A way out


Stephen Crothers

Dec15, 2015

Professor Mahta Moghaddam, Editor,

Dear Madam,


I write regarding two matters; (1) Slurs upon Ivor Catt in an IEEE article,


Pieraccini M., Selleri S., ‘Catt’s Anomaly’, IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine, Vol. 54, No. 6, December 2012


(2) Your failure to acknowledge receipt of my article on the violation of classical electromagnetic theory in the above IEEE article.


Case 1


It has come to my attention that you have charged Mr. Ivor Catt with writing an article that smacks of racism or nationalism or such and so you will not consider it for publication in IEEE Antennas and Propagation. Accusations of racism or related is an oft resorted to epithet by critics in order to attempt discredit of a scientific argument by instead false accusation against the character of the messenger. 1 . [Catt calls Pepper a “Southerner”, because he says the charge comes from the south, but Pepper lives in the west. He calls the Italians “Westerners” because they say the charge comes from the west, but the Italians live in the south. Strange “racism”!] I suppose anybody who has read Mein Kampf is a Nazi, anyone who has read Marx a Communist, and anyone who has read the Bible a Christian. Similarly, by referring to the two Italians as Italians I suppose that makes Mr. Catt an anti-Italian. On the other hand it might just as well make Mr. Catt an Italiophile, since referring to the two Italians as Italians is ambivalent. The whole of Section 1 of their IEEE article is nothing but a slur upon Catt’s character. In fact, only Section 2 of the three Sections of text addresses the Catt Question, but still not without irrelevant remarks about Catt. Consider now some of the remarks made by the Italians.


In Section 1 they say:


amateurs and bizarre men away from academia

Ivor Catt is probably one of these [2], an engineer and amateur scientist.”

Since 1982 [3], Catt has claimed to have found a fatal flaw in electromagnetism, which he named, with a sense of drama, “The Catt’s Anomaly

Indeed, this is the aim of Catt: to crash the theory of electro magnetism [5, 6]. Actually, he has compared himself to Dingle rather than Einstein


In Section 2 they say:


Catt tried to develop his own electromagnetic theory

The academic word did not take Catt seriously much


In Section 3 they say:


Catt has claimed that no academic representative has ever replied in a satisfactory, written, public, manner to his raising this question. In his own book [4], he cites several personal communications”  

However, Catt declares he is unsatisfied by the answers. He purports to develop a new electromagnetic theory

in our opinion, Catt probably misinterprets the concepts of charge and field.”


There are many other remarks directed at Catt throughout the article by the Italians.


You also object to Catt’s terms ‘westerner’ and ‘southerner’. Academic scientists don’t like anything that is remotely humourous about them. But they like to make what they think are humourous remarks about people who disagree with them; just as the Italians have done. I don’t think ‘westerner’ and ‘southerner’ are inaccurate or inappropriate terms for proponents of 'electric currents' in those respective directions. 


Case 2


I sent you a short and simple article that explains the violations of classical electromagnetic theory committed in the paper by Pieraccini and Selleri, for consideration for publication in your magazine, IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine. You failed to even acknowledge it. This article was sent to the IOP journal Physics Education, where Messrs. Pieraccini and Selleri published a follow up to their IEEE article (Pieraccini M. and Selleri S., An apparent paradox: Catt’s anomaly, Physics Education, 2013, v. 48 (6), 718–722). It was very quickly rejected on quite unscientific grounds. I take it by your silence on my article that you do not intend to even consider it for publication (I sent it to you in accordance with the advice on your Journal’s webpage).


I am quite new to the discussions and articles on The Catt Question. Studying the two articles by Pieraccini and Selleri I was astonished that they were even published, owing to their violations of classical electromagnetic theory, the very theory they employ to address what they call ‘Catt’s Anomaly’. I can only speculate as to why these articles were published. [The IEEE Associate Editor who handled its publication, Professor Guiseppe Pelosi, is a colleague of P&S in Florence University, and elsewhere is a co-author with P&S. He would have considered peer review unnecessary. – I Catt]  How they got past ‘peer review’ must have been by two miracles, or perhaps by something rather insidious. I suspect the latter, because miracles are very rare whereas insidiousness in bounty.


Owing to the misconduct of the editors of Physics Education and your failure to even acknowledge my article, I sought publication in a physics journal. It is now published, and is free online: 

Crothers, S. J., On An Apparent Resolution of The Catt Question, Progress in Physics, v.12, Issue 1, pp. 68-69, 2016,


The conduct of the editors of Physics Education and of IEEE Antennas and Propagation in this matter is a disgrace; probably worse.


Yours faithfully,

Stephen J. Crothers