# Dark matter effect might be explained by modified way to calculate inertial mass

##### September 18, 2012 by Lisa Zyga report

(Phys.org)—One of the first observations suggesting the existence of an invisible dark matter came in 1933 when astronomer Fritz Zwicky noticed that galaxy clusters were more energetic than they should be, according to the mass of visible stars in them, and he proposed dark matter to explain the discrepancy. Later observations of galaxies (by Rubin & Ford, among others) showed that the galaxies' edges were rotating as fast as the insides of the galaxies, even though acceleration is supposed to decrease with radius.

While dark matter is still the most popular explanation for this and other problems, there have also been many proposed alternative explanations. Most recently, Michael McCulloch of Plymouth University in the UK, who specializes in geomatics (the mathematics of positioning in space), has proposed that a new model that modifies a galaxy's inertial mass may account for the faster-than-expected rotation at a galaxy's outer edges, even though this model violates Einstein's famous equivalence principle.

McCulloch's paper on the model of modified inertial mass is published in Astrophysics and Space Science, and is also posted at arXiv.org.

Two kinds of mass

In general, there are two ways to calculate the mass of any object. One way involves comparing the force of gravity on an object of unknown mass to the force of gravity on an object whose mass is known. This method, which the bathroom scale is based on, gives an object's gravitational mass. The second method, which gives inertial mass, involves applying a known force to an object of unknown mass, measuring the resulting acceleration, and calculating the mass using Newton's Second Law (m = F/a).

In 1907, Einstein proposed that gravitational mass and inertial mass are always equal, which is known as the equivalence principle and serves as a fundamental concept of general relativity. Although tests of the equivalence principle have verified that Einstein is correct to many decimal places of accuracy, some scientists have been willing to violate the equivalence principle in attempts to explain the galactic rotation problem without invoking dark energy.

One such explanation came in 1983, when physicist Mordehai Milgrom proposed a theory called Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MoND) that can either slightly modify the gravitational constant or slightly modify Newston's second (inertial) law at very small gravitational accelerations. According to MoND, the velocity of stars in a circular orbit far from the center of a galaxy is a constant and does not depend on the distance from the center. However, for MOND to work, an adjustable parameter must be set.

In 2007, McCulloch proposed a model to explain the flatness of galactic rotation that is similar to the second (inertial) version of MoND in that it also proposes modifications of an object's inertial mass at small accelerations, deviating from Newton's second law. Unlike MOND, this new model does not need an adjustable parameter. However, both models violate the equivalence principle when masses have very small accelerations – and at the edges of , the gravitational acceleration is extremely small compared to that on Earth.

"The accelerations we are familiar with on Earth are around 9.8 m/s2," McCulloch told Phys.org. "At the edges of galaxies, the acceleration is only on the order of 10-10 m/s2. At this tiny acceleration it would take you 317 years to get from rest to a speed of 1 m/s, or from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 8500 years! Or, as Milgrom once wrote, the lifetime of the universe to get near to the speed of light."

Mass of accelerating objects

In the new study, McCulloch expands on his model, called Modification of Inertia resulting from a Hubble-scale Casimir effect (MiHsC), or Quantized Inertia. This model proposes that accurately calculating an object's inertial mass involves accounting for the emission of photons, or Unruh radiation, that occurs as a result of the object's acceleration with respect to surrounding matter. The existence of Unruh radiation is a subject of some dispute, since it is unclear whether it has been observed.

In the MiHsC model, a Hubble-scale Casimir effect, which can be thought of as a vacuum energy arising from virtual particles, imposes restrictions on the Unruh radiation wavelengths. As an object's acceleration decreases, Unruh wavelengths lengthen to the Hubble scale, and more of them are disallowed. Because this radiation is assumed in MiHsC to contribute to inertial mass, a decrease in acceleration leads to fewer Unruh waves and a gradual decrease in the object's inertial mass. With a smaller inertial mass, a star within a galaxy can be accelerated into a bound orbit more easily by the same gravitational force.

