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

Thursday 26 June 2014

Energy from nothing

I'm often asked "What is the use of MiHsC?" The accelerations it predicts are laughably tiny so why bother? Well, I can argue about it being an alternative to dark matter and dark energy, questions that are important to me, but as a friend of mine used to say, "how does that put fuel in my tank?". The importance of MiHsC for applications is that it points to a new way to produce energy from what physicists previously thought was an untapable source: the zero point field (aka nothing). This is rather like the earlier discovery that you can get usable energy out of heat: the steam engine. Today, just as before the steam engine, a hugely important part of the world is not taken seriously by physics: in this case information and the zero point field.

One way to think about MiHsC is as follows. When an object, say a spaceship, is accelerated by an external force, like gravity, a Rindler horizon forms in the direction opposite to the acceleration vector, because information cannot hope to catch up to the craft from behind that horizon. MiHsC says that this information horizon also has other consequences, because to make it an impermeable boundary for information, all the patterns in the object's accelerated reference frame must 'close' at that boundary, otherwise a partial pattern would enable us on the spaceship to predict something about what lies beyond the horizon. Unruh waves are a pattern and they are therefore suddenly damped on the horizon side of the object since only Unruh waves that 'close' at the new horizon remain. There are now more Unruh waves (more zero point field energy) in the direction of the acceleration. The previously uniform (and untappable) zero point field now performs work as the object is pushed back against the acceleration because more virtual particles from the zero point field bang into it from the direction of its acceleration than the other side. This process looks just like inertia (see the reference below). In other words, the formation of an information horizon, transfers energy from the zero point field (a formerly abstract kind of energy) into the real world.

In 1948 Casimir predicted that metal plates would produce a force or energy from the zero point field, which has now been observed. I predict that setting up an information horizon will also enable us to tap the zero point energy. As evidence, I can say that MiHsC predicts galaxy rotation without dark matter and cosmic acceleration in just this way, and I think that experiments such as Podkletnov's tapped the zero point field like this, accidentally, using highly accelerated discs to produce Rindler horizons that also affected suspended masses. I do not yet have a complete picture, but a useful new physics is apparent through the mist (Introduction to MiHsC).

McCulloch, M.E., 2013. Inertia from an asymmetric Casimir effect. EPL, 101, 59001. Preprint

Monday 23 June 2014

Edges change everything

I have been asked how I can justify the Hubble-scale Casimir effect (HsCE) in MiHsC since there are unlikely to be conducting plates situated at the Hubble edge. So here are the two answers I normally give to that, the first when in cautious mode, the second when I indulge myself.

First: There's the old empirical way of saying 'if a simple model predicts well, then one should just accept it as being useful, and avoid making hypotheses when there are not enough data to decide between them'. This attitude has a good pedigree, Newton used it for his gravity theory and said: 'Hypotheses non fingo' (I don't make hypotheses). He meant that he didn't know exactly how gravity worked, but he could certainly predict it and that was enough. So in the case of MiHsC, assuming a HsCe allows you to predict things better, so whatever is really going on, it looks like a HsCe. Having said that, it's difficult to think about something for so long without trying to dive a little deeper..

Second: The best model I have thought of so far considers information rather than objects (appropriate in this new digital age). If you assume that the Hubble horizon is an information boundary then it's only right to go all the way, and not only should the horizon not allow information to pass through, but it should also disallow patterns within the cosmos that would allow us to infer what lies beyond the horizon. This means you can't have a pattern (eg: an Unruh wave) that doesn't fit exactly or that doesn't 'close' at the Hubble horizon, because if you did allow a partial pattern you could infer the rest of the pattern and therefore some of what lies outside the horizon, which would defeat the purpose of having a horizon. This 'horizon wave censorship' model is equivalent to the Hubble-scale Casimir effect that Unruh waves are subject to in MiHsC but can also be applied to any pattern, and therefore can also be used to explain the low-l CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background) anomaly (the observed suppression of CMB patterns on large scales). I discuss all this briefly here: http://www.mdpi.com/2075-4434/2/1/81

Sunday 8 June 2014

MiHsC's agreement with anomalies

Mainstream physics values mathematical consistency and existing theories: a top-down approach. In contrast I like looking at the observations for anomalies (things that don't fit the old theories) and have developed MiHsC that way: a bottom-up approach. I now have a list of anomalies that MiHsC predicts well, and a list of anomalies that look like MiHsC but I haven't had the time or enough data to decide yet. Here are the lists:

MiHsC agrees with:

Cosmic acceleration: good agreement (wide error bars). Link
The low-l CMB anomaly: good agreement (esp. with Planck data). Link
Cosmic mass: good agreement (but has wide error bars). Link
Galaxy cluster energetics: good agreement. Link
Galaxy rotation problem: good agreement. Link
Minimum mass of dwarf galaxies: good agreement. Link
The Pioneer anomaly: good agreement, competing thermal explanation. Link
The Tajmar effect: good agreement, controversial experiment. Link
Planck mass: good agreement, within 26%. Link (correction to be published)

Analysis is incomplete for:

Galactic relativistic jets, consistent, but the data is not specific enough to test MiHsC
Globular clusters: consistent, but I haven't worked out how to model them yet
Wide binaries: Agrees with SDSS data, but not Hipparcos. Analysis incomplete.
The flyby anomalies: mixed agreement, the maths is not right yet. Link
Hayasaka's falling gyroscope: agrees, but only for anticlockwise spin, unrepeated expt
Podkletnov's weight loss: predicts half the weight loss, unrepeated experiment. Link
Poher's impulse: consistent, but the data is not specific enough to test, unrepeated
Modanese's weight jumps: consistent, but the data is not specific enough, unrepeated

There is no shortage of anomalies in physics. In fact, you could say that 96% of the cosmos is an anomaly. It is telling that none of these anomalies are openly spoken of as anomalies in physics journals, instead they are all 'explained' with invisible (dark) entities, but if you face up to them all together, and see how they all occur at low accelerations, then you see the evidence for MiHsC is pretty compelling.