I've suggested (& published in 21 journal papers) a new theory called quantised inertia (or MiHsC) that assumes that inertia is caused by horizons damping quantum fields. It predicts galaxy rotation & lab thrusts without any dark stuff or adjustment. My University webpage is here, I've written a book called Physics from the Edge and I'm on twitter as @memcculloch. Most of my content is at patreon now: here

Wednesday 30 October 2013

Accepted but not arxived

I have prepared a blog about my exciting new paper, which was accepted by a good journal last Monday (28/10/2013) and in which I derive Newton's gravity law from quantum mechanics (the uncertainty principle) but I can't post it yet since I submitted the paper to the arxiv a week ago and they are still 'holding' it, which is frustrating since it was accepted by a good journal over a week ago.

I do think the arxiv is a great benefit to science since they make papers available to everyone, and new ideas often come from outsiders who can't afford journal subscriptions, so I don't want to critise them too much, but I do think there is a problem here. In 2011 I submitted a paper attempting to explain the Podkletnov experiment with MiHsC and since then the arxiv have held (delayed by a few days) all my peer-reviewed and accepted papers (I only send papers after they are accepted by journals) and they have forbidden me to post outside the general physics category that few people seem to read (though I think general physics is a good place for me actually, since I'm trying to deal with the whole thing).

My paper on the Podkletnov experiment should not have spooked them. Science should always pay attention to the observations, particularly anomalies, and disregard popular opinion (Nullius in verba is the motto of the Royal Society. It means "Take no-one's word for it"). It is true that the Podkletnov experiment may be wrong, but there is also a chance it is not and is telling us something new and interesting about nature and we will never develop new physics if we suppress discussion of the experiments that disagree with the current one.

In summary: I don't think it should be the role of the arxiv to hold up papers that have already been accepted by a proper journal. It is a preprint archive, to allow authors to post their accepted papers quickly before they appear in final form at the journal. At this rate my paper could appear online at the journal before it's released on the arxiv (PS: it did, the arxiv have held it up for 5 weeks now, PPS: a year later they are still holding it).

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Can inertia be modified electromagnetically?

The first assumption of MiHsC is that inertia is caused by Unruh radiation (the second is that this radiation is subject to a Hubble-scale Casimir effect). Unruh radiation is like the Hawking radiation from the event horizon of a black hole, but Unruh's variety comes from a Rindler horizon that forms behind an accelerated object.

It has been assumed that we have no separate control over inertia, but if inertia is due to Unruh radiation (as implied by the agreement of MiHsC with data in low acceleration regimes) then we can control inertia, since we can manipulate radiation. There is a problem in that the wavelength (l) of Unruh radiation is given roughly by l=8c^2/a, where c is the speed of light and 'a' is the acceleration. For the sort of accelerations that happen on Earth (9.8 m/s^2) the Unruh wavelength is 7*10^16 meters. This is about ten light years! Rather outside our capability as yet.

However, what if we could accelerate something so fast that the Unruh radiation it sees is short enough that we can interfere with it? At CERN they fire particles around a 1 km radius ring at 0.9 times the speed of light so the acceleration (v^2/r) is 7.3*10^13 m/s^2 and the Unruh radiation the particle sees would have a wavelength of only 9.7 km. These are long radio waves, within our technology, and this may bring inertial mass within our reach. There is a caveat, because of special relativity you would have to fire EM radiation of wavelength 22 km at the particle so that in its reference frame they would be 9.7 km long, but the idea is that the radiation would interfere with the particle's inertial mass and so its trajectory would change anomalously. I proposed this experiment in this paper (see the last section before the conclusion).

Another way to get big accelerations is to use NEMS (Nano-Electro-Mechanical Systems) which are tiny pendulums that can accelerate at 10^11 m/s^2 (NEMS were pointed out to me by D. Iannuzzi). Another way is to get electrons to propagate over the extremely curved surface of a gold nanotip, as in the experiment of Beversluis et al. (2003) to give accelerations of 10^22 m/s^2 (see references below). This case is very interesting since Beversluis et al saw anomalous radiation coming off these nanotips and Smolyaninov showed it was in the right wavelength range to be Unruh radiation (this is possibly the first observation of Unruh radiation?).

Anyway, if MiHsC is right, and inertia is due to Unruh radiation, it gives us a way to modify inertia electromagnetically and (if momentum is conserved) it would allow us to move things around in a new way.


Beversluis, M.R., A. Bouhelier and L. Novotny, 2003. Continuum generation from single gold nanostructures through near-field mediated intraband transitions. Physical Review B, 68, 115433.

McCulloch, M.E., 2010. Minimum accelerations from quantised inertia. EPL, 90, 29001 (see the last section: a suggested practical test). arxiv preprint

Smolyaninov, I.I., 2008. Physics Letters A, 372, 7043-7045. arxiv preprint