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 27 April 2021

Response to Tajmar's New Cavity Results

First of all, there is no criticism of Tajmar's team here. Their work ethic & professionalism have always been impressive and their results are useful, as you will see. The problems that have arisen are my fault, and probably caused by not demanding detailed schematics before the experiments.

I employed the Tajmar group, to test quantised inertia as part of my DARPA project. They manufactured several very attractive copper and silver cavities. All of them had asymmetric distributions of metal to asymmetrically damp Unruh waves and hopefully cause thrust. A laser was fired into each and a sensitive double pendulum balance was used to detect very small (nanoNewton) forces.

Unfortunately, and I did not know this until I read their paper last month (mea culpa). On page 7 they say “every copper [and silver] cavity was encapsulated in an aluminium case, similar to the beam trap mentioned earlier to reduce heat radiation to balance components”. The problem is that the addition of a symmetric metal box will cancel the thrust from quantised inertia. Here is a schematic to explain.

Figure (a) shows an incomplete understanding of quantised inertia. The Unruh waves seen by a highly-accelerated object (photon, black circle) in an asymmetric cavity are more energetic (hotter) at the wide end (red), and cooler at the narrow end (blue), so an internal object is pushed left, but the cavity is not: any forces are only internal. A better picture is (b): the Unruh waves seen by the accelerated object also exist outside the cavity which is partially transparent to them and therefore the cavity ‘falls down’ the Unruh gradient. This is how quantised inertia predicts thrust. In case (c), representing Tajmar’s copper or silver cavity tests, the cavity is inside a metal box so there will be a push (see colours) between the cavity & box but friction stops movement. QI predicts that the combined cavity+box must show no or much less thrust: there’s no background gradient.

Tajmar's thrust results indeed show no thrust. It is important to point out that none of the results I'm going to discuss now are significant since the error bars are about the same size as the values, but please look at this graph which I made to summarise Tajmar's thrust data. The x axis shows the expected photon thrust from the laser (F=P/c). The y axis shows the observed thrust minus the expected photon thrust. So dots above the x axis show the thrust we hope to see.

Firstly, most of the points are above the x axis, so there is slightly more than the photon thrust (but not significantly). This might be expected since all of the cavities, no matter what their geometrical shape had a thicker wall in the positive thrust direction, and quantised inertia predicts more Unruh damping in that direction which predicts a positive thrust. This 'wall thickness' effect should be more robust to the addition of the metal box than the variations in the geometry of the cavities which are thin walled, like the metal box.

Second, the silver cavities (labelled Ag) show more ‘thrust’ then the copper (Cu) ones. This is interesting & makes sense because the Q value for Cu was 9 and for the Ag it was 39 (silver is more reflective) so we would expect 4.3 times the energy to be present in the silver cavities and 4.3 times the thrust from them. The average thrust is shown on the plot as the narrow dashed line for copper at .05 nN and 0.16 nN for silver. The factor is 3.2.

Again, these results are all smaller than the errors, so we cannot say anything solid from them. Yes, I know, excruciatingly frustrating, blame me, but given that the cavities were inside a metal box, it's the best we can hope for from this data and on this blog I will give you the real deal, not just the slam-dunk stuff. The next step will be to do the same tests without a metal box while also trying out the capacitor method of Becker & Bhatt which is perhaps 1000 times more powerful.

The true path never did run smooth!

I thank the Tajmar team because these results are very useful.


Neunzig, O., M. Weikert and M. Tajmar, 2021. Thrust measurements and evaluation of asymmetric infrared laser resonators for space propulsion. SP2020+1, March 2021. Link https://www.researchgate.net/publication/350108417_Thrust_Measurements_and_Evaluation_of_Asymmetric_Infrared_Laser_Resonators_for_Space_Propulsion


Simon Derricutt said...

Mike - Though the error-bars are larger than the data, the correlation between the expected results using Silver and Copper implies that the actual errors were smaller than estimated, so actually the quality of the work was good. Might be worth mentioning that a multi-layer dielectric mirror can be a bit more reflective than Silver (so higher Q), and could be less mass, too (less Unruh shielding?).

It's great that you've explained the reasons for the small results. That gives a way forward, even though it initially looked like a failure. It might even be serendipitous, in that if the design is corrected and Tajmar then gets the expected result, there should be more acceptance of the results.

Getting the design right involves stuff that is non-intuitive - these things don't respond the way we are used to. There's also the problem that AFAIK the "damping factor" of Unruh waves (or whatever they actually are) hasn't yet been formalised and measured, since we have nothing to measure the intensity of those waves except by looking at the anomalous effects that don't exist unless the design is right in the first place.

It looks to me that the capacitor version will be far easier to work with, and fabbing a multilayer capacitor with much thinner dielectrics and higher effective fields should be easier than getting optical chambers precise.

