Electromagnetism in quantum field theory (part 1)

Above: Feynman’s path integral illustration of how “… light … “smells” the neighboring paths around it, and uses a small core of nearby space.”

– Richard P. Feynman, QED, Penguin Books, London, 1990, Chapter 2, p. 54.

Above: classical light “wave” illustration from Wikipedia. Most people viewing such diagrams confuse the waving lines with axes labelled field strengths in a single physical dimension, for field lines waving in three dimensional space! Don’t confuse field strength varying along one axis for a field line waving in two dimensions. It’s interesting that field lines are just a mathematical convenience or abstract model invented by Faraday, and are no more real in the physical sense than isobars on weather maps or contour lines on maps. If you scatter iron filings on a piece of paper held over a magnet several times, the absolute positions of the apparent “lines” that the filings clump along occur in randomly distributed locations, although they are generally spaced apart by similar distances. The random “hotspot” locations in which high random concentrations of the first-deposited filings land, form “seeds”, which – under the presence of the magnetic field – have induced magnetism (called paramagnetism), which attract further filings in a pole-to-pole arrangement that creates the illusion of magnetic field lines.

This classical theory of light (the diagram is a colour one of the version in Maxwell’s original Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, final 3rd ed., 1873) is wrong: it shows fields along a single, non-transverse, dimension: a longitudinal “pencil of light” which violates the experimental findings of the double slit experiment! (If you look, you will see only one spatial direction shown, the z axis! The apparent y and z axes are not actually spatial dimensions but just the electric E and magnetic B field strengths, respectively! You can draw a rather similar 3-dimensional diagram of the speed and acceleration of a car as a function of distance, with speed and acceleration plotted as if they are dimensions at right angles to the distance the car has gone. Obfuscating tomfoolery doesn’t make the graph spatially real in three dimensions.)

The real electromagnetic photon, needed to explain the double slit experiment using single photons (as Feynman shows clearly in his 1985 book QED), is entirely different to Maxwell’s classical photon guesswork of 1873: it is spatially extended in a transverse direction, due to the reinforcement of multiple paths (in the simultaneous sum of histories) where the action of the paths is small by comparison to about 15.9% of Planck’s constant (i.e., to h-bar or h divided by twice Pi). However, this quantum theory path integral theory of the light photon is today still being totally ignored in preference to Maxwell’s rubbish in the ignorant teaching of electromagnetism. The classical equations of electromagnetism are just approximations valid in an imaginary, unreal world, where there is simply one path with zero action! We don’t live in such a classical universe. In the real world, there are multiple paths, and we have to sum all paths. The classical laws are only “valid” for the physically false case of zero action, by which I mean an action which is not a function of the coordinates for motion of the light, and which therefore remains invariant of the motion (i.e. a “pencil” of light, following one path: this classical model of a photon fails to agree with the results of the double slit diffraction experiment using photons fired one at a time).

(To put that another way, classical Maxwellian physics is only relativistic because the classical action is invariant of the coordinates for motion. Nature isn’t relativistic in this way in quantum field theory on small scales, precisely because action is a function of the path coordinates taken. If it wasn’t a function of the motion, there would simply be no difference between classical and quantum mechanics. The invariance of path action as a false classical principle and its variance in quantum field theory is a fundamental fact of nature. Just learn to live with it and give up worshipping Dr Einstein!)

Thus, in quantum field theory we recover the classical laws by specifying no change in the action when the coordinates are varied, or as Dirac put it in his 1964 Lectures on Quantum Mechanics (Dover, New York, 2001, pp. 4-5):

“… when one varies the motion, and puts down the conditions for the action integral to be stationary, one gets the [classical, approximately correct on large-scales but generally incorrect on small scales] equations of motion. … In terms of the action integral, it is very easy to formulate the conditions for the theory to be relativistic [in the real contraction, FitzGerald-Lorentz-Poincare spacetime fabric, emergent relativity mechanism, not Einstein’s damnable lies against a quantum field existing in the vacuum; remember Dirac’s public exposure of Einstein’s damned lies in his famous Nature v168, 1951, pp. 906-7 letter, “Is there an aether?”: ‘Physical knowledge has advanced much since 1905, notably by the arrival of quantum mechanics, and the situation has again changed. If one examines the question in the light of present-day knowledge, one finds that the aether is no longer ruled out by relativity, and good reasons can now be advanced for postulating an aether. . . . Thus, with the new theory of electrodynamics [vacuum filled with virtual particles] we are rather forced to have an aether.’!]: one simply has to require that the action integral shall be invariant. … [this] will automatically lead to equations of motion agreeing with [Dirac’s aether-based] relativity, and any developments from this action integral will therefore also be in agreement with [Dirac’s aether-based] relativity.”

Classical physics corresponds falsely to just the path of least action, or least time, whereas real (“sum over multiple path interference”) physics shows us that even in simple situations, light does not just follow the path of least action, but the energy delivered by a photon is actually spread over a range of paths with actions that are small compared to h-bar, but are not zero! There is a big difference between a path having zero action and a spread of paths having actions which are not zero but merely small compared to h-bar! This “subtle” difference (which most mathematical physicists fail to clearly grasp even today) is, as Feynman explained in his 1985 book QED, the basis of the entirely different behaviour of quantum mechanics from the behaviour of classical physics!

Above: electric fields carry electric charge (nobody has ever seen the core charge of an electric field), although this is contrary to the mainstream reasoning based on historical accident, which assumes that the virtual photons of electromagnetism are electrically neutral and are distinguished for positive and negative fields due to some magical, unobservable extra polarizations! It’s obvious that charged massless exchange radiation can propagate simultaneously along paths in opposite directions (although it can’t go along a one-way path only, due to infinite magnetic self-inductance at light velocity!), because of the cancellation of the superimposed magnetic field vectors as shown in the diagram above (for theoretical introduction, see linked paper here, although note that underlying of Psi symbols should be overbars).

