I've suggested (& published in 15 journal papers) a new theory called quantised inertia (or MiHsC) that assumes that inertia is caused by relativistic horizons damping quantum fields. It predicts galaxy rotation, cosmic acceleration & the emdrive without any dark stuff or adjustment.
My Plymouth University webpage is here, I've written a book called Physics from the Edge and I'm on twitter as @memcculloch

Saturday, 29 November 2014

A love of anomalies

MiHsC did not arise from any consideration of mathematical beauty, though it turns out it is beautiful. A crucial step was when I wrote down a list of strange observed anomalies in physics. Later I did a lot of thinking with this list in mind, to devise a new model to explain them, while still satisfying well-tested physics. MiHsC has developed a lot since then as I've tried to understand what it means more deeply, but too much theorizing is counterproductive and I always like to come back to real anomalies in the manner of Sherlock Holmes (Sir A.C. Doyle) who once said: 'you know my method: it is based on the observance of trifles' (anomalies). In my case, being fund-less and experimentally inexperienced, my 'observance' entails reading papers on the anomalies found by experimentalists & trying to predict them on paper, but I now have a long list of anomalies that I can predict with MiHsC without any adjustable parameters. Here is the list so far, arranged from the large scale to the small:

Cosmic acceleration: MiHsC predicts this as an effect of the cosmic horizon (summary)
The low-l cosmic microwave background anomaly: MiHsC predicts it as above (summary)
Cosmic mass: just enough to keep the cosmos closed: MiHsC predicts it.
The anomalous motion of galaxy clusters: MiHsC predicts it without dark matter.
Bullet cluster: MiHsC might fit, but there's not enough data to test it yet.
The galaxy rotation anomaly: MiHsC predicts it without dark matter (summary)
Globular cluster rotation anomaly: MiHsC might fit, needs a computer model.
Observed minimum galactic masses: MiHsC agrees.
Is Alpha Centauri-C bound?: MiHsC predicts it's bound, agrees with independent data.
Flyby anomalies: MiHsC agrees partly, but the analysis is incomplete.
Pioneer anomaly: MiHsC agrees, but there's another 'complex' thermal explanation.
Tajmar effect: MiHsC predicts it.
EmDrive: MiHsC predicts it (very simplified calculation so far) (summary).
Poher experiments: MiHsC is consistent, not enough data to test numerically.
Podkletnov effect: MiHsC predicts the non-spinning part of it. Needs another look..
Sonoluminescence: MiHsC predicts the observed core temperature.
Planck mass: MiHsC predicts it within 26%.

Data is messy, sometimes wrong and it is the most difficult thing to understand in the world, but a data-first approach is the only proper and interesting way to do theoretical physics because new information from nature can only come into our theories that way. Happily, we are in an age of rapid technological advance (with new ways of observing the cosmos and lab precision) and simultaneously an age of mainstream theoretical dogma, which is great for me because it means that the list of anomalies is growing fast, and everyone else is ignoring them! A further list of anomalies I intend to look at is:

Quasars are aligned with each other and cosmic filaments.
The Andromeda satellite galaxies mostly orbit in a thin disk.
Galactic relativistic jets.
The wide binary rotation anomaly.
An anomalous, non-tidal, increase of lunar distance.
An increase in the Astronomical Unit.
Modanese effect: anomalous jumps near a superconductor cooled through Tc.
Significant anomalies in the gravitational constant, big G...


Anagha Shyam said...

What does it predict about Big bang singularity and Black holes?

With regards,
Anagha shyam, a 10th grade boy , very much interested in theoretical physics and cosmology

Mike McCulloch said...

Dear Anagha. MiHsC predicts a cosmos that grows in mass (a bit like the old Steady State cosmology) but also predicts a hot early stage (like the CMB), it also predicts a maximum mass for a black hole that is close to the observed Hubble mass. More details here: http://www.mdpi.com/2075-4434/2/1/81. Having said that, I do avoid testing MiHsC on things like black holes or the distant past that are only indirectly observable & try to test it on things that are easier to see, like galaxy rotation or, better still: lab experiments. Any more questions?: do ask! Best wishes.

Anagha Shyam said...

Dear Mike McCulloch sir,
I thank you for replying and addressing my question!
With regards,
Anagha shyam

Anagha Shyam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim Goff said...

Thought I'd check in again. Couple things...

First, did that 'Voyager' data ever make it your way?

Second...anomalies...I might have a couple for you. Years ago, I set out to make a partial solution for the 'mystery of the missing stars' - the difference between the number of nearby star *predicted* to exist versus those actually in the catalogs. The discrepancy is huge, by the way - something on the order of 3 to 1 huge. Towards this end, I took the 'ASCC' (updated version of the 'Tycho' catalog, devised a three color spectroscopic-photometric distance scheme, and applied it to the catalog, coming up with distances good to within 18 - 20% for about 35,000 F6V to K8V stars within about 230 parsecs NOT in the Hip. My results were...surprising.

