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

Saturday 23 May 2020

Far and Away

Possibly the best way to test Quantised Inertia (except in the lab and the lockdown has postponed that for now) is to look at far distant (ie: high redshift) galaxies whose light is reaching us from an epoch a long time ago. This is because QI's predictions of galaxy rotation are very different from those of the standard model and MoND at high redshift. For the older theories the relation between the orbital speed of stars at the edge of galaxies (v) is of the type

v^4 = KM

where M is the visible mass and K, crucially, is a constant. How quaint! In quantised inertia the K is no longer a constant, since the inertial mass depends on the width of the cosmic horizon, and the formula is

v^4 = (2Gc^2/Theta)M

where G is the gravitational constant, c is the speed of light and Theta is the width of the cosmos, which varies with time. In the mainstream way of looking at it, this variation is because the cosmos is physically expanding. I prefer to assume that the information that local matter has about the cosmos is expanding, rather than the cosmos itself (this was also claimed by Halton Arp). Therefore in the past the cosmos, and Theta, were smaller and so, according to QI, all inertial masses and centrifugal forces were lower. Therefore far-off, ancient galaxies could afford to spin faster at the same mass and still remain bound.

As luck would have it, astronomers are just starting to see such galaxies and I talked about six of them in the paper referenced below (McCulloch, 2017). It turns out that they do indeed spin faster. Another one has just been seen at Z=4.2 which is called, romantically, DLA0817g or The Wolfe Disk (see Neeleman, 2020) and this means I can now compare QI with seven data points. I have summarised the data here:

The plot shows the observed acceleration of stars at the edge of the galaxies (y axis) and you can see that it increases with redshift (black dots). See the black dots. Note that the value for the galaxy at redshift Z=2.242 is aberrant and it looks like an outlier. The plot also shows (blue dots) the predicted accelerations assuming, as quantised inertia does, that the galaxies cannot slow below the minimum acceleration of 2c^2/Theta where Theta is the cosmic scale at the epoch the galaxy is in. So, to recapitulate, the higher redshift galaxies were in a smaller cosmos, so according to QI all inertial masses were lower, so they could afford to spin faster and still remain stable. You can see that the predictions of quantised inertia track the observed increase in spin quite well. This is not yet conclusive though, since maybe other effects are present. The next step is to compare what Newton/GR predicts for the same plot, but for that I need to find the masses of these systems, which is not as easy as it sounds since some masses are derived from the dynamics so include the dark matter fudge. What is clear from this is that the more high redshift galaxies we observe in this way the better!


Neeleman, M., J.X. Prochaska, N. Kanekar, M. Rafelski, 2020. A cold massive, rotating disc 1.5 billion years after the big bang. Nature, Vol. 581. Link

McCulloch, M.E., 2017. Galaxy rotations from quantised inertia and visible matter only. Astrophysics and Space Science, 362,149. Link


dhuber said...

Greetings Mike!

I greatly admire the work you and your colleagues are doing.

A question please. As the horizon expands will the galaxies with previously-allowed higher rotation rates fly apart, or will they slow their rotation to the equivalent allowed by the evolving epoch? If the latter, what becomes of the angular momentum? Would it somehow contribute to the ZPF quantum foam? If the former, could we detect the disintegrating galaxies?

Best Regards,

Dave Huber

Simon Derricutt said...

Dave Huber's question is interesting. On the other hand, we see accelerations now going down to the minimum quantum of around 1.4e-10m/s², so assuming we are not at a special time then the actual acceleration would have gradually changed and the galaxies gradually expanded. It's possible that momentum would not be conserved precisely during that rather long time, given the increased distance from the horizon, but I'm finding it difficult to come to any conclusion here.

I've found the wide binary stars as being the most compelling evidence. It might be interesting to look for some not-so-wide binaries, since at some distance the minimum acceleration ought to double as the quantum number becomes 2 rather than 1. The measured accelerations should show a step-function - minimum, twice minimum, three times, etc.. That may be somewhat conclusive that quantisation occurs.

Could be a while longer in lockdown in the SW of England, with the official R value remaining at 1.00. Make sure you have a fair amount of green tea and some Zinc supplements, Mike, and get out in the sun when you can! It's still legal to get those items, whereas the other prophylactic measures are being frowned on.

dhuber said...

Simon, I like your observation that galaxies likely expand as the cosmic horizon recedes, yielding a "steady state" rotation rate.

Which reminds me of Sir Fred Hoyle's cosmology. Perhaps "dark energy" is simply a consequence of excess galactic angular momentum being conserved via expansion of spacetime?

