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Electromagnetic Theory
The Foundation of Physical Science

Nigel Cook

James Clerk Maxwell, Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, 3rd ed., Article 574:-
"... there is, as yet, no experimental evidence to shew whether the electric current... velocity is great or small as measured in feet per second."

James Clerk Maxwell, Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, 3rd ed., Article 769:-
"... we may define the ratio of the electric units to be a velocity... this velocity [of light, because light was the only thing Maxwell then knew of which had a similar speed, due to his admitted ignorance of the speed of eletricity ! ] is about 300,000 kilometres per second."

Maxwell's 1865 claim to have discovered the equation for the speed of light has been accepted by science as a major unification of physical phenomena (Faraday had already unified electricity and magnetism by his discovery of electromagnetic induction). However, all is not black and white. Catt, Davidson, and Walton point out that engineer-mathematician Oliver Heaviside discovered from experimental studies on Morse code pulses in long wires around 1875 that what Maxwell had calculated, his ratio, was the speed of electricity. The significance is that the ratio is invariant, so Einstein's special theory of relativity applies to electricity and matter. Light only has a similar speed because it is emitted by matter with the invariant speed 300,000 km/s. Ivor quotes Einstein admitting in 1949 thus:

"The special theory of relativity owes its origin to Maxwell's Equations of the electromagnetic field." (A. Einstein, p62 in P.A. Schilpp, editor, "Albert Einstein, Philosopher-Scientist", Library of Living Philosophy, 1949.)

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.

So suppressed was this that it was only in May 1976 that Catt, Davidson and Walton applied Heaviside's wire TEM wave to supposedly "static" charge, finding that trapped TEM wave energy (in a charged wire or capacitor) reciprocates in all directions, cancelling out all the magnetic fields, because the curls around the direction of equal energy flow in each opposing direction cancels the other opposing magnetic curl, while the electric fields which are radial scalars add up. Hence, as they conclude, "a capacitor is a transmission line", ie, all apparently static matter is actually oscillating electromagnetic energy, always in 300,000 km/s motion.

This "capacitor is a transmission line" conclusion directly contradicts Maxwell, Article 610: "One of the chief peculiarities of this treatise is the doctrine which asserts, that the true electric current, I, that on which the electromagnetic phenomena depend, is not the same thing as i, the current of conduction, but...

I = i + dD/dt (Equation of True Currents)."

This quotation pins down the gross falsehood in today's physical science, based on (Maxwell's) electromagnetic theory; the correct equation due to Catt, Davidson, and Walton is:

I = i = dD/dt (Catt, Davidson, Walton, with the proviso that symbol D = E x electric constant).

In this equation, there is an "=" sign whereas in Maxwell's equation there is a "+" sign. This says it all. In other words, Maxwell treats wire electricity (i) as being different to the current flow in the vacuum dielectric of a charging or discharging capacitor (dD/dt), whereas Catt. Davidson, and Walton have proven that there is no distinction for pulses of electromagnetic energy in wires. Hence, Maxwell is mathematically wrong.

The error of Maxwell's mathematics due to his force-fitting his speed formula to Michael Faraday's 1846 paper "Thoughts on Ray Vibrations", in which Faraday thought that light was electromagnetic. He was right, but Maxwell got the maths wrong by taking a short cut assumption about what the speed represented, before he even knew the speed of electricity!!! The (1) numerical value and (2) invariance of the 1/(root of product of electric and magnetic constant) formula in Maxwell's derivation in its modernised form led to the unproven assertion that this is the speed of light, which is always invariant. In fact, the speed 1/(root of product of electric and magnetic constant) is actually the speed of the vector sum of electron spin and perpendicular-to-spin propagation, not the formula for light. Only the speed of the electron spin and propagation vector sum is invariant at 300,000 km/s. The speed of light is not invariant. So we must accept relativity only as applying to matter not to light, hence the time-dilation of material clocks, length contraction, mass increase, e=mc2, are quite correct but the application of the principle of relativity to light itself is not proven by Einstein.

Ivor says that his co-author Dr David Walton has pointed out the fact that it was actually Heaviside who first wrote 5 basic "Maxwell's equations" [5 equations if you include the statement of conservation of charge, 4 if you don't; pair-production in nuclear physics whereby an EM gamma ray with energy in excess of 1.022 MeV, ie, 2 electron rest masses, passes near a nucleus and in the warped space bends and transmutes into an electron and positron (positive electron) pair does not affect net charge but does increase total charge ] from the hundreds of obscure equations in Maxwell's treatise.

Dr Neil McEwan is Reader in Electromagnetism at Bradford University, and apparently does not realise his responsibility to science, to his discipline, and to progress, by correcting the errors in Maxwell's electromagnetic theory, which is still accepted as the basis of the subject. Catt states that the public expects Dr Neil McEwan to bring about a revolution in science if needed, when confronted with the Catt-Davidson-Walton research. However, university teachers have to try to get students to pass exams in what is already on the syllabus, and Dr McEwan apparently does not earn enough money to fund any research of his own on the subject of electromagnetism. Apparently, his Reader title is a very literal description of his "research" !

