I've suggested (& published in 21 journal papers) a new theory called quantised inertia (or MiHsC) that assumes that inertia is caused by relativistic horizons damping quantum fields. It predicts galaxy rotation, cosmic acceleration & the emdrive without any dark stuff or adjustment. My Plymouth University webpage is here, I've written a book called Physics from the Edge and I'm on twitter as @memcculloch

Saturday, 28 April 2018

A whole new industry

I had a friend at York University who was always responding to my comments by saying "Well, how does that put petrol in my tank?" and although I tend to drift off into theoretical realms I have always been surrounded by practical engineers (my dad and my wife) so I always eventually get reminded that science has to be useful.

OK, the most direct, and the one I have now won $1.3 million of funding for (subject to negotiation) is thrust. Quantised inertia (QI) predicts that if you stick a horizon in the vacuum, that is: you use an arrangement of metal to bend light and stop information transfer across a surface of space, then you damp the local vacuum field (Casimir effect like) and nearby objects will move towards the damper in a new way. This form of propulsion is fuel-less. Or, if you like, the fuel is the vacuum/nothing which is freely available everywhere. It won't be technically easy, but it should be possible to launch into space without rockets this way. Also, with standard physics, travel to the nearest star in a human lifetime is not possible: you have to take a planet-sized amount of fuel! With QI it is possible since the fuel is empty space and there's lots of that out there. So, with quantised inertia, the more empty your car tank is, the more fuel you have! There you go Jason.. The evidence for the thruster is in this paper.
The second application is energy production. Quantised inertia predicts that you can get energy out of the vacuum by forming a tiny closed information space. To put it simply: since dp x dx ~ hbar/2, if you squash dx (ie: a closed space), you get new momentum and energy out. The evidence for this is that this assumption produces quantised inertia (reference) and all the agreements with data I have published, and it may help to explain cold fusion, which occurs in small spaces.

The next application would save as much money initially as the first one. Huge amounts of imaginary dark matter are put into disc galaxies because, to put it crudely, general relativity has not predicted one single galaxy rotation ever (except for one found recently, which looks to be an subsampling error). QI explains galaxy rotation without dark matter, and also explains cosmic acceleration, so a huge amount of research money could be redirected from dark matter searches and dark energy theorists to the thruster applications above.

The fourth application is more speculative, but I am beginning to see that quantised inertia predicts that matter is only the interaction of photons and information horizons, which means that we can form any type of matter from light and horizons: cue the Star Trek replicator. This is similar to the work of Jennison who predicted the electron from photons in a cavity. QI says the cavity is a horizon.

What I'm trying to say is that quantised inertia is the seed for a huge new physics and engineering industry that will dwarf Manchester's graphene breakthrough and eventually dwarf everything else as well. I have evidence to back this: I've published 21 papers now on it, evidence included. I now need this newfound funding to test it, so I hope it does not get torpedoed..

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Monday, 23 April 2018

Inertia & Gravity from Conservation of EMI

I'm always looking for ways to simplify quantised inertia since it is not the easiest concept to get across, and also simplification usually leads to a deeper understanding. My usual argument using Unruh waves and horizons is equivalent to what follows below, but there is now a simpler way to frame quantised inertia, which I published in 2016. First of all, just as Einstein assumed that physics should not be frame-dependent, quantised inertia assumes that physics should not be scale-dependent. To explain: a huge entity the size of a galaxy (say) should agree with us on the physics it sees. Therefore, Heisenberg's uncertainty relation (below) should apply to stars too


This is illustrated by the diagram which shows a large object (black ball) and its uncertainty in position (solid envelope) and momentum (dashed envelope). Since hbar must be kept constant, then the more an object knows its position (dx smaller, the solid line is closer to the ball) the more it does not know its momentum (dp is bigger, the dashed line is further from the ball).
Now let us forget for a moment that quantum mechanics and relativity usually get on like two cats in a bag, and combine them. If the object accelerates to the left (red arrow) then information from far to its right can never catch up and a relativistic horizon (like a black hole event horizon) appears at a distance of


in the rightward direction (see the solid right-angle). So the uncertainty in position is reduced since the object's space has been curtailed from the cosmic scale to a scale 'd'. As a result, the uncertainty of momentum to the right is increased (the dashed line is far from the ball) and the ball will jiggle more rightwards: against its original acceleration. This predicts the inertial force (blue arrow) in the modified form needed for quantised inertia, and so it predicts galaxy rotation without dark matter and cosmic acceleration without dark energy. QI is, simply put, the quantum and relativistic equations shown above rammed together in the way shown in the diagram. To put it more physically: new mass-energy (dp) appears if information about space (dx) is curtailed. Put another way: what is conserved in nature is not mass-energy, but M-E plus information (conservation of EMI).

Now imagine putting a large mass next to an object. To some extent this mass will block information from that direction, reduce dx in the uncertainty principle and increase the momentum (or quantum jitter) that way. The two objects will then jitter-themselves together. This looks very much like gravity, and in the 2016 paper I show that you get Newtonian gravity from it. To get something like general relativity (in a QI form) the same derivation will have to be done fully relativised.

