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

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Predictions of MiHsC

One of the commenters on my blog suggested that I should make a list of predictions of phenomena that have not been seen that MiHsC (quantised inertia) predicts. So here it is. A lot of these predictions are in my published papers: I usually end papers with a prediction. The list is not complete, but I may add more over the next week or so.

MiHsC predicts a lot that has been seen already and I discuss those elsewhere. This is to show that unlike the dark matter hypothesis which predicts huge numbers of possible particles in a vague way that means particle physicists could look for ever and still have new possibilities to look for, MiHsC predicts 'specific' new effects the search for which could be done before the end of the universe. For a few of those listed below, I have not done the calculations to predict exactly would would be seen (it's not been possible) so these are more like ideas for experiments rather than rigorous predictions. Also, I should say that for some of them I already suspect they have been glimpsed, but I haven't had time to do a detailed comparison yet.


1. In MiHsC inertial mass is enhanced when the peak wavelength of the Unruh spectrum (determined by acceleration) fits exactly within the Hubble scale. So for any accelerating/spinning object: solar system or galaxy, there should be some acceleration or radii with higher inertial mass because the Unruh waves fit exactly (resonate) and some with lower. This should give rise to subtle concentric patterns in these systems. For example, for Pioneer it would lead to tiny variations in the Pioneer anomaly.

2. In MiHsC as acceleration decreases the inertial mass drops towards zero (explains galaxy rotation without dark matter) so for any system ejecting mass into deep space at some point the inertial mass should dissapear and the gravity pulling it back should dominate. These systems should then have rings around them at the radius where accelerations are ~7x10^-10 m/s^2.

3. More generally, there should not exist any mutual acceleration below about 7x10^-10 m/s^2 today, and further back in time this minimum acceleration, a_min=2c^2/(Hubble scale), was higher, since the Hubble scale was smaller, so ancient (high redshift) galaxies should have greater spin for less visible mass.

4. The opposite case, for objects coming from deep space into the Solar system, or into galaxies, their acceleration is increasing so they should gain inertial mass by MiHsC and slow down anomalously, just like an inverted Pioneer anomaly, and of the same size (it will appear as though there's unseen mass at the outer edge of the system).

5. Along a spin axis the mutual acceleration with surrounding matter is zero so inertial mass should collapse for nearby objects there and produce unusual dynamics. For Earth this predicts the flyby anomaly, but it is hugely magnified for slow spinning system, eg: galaxies, and should result in axial jets (galactic jets?).

6. If an object in deep space, far from other objects (in the low acceleration MiHsC regime) spins or moves, then objects nearby (cosmically speaking) should tend to spin or move in the same sense. This is similar to the Tajmar effect in the lab, also predicted by MiHsC.

7. GPS satellites have a different mutual acceleration with the spinning Earth at the equator and pole, so they should show an small latitudinal dynamical anomaly.

8. In MiHsC, Rindler horizons destroy information behind them, so if we take this further, then for example the Rindler horizon of a rapidly-enough accelerating object may come close enough to block the gravity from eg, the Sun in a detectable way. For a 10cm diameter disc a spin of 23,000 rpm is needed to block the Sun.

9. If you super-cool an object to damp all acceleration, and then spin it (very fast) or for example 'jerk' electrons within it (eg: flash drive or superconductor passing its transition temperature) then its inertial mass (weight) should change depending on the size of the change in acceleration. For a 10cm disc an acceleration of 500,000 m/s^2 should reduce weight by 2%.

10. MiHsC breaks equivalence in a subtle way: two objects dropped in a Fallturm (Fall tower) would still fall together (so MiHsC won't show up in torsion balance tests) but they will fall ever so slightly faster than expected (for a 110m high tower they'll deviate from the expected position at the bottom by 7.5 nm). Also, a spinning object should fall more slowly.

11. If an object is given a huge acceleration, for example in the CERN LHC, (or a fast spin) the Unruh waves it sees (normally light years long) could become short enough that our technology can get a handle on them (a few km). Either EM-radiation or metamaterials could be used to interact, damp or deflect those Unruh waves (their Em-component) and thereby control the inertial mass of the object.

12. MiHsC predicts the emdrive (if it is assumed that photons have inertial mass) by saying crudely that more Unruh waves fit into the wide end than the narrow. It follows that if the narrow end was fine-tuned to fit the individual Unruh waves better, despite being narrower, then the emdrive thrust should be reversible. MiHsC also predicts that the speed of light should change inside the emdrive.

