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 15 June 2018

Visit to Julich Supercomputing Centre

I was recently invited by Prof. Dr. Dr. Lippert to give a talk about quantised inertia at his Computing Centre in Julich, Germany, and it has proved to be very stimulating. Most of mainstream physics is still in 'shunning' mode, so this was a great chance to talk to some highly-qualified physicists.

After my talk, I chatted with Prof Lippert and an astrophysicist. Their first comment was on precision. In my talk I showed three ways to derive QI. One using Unruh radiation, the second using the uncertainty principle and the third using information and Landauer's principle. There is a fourth thermodynamical way, but I skipped that. The point I was trying to make was that if there are four closely-related ways to derive QI it is a good thing - if all roads lead to the same place, then it is probably somewhere important, like Rome, and this indicates that there is a deeper, unifying, derivation. Prof Lippert made the good point that it would be better to present the best derivation only.

He also said that I should make the point more often that QI provides an explanation for MoND. MoND (Modified Newtonian Dynamics, devised by Moti Milgrom) is an empirical theory (an effective theory) that predicts galaxy rotations but has to use an adjustable constant (a0) to do it. QI predicts MoND behaviour without the adjustable constant, so QI provides a basis and a physical underlying reason for MoND. Instead of the free parameter a0, QI has the unadjustable '2c^2/cosmic_scale', where c is the speed of light, so QI predicts things that MoND cannot, for example: changes of galaxy rotation in the distant past when the 'cosmic scale' was smaller. Also QI can predict MoND but MoND cannot predict QI. Prof Lippert's point was that emphasising the connection to MoND means I can claim all the successes that MoND has had, and also gain allies among the MoNDians who might welcome a physical basis for it (but they may also get annoyed). The bridge here may be Prof McGaugh who has shown interest in QI but is doubtful that Unruh radiation is strong enough (I have shown it is here).

Another useful comment related to my simplified approach. For example, the spin of a solid object would produce a whole range of accelerations since the solid-body acceleration a=v^2/r changes with radius. So to properly model it I need to consider a whole family of Unruh spectra. That sounds like a job for a simulation, and Julich is the place for that. I was shown the supercomputer they have, an impressive setup capable of several Petaflops of processing power. Useful for galaxy modelling or modelling the interaction between Unruh waves and matter (QI) at a more detailed level.

The Julich, JSC is an impressive place. Situated in a beautiful forest, populated by about 6000 staff, several supercomputers, and with a physicists' cafe whose pizzas are all quantised. I wasn't allowed a slice, it was all or nothing. Planck would have loved it.

Vielen dank Prof. Dr. Dr. Lippert. I look forward to many collaborations with you in the future.


The abstract for my talk: Link

Website of the Julich Supercomputing Centre: https://www.fz-juelich.de/ias/jsc/EN/Home/home_node.html

If you wish to support my work a little, you can do so here:


Simon Derricutt said...

Mike - good point that you can derive the MoND a0 from QI, and thus provide a more-fundamental reason for the equations.

Despite the elegance of QI, the picture it gives us of how the universe works, and that that almost-unimaginably distant (in time and space) horizon has a massive effect in the here and now, is still a big thing to swallow. Getting a good picture of how it all works probably needs a lot more people to be thinking about it.

One thing I found in going through the fundamentals is that momentum is not actually a conserved quantity. It only appears to be since normally the action and reaction are equal and opposite, and the situations where that doesn't apply are unusual and don't happen in almost every situation we engineer. I wrote this up at http://revolution-green.com/conservation-of-momentum/ and I'm doing the experiments to see if it can be reasonably realised to an extent I can measure. Maybe results in a few months. Still, it's the fields that transfer momentum from one object to another, even if in most cases we see they are very short distances. Even though we can't explain the reason that fields act this way, the results are evident. If momentum can only be transferred by fields, it maybe becomes more reasonable that such transfers will be quantised. By much the same reasoning, the lack of any absolute conservation of momentum, that we've all accepted as the truth since Newton, also becomes reasonable. Since it's easy to show a small deviation from absolute conservation of momentum and to calculate the amount of force and acceleration in a thought experiment (and I may show real measurements later) then a larger violation ought to be imaginable.

The lack of conservation of linear momentum also implies that the angular momentum between two separate bodies may not be conserved either. I don't know whether this also applies to a single rotating body. A single body may be regarded as two or more bodies with a very small separation (interatomic distances) so possibly angular momentum may not be always conserved either.

Zephir said...