"There are two kinds of mass: gravitational mass (GM, measured by the gravitational force produced by the galaxy) and inertial mass (IM, measured by the ease of response of a star to a force)," McCulloch said. "These are usually assumed to be equal. The point is that you can either (1) increase the GM of the galaxy to hold its stars in with more force (dark matter), or (2) you can decrease the IM of the stars so that they can be bent more easily into a bound orbit even by the small existing gravitational force from the visible mass. MiHsC/quantized inertia does the latter."

By assuming that a galaxy's inertia is due to Unruh radiation that is subject to a Hubble-scale Casimir effect, McCulloch derived a relation between the velocity and visible mass of a galaxy or galaxy cluster (a Tully-Fisher relation). Using only the mass from baryonic (visible) matter, he could use the relation to predict the rotational velocity of dwarf galaxies, spiral galaxies, and . Although the predictions overestimate the observed velocities by one-third to one-half, they are still within error bars. (Uncertainty arises from uncertainty in the Hubble constant and in the ratio of stellar mass to light, affecting mass estimates based on observation.)

"MiHsC predicts that, as an object's acceleration decreases, the Unruh waves it sees become large compared to the Hubble scale, so they become impossible to detect and so a greater proportion of them are disallowed," McCulloch explained. "This kind of thinking, 'If you can't directly observe it, then forget it,' may seem strange, but it has a distinguished history. It was discussed by Berkeley and Mach, and it was used by Einstein to discredit Newton's concept of absolute space and formulate special relativity. Back to MiHsC: at this low acceleration then, stars cannot see the Unruh waves, start to lose their inertial mass very quickly, and this makes it easier for an existing external force to accelerate them again, so their acceleration increases, they see more Unruh waves, gain inertia and decelerate. A balance is achieved around a minimum acceleration which is predicted to be close to the recently observed cosmic acceleration, and MiHsC predicts galaxy rotation within the uncertainty without any adjustable parameters."

Although MiHsC and MoND are somewhat similar, as mentioned above, with both predicting the observed velocities within error bars, MiHsC uses no adjustable parameters while MoND requires an unexplained adjustable acceleration parameter to fit the data.

Testing predictions

Whether or not MiHsC turns out to be true remains to be seen. As noted above, the model violates Einstein's equivalence principle. Although the equivalence principle has been well tested, this particular violation of it could not have been seen in those tests.

"At the normal accelerations that we see on Earth (9.8 m/s2), the disagreement between MiHsC and equivalence is tiny; it only becomes important at accelerations as small as 10-10 m/s2," McCulloch said. "Torsion balance experiments have tested the equivalence principle down to accelerations of 10-15 m/s2, but they cannot show the effects of MiHsC. This is because these experiments are more accurate versions of Galileo's experiment in which he dropped two objects of different mass off a tower. If the is right the heavier object should be attracted downwards (gravitationally) more to the Earth (due to its greater gravitational mass, GM), but also find it equally harder to accelerate towards the Earth due to its greater inertial mass (IM), so the two objects should fall together. The anomalous acceleration predicted by MiHsC due to the difference between GM and IM is independent of the mass of the objects, so the two objects would still drop together, although both would drop slightly more quickly than expected. So, MiHsC cannot be detected in these kinds of experiments."

Also, MiHsC makes a testable prediction, which is that accelerations at a galaxy's edge should remain above a certain value to offset the traditional decrease in acceleration with radius. McCulloch hopes that future observations will provide support for the MiHsC model.

"I am trying to devise an unambiguous test," he said. "The problem with astronomical data is that often there can be more than one explanation of an observation, so it is hard to prove things conclusively. The best proof would be a lab experiment where one can control the conditions and isolate causes. A possible experiment would be to cool an object to say 5K while weighing it. Tests with spacecraft may also be possible. I am trying to get funding to attempt something like this."

More information: M.E. McCulloch. "Testing Quantised Inertia on Galactic Scales." Astrophysics and Space Science. DOI: 10.1007/s10509-012-1197-0
Also at arXiv:1207.7007v1 [physics.gen-ph]

McCulloch's blog: http://physicsfromtheedge.blogspot.co.uk/

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##### cantdrive85
1.3 / 5 (24) Sep 18, 2012
Is electricity behind dark matter?

http://www.thunde...-matter/
##### SteveL
4.3 / 5 (18) Sep 18, 2012
To have electricity you need two different energy potentials and a conductive route between them.

