electron is light speed, so it transmits a pulse at light speed, and is in equilibrium with energy transfer and reception along electric field lines. The electrons on the side of the wires facing the other conductor will carry energy at the speed of light for the insulator between the wires, while the electrons on the sides of wires furthest from the other conductor will presumably carry energy at the speed of light in the air or whatever is on that side.

Catt has difficulties not only with electroscopes but with any single conductor situation like a radio aerial. I keep explaining that a radio transmitter aerial and receiver aerial are two parallel single conductors, and because energy transfer between them occurs when there is a change of current flow, di/dt, in the transmitter - and has a light speed lag - we can consider the usual force mechanism (repulsion and attraction between parallel conductors carrying currents) to be momentum from energy exchange along electric field lines.

Classically, the spinning electron should radiate energy. The disaster was that people came up with orbit ideas before spin ideas. With orbit you have a definite frequency, because the electron orbits the nucleus a given number of times per second. But with spin, there is no physical oscillation because the thing smoothly spins around. The radiated energy does not have a frequency spectrum governed by the classical Maxwellian EM theory, it has zero frequency. It is a non-oscillatory energy release. The electron receives as much back from other electrons in the universe as it emits. When you interrupt this exchange, by shielding with an opposite charge for example, then you get a net force which you feel.

Basically what you are saying is no more than "Catt is like Copernicus. Copernicus was wrong because he used circular orbits with epicycles when he should have used ellipses as Kepler did. There is no value in Copernicus because he is plain wrong. Kostler in 1959 showed that Copernicus' model uses twice as many epicycles as Ptolemy's earth centred universe. Therefore, it was a mistake to allow Copernicus' model to have gone unchallenged. It should have been completely suppressed because it was plain wrong in almost all details. The world would be a better place today if it had been suppressed and we were still using Ptolemy's earth-centred universe."

As I've said before, a rational analysis of the moral attributes of Jesus can be seriously affected by including a consideration of the validity of miracles. If you are obsessed by the supernatural, then by all means go after that end of religion, but don't expect to find heaven on earth. On the other hand, many people see a moral benefit to Jesus.


At 2:22 PM, Blogger Kevin Brunt said...


In the decade following the discovery of the electron, physicists devised what is often known as the "Drude model" of electrical conduction, which is based on the properties of the electron, ie a particle with a bit of mass and comparatively quite a lot of charge (they didn't know about spin, at the time, but that doesn't noticably affect the results). It is the model from which the concepts of "electron drift velocity" and "electron gas" come from. The model generates predictions that are a good match to reality, and not only covers "electricity" as found in a school physics textbook (and extending to include semiconductors) but also ties the other major branch of the physics of the electron, which is usually called Chemistry.

Ivor Catt discards all of this; instead he has "energy currents". He has great theoretical difficulties because he is so focused on transmission lines and travelling steps that he not done enough on the DC side of it to even have constructed a description of Ohm's Law.

To compound matters, he then goes on to assert that his energy currents are "TEM waves". At this point he gets into a dreadful mess, because the properties required of his energy currents are simply not compatible with what physicists mean by the term "transverse electromagnetic". Instead of backing out and trying to formulate somthing that would work, Mr Catt attempts to break physics with articles like this one http://www.ivorcatt.org/icrwiworld80mar1.htm which really ought never to be published, because the error it talks about was not made by physicists or mathematicians, but by Mr Catt himself - the "wrong sign" is entirely due his muddling the distinction between the motion of the train relative to the observer and the motion of the observer relative to the train.

The upshot of it is that Mr Catt's theory doesn't even get as far as Occam's Razor. It is "simple" because it leaves out all the important bits.

None of Mr Catt's work produces results that could are incompatible with the Drude model. He seems not to have tried to devise any experiment to show the existence of his TEM waves.

There seems to be an awfully bit leap from Mr Catt's writings to your assertion that his theory supports your spinning electron proposition. As far as I can see Mr Catt doesn't really believe in electrons.

You also have a major problem with what I would call 'layers' (by analogy with the OSI 7 layer model for computer networking. The Drude model could be said to have 3 layers. There is the model itself which describes conduction in a metal in terms of the motion of the electrons; there is a layer 'above' the model which describes conduction in terms of voltage, current, resistance, charge, etc, where the phenomena can be explained by the Drude model; and there is a layer below the model, which explains why the electrons behave the way they do.

This sort of layering occurs throughout science - to some extent it is an artificial device, but equally it is what happens whenever an equation is constructed to describe a physical situation.

