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

Tuesday 22 January 2019

New Collaborations

It has been a time of transition for me. Last year I was a part time lecturer. Now I am a full time research lecturer with no teaching duties, a post-doc and a hyper-ambitious project to manage. Projects don't come more ambitious than propellant-less propulsion. Anyway, I'm trying to seize the chance of a lifetime with both hands.

With my new funding, I have employed a post-doc in quantised inertia (QI). He started on January the 4th). He has already produced several toy models of basic QI-thrusters, treating QI mathematically as an external force which simplifies some things, and has just written a fascinating report on that, which may become a paper. I have also managed to get all parties, Plymouth University, TU-Dresden and Alcala, Madrid to agree to and sign the contract agreements - a new experience for me.

Last week I visited Airbus & told them how QI could be useful for satellite station-keeping since it predicts thrust without the need for propellant: the kind of thrust that does not run out. You just need energy for Solar sails, assuming it works. I'm now very confident about QI in the astrophysical arena (paper). The difficulty will be making it appear in a lab, but lab tests are still the most direct test and all roads in physics lead to the lab. My talk at Airbus was very popular - people were crowded into the lecture room - I suppose that is not surprising when you suggest to people in an aerospace company that they can ditch fuel!

Next month I will be meeting the great Roger Shawyer, and that will be fascinating. It could be that some polite disagreements will occur because we have different interpretations of what may or may not be going on in those hot copper cones. I'll be asking him about the recent null tests of the emdrive and trying to dig down a little to his comments that the emdrive needs a little resistance to push against. Who doesn't? It would also be great to meet Hawking (but sadly too late!), Milgrom, John Anderson, Paul Davies, Bill  Unruh & Hal Puthoff (I have met the latter by email).

I have submitted a paper to MNRAS showing that quantised inertia predicts wide binary orbits well. To summarise: co-orbiting binary stars far apart show the same sort of anomaly that galaxies do at their edges (too high an orbital speed), but in the binaries' case you cannot add dark matter, because it must stay spread out smoothly if you want to continue to predict the whole galaxy. They can't have it both ways! I've now shown that quantised inertia predicts wide binaries' orbital speeds (orbital speed data from Hernandez et al, 2018) just as well as MoND, and without needing MoND's adjustable parameter or, of course, dark matter, see the plot. There is a discrepancy around one parsec separation where both MoND and QI underpredict the data.

I've submitted a paper to EPL on the Allais effect, and although I realise this is controversial data, it is true that any observation that disagrees with the standard model is going to be controversial, and yet the only observations that will help us build a new physics will have to disagree with the standard model, and so they will be controversial. In other words, the quickest way to build new physics is to look for trouble. I would not say that is how I work, but it may appear that way to some! The Allais effect is also less than ideal since it has not been seen in some experiments, which bothers me, but I enjoyed writing the paper since it involves QI working elegantly in quite a different situation.

I've submitted a paper with Jaume Gine improving the way I derived quantised inertia before from the uncertainty principle, so we can now derive QI exactly that way. He is also helping me to resubmit the paper on EPR and time that I've been trying to get published for years. We are just ironing out our differences now and then Foundation of Physics might be the lucky target.

I've also started a paper that was inspired by my son. I'd just been fiddling around with QI formulae while I was waiting for him to finished a school tutorial, and as I was driving him home he asked me a question about schoolwork "Dad. What's Pi?". I said "3.14.." and immediately realised that the odd number that dropped out of QI onto paper half an hour ago was close (within 0.5%) to Pi. In haste I hadn't made the connection. This result may be a coincidence or it may have given me a huge new handle on nature. It rings true to me, and is very simple. I'll spill the beans when I'm sure it's not a circular argument..


Simon Derricutt said...

Mike - I should point out that a circular argument is bound to produce Pi....

All great news, and it's nice to see that you're seeing progress in both the theory itself and the acceptance of it.

David said...

Thanks for the update of your ongoing work. This is all very exciting!

Andrew Jaremko said...

Mike - thanks! I second David's sentiment. And Simon - you beat me to it.

Lord Acesco said...


Marco Parigi said...

I would have thought Tau should have dropped out of the QI equation. It’s almost as if angular momentum is important rather than linear when we are talking about propellantless thrust. That way h bar is the Planck constant that we need rather than h. At least that’s what appears to be the case for the IMFAB.

Roberto said...

Does QI predict the cosmic microwave background?
Dark matter sustainers say that it couldn't be explained by alternative theories like QI.

Marco Parigi said...