13. Since MiHsC predicts that all waves that don't fit into the Hubble scale are disallowed, then this should be the case for waves of thermal radiation too. Hence mind-buggeringly cold objects should radiate very slightly less than expected. At 100pK the effect should be one part in 10^20.

14. MiHsC predicts a minimum acceleration in nature, 6.7x10^-10 m/s^2, the acceleration for which the Rindler horizon reaches the Hubble horizon and can't be any larger (this explains cosmic acceleration) and MiHsC also predicts a maximum acceleration of 10^52 m/s^2 when the Rindler horizon shrinks to the Planck area. Acceleration and mass should be quantised near these extremes.

15. The tiny minimum acceleration of MiHsC occurs because at very low accelerations Unruh waves are disallowed because they are bigger than the Hubble scale. If we can manufacture a small 'informationally closed area', we could boost this acceleration.

16. Collapsing sonoluminescent bubbles, atoms suddenly confined, or core-collapsing supernovae will see their Rindler horizons shrink and this will release new heat energy. Like water from a squeezed wet towel, whenever you shrink a Rindler horizon by accelerating an object, the horizon releases energy (which usually turns up as inertial mass). Manufactured 'squeezed horizons' are therefore a potential new source of energy.

Introduction to MiHsC.


Bav83 said...

Dear Mr. McCulloch,

does MiHsC predict anything on the place of the proposed Planet Nine in our solar system? A prediction on this subject could get you the attention your theory needs if our astronomers can ever find it.

You've explained how dark matter scientists don't like a theory that makes their subjects irrelevant and could threaten their funding. Ok, understandable. But have you thought about who in the scientific community would not be hampered by dogma? Maybe the rocket scientists can be interested in MiHsC. If it turns out that an EM-Drive as predictet by MiHsC is possible - that would be basically the dream-machine of every space agency in the world!

Maybe you can find someone at ESA/NASA that wants to take a closer look at MiHsC.

Best regards from Bavaria

coldsponger said...

Some of these predictions might have good alternatives (such as sonoluminescence), that if proven wouldn't necessarily falsify MiHsC. You should rank or comment on the importance of each prediction as to how strongly they would falsify MiHsC.

Mumrah said...

6 sounds like what I read on phy.org last night. A mystery for sure...


AdamW said...

Any (polite) thoughts on Dark Energy? :)

Mike McCulloch said...

Bav83: See prediction number 4. MiHsC predicts apparent extra mass in the outer Solar system, but I haven't done the calculations yet to see if I can predict the planet 9 anomalies.

Mike McCulloch said...

Coldsponger: True, I'll try and add some indications of how strong the falsifications would be, as you suggested..

Mike McCulloch said...

AdamW: Cosmic acceleration (ie: what they call dark energy) is predicted by MiHsC straight away:


Mike McCulloch said...

Mumrah: Thanks, I have seen those reports, and others on aligned galactic jets. I intend to look at them in more detail. The cosmologists in the article suggested a complex modelling process that requires fine-tuning the big bang, whereas MiHsC could provide a mechanism to explain why they co-rotate now without fine tuning the past. The important thing is to have numbers to compare MiHsC with..

Matthias Meier said...

When playing around with your threshold acceleration of ~7e-10 m/s2, I just noticed that a hypothetical Planet Nine as suggested by Batygin & Brown (ca. 10 M_E, a = 700 AU) would cause a gravitational acceleration of just this order of magnitude at the edge of its own Hill-sphere (at 700 AU). Any significance in that?

Mike McCulloch said...

Hi Matthias. I get a smaller acceleration 10^-13 m/s^2 at 700 AU. What's needed is to look at the objects' acceleration data to see what the anomalous acceleration outwards is.

Matthias Meier said...

Hi Mike, I guess we are not calculating the same thing: I calculate a Hill radius for P9 of ~16 AU (at a = 700 AU). The gravitational acceleration of an object at 16 AU from P9 (M = 10 M_E) is just about ~7e-10 m/s (to both the sun and P9, evidently). This might just be a coincidence, of course. I originally was trying to estimate at what distances from the planets an orbiting object would / should show signs of a quantized acceleration, only to find that these distances are much larger than the Hill-spheres - except, it would seem, for P9 (or other ~ Oort cloud objects).

Mike McCulloch said...

My misunderstanding. I see what you mean, but as you say it could be a coincidence. There are a lot of assumed parameters in the calculation, such as the mass of P9 and its distance. I need to study exactly what they have found more carefully..

Unknown said...

Isn't the prediction of ancient galaxies increased spin the opposite of what has been observed ? Ancient galaxies had a much lower spin then today (which afaik can't be explained yet)

Mike McCulloch said...