Best Regards,

- Dave Huber

Simon Derricutt said...

Dave - I'm not a cosmologist, but the implication of QI is that the stuff beyond the horizon was already there and we are just "seeing" more of it as the horizon expands. Presumably the horizon expands at the speed of light (critical point). There's a question as to whether the red-shift is because the galaxies are actually receding from us (so giving a constant amount of mass/energy in the universe that is always expanding) or whether the red-shift is caused by *something else* that we don't understand yet. The expanding horizon however would be bringing "new stuff" within our horizon if it was there, and thus we'd see a gradual change in inertial mass.

Despite the fact that conservation of momentum is used as an axiom, and assumed to be true, and is also used in the derivations here, one of the results is that it isn't conserved - otherwise Mike would not be thinking of using QI as the basis of a space drive. There are also the EMDrive calculations, and the Mach effect drive calculations, that show momentum to not be conserved, and if momentum isn't conserved then neither is energy. Momentum is however conserved when you use constant fields to transfer the forces between objects, and since that is nearly always the case then in nearly all circumstances momentum and energy will be conserved. The exception is when we use varying fields (waves) to transfer the forces, because they have a limited speed.

As such, it becomes reasonable to consider Sir Fred's constant creation of energy. After all, experimentally we find momentum is not precisely conserved and theory gives us a reason both for that and why we normally see it as conserved. I doubt that we've got enough answers yet, though. I find it difficult to see a lot of this. A lot more tea needed....

One of the problems I had with Unruh waves was the ability to transfer information instantaneously from the Hubble radius to here. However, just recently I've found experimental evidence that information can be passed at the phase velocity and not just the group velocity. See https://www.researchgate.net/publication/340351965_General_analytic_solution_of_the_telegrapher's_equations_and_the_resulting_consequences_for_electrically_short_transmission_lines and https://www.researchgate.net/publication/335677198_Electronic_data_transmission_at_three_times_the_speed_of_light_and_data_rates_of_2000_bits_per_second_over_long_distances_in_buffer_amplifier_chains for Steffen Kühn's experiments, and he's published all that's needed to replicate. He came across this accidentally and followed it up. The big thing here is we have experimental verification of transmission of data FTL, and I can't see any errors in his method. Useful to have other people look at this to see if there are errors. This experiment came as a surprise to me, in that something I thought was thoroughly settled (speed of transmission in a transmission line) turns out to have an exception when you don't terminate the line. Also note the line is electrically short, less than 1/4 wavelength, though a friend of mine has (maybe) measured 1.8c on a single wire driven at a faster edge-rate and thus using a few effective wavelengths.

Simon Derricutt said...

(hit the 4096 character barrier....)
I'm still not happy about what actually happens at the Hubble horizon, or if we produce a local horizon as Mike is trying to do. As far as I can tell from Matt Strassler's explanations, what's actually happening there could be an absence of perturbations (virtual particles) in the quantum field, thus making a node in the waves of both EM waves and matter waves. Somewhat brain-bending, this level. The Hubble radius however is pretty analogous to an unterminated line, thus possibly allowing an infinite phase velocity for the Unruh waves, though I'm not certain what the group velocity would be. Most likely c, though, as good first stab, since that's the velocity of that horizon away from us.

It seems we need to try out a lot of different guesses as to the structure of the universe, and see which ones actually work and predict what we see to happen. I think we shouldn't just settle on one official explanation, but allow for others to co-exist if they also predict what we actually measure and don't have any paradoxes. Maybe even if they do have paradoxes, since sometimes paradoxes can be resolved, as with the phase velocity of Unruh waves carrying information. The universe may be weirder than we imagine, but maybe not weirder than we can imagine if given enough time and thought.

dhuber said...

Hi Simon!

You've certainly given me food for thought!

Regarding superluminal transmission of information, mainstream consensus of the 1994 experiments transmitting Mozart's 40th. Symphony by Günter Nimtz concludes that evanescent group velocity >C in microwave waveguides isn't a true signal. But see

Regarding Unruh wave propagation being instantaneous, why would it cut off at the cosmic horizon? If indeed the horizon is simply revealing existing mass as it's gravity reaches us what blocks Unruh radiation from happening "everywhere at once" in an inertial equivalent to Olbers' Paradox? The only explanations I can think of are the cosmic horizon is either truly expanding (creating mass as it goes), Unruh radiation is also limited to C and we observe increased mass along with light, or some quantum effect leaves unobserved mass in abeyance until the waveform collapses.

I suspect Edison's reaction to all this would be "I don't care if it's impossible, so long as it's useful!" ;)

Simon Derricutt said...