Now imagine that instead of putting a large mass next to the object, we put an information horizon there that reduces 'dx' in that direction and increases the quantum jitter (dp). The object should see a thrust. Since quantum waves are partly electro-magnetic, a conducting metamaterial should do. In my opinion this has already been seen in the emdrive, since QI predicts it well, and everything I have published over the last 11 years implies that this new thrust is possible. Can it be powerful enough to oppose gravity? I think so. Good news: solid lab tests are coming.


McCulloch, M.E., 2016. Quantised inertia from relativity and the uncertainty principle. EPL, 115, 69001. https://arxiv.org/abs/1610.06787

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Monday, 5 March 2018

A paper on QI & cold fusion

I've just published a paper on cold fusion, in Progress in Physics which is a nice open access journal that has the laudable goal of encouraging research that challenges the standard paradigm.

As I described in more detail in a previous blog, the phenomena known as cold fusion or LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reactions) is a process that appears to produce fusion by packing deuterium atoms (hydrogen atoms whose nucleii have an extra neutron) into palladium metal, which acts a bit like a sponge when it comes to deuterium. When this is done, in certain circumstances, unexpected heat is given off, more than can be explained by normal chemistry, so the argument goes (and as arguments go, this one has lasted decades!) it must be fusion, but how is this possible when these deuterons are both positively charged and so they repel very strongly? Normally you need temperatures of over 100 million Kelvin to get them to collide and fuse, and hence the 25 billions dollars spent so far on reproducing the centre of the Sun on Earth (eg: with huge fusion reactors like ITER). Cold fusion appears to do it in a test tube, at room temperature and without emitting harmful radiation and the phenomena has been repeated often (see Storms, 2006). It offers the possibility of cheap energy for all, but as so often, it doesn't agree with the standard model so very few dare to investigate it (see an interesting article by Huw Price, link).

Well, as many of those who read my blog know, nature doesn't agree very well with the standard model either, but quantised inertia (or MiHsC) does rather better and one prediction of it, is that in tiny, closed informational spaces the temperature should increase. So what about tiny cracks or defects in the palladium? They do exist as both Ed Storms (who prefers cracks, see his report below) and Russ George have told me (the latter told me about very effective Japanese 'Samurai' palladium, full of defects). If the defects are of a size 28 nm then quantised inertia predicts a temperature of 27,000K. 

This is not enough to initiate fusion, but now imagine two ships in a choppy sea. Waves hit them from all around, but there will be a sheltered region between them and therefore fewer waves will push them outwards from between them, than are pushing them inwards. The result is that the ships will move together in a way not dependent on the usual physics (at sea this phenomenon is called the Maritime Casimir effect, you can guess what it is called in dry physics).

If you now think similarly about two deuterons in a palladium defect or crack then they will be pushed together in the same way by the thermal waves in the crack, as I described here. I showed in the paper (see here, or the link below) that if the crack/defect is less than 28 nm in width then this new force is strong enough to push the deuterons together through their Coulomb repulsion and they will fuse.

So, does this explain cold fusion? It is maybe a start but there are some problems. First of all, when predicting things it is best to have a observed number to test the theory on. For testing quantised inertia on galaxy rotation the test data is the observed speed of the stars. For the emdrive it is the measured thrust. With cold fusion all I have done so far is predict that defects of 28 nm width are needed. What size are the cracks in palladium where the fusion occurs? I don't know!

The other problem is that, whereas this process might possibly explain the lack of neutron emissions in cold fusion experiments (they may also be subject to the mutual sheltering effect) it does not obviously explain the lack of gamma emission observed. This radiation may be absorbed by the lattice as suggested by others, but there is certainly a lot of work to do yet.

All the same, this explanation is a simple and visualisable process, it needs no adjustment, and links cold fusion with lab scale (emdrive) and astrophysical (galactic) anomalies, so it is at least a good addition to the debate, and should help to broaden it and embed it in wider new physics.


McCulloch, M.E., 2018. Can cold fusion be explained by quantised inertia? Progress in Physics, 14, 2, 63-65. Open access pdf.

Storms, E., 2012. A students' guide to cold fusion. http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/StormsEastudentsg.pdf

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Saturday, 20 January 2018

Cold Fusion and Hot Soup?

Since I have just submitted a short paper on this, I'd like to explain how I think cold fusion might be happening. The following makes a nice story, but still could be wrong. We'll see. It is also dangerous ground, but it is necessary to keep pushing into such territory, because that is where the new physics is (partly because very few people have dared to go there yet).

I've been thinking about LENR (ie: cold fusion) since before Christmas, ever since Bob McIntyre on twitter noted that my earlier paper on quantised inertia and the proton radius anomaly [ref 1 below] might apply to it. It is also pretty clear that QI predicts that an earlier, much smaller, universe would have been hotter [ref 2] and you can see this without QI, simply from the uncertainty principle: dp.dx>hbar, where hbar is the reduced Planck's constant. If you shrink the 'known space' of an object (dx), then its uncertainty in momentum must increase, and therefore its temperature.