Wow. You’d think this would be immediately taken up in education and the media and explained clearly to the world, wouldn’t you? No chance! What’s wrong is that Feynman’s 1985 book QED is simply ignored. When Feynman first tried to publish his simple “Feynman diagrams” and his multipath interference theory of quantum mechanics at the Pocono conference in 1948, he was opposed bitterly by the old 1st quantization propagandarists like Niels Bohr, Oppenheimer, Pauli, and many others. They thought he didn’t understand Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle! They hated the idea of simple Feynman diagrams to guide physical understanding of nature by allowing the successive terms in the path integral’s perturbative expansion to be given a simple physical meaning and mechanism, in place of obscure, obfuscating guesswork pseudo-mathematical physics. They hated progress then. People still do!

‘… I believe that path integrals would be a very worthwhile contribution to our understanding of quantum mechanics. Firstly, they provide a physically extremely appealing and intuitive way of viewing quantum mechanics: anyone who can understand Young’s double slit experiment in optics should be able to understand the underlying ideas behind path integrals. Secondly, the classical limit of quantum mechanics can be understood in a particularly clean way via path integrals. … for fixed h-bar, paths near the classical path will on average interfere constructively (small phase difference) whereas for random paths the interference will be on average destructive. … we conclude that if the problem is classical (action >> h-bar), the most important contribution to the path integral comes from the region around the path which extremizes the path integral. In other words, the article’s motion is governed by the principle that the action is stationary. This, of course, is none other than the Principle of Least Action from which the Euler-Lagrange equations of classical mechanics are derived.’

– Richard MacKenzie, Path Integral Methods and Applications, pp. 2-13.

Above: Oleg D. Jefimenko and Richard P. Feynman (equation 28.3 in the Feynman Lectures on Physics, vol. 1) independently solved Maxwell’s equations in the early 1960s, which allows quantum field theory effects to be easily seen in the Maxwell correction to Coulomb’s force law for steady charges to an equation which allows for charge motion. The Jifimenko-Feynman equation for electric field strength is a three component equation in which the first component is from Coulomb’s law (Gauss’s field divergence equation in the Maxwell equations) where force F = qE so that electric field E = q/(4*Pi*Permittivity*R2) . The Feynman-Jefimenko solution to Maxwell’s equations for field directions along the line of the motion and acceleration of a charge yields the simple summation of terms: Ev/m = [q/(4*Pi*Permittivity)] { R-2 + [v(cos z)/(cR2)] + [a(sin z)/(Rc2)] }

The sine and cosine factors in the two motion related terms are due to the fact that they depend on whether the motion of a charge is towards you or away from you (they come from vectors in the Feynman-Jefimenko solution; z is the angle between the direction of the motion of the charge and the direction of the observer). The first term in the curly brackets is the Coulomb law for static charges. The second term in the curly brackets with a linear dependence on v/c is simply the effect of the redshift (observer receding from the charge) or blue shift (observer approaching the charge) of the force field quanta, which depends on whether you are moving towards or away from the charge q; as the Casimir effect shows, field quanta or virtual photons do have physically-significant wavelengths. The third term in the curly brackets is the effect of accelerations of charge, i.e. the real (on-shell) photon radio wave emission (this radio emission field strength drops off inversely with distance rather than as the inverse square of distance).

The time-dependence of E at distance R in the equation is the retarded time tR/c, which allows for the light speed delay due to the field being composed of electromagnetic field quanta and waves which must transverse that distance from charge to observer before the field can be observed.

Above: Ivor Catt on Oliver Heaviside’s discovery of light speed electromagnetic energy transfer in electricity; the Heaviside-Poynting vector describes the field quanta or off-shell photons of quantum field theory.

Above: unlike abusive and censoring mainstream string theorists, general relativists, and loop quantum gravity fanatics, Ivor Catt’s theory is based on facts which led to his marketed invention, wafer scale integration, as explained by Sir Clive Sinclair in this TV documentary about Catt.

Observing the field quanta or off-shell photons of quantum field theory


Ivor Catt (born 1935) describing the Heaviside energy current or Poynting vector energy current, which consists of the massless quanta of the electromagnetic field. This light-velocity field originates from the electrons in the power source such as the battery, but because the electrons have mass, they are unable to move as fast as the field, which is therefore the driving cause of the much-slower massive electron drift current. Electric current itself consists of typically 1 conduction electron per atom drifting at typically 1 mm/second for a 1 amp drift current, which carries negligible kinetic energy, compared to the light velocity energy delivered by the Heaviside electromagnetic energy current. Hence “electric current” is a misnomer since the energy delivery mechanism is not the kinetic energy of the slowly drifting electron current, but is the energy delivered by the field quanta themselves; the light velocity Poynting-Heaviside electromagnetic “energy current”, discovered independently by both Poynting and by Heaviside prior to the discovery of the electron in 1897.

After graduating in general engineering from Cambridge in 1956 (he won a scholarship to read mathematics at Trinity, but transferred to engineering after becoming disillusioned with the reductionist problem in calculus and other problems in the dogmas of pure mathematics), Catt entered the new field of computer design engineering, rediscovering electrical genius Oliver Heaviside’s work on light velocity logic signals in cables or “transmission lines” between Newcastle and Denmark (Morse code), which was before its time. In 1964, Catt was recruited by Motorola at Phoenix, Arizona, to research cross-talk problems in microchips with fast clock speeds (glitches or mutual inductance), under research contracts to NASA.

In December 1967, Catt’s experimental work “Crosstalk (mutual inductance) in digital systems” was published in the IEEE Transactions on Electronic Computers, volume EC-16.

In 1979, in co-authorship with former physics lecturer Dr David Walton and electronics engineer Malcolm Davidson, he published an article on “Displacement current” in Wireless World (which had published Arthur C. Clarke’s 1945 visionary paper on geostationary satellites for global communications). The paper mathematically proved that the charging of a capacitor with vacuum or plastic dielectric could be treated as the charging of a cable (transmission line) using Heaviside’s concept of “energy current”. Full experimental proof followed in Catt’s December 1980 Wireless World paper “Electric Current”. Lucidly explaining the basis for this revolutionary discovery of the light velocity field nature of the charge associated with the mass of supposedly static electrons in his 1995 book “Electromagnetics 1”, Catt states:

“Let us summarize the argument which erases the traditional model;

a) Energy current can only enter a capacitor at the speed of light.
b) Once inside, there is no mechanism for the energy current to slow down below the speed of light.
c) The steady electrostatically charged capacitor is indistinguishable from the reciprocating, dynamic model.
d) The dynamic model is necessary to explain the new feature to be explained, the charging and discharging of a capacitor, and serves all the purposes previously served by the steady, static model.”

