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

Wednesday 2 October 2019

Digesting Arp's Kebab

There is a certain comfort in these uncertain times, and I like doing this at any time, in focusing on a non-human puzzle that has a chance of making sense. The puzzle I've been focusing on over the past few weeks is one that is brilliantly explained in Halton Arp's book 'Seeing Red' (see the reference below) and after many weeks of boiling it down to its essentials I've summarised it in this plot.

The plot shows the Sol star system in the centre. Observations show that as you look at galaxies further and further away they are increasingly red-shifted. So I've varied the colours on the plot from blue-green in the middle to red around the edge. This red-shifting was discovered by Edwin Hubble in 1929 and was assumed to be a Doppler shift caused by the stars moving away from us, but not so fast!

Along came William Tifft in 1973 who found that these red-shifts are quantized or 'stepped' as shown in the plot by the areas of uniform colour. Galaxies appear to be moving away from us only at certain preferred speeds. This is still being contested, but on balance it looks to be true and this is incompatible with the Big Bang / expansion hypothesis. The mainstream usually explain cosmic expansion by talking about an expanding balloon. We are at one point on it, and as it expands all other galaxies move away from us, like dots on the balloon. The further ones move away faster. The problem is that the only way to get it to work for stepped speeds is to say that the Sun is at a privileged centre of the cosmos, and even cosmologists are not arrogant enough to claim that.

Then along came Halton Arp who started by looking at observations with an unusually clear sight, which is why I admire him. He spotted that some low-red-shift active galaxies (such as the green one in the plot) have quasars next to them that have high red-shift (red circles). The red-shift decays with distance, see the red-orange-yellow circles that look a bit like a kebab (someone on twitter sent me a picture of a kebab in response to the above plot). Mainstream astronomers insisted "No, the quasars are a long way behind the galaxies in the distant background & so they must be putting out a thousand times as much power as the Milky Way to be seen!!" but Arp was sure the quasars were connected to the nearby galaxies - sometimes even linking tendrils could be seen. This also meant that the quasars didn't have to be so ridiculously powerful - not so far away.

This convinced him that a high red-shift does not necessarily mean great distance, and once a barrier breaks down in one place, the chaos tends to spread, especially if you are as stubborn as Arp who has a certain similarity to Fritz Zwicky or Fred Hoyle. He applied this idea to the red-shifts seen in distant galaxies and suggested that that occurs because the light we see from them was emitted long ago when the cosmos was young and objects had a smaller view of the whole and there is 'some' intrinsic process that predicts a lower inertial mass for a young small cosmos (sounds familiar?). This means that when matter was/is first formed, it forms atoms whose electrons have less inertial mass, so the electron orbitals are closer together (less centrifugal force) and so they emit less energetic photons and produce red-shifted light. This accounts for the distant/early galaxies and also the quasars close to the galaxies which appear to have been newly-formed and emitted from those galaxies. An important point is that it is possible to explain the stepping or quantisation using an intrinsic red-shift but it is not using the Doppler/Hubble model.

Quantised inertia looks to be an excellent candidate to explain the above process. In QI the inertial mass is caused by the zero point field (Unruh radiation) which would have been weaker in the early cosmos because fewer quantum waves can exist in a smaller perceived volume (horizon). This explains the cosmic red-shifts and should explain their quantisation, though the numbers still elude me. It also fits with the quasars emitted from the galaxies: if this is new matter being formed then it sees a smaller cosmos (closer horizon) since it has not had chance to collect information from far away, so, again, inertia is weaker.. The proof of this will be in whether QI can predict the values of the quantisation. The observed red-shifts are for example: Z=0.06, 0.3, 0.6, 0.96, 1.41, 1.96 and 2.64. I am working on this now, looking at a Bohr model with varying 'qinertial' mass.

In any event, apparently Arthur C Clarke was ahead of Halton Arp in his imagination. Arp went to see him in Sri Lanka to tell him about it, and, he hoped, surprise him. He told ACC that "Unexplained gamma radiation was being emitted from the Local Group of galaxies..". "Ah, matter creation..." said Arthur C. Clarke immediately (see page 138 of the book below). Of course it is one thing to imagine it, quite another to prove it, but let's see if QI can provide the reason.


Arp, Halton, 1998. Seeing Red: redshifts, cosmology and academic science.


Managalar said...

Great post! Most powerful emission source in the universe or it's closer than it looks - that's slick.

I think the whole structure of matter is based on vacuum interactions, and with less vacuum energy density in the universe, matter would be less compressed - actually larger. Larger orbitals, greater volume, etc. That is to say that it isn't just inertia, but mass and charge and the nuclear forces which all scale based on vacuum energy density (or I suppose horizon).

