Comments on Mike Gibson.


“Note that none of this is controversial. It’s all well-known transmission line theory. Frankly, I don’t see why there’s any doubt that a capacitor *is* a transmission line except that typical capacitors are small devices with geometries that produce multiple reflections and with slow dielectrics that smear out the step response. Stripped to their essentials, parallel conductors separated by a vacuum that are elongated in one direction to exaggerate the travel time of light, they show the proper step response.



“Note that none of this is controversial. It’s all well-known transmission line theory.” – MG. But is their theory well known? Greg said he did not understand the transmission line.


What we have to do is, not teach professors and text book writers new theory. We first have to teach them their theory, which they don’t know. This business of a battery charging a capacitor through a resistor causing a series of steps, not an exponential, should have nothing to do with Catt or his companions. It should not require experiments. When we published it in 1978, it did not occur to us to do experiments. We were merely making an observation which should have been listened to, and considered by rational minds.


Consider the statement; “When charge/current enters a capacitor plate at one point, it first has to spread out across the capacitor plate.” This is a statement requiring the reader to apply his brain and apply logic. The extraordinary situation that has developed in science is that, should one try to point out an oversight – this fact pointed out above was overlooked for 150 years – then one should go away and do experiments before ones observation can be addressed! Underlying this evolved nonsense is that “The Ancients” – those geniuses, geniuses all, who attended things like the 1927 Brussels-Solvay Conference could not possibly have failed to notice something. They were all geniuses, up to about 1930. A key “fact” underlying “Modern Physics” is that all who attended Solvay were streets ahead of any of us as later scientists. It is only necessary for us to work harder to understand their theories.


My friend the late Kurt Metzer won a scholarship to study under one of these hallowed geniuses – Pauli – in Zurich. Unfortunately he committed the solecism of having ideas of his own, whereas his real job was to help Pauli towards his second Nobel Prize. Having won an open Maths scholarship to Newton’s College, Trinity, Cambridge, and now this Zurich scholarship, he thought to rise above his proper station as a next-generation hack to the Solvay tribe. Pauli told Kurt’s parents that he had gone mad, and got him committed to an asylum. (I went on holiday with him a number of times after he got out of the madhouse, permanently damaged by the mad treatment.) It was obviously madness for Kurt, a man of my (younger) generation, to have significant ideas of his own, beyond those established by the Solvay Mafia. The only permissible ideas came out of Solvay.


This is the trap science fell into under Aristotle for 2,000 years. Everything was composed or earth, air, fire and water . All of science had to proceed under this assumption. Today, all of science must proceed under the mantle of “electricity”. It does not matter if, like the previous earth, air, fire and water, electricity is not fit for purpose – the purpose being high speed digital electronics, which none of the Solvay geniuses ever heard of. , because it came after their time. In recent emails I have suggested that we will remain stuck with electricity for a few centuries. Perhaps we should only hope that the delay in scientific advance will now run into hundreds of years rather than thousands. ( was published a third of a century ago. ) As with earth, air, fire and water, no advance is possible until this latest chimera is exorcised.


Ivor Catt    29 December 2011