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

Monday 24 September 2018

Wide Binaries 2.0

As I have repeated many times on this blog, galaxies spin far too fast to be bound by their visible matter. This anomaly disagrees with standard physics and yet it has not only been brushed under the carpet, but it has been forbidden in many places to even admit that there is a carpet. A serious flaw (floor) in the mainstream attitude :) The carpet is the dark matter that has been invented to cover this up and save general relativity (which may be fine for high acceleration, but does not work for low).

There are two cases though, in which the dark matter fudge cannot be applied 1) globular clusters (see Scarpa et al., 2008 below) and 2) wide binaries which are even better (discussed earlier here). Wide binaries are twin star systems that orbit with a separation of more than 7000 AU and they show the same impossibly fast orbits that larger galaxies do. Dark matter cannot be used to fudge them because in order for dark matter to predict galaxy rotation it must stay spread out and therefore it cannot be squeezed into little wide binary systems. So wide binaries are the astrophysics equivalent of testing the emdrive in a vacuum which rules out air currents - wide binaries rule out dark matter.

I have started looking a wide binaries again, going back to a paper of Hernandez et al. (2014) who processed a lot of data on them. The data is shown in the Figure by the blue and red crosses. The x axis shows the separation of each pair in parsecs and the y axis is their orbital speed (km/s). I've shown the uncertainty in the data crudely by the blue and red coloured areas around the crosses, so you can see that the SDSS data (blue) is far less accurate then the Hipparcos data (red). To be deemed successful a theory has to predict within the blue and red areas.

I have added to the plot the predictions of general relativity (the dotted curve) which lies outside the coloured areas for all separations greater than about 0.03 parsecs. Therefore, because dark matter cannot be applied in these cases (unless they add more bells and whistles to it) we can say that general relativity has been falsified. This is a strong indication that it is wrong in galaxies as well, since the anomalies are very similar.

The other curves show Modified Newtonian dynamics (MoND, the dashed curve)  and quantised inertia (the solid curve). Both theories predict the data, but MoND has been tuned to work by arbitrary adjustment of its free parameter. Quantised inertia predicts the data all by itself, without any tuning, an advantage which shows it is deeper, more predictive (it can predict the change in the systems' rotation with cosmic time too) and also simpler. Occam's razor cannot be repealed. Note that the acceleration used for QI here includes that due to their mutual spin and their movement around the galaxy.

The next steps are to submit this to MNRAS, and try to shrink the blue and red areas of uncertainty in the data using the new GAIA dataset. This is an elegant way to debunk general relativity at these low accelerations, dark matter too, and demonstrate the advantages of QI - better data is needed though.


GAIA dataset: http://cdn.gea.esac.esa.int/Gaia/ (Thanks to F.Zagami for the link).

Hernandez X., A. Jimenez, C. Allen,2014. Gravitational anomalies signaling the breakdown of classical gravity. Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings 38, 43. https://arxiv.org/abs/1401.7063

McCulloch, M.E., 2012. Testing quantised inertia on galactic scales. Astrophys. Space Sci., 342, 575-578. http://arxiv.org/abs/1207.7007

McCulloch, M.E., 2017. Galaxy rotations from quantised inertia and visible matter only. Astrophys. & Space Sci. 362, 149. Link to open access paper

Scarpa et al, 2006. Globular clusters as a test for gravity in the weak acceleration regime. Proceedings of the 1st crisis in cosmology conference. http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0601581


AdamW said...

I googled Hipparchus but could only get a project spelt Hipparcos which finished in 1993. Surely it can't have taken 25 years to realise that the data challenges GR?

Mike McCulloch said...

AdamW: Thank you for the correction. Yes, Hipparcos! It has taken decades because most observational astrophysicists are not trying to disprove GR as they should, they are trying hard to support it (dark matter). Scarpa et al., Hernandez et al. and S. McGaugh, for example, are noble exceptions.

Marco Parigi said...

Does that data include the Alpha/Proxima Centauri system? I had a look at the distances and noted that our sun could plausibly be bound or at least affected by Alpha Centauri. I also note that the acceleration of the sun from Jupiter may be in the same scale as that of the Galaxy and Alpha Centauri combined and thus there could be an EFE in our own solar system.

Megaohmer said...

great Job. I love alternate Theories. Dark Matter seems like a cheat to me. I also love the alternate opinions. QI relative horizons makes me think something fills the space but we cant detect it. Maybe we dont have the capacity or senses.

