To Professor Paul Hardaker, Chief Executive, Institute of Physics.


Dear Professor Paul Hardaker,

Does the IoP have a disciplinary committee?

The Editor of your journal “Physics Education”, Gary Williams, published an article entitled “An apparent paradox: Catt’s anomaly” by Pieraccini and Selleri (P&S). and refuses to let Catt reply, even refusing to publish 30 words giving the www address for the Catt reply.

The P&S article says; “ .... .... it has a clear and satisfactory solution and it can be considered indubitably just an apparent paradox.”

Their answer contradicted that given by Sir Michael Pepper, “knighted for services to physics”. However, they describe him in their second, IEEE article,  entitled “Catt’s anomaly” as “a renowned physicist”, but omit the fact that he contradicts them. Pepper wrote; the wave travels at light velocity, then charge supplied from outside the system would have to travel at light velocity as well, which is clearly impossible.” Contradicting him but not saying they do, P&S deliver charge “from outside the system” not travelling at the speed of light.

Although P&S cite the book “The Catt Anomaly”, , they misrepresent the Anomaly, saying what they call “Catt’s anomaly” asserts that there is something wrong with classical electromagnetism; “.... the aim of Catt: to crash the theory of electromagnetism.” “The Catt Anomaly” makes no such assertion. It is merely about accredited experts giving contradictory answers to the elementary question of where the negative charge on the surface of the bottom conductor comes from when a battery lights a lamp. This Question and an animation is clearly stated on page one of the book they cite; (1996). Page 1 says; “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.”

After the Question was asked in 1982, there was no answer for a decade, until four accredited experts were selected by their superiors and instructed to write to Catt, and their contradictory answers can be read in the book cited by P&S.


Ivor Catt

Stephen Crothers


The IoP editor Gary Williams said in an email that the article was “borderline”. This was correct. For thirty years, every author and editor has known that “The Catt Question” must not be published in any peer reviewed journal, as one of the IoP authors says in his novel.

Professor Mahta Moghaddam , the IEEE editor of the other article by the same authors on the same so-called “Catt’s anomaly”, also distances herself from “The Catt Question” by saying she was not the editor at the time P&S were published.

However, not only the reputation of each journal is involved. Catt’s reputation has to be considered. Once something damaging has been published on Catt, he has to be given the right to reply. It looks as though these articles cannot be classed as libel, but they come close, and the institutions need to be seen to act with probity.


“Ethics and responsibilities

Statement of ethics and responsibilities of authors submitting to AIP journals

This journal is published as part of the charter of its publisher, the American Institute of Physics (AIP) to advance and diffuse knowledge of the science of physics and its applications to human welfare. To that end, it is essential that all who participate in producing the journal conduct themselves as authors, reviewers, editors, and publishers in accord with the highest level of professional ethics and standards.”

Technically, the P&S articles are obviously wrong.




Paul Hardaker

Apr 20 (4 days ago)

to Gary, me

Dear Dr Catt, many thanks for your note.


We do have an appeals process so I will forward your note on to our Publishing Director to follow up with you Directly.  Many thanks for bringing it to our attention.




Paul Hardaker



Professor Paul Hardaker, FInstP FRMetS CMet

Chief Executive Officer

Institute of Physics

76 Portland Place, London,  W1B 1NT


Tel:      +44 (0)7941 597394



Ivor Catt   20 April 2016