I chose the title Physics from the Edge because the theory of inertia I have suggested (MiHsC) assumes that local inertia is affected by the far-off Hubble-edge. My webpage is here, I've written a book called Physics from the Edge and I'm on twitter here: @memcculloch

Friday, 29 April 2016

Dark energy, inflation & emdrive

The articles that have appeared recently about MiHsC and the emdrive make a valid link with the flyby anomalies, but the clearest didactic link would be with the cosmic acceleration that MiHsC also predicts without the need for dark stuff. The following is a simplification for the purposes of explanation:

For Unruh radiation, the lower the acceleration, the longer the wavelength. So, in MiHsC, the universe's inability to support Unruh wavelengths longer than itself, because they would be unobservable, predicts a minimum possible cosmic acceleration. To support this line of thinking, the minimum acceleration predicted by MiHsC (2c^2/HubbleScale) agrees with the observed cosmic acceleration. Now imagine two universes, side by side as shown in the schematic here:


The large universe on the right has a minimum acceleration that is predicted by MiHsC to be 2c^2/BigDiameter. The universe on the left has a minimum acceleration predicted to be 2c^2/SmallDiameter (this acceleration is larger). So, if an object (a photon) goes from the big to small universe (along the red arrow) its acceleration must increase in a new way (driven by apparently new energy from MiHsC). In going from the small to big universe, the minimum acceleration must decrease. In both cases there is a net acceleration towards the small universe which is proportional to: 1/SmallDiameter - 1/BigDiameter. The emdrive is very similar, except now the horizon is given by the shape of the cavity and the small and big universes are the small and big ends of it. Conclusion: the emdrive is an asymmetric universe for its photons.

As an aside, the higher minimum acceleration predicted by MiHsC in the smaller universe, models a kind of inflation for the smaller early universe, as needed by cosmology to explain the flatness problem.

Monday, 25 April 2016

MiHsC in a Glass

Information horizons are predicted by relativity, but the point of MiHsC is that their consequences have not yet been included in physics. If you do include them, then you can explain a lot of mysteries, like galaxy rotation, cosmic acceleration, the emdrive and many others..

Imagine you have a glass of, to take a purely random example, beer, in your right hand. Someone pushes your arm and the beer glass moves to your left, the beer spills out to the right and you have to go looking for a mop. Physicists will tell you, "Oh, that's because of Newton's first law that things like to keep going at the speed they already are, so the beer is trying to maintain zero speed with respect to you ...and please pay to get my beer-stained shirt cleaned", but all that is just language, not an explanation.

What MiHsC says is that when the beer and glass accelerate to the left, logic notes that some information from far to their right, limited to the speed of light, will never catch up and an information dead-zone opens up light years away to the right, with a horizon enclosing it. The faster the acceleration, the closer the horizon. The zero point field from the point of view of the beer glass is in the form of Unruh radiation. It is usually uniform in space so energy cannot be extracted from it, but now that the beer glass has accelerated and formed a horizon, the Unruh radiation is damped by the horizon on the right hand side of the glass since some Unruh waves do not fit between the glass and the horizon (just as the zero point field is damped between two metal plates in the Casimir effect) and so more zero point field particles hit the glass of beer from the left than from the right, and it gets pushed to the right (inertia) just as in the Casimir effect more particles hit from outside the plates then in, pushing them together. You're holding the glass so your force opposes this inertia, but the beer responds to the horizon's effect on the zero point field and moves right.

MiHsC also says that this asymmetrical damping doesn't work for tiny accelerations since the Unruh waves get as long as the Hubble scale and so the Hubble horizon (a horizon formed as stars disappear from our view) starts to damp the waves equally all around, so the mechanism I've just descibed fails and so inertia collapses at low acceleration. This accounts exactly for why galaxies don't centrifugally explode like they should according to the old physics. No dark matter is needed.