About a year and a half ago, I began work on an updated version, photometric in nature, and far better at spotting pesky giant stars. Still working on that one.

Long and the short of it is, you might find these useful in your research.

First, even allowing for giants, I turned up a lot more nearby K type stars than my projections (or those of the pro's) allow. As in enough to seriously skew the ...lets see here ...'mass luminosity function.' Might also affect your theory, don't know.

This holds true with both the 'old' and 'new' versions.

Second, and relevant to our past exchange, I collected measures for thousands of double stars as part of this project - as many as six or eight per system. Maybe you can make something of them.

Connected with this is another puzzle - I found far, far fewer double systems than what the pro's called for.

If you have someway of manipulating large databases (10,000+ records) I'll send you the dratted thing.

Mike McCulloch said...

Hi Tim. About Voyager: I found some data but it was part model which is no use. I've recently emailed the guy at MIT who looks after it to ask for the raw distance data.. Thanks for the offer of stellar data. The M/L issue is indeed an important one for my comparisons with galaxy rotation. I'd especially welcome some data on wide binaries (separation > 7000 AU). Have you identified some of these? Do you have their brightness & orbital speeds?

Tim Goff said...


From what I can tell, really wide binaries - anything separated by more than a few hundred astronomical units, don't really orbit. Instead, you get this weird 'fishtail effect' (this is from looking directly at the catalog measures).

That said, I do have data on probably several dozen very wide pairs, with photometric distances to them good to within 18-20% - maybe 15-18% with the revamped catalog, though I am still working on the doubles. Each entry include the Date (Year), Position Angle, and Separation in arc seconds which you could convert to AU. Most pairs have measures for 3-8 years.

That said, my chief focus was on nearby sun-like stars (main sequence or 'V'). One of my biggest headaches here was giants masquerading as type V stars, a problems endemic with all photometric systems.

With version 1, my techniques for spotting the giant stars was not that good. I would not be surprised if upwards of 12% of the dwarfs are actually much more distant giants. (I used a combination of V-J and proper motion cuts).

With version 2, I got much better at spotting at least the KIII giants via photometry. This is the part you may find of some interest:

Version 2 included a grand total of 139,000+ stars (out of 2.5 million in the ASCC - quality issues with Tycho B and V. Of those, around 26,000 turned out to be KIII giants, with distances ranging as far as 1500 parsecs, and the vast majority beyond 300 parsecs. Because they are so distant, these KIII giants tend to have very small proper motions as viewed from earth - around 70% have a PM of less than 30. But, despite the huge distances, around 2% of these giants have PM's in excess of 100 - apparent speeds normally associated with much closer stars - say within 100 parsecs, give or take. So...hundreds of parsecs off there are a lot of giant stars moving very, very fast. Thoughts?

I really am tempted to send you all of version 1, and the 'ready for release' portion of version 2 - but again, be warned, these databases are huge.

Mike McCulloch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim Goff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim Goff said...

Try again:

10.3 10.33 11187+0250 B = +3 2482


1910 180 30.4
1929 181 30.2
1963 180 30.3
1980 180 30.3
1991 181 30.2
2010 181 30.1
A fairly typical example of a wide binary (CPM pair)showing the fishtail effect.

Tim Goff said...

Try another one here:

WDS 01443+6652
A Mag = 10.3
B Mag = 10.3


1892 100 8.9

1929 101 9.4
1957 100 9.9
1991 101 9.1
2003 101 9.1
2010 101 9.2
Star ID = DM +66 153
Physical pair.
Distance = 158 parsecs.

Separation works out to around 1530 AU.

This is from the double star section of the 'new' catalog.

Try another one...

WDS: 21587+6434
A Mag - 8.7
B Mag - 10.7

1828 126 18.0

1893 125 20.0

1903 129 19.3

1907 126 19.5

1985 128 18.7

1991 128 18.9

2003 127 18.7

Star ID = DM +63 1792
Distance = 68 parsecs

This ones a bit more problematic. Might or might not be a physical pair. 1828 measure is a 'treat with caution' thing, very poor instruments back then.

If physical, separation works out to around 1400 AU.

Mike McCulloch said...

Interesting, thanks. PA = position angle? What's the uncertainty in the angles? How much are the stellar masses if known? If they're Solar masses the grav' acceleration is 50*10^-10 m/s^2 so MiHsC predicts they should lose about 13% of their inertial mass. Comparison of masses vs orbital speed might show it..

Tim Goff said...

Mike -

Yes, PA = Position Angle.