This YouTube interview of Ivor Catt by Nigel Cook is not copyright. A further video on the technical aspects and implications will be produced separately. The two key Wireless World articles are downloadable in PDF here.

Aharnonov is the physicist famous for the Aharonov-Bohm effect, which disproves the idea that electric and magnetic field strengths fully describe the electromagnetic field. This fact becomes intuitively obvious when you notice that you can “cancel out” magnetic or electric fields with nearby opposite poles or opposite charges, without destroying the energy density of the field. Similarly, you can pass two waves with opposite amplitudes through one another and despite the wave feature being temporarily “cancelled” during the period they are passing through one another and overlapping, when they emerge after passing through one another, they are fully restored with no energy loss! (The contrapuntal model of the charged capacitor is another example, suggesting that charged massless SU(2) gauge bosons deliver electromagnetic forces, leaving U(1) hypercharge to generate spin-1 quantum gravity.)

The Aharonov–Bohm effect, sometimes called the Ehrenberg–Siday–Aharonov–Bohm effect, is a quantum mechanical phenomenon in which an electrically charged particle shows a measurable interaction with an electromagnetic field despite being confined to a region in which both the magnetic field B and electric field E are zero.

The Aharonov–Bohm effect shows that the local E and B fields do not contain full information about the electromagnetic field, and the electromagnetic four-potential, A, must be used instead. – Wikipedia.

“In electromagnetism, Jefimenko’s equations (named after Oleg D. Jefimenko) describe the behavior of the electric and magnetic fields in terms of the charge and current distributions at retarded times. … There is a widespread interpretation of Maxwell’s equations indicating that time variable electric and magnetic fields can cause each other. This is often used as part of an explanation of the formation of electromagnetic waves. However, Jefimenko’s equations show otherwise. Jefimenko says, “…neither Maxwell’s equations nor their solutions indicate an existence of causal links between electric and magnetic fields. Therefore, we must conclude that an electromagnetic field is a dual entity always having an electric and a magnetic component simultaneously created by their common sources: time-variable electric charges and currents.” [Something string theorists are unaware of, still ignorantly believing that electromagnetism was unified by Maxwell.] As pointed out by McDonald, Jefimenko’s equations (in the vacuum case) seems to appear first in 1962 in the second edition of Panofsky and Phillips’s classic textbook. [References: Oleg D. Jefimenko, Electricity and Magnetism: An Introduction to the Theory of Electric and Magnetic Fields, Appleton-Century-Crofts (New-York – 1966). 2nd ed.: Electret Scientific (Star City – 1989), ISBN 978-0917406089. Oleg D. Jefimenko, Solutions of Maxwell’s equations for electric and magnetic fields in arbitrary media, American Journal of Physics 60 (10) (1992), 899-902. Oleg D. Jefimenko, Causality Electromagnetic Induction and Gravitation, 2nd ed.: Electret Scientific (Star City – 2000) Chapter 1, page 16 ISBN 0-917406-23-0. Kirk T. McDonald, The relation between expressions for time-dependent electromagnetic fields given by Jefimenko and by Panofsky and Phillips, American Journal of Physics 65 (11) (1997), 1074-1076. Wolfgang K. H. Panofsky, Melba Phillips, Classical Electricity And Magnetism, Addison-Wesley (2nd. ed – 1962), Section 14.3. The electric field is written in a slighlty different – but completely equivalent – form. Reprint: Dover Publications (2005), ISBN 978-0486439242.]” – Wikipedia

Above: Catt’s model of electric charge as the superposition of reciprocating TEM waves or Poynting vectors describes the exchange of electromagnetic energy (from Catt’s article in the December 1980 issue of Wireless World; misleading article title is censored). Catt’s experimentally based model of a “contrapuntal” charged capacitor is as follows, from the page http://www.ivorcatt.com/1_3.htm:

Thus, there is an equilibrium of “field quanta” flowing in opposite directions to sustain the electric fields of a “steady electric charge”, with as much energy going one way as another at light velocity, so that the magnetic field vectors of the Poynting vectors cancel out as shown above, while the electric fields automatically add and don’t cancel. Catt states http://www.ivorcatt.com/1_3.htm :

“Let us summarize the argument which erases the traditional model;
a) Energy current can only enter a capacitor at the speed of light.
b) Once inside, there is no mechanism for the energy current to slow down below the speed of light.
c) The steady electrostatically charged capacitor is indistinguishable from the reciprocating, dynamic model.
d) The dynamic model is necessary to explain the new feature to be explained, the charging and discharging of a capacitor, and serves all the purposes previously served by the steady, static model.”

Catt has made the error of not distinguishing between macroscopic and microscopic phenomena; therefore he tries to use the experiments (for the vital experiment see his article from the December 1980 issue of Wireless World, PDF file linked here, although beware that the headlines and grandiose claims of each of the two papers from 1978 and 1980 are completely misleading and that there are theoretical errors in the papers, although the experiment and its conclusion are vitally important for quantum field theory) justifying the arguments above to “replace” electric charge with contrapuntal flows of light speed charged electromagnetic radiation, instead of seeing that his experiments merely tell us about the the electric field features observed conventionally and described as being static “charge”, such as a charged electron.