Keani said...

I don't agree on your interpretation on the information horizon in the case of 'new matter'
When you say that a newly created universe have a small horizon that makes sense because the light emmited from those sources didn't have time to travel much.

But if new matter form, it will be bombarded of the light and radiation from all directions, coming from far away(even the microwave background). It's like when you jump in a lake, nothing stops the already traveling waves in it to reach you.

( also new matter didn't come from nowhere, as is stated by the laws of thermodynamics )

Gaaark said...

"It's like when you jump in a lake, nothing stops the already traveling waves in it to reach you."
But it does take TIME for those waves to reach you, just as it takes time for the 'information' to reach new matter.

George Soli said...

Hi Mike:
There's a spinoff called the Helical Engine. The concept presentation is at,
https://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20190029657 ..
But they do not claim to exchange momentum with the Casimir/Unruh vacuum to conserve global momentum. Even fractons require a vacuum spin-liquid to push against. Their concept is like a tube filled with gas that's hotter at one end so the pressure pushes the whole tube in that direction. Thank you, George Soli

Simon Derricutt said...

George - the helical engine works by pushing something one way when it's more massive (relativistic mass increase from being faster) and pushing the other way when it's lower mass because it's been slowed down. Therefore much the same as Woodward's Mach Effect Drive, with a different twist. If you can modulate mass in some way, then getting the phasing right on the acceleration of it can give you a net "reactionless" force. Though Mike can explain the Mach effect-type drives, they can also be explained using standard physics providing you accept that momentum is not necessarily a conserved quantity.

Robert said...

It's pretty clear the Helical Engine is just a concept that even the inventor, a NASA manager, suggests probably won't work, probably has math flaws and he doesn't understand the momentum conservation issues invoked. It more in the vein of "Hey, here's a neat idea I thought of first".

George Soli said...

Dear Simon: I believe that the emdrive conserves global momentum because Quantised Inertia hides half the mass of universe behind a Rindler event horizon during microwave reflection and the gravitational field of the other half is divided in half again by the negative energy of half the Unruh radiation falling through the same event horizon. The leftover gravitational field of the (real not virtual) positive energy Unruh radiation, from 1/4 the mass of the universe, is the inertial force that resists microwave reflection acceleration. The magnitude of this inertial gravitational field is controlled by the real Unruh radiation temperature and this temperature is bigger at the small end of the emdrive causing a bigger inertial gravitational field at the small end. Remember that the Earth is not attracted towards where we see the Sun, but towards where the Sun was seven minutes ago because the Suns gravity is already here. Same is true of the universe. So global momentum is conserved by interacting locally with real Unruh radiation. Thank you, George Soli

Crich said...

"New matter" is created in accelerators all the time. Shouldn't it be red shifted too?

Simon Derricutt said...

George - the force (direction and magnitude) on an electron produced by an EM wave depends on the phase of the wave when it encounters the electron, and that in turn depends on distance and phase of the source of that wave (and any disturbance caused by the electron moving will take an equal amount of time to get back to the source). Since a momentum change is the integral of force times time, it seems that momentum is not necessarily conserved when we are using a time-varying EM field to transfer the force between the source and destination. Yep, I learned that momentum is absolutely conserved a long time ago, and have accepted it as absolutely true for most of those years, but I'm now considering that it may not be true in all circumstances. For a time-varying field, it would only remain true if the propagation-speed was infinite. For Unruh waves, the propagation-speed seems to be effectively infinite although as an EM wave it would actually be limited to light-speed, since otherwise the number of wavelengths to the horizon would have no effect. Basically, therefore, there remains a paradox in the explanations so far, and if you wish momentum to be absolutely conserved in all circumstances you also need an infinite transmission speed for the forces.

For me, Ockham's razor implies that momentum is not actually conserved where forces are transmitted by light-speed-limited changes in fields. However, gravity implies that some forces can be transmitted instantaneously, and maybe other information is also exchanged instantaneously.

I'm not anywhere near certain about any explanation at the moment, so I'm just bringing up the evidence that I'm finding confusing. Incidentally that Rindler horizon at the edge of the universe must also be receding from us at the speed of light, and so the Unruh waves must be continually getting longer, in much the same way as sliding my finger of a guitar string changes the pitch.

