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 & some observed lab thrusts 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

Friday, 29 November 2013

Tweaking mass

In the past, the 'high level' properties of inertial mass and gravitational mass have not been well understood, but properties like this are always caused at a deeper level, and if you can understand and access that deeper level it gives you a handle to control them.

MiHsC shows that if you assume that inertia is due to Unruh radiation (subject to a Hubble-scale Casimir effect) you can predict anomalies observed in low acceleration environments (eg: galaxy rotation, cosmic acceleration). So there is evidence for MiHsC and since it points at Unruh radiation as a cause it could give us a handle on mass: a way to control it via something we know about: radiation. Admittedly, Unruh radiation is different from the usual stuff, but it can be made by mutual accelerations.

To put this in a practical context: at the equator, the gravitational force pulling, say, an elephant, down is about 365 times stronger than the centrifugal (inertial) force pushing it up. If MiHsC is right, it predicts that if we could fire enough extra Unruh radiation at the elephant to increase its inertial mass 365-fold, it should then lift off. (it may also move sideways against the Earth's spin to conserve momentum).

The first indications of this may have been seen in Podkletnov's experiment where he accelerated (in his case, spun) a disc and saw a weight loss in objects suspended above it. A few more Unruh waves and maybe the rocket era would be over.

The best way to convince others is with simple repeatable experiments, and one such experiment was recently pointed out to me by J. Tippett (he'd seen it described by Modanese in the book referenced below, see page 13). In the experiment a cold superconductor was levitated above a magnet and heated through its transition temperature. During the transition, 'transient weight losses' were seen in objects above the setup (in only 10% of the cases, so the phenomenon is not fully repeatable yet).

This experiment interests me because it fits roughly with MiHsC: the sudden loss of superconductivity would suddenly 'freeze' (ie: accelerate) electrons and transiently increase the mutual electron - object accelerations (a consistent result would need a uniform heating of the superconductor). The problem is: what is the electron acceleration in a superconductor? This is not well understood, and would need to be known to test MiHsC, but this experiment, at least, is easy to repeat, and the more repeats the better.


Modanese, G., and G.A. Robertson (eds), 2013. Gravity-Superconductor Interactions: theory and experiment.

Modanese G., Schnurer, J., 2001. Possible quantum gravity effects in a charged Bose condensate under variable e.m. field. Phys. Essays, 14: 94-105 (see part 4: experiment).

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