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

Friday 23 June 2017

Evidence from an early galaxy

The best way to move forward in science is to find specific anomalies, with numbers attached to them, that theories can be tested against, and this morning I'm very grateful to Frank Becker and John Dorman who tweeted to me about an exciting paper just published in Nature. I say it is exciting, but it's hidden behind a paywall. However, from what I can see from other sources the authors (see references below) have managed to look in detail at a very early galaxy, cleverly using gravitational lensing: using a foreground galaxy which bends the light from a galaxy far distant (and way in the past) in such a way that it magnifies the background image. Thus they have inspected an ancient galaxy at a redshift of Z=2.1478, ten billion years ago when the cosmos was only one third its present size. The only other details I have are that it is half the radius of the Milky Way and has a rotation rate at its edge of 350+/-150 km/s (error bars taken from their Fig. 2). They note that this is very odd and unexpected, why is it spinning so fast! Quantised inertia can explain it.

Quantised inertia predicts that there is a minimum acceleration in the cosmos, given by 2c^2/T, where c is the speed of light and T is the co-moving cosmic diameter. In the far distant past, at a redshift of 2.1478 when the universe was about a third the size it is today, T would be a third the size, so the minimum acceleration should have been three times what it is today. So quantised inertia forces ancient galaxies to spin fast. Do the numbers agree then?

To check this at first order all you have to do is say that the acceleration of this ancient galaxy at its edge (where it is slowest) must be above the QI minimum of 2c^2/T and since acceleration is given by v^2/r where r is the radius, we get v^2/r > 2c^2/T and so v=sqrt(2c^2r/T). If we take the very crude estimates in the secondary sources that this galaxy is half the radius of the Milky Way, then QI predicts a speed of v=538+/-75 km/s which agrees with the observed speed (given the error bars). Admittedly I haven't even read the paper yet (as I said, I can't access it for free), but high redshift data is providing great evidence for quantised inertia, because quantised inertia, alone among theories, predicts a specific change in dynamics with cosmic time and it is just now becoming possible with studies like this one, to check this out. I have been trying to publish a paper on this and it has been rejected six times but is now undergoing a more positive review at ApSS. The paper uses six other early galaxies, which also spin fast in agreement with QI. So thank goodness for the finite speed of light since it makes a very useful time portal out of the night sky.

"What seest thou else in the dark backward and abysm of time?" - Shakespeare, The Tempest.

PS: I now have a copy of the paper. Thank you to those kind folks who sent one.


Sune Toft, Johannes Zabl, Johan Richard, Anna Gallazzi, Stefano Zibetti, Moire Prescott, Claudio Grillo, Allison W. S. Man, Nicholas Y. Lee, Carlos Gómez-Guijarro, Mikkel Stockmann, Georgios Magdis, Charles L. Steinhardt. A massive, dead disk galaxy in the early Universe. Nature, 2017; 546 (7659): 510. https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v546/n7659/full/nature22388.html


joesixpack said...

A lot of this evidence seems to rewrite the macro level.

My understanding is that QI alters GR but not QM, but it makes them consistent as well. I've seen some GR and SR stuff derived from QI, but discussion of the QM stuff is mostly conceptual (forgive my ignorance if I am wrong).

If so, does QI accept string theory and perhaps even the holographic principle?

IIRC, you have had some criticisms of string theory.

On a related tangent, how do we know for example that the Higg's particle is a fundamental particle? My understanding of the QI idea with the Unruh cold and warm baths is that you would be able to say there is a limit of influence. Can "elementariness" be proven with QI? it seems that way.

Alain_Co said...

as I understand MiHsC it is based on QM.

however I'm expecting the relativity of referential to be respected, like CoM and CoE, but in the new framework.
I think all compatible referential should be equivalent, and there is no prefered one...

I guess it will be hard math.

PeterVermont said...

Article about this galaxy from EurekAlert:

The remote galaxy is three times as massive as the Milky Way but only half the size. Rotational velocity measurements made with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) showed that the disk galaxy is spinning more than twice as fast as the Milky Way.