Philosopher Rex said...

Hmmm, frustrating true. Well the new tests without the box have somewhat of a "control" now! Is there any time-frame on the redo? Funding still okay?

Hope all else is well.


Robert said...

In the end may need to just do your own experiments in your own lab.

Unknown said...

will a glass or wood box work ?
it would be great if you explain in more details how the external box is cancelling the effect.
The photons are in the internal cavity and there is no photons running in the external accidental-asymmetric cavities.
Is the issue with the external box the material or also its shape ?

vug said...

Would it help if an external box is asymmetric as well?
Isn't it a case that all the matter around the drive may be treated as a sort of external box?

Wiserhairybag said...

it’s to bad they just didn’t use a big enough box that was outside the horizon distance. And it’s to bad that tajmar didn’t understand your theory well enough to see that adding a box would skew results, I’m sure he wants that to work just as much as you Mike.
I’m so dam excited for the Becker and bhatt test, please adjust the third horizon plate in different distances to see how thrust effected. I think a very important thing for the theory is understanding how the unruh field is shaped around the thrusting object, I would assume it’s more of a bubble sort of like a magnetic field. Play around with multiple plates, I’m assuming a denser material would act as a better horizon plate just cause it blocks more unruh coming in. There’s more tech to be had with this setup, controlling electron emission field or even influencing them is huge. Scratching the surface and I’m glad to be part of the ride!

Ireland as seen from America said...

What is the way forward? Also, I am seriously concerned about your continued funding. From my experience with DARPA, they like to have closed-ended projects and this sounds like the close they might look for.

Mike McCulloch said...

Ireland: Don't believe the media. Of course, they can withdraw the funding at any time, but there are some issues I am not allowed to say which make things different to what you read online. A colleague of mine in California called them, after the Tajmar results and they said they are happy, and I have been given the go ahead for phase 3, another 18 months. A test of a capacitor setup will be done at Plymouth. Of course, DARPA just want a yes/no answer, either one is a good result, but they want it conclusive and it is not.

Ireland as seen from America said...

OK, I am glad to hear that things aren't at an end just yet. By the way, blogger won't let me change my name but I have corresponded with you in the past as Robert Keyes.

Mike Warot said...

It would be interesting to remove the shields, and do the experiment again, with multiple runs of the apparatus with and without a microwave absorbing material inside the cavity.

Unknown said...

I wrote today with professor Martin Tajmar asking him if his team will run further tests without metal shields. He answered that a new paper is in the making with new test results. But he also wrote that Mike was fully aware of the metal shield before they started to do the experiments and he does not understand why Mike brings this topic up now AFTER experimentation and not BEFORE experimentation. They designed the experimental setup in agreement with Mike.

Mike McCulloch said...

Unknown: No. I was not aware of the metal box.

Reinoud said...

Dear Mike,

I stumbled on this strange PDF about the work of V.S.Grebennikov. I haven't dug that deep into it and it might very well be just be crackpot science but the similarities with supposed forces by the cavities struck me: https://www.academia.edu/31158716/An_anti_gravity_platform_of_v_s_grebennikov?auto=download

Are you familiar with it?

Anyway,I might be a nice read and if someone refers to it you ar least know what it is about ☺️


Philosopher Rex said...

Unknown, There isn't much detail on the device construction and I note that in the photo of the inventor "floating" on his device, his collar appears to be pulled back, and the top of the photo cuts off at the top of his collar, with his head tilted forward. This indicates to me that he has a cable attached - probably to a harness hidden inside the coat.

Alexandre said...

(Reference to message from 13 June 2021 at 11:44)Thanks for finding this article on Grebennikov's observations and apparently experiments! When I read McCulloch's paper on the idea of autonomous motion of very small asymmetric electromagnetic cavities, which Mike analyzes from the Heisenberg uncertainty relation, I thought that if this effect was real, it would be quite possible that living beings have already exploited it from biological structures.

Alexandre said...

(In reaction to message from 11 June 2021 at 09:42) In the space industry, it is customary to precede any significant test operation on a piece of equipment or a subsystem that aims to validate its design, its performance, its qualification for a certain environment, with a review of the detailed definition of the test and the procedures governing its conduct. It is also customary for observers to be present during the test. It is clear that all this costs a little in terms of travel expenses, meetings and the establishment of test definition files, but it also avoids many errors and possible misunderstandings between theorists and practitioners.

John John said...

Respectfully Mike, you employed the Tajmar group to test quantised inertia as part of your DARPA project. Was it not your responsibility and to your best interest to monitor closely what they were doing. This cockup could have been easily avoided.

Unknown said...

My intuition here is. The heavier elements you use in your cavity the better results you will have.