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

Saturday, 17 December 2016

The New Physics

It's often said that when offering new ideas, it best not to attack the old stuff, but to build the new. So here is a deliberate attempt to do that and show what a MiHsC-ian (quantised inertia) world would look like. Just a warning: I am thinking far ahead here.

I'll start with the obvious. The gravity well would be broken because it would become possible to launch objects fuelessly into space by making a gradient in the zero point field. This is, according to MiHsC, what the emdrive does. The launches will be far safer as well, no huge explosions would be needed to blast atoms downward to get Newton's momentum accountant to move the rocket the other way. You just need to put some meta-materials (a metal structure that bends electromagnetic waves) above or in your satellite or human-rated capsule to damp the wavelength of Unruh waves that are likely to form above it, and it'll glide slowly into space. Similarly it would revolutionise satellite station-keeping, as the Chinese have already recognised. Ground transport would also be revolutionised: no wheels would be required: put metamaterials above cars and they will be pulled up by the Unruh-void and glide along frictionlessly. Want a floating house? Floating city? No problem, given a big enough damper above. The problem is to have a metal structure of the right size to damp the Unruh waves that are likely to form. For terrestrial accelerations these are a light year long! In the emdrive, photon accelerations are huge so the Unruh waves are as short as the cavity, so its small size can do the job.

Energy. No longer will big companies own the means of energy production, huge oil or nuclear installations, and be able to charge up to the limit. Energy will be obtainable by everyone at home, by putting horizons in the zero point field in a way that makes rotational movement, for example using a nano-construction like this.

Physics will not be taught in the same schizophrenic way: as quantum mechanics for the small and relativity for the fast or large. MiHsC shows that the two halves link up if you consider the effect of relativistic horizons on the quantum fields as I discuss here. The assumption of smooth fields will go too, the cosmos is broken up into reference-frame dependent information cliffs (horizons). Dark matter and dark energy are not needed in the MiHsC-ian framework so we can close the dark matter detectors down and divert the millions in funding to horizon engineering (some reading this will fear for their funding - they will have to change topic, that's all). Dark matter, like the Michelson and Morley experiments, will be regarded as a null result.

String theory, and its 11 dimensions, will also be out, but will get some credit for its discovery of the holographic principle, and the EPR paradox will be solved because in MiHsC, time does not exist for quantum systems that are not able to perceive it, so quantum systems have no sense of time and this means the future is known to them.

No longer will engineering just involve sticking bits of existing matter to other bits. We will be able to create matter by setting horizons up for photons. In MiHsC, matter or particles are just confined photons so this will make Star Trek technology like the holodeck or food replicators possible. Another name for MiHsC or quantised inertia is 'Horizon mechanics' (this name was suggested to me by John Dorman, and I like it: it's more general). Horizon mechanics will replace the whole of present engineering.

The philosophy of MiHsC is that if something can't be seen in principle, then it does not exist, so you can delete space and step over it. This was the basis for my sci-fi novel (yes, OK, I've been told to "stick to physics", but the ideas in it are valid). Also, we previously assumed that mass->energy and the cosmos ends up in a depressing heat death. MiHsC makes it clear that the heirarchy is information->mass->energy, and information is always being created. So the cosmos can grow instead of die. Which brings us on to biology. Do organisms make use of MiHsC? Why are cells the size they are? Are they precluding Unruh waves longer than they are and so regulating their temperature?

Coming back to space, the galaxy will be open to human colonisation. The emdrive, explained by MiHsC as just being a metamaterial (metal structure) that creates a gradient in the zero point field, doesn't need to carry fuel with it and so, although it accelerates very slowly, it will get us as close as we like to the speed of light, so that we could get to Proxima Centauri in four or so years of Earth time, and less time for those in the ship (given that special relativity still applies and slows time down for the travellers).

Who could possibly give anything else a second of their time, given the fact that quantised inertia / MiHsC / horizon mechanics is unbelievably simple, works perfectly to explain the data in the galaxy rotation problem for all galaxies, and galaxy clusters, cosmic acceleration and predicts many other anomalies as well (see the 12 journal papers that I have published), and it predicts all of the above applications?


Video clip to provide serious background: Mary Poppins flies in on her metamaterial .. sorry, umbrella: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BHoDW9f7vY


phildelltablet said...

