I've suggested (& published in 21 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, 22 September 2017

Horizon Drive 1.1

The best option now, both in order to convince people, and to get to applications and change the world, is to work out how to unambiguously demonstrate quantised inertia in the lab. Since experiments are already underway I have to somehow tread the fine line of talking about how this might be done so that other experimenters can join in, with their own practical insights, but not give the game away for people who are already doing these experiments. So wish me good luck with that!

As most of you know by now, quantised inertia (QI) attributes the property of inertia to a mechanism involving Unruh radiation: a radiation seen only by an accelerating object. The Unruh wavelength seen shortens as acceleration increases. The way to reveal QI in the lab is to accelerate something so fast that the Unruh waves it sees shorten so they can be controlled by our technology. The wavelength of Unruh waves seen by a body with acceleration 'a' is L=8c^2/a, so for an apple falling on someone's head the acceleration is 9.8 m/s^2 and the waves are a light year long. No wonder Newton didn't spot them. Visible Unruh waves would need an acceleration of around 10^24 m/s^2.

Most objects are too heavy to be accelerated that much, but light is an exception, being, well, light! Light going round a desktop fibre-optic loop would produce Unruh waves of a few decimetres length that may be damp-able by metal plates. Just as in the Casimir effect when quantum fields are damped between parallel metal plates, similarly here, a metal plate placed on one side of the light-loop should damp the Unruh field on that side. The other side will be undamped so just as the Casimir plates are pushed together by the loss of the fields between them, so the light-loop here will be pushed to one side, just as a boat is pushed to one side when more water waves hit it from one side than the other (see the references below for discussions).

I have done my usual back-of-the-envelope calculations, and the force you get out will depend on the efficiency of damping, but for complete damping would be of the order F ~ PQ/c where P is the power input, Q is the quality factor of the system constraining the light (eg: the loop), and c is the speed of light. The emdrive is similar to this, but uses contained microwaves instead, and quantised inertia predicts it quite well. There are still many unresolved questions. Can we damp Unruh waves with metal plates? (the agreement between QI and the emdrive data suggests 'yes'). But, let the discussion begin. As for learning a language, the best way to make progress is to try to apply it. Nature may first laugh, but if we pay attention it will eventually co-operate.

References (see the discussion section of these papers)

McCulloch, M.E., 2008. Can the flyby anomalies be explained by a modification of inertia? J. British Interplanetary Soc., 61, 373. Preprint

McCulloch, M.E., 2013. Inertia from an asymmetric Casimir effect. EPL, 101, 59001. Preprint

Friday, 15 September 2017

Evidence and Applications

I'm back! Sorry for the gap in blogs, but it was a natural time to pause. In my opinion I have now provided enough evidence that physicists should be excited about quantised inertia. Also I've reached the stage where I need to develop more collaborations with galaxy modellers and lab experimenters (some are already in place). So, here is an attempt to convince others to join in:


We're all familiar with the idea of inertia, that objects in deep space once pushed keep going, but no-one has ever explained why it happens. Quantised inertia explains it for the first time by saying that if an object accelerates one way, then relativity makes a horizon appear in the other direction since information finds it harder to get to the object from that direction. This horizon damps the quantum vacuum (Unruh radiation) on that side of the object, causing a net push by radiation from the other side. This predicts inertia very well (see the 1st reference). Note that this is an elegant collaboration between relativity and quantum mechanics, and is amusing because for over 100 years people have assumed that relativity doesn't talk to quantum mechanics, and here they are cheekily in cahoots behind the scenes.


So where's the proof? Over the last ten years I have published 20 peer-reviewed papers on the theory including various bits of evidence. The most important piece of evidence is that quantised inertia predicts the rotation of galaxies without dark matter and without any adjustment (See the 2nd reference). It even predicts the behaviour of galaxies in the early universe, a part of the cosmos that no other theory can reach. It also predicts myriad interesting anomalies including the flyby anomaly, the cosmic acceleration, the low-l CMB anomaly, the Tajmar effect and the emdrive.


So how can we utilise quantised inertia? The most dramatic possibility is in the horizon drive (of which the emdrive is a weak example). The idea is simple. We can use the same trick that nature uses to produce inertia. Instead of relying on relativity to make horizons when objects accelerate away, instead make an object which makes its own horizon. Then we will have a fuel-less propulsion system. Where is the energy coming from? It is coming from Heisenberg's uncertainty principle dp.dx~hbar. Make an artificial horizon and you reduce the uncertainty in position, dx, so dp, new momentum and energy, appear (see the 3rd reference below). There is already evidence for the horizon drive since quantised inertia predicts the emdrive.


As you can see the evidence and applications for quantised inertia are coming together nicely now. The evidence for quantised inertia makes the horizon drive, which would open the galaxy to us, more than a speculation, and this application surely makes it worthwhile to look into the theory (which is admittedly still incomplete, please help!). The references below represent my most up to date summaries of the theory and the evidence.


McCulloch, M.E., 2013. Inertia from an asymmetric Casimir effect. EPL, 101, 59001. Link
McCulloch, M.E., 2017. Galaxy rotation from quantised inertia and visible matter only. Astrophys. & Space Sci., 362,149. Link
McCulloch, M.E., 2016. Quantised inertia from relativity & the uncertainty principle, EPL, 115, 69001. Link