Do you instead mean free electrons? If so, then I don't think so as we can detect and measure electrons. Since we have as yet been unable to directly detect and measure dark matter it would not be made up of free electrons.

There are groups of scientists like these electric universe guys that sometimes have an agenda, and sometimes it's hard for us laymen to differentiate certain scientific schools or groups from religion. While they will passionately and repeatedly denounce this idea, from the outside I tend to think that when it walks like and talks like a duck, it sure seems like a duck to me.

Now, this said; I'm not saying they are wrong. It's just that when concepts for which supporting evidence is weak are so fanatically defended I cannot help but make the religious-like connection. I don't know they are wrong. This isn't my field, but I suspect they are wrong.
##### vidyunmaya
Sep 18, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
##### ValeriaT
1.6 / 5 (7) Sep 18, 2012
It looks pretty well for me, particularly because the whole model is very simple mathematically and it doesn't use ad-hoced or cryptic parameters (you get enough of musics for little money). Conceptually it's similar to theory of Dragan Hajdukovic. Of course, it can explain only cold dark matter, the dragging effects of hot dark matter are notoriously difficult to fit with modifications of gravity.
##### cantdrive85
1.3 / 5 (13) Sep 18, 2012
Steve, All of space and nearly every large scale object in the Universe is plasma, in fact 99.9 % of the visible Universe is plasma (NASA acknowledges this), there are more than enough free electrons and ions to go around. Within this plasma there are very definately regions of different potential, something that is found repeatedly and regularly using radio telescopes. And the plasma itself, and the manner in which it organizes itself into birkeland currents provides the conduit for which energy can be transported (again, repeatedly verified with radio telescopes). The passion, as with any scientist or truth seeker, is to be expected, these people as with any other are excited by the prospects of discovery, and as with anybody who is derided and ignored merely because of preconceived notions and dogmatic ideals, they may get defensive. The EUT walks, talks, and looks like our Universe, it's actually the standard theory that strains credulity.
##### GSwift7
3.8 / 5 (11) Sep 18, 2012
I particularly like the fact that he is starting by looking for ways to test it. It sure would be strange if the equivalence principle needs to be modified though.

I wonder if this would imply an opposite effect in the opposite extreme, such as black holes, where the acceleration is really high?
##### Infinion
1.8 / 5 (5) Sep 18, 2012
http://www.bibhas...aper.pdf

the result of the present paper is neither embodied nor contemplated in the mass-energy relation. It may be that mass, and not energy, is the true attribute of a static magnetic field
##### lengould100
4 / 5 (4) Sep 18, 2012
What about John Moffat's MOG? It works, though perhaps more arbitrarily, having simply a (small negative) factor added to Einstein's equations depending on distance. So there's no elegant reason for it (such as the obscure and as yet unproven Unrah radiation, but it also doesn't require breaking the Equivalence principle.

STVG/MOG has been applied successfully to a range of astronomical, astrophysical, and cosmological phenomena.

On the scale of the solar system, the theory predicts no deviation[7] from the results of Newton and Einstein. This is also true for star clusters containing no more than a maximum of a few million solar masses.

The theory accounts for the rotation curves of spiral galaxies,[3] correctly reproducing the Tully-Fisher law.[9]

STVG is in good agreement with the mass profiles of galaxy clusters.[4]

[contd...]
##### lengould100
4 / 5 (4) Sep 18, 2012
[contd]

STVG can also account for key cosmological observations, including[6]:
The acoustic peaks in the cosmic microwave background radiation;
[NB]The accelerating expansion of the universe that is apparent from type Ia supernova observations;[/NB
The matter power spectrum of the universe that is observed in the form of galaxy-galaxy correlations.

http://en.wikiped..._gravity
##### Infinion
2 / 5 (4) Sep 18, 2012
you could have just linked the wiki article, lol

edit: so this STVG, or Scalar–tensor–vector gravity, is a theory that attempts to explain galaxy rotation curves, the mass profiles of galaxy clusters, gravitational lensing, and cosmological observations without the need for dark matter
##### Pressure2
1.8 / 5 (5) Sep 18, 2012
Quote from article:
" Later observations of galaxies (by Rubin & Ford, among others) showed that the galaxies' edges were rotating as fast as the insides of the galaxies, even though acceleration is supposed to decrease with radius."