Dear Mike,

With the dogma driven political processes we are subjected to these days, I would be waiting for the extra data collected from many more experiments to enhance our understanding.

Rather than a change in academic opinion...and the precarious compliant peer review process.

I have on my list for 2017, to try and convince some colleagues who make models of galaxies, to include some of your maths... But I guess then we'd have to get them to publish it too...

Keep up the good work.


ShardPhoenix said...

A way to demonstrate the truth of your theory and convince others to work on it would be to use it to design and build a better Emdrive that more clearly and unambiguously demonstrates thrust - or to otherwise use MiHSC theory to figure out some way to engineer something that couldn't work any other way (and which works well above any noise).

ShardPhoenix said...

For example, if it's really able to produce (what's effectively) anti-gravity thrust in any kind of practical way, that would obviously be a very clear and valuable demonstration!

ShardPhoenix said...

(Can't seem to edit my comments, so posting to say that I read further down the blog and you do seem to be helping with an EmDrive experiment, so that's good).

Unknown said...

"Big enough damper above..."

That sounds... stylistically familiar. Sounds like the Podkletnov superconductor gravity blocking experiment. Any possibility of a weak relationship to horizon mechanics?

Mike McCulloch said...

Phil: More data is always useful, rotation curves from higher redshifts would be particularly welcome. Please do try to persuade your colleagues to break ranks. Some are already joining in such as Jaume Gine and Keith Pickering and their contributions have been very useful.

On peer review, I've found it to be patchy but far better than some might imagine. Maybe half of my papers have gone thru peer review and only after publication have they been ignored.

Mike McCulloch said...

ShardPhoenix: I'm working with Prof Perez-Diaz and a light-loop that should do what the emdrive does, but optically: LEMdrive (see blog from July). Also, I'm starting to write another paper on emdrive. MiHsC predicts that putting a dielectric at one end has the same effect as widening that end, so I'm going to see if what is predicted correlates with the experiments with/without the dielectrics.. We'll see.

Mike McCulloch said...

Duane: I did publish a tentative paper on Podkletnov's experiment, which got me banned from the arXiv for 2 years and irate emails were written to my university . Luckily my Head of Department (Prof Neil James) wrote a letter back defending my respectability and freedom of enquiry with his usual humorous wit. Having said that, I could not go into P's rotational experiment, only the vibrational ones.. but there is another angle I'd like to try someday.

ShardPhoenix said...

>I'm working with Prof Perez-Diaz and a light-loop that should do what the emdrive does, but optically: LEMdrive (see blog from July).

Sounds interesting, I hope it works.

Mike McCulloch said...

This comment was sent to me by email by Dave Ross, who couldn't post it here.


I find the ideas and the predictions in Physics from the Edge refreshing and invigorating. The discourse is a classic example of the Scientific Method in its most useful form. The results of the experiments will determine if the hypothesis of MiHsC is supported or refuted. Progress in Physics and many other sciences has come when prior theories failed to give correct predictions and are superseded by new theories. During the transition, adherents of the old theory, that have usually been elevated to the position of "laws", start to add ad hoc patches (like dark matter, dark energy, the aether, etc) to keep the old theory running.

The big problem with making the transition is that egos, budgets, prestige, comfort and other emotional and social factors cause the proponents of established theory to resort to specious arguments and personal attack. The Scientific Method demands that such personal bias be cleansed from consideration. The Scientific Method is a self consistent method that stands and falls only on its own maxim that successful prediction of reality is the final measure.

The essential steps of a scientific investigation, a la Feynman, are: 1)make a hypothesis with testable predictions; 2) design an experiment to test the hypothesis ; 3) If the results agree then the hypothesis may be correct. With enough correlation between theory and experiment we start to call the hypothesis a theory (or incorrectly a law). If the results do not agree with the prediction, the hypothesis is WRONG. The most startling and profound theories like Einstein’s theories of relativity, quantum mechanics, Maxwell's equations etc have all arisen by thinking outside of the box for a new hypothesis.

