Is This the End of the Road?

Classical electromagnetism (or classical electrodynamics) is a branch of theoretical physics that studies consequences of the electromagnetic forces between electric charges and currents. It provides an excellent description of electromagnetic phenomena whenever the relevant length scales and field strengths are large enough that quantum mechanical effects are negligible (see quantum electrodynamics).

Fundamental physical aspects of classical electrodynamics are presented e.g. by Feynman, Leighton and Sands,[1] Panofsky and Phillips,[2] and Jackson.[3]

The theory of electromagnetism was developed over the course of the 19th century, most prominently by James Clerk Maxwell. For a detailed historical account, consult Pauli,[4] Whittaker,[5] and Pais.[6] See also History of optics, History of electromagnetism and Maxwell's equations .

The Wikipedia website on “Classical Electromagnetism” does not mention Heaviside. It begins by saying that the subject is based on electric charges and currents. This sets it apart from “Theory C”, which excludes electric current when a battery lights a lamp, which is presumably the primary role of electric current.

Part of Wikipedia on “Ivor Catt” limits Catt’s work to “theories”. It makes no reference to the 1978 article "Displacement Current" , which points to an oversight in classical theory. There is a bungled reference to "The Catt Question" , but no mention of "The Second Catt Question" .

Wikipedia on “Ivor Catt” says; “Catt has no experimental evidence to confirm or deny the theories he has questioned, so his ideas must be regarded as speculative only. According a source,[who?] the existence of the modern world of electronics provides abundant evidence that his statements[which?] are wrong.” [However, in mid March 2013 I here added; “See The Wakefield Experiment” I am surprised to find it still there after a week!] [ ]


I take issue with the idea that science contains only hypothesis, experiment, result, conclusion in favour of one competing theory. I argue that science should also include rational thought, rational discussion. Thus, the article "Displacement Current" has a proper place in science, as did a "Thought Experiment" by Einstein.


Wikipedia on “Ivor Catt” seems to fall into the trap that science only involves experiments. I checked with my co-authors, and one said about 50% of those he addressed told him to go away and do an experiment, while the other said 30%, adding that this was in fact part of the rejection process. For many decades I have demanded the right to appeal to reason, because rational analysis shows so many fatal flaws in “classical electromagnetism”. However, this year we are able to supply the demanded experiment, "The Wakefield Experiment" .


This brings us to the end of the road. Will “Defenders of the Faith” ignore clear experimental results, as well as ignoring appeal to reason. They have ignored appeal to reason for thirty years since our article "Displacement Current" . Wikipedia’s article on "Displacement Current" ignores our December 1978 article, which was an appeal to reason.


If both appeal to reason and also experimental results are rebuffed, then we are at the end of the road. What we will confront is not science, but religion. We will have proved that "Classical Electromagnetism" is a matter of Faith.

Ivor Catt   5 February 2013