Laurence Cox said...

Something to watch out for in the future is HETDEX (Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment). It will provide postions and radial velocities of 1 million galaxies at distances from 9 to 11 billion light-years. They are planning to have the survey completed in three years. http://hetdex.org/hetdex.html

While they will not be able to spatially resolve the galaxies, faster rotation should still show up as broadening of the hydrogen lines.

Brian Moore said...

Are there only 6 galaxies that humans have measured the rotation of, that go back far enough in time to show a significant change? Are things that old typically too diffuse and distance to measure rotation accurately, save special circumstances like this favorable gravitational focusing?

Or I guess a more refined version of the question is: "What galaxies other than those 6, if any, do we have reasonable guesses for their rotational speed?"

qraal said...

Hi Mike

There's an old saying: As above, so below.

I think my chief discomfort with MOND, MoG and DM is that they're a return to a distinction between local physics and cosmic physics. Aristotelianism held that everything below the Moon was the four elements we have everyday experience of, while above the Moon it's all made of the 'fifth element', 'soul' or 'ether' or whatever.

That just doesn't sit right with me. Your theory involves both local microphysics and the effect that cosmic macrophysics has at the local scale. That feels like a better option in theoretical terms, even if it's still in the descriptive theory stage rather than a fully validated theoretical underpinning.

Mike McCulloch said...

qraal: Many thanks for your brilliant comment. It is one of the great advantages of quantised inertia that it requires no new 'entities', unlike dark matter or MoND, just a deeper understanding of how the two halves of physics fit together.

Mike McCulloch said...

Brian Moore: So far I'm only aware of 7 high redshift galaxies for which rotations have been estimated (Genzel et al., 2017 had six and Toft et al., 2017 had one). It has only just become possible to observe them, and the errors are still large, so I expect a lot more data to appear soon and errors to reduce.

Mike McCulloch said...

Laurence Cox: Thanks for the heads-up about HETDEX. I look forward to the new data: http://hetdex.org/hetdex.html

Zephir said...

Dark Matter Theory Triumphs In Sweeping New Study

Mike McCulloch said...

Zephir: As you probably well know, the article you linked to is not science. It is not helpful to show that dark matter in one of its many, completely undetected versions, predicts galaxy rotation if you just make it far more complex and run a simulation with many tune-able adjustable parameters. If you make it complex enough and run it for long enough you are going to get the result you want, but it means nothing more than for example tea leaves in the 5000th cup of tea looking oddly like Jesus, or the proverbial 1000 random agents over 1000 years eventually typing out 'Much Ado About Nothing' by chance. In contrast, quantised inertia predicts the same things without any flexibility.

qraal said...

I think you're being a bit too hard on the DMers. Of course it's science. You do modelling, you test it, and you try again. Iterative refinement. But it's only as good as its assumptions. And, as you rightly observe, the presence of multiple adjustable parameters means the hypothesised theory really *isn't* doing a reasonable job of explaining the data. Many algorithms can generate at least part of a pattern - just like polynomials can fit part of a curve created by an unknown function.

But how good is the fit for lots and lots of galaxies? That's the real test.

Derek said...

Problem is that the DM approach is fundamentally the Ptolemaic approach to handling data anomalies. If the data doesn't fit, add another epicycle, or change the properties of your Dark Matter. Sure, you can achieve near-perfect agreement between theory and data after some iterative refinement. But you don't achieve any more depth in your understanding of the phenomena that you are trying to explain.

Unknown said...

This is the same approach that gives us hopelessly defective climate "science". It isn't really science. It is a retreat to simplistic answers INSTEAD OF inquiry. Skepticism of established theory in the light of recognized anomalies is what moves science forward, not covering up difficulties.

Julien said...

Mike, what about this recent study showing that older galaxies (i.e. galaxies in the more primitive universe) were on the contrary rotating SLOWER, and in particular that their rotation curve is not anomalous, that it is not over-speeding at the periphery?