I've been reading a lot of Ed Storms' papers and the comment he made that impressed me was that the common factor in all the successful LENR experiments are nanoscale cracks or gaps in the palladium or other metals. In my space- and horizon-obsessed mind these are just mini-universes. See the schematic below of a crack (the white area) inside an area of red-hot palladium metal.

Coming back to the uncertainty principle: in cracks, the uncertainty in position (dx) is small, so dp and hence the temperature of the walls must be high (the red area). For the nanoscale cracks in palladium, the predicted temperature is still not hot enough for fusion, which needs temperatures of 100 MK, but recently I was cooking soup and noticed that the walls of the pan were hot and the soup was moving towards the centre. This is a different convective process, but it gave me the idea that the crack walls might be radiatively pushing the deuterons together (see the red arrows in the schematic). I've scribbled through the maths and it turns out that if the cracks are smaller than 86 nm, then the crack's walls are hot enough, and the radiation pressure, is strong enough to push the positively-charged deuterons together over their mutual repulsion and cause fusion. It might also account for sonoluminescence: light emission from small bubbles. So what do you think? Physics from the kitchen?

(Note: Argh! I have found an error in my derivation :( Thank goodness for dimensional analysis, so I will leave this blog entry here to record my blunder, and get back to the drawing board. Apologies. Correction No.2: I've decided now it was right all along, so have resubmitted it.).


McCulloch, M.E., 2017. The proton radius anomaly from the sheltering of Unruh radiation. Progress in Physics, 13, 2, 100-101. Link

McCulloch, M.E., 2014. A toy cosmology using a Hubble-scale Casimir effect. Galaxies, 2, 81-88. Link

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Sunday, 14 January 2018

How QI gets rid of dark matter

Many people have asked me for a simple, graphical explanation of how quantised inertia (QI) gets rid of the awful dark matter, so here it is, for them. We start off with a schematic of a galaxy (see below, in yellow). Outer stars have been observed to have a rotational speed (the red arrow) so big that the inertial (centrifugal) forces (white arrow) should be much greater than the gravitational forces from all the matter we can see (the black arrow) and so, if it had any decency, the galaxy ought to fly apart. The problem is that galaxies are showing no decency at all, and do not fly apart. Why? Mainstream astrophysicists add arbitrary dark matter to boost the gravity arrow and achieve balance that way. Quantised inertia shrinks the inertial arrow instead.

To explain quantised inertia I will start with an oceanographic analogy (see below). A ship is parked at a dock. Lots of ocean waves can exist and hit it from the seaward side (the wavy line), but no waves can fit within the gap between the ship and the dock, they don't resonate in that space, so on average the ship is pushed by the waves towards the dock. If the crew of the ship were unaware of the waves they would say "It is a magic force moving us towards the dock!".

There is another sea. One predicted by quantum mechanics. It is a sea of quantum particles, and we have only recently detected it because Hendrik Casimir showed that if you put two plates very close together, like the ship and the dock, the plates will move together. That has now been confirmed (in 1996) so this invisible sea really does exist. Now consider an object accelerating to the right (black circle, white arrow below). It will see the quantum sea, actually an enhanced version of it (Unruh radiation). Relativity now says that in the opposite direction to the acceleration, information will not be able to catch up with the object. So there will be a horizon, like a black hole event horizon (see the black crescent). In quantised inertia this horizon is treated just like the dock wall in the analogy. it damps the waves between the object and itself. As in the analogy the object sees more waves from the right and is pushed back, always against its acceleration. This 'asymmetric Casimir effect' predicts what we always assumed before to be a 'magical' inertial mass, because we couldn't see these quantum waves (which only exist in the object's reference frame).

Information also cannot get to us from beyond the Hubble horizon, since stars there are moving away from us at the speed of light. So this horizon damps the Unruh waves equally all around the object, and so it damps the waves on the right side (there already aren't any on the left) - see the change from the dashed waves to the solid waves, below. This reduces the effect of the aCe process detailed above, and the resistance to acceleration, the inertial mass. This reduction is more serious for the longer Unruh waves that occur for low accelerations,since these 'feel' the cosmic boundary more.

The prediction then is that inertial mass is lowered for stars at the edge of galaxies, since they orbit in a slow curve and have a very low acceleration. This reduces the centrifugal (inertial) force outwards (see the change from the dashed to the solid white arrow, below) and the inertial force now balances the gravitational force - quantised inertia predicts the balance exactly for these edge stars, using only the visible matter, the speed of light and the Hubble scale, so that no arbitrariness or dark matter is needed.

I hope you can appreciate the beauty and simplicity of this theory. It has not yet been tested on the insides of galaxies, I'll need a galaxy model for that, but it does predict a lot of other observations as well such as the cosmic acceleration and the emdrive.


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

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