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

Monday, 28 January 2013

A Drop Tower Test

The cover story of last week's New Scientist (19th January, 2013) was a well-written article by Stuart Clark called "Sacrificing Einstein" that discussed the equivalence principle (Einstein's "happiest thought") which could be said to be the elephant in the room of modern physics since everyone assumes it without understanding why. He also discussed MiHsC :) The article is here (you'll need a free registration to read it).

Stuart Clark also mentioned the Bremen drop tower, which is 110 metres high and can be evacuated to a near vacuum. Capsules can be dropped down it, producing freefall conditions inside lasting 4.74 seconds, and allowing tests of the equivalence principle. This made me think of a possible test, because although with MiHsC the inertial mass is no longer equal to the gravitational mass, the particular way it is different means that two different dropped masses will still fall together, but they will both fall slightly faster, since their inertial mass will be very slightly less than their gravitational mass. This means that in 4.74 seconds they would drop about 7.5 nanometres (in 110m) more with MiHsC then without it. It may be that due to uncertainties from the remaining air resistance or other parameters this effect is not detectable, but it is worth mentioning as a possible test of MiHsC.

Maybe this could also be done by dropping a known reflective mass from the International Space Station and tracking it down by bouncing a laser off it, and accounting for the momentum imparted by the laser light (on reflection, the ISS experiment wouldn't work because both the ISS and mass would be falling).

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