Death of Electric Current.




The Death of Electric Current

Ivor Catt, December 1980

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It is worth emphasising that this occurred in two distinct steps during May 1976. First "Displacement Current" went. Then "Electric Current"" went. Displacement current - that shadowy, strange "fudge factor" in the equations, had always been the Achilles Heel of Electric Current, and in the end was instrumental in the downfall of Electric Current. The demise of Electric Current, which suddenly came to Catt while he was talking to Davidson, was completely unexpected, and a great shock. It was unexpected because, whichever side of the Theory N - Theory H [divide] one stood on (there being no Theory C yet), the Electric Current - Energy Current dual looked symmetrical. The only point at issue was which caused which.

The emphasis on current is unfortunate, but understandable. The 1976 discovery does not so clearly exclude electric charge from science, but The Catt Question , which came six years later, is about the impossibility of electric charge in its most usual (alleged) function, where both charge and current play their (alleged) roles. Thus, "Theory C" is somewhat of a hybrid. It is a restricted theory, which states that when a battery is connected to a resistor or lamp via two wires, no electric current is involved.

Ivor Catt 20 September 2009


[From "Electronics World", May 2009.]

Traditionally, under "Theory N", when a battery is connected via two wires to a resistor or lamp, the battery delivers electric current/charge into the wires. Once the wires gain current/charge, they create magnetic and electric fields between the two wires. Now more than a century ago, when confronting a challenge similar to that of interconnecting high speed logic, Heaviside said; "We reverse this .... ". [Theory H]. The battery delivers electromagnetic field between the connecting wires. In its turn, the field causes electric current/charge in/on the wires. He called the field, travelling at the speed of light, "energy current". However, Heaviside's work on electromagnetic theory disappeared from the record. He was unreferenced in any text book for more than half a century.

There the matter rested for a century, until Catt realised that the core problem was for the battery to deliver energy/power to the resistor or lamp. If the battery delivered the electromagnetic field, it was generally agreed that the field carried the energy/power directly into the resistor or lamp. (After all, sunlight is "Energy Current".) Under the new "Theory C", electric current/charge played no role in the key activity, that of delivering energy/power from battery to resistor or lamp.

So, under "Theory C", what are electric current and electric charge? What is the role of the interconnecting wires? The answer is that when travelling along in the dielectric between the wires, some of the energy current (or electromagnetic field) penetrates into the wires. Since the dielectric constant of copper or any other conductor can be shown to approach infinity , the velocity of penetration, which depends on the inverse of the dielectric constant, approaches zero. Also, the impedance of a conductor approaches zero, so that very little of the energy current enters the conductors (in the same way as, if we have large and small resistors connected in series, very little power is dissipated in the small resistors.) Maxwell's Equations link field and electric current/charge, and the so-called (but non-existent) current and charge are merely mathematical manipulations of the electromagnetic field.


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