That statement doesn't ring true because a gravity field and the strength of gravity in a gravity field are not necessarily equal. As an example the earth's gravity field would be at its maximum at the center of the earth. But its strength would be at its minimum there, essentially zero. The same should be true for a galaxy with gravity field's strength weaker near the center as compared to further out near the edges. So depending on the compactness of a rotating galaxy the rotation of the individual stars could be faster further out when compared to stars near the center.
##### Shinichi D_
4.8 / 5 (6) Sep 18, 2012
It's not just a rotational anomaly. What about gravitational lensing effect? Anyway i like the term 'Hubble-scale Casimir effect'. I think it's elegant.
##### HannesAlfven
2 / 5 (12) Sep 18, 2012
Re: "Now, this said; I'm not saying they [the Electric Universe theorists] are wrong. It's just that when concepts for which supporting evidence is weak are so fanatically defended I cannot help but make the religious-like connection. I don't know they are wrong. This isn't my field, but I suspect they are wrong."

It's not that the concepts supporting the EU are weak. To the contrary, Wal Thornhill's mantra is that we should look to laboratory plasma science *before* we resort to exotic forces, particles and metaphysical explanations to explain our surroundings. Where mainstream theorists look to magnetic reconnection to explain the Sun's inverse temperature enigma, EU theorists look to plasma discharge science. Where conventional theorists look to dark energy, EU theorists look to the more mundane notion that redshift can have multiple causes. Where mainstream theorists look to neutron stars, EU theorists point to the more mundane relaxation oscillator.
##### HannesAlfven
2.1 / 5 (14) Sep 18, 2012
Where conventional theorists look to dark matter, Thornhill points to electrically-modified Newtonian dynamics. Where conventional theorists look to static friction as the cause for the incredible power of lightning bolts, EU theorists suggest -- quite logically, actually -- that the power comes from a larger circuitry connecting the Sun and the Earth. To explain the failure of the solar wind to appreciably decelerate even as it passes the Earth's orbit, the EU theorists suggest the very mundane explanation that the easiest way to accelerate charged particles in the laboratory is to subject them to an electric field. Where conventional wisdom is that cosmic plasmas do NOT typically conduct electrical currents like the laboratory variety, EU theorists point to the 1970 Nobel Physics prize acceptance speech by Alfven, who warned that the astrophysicists are heading down a dead-end with their insistence that cosmic plasmas cannot sustain E-fields, and have frozen-in magnetic fields.
##### HannesAlfven
2.1 / 5 (14) Sep 18, 2012
@SteveL, the very reason that people seem fanatical on this issue is that a far simpler explanation for the universe has been proposed, which is based upon laboratory science, and which we will not accidentally validate without actually spending some money on probes and experimentation. This notion that we can figure out the root causes for dark matter and dark energy by restricting our focus to only those lines of investigation which have led to these anomalies is what drives the EU advocates crazy. If the Einsteinites paid as much heed to Einstein's philosophy and caution as they do to his scientific ideas, they'd recall that the sign of lunacy is to keep on trying that which doesn't work over and over again. This notion that we should wait until every single possible ad hoc tweak to existing theory should be tried before funding this alternative laboratory-based paradigm strongly suggests to the EU advocates that they will not live to see these experiments funded.
4.4 / 5 (14) Sep 18, 2012
If your definitions doesn't fit your ideas, redefine them. Never mind that they become more complicated.

This still can't predict the different observations of different cluster collisions specifically, nor the whole scale of structure formation that only dark matter has been able to predict within standard cosmology. There is no longer any gap left for "alternate gravity theories".

Bu as expected, their purveyors will let their dying ideas make some more death rattle noise a few years more. Good riddance.

@ HannesAlfven:

The universe is the largest, best laboratory there is. And no, you can't test alternative gravity theories in the lab either, nor "plasma universe" theories. What you do is to provide patterns that match your pattern search.

If so, all the particle accelerators provide simpler, more faithful lab scale patterns of dark matter, which are particles after all.
##### cantdrive85
2 / 5 (12) Sep 18, 2012
@Tor:
"There is no longer any gap left for "alternate gravity theories"."