(Similarly he earlier tried to use the TEM wave to debunk Maxwell’s displacement current; taking no care as to whether he was getting rid of the mathematical or the physical interpretation of it as Maxwell’s mechanical aether. We had endless arguments over it from 1996-2006, similar – I found – to his arguments through the letters column of Wireless World for nearly every issue of that monthly journal from 1978 to 1987 under the editorships of Tom Ivall and others, with some less frequent controversy persisting in the renamed journal Electronics World right through the 1990s and to the current editor in 2010. Catt reprinted in all the published 1978-87 correspondence in his 1987 book Death of Electric Current which as the title suggests was not taken seriously. Catt relies heavily on Occam’s Razor to oversimplify everything. A Reader in Electromagnetism, Bell, wrote a Wireless World article called “No Radio Without Displacement Current”, repudiating Catt’s 1978 dismissal of displacement current by using Maxwell’s equations to demonstrate how the displacement current equation was used to unify electricity and magnetism into electromagnetism with the prediction of radio waves, which Hertz experimentally confirmed. Catt gave two replies, one in which he lamely suggests that the radio waves predicted by Maxwell’s model have a cyclical phase problem in that the oscillations in the electric and magnetic fields are not actually capable of generating one another by Maxwell’s suggested mechanism. E.g., when the electric field strength in a photon is varying in time it creates a curled magnetic field and vice versa; therefore when one field strength peaks, it’s rate of change is zero, so there is no production of the other field. This was vague and arm-waving and was not backed up by a full analysis, although Oleg D. Jefimenko, the author of the 1966 textbook Electricity and Magnetism: An Introduction to the Theory of Electric and Magnetic Fields, and author of an article on solutions to Maxwell’s equations, published in the American Journal of Physics, v60, 1992, p899, has written the following which is in agreement with Catt’s basic theory: “… neither Maxwell’s equations nor their solutions indicate an existence of casual links between electric and magnetic fields. Therefore, we must conclude that an electromagnetic field is a dual entity always having an electric and a magnetic component simultaneously created by their common sources: time-variable electric charges and currents.” Catt’s other reply to Bell was a Wireless World article called “The Hidden Message in Maxwell’s Equations”, which ignores the full Maxwell equations, takes only two out of 20 longhand differential versions of the equations, and then proceeds to claim that those 10% of the equations have “no content” physically any more than the equation for the gradient of a mountain. Again, Catt would not repudiate his error and preferred to keep repeating himself rather than proceed constructively, wasting time. I will put up a YouTube digital HD video soon of Catt discussing electromagnetism with me a few years ago, so you can see the actual situation I faced. Catt built up an ossified set of ideas which contained flawed theoretical ideas, and ignored errors instead of trying to constantly search out and correct errors. He continues to waste time now, sending out emails containing errors which do not lead to progress. A clue about this personality is contained in the book Oliver Heaviside – The Man written by Heaviside’s best friend G. F. C. Searle in 1950, which was first published by Catt in 1987. Catt writes in the “Editor’s Preface” on page 4 that the first reason why book is worth reading is that “it is about one of the great eccentrics”. Catt told me that Heaviside is his hero. The problem with “eccentrics” is that they can be very egotistic, annoying and time-wasting.)

Electric fields are composed of charged radiations described by the Poynting vector.

If you move relative to such a charge, the motions of the two flows of energy no longer cancel out the magnetic field perfectly, so some of the magnetic field component (the spin of the field quanta which produce the torque of the field) becomes apparent. Previously invisible magnetic field energy thus becomes visible.


Update (7 July 2010): Ivor has recently (yesterday and again today)emailed me (in a long carbon copy list of people) some more errors, so I am inserting here the following section, containing some extracts from my recent responses.

Heaviside’s rectangular shaped slab of energy current is false in your “Catt Anomaly” diagram, because you can’t have zero rise time (infinite rate of charge of voltage) and a flat top (zero gradient of potential with distance). The flat top (constant voltage at all points in the Heaviside signal) implicitly rules out any electric drift current, since there is no EMF.

Above: Ivor Catt’s “anomaly” or “question” consists of this false diagram based on Heaviside’s physically incorrect “slab of energy current” in which the front of the logic step is vertical (so it has zero rise time, i.e. an infinite rate of change of voltage at the front!) and the top is flat instead of sloping (so it has constant voltage, with no gradient of voltage with distance, thus the diagram intrinsically rules out “electric current” which is a response of electrons to the variation of voltage with distance along the conductor, which in reality always has some resistance!). Catt accompanies the diagram above with the misleading text:

“The key to grasping the anomaly is to concentrate on the electric charge on the bottom conductor. The step advances one foot per nanosecond. Extra negative charge appears on the surface of the bottom conductor to terminate the new lines (tubes) of electric flux which appear between the top (signal) conductor and the bottom conductor. Since 1982 the question has been: Where does this new charge come from? Not from the upper conductor, because by definition, displacement current is not the flow of real charge. Not from somewhere to the left, because such charge would have to travel at the speed of light in a vacuum. Conventional electromagnetic theory says that the drift velocity of electric current is slower than the speed of light.”

Suppose you connect the ends of a 1 m long piece of wire to each terminal on a 1.5 v cell (battery), you then have 1.5 volts per metre gradient of potential, which pushes conduction band electrons around the circuit at something like 1 mm/second (electron drift current!) which is trivial and also carries trivial kinetic energy compared to the electromagnetic energy carried by the light velocity field. In Catt’s diagram, based on Heaviside’s step, there is no gradient of volts per metre with distance (the top of the pulse is a constant number of volts at all points), thus if Catt’s diagram is true IT INHERENTLY RULES OUT ELECTRIC CURRENT (ELECTRON DRIFT)! Now, Catt’s diagram is not true because as the logic step propagates, it suffers from resistance in the conductors which decrease the voltage, so the top is not flat but sloping!

If I charge a metal plate to 5 volts, there is likewise no drift of electrons. The electrons gain no field energy by moving right or left. It’s the same in Heaviside’s lying flat-topped logic signal. Heavisides step diagram implicitly rules out electric current, because the diagram itself is wrong.

