Addendum to

by Ivor Catt


The Catt Question – EW Challenge



Electromagnetism – State of Play


It is difficult for readers of Electronics World to believe what is happening. It is so unusual that most cursory readers will impose a more conventional model onto the saga of The Catt Question. These false models include;


Catt is employing new tricks to publicise a Theory of his.

For some reason, Catt is pursuing a vendeta against certain Professors, perhaps because they did not employ or promote him. Perhaps they did not respect his work.


The true reason for the present campaign is unprecedented. A century ago, a world-wide decision was made to freeze the accepted Theory of

Electromgnetism. This decision is clearly stated in numerous articles and text books. In the 1950s, at the start of digital electronics, Catt came on the scene. Digital electronics should have caused theory to morph back from analogue, where it had been for half a century, to digital, its previous form. Theory had been digital in the nineteenth century because the telegraph, using Morse pulses, had been the main application for electronics.


Oliver Heaviside was the leading theoretician in the telegraph age. He developed “The Telegraph Equation“, and presented the concept of “Energy Current“ in his books. Later, in the twentieth century, the telegraph equation was retained, but Oliver Heaviside disappeared from the record, along with his concept of Energy Current.


In the 1950s Catt spent twelve years researching the problem of how to interconnect the new high speed (1 nsec) logic gates. He discovered that the suppressed Heaviside had been there before him with a theory which is now called “Theory H“. “Theory H“ includes the idea that, in contrast to the normal theory, “Theory N“, the electromagnetic field (i.e. TEM wave) travelling from one logic gate to the next causes the electric current in the signal wire, rather than the reverse. Oliver Heaviside said “We reverse this,“ using the regal “We“. However;


“A world-wide decision was made a century ago to freeze the accepted Theory of Electromgnetism. This decision is clearly stated in numerous articles and text books.“ (See above.)


The resulting theory, which reigned for a century, excluded all of Heaviside’s insights. Thus, past insights have been erazed from the record.


However, Catt’s preoccupation is not with insights suppressed from Heaviside’s work, but rather with the total censorship of work done after the transition from analog back to digital in around 1950 and beyond. The major surge forward came when the delay through a logic gate fell below the delay for a signal traversing a digital computer system. This was achieved at Motorola in around 1960 with 1nsec ECL logic gates. Although a small amount was actually published, for instance in Wireless World in December 1980, this work has mostly been censored. It is partly a throwback to Heaviside’s work, and partly new. All, published and unpublished, has been totally ignored.


After spending decades establishing that advances beyond 1910 were illegal, Catt moved on to asking for clarification of the theory which had reigned for a century, called “Theory N“. There was total refusal to outline key portions of that theory, and tortuous techniques lasting over years had to be employed to breach this worldwide silence. It took years to manoeuver MacEwan and Pepper FRS into commenting on “The Catt Question“, a key aspect of the theory that they earned salary for treaching. They totally contradicted each other, and then went silent. That is the state of play today. No one will define a theory which has held the field for a century, suppressing all alternative views.


After a few decades of impasse, Catt offered a large prize to any student who prevailed on his accredited lecturer or text book writer to respond to this Question, with no takers. In Electronics World, August 2004, this offer has now been increased, decisions making being handed over to the Editor, see


Letter to those responsible for electromagnetic theory.

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