No dark energy is needed either because the loss of inertial mass at low accelerations predicts a minimum acceleration for nature which looks like cosmic acceleration. The point is that MiHsC is all about information horizons making the zero point field non-uniform, so that unexpected energy can be extracted. An equivalent viewpoint that I'm working on now is that information stored on horizons can be released by 'squeezing the horizon' (an intro) but that's another blog..

A MiHsC Joke:

Traffic Officer: "Now then, Sir. Do you know you accelerated to well over the speed limit?"
MiHsCreant: "Sorry Officer. I was trying to see my Rindler horizon."

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Inspiring physicists

I think it's important to mention and thank the people who I think are doing physics the progressive way (ie: with Sagan's balanced mix of wonder and scepticism) and here's an (incomplete) list of those I admire and who have inspired me in some direct way:

First of all there's John Anderson, the discoverer or co-discoverer of the Pioneer and flyby anomalies (and more recently periodic variations in big G) without which I would have had far fewer anomalies to get me interested. I love his style because he publishes carefully analysed anomalous data and honestly points out that 'this is unexplained'. This is a gift for a data-driven theorist like me.

Haisch, Rueda and Puthoff who proposed the first model explaining how inertial mass might be caused by the zero point field in 1994, a model (see paper) that thrilled me when I first read it on a long train journey, like a chink of light would thrill someone lost in a cave. Later I decided it was brilliant, but wrong (it needs a arbitrary cutoff) and this inspired me towards MiHsC and an asymmetric Casimir effect (aCe) which needs no cut-off.

Mordehai Milgrom, who first suggested that the laws were wrong at low acceleration by inventing MoND (Modified Newtonian Dynamics) in 1983. Milgrom also vaguely speculated on a link between MoND and Unruh radiation but wasn't specific. Although MoND is a huge step up from dark matter, it is not as good as MiHsC because it needs a number to be input by hand (MiHsC predicts this number by itself) but Milgrom's papers on MoND were an inspiration to me, and he also kindly commented on (politely disagreed with) my first paper on MiHsC when I sent a draft to him.

My first anonymous astrophysics reviewer. I submitted my first paper on MiHsC to MNRAS in 2006 and fully expected to be rejected. The reviewer said they didn't exactly believe MiHsC, but it was more plausible than many alternatives which had been published, so they let it pass, to my great joy. The reviewer was also amused by my use of the word 'forecast' instead of 'prediction' (I worked at the Met Office).

Martin Tajmar, whose has a unique mix of being open-minded enough to test new anomalies while also being uber-professional about it, and he is bringing much needed respectability to the new physics. His 'Tajmar effect' was a good experimental result to test MiHsC on.

Scarpa et al, who wrote a brilliant paper on globular clusters (published at the first crisis in cosmology conference) that convinced me that dark matter was absolutely wrong. It also shows that MiHsC, which depends on local accelerations, is better than MoND, which depends on external ones.

Jaume Gine, with whom I've just published the first collaborative paper on MiHsC. This joint-paper has been submitted by both of us to so many journals over the past year that I'm grateful for his perseverence. He has suggested possible links between MiHsC and holographic physics, an approach which is bearing fruit.

Nick Cook, whose book 'The Hunt for Zero Point' has a main point that I do not believe for a nanosecond (I don't believe the US already has anti-grav technology), but the book contains so much that is interesting and relevant to MiHsC and made me feel for the first time that I wasn't alone in being fascinated by the zero point field, which, although invented by Einstein and Planck has always been, like inertia, an ignored or even taboo area of physics. MiHsC now brings them together.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Predictions of MiHsC

One of the commenters on my blog suggested that I should make a list of predictions of phenomena that have not been seen that MiHsC (quantised inertia) predicts. So here it is. A lot of these predictions are in my published papers: I usually end papers with a prediction. The list is not complete, but I may add more over the next week or so.

