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

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Physics X

In 1665, Henry Oldenburg started the journal called: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. This was one of the first scientific journals, and it presented new observations in pure form without necessarily any theory attached, so that theorists could think about the observational data in whatever way they wanted. The Royal Society also had a motto "Take no one's word for it" which freed them up from the old theories of giants like Aristotle and enabled them to look at new data unbiased. This kind of attitude led to the first great blossoming of modern physics in the form of Robert Hooke and Isaac Newton.

This data-first attitude is in danger in modern physics and needs to be resurrected (the ancient Greeks had about 300 years of observational scientific discovery and then detached from nature to reflect on abstract philosophies. There are signs that we are too, with untestable string theory..etc). As an example, at a scientific meeting of the Royal Society on big G, I mentioned to a bigwig over breakfast that the unexplained variations in big G had a dependence on latitude (this dependence is weak, but present). He discounted this immediately by saying 'No, there's no mechanism to explain that'. This sort of theory-first thinking is very common now, and it is exactly the wrong attitude. If an anomaly appears, it is worthy of inspection, particularly if it disagrees with theory. This common sense has somehow been lost and physics has become a self-congratulation club detached from nature. Feynman lived long enough to see the beginning of this rot, and critically said in his tough Brooklyn accent: 'Nature will come out as she is!', meaning that human expectations are not relevant, only the data is, and indeed Nature is happily being weird with increasing frequency: anomalous galaxy rotation, spacecraft anomalies, superconductor anomalies, muonic hydrogen proton radii, LENR, cosmic acceleration, sonoluminescence, the emdrive, large scale CMB anomalies, aligned quasars and many more mysteries. The only response of mainstream physics so far has been to attribute some of the deviations to invisible entities, as if we're back in the middle ages, and it doesn't help that it is almost impossible for experimentalists to publish many of these anomalous results.

That is why I think there should be a new journal, a rebooted 'Transactions' if you like, but maybe called 'Anomalies' or 'Physics-X' which publishes anomalous observations, so long as they have been carefully done with attention paid to errors. This is the most useful kind of observation. I think this would be the best way to jump start physics and get people to look up from old books and look at the new anomalies out there in the real world, some of which I have discussed in my previous blogs (and some of which can be explained by MiHsC). We don't have to decline into untestable metaphysics like the ancient Greeks (string theory..etc) and end up back in a dark age. Instead, like Asimov's Hari Seldon, we can take action now to keep physics looking at the real world and moving forward.


Tim Goff said...

Of possible relevance to the EM Drive and your theory:


***In new results published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the researchers have proposed that electromagnetic waves are generated not only from the acceleration of electrons, but also from a phenomenon known as symmetry breaking. In addition to the implications for wireless communications, the discovery could help identify the points where theories of classical electromagnetism and quantum mechanics overlap****

Unknown said...

There is a latitude dependent anomaly in the gravitational constant?

Mike McCulloch said...

Tim: very interesting, but it seems I can't access the paper yet (?) to find out what freq' they used.. Yes, has possible links to MiHsC, the emdrive & also maybe Woodward's piezo-electric experiments, but I need to read the paper.

Mike McCulloch said...

Unknown: Yes there is a latitude dependence, but it is weak. I talk about it briefly here:


Tim Goff said...


Not-Fritz and others discuss the paper here:


Not-Fritz views it as more of a useful addition than something truly groundbreaking.

'Star Drive' at NSF is very excited by this.

Weird side note: the EM Drive predictions (newton's per watt) for the Eagleworks team and the space warp guy seem roughly on a par with each other, at least to me.

'Star Drive' says a full paper on Eagleworks current approach should be available by the end of the month. He linked to a one page abstract on the thread there.

Comely PM said...

Fully agree. Theory must never wander too far from reality, or you risk losing yourself in the beauty of math and the false sense of accomplishment that entails (false accomplishment in the sense of it not being physics anymore).

Mike McCulloch said...

Comely PM: I think you're right about the misguided sense of accomplishment. I once saw a talk by a string theorist & he said he was in awe that his years of derivations of 11-dimensional theories had eventually produced a 4-d model like CFT (no consideration to nature). People seem far too impressed with these horrendously complex derivations, but history shows that when the right theories arrive they are formally simple (just usually counter-intuitive).

Matthew Taylor said...


This article made very interesting reading. I am not a physicist but a computer scientist. However I have a keen interest in physics. I have long suspected that the mainstream "cutting edge" of physics was losing itself in super-complex theoretical blind alleys, but I put this feeling down to my own lack of ability to understand things at the necessary level.

To hear you say something similar is most interesting, and your story from the big G conference made sobering reading. Thank you for speaking up for true scientific principles. As Feynman said "If a theory disagrees with experimental data - it's wrong."

Lerry G Leone said...

Thanks for sharing.

Robert Linde said...

Glad to know this information.