Muddle brain thinking where theories become "laws" and take on an almost religious dogma, which when disagreed with is treated like heresy, results in stagnation, like that during the dark ages. In many areas of today’s scientific and technical development (e.g. EMdrive, galaxy rotation, and LENR,) we are at the transition point where the previous theories appear to be failing. It is unfortunate and shameful that so much of the evaluation of new theories trying o explain what is being found in experiment are being evaluated by muddle brain thinkers.

Keep up the Good Work.

Dave Ross

David Schroeder said...

If you have the time Mike, is it possible for you to do an evaluation of this paper (https://arxiv.org/pdf/1612.03034v1.pdf), for your readers. The paper is authored by 22 astronmers, and posits that there is some agreement between Eric Verlinde's Emergent Gravity (EG) theory and weak gravitational lensing. One thing I'm wondering about is whether EG only works for weak gravitational lensing, but not strong gravitational lensing (if there is such a thing).

Mike McCulloch said...

I have already said something about this paper in this post:
but I can restate that entropic gravity (EG) is falsified because it predicts that the anomalies should appear on large scales only, above about 2 kpc or so, but the anomalies appear very strongly for example for small dwarf galaxies, globular clusters and wide binaries. As you suspected it works only on the extra-galactic scales they've tested at, and even then EG assumes so much that they do not admit (read the theory paper - it is a ugly byzantine monster with hidden code spaces, vacuum tensions and arbitrary dimensions, tho they used only 4 here). MiHsC predicts the galaxy data simply and exactly for ALL galaxies and for the dwarfs as well. I published one paper on galaxies in 2012: https://arxiv.org/abs/1207.7007
and I have two more in review.

David Schroeder said...

Thanks, Mike, for the detailed response, and the link.

Dan said...


I'm far from an expert in this field (no pun intended), so my apologies in advance for what may be a dumb question.

Can em drive forces be explained by asymmetric radiation pressure on the cone, due to unequal heating of the copper cone? If the narrow end of the cone is subject to more electromagnetic radiation, wouldn't that cause a temperature differential along the length of the cone? Could this temperature differential cause the very minor thrust we are observing?

Mike McCulloch said...

Dan: Important question. These things need to be checked, but this process is far too small. The formula for the differential radiation pressure emitted is roughly


This is forgetting emissivity which is ~1. Sigma=5.67x10^-8 Wm^-2K^-4, c=3x10^8 ms^-1, flatarea~0.1^2 m^2. Assuming a reasonable temperature differential of 30K (you can try other values) gives F=6x10^-9 N. So it is a million times too small. The observed thrust is 1mN. Besides, if the narrow end was warmer it would push the wrong way.

Analytic D said...

Horizon mechanics really could be as scarily broad and powerful as Mike suggests, though until we have some insight into making metamaterial shields, I'll hold off on investing in floating cities start-ups.

That said...

Isn't it a little too convenient that galaxies exhibit an extra acceleration corresponding exactly via Unruh to the largest possible waves that could fit in the observable universe?

Isn't it a little too convenient that particles exist in high energy bound states at the same size scale as Unruh waves corresponding to such very high local accelerations?

It doesn't matter what mainstream physics' opinion on the matter is. Something is going on here. Cosmologists can do epicycles with dark matter all they want. Particle theorists can throw protons at each other near c all they want.

We'll gladly take their empirical data and their symmetry observations. The rest can go in the trash.

DataPacRat said...


Do you have any predictions on the far future, such as when the universe has expanded to, say, ten times or more its current diameter? Extrapolating even further, does your current understanding of horizon mechanics predict some alternative to the Big Crunch, Big Rip, or simple heat-death?

Zephir said...

The future will probably extrapolate your thoughts a bit in the sense of hyperdimensional emergent connection between quantum mechanics and relativity and the alleged Unruh radiation will be replaced with superluminal scalar waves. Dark matter will be detected just with interferometric measurements in Michelson and Morley style (you may consider Dayton Miller experiments in this respect already). The 11 dimensions of string theory will be probably replaced with much higher numbers borrowed from monster groups. Time will be handled like multidimensional construct in similar way, like we are handling the space by now. Regarding the "replicators of confined photons" I'm still slightly skeptical. Regarding the simplicity of future theories, I'm skeptical also, as we shouldn't forget, that many people would still want to keep their jobs so that they would want to develop the complex extrapolations anyway, once someone will be willing to pay for it.