MiHsC predicts a lot that has been seen already and I discuss those elsewhere. This is to show that unlike the dark matter hypothesis which can predict huge numbers of particles in a vague way that means particle physicists could look for ever and still have new possibilities to look for, MiHsC predicts 'specific' new effects that can be looked for more effectively. For a few of those listed below, I have not done the calculations to predict exactly would would be seen (it's not been possible) so these are more like ideas for experiments rather than rigorous predictions. Also, I should say that for some of them I already suspect they have been glimpsed, but I haven't had time to do a detailed comparison yet.

Predictions:

1. In MiHsC inertial mass is enhanced when the peak wavelength of the Unruh spectrum (determined by acceleration) fits exactly within the Hubble scale. So for any accelerating/spinning object: solar system or galaxy, there should be some acceleration or radii with higher inertial mass because the Unruh waves fit exactly (resonate) and some with lower. This should give rise to subtle concentric patterns in these systems. For example, for Pioneer it would lead to tiny variations in the Pioneer anomaly.

2. In MiHsC as acceleration decreases the inertial mass drops towards zero (explains galaxy rotation without dark matter) so for any system ejecting mass into deep space at some point the inertial mass should dissapear and the gravity pulling it back should dominate. These systems should then have rings around them at the radius where accelerations are ~7x10^-10 m/s^2.

3. More generally, there should not exist any mutual acceleration below about 7x10^-10 m/s^2 today, and further back in time this minimum acceleration, a_min=2c^2/(Hubble scale), was higher, since the Hubble scale was smaller, so ancient (high redshift) galaxies should have greater spin for less visible mass.

4. The opposite case, for objects coming from deep space into the Solar system, or into galaxies, their acceleration is increasing so they should gain inertial mass by MiHsC and slow down anomalously, just like an inverted Pioneer anomaly, and of the same size (it will appear as though there's unseen mass at the outer edge of the system).

5. Along a spin axis the mutual acceleration with surrounding matter is zero so inertial mass should collapse for nearby objects there and produce unusual dynamics. For Earth this predicts the flyby anomaly, but it is hugely magnified for slow spinning system, eg: galaxies, and should result in axial jets (galactic jets?).

6. If an object in deep space, far from other objects (in the low acceleration MiHsC regime) spins or moves, then objects nearby (cosmically speaking) should tend to spin or move in the same sense. This is similar to the Tajmar effect in the lab, also predicted by MiHsC.

7. GPS satellites have a different mutual acceleration with the spinning Earth at the equator and pole, so they should show an small latitudinal dynamical anomaly.

8. In MiHsC, Rindler horizons destroy information behind them, so if we take this further, then for example the Rindler horizon of a rapidly-enough accelerating object may come close enough to block the gravity from eg, the Sun in a detectable way. For a 10cm diameter disc a spin of 23,000 rpm is needed to block the Sun.

9. If you super-cool an object to damp all acceleration, and then spin it (very fast) or for example 'jerk' electrons within it (eg: flash drive or superconductor passing its transition temperature) then its inertial mass (weight) should change depending on the size of the change in acceleration. For a 10cm disc an acceleration of 500,000 m/s^2 should reduce weight by 2%.

10. MiHsC breaks equivalence in a subtle way: two objects dropped in a Fallturm (Fall tower) would still fall together (so MiHsC won't show up in torsion balance tests) but they will fall ever so slightly faster than expected (for a 110m high tower they'll deviate from the expected position at the bottom by 7.5 nm). Also, a spinning object should fall more slowly.

11. If an object is given a huge acceleration, for example in the CERN LHC, (or a fast spin) the Unruh waves it sees (normally light years long) could become short enough that our technology can get a handle on them (a few km). Either EM-radiation or metamaterials could be used to interact, damp or deflect those Unruh waves (their Em-component) and thereby control the inertial mass of the object.

12. MiHsC predicts the emdrive (if it is assumed that photons have inertial mass) by saying crudely that more Unruh waves fit into the wide end than the narrow. It follows that if the narrow end was fine-tuned to fit the individual Unruh waves better, despite being narrower, then the emdrive thrust should be reversible. MiHsC also predicts that the speed of light should change inside the emdrive.