If you corrected Heaviside’s error by having sloping lines rather than vertical and horizontal lines, you’d find that there is a flow of electrons. Ivor’s diagram is a red-herring. Yet Ivor responds by ignoring this, instead of correcting it. Ivor claims to be progressive, but actually ties his theory to Heaviside’s errors. It’s extremely disappointing that he chooses to be pseudo-scientific like this, and tries to shoot the messenger, a policy tried by Stalin with Trotsky. Ivor should ideally keep to the empirically defensible facts, not horses**t theories by Heaviside.

From Ivor’s page http://www.ivorcatt.com/1_3.htm:

“Let us summarize the argument which erases the traditional model;

a) Energy current can only enter a [vacuum dielectric] capacitor at the speed of light.

b) Once inside, there is no mechanism for the energy current to slow down below the speed of light.

c) The steady electrostatically charged capacitor is indistinguishable from the reciprocating, dynamic model. [The magnetic field curls from the opposite directed components of the Poynting vector cancel out while the electric fields add up; there is no overall gradient of voltage with distance once equilibrium is achieved when the capacitor is fully charged, so there is no resistance, which is dependent upon electron drift, which only occurs in the presence of a gradient in the voltage with distance around a circuit.]

d) The dynamic model is necessary to explain the new feature to be explained, the charging and discharging of a capacitor, and serves all the purposes previously served by the steady, static model.

e) The static model, since it requires electric charge, collides with the Catt Anomaly.”

Steps a-d are correct and very well stated indeed, but step e is wrong because the Catt Anomaly/Question diagram (shown further on in this blog post, with corrections)falsely displays a Heaviside (rectangular shaped logic signal), in which there is no rise time (this an infinite rate of change of potential at the front!) and there is no gradient of potential with distance (a flat top indicating steady voltage, which is physically false in any circuit where there is always resistance). However, nobody has ever seen an electric charge core! The only electromagnetic characteristics of electrons which have ever been observed are electric and magnetic FIELDS which always propagate at light velocity. The mass of the electron comes from some kind of non-electromagnetic Higgs type field in the Standard Model, so the fact the electron has rest mass doesn’t prove that the electromagnetic fields are static. On the contrary, in quantum field theory the fields are constantly in motion. Nobody has ever seen a static charge, and it’s believed that you would need to reach the Planck scale to do so and even if you did it would be an oscllating string or loop, not something static. Hence, Ivor is fundamentally correct, although he is wrong about the Catt Anomaly, which is an anomaly due to Heaviside’s epicycle-like “puritan” falsehoods (a nice neat looking square by analogy to Ptolemy’s circles; not the ugly sloping front and sloping top which are analogous to Kepler’s ellipses). I’ve been working on the theoretical physics behind Ivor’s discovery of the contrapuntal model for the charged capacitor since 1996.

Ivor has numerous sites where he is free to publish what he wants immediately and directly (freely to all, not just to the paying subscribers of the IEEE), yet he won’t publish any clear statement of his science that makes an impact. Ivor has important points but they are submerged in Heaviside drivel, such as Heaviside’s false model of energy current in which there is a vertical step in voltage (potential) at the front of a logic step and then a flat topped pulse. Neither a vertical step nor a flat top exist in the real world. You can’t have voltage jump instantaneously, nor can you have a flat top to the logic step voltage when in reality resistance is acting so there is a gradient (slope) around the circuit. However, it’s clear that the traditional lumped exponential model of the charging of a capacitor is still wrong, and despite the approximations in Ivor’s analysis, Ivor has a valid point. I don’t really like his mathematics for the reasons already stated, but physically he is right to point out that electromagnetic energy enters a capacitor (he should point out that he is thinking of a capacitor with air or vacuum between the plates, like an idealized transmission line), it does so at light velocity, bouncing back off the far end and immediately adding to more energy flowing in. Once “charged” in this way (note that the energy flowing in is accompanied by some drift current of electrons, because of the gradient in the electric field, which Heaviside’s flat-topped logic step falsely ignores), we have – as Ivor states – a capacitor in which there is light velocity electromagfnetic energy bouncing around eternally in all directions possible. The magnetic field curls of the left and right flowing components (and up and down flowing components, etc.) are equal and opposite, so the magnetic field appears to cancel, although the energy is still there. Allow the energy to exit, and you get a pulse outward containing the full energy, with the magnetic field reappearing since it’s no longer cancelled.

The whole point is that the electromagnetic field consists of field quanta. Therefore, Ivor’s experiment tells us about the nature of electromagnetic field quanta. By correcting his mistakes re Heaviside’s square-shaped slab of energy current, we can then correctly interpret “displacement current” in terms of the field quanta moving around in the vacuum. This allows us to change the Standard Model U(1) Abelian electromagnetic symmetry into an SU(2) symmetry, getting rid of the speculative Higgs mechanism which is so far incompatible with experimental data (the LHC will sort this out very soon!). This seems to overcome Feynman’s problems with electroweak unification. Ivor is completely ignorant of modern physics, he believes that 1st quantization (quantum mechanics) is the reigning theory, when in fact it’s just wrong because it assumes a classical Coulomb potential, and the correct theory is 2nd quantization where field quanta (not the direct action of the uncertainty principle) cause electron chaos. So you can’t discuss physics with him.

Ivor for example attacks the vector calculus Maxwell equations by simplifying them down to equations that contain no information, then pointing out that fact as if it applies to the full set. Moreover, the vector form of Maxwell’s equations are physically incomplete and replaced by the electromagnetic four-potential in modern physics, which contains additional information. For example, in Maxwell’s vector equations, you can “cancel out” E and B fields by opposite charges or opposite magnetic poles and you apparently then have nothing, but it is experimentally known that the “cancelled” energy is still there. Similarly, in a wave tank there is a beautiful experiment where you can send waves with opposite waveforms through one another from opposite ends of the tank, and while they overlap you will have a “cancelled” wave i.e. an interval of calm water, then the waves reappear as they emerge from the overlap and regain their shape!