I absolutely believe that the Cosmic Microwave Background is *the* Hubble Scale horizon described by Quantised Inertia. There is a couple of particular features of the CMB that cannot be reconciled with by Dark Matter Sustainers. One in particular is the "Axis of Evil" in that the monopole axis from observations of the CMB are aligned with the *Solar System* ecliptic axis. This suggests that the CMB is actually some kind of sphere that somehow mirrors what is happening at a local level but exists at a *Maximally Non-Local* distance and is quantum entangled with local movement/acceleration. This facet is very analogical to the Bloch Sphere in Quantum computing. This makes it possible that the quantised information of the universe is held in the surface area of the CMB.

Since the Universe is expanding, the area of the CMB is increasing, and therefore the number of Qubits, and thus the Mass/Energy of the universe is also increasing. Not enough to maintain steady state density, but to keep the net surface area of all particles of the universe equal to the surface area of the Hubble sphere (CMB).

This argument seems to have escaped Mike - That QI does actually explain the CMB better than arbitrary dark matter and the Big Bang can.

There is also the argument from Universality - If physical laws are the same everywhere in the universe ie. from the present time and place to the furthest in space and time, this is a conservation law. This conservation law implies a symmetry (Noether's theorem) between the here and now, and the *Maximally non-local*. The maximally non-local is necessarily the CMB, and that implies the same kind of symmetry between (say) the solar system movements and the CMB monopole. That implies that whatever basic particle can make up all the other particles observed, there is a mirror, quantum entangled (symmetric) particle on the CMB.

Matthias Meier said...

Something must have gone wrong with the binary star sample (or perhaps I get something completely wrong). How can stellar binaries be separated by several pc if the average distance between stars in the milky way galaxy disk (and within 100 ly from the sun should be considered to be within the disk) is on the order of a pc? In the Hernandez paper, there is a claim of the sample being restricted to much smaller separations than typical interstellar distances at the position of the binary, but that would mean there are "voids" within the solar neighborhood in which the stellar number density drops by a few orders of magnitude (!). Not only that, but the binary would have to stay within that void for its entire history, without the void being filled with other stars migrating in... etc. That seems not very plausible (or perhaps I am missing something major).

What I am trying to get at is that these alledged very-wide-separation binaries might actually not be gravitationally bound. Then, it is no surprise that their relative velocities are higher than expected for the bound case... (not saying QI/MOND/whatever is wrong - just saying that this might not be a good argument)

Laurence Cox said...


If you look at the stars within 5 pc of the Sun (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nearest_stars_and_brown_dwarfs) you will find 52 stellar systems containing 63 stars of which 50 are red dwarfs. So the average spacing is of the order of 2.5 pc. Also red dwarfs are low-mass stars with masses from 60% (M0V) to 7.5% (M9V) of a solar mass, so their gravitational attraction will be much smaller than you might expect. So, while I am doubtful about the very widest binaries (3 pc) being bound, the 0.2 and 1.0 pc binaries should be bound, in the absence of perturbations.

There is an issue though, not so much of a star migrating into the void as passing through the area between two stars of a binary and disrupting it. We know that Gliese 710 (0.6 solar masses) is predicted to pass within 0.1 pc of the Sun in about 1.28 My. If the Sun was part of a binary system with a companion at 0.2 pc, its orbital period would be 8.4 My and if such events occurred every 10 My on average, one would expect the system to be disrupted over time. If such events occurred every 100 My or less frequently then one would not expect disruption. This is analgous to disruption of dwarf satellite galaxies (does the dwarf galaxy have time to recover dynamically from the tidal effects of the galaxy it is orbiting?). We don't have a good feel yet for how often tidal disruption occurs in the solar system (Gliese 710 is expected to affect the Oort Cloud and so increase the number of comets in the inner solar system), but a recent piece of work (https://theconversation.com/what-the-moons-craters-reveal-about-the-earths-history-109692) suggests that the period may be > 300 My.

More seriously, in my view is that the measured velocities at 0.2, 1.0 and 3.0 pc are significantly larger (about a factor of 2.3) than QI predicts. The advantage of QI (not having an arbitrary parameter a0) is its weakness here, because any velocity larger than predicted by QI should be purely Newtonian (acceleration=v^2/r ~5*a0). My own suspicion is that there is some effect causing the velocities to appear larger than they actually are, but I don't know what it is. There is a lot of processing required to produce the data for the graph and very few data points beyond 0.2 pc separation (see Figure 4 of Hernandez et al 2018).

Marco Parigi said...