13. Since MiHsC predicts that all waves that don't fit into the Hubble scale are disallowed, then this should be the case for waves of thermal radiation too. Hence mind-buggeringly cold objects should radiate very slightly less than expected. At 100pK the effect should be one part in 10^20.

14. MiHsC predicts a minimum acceleration in nature, 6.7x10^-10 m/s^2, the acceleration for which the Rindler horizon reaches the Hubble horizon and can't be any larger (this explains cosmic acceleration) and MiHsC also predicts a maximum acceleration of 10^52 m/s^2 when the Rindler horizon shrinks to the Planck area. Acceleration and mass should be quantised near these extremes.

15. The tiny minimum acceleration of MiHsC occurs because at very low accelerations Unruh waves are disallowed because they are bigger than the Hubble scale. If we can manufacture a small 'informationally closed area', we could boost this acceleration.

16. Collapsing sonoluminescent bubbles, atoms suddenly confined, or core-collapsing supernovae will see their Rindler horizons shrink and this will release new heat energy. Like water from a squeezed wet towel, whenever you shrink a Rindler horizon by accelerating an object, the horizon releases energy (which usually turns up as inertial mass). Manufactured 'squeezed horizons' are therefore a potential new source of energy.

Introduction to MiHsC.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Informational MiHsC

There are two symbiotic strands to my research. The first involves testing MiHsC against all the data that I can, and I've just submitted a paper testing MiHsC successfully against Milky Way dwarf galaxies, low acceleration systems ideal for testing MiHsC (summary) and in which the dark matter hypothesis becomes ridiculous (they have to concentrate it too much to be consistent). The other strand is trying to understand MiHsC in a deeper way. This strand involves a lot of visualisation and maths. Often the maths, in its logical plodding manner, can take me further than visualisation, and only later do the pictures catch up. Some maths I've been playing with gets me close to familiar formula, such as gravity, in oddly two-dimensional ways. I've just derived something close enough to MiHsC to be plausible using information. I do not want to say too much because my paper is in review, but I can show that if you assume that it is not mass-energy that is conserved, but Energy plus Mass plus horizon-Information (EMI) then you get MiHsC. In the diagram below, when a shapeship accelerates, then the Rindler horizon it sees comes closer and shrinks. This deletes information stored on the horizon, which appears as inertia in the MiHsC framework:


To those wondering where all the energy needed for the new effects predicted by MiHsC comes from, my original way of explaining it (which is still valid) is to say that information horizons create gradients in the usually uniform zero point field / Unruh radiation from which new energy can be extracted. The second (equally valid) way of explaining it is: mass-energy appears from the destruction of horizon-information. Understanding leads to control, and this is a new potential energy source.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Why MiHsC is better than MoND

I've written a lot about why MiHsC is infinitely better than the ad hoc addition of dark matter to galaxies to make their spin agree with general relativity. There is also the empirical theory of MoND (Modified Newtonian Dynamics) which was invented by Mordehai Milgrom, in 1983. MoND is far less arbitrary than dark matter, and it fits disc galaxy rotations by empirically changing the dynamical laws at their edges. Much as I admired MoND, and it inspired me to develop MiHsC, I'd like to explain why MiHsC is much better because it doesn't need an adjustable parameter. This explanation may seem basic and obvious, but I do believe that this crucial advantage of MiHsC has not been appreciated.
 Imagine you have some data in a rough line on a graph (see the crosses on the graph) that you want to explain or model. As we know we can fit a straight line through them using the formula y=mx+b where x is the horizontal co-ordinate, y is the vertical co-ordinate, m is the slope of the line and b is the offset (changing the value of b allows us to shift the line up and down to fit the data (see the red lines on the graph). Now imagine you vary b again and again (the various red lines) until the line is aligned with the data and then you choose that line (say y=mx+a0) as the correct model. Would you go around enthusing about the great theory you have? No. It predicts the data, sure, but this is not so surprising because you chose the arbitrary value of a0 to make it so. I hate criticising MoND because its so much better than dark matter and at the time it was a bold and justified attack on the standard theory, and highlighted the odd number a0, but it works like the example above, because MoND has an arbitrary constant called a0 that is set completely arbitrarily to fit the galaxy rotation data. The a0 is the same for each galaxy, true, but there is no reason given why it should be that value (usually a0=2x10^-10 m/s^2).