/* Instead of the free parameter a0, QI has the unadjustable '2c^2/cosmic_scale', where c is the speed of light, so QI predicts things that MoND cannot */

This is not true: a0 parameter of MOND is calculated by Millgrom law: a0 = c * H, so that both theories are merely identical (and MOND is better elaborated by including relativity) (see also 1, 2, 3).

Mike McCulloch said...

Zephir: No. It is not enough to say that the fitting parameter a0, that has been derived by fitting to rotation data, 'looks like cH'. To make it a theory there has to be a mechanism that explains WHY it looks like cH. Quantised inertia provides a mechanism and as a result it predicts many observations that MoND does not, such as the change in galactic behaviour in the past. I have explained this to you many times.

tammor said...

Hi Mike,

I assumed from the moment I heard about QI that everyone is aware that QI explains MOND. I am surprised that seems to be not the case. Have you had any contact with Prof. Milgrom about this?


Zephir said...

/* To make it a theory there has to be a mechanism that explains WHY it looks like cH */ The derivation of it is already linked above.

Mike McCulloch said...

Zephir: Are you joking? The first link derives cH/2pi x sqrt1-q) where q is arbitrary. The second invokes dark matter: arbitrary. The third, even though it has an adjustable parameter of order 5 (arbitrary) can still only derive O(1)cH(L0/L)^0.2 where O(1) is not 1. The fourth does not derive cH at all. Please do not waste my time with work that uses arbitrary inputs.

Zephir said...

a0≡2πa0≈cH0≈c2(Λ/3)1/2 Milgrom has derived it in 1983 (Milgrom, 1983a; Milgrom, 1989; Milgrom, 1994) and he correctly dismissed the responsibility of Unruh radiation mechanism for it.

In another words, the MOND length, ℓM≈7.5×1028cm≈2.5×104Mpc, is of order of today’s Hubble distance, namely, ℓM≈2πℓH (ℓH≡c/H0), or of the de Sitter radius associated with Λ,namely, ℓM≈2πℓS. The MOND mass, MM≈1057gr, is then MM≈2πc3/GH0≈2πc2/G(Λ/3)1/2, of the order of the closure mass within today’s horizon, or the total energy within the Universe observable today.

Another derivations of it  Milgrom, 1999; Pikhitsa, 2010 and 2013; Li & Chang, 2011; Kiselev & Timofeev, 2011; Klinkhamer & Kopp, 2011; van Putten, 2014 It took me ten minutes to find it....

Mike McCulloch said...

Zephir: That is not a derivation of it: Milgrom could not find a mechanism to produce a0. As you said, Milgrom dismissed Unruh radiation. It is futile to say 'he correctly dismissed it' as if you have the answers in the back of the cosmic book. None of us have. Milgrom dismissed Unruh radiation because he could not see how it could be made to be inhomogeneous or anisotropic, and therefore give a net push. I have shown that it can be made to be inhomogeneous and anisotropic because relativistic horizons make it so. That is a new mechanism, and it is compelling because it predicts the results exactly and simply, and many other results also, that MoND cannot. Milgrom has never had a mechanism for a0. QI is a new mechanism that explains it.

Simon Derricutt said...

Zephir - Milgrom himself states (in the Milgrom 1999 Scholarpedia article you linked) that "Until MOND is put on firmer theoretical grounds, and is underlaid by a first-principle theory, phenomenology remains its foremost raison d’être". In other words, the maths works but he doesn't yet know why. No problem in that, since having a working set of formulae helps when trying to work out a reason why they work.

Though we started with the axiom that momentum is conserved, the realisation that momentum can only be transmitted by the interaction of fields implies that momentum as such is not a conserved quantity. Instead, the action and reaction acting for the same time generally give an equal and opposite impulse (force times time) and thus as far as we can measure the total momentum remains the same. Fields seem to be quantised, in that they are produced by particles and you can't add a partial particle, and thus it seems reasonable that the impulse would be quantised and that inertia would also be. Thus, even without the horizon, we might expect inertia to be quantised but with very small quanta.

During the interaction of two masses, the momentum is carried and transferred in the field between the masses. I see this as a critical point that I'd never appreciated until a few weeks ago. Though Mike has been told that he provided too many ways of deriving QI, I find it reassuring that it can be derived from multiple routes, since it says that the explanation hangs together with the rest of what we already use. Though we don't have a reason for HUP, it does seem to apply at all scales and is an underlying principle. Oh well - can't explain everything....

