Is Science limited to Scientific Method ?
Wikipedia on Ivor Catt, 14 September 2012.
“Catt has no experimental evidence to confirm or deny the theories he has questioned, so his ideas must be regarded as speculative only. On the other hand the existence of the modern world of electronics provides abundant evidence that he is wrong.”
It is interesting that for some time I did not see the inconsistency in this remark, and thereby hangs a long tale. Up to 1980, I attempted, with a modicum of success 2 3 , to publish my work and my theories, but that ended in the 1980s. I then concluded that none of my work would ever be accommodated by the Science Establishment. Nothing in my books, now on the www, has become part of any university course or text book. I resorted to a completely different activity, to asking elementary questions about the detail of conventional, university theory. This began with "The Catt Question" . This activity had nothing to do with my own theories or work. More or less the only replies were from four experts who were chosen by their superiors and instructed to write to me. More generally, it was said that "The Catt Question" was “wrong”. But a Question cannot be wrong. However, a theory can be wrong. Was my Question being interpreted as a theory? Also, professors would tell third parties, but not me, that the very clear, simple "Catt Question" was difficult to understand, or badly stated.
After a very long delay of thirty hears, I have added further questions, the clearest being "The Second Catt Question" . However, recently I produced experimental results which have not been doubted. I have then asked for the experimental results to be explained in terms of classical theory. Only at this stage , in 2011, could there be any justification for the confusion in the quotation from Wikipedia, between question and theory. In 2011 I did not use Scientific Method to establish results. I merely produced experimental results, and asked for explanation of those results. This last was not an example of “the theories he has questioned“, rather I asked for theory to explain results already found without the use of any theory.
Newton’s Second Law has two versions. F=ma, and F=D/dt(mv). The first is “force equals mass x acceleration”, and the second is “Force equals rate of change of momentum.” Contemplating the second version one can arrive at the very important concept of the impulse Ft. Ft=Δmv. I argue that, as with Einstein’s “thought experiments”, this is the very stuff of science. The idea that anyone who comes up with an advance in science should be told to devise an experiment whose results point to a change of theory is very destructive. Anyway, now that I have come up with the results of such an experiment, showing that a charged capacitor does not have a static electric field , I expect the result to be ignored. If this proves to be the case, then we have to conclude that the demand for experimental support for a change in theory will be shown to be a sham, merely one of many devices used to block the communication of scientific advance.
As in my case with Wikipedia quoted above, it is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that science is limited to Scientific Method. Forrest Bishop thought that my major paper "Displacement Current" was backed up by experiment (which is part of The Scientific Method). It was not. All we did was notice an oversight in classical theory, and point it out. Perhaps the article "Displacement Current" has been ignored because no experiment was involved. One of my books on Forrest’s website says; “We must bring back the concept of ‘mistake’ into science.” We must allow for the possibility that our scientific predecessors overlooked something, as in the case of "Displacement Current" .
Ivor Catt 14 September 2012