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

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Feynman & the Yellow Paint.

My favourite physicist, even over Einstein and Newton, is Richard Feynman. I have always admired the work of the former two of course, but it was Feynman that convinced me that physics could be fun, and that in order to contribute you don't have to be somehow in touch with God, or superhuman. You just have to be a puzzled human being. I was pleased to discover this, since I happen to be such a human being.

Feynman told a story in his book: Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman? (p81), in which he met a painter in a cafe. This painter claimed he could make yellow paint out of red and white paint. Feynman always loved practical guys and he wanted to believe him, but he was fairly sure that something was screwy. Surely mixing red and white paint would make pink? He asked the painter to demonstrate, so the guy started mixing white and red paint, and the result was always pink. Eventually the painter got annoyed: "Hm, I'll just add some yellow paint, to sharpen it up, and then it'll be yellow". "Aha!" said Feynman, "Sure you can get yellow if you add yellow!".

Now forgive my boldness but I think dark matter physicists are doing something similar. Consider: we had general relativity in 1915, and this theory has predicted a few things well at high accelerations (close binary stars, gravitational lensing, GPS corrections), but it did not predict the rotation of any galaxies at their edges which are in a low acceleration regime (the edge stars all orbit far too fast) and since the cosmos is composed of nothing but galaxies this is a big deal. Also, general relativity did not predict cosmic acceleration. An even bigger thing to miss. Rather than dispute general relativity, as at least some of them should have, they have almost all added a lot of yellow paint: in the case of galaxies they have added huge amounts of dark matter arbitrarily, with the express purpose of making general relativity work. In the case of cosmic acceleration they add dark energy which is similarly arbitrary and designed to save the theory. This amounts to an addition of 96% yellow paint. Karl Popper, who assessed the history of science, warned against this kind of thing and concluded that one should not try to save a theory by adding further invisible elements to it. By the way, MiHsC explains both these huge anomalies without any yellow paint (it has no adjustable parameters).

To be clear, I don't blame most of those in the dark matter industry for this. They follow dark matter simply because they have to eat, and that's what the funding system is solely directed towards at the moment. Luckily, MiHsC doesn't need any funding. My labs and supercomputers are pieces of paper.


Feynman, R.P., 1985. Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman! Vintage.


Matthias Meier said...

Regular reader of your blog here - keep up the interesting work! I am not a physicist, but a cosmochemist / planetary scientist with a great interest in astronomy. One thing I have wondered - it always seems easy to "explain" things after they have been observed, see MOND with its adjustable parameters (I realize MiHsC does not have them). So what about an actual *prediction* on something we have not observed yet? For example, what would MiHsC say about the orbit of the hypothetical "planet 9" recently proposed by Batygin and Brown? At ~700 AU, its gravitational acceleration is well in the region where ~10e-10 m/s2-level effects should show up. Assuming for a moment such a planet is discovered in the near future, would "classical physics" predict a wildly different orbit than MiHsC? And how long would it take to tell the difference? Or alternatively, can MiHsC perhaps predict the observed "coralling" of the orbits eccentric detached disk objects without help from another "dark mass" (i.e., planet 9)?

Mike McCulloch said...

Dear Matthias. Good point. I try to include at least one prediction in every paper I write. For example, in my first paper on MiHsC I proposed that bodies in the outer solar system and also stars in galaxies should have a ratio of inertial to gravitational mass that varies slightly with radius as the Unruh waves go in and out of phase with the Hubble edge, so slight concentric variations should result. It may be time to do a blog post describing all of these predictions together..

Regarding the anomalous motion of the Trans-Neptunian objects attributed to Planet 9: I haven't done the calculation yet, but MiHsC predicts that as they approach the Sun, they should gain inertial mass and so appear to be less attracted by the Sun (so they 'appear' to be dragged back by something). It is like a reverse of the Pioneer anomaly. So yes, MiHsC can potentially explain their behaviour, but I need to look into it.

ZeroIsEverything said...

Richard Feynman, which I also highly appreciate, purportedly had 'only' an IQ of about 125 (which is still about two whole standard deviations above the average western person!).
But let's take a look at what he came up with, and it becomes obvious that raw IQ has little meaning. I consider intelligence as a tool, that has to be finely honed to be of any use. He was a man who greatly applied his personal tool in the best manner possible. Personally, I see too many humans who basically use the supercomputer in their skulls to download and watch cat videos. Quite the bummer.

Mike, I think you're on to something very relevant here. Keep up the good work!

Unknown said...

Professor McCulloch

I am no expert in physics , I'm just an engineer with a keen interest in EMDRIVE .
I find it very interesting your theory , MiHsC , I believe it to be the way to solve a lot of physical problems.
Well since you cited pionner anomaly, Professor McCulloch or if you prefer just Mike , your MiHsC theory would have a new way to approach the problem of pionner anomaly?
Even if MiHsC does not have a solution to this anomaly , I think it would be very interesting to see another way the question is just what I think , I am not an expert can be talking complete nonsense .

Professor McCulloch, I think you're on to something very important for physics. Keep the good work!

Mike McCulloch said...

Dear Luis,

Thank you for your comments. I'm not a professor, just a lecturer. The Pioneer anomaly is the first anomaly I looked at, and MiHsC does explain it exactly. Please see my paper, published in MNRAS, and available here: http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0612599