Laurence Cox says More seriously, in my view is that the measured velocities at 0.2, 1.0 and 3.0 pc are significantly larger (about a factor of 2.3) than QI predicts

I've discussed this with Mike, and I am convinced that Mike has incorrectly factored the External Field Effect (EFE). I have it as necessarily a *vector* sum of the acceleration from the galaxy and the acceleration from the other star in the binary. Mike has it as a *scalar* sum of the individual magnitudes of accelerations. This could make a radical difference if the accelerations of the EFE are in roughly opposite directions.

With QI, how this is done is crucial to get reliable answers, but it is unclear what the right way is for wide binaries, with limited information.

Matthias Meier said...

@Laurence: 0.2 pc I can believe, but already 1 pc seems a stretch (btw the low masses of most of the stars makes it actually *harder* to keep such wide binaries together).

Garcia-Sanchez et al. (1999 APJ) find a scaling relationship for the number of stellar systems encountering the sun at a given distance: N = 3.5 x D^2.12 Myr-1, with D in parsec. So if we plug in 1 pc, we get 3.5 such encounters per Myr! Even at 0.22 pc (=Proxima + Alpha Cen A+B), I get an encounter every ~7 Myr. Now lets be generous and say that Alpha Cen hasn't lost Proxima in 5 Gyr (which we don't know for sure, could have been captured later), then binary survival time is at least ~700 encounter times. That would imply a 1 pc binary should be disrupted in 200 Myr (and remember, this is for a central mass comparable to Alpha Cen - disruption is likely to be faster for smaller stars). At 3 pc, disruption time would be ~20 Myr.

So I think there must be an error with the binary-finding algorithm of the cited paper.

Matthias Meier said...

PS: sorry, wanted to write >200 Myrs and >20 Myrs. Still, quite short compared to a stellar life-time.

Unknown said...

Hi. I got interested in QI from Joe Scott's youtube video on this.

I just have a pretty basic question:

What are some possible experimental results which would disconfirm QI? That is, an experiment where QI would predict a specific result, and if that result was not observed, that would constitute evidence against it. Basically, I'm looking for the falsifiability specifics of QI. Like, If someone were trying to conclusively prove QI wrong, what kind of experiment would they set up, and what results would they need to find?

No need to spend too much time answering me here. I presume you've already answered that question elsewhere, and links to those would be perfectly fine.

robert said...

Amazing theory. Are there implications for early universe inflation with this theory. With a minuscule size universe the acceleration value should increase by orders of magnitude accounting for the large expansion of the early universe without the need of an additional force. I am sure you have looked at this. I find this theory very exciting. (Not a physicist, just an enthusiast)

Mike McCulloch said...

Leo Staley: Good question, and I can link you to this blog entry to answer that: http://physicsfromtheedge.blogspot.com/2016/04/predictions-of-mihsc.html

Mike McCulloch said...

Robert: Yes, QI does model inflation. More elegantly, QI shows that cosmic flatness is inevitable and I am working on a paper on that now..

Unknown said...

Not a physicist,studying my PhD in experimental fluid dynamics. I hope your theory suceeds in gaining acceptance by both nature and scientists at the same time. I would love to have a role model like you, who freely connects with people approaching him. Good luck, sir.

Unknown said...

Just learned about this theory, I love it. I’m not a physicist just an interested nobody... but it’s been clear to me for years that dark matter and dark energy are ridiculous placeholder explanations, very unscientific and unfalsifiable. It’s borderline religion, as I see it. Just wanted to say I think QI is a far superior explanation for so many things. Look forward to hearing more about it.

Unknown said...

Still here and reading your updates Mike - keep it up! I've not got much to say about this particular update (except that it all sounds exciting), but wanted to voice my support again.

George Soli said...

Hi Mike:
I'm very excited about your paper with Jaume Gine on using the uncertainty principle to derive QI exactly. I like to think of my* entropic QI as the equivalent but classical derivation of QI and your MiHsC as the equivalent but 2nd quantization derivation of QI. All three levels of QI derivation seem to be fitting together nicely. In regards to the 2nd quantization derivation it was wonderful to discover that Atsushi Higuchi had actually used QED and not a scaler field to describe the Unruh effect. I sat dumfounded reading that everything was being bombarded by an infinite number of zero energy Unruh photons all the time. Just add an infrared cutoff at twice the Hubble distance and you get MiHsC and an interaction mechanism for the emdrive wall! "They all fall there so perfectly, it all seems so well timed." Bob Dylan.
Thank You
George Soli

*with Jessica Santiago's and Matt Visser's Tolman temperature physics describing "entropic".