If your electron spin is the quantum mechanical spin, you are blurring the distinction between what the electron is and what the electron does. The QM spin is very much "is", whilst TEM waves (not to mention speed of light in a medium) are very much "does". You would also have a problem because the spin, like charge and mass, is quantised. To store energy through the spin, you need to couple it with something else.

The problem with your Copernicus example is that he was on the right track, but hadn't got extra bit needed to make the maths work. Mr Catt, on the other hand, has pinched his maths from someone else's theory and is trying to fit a different theory to the equations. Since he has not devised an experiment to demonstrate the existence of his concepts, let alone one to disprove the validity of the other theory, all he's doing is the equivalent of making up a jigsaw puzzle by filing the edges of the pieces to fit.

At 6:09 AM, Blogger nige said...


You falsely say: "The problem with your Copernicus example is that he was on the right track, but hadn't got extra bit needed to make the maths work. Mr Catt, on the other hand, has pinched his maths from someone else's theory and is trying to fit a different theory to the equations. Since he has not devised an experiment to demonstrate the existence of his concepts, let alone one to disprove the validity of the other theory, all he's doing is the equivalent of making up a jigsaw puzzle by filing the edges of the pieces to fit."

Copernicus was plagarising Aristarchus' solar system of 250 BC, but Copernicus made it worse by adding epicycles. He had extra maths, too much of it, not too little!

Why not try your little games on Kepler, the astrologer whose mom was prosecuted for witchcraft. Kepler had the ellipse, but did that help him discover gravity?

Nope. Kepler made Gilbert's error of thinking that because the earth is like a giant (and very WEAK) magnet, magnetism is holding it in orbit around the sun.

At least Kepler was rational in seeking a mechanism that can unify phenomena, unlike egotist Galileo who thought God is a mathematician and that mechanisms are unnecessary.

I hate the personal history of science. One thing you get in looking at people's reactions to Heaviside, and that is dismissing him as a failure because he "failed" to make loads of fame and money (he had a bit of fame only). They curiously don't say the same about Jesus, those cowards. They judge other people by their own warped, egotistic, materialistic standards.

Recently I had to reply to an email from Gribbin by saying I'm interested in science, which is not the same thing as going to a party to find fame and money. They always think science is the search for fame and money. Really science is just trying to get one paper on arXiv, just pointing out an error and letting others get on with making the fame and money. But they won't allow even that!

These cranks don't know what science is all about. What nutters.

Best wishes,

At 11:55 AM, Blogger Kevin Brunt said...


THere really is not much point in working through a list of every character in the history of science. It will not elimiate any part of the error in Mr Catt's writings.

The Dec 78 Catt et al article was a useful description of voltage in a transmission line, but it contained (at least 3) serious errors.

1) it made an unjustified leap from a wedge of a circular plate capacitor to a transmission line. In doing so, it glossed over the fact that a practical capacitor will not have a clean, well-defined wave sweeping back and forth across the plate, but an avalanche of unco-ordinated reflections at different times, which will rapidly destroy the step characteristic.

2) it asserted that displacement current was disproved, without actually even presenting an argument to support this.

3) It asserted that it did not require the concept of charge.

Both these latter assertions are founded on a failure to understand that the equations used in the article are derived from the solution of the Telegrapher's Equations which specifically model the voltage and current in a transmission line. More importantly, these derived equations describe the line in terms of the voltage and impedance at the ends of the line in a way that allows them to be used in a "circuit theory" context.

At this point, Mr Catt got completely lost by assuming that the "flow of energy" was in phase with the voltage. This probably comes from the thought that the impedance of the line is "resistive", which leads to a false picture of the nature of the "reflected" voltage. The reflection actually represents the current flow being brought to a stop.

Mr Catt now has a model where he has energy bouncing up and down the line. This has several problems, not the least being the need to explain why the revererating energy is not dissipated into the line resistance. Possibly this why he took the next step of asserting that the "energy current" is in fact a "TEM wave".

From which stems everything else.

Mr Catt's TEM wave is effectively a DC current flow. (It is, after all, the static charge on the capacitor.) It is consequentally incompatible with everyone else's transverse electromagnetic wave, so Mr Catt has to try to break Maxwell's Equations, which he does with some bad mathematics on derivatives, firstly with the profile of a streamlined train passing an observer, and when that didn't work, with a two-dimensional version with more obfuscation to conceal the underlying false premise, which is simply a total botch of the co-ordinate systems - a basic schoolboy error.