What I actually said was ancient galaxies "should have greater spin for less visible mass", so it is not absolute spin, but this ratio that is predicted to change. It means they should appear 'darker' but it's not dark matter, it's loss of inertia / centrifugal force. Also, this is neglecting other factors of galactic evolution..

Matthias Meier said...

"MiHsC breaks equivalence in a subtle way: two objects dropped in a Fallturm (Fall tower) would still fall together (so MiHsC won't show up in torsion balance tests) but they will fall ever so slightly faster than expected (for a 110m high tower they'll separate by 7.5 nm). Also, a spinning object should fall more slowly."

I am a bit confused - what types of objects? In what quality do they differ from one another such that they separate? Could that be picked up by a laser ranging experiment (shine a laser at the falling objects to precisely determine their positions) or a very fast camera capturing them at the moment they arrive at the bottom?

Mike McCulloch said...

Sorry, my error in the text. I'll correct it.. As you guessed I did not mean separate from each other, but from the expected fall position. They will fall very slightly faster. Over 110m by only 7.5 nm - I don't know if that is detectable.

duane oldsen said...


Alex S. said...

Why photons have inertial mass?

Alex S. said...

MiHsC predicts the emdrive?

Emdrive is made from a copper metal. If emdrive metal cone effectively reduce possible Unruh wavelengths from Hubble distance to several centimeters, then the same copper metal is able to shield and/or reflect Unruh waves. So any appropriate copper shielding will be sufficient to reduce inertial mass. Why you need somewhat metamaterials for this?

Mike McCulloch said...

Alex S: Photons do have inertial mass, even in special relativity. It is their rest mass that is zero. A proof of this can be found in D.F. Lawden’s 'Elements of relativity theory', page 69-70. You start from m=m0/sqrt(1-v^2/c^2) where m is inertial mass and m0 is the rest mass. Use E=mc^2 and momentum, p=mv and you get E=c*sqrt(p^2+m0^2c^2), so even when the rest mass m0 is zero, if you have energy E you get momentum p and inertial mass. This has been confirmed experimentally, by radiation pressure (lightsails.. etc).

Mike McCulloch said...

Alex S: The problem is that you need the Unruh waves to interact with the metal. Photons in the emdrive accelerate so rapidly that their Unruh waves become as short as the cavity, and so interact with it. Most material things have accelerations far lower and therefore Unruh waves that are light-years long. You need more complex materials to get at those waves.

Michael Weber said...

Dear Mr McCulloch,
I recently stumbled over your theory and find it a very interesting approach. Until now I have read the first three of your papers listed at arXiv.org, and I will go on and study the rest. But there are already some questions and comments:

1. You attribute inertial mass to the Unruh-radiation. Unruh-radiation is an electromagnetic radiation, so it seems to me, that only particles which take part in the electromagnetic interaction should have an inertial mass in your theory. The Z-particle e.g. wouldn't interact with Unruh-radiation and therefore its inertial mass should be zero. That means a Z-particle exposed to the tiniest bit of force (e.g. gravity) would immediately accelerate to the speed of light.

2. How do you explain different values of inertial mass for particles with different gravitational mass? Lets take the electron and the muon. For all we know, those two particles are identical except for their mass (and lepton flavour number). They are especially identical in respect to electromagnetic interaction. So why does one have so much more inertial mass than the other?

3. You explained above, that the Unruh-waves can normally not be shielded by a conducting cavity, as its wavelength is to hight to interact with said cavity. But if you put an electron in such a cavity, why should those very long Unruh-waves interact with the electron, but not be able to interact with the electrons in the material of the cavity?

4. The above questions arise from your assumption that an electromagnetic wave is responsible for inertia. Have you ever considered an Unruh-effect with the Higgs-field as source for inertia? As the Higgs-field is widely accepted as the source for the mass of particles (it was introduced for this after all) this seems to make much more sense to me.
It would answer all three of my questions above. Your theory would then be somewhat of a correction to an accepted theory for small accelerations. The theory would loose however the power to explain the EM-drive. All your calculations would remain valid, by the way, as you never bothered to explain the exact interaction with the Unruh-waves (and didn't need to). So interaction with the Higgs-field would work just as well.

5. In your calculations for Pioneer and the flyby-anomalies you considered momentum alone. What happens to kinetic energy? the m in T=1/2*m*v² should be inertial mass as in the momentum. I've not calculated with numbers yet, but if the inertial mass drops, and you conserve momentum by increasing velocity, you can not at the same time conserve energy, as the velocity is linear in momentum and to the square in the energy. Where does the additional energy of the probe come from?

