About E. J. Post

(written by R.M.Kiehn and updated Mar 29, 2010)

Jan Post first worked in Holland with interests in crystallography as applied to electromagnetic circuits. After working in industry for some time, he obtained his Ph.D. degree and worked with the Schouten school and the Kramer's school in Holland. In 2010 he will be 96, and yet is still very active in the field of Physics. During his life he has had many "chats" (as he calls them) with many of the great leaders of physics in the formative years of the quantum theory. His first hand stories were always intriguing to me, when we went out for a simple dinner of soup and salad at Alfred's restaurant in Houston.

Post at the Podium

His article on the Sagnac effect (Rev of Mod Physics) is what attracted me to Jan's work. Later I discovered his monograph "The Formal Structure of Electromagnetics" in which I saw the first definitive treatment of the Faraday effect, and its non-reciprocity. This idea was what I had been searching for, for if an experiment between EM and gravity was to work, it would have to accumulate data - like the Faraday ratchet - in order to measure very small effects.

The Jacksonian version of EM theory did not come close to explaining the features that are so clear in Post's expose. I used to call the small book, the "Tourist's Guide of Electromagnetism". The book is back in print now (Dover), and no one interested in EM should be without it.

After reading the Sagnac article I called Post (in Massachesetts at the time) and in a few weeks he showed up at my door in Houston, and stayed for several years. He taught me tensors, and I introduced him to differential forms a la Cartan. Over the years we have had many interesting interactions, and when I discovered the 3-form A^G of electromagnetic spin (1974) I know that he finally believed in the Cartan topological formulation of Electro-magnetism. .

Jan and I used to have many heated discussions: a stubborn old Dutchman arguing with a stubborn somewhat younger Polock.
Stubborn Dutchman left (Post) .... Stubborn Polock right (Kiehn)

Jan went on to use the deRham theory to predict in 1980 the rational fraction Hall effect, and yet his publications - two years before the experiments - are never referenced, for he was not, and never will be, a member of the "everything must be quantum mechanics according to Copenhagen" clique that so dominates much of modern physics thinking.
He keeps publishing several articles a year about the foundations of QM and applications of the topological view of Physics.
Some of his latest writings in Adobe 5.0+ pdf file format are given below. They appear either as a complete article in pdf format,
or as an html introductory file with a downloadable link to the complete document.

CONTRIBUTIONS To Cartan's Corner by E. J. POST

P.R. in the Quantum Hall Effect Twenty and Thirty years later (2010)

"Quantum Reprogramming" from Kluwer 1995, Springer 2005

The Unreasonable Persistence of Questionable Physical Doctrine

Mach's Principle in a mixed Newton-Einstein Context

A History of Physics as an Exercise in Philosophy

A Dutch Uncle's Tirade about Relativity Matters

The Fractional HAll effect and Topology

Copenhagen's Single System is Out of Order

Copenhagen's Single System premise prevents a unified view of integer and Fractional Quantum Hall Effect.

Mathematical Alchemy in Physics.

Physics' Major Boo-Boo of the 20th Century?.

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Last update 03/30/2010
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