I've suggested (& published in 18 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

Friday, 23 June 2017

Evidence from an early galaxy

The best way to move forward in science is to find specific anomalies, with numbers attached to them, that theories can be tested against, and this morning I'm very grateful to Frank Becker and John Dorman who tweeted to me about an exciting paper just published in Nature. I say it is exciting, but it's hidden behind a paywall. However, from what I can see from other sources the authors (see references below) have managed to look in detail at a very early galaxy, cleverly using gravitational lensing: using a foreground galaxy which bends the light from a galaxy far distant (and way in the past) in such a way that it magnifies the background image. Thus they have inspected an ancient galaxy at a redshift of Z=2.1478, ten billion years ago when the cosmos was only one third its present size. The only other details I have are that it is half the radius of the Milky Way and has a rotation rate at its edge of 350+/-150 km/s (error bars taken from their Fig. 2). They note that this is very odd and unexpected, why is it spinning so fast! Quantised inertia can explain it.

Quantised inertia predicts that there is a minimum acceleration in the cosmos, given by 2c^2/T, where c is the speed of light and T is the co-moving cosmic diameter. In the far distant past, at a redshift of 2.1478 when the universe was about a third the size it is today, T would be a third the size, so the minimum acceleration should have been three times what it is today. So quantised inertia forces ancient galaxies to spin fast. Do the numbers agree then?

To check this at first order all you have to do is say that the acceleration of this ancient galaxy at its edge (where it is slowest) must be above the QI minimum of 2c^2/T and since acceleration is given by v^2/r where r is the radius, we get v^2/r > 2c^2/T and so v=sqrt(2c^2r/T). If we take the very crude estimates in the secondary sources that this galaxy is half the radius of the Milky Way, then QI predicts a speed of v=538+/-75 km/s which agrees with the observed speed (given the error bars). Admittedly I haven't even read the paper yet (as I said, I can't access it for free), but high redshift data is providing great evidence for quantised inertia, because quantised inertia, alone among theories, predicts a specific change in dynamics with cosmic time and it is just now becoming possible with studies like this one, to check this out. I have been trying to publish a paper on this and it has been rejected six times but is now undergoing a more positive review at ApSS. The paper uses six other early galaxies, which also spin fast in agreement with QI. So thank goodness for the finite speed of light since it makes a very useful time portal out of the night sky.

"What seest thou else in the dark backward and abysm of time?" - Shakespeare, The Tempest.

PS: I now have a copy of the paper. Thank you to those kind folks who sent one.


Sune Toft, Johannes Zabl, Johan Richard, Anna Gallazzi, Stefano Zibetti, Moire Prescott, Claudio Grillo, Allison W. S. Man, Nicholas Y. Lee, Carlos Gómez-Guijarro, Mikkel Stockmann, Georgios Magdis, Charles L. Steinhardt. A massive, dead disk galaxy in the early Universe. Nature, 2017; 546 (7659): 510. https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v546/n7659/full/nature22388.html

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Funny Business at the ArXiv

Once, in childhood, I was playing one of my best friends at chess, and on this occasion I won. After a minute my friend reached over and cheekily pushed over my king. Of course, this was only a couple of kids playing a friendly game, and this fellow is still a great friend of mine, but I feel that some parts of physics are acting the same way.

This was brought home to me last month. For the third time, the arXiv, a freely-available central library for physicists, deleted my submission of my peer-reviewed and accepted paper (on quantised inertia and the emdrive). They say it is similar to a previous one I submitted, but it is a significant advance on that paper, otherwise the journal, which is a good one and which published the other one as well, would not have accepted it as a new paper. I've had a long running battle with the physics arXiv (this section of the arxiv has anonymous and therefore unaccountable referees, not good scientific practice). They refused to take any of my published papers between 2013 and 2015, and since 2015 they have shifted them from the section on astrophysics, where I need to post to get the attention of astrophysicists, to the section on general physics (a section for work they perceive as 'fringe') that virtually no-one looks at. This is censorship without a solid stated reason.

Crying 'Fringe' or 'Fake News' is not enough, evidence must always be provided, otherwise it is easy for aggressive people to control events to protect their power or funding streams. The only way to destroy this control is to say: "What is your evidence for that?". I have asked the arXiv for their reason many times, they told me to stop asking. Evidence is the light and I always test against evidence in my papers, whereas physicists working on dark matter, string theory or black holes do not. This is no small matter. It is the difference between science and the fluff they had in the middle ages. I can cite some evidence for this contempt of evidence in the mainstream. David Meritt (see ref below) recently showed that most cosmology books published since 2004 do not mention that dark matter has not been found. They do not now even mention the evidence that they have no evidence.

The frustration is that I have lots of evidence that quantised inertia is the best theory available (I have published 18 papers now). QI simply predicts all galaxy rotations, even at high redshift, the low-l CMB anomaly, cosmic acceleration, the flyby anomalies, the Tajmar effect, the emdrive, and many other things. It combines relativity and quantum mechanics and thereby explains inertial mass for the first time. The only difficulty is getting a fair hearing. Thank goodness for journal peer-review and also Research Gate which has no anonymous censorship. The arXiv can be a great asset for physics and I once loved it, I have accessed many papers there, it is free, but the physics section is now clearly biased in this way. I think it is essential that to ensure decisions are made on a scientific basis, it should at least accept everything that is published in a proper journal. Let proper journal peer reviewers decide, not the anonymous.


Merritt, David, 2017. Cosmology and convention. Studies in History and Philosophy of science, 57, 41-52. https://arxiv.org/abs/1703.02389

Friday, 9 June 2017

Announcing: the New Physics channel

So many television programmes are made about dark matter, black holes and string theory using computers to hide with fancy graphics what they completely lack in solid evidence. I don't have access to fancy graphics but I have made a powerpoint video based on my recent seminar at Exeter University. It explains how quantised inertia predicts galaxies without dark matter, and the emdrive thrusts as well. I hope it is at least clear:

Please do give me constructive feedback on this video, and tell me what you'd like to hear about, and I will try and produce some more of them.