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, 12 January 2013

Modification of Inertia

MiHsC assumes that inertia is due to Unruh radiation (which objects are predicted to see only when they accelerate, akin to Hawking radiation) and that this radiation is subject to a Hubble-scale Casimir effect. The agreements I have demonstrated between MiHsC and various anomalies go some way towards supporting these two assumptions, but the best, most unambiguous, way to test them would be in a laboratory experiment in which other effects can be eliminated and the effects of MiHsC, if present, can be isolated. The experiments will not be easy, since the effects of MiHsC on Earth are subtle, but I have suggested a few. Two of them in particular are interesting not only as tests, but also for applications, if they work.

In the first paper listed below (in section 4 of it) I suggested that the Unruh waves seen by an object may be bent around it using metamaterials, reducing its inertial mass. This idea can be thought of as 1) bending the Unruh waves around the object to make them less effective in imparting inertia to it, and thereby reducing its inertial mass, or 2) bending the local Unruh radiation to change the Hubble-scale Casimir effect into a more local Casimir effect, which would 'damp' the Unruh waves and reduce inertia.

One problem with Unruh radiation is that for normal accelerations (9.8 m/s^2) their wavelengths are ridiculously long (7x10^16 m) so they are beyond our technology. However, for extremely high accelerations the waves become shorter. In the second paper listed below (also in section 4 of it) I suggested that a particle accelerator, like CERN, could be used to accelerate particles so much that the Unruh waves they see are short enough to be 'interfered with' by manmade electromagnetic waves (Unruh waves include em waves). Someone then emailed me to point out that NEMS (Nano-Electro Mechanical Systems) also produce very high accelerations..

Both suggestions are speculative and incomplete as yet, but I think it's important that I do my best, and have the courage, to suggest ways that MiHsC can be tested, and applied. Proposing experiments can also strengthen the link between the theory and nature, and helps keep the theorising on a useful, testable, course.

PS: Just before Christmas I submitted a paper suggesting a neat, and more specific, mechanism for inertia & MiHsC, which also suggests more specific experiments. Hopefully it will be accepted!

McCulloch, M.E., 2008. Can the flyby anomalies be explained by a modification of inertia? J. British Interplanetary Soc., Vol. 61, 373-378. Preprint: http://arxiv.org/abs/0712.3022

McCulloch, M.E., 2010. Minimum accelerations from quantised inertia. EPL, 90, 29001 (4pp). Preprint: http://arxiv.org/abs/1004.3303


Budhaditya Banerjee said...

I think your ideas in spite of being highly speculative, are great. A property we experience everyday, our old friend inertia rise from something so exotic (beautiful too) as unruh radiation gives a goosebumpy feeling, carry on, sir, for great breakthroughs claim humungous boldness.

Mike McCulloch said...

Thank you! I'm glad you can see the beauty of MiHsC.

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