When did it all go wrong?


Yesterday I had a remarkable lecture from Harry Ricker on Skype. He said that electromagnetic theory fell apart when the electron was introduced, and was “force-fitted” into the [valid?] electromagnetic theory developed by Faraday, Maxwell, Heaviside. It was very convincing, and I kept telling him he must write it down. He replied half-agreeing, but saying it would be a lot of work, and that he had said it all in www interviews with Baxter, which are available in voice on the www. I still said he should write it down, even briefly, warts and all.

This was a new angle for me, or so I thought. However, two things then happened. First, I stumbled on my www page http://www.ivorcatt.co.uk/28anomt.htm . Extraordinarily, I have no recollection of writing it, or its content from 2001, 14 years ago. Second, this morning, I remembered the Second Catt Question. http://www.ivorcatt.co.uk/x22j.pdf .

So, the question is, did the whole thing, previously elegant under Faraday – Maxwell – Heaviside, fall apart with the introduction of the particle, the electron? Harry said that opened the door to more particles in the 20th century. He correctly said the correct theory is based on waves, not particles. http://www.ivorcatt.co.uk/x22j.pdf  says the particle (the electron) came in in two stages, that Heaviside’s particle initially had fixed mass, which did not signal the end of classical electromagnetism via “The Catt Question”, http://www.ivorcatt.co.uk/cattq.htm , which is only lethal of the electron has variable mass. This morning I realized that the whole Heaviside structure was fatally flawed before the introduction of the electron (and then other particles). I have said that Heaviside should have seen the fatal flaw in his structure, and I have written about why he failed to do so.

Buried in the pre-electron theory is the underlying fatal flaw; “A capacitor is a transmission line”. http://www.ivorcatt.org/icrwiworld78dec1.htm .  Displacement current has to act differently in a capacitor (generating magnetic field) and a transmission line (in the case of a TEM step, (generating no magnetic field). In my forgotten piece, http://www.ivorcatt.co.uk/x22j.pdf , or elsewhere, I say Heaviside calls Maxwell “the heaven-sent Maxwell”, and also that Maxwell did not notice that the TEM wave was dealt with in incompatible ways in the capacitor and in the transmission line..

“A capacitor is a transmission line” is much like Forrest’s “forbidden equation”, i=qc, only mentioned by Palmer on page 6; http://www.ivorcatt.co.uk/x2bg.pdf . I told May Chiao, who said she was editor of Nature Physics, that if an editor published an article which contained the statement; “A capacitor is a transmission line”, that would be the end of her editorial career, certainly if it mentioned “displacement current”.

Classical theory, Faraday – Maxwell – Heaviside, was fatally flawed before the appearance of the particle. http://www.ivorcatt.co.uk/x22j.pdf .

Ivor Catt. 15 November 2015