I haven't posted here for a few weeks because I've been inundated preparing a new Space Exploration course for Plymouth University First Year Students. Today, after going through relativity and the philosophy of it, I finally gave the students (a good keen bunch) a presentation about my own work.
I started by pointing out the big problem, which has been brushed under the carpet, which is that galaxies spin too fast in their outer parts and the centrifugal forces should pull them apart. I mentioned the deeply unpleasant hypothesis of dark matter that is added to their edges to make general relativity fit the visible mass and velocity data. I added the interesting commonality which is that the problems always start at galactic radii when the stars go below an acceleration of around 10^-10 m/s^2 and the observation that globular clusters (star congregations within galaxies) show the same odd behaviour as large galaxies but dark matter can't be used to fix globulars because it has to stay spread out at the galactic edge to fix the galaxies.
I then showed how an object accelerating in one direction develops a Rindler horizon in the opposite direction and this damps the Unruh radiation in such a way that more radiation hits them from in front then from the back and how this predicts inertial mass for the first time (McCulloch, 2013). In the past it's always been assumed that "things keep going": shallow language only.
I then showed that this new model (MiHsC) predicts that inertia dissipates in a new way at very low accelerations in just the way needed to explain galaxy rotation without dark matter (McCulloch, 2012). The predicted effects also appear at that critical acceleration of 10^-10 m/s^2. MiHsC also predicts the recently observed cosmic acceleration without dark energy (McCulloch, 2007, 2010) and fits the low-l CMB anomaly and the pioneer and Tajmar anomalies, the emdrive & others. I then briefly went through Maxwell's Demon, Szilard's Engine and Landauer's principle and showed how I'm now attempting to re-derive MiHsC using information loss on horizons and how I can get similar formula, but with an as-yet too simple model.
Just when the students were recovering from this I showed them a swastika (no politics here) and told them that if this was put nanoscale into the zero point field then it would act like an array of Rindler horizons, and create new circular motion to generate energy. I showed them Luke's speeder on Tatooine and said all it needs is an Unruh-damping horizon above it to float, and a fuel-less interstellar vessel, with a horizon in front which should move getting its energy from the inhomogeneity in the zero point field caused by the horizon.
Some of the students said they were 'Blown away'. So it'll be a hard lecture to follow: my next lecture is on exploration by maths (what I do most of the time), then 'alien possibilities'. Anything short of presenting a stargate is going to be a dissapointment, but dissapointment too is an education: these things are not flash in the pan. It's a long hike, or should I say trek? It's now over 10 years since I started.
McCulloch, M.E., 2013. Inertia from an asymmetric Casimir effect. EPL, 101, 59001. http://arxiv.org/abs/1302.2775
McCulloch, M.E., 2012. Testing quantised inertia on galactic scales. A&SS. Vol. 342, No. 2, 575-578. http://arxiv.org/abs/1207.7007
McCulloch, M.E., 2010. Minimum accelerations from quantised inertia. EPL, 90, 29001. http://arxiv.org/abs/1004.3303
McCulloch, M.E., 2007. Modelling the Pioneer anomaly as modified inertia. MNRAS, 376(1), 338-34. http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0612599