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

Sunday 12 February 2017

Dwarfs as a crucial test

My latest paper has just been accepted by the journal Astrophysics and Space Science (journal website) and I have already posted a preprint on Research Gate here. I will also post it on arXiv, but the arXiv have demoted me to the general physics section so I get very few reads from arXiv anyway. In a previous paper (McCulloch, 2012, see references below) and a new paper I have been submitting to various journals with no luck so far, I have shown that quantised inertia (QI, MiHsC) predicts the rotation of dwarf galaxies, spiral galaxies and galaxy clusters without dark matter or adjustment, but in this accepted paper, in a sudden bout of strategic thinking, I deliberately selected more extreme objects that other models cannot predict well, or at least not without becoming ridiculous.

These objects are the Milky Way dwarf galaxies: about 20 tiny galaxies orbiting close to the Milky Way. They have very little mass and so the accelerations of the stars within them are tiny, and the effect of quantised inertia should be more obvious, and indeed they show huge anomalies. The Figure below plots data from 11 of these systems (those for which data on masses and speed is available) against their visible mass in Solar masses (on the x axis) and the spin velocity of their stars (y axis). The observed speeds are shown by the open squares, their names are also shown, and the errors in the speeds are shown by the vertical bars.

Given the visible mass in them, good old Newton would have predicted that the maximum speed the stars might achieve without breaking free should be the speed shown by the small crosses at the bottom of the plot. Newton would look at this data and say: "Bah! They should fly asunder! I shall have another crack at that." The dwarfs obviously don't fly apart since they look more or less round, so to make it all work out astrophysicists who don't wish to change the old theories (GR predicts similarly) add just enough invisible dark matter to these systems to hold them in. The trouble is that in these dwarf cases they have to add the dark stuff in amounts that make the actual laws of normal physics pretty irrelevant (amounts of dark mass several hundred times the amount of visible matter) so these systems are governed mostly by convenient dark 'magic'.

MoND is far more specific than dark matter, so it is a better hypothesis, but MoND also has the problem that it needs a 'little bit' of magic: an adjustable parameter which is set by trial and error to 'make' its predictions fit the data. Adjustable parameters are simply an admission that one does not know what the dingo's kidney is going on. Anyway, MoND underpredicts the speeds a bit, and the rms difference between the data and the predictions is 3.6 km/s (By the way, entropic gravity also cannot predict these dwarfs since it predicts the anomalies should be greatest at large scales, but these dwarfs show that galaxy rotation anomalies are greatest at low accelerations, rather than large scales).

The predictions of quantised inertia, QI/MiHsC, don't depend on scale, but depend, correctly, on low acceleration, and are shown in the plot by the black triangles. They are closer to the observations than MoND (the rms difference is 3.2 km/s) but the main point is that quantised inertia beats MoND (albeit slightly) WITHOUT an arbitrary adjustable parameter. Nothing is input to QI apart from the visible matter, the speed of light and the cosmic diameter (all quantities that can be observed). I now have the beginnings of the feeling you get in chess when you are approaching the end game with the advantage (I recognise this feeling, though I have not had it very often!) and I hope that physicists do not just try to throw the chess board out of the window, but show some interest in how it was done.


McCulloch, M.E., 2012. Testing quantised inertia on galactic scales. Astrophysics and Space Science, Vol. 342, 2, 575-578. ResearchGate preprint, ArXiv preprint

McCulloch, M.E., 2017. Low-acceleration dwarf galaxies as tests of quantised inertia. Astrophysics and Space Science (accepted). Online


Roy Lofquist said...


You wrote: "but in this paper, in a sudden bout of strategic thinking, I deliberately selected objects that other models cannot predict well, or at least not without becoming ridiculous."

Actually, there is an alternative model that addresses dwarf galaxies, and many of the other anomalies that you have mentioned, quite effectively. I speak of plasma cosmology. I have read your book as well as a number of works on the plasma model. I believe that MiHsC and plasma not only are not in conflict with each other but rather, complementary.

The best introduction I have found is "The Electric Sky" by Donald Scott, an electrical engineer.


Another aspect of this book that might interest you is the author's accounts of the difficulty in gaining any recognition or acknowledgement by the "Big Bang" cult that currently owns the field.

I will gladly purchase the book for you, or loan it you via Amazon. I would be extremely interested in your evaluation. It might also open another avenue for you to spread MiHcC to a wider audience.


Jimmy Johnson said...


A different interpretation on your recent success in getting accepted for publication is that by simplifying the name from MiHsC (Modified Inertia Hubble Scale Casimir Effect) to QI (Quantized Inertia) it no longer overtaxes editors and reviewers capabilities. QI doesn't have all that Inertia, Hubble, Casimir complicated physics stuff in it. I firmly believe that if Einstein were alive today he would not have been able to get a theory with a long name like The General Theory of Relativity accepted without shortening it to GTR.

qraal said...

Do you think there's any place for a variable speed of light? Louise Riofrio's theory on that topic seems to have significant overlap with your own in phenomenological terms. Only problem is that her theory needs more serious fleshing-out of its microphysics and compact star impacts.

Roy Lofquist said...


There is strong experimental evidence for the variability of the speed of light in the interstellar medium. The evidence is the time dispersion by wavelength of the arrival time of the leading edge of a pulsar bursts.


Basically, the Index of Refraction of the interstellar medium is > 1.

Jamie said...

Hi Mike,

I can see from your diagram that MiHsC (QI is definitely easier...) gets closer to the observed velocity dispersions than the other models, but how do you explain (for example) the discrepancy between the MiHsC prediction for Ursa Major 1 and the observed value? Would you hope further observational data would bring the observed result closer to the predicted result?