The issue is a very important one for physical sciences. For if we reduce the size of the Catt, Davidson, Walton dynamic charged capacitor right down, we eventually come to the correct picture of the electron. The transverse electromagnetic (T.E.M.) wave has propagation speed c, electric field E, and magnetic field B, all at right angles to one another, in such a manner that you get a bicycle wheel, the axis representing propagation direction, the spokes representing radial electric field (diverging with distance from origin), and the tyre representing circular magnetic field (curling around the origin), always at 90 degrees to the electric field lines and to the direction of propagation. This TEM energy wave has mass (e = mc2), and when the energy is 0.511 MeV, the mass's gravitation (which is inversely proportional to the square of distance) on the tiny size scale due to the tiny wavelength at that energy (energy = hc/wavelength) can self-trap the TEM wave in a tiny loop or circle. The result of a TEM wave represented by a bicycle wheel going round in a circle along its axis (ie at 90 degrees to the direction a wheel along goes along the ground) is a toroidal shape (ring doughnut). This results in electric fields radiating outwards in all directions, giving rise to Gauss's law (giving Coulomb's force), but the magnetic curls do not all add up, and the result is the familiar magnetic dipole of the electron. Hence, the Catt, Davidson, Walton proven correction of Maxwell's electromagnetic theory gives the only existing physically-consistent model of the charged particle, eg, the electron.

Catt's original papers are on the internet at Ivor Catt's website, including the "Catt Anomaly" which shows the confusion in explaining how electric energy moves at 300,000 km/s, between Professor Pepper FRS at Cavendish Lab, Cambridge, and Dr Niel McEwan Reader in Electromagnetism, Bradford University.

Here are extracts of what I consider the most important papers by Catt, Davidson, and Walton:

Displacement Current
By I. Catt and M. F. Davidson and D. S. Walton Wireless World, Dec 1978.
To enable the continuity of electric current to be retained across a capacitor Maxwell proposed a "displacement current"…

The flaw in this model is revealed when we notice that the electric current entered the capacitor at one point only on the capacitor plate. We must then explain how the electric charge flowing down the wire suddenly distributes itself uniformly across the whole capacitor plate. We know that this cannot happen since the charge cannot flow out across the plate at a velocity in excess of the velocity of light. This paradoxical situation is brought about by a fundamental flaw in the basic model…

The true model is quite different. Electric current enters the capacitor through a wire and then spreads out across the plate of the capacitor in the same way as ripples flow out from a stone dropped into a pond. If we consider only one pie-shaped wedge of the capacitor…, we can recognise it as a parallel plate transmission line whose only unusual feature is that the line width is increasing (and hence the impedance is decreasing). The capacitor is made up of a number of these pie-shaped transmission lines in parallel, so the proper model for a capacitor is a transmission line.

Reference: I. Catt, "Crosstalk (noise) in digital computers", IEEE Transactions on Electronic Computers, volume EC-16, Dec. 1967, pp.743-763.

The History of Displacement Current
By Ivor Catt, David Walton and Malcolm Davidson Wireless World, March 1979
… electromagnetic theory made advances, a cornerstone of the theory being the doctrine of conservation of electric charge, q, which developed into the doctrine of continuity of electric current flow, dq/dt = i.

… Maxwell struggled with the paradox of the capacitor, where charge entered one plate and then flowed out of the other plate, apparently without traversing the space between the plates… Maxwell "cut the Gordian knot" as Heaviside put it, by postulating a new type of current, called "displacement current", as flowing across the gap…

Meanwhile, even as Maxwell was contemplating the ethereal displacement current, practical electricians were inventing and building wired telegraph systems. The distortion of signals travelling long distances was bad, and was thought to be due to the fact that the capacitance of the telegraph wires had to be charged up through the resistance of the wires, resulting in an RC time constant which attenuated different frequencies differently. As late as 1910 virtually all electricians (including Lord Kelvin) did not accept Oliver Heaviside’s claim that a telegraph wire had distributed inductance as well as capacitance, and that if only this inductance were increased by the addition of periodic loading coils, distortion-free transmission over long distances could be achieved (Heaviside, 1893)… (This misunderstanding delayed the introduction of telephones for twenty years.) [Note that Morse Code was originally devised to combat this distortion problem in long-distance telegraph signals, and telegraph phones (telephones) for voice were only understandable if the length of the line was short.]

The practical pay-off would be best achieved by arguing that signals travelling down (between) telegraph lines were undistorted TEM [transverse electromagnetic] and similar to the waves in space discovered by Hertz in 1887, twenty years before, and previously postulated by Maxwell as one implication of his proposed displacement current.

It was important for Heaviside not to criticise the theory he was trying to argue from, Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory. So it would have been injudicious for Heaviside to question the concept of displacement current, and he never did… neither of them knew that a capacitor was no more nor less than a transmission line (Wireless World, Dec. 1978, p51)…

Maxwell would have saved us from a century of confusion if he had had enough insight to say: "Since circuit capacitors, that is, open circuits, work, it follows that the essence of electromagnetics cannot be electric current in closed circuits of conductors; it must be something else. What about waves in space?"

A Difficulty in Electromagnetic Theory
By Dr Arnold Lynch and Mr Ivor Catt Presented to, and Published by, the Institute of Electrical Engineers, Professional Group D7 (History of Technology), 26th Weekend Meeting, 10-12 July 1998, University of East Anglia, publication HEE/26:

The lecturer said that electrons in a metal travel only slowly but that they can transmit a fast electromagnetic wave by "nudging" their neighbours ("nudging" was his word for it). Our comments on this are… The size of an electron is not known, but it is presumably much smaller than an atomic nucleus, which is about a millionth of a nanometre. That is, the electrons are spaced apart by more than 100,000 times their diameter.

Please refer to the Ivor Catt Home Page for source information on the above paper

I. Catt, "The Catt Anomaly" (Westfields Press, St. Albans), 1996.
A. C. Lynch, "Half the electron", Engineering Science and Education Journal, vol 6, pp. 215-220 (1997).