Though I have a problem in squaring Unruh radiation as-defined with the effects of the horizon, whatever is finally put in its place must have much the same properties with some instantaneous transmission of information from the horizon to the particle. Given that standard quantum theory also has that instantaneous transmission of information at massive distances already built-in, then it's not a big swallow to accept that for Unruh radiation as well. We can't simply say that it applies to entangled particles but not to Unruh waves - the whole universe may well be entangled for all we know, and that would after all make sense if it was all created at the same time and place which is how we produce entangled photons. Maybe it's just the degree of entanglement that varies.

QI may lead to a deeper understanding of the way the universe works. We may get a better "reactionless" drive where momentum is seen to not be conserved, and that in turn means CoE has a loophole so creating energy is no longer absolutely forbidden. This is stuff that I used to regard as crackpot, but it's actually looking to be logically possible.

Unknown said...

Just spotted the following article in Physics World which is of interest: Galaxy rotation study rules out modified gravity, or does it?
Link: https://physicsworld.com/a/galaxy-rotation-study-rules-out-modified-gravity-or-does-it/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=iop&utm_term=&utm_campaign=14523-38961&utm_content=Galaxy%20rotation%20study%20rules%20out%20modified%20gravity%2C%20or%20does%20it%3F%20


Laurence Cox said...


Here is an interesting result, just reported in Science http://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6395/1342 which shows that the orbital velocities of stars in a galaxy (ESO 325-G004) are consistent with the bending of light from a more distant galaxy that forms an Einstein ring around the galaxy. Obviously they are interpreting it in terms of dark matter, but you need to show that QI can also explain their observations. My hand-waving explanation is that photons have no inertial mass, so as you get farther from the centre of a galaxy the inertial mass of particles (as measured by the rotation speeds of stars around the galaxy) approaches zero and hence both photons and particles should behave identically.

For those without access to the full text in Science, one of the authors has also written an article on it in The Conversation.


Mike McCulloch said...

Geoff: thanks I will look into that.

Laurence, also thanks. The following is what I just said on twitter about this new ESO study: These galactic lensing 'tests' of general relativity r extremely misleading. All they show is that #GR works if you arbitrarily add 900% extra mass! That's like saying a 10 kg toddler can push a car, but somehow failing to mention the 90 kg man helping him. GR needs arbitrary help, there4 it has failed.

Yes, I do need to show QI predicts lensing. Photons do have inertial mass, since they carry energy, and so QI predicts some kind of lensing. Whether it agrees quantitatively with that observed I do not yet know. My priority is not galactic studies for strategic reasons: no matter (pun) how good QI is with galaxies (and it works so far) the dark matter people can fudge their dark matter to also 'work', and somehow the media does not notice the fudging. My best bet then is a lab test that cannot be fudged.

tammor said...

Hi Mike,

I think this study shows that the bending of light (which means space-time curvature) is consistent with the velocity of the stars. This means space-time is really curved in the right amount even if that amount is more than we expect using Newton's law of gravitation.

So, something is there which causes this curvature. This does not mean dark matter exist. It might mean our notion of space-time is not complete. What if space itself is not a void, but it is some kind of material? I especially think about some kind of elastic material. Such a material may produce the required "bending" based on its intrinsic properties. Such properties obviously overwrite Newton's law of gravitation.

So, the question is how QI would produce the required bending? Also, if QI can produce this that means space-time is not curved. It just looks to us that way. The Universe tricks us. And QI also has to explain time dilation.

Unknown said...

Good to hear! Yes, they certainly are still in shunning mode. I have also been talking about QI (in motivic quantum gravity) around and about. Last week I was at Amplitudes2018 on the SLAC campus at Stanford. At the start of the week, I had a few lengthy, friendly conversations with participants, albeit not the ones who have met me before (like Arkani-Hamed or Lionel Mason), but once they found out who I was, they stopped talking to me. And some people tried to prevent me from asking (really innocuous) questions after the talks.

joesixpack said...

tammor it seems to me that space-time itself more or less is the "aether". QI doesn't mean DM doesn't exist, it means the CDM model should no longer be the standard model. From what I've read, the dark matter can be explained away or otherwise, other matter can be observed instead, whereas dark energy still has a place in cosmological models.

Dark matter is of interest because of its intrinsic properties - exotic matter might be useful to us for energy or metamaterials.

I take interest in this as an undergraduate - is the computer modelling using finite element modelling or something different?

Just as space-time "is" the "aether", maybe Unruh waves are "CDM/energy"?

Mike McCulloch said...

Marni: Sorry to hear you are still being shunned. Do you get that sudden wide-eyed stare when they realise you are questioning the group think? During my talks I see some amazing expressions in the audience, usually from those at the back - a sort of wide-eyed sneer that is so extreme I want to laugh. One day I will do a cartoon of it. Thanks for mentioning QI.

tammor said...

joesixpack: As far as I can tell, QI means DM does not exist. Or at least CDM does not exist.