As a non-scientist, given the prediction falls well outside the error bars, that result looks to me like a falsification of the MiHsC hypothesis (even though it's closer than the other predictions).

Mike McCulloch said...

Jamie: Well, first of all there are the error bars on the prediction as well which I did not show on the plot, but should have. If you look at the numbers in the paper you can see these. The two errors bars do cross nicely in 8/11 cases. In the 3 other cases there is a small gap, but that is not a huge problem because error bars are approximations of a Gaussian probability distribution and being slightly outside the error bar means it is a less likely agreement, but still possible. Also there is possibly an error in my estimate of the error, some of the errors I estimated as being 'a factor of two' (the visible mass) so you can see it is not precise. Also, there is likely to be processes going on that I have not considered in the error analysis for example tidal interactions with the Milky Way. More accurate data needs to be collected.

Mike McCulloch said...

Roy: The Electric Sky looks like an interesting read. It is even more expensive than my book, but OK, I will buy it if only to read about his problems with being accepted :)

Roy Lofquist said...


Actually, it's much cheaper than Physics from the Edge. The Kindle edition is $9.99 and it is free if you participate in their premium service ($99 a year?).

You do not need a Kindle device to read it. Amazon offers free readers for PC and Mac.



In fact, the PC reader, as opposed to a Kindle device, is preferable because of the illustrations.

As I mentioned above, I can loan the book to you for 14 days. All I need is your email address which you can send to me at roylofquist@msn.co


Roy Lofquist said...

roylofquist@msn.com .

joesixpack said...

Read an absolutely terrible piece on the EM drive and quantised inertia on Frobes dot com today.

Terrible, petty and nasty.

Unknown said...

I read the piece too, its here:


The author is really skeptical about the EMdrive and even more so about QI. I don't know how much of a scientist he is.

I'm an Economics PhD student, so not a physicist, but I have an understanding on how good science should be done, and know about the bright and dark side of academia and the peer review process.

What I liked about Qi is that it seems much more falsifiable than dark matter, and Prof. McCulloch is trying to make predictions using the theory. That is good science, right there. Even if his theory turns out not correct what he is trying to do has great value. Especially since dark matter is unfalsifiable, unless you happen to find it one day.

Keep up the good work Prof. McCulloch!

qraal said...

The Galaxies seem to be governed by a simple relation...


One Law To Rule Them All: The Radial Acceleration Relation of Galaxies

Federico Lelli (1, 2), Stacy S. McGaugh (1), James M. Schombert (3), Marcel S. Pawlowski (1, 4) ((1) Case Western Reserve University, (2) European Southern Observatory, (3) University of Oregon, (4) University of California, Irvine)
(Submitted on 27 Oct 2016 (v1), last revised 23 Jan 2017 (this version, v2))
We study the link between baryons and dark matter in 240 galaxies with spatially resolved kinematic data. Our sample spans 9 dex in stellar mass and includes all morphological types. We consider (i) 153 late-type galaxies (LTGs; spirals and irregulars) with gas rotation curves from the SPARC database; (ii) 25 early-type galaxies (ETGs; ellipticals and lenticulars) with stellar and HI data from ATLAS^3D or X-ray data from Chandra; and (iii) 62 dwarf spheroidals (dSphs) with individual-star spectroscopy. We find that LTGs, ETGs, and "classical" dSphs follow the same radial acceleration relation: the observed acceleration (gobs) correlates with that expected from the distribution of baryons (gbar) over 4 dex. The relation coincides with the 1:1 line (no dark matter) at high accelerations but systematically deviates from unity below a critical scale of ~10^-10 m/s^2. The observed scatter is remarkably small (<0.13 dex) and largely driven by observational uncertainties. The residuals do not correlate with any global or local galaxy property (baryonic mass, gas fraction, radius, etc.). The radial acceleration relation is tantamount to a Natural Law: when the baryonic contribution is measured, the rotation curve follows, and vice versa. Including ultrafaint dSphs, the relation may extend by another 2 dex and possibly flatten at gbar<10^-12 m/s^2, but these data are significantly more uncertain. The radial acceleration relation subsumes and generalizes several well-known dynamical properties of galaxies, like the Tully-Fisher and Faber-Jackson relations, the "baryon-halo" conspiracies, and Renzo's rule.

Mike McCulloch said...

Joesixpack: Yes, the Forbes article was a bit 'nasty', but I take that as a positive sign: they could find no rational or fact-based argument against QI.

Mike McCulloch said...

qraal: Thanks. Another observational paper from McGaugh and his team. Quantised inertia predicts the law they found in a way that can be tested using redshift: http://physicsfromtheedge.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/a-test-using-redshift_30.html

Jimmy Johnson said...

I ran across the following quote from the justifiably famous physicist James Clerk Maxwell that immediately made me think of the "Dark Matter" non-science nonsense that is being pushed today.

“I have no reason to believe that the human intellect is able to weave a system of physics
out of its own resources without experimental labour. Whenever the attempt has been
made it has resulted in an unnatural and self-contradictory mass of rubbish.”
James Clerk Maxwell

It just goes to show that nonsense and rubbish thinking in Physics is not a phenomena of just the present politico-scientific environment. Independent thinkers have had to deal with these same issues as far back as Ptolemy and Copernicus.

Jimmy Johnson

Mike McCulloch said...

Jimmy: Thanks for the quote. Maxwell was quite right about a lot of things. Today I read about someone who is claiming to know 'why there is something rather than nothing', conveniently forgetting that the system he bases his reasoning on cannot even predict local galaxies without arbitrary 'help'.