Now imagine a theory based on a mechanism that can only predict that y=mx+c (as a simple example) where c is the speed of light (a number which is solidly known and unfudgable) and this theory happens to fits the data first time (the blue line in the graph). This is infinitely better because no arbitrary human input is required. This then is like MiHsC, which does everything that MoND does but without the adjustable parameter. MiHsC's predictions are slightly different to MoND's. For example, MiHsC performs better for huge galaxy clusters and tiny dwarfs whereas MoND was 'tuned' with a0 for intermediate sized systems so does better for those, but both are within the uncertainty in the data, so far. Hopefully though you can see that MoND is not a theory (it's an empirical relation with an unexplained tuning parameter) whereas MiHsC is a theory and its inevitable agreement is a great advantage.

References

McCulloch, M.E., 2012. Testing quantised inertia on galactic scales. A&SS, 342, 2, 575-578. Preprint: http://arxiv.org/abs/1207.7007

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Ten Years On

It was just a bit over 10 years ago that I took the first step into the MiHsC paradigm, and my diary entry for that day is shown below. I remember excitedly sending an abstract off to the Alternative Gravities Workshop in Edinburgh, 2006, and speaking there later. I also remember being rather desperate to publish quickly for fear that someone else might have the same thought. It is quite amusing that a decade on, I'm still trying to persuade anyone at all to have the same thought! No professional physicist has understood MiHsC, as far as I know. Maybe a couple of mathematicians have.
I'm left frustrated. I've published 11 papers and a book showing that MiHsC predicts galactic rotation and cosmic acceleration and other anomalies (eg: emdrive) in a beautiful and simple way and without any ad hoc adjustable parameters. This inevitability is a huge advantage, but seems not to move people who prefer to rely on the ad hoc explanation of dark matter. I get the impression of half-pursuading physicists occasionally, only for them to vanish. Critics never mention contrary data, but complain that I 'disagree with the old theory'. I always make the point that it is OK to disagree with the old theory if you agree with the data better than the old theory, but effectively they then reiterate that I disagree with the old theory. I've found that it is very important at this point not to go mad.

The solution as ever is to predict something that dark matter cannot, and for that reason I've just submitted a paper on Milky Way dwarf satellite galaxies which, as usual, spin far faster than they should and the amounts of dark matter needed to hold them together are jaw-droppingly ridiculous. Also, yesterday feeling myself to be rather in a vacuum, or solitary confinement, I contacted Prof Stacy McGaugh who I met at the Alternative Gravity Workshop, asking for some, any, feedback. He asked me for a MiHsC prediction and I said 'concentric rings of apparent mass in low acceleration systems' (a prediction I made in my first paper in 2007, see the discussion part). He then replied saying that something like that has been seen (Jee et al., 2014) and the rings cannot sensibly be explained by dark matter (you'll see in the paper they propose one of the usual complex simulation-type explanations). So my next goal is to see if I can predict the ring's radius.

I should have known in advance how hard it would be to change a paradigm, but the important thing, is to calmly focus on showing that MiHsC is simpler, more predictive and more beautiful than the other theories, as I believe it is by a mile. Having said that, MiHsC is the beginning of a shift to information physics, not the end, so there's plenty of scope for others to contribute and I hope they do.

References

McCulloch, M.E., 2007. Modelling the Pioneer anomaly as modified inertia. MNRAS, 376, 338-342. Preprint: http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0612599

Jee et al., 2007. ApJ, 661, 728 http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1086/517498/meta;jsessionid=BB439BE3084D240817A269DE53396BA5.c3.iopscience.cld.iop.org