And the problem with this bending of light scenario is that according to our
understanding only space-time curvature can bend light in this way. Furthermore,
Unruh radiation is light. So, QI says light bends light. This has no scientific merit.

So, QI needs some new physics to explain bending of light. I have no problem with that but it requires new formulas. The "space is a material" concept also requires new physics since the material must affect light without eg. scattering.

joesixpack said...

"Calculations of GPS time thus actually use Aether theory rather than GR."

This is pretty damn mind-blowing. I'll keep that in mind for later on and note it down as an "honest question".

I know to keep my mouth shut to a certain extent. I have passed "Physics 1" and I am moving onto "Physics 2" and "Electronics" in semester 2. I did submit as a final presentation for a "philosophy of science" subject which outlined that "The CDM model is wrong!". I passed that subject as well. I'm not entirely sure to major/double major/minor in physics, maths or chem yet though.

"So, QI says light bends light. This has no scientific merit."

Actually, it does and it is based on standard relativity theory. All EM radiation bends space-time. I do not think this is controversial.

I am going to carry on from here, but what I am discussing has little to do with Unruh radiation. My understanding is that the Unruh radiation works differently to what you are describing. It works as radiative pressure.

[I'll even make a prediction: Two lasers of a very high energy (intensity) for example, that are perfectly orthogonal to each other, but which narrowly miss each other in the Z-plane but one crosses from the y-axis and one from the x-axis, ought to show interference with each other.

What should happen is that they would be closer in the Z-plane at their X,Y intersection and doubly so at the end of their path if the experiment was conducted in a symmetrical #-D object such as a cube, rectangle, sphere or an oblate spheroid.]

tammor said...


"All EM radiation bends space-time."

That is true.

"It works as radiative pressure."

Now, I have a problem with this. Such kind a pressure cannot bend light.
So, QI has to find an other mechanism to explain the bending of light.

One might say that Unruh radiation, since it is energy, causes an extra space-time curvature which we are not aware of. However, the amount of "Unruh energy"
must be equal to the amount of "dark matter energy" to explain the observed extra curvature.

If Mike can show they are equal that would be really spectacular, but I really think QI has fallen apart at this point.

Simon Derricutt said...

Joe - look up Ron Hatch, who has a large number of patents that are used in GPS. A YouTube video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOQweA_J4S4&feature=youtu.be&t=442 (set to start after the introductory blurb). It's surprising, but bear in mind that a small inaccuracy in GPS time leads to a large difference in calculated location, so this is absolutely solid experimental evidence. As usual, though, don't accept everything he says as true. Just because a scientist is dissident and has found one fault in standard science doesn't mean he's right about everything else.

Maybe the question should be "does EM radiation (photons) have gravitational mass as well as momentum". I don't know the answer, but I suspect it does. Unruh radiation is however not photons, as far as I know, but continuous waves, so there the question is not answerable but the answer may well be no. As with ZPE, if Unruh radiation has gravitational mass then the quantity of it would be astronomical in size, and dwarf everything else. On the other hand, an infinite volume filled with something that is effectively uniform and is all gravitationally attractive will show no net attraction in any direction, leaving only the non-uniform lumps of matter/radiation to show measurable net attraction, so the jury is out on this question.

Best of luck in getting the answers they require in the exam questions! Note that physics is more fun and that physicists live longer than chemists in general. Chemists tend to die younger because they deal with poisonous stuff more than most. Mathematicians tend to have their successes young and then don't get any further.

joesixpack said...

"Now, I have a problem with this. Such kind a pressure cannot bend light."

It might be better to say a priori we don't know if it can bend light.

"However, the amount of "Unruh energy"
must be equal to the amount of "dark matter energy" to explain the observed extra curvature."

The SPARC dataset is explained by a combination of more baryonic matter than initially observed and modified gravity of some kind - MOND or QI.

Dark matter still might and exist and be observed. QI does not prohibit it from existing, nor must QI replace CDM one for one.

qraal said...

Hi Mike

Interesting preprint today on that Dwarf Galaxy that was supposedly "Dark Matter Free" - which is a problem for QMI too...

A distance of 13 Mpc resolves the claimed anomalies of the galaxy lacking dark matter https://arxiv.org/abs/1806.10141

...reanalysis shows the distance probably wasn't 20 Mpc, but 13, so the computed "lack" of DM is a mistake in the input data. One wonders about how much else comes to light with the right input data.

qraal said...

