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

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Re-Open the X-Files

A while ago now I tweeted the following: 'If you want to know how to do creative theoretical physics, then ignore today's mainstream & read about physicists from 1609 to 1930 and hold yourself to their standard'.

Consider the theoretical discoveries before 1930. In 1609 for example. Kepler looked at the new data on weird, sometimes retrograde, planetary orbits collected by Tycho Brahe and adopted the radical Copernican Sun-centred Solar system, ditched the complex epicycles and devised simpler equations to model planetary motions. Newton simplified further in 1687 by stealing orbital data from poor old Flamsteed at the Royal Observatory, and used the data to perfect his radical action-at-a-distance theory of gravity (and told a distraught Flamsteed to go 'bind his head with a garter'). In 1873, Maxwell, in a more kindly way, used Faraday's observations of electro-magnetism, which seemed magical at the time, to write down his new equations for light. In 1905, Einstein used the puzzling null result from the Michelson-Morley experiment and the photoelectric effect to propose the counter-intuitive special relativity and support Planck's bizarre quantum mechanics. In each case, strange new data from what you might call the 'X-files' was accepted & theories were rewritten, fundamentally, but in a way that didn't change the predictions for regimes already well explored.

In contrast, everything in mainstream fundamental physics since 1930 or so has been merely a logical extension of Einstein and his contemporaries. This is not for a lack of strange new data. We have had anomalies in deep space since Fritz Zwicky found in 1933 that galaxies in galaxy clusters were moving far too fast to be bound, as they obviously were. There was a similar finding that stars in galaxies were orbiting too fast by Vera Rubin in 1980. John Anderson found anomalous spacecraft tracks in the 1990s and 2000s and Reiss and Perlmutter discovered cosmic acceleration in the 2000s, and there are many more anomalies from deep space (eg: aligned quasars) and from laboratories (eg: Podkletnov, Tajmar, LENR, emdrive), but all this strange data, anomalies now apparently representing 96% of the mass-energy in the cosmos, have not been allowed to come in from the cold, and complex fixes involving invisible entities have been found to allow the old models to accommodate some of them (an exception is CERN where they are freer to move because no former great has laid down the law for this new high acceleration regime).

With MiHsC I have embraced these physics X-files and written new formulae that agree with the old physics at high accelerations, but, at low accelerations, or if horizons are brought closer, agree with the new data rather than the old physics. This data-driven method is as it should be, but I know that convincing others takes time and care, always has. What is needed is more than a proof that MiHsC predicts more simply, which I have already done, but a crucial experiment or anomaly that is impossible to explain any other way: ideally a controllable laboratory experiment involving extreme spin as suggested in my book (an experiment which is in progress) or an experiment like the emdrive (see my paper below).

I hear the X-files are coming back to TV. Despite the scientific flaws in those episodes, their scientific attitude was exactly right. As Carl Sagan once pointed out: you need a mix of scepticism (Scully) and curiosity (Mulder). Today, we need more Mulders.


McCulloch, M.E., 2015. Can the emdrive be explained by quantised inertia? Progress in Physics, Vol 11, Issue 1, 78-80. Link to pdf


Unknown said...


A Romanian fellow, participating in the NSF thread, has reported 'thrust' from a homebuilt (downright primitive) EM Drive. Going to add his results to your calculations?

Tracked down the deranged engineer yet?

Oh...math is way beyond me, but Doctor 'Notsosureofit' seems to be onto something, at least as far as Rodal and other key posters are concerned, there.

Mike McCulloch said...

Yes, I saw that, and I love his open approach. My only fear is that his weight loss might be due to buoyancy/convection? He should take temperatures & estimate those effects, or try it upside down. If it's confirmed I'd love to know his Q value. Assuming Q=7300? and P=1000W? MiHsC predicts 15mN thrust, so for his 5kg setup that's a 1.5g weight loss.

Alain_Co said...

I have a basic question, not on MiHsC but on basic physics around EmDrive.

big question around Emdrive&al is about conservation of energy and momentum.

I have the experience (with LENR) thatr many people mix the impossibility by conservation laws, which says that two situation at some time interval are not compatible (energy , momentum, quantum charge/number/spin, heisenberg uncertainty/entropy...), and the fact that they cannot find how it can evolve from one step to another.

now my question is simple :

can you imagine two step of Emdrive experiment that are compatible with CoM/CoE ?

for example
step One:
the emdrive is full of microwave energy, and still in free space.

step two :
the emdrive have accelerated from a tiny quantity, and microwave energy have changed of amount

all measured from the same referential, whatever it is (from Emdrive referential, from remote free object, or remote accelerating object).

now if it is impossible in GR (I feel so today)

context, does your theory correct the problem :
my naive vision is that unruh radiation balance the situation...

can you correct?

Mike McCulloch said...

Here is an explanation of how I apply MiHsC to the emdrive: The photons in the cavity have inertial mass (photons in a mirrored box do) so MiHsC should apply. If we assume that the cavity walls are like the cosmic horizon in MiHsC then the photons at the wide end have more inertial mass, so they gain mass going from the narrow to the wide end (so mass-energy is not conserved in the usual way because the horizon causes energy from the zpf/Unruh field to become real). To conserve momentum then the cavity has to move towards the narrow end. This predicts the results quite well.

Alain_Co said...

It is not intuitive for me.
Inertial mass of photon is strange...

This mean the difficulty to accelerate the photon with some "force" (which) is different, even if they have the same energy.
because unruh radiation is pushing on them slightly differently when they accelerate, depending on where they are ?

I'll have to walk much to understand...

Alain_Co said...

Some probably physicis on future-science raised an interesting problems with your analysis.

you propose that the (inertial) mass of photos change depending on the side.
This imply that when EM charged, cavity have to compensate with it's own opposed momentum.

this mean that when you stop pumping energy into, the reactor stop moving.

all that is changed by the fact that cavity is detuned because of doppler effect as Shawyer explain...

I need to walk more.
Maybe need a bike.

Mike McCulloch said...

No, it doesn't mean when energy input stops, the cavity must stop. It means when you stop pumping energy in it stops accelerating, F=0.

Alain_Co said...

the question if it keem it's momentum is where came the momentum from if not from the inertial mass imbalance...

another idea from discussion, that resonate (Q>10 ;-> ) with some exchange on forums is that maybe it is not the simple EM field at the given frequency, but a parametric pumping.

some exchange supports that the secret of Chinese Emdrive was that the magnetron was less stable than the Nasa VCO.

I don't know well Parametric oscillators, but let us imagine that the inertial mass depend on the frequency and that you modulate Microwave frequency at good frequence (a multiple/submultiple of a cavity mode), then it may pump some momentum... a bit like a catterpilar, or a swimmer.

Just a wild idea
(I'm influenced by recent Discrete Breather discussion)...

qraal said...

Hi Mike

As much as I might admire Newton's achievements, I wouldn't want to emulate him. He sounds like a rather unpleasant person. Yet inspiring too. Driven by his drive to understand, thus his attempt at bringing rationality to alchemy.

Alain_Co said...

Newton was an horrific extremist, integrist against differential calculus (doing differential geometry not to use Leibtnitz satanic tools).
he used all his power to block achromatic lens.

anyway to break a consensus you need something special, sometime being an outsider, having a boring safe job (Einstein, Lavoisier - Taleb talk of barbel strategy), being mystic, or having a huge mega ego.

Kepler was mystic. Newton too.