Ivor’s experiments do the same thing (Walton pointed out that there is no resistance during the overlap period for two electromagnetic signals being sent in opposite directions through the same power transmission line). But this is not a unique Ivor discovery. It is also demonstrated by the well-known Aharonov-Bohm effect which proves that even where E and B fields are cancelled out, the energy which remains in that region of space from the overlapping and “cancelling” electromagnetic fields still has effects on the motion of electrically charged particles. A clearer example is the fact that the “cancelled” electromagnetic fields of electrons and protons inside a block of glass make the photon slow down from the velocity it has in the vacuum; the energy of the field quanta from the electromagnetic fields still interact with the photon, “loading it”, and slowing it down, even though they are balanced and this “cancel” out on the average inside the glass.

In an ideal world, Ivor would extract these vital mechanistic points from the 1978 Wireless World paper on displacement current and from the March 1983 Wireless World on “Waves in Space” (the experimental justification), and state them clearly without any grandiose claims about advance or censorship, or unsubstantiated speculations that are worthless or wrong. However, for some egotistic or other reason, he won’t do this, so others must either sit back and watch the censorship continue, or else try to do what is necessary and what Ivor won’t or can’t do himself.

Of course, Ivor’s appeals for exactly this to be done, appeals to big shot IEEE editors and Sir Pepper make it clear that he is elitist and is happy for his work to be promoted and maybe interpreted and rewritten PROVIDED that this done by someone like the editor of the IEEE journal or a Cambridge knight. He is not prepared to put the eccentricity aside for long enough to write a paper that is argued strongly and scientifically enough by itself to be incontrovertible.

When I went back to college (University of Gloucestershire) in 2002 to do programming and marketing, I was surprised at how the grading awarded the writing style. The 5% difference between a grade A and a grade B was writing a report with a very strongly presented argument which no reader would be able to argue with. Ivor’s writings, in the most part, would get grade F’s on these marking criteria. He is simply too slack. He fails to realize that there are millions of UFO and ESP fanatics always complaining about censorship, so it’s vital to make people understand his science first, before complaining of censorship! The editor of IEEE will see no difference between Ivor’s writing and UFO or ESP claims. First, don’t offer any clear, understandable, forceful, competent evidence. Then claim you are being censored. These two steps are exactly what the UFO and ESP nutters do, and Ivor copies it. If you do that, you are presenting yourself very badly. Ivor has replied to such criticisms from me in the past with arrogant rubbish like claiming that his bad presentations “sort out the men from the boys”. The idea of Ivor there is that bad presentations should still be understood by competent scientists. However, if that was true, then the top scientists would spend all their lives investigating rubbish. Instead, like the media, they ignore presentations which are poor. Ivor’s presentations in almost all cases are poor.

Above: Sir Clive Sinclair discussing Ivor Catt’s microchip replacement.

If he could get some anti-depressants and caffeine and actually write up an effective paper, it might still be rejected by groupthink consensus, but at least it would be understandable to others who might see it on his internet site. Instead, he has loaded his internet site with drivel. His various eccentric attributes prevent him from making use of his internet publishing power to circumvent censorship. He gives himself unlimited freedom to do what he wants, instead of disciplining himself to write what others want to read. The result is not good reading. Ivor could buy “Quantum Field Theory Demystified” and Feynman’s QED, but I don’t think his approach to the subject would lead anywhere useful. He doesn’t have the motivation. Having said this, I could, should, and will hopefully improve my own efforts, which undoubtedly suffer from problems of presentation due to the complexity of the wide range of problems, and the limits of time available to deal with them.

(End of 7 July 2010 update.)

‘I am a physicist and throughout my career have been involved with issues in the reliability of digital hardware and software. In the late 1970s I was working with CAM Consultants on the reliability of fast computer hardware. At that time we realised that interference problems – generally known as electromagnetic compatibility (emc) – were very poorly understood.’

– Dr David S. Walton, co-discoverer in 1976 (with Catt and Malcolm Davidson) that the charging and discharging of capacitors can be treated as the charging and discharging of open ended power transmission lines, Electronics World, July 1995, page 594.

Ivor Catt, Malcolm Davidson and David S. Walton made the experimental discovery that the charging and discharging of capacitors can be treated as the charging and discharging of open ended power transmission lines. This is a discovery with a major but neglected implication for the interpretation of Maxwell’s classical electromagnetism equations in quantum field theory; because energy flows into a capacitor or transmission line at light velocity and is then trapped in it with no way to slow down – the magnetic fields cancel out when energy is trapped – charged fields propagating at the velocity of light constitute the observable nature of apparently ‘static’ charge and therefore electromagnetic gauge bosons of electric force fields are not neutral but carry net positive and negative electric charges, which I will discuss below. But first here is an extract about Catt’s problems, from a 1989 New Scientist feature.

Forum: On the importance of being creative – Innovative thinkers should be allowed to come to the fore

From issue 1692 of New Scientist magazine, 25 November 1989, by HOWARD FIRTH (Howard Firth is an independent science consultant, and was director of the first Edinburgh Science Festival.)

“It’s not merely that people with creativity and flair are not properly paid; in many places they are not wanted, as they unsettle those in more established positions. The problem is that the result of all the training in the dominant disciplines of finance, personnel and marketing is not to encourage new ways of thinking, but to keep people thinking along established lines. The skills we are recruiting for are those of the fast talker and the forceful personality, the utilisers of the here and now, rather than the creative minds that constantly question the given order of things.

“And, of course, each new layer of conventional-thinking, establishment-minded people has to protect itself by appointing more conventional-thinking and establishment-minded people below, thereby building up every year an even stronger wall against the creative thinkers who find that, as time goes on, even their most positive attitudes crumble into bitterness. Every year, some new government initiative comes along – and successive governments deserve credit for at least trying. The trouble with enterprise and training initiatives is that the people who are put in charge of them are often the type of people who have got there because of their ability in conventional ways of doing things.

“Creative thinkers are by their nature often isolated, their ideas either ignored or rejected, or sometimes simply taken up without any acknowledgment. But what if they could make contact with each other? That was the idea of Ivor Catt, an innovative thinker whose own immense ability in electronics has all too often been too far ahead of conventional ideas to be appreciated: significantly, Catt is beginning to get some high-level backing from companies who see the possibility of major breakthroughs from his work (‘Wafers herald new era for computing’, New Scientist, 25 February 1989).