Dave - yep, it's fun to get into discussions about what's actually possible. What's important is making testable predictions. That's why Mike's theory is good.

For the superluminal tunnelling story you pointed at, it seems I should have read all of the referred-to documents in order to fully understand the arguments. I do not however see a causality problem with instantaneous transmission of information (or indeed matter), only in such a transmission that goes backwards in time. An FTL transmission may appear to have an event happen before the cause when viewed using a signal limited to the speed of light, but I can set up an experiment using sound as my signalling that also appears to have the event happen before the cause (someone next to me gets shot and I hear the bang of the gun a second later, for example). If the fastest signal I had available was sound, then the bullet would hit my colleague before it was fired.

Quantum theory of course entails instantaneous transmission of (quantum) information between entangled entities. Given the successes of quantum theory,any explanation we put forward needs to explain at least as well. However, though I was taught the Copenhagen Interpretation, once I came across the Bohm interpretation (a real particle affected by its pilot-wave, and the pilot-wave being affected by the particle), where no observer is required to collapse the wavefunction, and things that have happened stay happened, I found that more satisfying. Still a problem in what is actually waving in that pilot-wave, but then that's a problem with any theory that uses wave functions. To support a wave, you need something with the analogues of springiness and inertia (or capacitance and inductance) and if you don't have it then a wave can't travel. Can't get away from some sort of Aether, even if you've renamed it as the Higgs field that permeates everything.

If we specify an Unruh wave with an infinite phase velocity, then information (via the phase) will pass instantaneously from the Hubble horizon to here. Trouble is, with infinite phase velocity, there's no nodes possible, at least if we're using the analogue of a guitar string. For infinite phase velocity, instead we're seeing the nut end and the bridge end of the string displacing from the rest position at the same time, and at any point along the string we'll have exactly the same displacement. I'm not saying that that's not what's happening with the Unruh wave, just that it's hard to visualise. The springiness is only at the ends, and the string between acts like it's rigid. How about the next harmonic? Likely even harmonics won't exist (since they would have zero amplitude at the middle where we are) so we're looking at 3rd harmonic instead. There would be 2 other nodes along the 3d harmonic, and there the "string" would be broken with one end going up while the other went down. As I said, hard to get a feel for this, but could maybe work if we go away from strings.


Simon Derricutt said...

For the Unruh wave having a node (or maybe the equivalent of that) at the cosmic horizon, we can only really speculate there. It does look to have a reality, but how we'd model that reality is a bit difficult. My personal idea at the moment is that the underlying fabric of space (whether or not you call that Aether) cannot support an EM wave until there is some trace of matter there, and that the extents of any wave of matter will expand at the speed of light. This borrows the QM idea of the wave-function of a particle stretching to infinity, and modifies it so that when the particle is created then the wave-function start to spread out at the speed of light. The creation of a particle is when two EM waves combine to form a particle (such as 2x511keV gammas combining to form a positron and electron pair), maybe. On the other hand, those EM waves would have been there before that, so I'm not certain as to the reach of their wave-functions. I'm also not sure what medium the wave-function exists in, so we'll need to set those things aside for a bit to see where the main idea leads. Still, let's also speculate that the more dense this matter-wave is, the slower it will oscillate, and the slower we'll measure time to be. We'll also speculate that (being waves) all the matter-waves will pass through each other. At the centre of the matter-wave, time will be running slowest, though, so waves passing through such a time-gradient area will be refracted. This means that such particles will bounce off each other in effect, since the directions of the waves will be refracted by the time-gradients around each particle.

In this model, the available mass/energy in the universe is simply spreading out (into nothing) at the speed of light because that's the expansion rate of each matter-wave. Maybe there's nothing else beyond the horizon, or at least nothing that supports the Unruh wave. The model also in passing gives us a reason why particles do bounce off each other even though they are waves. It also gives us (yet another) reason for gravity, in that where matter-waves overlap then the matter-density is higher and time runs slower, so there's less potential energy as they move closer together and thus more of the matter-waves overlap. The prediction from this is that the gravitational attraction would increase in steps of 1 quantum, 6 quanta, 10 quanta, etc., with some sort of ramp between those quantum levels as more of the fundamental, 3rd harmonic, 5th harmonic etc. overlap. Since we're talking about a half-wavelength of the Hubble diameter as our fundamental, though, could be difficult to see the separate levels.

Find out if it works, and don't worry about whether we think it's impossible or not. Since we can only think about something if we have a word for it, and that implies we've seen it before, for stuff like this we'll likely need to talk around it until we've developed the words and concepts.