Laurence Cox said...

AdamW: Hipparchos was an ESA satellite designed for astrometry, that is measuring the positions of stars precisely. So, its principal use was in getting better parallax and proper motion measurements of stars in our galaxy. Gaia is the follow-up that does the same job but far more accurately. So the chief interest in the data from them is in improving the near end of the cosmic distance ladder and mapping the motions of stars around the centre of the galaxy. It is not really suprising that the data hasn't been used for testing GR; as Mike says apart from himself and a few others like McGaugh almost all astronomers accept the existence of dark matter (despite the lack of experimental confirmation). These datasets are pretty large, Gaia has measurements on about 1% of all the stars in our galaxy, so it is not a trivial job extracting the data on wide binaries from them.

I think we should all offer Mike a vote of thanks for taking this on.

Jimmy Johnson said...

The biggest problem with Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and other like "theories that are not based upon the scientific method is that they cannot be refuted. When you show data and graphs as in your presentation, their proponents simply add another specifically tailored property to their theory that accounts for the discrepancy. They may even give it another name like Dark Dark Matter or Strange Dark Matter. Perhaps this is an outgrowth of the current fixation with zombies and vampires, i.e. things that will not die when they should.

As long as money is being awarded for simply being a part of the established crowdthink the situation will continue. No logical argument, data, or mathematical proof is capable of refuting crowdthink. As I have mentioned in the past, the only force sufficient to break out of this self serving loop is a sufficient monetary or practical benefit from useful working hardware based upon alternative concepts.

The benefit of the scientific method is that it is a very utilitarian and practical method. It allows its adherents to succeed in the real world against other methods based upon conformity to social pressures. This is one of the reasons why science has very often advanced most rapidly under the pressure of war. Being conquered or killed trumps being a conforming member of the club.

Jimmy Johnson

Simon Derricutt said...

Mike - it seems this is a pretty conclusive reason for dismissing the Dark Matter hypothesis. You'd have to assume that the Dark Matter accumulation existed between the two stars, and was not there outside the mutual orbit for quite a large distance, in order to get the correct result for the orbit. Though it's of course possible to work out such a configuration of the Dark Matter, it's a lot harder to give a reason for that configuration and why it hasn't moved away from those volumes over time. Then you have to explain why those clumps of Dark Matter happen to be in exactly the right places for all the wide binary stars, and not off-centred, and have remained in those locations over a large period of time.

The way the accelerations seem to be asymptotic to a universally-minimum acceleration seems a big clue that QI is a better explanation. However, it's always difficult to change someone's opinion when their income depends on that opinion being generally accepted. It could take a while before grants for big projects to find Dark Matter get diverted to ways of exploiting QI instead, but at least you're making a start on that and have got money to do it with.

Laurence Cox said...

It occurred to me that globular clusters could potentially give you another test of MiHsC. You noted in your 2017 paper that more distant galaxies should have higher rotation rates because we see them at an earlier time. But globular clusters were formed very early in the history of our galaxy (about 10 billion years ago), so their orbits about the centre of the galaxy could also have been affected by MiHsC as the minimum acceleration decreased. If they started in orbits with a high eccentricity, there might have been a transition from Newtonian dynamics to MOND and back again in each orbit.

Roberto said...

Hi Mike, is it possible to have some Matlab or C code (and data) to generate the graphics you are showing in your blog?

andrew said...

You might be interested in the work of Alexandre Deur who, while noting the result more in passing than rigorously proving it, discussed the applications of his approach to a gravity based explanation of dark matter as applied two point systems in a peer reviewed journal article in 2009, two years before Hernandez had published his wide binary star observations in 2011.

I summarize his hypotheses and provide an annotated bibliography at:


Laurence Clark Crossen said...

Re: "Wide binaries are twin star systems that orbit with a separation of more than 7000 AU and they show the same impossibly fast orbits that larger galaxies do." Then the missing mass must be within the stars themselves.

Mike McCulloch said...

Laurence: it is very unlikely since the anomalous effect begins always when the acceleration passes a particular value. Also there is no evidence whatsoever for missing mass.

Laurence Clark Crossen said...

Perhaps we may find a factor that makes the velocity slower at less than 7000 AU. Perhaps when their orbits aren't so circular.

Mike McCulloch said...

Laurence: The radius where the orbital behaviour changes is exactly the radius where the wavelength of Unruh radiation exceeds the cosmic scale. It is a clear smoking gun for QI.