“Catt argues that as bodies of knowledge grow, they become stronger in keeping out any new items of knowledge that appear to question the fundamental base of the established knowledge and its practitioners. To assist the propagation of new ideas, he proposes the creation of an electronic information-sharing network. [Very shortly afterwards, the internet was invented along these lines.]

“… Anyone doubting the ability of creative people to learn rapidly the tricks of PR should watch how quickly they learn to disguise and suppress their ability at school, to protect themselves from the contingent pressures of their classmates. It’s an important learning skill in a society where they are going to find themselves always on the edges.”

When his scientific paper ‘Crosstalk (Noise) in Digital Systems,’ in IEEE Trans. on Elect. Comp., volume EC-16 (Dec 1967) pp. 749-58 was ignored in physics circles (it has received a total of only 44 scholarly citations according to Google Scholar), Catt wrote the book The Catt Concept: The New Industrial Darwinism which complains about the problems summarized in the New Scientist article (quoted above). This book was – according to a quotation from Kirkus Reviews which some wag inserted into Catt’s Wikipedia article – a poorly executed exposition of ‘one man’s bitter and limited experience’. The problems with this review are:

(1) Books which reach effective conclusions are often the work of a single person, precisely because consensus is often a compromise!

(2) Any book which is constructively critical of status quo can be dismissed as bitter!

(3) Nobody has unlimited experience, nor does a multi-author committee! All experience is limited!

As Machiavelli noted in Chapter VI of his medieval book of guidance for politicians, The Prince: ‘… the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new.’

This, plus being on the receiving end of groupthink orthodoxy as a kid with a speech problem, is what has led me to hate the kind of majority-is-always-right politics and politicians which often win the majority of votes in so-called ‘democracy’ today, a ‘democracy’ in which the amount of choice is pitifully small – basically a choice every four years between two parties which are relatively similar in trying to be popular enough to win!  This type of ‘democracy’ seems fairly distant from the original form of democracy practised in the city states of Ancient Greece, where all citizens would vote daily for policies. The number of decisions each citizen is able to participate in has therefore fallen by a factor of at least (365 days)*(4 years) = 1,460, and in modern ‘democracy’ people have to form pressure groups, get the media on their side, and try to shame elected politicians in to taking notice of some problem and acting upon it: in the real world you have to fight not vote for freedom even in a democracy, using tactics of pestering the media and those who don’t want to know which are hardly that much different from those used by many of the dissenters in the Soviet Union (which had effectively one-party elections, and claimed in its propaganda to be democratic, too!). So there are different forms of democracy, and ours is not necessarily as good as it could be.  This problem applies not only to mainstream party politics, but all the way through the expert quangos, educational committees, technical journal editorial committees and ‘peer’-reviewer politics.  Science is entirely different in nature from the political system which prints, promotes and teaches science.  Propaganda can make a scientific failure look like a success by excluding a better theory and by dismissing errors as ‘mere anomalies’.

Having arrived at this point, before discussing Catt’s primary work of value, I need to make some statements about the real problems with Catt. First, contrary to his claim to be forward-thinking, he is proudly stuck in a false Heaviside 1875 model of logic steps with unphysical, pseudoscientific discontinuities (vertical step wavefronts, with zero rise time between 0 and v volts) which foul his theoretical analysis. Second, he is mathematically inept when it comes to understanding the relationship between a mathematical model and the real world. This however is commonplace in physics, particularly amongst Coperhagen Interpretation and Multiple Universes Interpretation quantum mechanics and Einsteinian general relativity curved spacetime sycophants who don’t grasp quantum fields at all and how they discredit curved continuum speculations and the use of continuously variable differential equations for representing discontinuous, discrete fields!

However, he refused to discuss any of this with me objectively. He is firmly stuck in the quackery/egotism/groupthink mainstream sycophancy view of science, wanting a scientific conference to his discuss his work. He alternately argues against consensus as an objective of science, and in favour of achieving a popular consensus in favour of his own work, without shame at the hypocrisy involved! He has no interest in personally sorting out the muddle he admits exists in modern physics. He lacks the knowledge and the patience and probably the skills to study quantum field theory and resolve the problems of modern physics. Instead he wants all the problems to be sorted out by some big conference of big name experts.

He made it clear to me that he will not encourage, even by mere discussion of physics, my efforts to sort these problems out myself. This is despite my efforts including the writing of published articles about his electronics work. Instead of doing science, he now devotes his time to trying to get quack mainstream big name physicists interested, which has proved to be a complete waste of time for science: all he gets from them are contradictions and controversy. Controversy is not science. It might be needed to drum up some entertainment value in a dry subject to help get publicity, but by itself it is not helpful for progress. There has to be scientific progress.

The status of Catt’s work is little more than widely-misunderstood theoretical reinterpretation with experimental evidence behind it, of electricity. It is half wrong (I correct the error below). In electricity, each conductor carries an inversion of the signal in the other, so both radiate transversely (with electromagnetic energy travelling towards the other conductor) as the electrons are accelerated to a net drift speed at the front of a logic step or electric current pulse, and the radiated energy is absorbed in the opposite conductor. This mechanism explains why the logic step moves at the velocity of light for the insulator between/around the conductors! It also replaces displacement current, acting to complete the circuit (illustration below). Catt can’t see this because he uses Heaviside’s false model with vertical (abrupt) logic steps, not electric fields which vary with distance (an vertical jump in volts means that the field strength is E = V/d = V/0 = infinity, which is physically wrong; all real logic steps have a rise time of a few nanoseconds).

So Catt’s theory is half quack, half genius, a little like the Greek theory of atoms (atom means unspittable, which turned out wrong hence nuclear fission). I think Catt is copying the persona of his hero the Oliver Heaviside but without the success, or maybe a better analogy is the case of Leo Szilard. Szilard in 1933 (the year after Chadwick discovered the neutron) was crossing the road in London, thinking about how to get energy from nuclear reactions. He suddenly had the brilliant idea: if he could find a nucleus which emitted 2 neutrons plus energy when it was hit by 1 neutron, it would produce an accelerating chain reaction like a chemical explosion but scaled up according to the nuclear energy release (which is far more powerful than chemical reactions, because the bonds between nucleons are so much stronger than those between atomic electrons).