I am eagerly looking forward to your answers and hope that you keep up your work.

Best regards
Michael Weber

Tuukka said...

Dear Mr. Culloch,

The factor (1-lamda_m/4*Theta) is quite central to MiHsC, and I wanted to look at its derivation in the original 2007 paper. However, it wasn't explained in a lot of detail and there were some rather unclear points. You introduce this factor F that is (in my understanding) the relative density of allowed wavelengths, i.e. number of allowed wavelengths lambda_n such that lambda_n/lambda_m is sufficiently close to one for a given peak wavelength lambda_m. My own calculation gives F ~ 1/lambda_m, and you also say that F is linearly proportional to 1/lambda_m. However, you also assume a constant term F = A/lambda_m + B. I don't really see the justification for B. Furthermore, somehow F then changes to the form F = A*lambda_m + B without explanation. Granted, the previous form would not give a finite value at lambda_m = 0, but the latter form doesn't seem to have any physical justification.

I hope you can clear these up for me. The theory is quite interesting if it can really explain all the anomalies like you say.


Mike McCulloch said...

Dear Michael,

I'm presently inundated with emails and questions, so please forgive my brief answers to your points, see below. They will become clearer, I hope, if you continue to read my papers.

1. Unruh radiation is not just electromagnetic, it involves all the fields.
2. See 1
3. The Unruh waves are normally far too long to interact with the cavity. Electrons cannot have accelerations high enough that their Unruh waves would be cavity-sized.
4. The Higgs field only explains the mass of quarks, not the mass of the particles they make up, which are 1000 more massive than their constituent quarks, so the Higgs mechanism only explains 0.1% of inertial mass. A lot more is needed.
5. MiHsC / quantised inertia extracts new energy from the zero point field, which is made non-uniform when horizons appear in it, so new energy can then be extracted.

Hope this helps. Regards, Mike

Michael Weber said...

Dear Mike,

1. So it would include the Higgs-field.
2. See 1
3. I'll leave that for now, although it bothers me. But a cavity would only shield the EM-component anyway.
4. That's to my knowledge not correct. The standard model describes the proton and neutron with 3 valence-quarks and a host of virtual quarks and gluons. their masses are made up by all those particles. But the masses of them are obtained by their Yukawa-cuppling to the Higgs-field. So in the end the standard model describes all the masses by Higgs interaction. But if a Hubble scale Higgs-Casimir effect could be applied to these interactions, it could lead to the corrections for small accelerations.
5. I hope that gets clearer if I read more. Can I find the corresponding papers on arXiv, or is there another place to look?

Many thanks


Mike McCulloch said...

Most of my inertia papers are on the arxiv. One that is not on the arxiv, and is more cosmological, is here:


Unknown said...

Presumably your inertia theory could be used to design an optimized emdrive. Surely the cone shaped cavity, which in some sense was arrived at by accident, is unlikely to be optimal. An optimal emdrive might have a thrust that was too great to be ignored?

Dave Harvey said...

Just read all this, being a cynic of dark matter, but never happy with the alternatives, and it raises one question, which could either be a real problem with the theory, or perhaps just need more explanation. You describe "objects" as having decreased inertial mass when their acceleration is minimal. which could make sense when viewed on the scale of a whole star. BUT a star is composed of atoms which are subject to the gravitational force of the star itself, and are therefore undergoing significant acceleration. How does this fit with the idea of them having negligible acceleration? Can the inertial mass of the "star" as a whole really be less than the sum of its components?

Mike McCulloch said...

Good question: I answered it here:


Alex S. said...

Interesting question (Michael Weber) about muons above.

Electromagnetically they are equivalent of electrons. So on acceleration they will experience equal "inertia" force F1 from Unruh photons.

But leptons are subject of weak interaction. So they absorbs Unruh Z-bosons, getting additional forces F2e and F2m.

Postulating that total "inertia" force F = F1 + F2 is proportional to rest mass of particle, we conclude that lepton inertia dominated by weak interaction. And Z-bosons absorption rate for muon should be about 207 times that of the electron.

Michael Weber said...

The muon should interact with Zs and Ws exactly the same as the electron, why should it couple 207 times stronger? Correct me if I'm wrong, my quantum field theory lecture is some years past.
But the coupling to the Higgs is much stronger (due to mass). If Mikes Theory were "right" , I would guess most of the effect comes from a Higgs-Unruh effect and not from an electromagnetic one, as it would explain different masses. In certain circumstances (EM-drive?) the electromagnetic part could yield a noticeable amount.