Hi Mike

On the related question of Unruh Temperatures and circular motion, there's this interesting preprint...

Unruh temperatures in circular and drifted Rindler motions

Yongwan Gim, Hwajin Um, Wontae Kim
(Submitted on 28 Jun 2018)

We study the temperatures for the circular and drifted Rindler motions by employing the Unruh-DeWitt detector method. In the circular motion, the temperature is increasing along the radius of the circular motion until it reaches the maximum, and then it is decreasing and eventually vanishing at the limit to the radius where the proper acceleration is infinite. In fact, the temperature is proportional to the proper acceleration quadratically near the origin of the circular motion as compared to the usual Unruh effect depending on the linear proper acceleration. On the other hand, in the drifted Rindler motion, the observer moves with a relative velocity in the direction transverse to the acceleration. If the detector is moving slowly in the transverse direction with a finite proper acceleration, then the temperature behaves like the usual Unruh temperature, while it vanishes for the speed of light in the transverse direction according to the infinite proper acceleration. Consequently, it turns out that the temperatures behave nonlinearly with respect to the proper acceleration and the infinite proper acceleration would not always permit the divergent temperature.

...with the interesting feature that circular motion has a maximum Unruh Temperature, very near the Rindler Horizon, then drops to zero at the horizon.

Laurence Cox said...


Take a look at Stacey McGaugh's comments on "tritonstation". I asked him this very question and he is not convinced about the 13 Mpc distance. One of the arguments that van Dokkum makes for the larger distance is that what is being seen is the tip of the asymptotic giant branch, not the tip of the red giant branch https://www.pietervandokkum.com/ngc1052-df2

In this case I would defer to those who have specialised in galactic astronomy (the work I did many years ago was in stellar astronomy) and say that the distance to NGC 1052-DF2 is not yet certain. Even a 20 Mpc distance does not rule out MOND; the gravitational attraction of NGC 1052 is large enough to produuce an external field effect (EFE) that would give a total acceleration > a0. A greater distance does mean a lower peculiar (non-Hubble) velocity but also that what are identified as globular clusters are more luminous than the globular clusters in our own galaxy.

qraal said...

Hi Laurence

Thanks for pointing me to McGaugh's Blog. Very interesting! Getting inside the heads of scientists is something Blogs do very well (this one being a prime example).

Unknown said...

What might happen if the acceleration of the core and creation of Unrah waves took place within a plasma? Would Unruh waves be reflected entirely back to the plasma and thermalize eventually, be used to cause additional acceleration of the core or compress the core?

TeckaCZ said...

while I do not underestimate the predictive force of QI and I somehow expect it to turn out to be correct... the basic formula describing some kind of special, marginal case (like where the object can be considered pointlike compared to the distance to horizon, which is the case of stars in galaxies... but maybe not galaxies themselves?)

However, as QI seems to break causality anyway, it may actually get rid of seemingly "instant" interaction of accelerating object (which would really require us to go back all the way to some "gradients in ether" or so) with distant horizon by turning the entire equation upside down: while sometimes there may acceleration because of horizon (like emDrive), for cosmologically distant horionzs, the horizon may be there because of acceleration - and not vice versa (this is kinda "constructivist physics" or "constructivist cosmology"..., but I don't really think we can really tear cognitive science and physics apart... it would be just pure mathematics, if we give up the idea of structures receiving information of other structures...)

If we go back to interesting moments in history of physics, the relation of acceleration and horizon can be traced back as elegant answer to Olber's paradox. While the resolution of that paradox, offered by Edgar Alan Poe, remains elegant even after almost two hundered years (see wikipedia), the obvious redshifting down to microwave background can be asociacted with acceleration (rotation). The minimum acceleration now makes perfect sense, because Olbers paradox would occur for all non-accelerating objects (points) in infinite universe (and maybe, when it occurs, time to time, all kind of cosmological phenomena may occur, depending on the distance at which we observe them and on their own distance to their horizons)

I know this is all way to intuitive and non-mathematical, but after all, new physics must be compatible with observations accessible to human scale observer (the Mike's slightly socialist/conservative worldwiew may be amused by the fact, that the social progress makes some simple observations on cosmological scale harder for isolated individual, not easier - eg. finding dark sky suitable for astronomical observations is now harder because of "light smog" resulting from civilization growth...)

Programmer's tip: when simulating QI, the question of to how distant objects in the database will the algorithm be able to access information about objects in greater distance. I would bet on massively paralellized computation, which would on the other hand always process lot of information about nearby object, and only vaguely compressed information about distant objects...

Mathew Orman said...

Lorentz force invalidated: