Single Velocity Universe




[Nigel Cook published on Ivor Catt's ideas in the aug02 issue of the London "Electronics World" (was Wireless World), pp46-49.]

[slomailed to Moran, Gibson and Davidson.]


The Single Velocity Universe


Some years ago, Nigel Cook was right to jump onto my proposal of a single-velocity universe as crucial. I suspect that almost everyone will desist from grasping the idea, let alone disagreeing with it. However, those same people are presumably happy to accept the extraordinary idea, as part of the kinetic theory of heat, that the chair they are sitting on is vacillating at great speed. However, they were taught the latter while toddlers, and so have become accustomed to it. They are now too old and mature to address, let alone think on, a new idea.


I was fortunate in the 1960s to be hired into Motorola, Phoenix, Arizona, to work on the interconnection of high speed logic. Motorola made faster (ECL) logic than anyone else, and the delay through a logic gate was the same as the time it took light to travel one foot.


Signals all travelled at the speed of light, no slower and no faster. Their distortion was minimal. These facts were staring me in the face, and it would have taken remarkable effort to evade the obvious fact, that electromagnetic signals travelled at the speed of light. This speed, 300,000 Km/sec, could be calculated from the permittivity and the permeability of the space through which the signals travelled.


A sequence of signals (pulses) launched one after the other remained in the right order, as do the carriages in a train, as they travel, one after the other. (Similarly, the segments of light hitting your face arrive in the same order as they left the car headlight.) The idea that their order might change would be as bizarre as the idea that the carriages in a high speed train might somehow change their order, the third carriage arriving in Edinburgh before the second. Thus, the idea of more than one velocity would be bizarre. (Also, I derived this single velocity from Maxwell's Equations, of which I do not now approve. I published the proof.) The high speed sampling oscilloscope, attached to one point of a transmission line, would clearly see the sequence of pulses passing. Reattached further down the transmission line, it would see the same pulses delayed by the transition time between the two probe points. I published such pictures in the IEEE in 1967.


In order to make our prototype scratchpad memory faster, and so beat Texas Instruments in a split contract, my boss Emory Garth and I were anxious to get the signals to travel inside the printed circuit boards at that speed in the memory system we were developing. However, although the magnetic permeability was the best, the permittivity of the epoxy glass through which the pulses travelled, guided by two conductors, was higher, causing a drop in speed. Emory tried to develop printed circuit boards which replaced the epoxy glass with teflon, because its permittivity was better, but he failed. During this work, it was clear that a universe composed of teflon instead of vacuum would support electromagnetic signals which travelled slower than in vacuo, but at a single, new speed of half a foot per second. [Note 1]


The first, cheap pulse generator which I used in my work was a Reed Relay Pulse Generator. I found that, as the manufacturer's brochure said, the pulse outputted was twice as long as one would expect. This led me to the conclusion that an apparently steady charged capacitor was not steady at all. Far from having positive charge loafing around on the top plate and negative charge on the bottom plate, everything in the charged capacitor was travelling at the speed of light. This is now called The Catt, or Contrapuntal, Model for a Charged Capacitor. I published and republished this some decades ago. Whereas it had been thought that in a capacitor there was stationary electromagnetism, we now saw that it was travelling as the speed of light. 


The obvious question arose. If so many things travelled at a single velocity, that of light, including one case, the capacitor, when the velocity was wrongly thought to be zero, should we consider the idea that everything in the universe travelled at one speed, the speed of light. Was any other velocity, including zero, illegal?




Ivor Catt.   31july02 



Note 1


The Slow Universe


When signals travelled in a medium such as teflon, guided by two conductors, their behaviour was more or less identical to signals travelling through a vacuum, guided by two conductors. The only difference was that they travelled at a single, slower speed. (The only other difference was that the ratio of E field to H field was different, but fixed.) This was fine, and echoed the ideas from centuries ago about the speed of light through glass.


A problem arose with my other postulate, that everything in the universe was composed of TEM Waves (electromagnetic pulses). If that were true, then the teflon, or the glass, must be composed of the same TEM Waves that were travelling through the teflon or glass at a reduced velocity.


I resolved this dilemma by proposing that a TEM wave, when travelling through a region composed of trapped TEM Waves (i.e. a crystal), followed an eccentric path, either zig-zag (Leopard Space) or like the man climbing the greasy pole, two steps forward, one step back, two steps forward (Zebra Space). Both of these proposals, particularly the latter, are supported by the fact that a slower medium tends to cause more dispersion (distortion).


Ivor Catt   31july02



Caroline, rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic.


In his book "Personal Knowledge", pub. RKP 1958/73, Michael Polanyi is obviously discussing the problems faced by Caroline when she addresses paradigm change. T S Kuhn, in his book "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions", pub. Univ. of Chicago Press 1962/70, says that Caroline and I talk through each other (pp 148, 132 and 109). (In his Postscript - 1969, p174, Kuhn was naughty to not cite Polanyi, ten years previously, whom he would have heard about by then. On p151, Polanyi already had Kuhn's key concept of the paradigm and paradigm change, which is what Kuhn is now famous for, not Polanyi.) Reading their writings, it becomes clear that my ideas are revolutionary, and also that to apply conventional analysis (normal science analysis) to them is futile.


What my revolutionary predecessors failed to do was to comprehensively destroy the theory they were trying to replace. This was my achievement with "The Catt Anomaly". Anyone resisting my theories is not in a position to cleave to what went before, because that is dead. No one in the world will come forward to defend the classical electromagnetic theory, destroyed by The Catt Anomaly, which should have been called The Catt Question.


It is not true, as Caroline would have it, that my attack on classical electromagnetism is just one of many, for instance her own. One can distinguish between an attack on the superstructure of Modern Physics, which is her role, and The Catt Anomaly, which goes to the foundations of twentieth century physics including Modern Physics. The TEM Wave travelling down a coaxial cable arose in around 1870, half a century before the bells and whistles of Modern Physics that such as Caroline joust with. Those who built up 20th century physics said that they were building on the electromagnetic theory of Faraday, Maxwell and Heaviside, which is the era attacked by "The Catt Anomaly". All the 20th century Quantum and Uncertainty silliness came much later, but it all depended on what I attack. 


Ivor Catt  31july02