Anomaly or Contradiction?

Ivor Catt, 27 August 2015


"Catt's Anomaly" by Massimiliano Pieraccini and Stefano Selleri

1 I happened to be intrigued by Catt’s “anomaly,” which

Pieraccini used as a narrative device. A quick search on the

Internet led almost exclusively to Ivor Catt’s Web site, http://, where his ideas are published; his journal

papers were not easily available. The replies he had to his

questions from academicians and scientists are reported only

on his own site.

2 Since the “anomaly” deals with fundamental

electromagnetics, and since Catt is that kind of unconventional

researcher, moving outside of academia and structured

research, which was indeed quite common in the past – especially

in the 18th and 19th centuries – I thought that the matter

could also be of interest to the IEEE Antennas and Propagation

Society community. I asked Massimiliano Pieraccini and

Stefano Selleri, who have already contributed several times to

this column, if they would further investigate this “anomaly.”  - Giuseppe Pelosi


Dear Professor Pelosi,

There you have it, particularly the second paragraph 2.


"Catt is that kind of unconventional researcher, moving outside of academia and structured research." - GP

After graduating, I joined Ferranti Manchester, who were pioneering machines using the despised "Class D Amplifier"; very crude. Instead of using amplifiers properly, as in your field of antennas and microwave, the amplifier was used merely as a switch, either switched fully on or switched fully off.

Such behaviour was looked on with disdain. In particular, it did not seem appropriate for the sophisticated mathematics which had developed in "electromagnetic theory", which mathematics was thought  to be electromagnetic theory.


"It was once told as a good joke upon a mathematician that the poor man went mad and mistook his symbols for reality; as M for the moon and S for the sun." - Oliver Heaviside, Electromagnetic Theory, vol. 1, 1893, p133.

“The universe seems to have been designed by a pure mathematician” – Sir James Jeans, “The Mysterious Universe”, 1930


Your discipline, antennas and microwave, stayed with the Class A amplifier , and eschewed any insights which might be gained from the crude use of class D. Class D "mov[ed] outside of academia and structured research,", leading to the digital computer, which now comprises 95% of the field of electronics. Academia has rejected all of the insights gained from digital electronics. None of the content of my six books  including ""Digital Hardware Design" pub. Macmillan  has gained entrance into any university course or text book in the world.

It seems that academics and text book writers have no grasp of the animation of a step guided by two parallel conductors. . All pictures of TEM waves on the www are sinusoidal. . The step – that is, the signal down a USB cable from your computer to your printer - does not exist in today’s ”academia and structured research”. Massimiliano Pieraccini and Stefano Selleri (q.v.) call Catt “an engineer and amateur scientist”. (Catt messes around with unscientific things like a USB cable.)

"The Catt Question" not "Catt's Anomaly" was a Question about classical electromagnetism which Catt asked when, after many decades, Catt gave up trying to get past academic peer reviewers and publish his own work on digital electronics.

Catt's self-published book should have been called "The Catt Question", not "Catt's Anomaly". The book does not assert that there is an anomaly in classical electromagnetism. I quote;

"Perhaps more properly called 'The E-M Question', the Catt Anomaly is an elementary question about classical electromagnetism which experts refuse to answer in writing. We will first consider the contradiction between Pepper and McEwan, and the response of London's Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) to the problem created by this contradiction."

After being ignored for thirty years, the first peer reviewed article on what they called "Catt's Question" was published in an inappropriate journal; IEEE Antennas and Propagation magazine".

Catt’s Anomaly

Massimiliano Pieraccini and Stefano Selleri (P&S)

Department of Electronics and Telecommunications

University of Florence

Via S. Marta 3, Florence, Italy

E-mail: massimiliano.pieraccini@unifi .it; stefano.selleri@unifi .it

IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine, Vol. 54, No. 6, December 2012


Presumably because I misnamed my book on the subject, the authors ignored the contradiction between McEwan and Pepper when "answering" the Question, and pretended that I was promoting an alleged flaw in classical theory, whereas obviously I was promoting a flaw demonstrated by the contradiction between accredited experts, when they were (with great difficulty) prevailed on to answer a Question about their theory, not any Catt theory.

You edit the Historical Section of   IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine . Please invite me to write an article about the collision between the entrenched, historical Class A and its failed usurper, Class D, failing to ride into academia on the back of the digital computer.


In his book “Il Genio Incompresso”, pub. Montadori in 1997, the Rome University Professor Federico Di Trocchio discusses a number of cases like mine, including my friends Dr. Harold Hillman Dr. Harold Hillman and Peter Duesberg . I do not understand why he does not mention my friend the late Gordon Moran of Florence, of the Guido Riccio scandal, who I think introduced me to Di Trocchio.  Gordon wrote a magnificent book on the subject.

 Ivor Catt