Zephir said...

>*Do you have any predictions on the far future, such as when the universe has expanded to, say, ten times or more its current diameter*

I presume, the expanding Universe model will be replaced with steady state one during it...;-)

DataPacRat said...


That's... nice, and all, but it's not really what I was asking. I want to know what predictions MIHSC/Horizon-Mechanics makes about the far future, as the universe's scale increases, in order to better understand this particular theory.

Mike McCulloch said...

DataPacRat: Good question: the best way to understand things is to take them to the extreme. I could give you a summary of what MiHsC predicts are the changes that will occur to present physics as the cosmic scale increases thru expansion, for example: inertial mass and gravitational mass will both increase as for the steady state theory (the maths comes out to be similar), but at different rates so that m_i will tend to m_g (equivalence and Newton's 1st law will be satisfied in MiHsC at the end of time, all other things being equal). More practically: galaxies will be larger with time, and cosmic acceleration will be smaller.

It is more important in the long run though, that MiHsC says that mass-energy can be created by the asymmetric destruction of information (by Rindler horizons). This inclusion of information as part of physics completely changes things because the cosmos is now not a machine running down as mass turns to energy, as assumed in the machine age just ending, but this process is becoming more efficient all the time as the cosmos we know expands symmetrically into new space. Also organisms then become part of physics as they also create information. It also means there can never be a final theory, because we would have to ultimately predict ourselves.

Zephir said...

/* inertial mass and gravitational mass will both increase as for the steady state theory */

What steady state theory are you talking about, please? In steady state Universe models these stuffs shouldn't change. If the MiHsC theory depends on the diameter of Universe, which expands in Big Bang scenario, then its predictions would depend on Universe diameter and age. This could be the way, in which MiHsC could be also tested, because the observational constrains for evolution of various physical constants (gravity constant, weak structure constants) with distance are already known. I'd say, the MiHsC would face a troubles there, because the appearance of Universe doesn't changes with distance very much (as we could expect from the steady state Universe model). IMO the cosmological implications of MiHsC would deserve a special post at your blog.

Zephir said...

/*galaxies will be larger with time, and cosmic acceleration will be smaller */

This doesn't fit well with observational data, according to which the size of galaxies is rather shrinking instead..


I use these observations as an argument against Big Bang cosmology too..

Mike McCulloch said...

Zephir: You may be confused by the term redshift (defined as backward in time). The paper you refer to says: " It is found that apparent average galaxy size slightly decreases with redshift z, corresponding to a growth in time". This fits with MiHsC, larger with time.

Bud Haven said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan said...


Thanks for the reply. I had a bunch of follow up questions, but they all basically boil down to this -

How does MiHsC account for instantaneous inertial reaction forces? Is MiHsC invariant under time-reversal transformation?

Mike McCulloch said...

Dan: I usually answer the first question by pointing out that for monochromatic waves (the Unruh waves) the phase speed has no limit, but this is unsatisfactory and I now have a paper in review arguing that time for photons doesn't exist which also solves this problem (they can access what to us appears to be the future). The second question is something I had not considered - MiHsC is not the same if you reverse time. If you accelerate, Rindler horizons come closer, this releases heat. Thermodynamics is involved, so it is irreversible.

Unknown said...

I've been following Claude Poher works for a while and I would like to know how those experiments here : http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/apr/article/view/10455 fits in your MiHsc theory if ever they fit somehow. Thx and good luck.

Mike McCulloch said...

Yannick: I looked into Poher's experiments and contacted him and he kindly responded in detail. I was interested because qualitatively they fit - the huge acceleration as electrons slam into a non-superconducting layer would effect inertia via MiHsC but I was unable to progress because the electron accelerations were not quantifiable..

Unknown said...

Hi Mike,

Is there some relationship between MiHsC and Michael Feldman's work on "inertial centers" and "globally flat space-time"? (Papers are here: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0078114. And here: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1312.1182.pdf.) This is intuitive, but it seems as if Feldman's idea of an inertial point could be something created by horizons at the center of a proton or a nucleus. I know that Feldman and Anderson have tried to apply the "inertial centers" idea to the Pioneer anomaly too.

In any case, good luck with the paper!