The accuracy varies with the catalog; what you are looking at was drawn from half a dozen catalogs of varying quality. I note that the WDS - the standard for double stars - does not give decimal places for PA, and only 1 decimal place for separation, a convention I have followed.

There is also discrepancy in the listed magnitudes, which is why I give them to just one decimal place. (Apparently, this is very difficult to determine.)

About a third of these measures are averages; the same star measured 2-4 times with the results averaged into a final number.

With doubles of this sort, stellar masses are pretty much unknown.

My system does give general spectral types - the distances are computed from a table of 'assumed spectral types' corresponding to...ranges of photometric data...but only about half the stars will be of the spectral type I computed the distance from. (The rest will be close enough to not seriously affect the distance). I don't know if that helps you any.

Hmm...Vizier has catalogs of stellar diameters. Those catalogs won't include any of my stars, but may be of some help.

Anyhow, DM +66 153 is listed as spectral type G2 (actual spectral type in the F9 - G4 range); and DM +63 1792 is listed as spectral type G1 (in the F8 - G3 range).

Here's another one:

WDS 23471+6903
A Mag = 10.2
B Mag = 10.3


1891 106 14.3

1929 106 13.6

1956 105 13.7

1991 105 14.0

2003 105 14.0

2011 106 14.0

ID: DM +68 1395
Distance: 164 parsecs
Spectral Type: G0 (F8 - G2)

Separation of around 2300 AU...

BUT...the system may or may not be physical. Lots of Linear (Optical) systems in the data.

Some are easy to spot:

WDS: 22044+7013
A Mag = 8.9
B Mag = 9.4


1825 174 16.6

1915 190 21.6

2010 199 29.2

ID: +69 1216
Distance (A) = 79 parsecs
Spectral type (A): F9

Others are more problematic:

A Mag = 9.3
B Mag = 10.0

1832 89 15.1

1892 88 14.9

1915 88 14.8

1930 87 15.0

1957 87 14.5

1991 87 14.7

2006 86 14.8

ID: DM +66 1161
Distance (A): 110 parsecs
Spectral Type (A): F8

This one COULD be a physical pair, but the PA steadily increases over time, albeit very slowly. The separation bounces around a little, but the overall trend is decreasing. So, if physical, the whole thing may be 'tilting' from our perspective.

None of the systems I've posted so far, even if physical, actually orbit. This one might:

WDS 00431+7659
A Mag = 9.8
B Mag = 9.7

1904 210 0.5

1958 161 0.4

1991 126 0.4

2007 124 0.4

ID: DM +70 20
Distance: 107 parsecs
Spectral type F7

Ok...I have been prepping Version 1 and the 'ready for release' portion of Version 2 to send your way. The intro reads like a dratted research paper. Comma Separated Values for the databases.

Mike McCulloch said...

Reply from MIT: their Voyager data is 'modelled' as well, but they've recommended I email JPL, who might have kept the raw data, so I have..

Tim Goff said...

Having a few computer issues. Will try to email the catalogs to you tomorrow. (Well, it also gives me a chance to over the intro to version 2 again).

Tim Goff said...


I sent the catalogs your way. Hopefully, you can make use of them.

On another note, the 'EM Drive' thread at the 'Advanced Concepts' portion of the NASA forums was pulled by the administrator, who left a post expressing outrage at the last few pages.

Mike McCulloch said...

Thanks for the catalogues. It'll take a while for me to look at them properly but I will look. About the NSF forum, I hope they save some of it because a lot of the earlier comments & work were very sensible & helped me to write a paper on the emdrive by correcting the geometry I'd assumed: thanks Dr Rodal, aero & John Fornaro among others. If the paper ever gets published, I'll mention you! Shame to see all that earnest work swept into oblivion.

Mike McCulloch said...

Hi Tim. I've just received an answer from NASA JPL regarding Voyager position data to check for a possible Pioneer anomaly. They haven't done ANY two way tracking of the spacecraft since Neptune! (They just rely on a model!) They've missed a unique opportunity for a ultra-low acceleration ballistics experiment. I'm going to write to all the people I know at NASA, eg: Pete Worden, & try to get something measured.

Tim Goff said...


Looks like Version 2 bounced back at me - too big even when zipped!

Version 1 is probably the most useful for what you are doing.

The Voyager thing...sheesh! I'm almost willing to bet the data is sitting in a digital archive somewhere.

About the EM thread on the NSF forum. The administrators note said it might come back, but if it does, it will be severely pruned. You might have missed it, but he posted in that thread a month ago expressing unease at the existence of the entire 'Advanced Concepts' sub forum in general and the EM Drive thread in particular.

Pity. As best I can tell, that thread was the only place on the net featuring serious discussion and analysis of the EM Drive.