We then have the "Catt Anomaly", which is simply that having, through several misconceptions, got from current flow in a conductor, to an electromagnetic wave travelling between conductors, Mr Catt can't tell the difference between a transmission line and a waveguide. In consequence his interminable Question can either be read as a badly-worded question about waveguides or (by someone who is aware of Mr Catt's writings) as an extremely badly-worded question about current flow in a conductor.

At 1:40 AM, Blogger nige said...


You say: "1)... a practical capacitor will not have a clean, well-defined wave sweeping back and forth across the plate, but an avalanche of unco-ordinated reflections at different times, which will rapidly destroy the step characteristic.

"2) it asserted that displacement current was disproved, without actually even presenting an argument to support this.

"3) It asserted that it did not require the concept of charge."

Replying to point 1, yes of course multiple reflections occur. Catt's simplistic case is a bit like saying that if you have two mirrors facing one another, a beam of light will endlessly bounce between them. In reality, the energy eventually diffuses in all directions. Catt would not listen to this. He keeps saying "we don't know what happens if we put a probe on the side of the capacitor plates to check if energy can exit that way, instead of from the end." Catt sees the energy as merely going along the plate, whereas in fact it soon diffuses in all directions possible, bouncing arund as you suggest.

Second point: if you look at Feynman gravity home page you will see that Catt about a month ago repudiated this. I had pestered him saying that the equation for displacement current is a mathematical approximation at least for the quantities involved. Catt says it was Tom Ivall, the then editor of Wireless World, who added the subtitle etc, "And How to Get Rid of It" to the "Displacement Current" article. However, Catt had made other short cuts and downright errors which led to this interpretation. Dr Sam Johnson: "Wickedness is always easier tha virtue, for it takes the short cut to everything."

Third point: see quotation of Johnson just given.

Best wishes,

At 2:01 PM, Blogger Kevin Brunt said...


Although the editor of Wireless World tampered with the subtitle of the article, I don't think that he inserted the dismissive references to displacement current in the text. The absence of displacement current, and indeed of charge, in the remainder of the article is not a "proof" that they do not exist, but is merely a consequence of the particular set of equations in use, which simply ignore the issue.

The issue of the "reflections" is important. It relates to Mr Catt's assertion that the charge(and/or energy) cannot cross the gap between the conductors until it has reached the open end. It also relates to a comment of yours about the charging being quantised. Both points are merely misapprehensions of the distributed nature of the transmission line.

You are also well astray in visualising the energy "bouncing around." It is the voltage that, loosely speaking, is reflected at the open end. A proper analysis will show that charge/current moves only in one direction, and that the "voltage edges" mark where current starts and stops flowing. Because the voltage does not change sign, unidirectional current flow means unidirectional energy flow as well.

Charge and current have been hidden, not eliminated. Mr Catt may well be assuming that because the impedance of the line is "resistive", current must be in phase with the voltage, therefore energy also must be in phase. Hence bouncing energy.

The fallacy here is that the "reflection" of the voltage is due to the infinite impedance of the open end. The associated current is in phase, but is of (virtually) zero magnitude.

Mr Catt says that energy travels back-and-forth continuously; the mathematics says that it flows in and comes to a stop. The mathematics says that in the period between the leading edge of the voltage passing a point on the line and the reflection passing in the way back there is current flow, which gives rise to current density (Maxwell's J). The voltage on any section on the line is proportional to the amount of charge in it. The charge gives rise to electric field (E). When the voltage is constant, the charge is constant, so E is constant. As the voltage edge and its reflection pass a point, voltage, charge and E all change, so dE/dt is non-zero at that point at that time.

At which poinr everything all makes sense. What happens is that charge flows out only; voltage flows out and is reflected back, and the step wave form is combination of the finite length of the line and the impedance mismatch at the source end. (If the line had been charged through a matching impedance, there would have been a single "out and back cycle".) There is no permanent reverberating "TEM wave" in the line (or capacitor), but there is a magnetic field in those places where (and when) current is flowing, and it could be argued that there is something "electromagnetic" happening where there is displacement current as the voltage edges pass.

At 2:17 AM, Blogger nige said...

Hi Kevin,

You wrote falsely: "You are also well astray in visualising the energy "bouncing around." It is the voltage that, loosely speaking, is reflected "

Voltage is a unit of energy, hence the energy units like "electron volts". An electron at rest has an ENERGY equivalent of 511,000 electron VOLTS.