I have a suggestion that in order to minimise miracles, if we say that the Schrödinger wavefunction must have a node at the Rindler horizon, then standard QM says that an effect on one part of that wavefunction immediately affects the whole thing, and that this may be what's happening instead of a separate Unruh EM wave propagating (and somehow passing information instantaneously across the whole width of the universe). In this situation, though you can have absolute conservation of momentum in the universe, that still means that you can locally violate it using a light-speed limited EM wave.

Paradoxes and anomalies are fun.

mikenyc said...


John Mark Morris said...

Hi Mike,

I've been studying this too and I have a different potential explanation. My idea is that Planck cores can form in galaxy center SMBH and under certain conditions breach the poles as jets of Planck plasma. The terminii of those jets would experience a very rapid inflation/expansion of the spacetime superfluid as the Planck plasma cooled and expanded through many orders of magnitude. The farther away the terminii the more cooling would have already occurred along the way and thus less inflation/expansion at the terminus. It is this inflation/expansion that produces the red-shifts that Arp observed. Also, this supports the ideas of the Burbridges and Arp that child galaxies can form at those terminus points. I've written up my ideas here: https://johnmarkmorris.com/2019/10/14/neoclassical-physics-and-quantum-gravity/


Unknown said...

Tell me if I've misread something you typed. It seems as though you've set up the following, as large periods of time go by, electrons release higher energy gama to reach stable orbitals. The orbital shells now are further from the nuclei than in earlier epochs.

If electron orbitals change with time, then perhaps, the number in the outer shell can change over time. If so, does that change chemistry with the age of the universe? How many epochs does it take before chemistry changes so much that life and technology which used to exist fail and another batch hopefully emerges?

Could we look for early, different, chemistry from this far away in nebulae? Are there any formations which are peaceful but should be wracked with violent reactions? Such as water vapor and alkali with no fizz?

This all sounds rather worrying and makes me think we had best figure out the length of such epochs if they exist and are potentially lethal.

Robert said...

I'm not sure if this is exactly relevant to your interests but I think it might be. It's from early this year.


"We show that the Unruh-Davies effect is measurable from Trojan wavepackets in muonic Hydrogen as the acceleration on the first muonic Bohr orbit reaches 10^25 of the earth acceleration. It is the biggest acceleration achievable in the laboratory environment which have been ever predicted for the cyclotronic configuration. We calculate the ratio between the power of Larmor radiation and the power of Hawking radiation. The Hawking radiation is measurable even for quantum numbers of the muon due to suppression of spontaneous emission in Trojan Hydrogen."

FarNorthSolitude said...

If I understand the latest experiment idea it is a metallic conical cavity with flat ends on both ends, one larger than the other. The larger end allows more unruh radiation so photons on the larger flat end feel more inertia when they are absorbed/emitted which is where they experience acceleration.

One question I had was based on your 10/19 meeting with Tajmar,

"Martin then said "We are physicists, let's play" and started writing on a white board, asking me for the relevant QI formulas to put in, and this way, we derived the maximum acceleration of a photon of given frequency. The result was interesting because it means that for visible light bouncing off a mirror the Rindler horizon will be so close that a shield will not effect it, but it also shows that for microwaves the horizon is cavity-sized, so they can see the emdrive shape, or a shield."

I was wondered why the switch from microwaves (mm/cm) to LEDs (nn) in the context of the above comment. Has something changed that understanding?

Thinking about the experiment led me down a bunch of rabbit holes on optical reflectivity and resonance and eventually into plasmonics - a fascinating area. My understanding here is that surface plasmons, i.e. free electrons oscillating on the surface of the metal is the cause of EM reflectivity which also made me wonder -

Is getting the photons going back and forth between the two flat plates the main desire? If so retroreflectivity might be important rather than flat ends to reduce scattering. Any photons caught up in the cone itself will travel in circles but also another idea would be to place the light source in place of the smaller flat end directly pointed at the larger flat end and just let the photons reflect off to the sides, as this would still cause the reflectivity on the larger flat end to impart momentum.

Freedom4all said...

See Aspden model please



retrocycler said...

I find it curious that this post suggests a mechanism for cosmological redshifting that is not based on the expansion of the universe (i.e. the doppler shift), which in turn suggests there is no expansion, no Big Bang, but this proposed "Kebab" mechanism seems to require a smaller young universe (smaller horizon, less inertial mass). I'm no fan of the Big Bang (too many contrary observations, too much contrary evidence), so I find this "Kebab" theory attractive. There is also a suggestion that matter is created continually (producing e.g. quasars that emit high redshifts due to their youth), which harkens back to the steady state universe. Being in effect a maximum redshifted radiation, could the microwave background simply be the hum of matter being created continually everywhere?