Later Szilard patented his idea for nuclear reactors and bombs, without undertaking the hard work needed to make it practical. While I give Bohr stick for the Copenhagen Interpretation religion of mainstream quantum mechanics (a speculative quack interpretation of no value, and not to be confused with the predictive mathematical models used in quantum mechanics which are useful), Bohr did do some useful work in later life. One thing he did was to guess that actinides with odd numbers of nuclei were less stable than those with even numbers of nuclei (this is ultimately due to the shell model of the nucleus, which obeys the Pauli exclusion principle with pairing of nucleons). Thus U-235 is less stable than U-238, making U-235 more likely to be fissioned by low energy neutrons. Bohr correctly deduced that U-238 fission requires high energy neutrons, while U-235 can be fissioned by neutrons of any energy.

Naturally, Szilard’s patent was worthless and expired long before the nuclear reactor was invented by Fermi. Szilard then adopted a ‘humble genius’ mentality, and lived off handouts from friends including Eugene Wigner (who writes in his autobiography that Szilard wrote grateful letters of thanks for money). The problem here is that there is a difference between what some science writer, such as John Gribbin, Jeremy Webb (editor of New Scientist) or Mrcus Chown claims to be the correct, romantic mythical way to do science, and the way science really works, which is more like Professor Paul Feyerabend’s Against Method.

Feyerabend explained in the concluding chapter of his 1975 book Against Method that anything goes which works in science, regardless of the method:

‘The idea that science can, and should, be run according to fixed and universal rules, is both unrealistic and pernicious. … the idea is detrimental to science, for it neglects the complex physical and historical conditions which influence scientific change. It makes our science less adaptable and more dogmatic: every methodological rule is associated with cosmological assumptions, so that using the rule we take it for granted that the assumptions are correct. Naive falsificationism takes it for granted that the laws of nature are manifest and not hidden beneath disturbances of considerable magnitude. … Putting them to a test means that we stop using the methodology … and see what happens. … such tests occur all the time … they speak against the universal validity of any rule. All methodologies have their limitations and the only ‘rule’ that survives is ‘anything goes’. …

‘Scepticism is at a minimum; it is directed against the view of the opposition and against minor ramifications of one’s own basic ideas, never against the basic ideas themselves. Attacking the basic ideas evokes taboo reactions which are no weaker than are the taboo reactions in so-called “primitive societies.” Basic beliefs are protected by this reaction … and whatever fails to fit into the established category system or is said to be incompatible with this system is either viewed as something quite horrifying or, more frequently, it is simply declared to be non-existent.

‘Scientists do not solve problems because they possess a magic wand – methodology, or a theory of rationality – but because they have studied a problem for a long time, because they know the situation fairly well, because they are not too dumb (though that is rather doubtful nowadays when almost anyone can become a scientist), and because the excesses of one scientific school are almost always balanced by the excesses of some other school. (Besides, scientists only rarely solve their problems, they make lots of mistakes, and many of their solutions are quite useless.) Basically there is hardly any difference between the process that leads to the announcement of a new scientific law and the process preceding passage of a new law in society: one informs either all citizens or those immediately concerned, one collects ‘facts’ and prejudices, one discusses the matter, and one finally votes. But while a democracy makes some effort to explain the process so that everyone can understand it, scientists either conceal it, or bend it, to make it fit their sectarian interests.

‘No scientist will admit that voting plays a role in his subject. Facts, logic, and methodology alone decide – this is what the fairy-tale tells us. … This is how scientists have deceived themselves and everyone else about their business, but without any real disadvantage: they have more money, more authority, more sex appeal than they deserve, and the most stupid procedures and the most laughable results in their domain are surrounded with an aura of excellence. It is time to cut them down in size, and to give them a more modest position in society. …

‘It is the vote of everyone concerned that decides fundamental issues such as the teaching methods used, or the truth of basic beliefs such as the theory of evolution, or the quantum theory, and not the authority of big-shots hiding behind a non-existing methodology. There is no need to fear that such a way of arranging society will lead to undesirable results. Science itself uses the method of ballot, discussion, vote, though without a clear grasp of its mechanism, and in a heavily biased way. But the rationality of our beliefs will certainly be considerably increased.’

Continued at: Electromagnetism in quantum field theory (part 2)

18 thoughts on “Electromagnetism in quantum field theory (part 1)

  1. Copy of relevant comment (with useful hyperlinks to online books by and about Heaviside):


    Nigel Cook says:
    April 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Pupin independently rediscovered and patented Heaviside’s original 1875 discovery that long telegraph cables could be made suitable for distortionless speech (long distance telephones) by increasing the inductance (e.g., putting inductance coils at intervals – merely amplifying the signal just amplifies the distortion, because the inductance effect is frequency dependent). Heaviside didn’t have funds to apply for a patent. Pupin’s patent in the USA made $1 million.

    Heaviside in England, despite formulating Maxwell’s equations in vector calculus, was simply ignored by Sir William Preece, head of the Post Office Telecommunications. Preece instead used public money to fund his own incorrect theory that the long-distance telephone voice distortion was due to the cable design, and tried for years to overcome distortion with better cables, setting back the introduction of long-distance phones in England by 20 years. Heaviside became increasingly rude towards Preece:

    ‘If you have got anything new … you need not expect anything but hindrance from the old practitioner even though he sat at the feet of Faraday. Beetles could do that … . But when the new views have become fashionably current, he may find it worth his while to adopt them, though, perhaps in a somewhat sneaking manner, not unmixed with bluster, and make believe he knew all about it when he was a little boy!’ – Oliver Heaviside, 10 March 1893.

    Preece had just stated in his 1893 IEE Presidential address: ‘I took the opportunity to formulate the theoretical views of electricity that I had acquired at the feet of Faraday.’

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