When I say energy, we can discuss it as voltage. Notice that in my April 2003 article in Electronics World I say energy is exchanged along electric field lines. The electric field is energy. Volts are a measure of potential energy in the electric field. Any varying potential results in the acceleration of charge. Hence an electron in a field of constant 10 volts won't move, but one in a field of 10 volts/metre electric field strength will move, gaining energy.

Are we now going to trade insults over sloppy use of units?

You started off commenting on this thread by falsely saying "This is easily resolved by the careful study of a few crucial points."

This is horses*** but even if true it is an insult to Professor Pepper (physics prof Cambridge, Cavendish Lab)and Dr McEwan (Reader in Electromagnetism) who both tried to come up with simple explanations of the Catt particle-wave duality and failed (their answers contradict each other).

You are saying in effect that both experts are stupid, and you can do better. You then ignore the points at stake and add your own slab of lecture notes which don't deal with the question.

Question: what is the pool of London? Answer: the pool of London is a pool in London!

Yes, top marks for insulting the person asking the question. A very informative and useful answer.

Maxwell's equations are based on horses*** as I show on my home page: they have no reliable physical theory behind them and are at best short cuts which ignore energy flow processes in the "displacement current" direction along electric field lines as capacitors charge and discharge. You therefore can't argue from them as you try to!

Basically you are using errors in the old accepted theory to disprove experimentally-based new results. I've already said some of Catt's stuff is mindless waffle, and you have to sift out his hard facts from his hogwash.

Dr Walton's proof of Catt's conjecture is pretty infallible. You get a transmission line of two conductors and use it to send two logic pulses of equal voltage along it in opposite directions (from opposite ends). For the time while the logic pulses are overlapping, there is no resistance. This disproves the idea that resistance is intimately connected with the flow of energy along a conductor.

Try also this one (re gravity): the flow of electrons in one direction is equivalent to the flow of holes in the opposite direction in semiconductors. Dirac had a sea of ether particles and holes to visually use his equation to predict antimatter. In the same way, the outward flow of matter in the big bang gives an inward flow of ether. If you consider a sealed corridor with loads of people at one end, walking towards the other end, the mass of air flows the opposite way to the way the people are going. You know this not only from the fact that air flows around you to fill in the space behind you as you move, but also because the corridor starts full of people at one end and air at the other, and ends up the other way around. The surrounding perfect fluid ether must similarly push inwards as stars go outward. In any explosion there is some outward pressure, and if we multiply this by the spherical surface area, we get outward force. Newton's 3rd law says there's equal inward force (the rocket effect). This is the zone of inward afterwinds in an air burst, but is the ether inward pressure/force in a big bang.

Best wishes,

At 2:07 PM, Blogger Kevin Brunt said...


You've collected together so many misconceptions it's hard to work out where to start!

1. Voltage is not energy. Full stop. An electron volt results from the interaction of an electron and a volt.

2. You can't have voltage without field. Voltage is the potential difference between two points. If there is no electric fields between two points there can be no potential difference (aka voltage either).

3. I can't see any contradiction between the responses to the Catt Question by Prof Pepper and Dr McEwan. This is because I don't believe that current flow in a conductor is the same things as an electromagnetic wave in a waveguide. Without this erroneous assumption, it is perfectly obvious that Dr McEwan was aware of Mr Catt's waffle, whereas Prof Pepper wasn't. Consequentally, Prof Pepper answered the Question (which is aout waveguides) while Dr McEwan responded to what Mr Catt thinks the question is about (ie conduction.)

If Mr Catt has deliberately set out to create an ambiguous question, he would have found anything "better" if he had thought it out with bith hands for a fortnight.

4. Only the Pope is infallible, and that's only because he can edit the rulebook.

Dr Walton's proof undoubtedly is using the "contrary currents" fallacy. Where the two wavefronts collide, the charge stops moving. As the charge behind "piles up", the zone(s) where there is no motion propagate(s) back towards the source(s). When the zone(s) crosses the trailing edge(s) of the pulse the charge starts moving (overall) backwards. Where there is no motion of charge there is no current, therefore the resistance is irrelevant.

I am not even going to try to analyse your perfect fluid ether arguments; I simply don't have the time to research the subject sufficiently to get to the real facts. However, a quick Google reveals that the "afterwinds" in a nuclear airburst are due to hot air rising and cold air being drawn from below to replace it; the phenomenon is due to the asymmetry caused by gravity.


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