You're so lost in your dogmatic theoretical fantasy land, a bit of the caution, that HannesAlfven so eloquently pointed out that Einstein had demonstrated, would do you well.
##### GuruShabu
1.4 / 5 (10) Sep 19, 2012
HannesAlfven is pointing towards the right direction.
This article at least brings some fresh air to this dumb "Dark Matter-Dark Energy" ah hoc pseudo science.
However, what HannesAlfven is raising is in fact a much deep and profound approach into cosmology than the present trend of doing science in the mind with absolutely beautiful equations but absolutely no experimental ground to support or even to suggest a hint.
The universe is electrically driven and plasma is the most important matter (99%) in the universe.
The EM force is 10 powered to 40 stronger than Gravity...the spirals arms of galaxies and jets from central black holes are all powered by EM forces.
##### Shinichi D_
4.1 / 5 (9) Sep 19, 2012

The universe is electrically driven and plasma is the most important matter (99%) in the universe.
The EM force is 10 powered to 40 stronger than Gravity...

Please you, and Hannes, both put on a Faraday-suit, and jump from an airplane. After that, we can discuss what is the fundamental force behind large scale structure formation.
##### GuruShabu
1.4 / 5 (11) Sep 19, 2012
Dear Shinichi D,
or putting a little more kindly, you enter in a swimming pool (no need any suit!) let some life electrical wires on it and feel the gravity of your situation...
What do you think is the driven force behind those huge arms of the galaxies?
Or those even more fantastic jets coming from the centre of active galaxies?
Gravity? Gravity ejecting particles at almost the speed of light.
Or what do you think accelerate the protons that reach the upper atmosphere and become super energetic cosmic rays? Gravity?
When the EMF has collected enough mass along those arms then, and ONLY so then the gravitational pull starts being able to exert some influence.
I think you still thing the vacuum is "empty" space...
You are a Newtonian. No offense but you better read a little bit more about the four forces of nature.
##### GuruShabu
1.6 / 5 (7) Sep 19, 2012
EMF is 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 > than Gravity
and 1/137th of the Strong force.
##### visual
1 / 5 (1) Sep 19, 2012
In cases that only involve gravity and no other forces, the concept of inertial mass has no place at all. Gravity affects all objects equally, in that it always creates the same acceleration no matter their mass. So you never need the inertial mass to calculate their motion, only their gravitational mass. So what is this article even talking about? What non-gravity force is effective at galactic scale to make inertial mass even relevant?

The article is mistaken in another aspect as well. A bathroom scale does not measure gravitational mass but inertial mass. In other words, it does not measure the strength of the gravity created by the object itself, but it measures how Earth's gravity affects it. It measures the force that is applied to it by the Earth in order to give it the same fixed and known acceleration that all objects get from gravity at that spot.

##### GSwift7
4.2 / 5 (5) Sep 19, 2012
Pressure2:

earth's gravity field would be at its maximum at the center of the earth. But its strength would be at its minimum there, essentially zero

No. You are confusing acceleration due to gravity with gravitational potential energy. A theoretical single point mass sitting at the exact center of a gravity well would not move unless a force is applied, but the strength of the gravity field would be strongest there. It would be more difficult to move that mass from the center than it would be to move that same mass away from any other location in the gravity well. Think of an object resting at the center of gravity in exactly the same terms as an object sitting at the bottom of a valley. Just because it has reached the bottom, that doesn't change the rules of physics.
##### antialias_physorg
4.2 / 5 (5) Sep 19, 2012
EMF is 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 > than Gravity and 1/137th of the Strong force.

Even though you're off by 4 orders of magnitude (and all your other posts are BS) that part actually contains some information.
##### GSwift7
3 / 5 (4) Sep 19, 2012
Gravity affects all objects equally, in that it always creates the same acceleration no matter their mass. So you never need the inertial mass to calculate their motion, only their gravitational mass. So what is this article even talking about?

Yes, that's exactly the point the guy in the article above is proposing. He is suggesting that what you said might not be true in cases where the curvature of space-time is very flat (where over-all gravity field is nearly zero). He is basically suggesting that inertial mass can change independently from gravitational mass. As the article states, he is breaking the equivelance principle. It's no more than science fiction unless he can successfully test it. It doesn't seem intuitively to pass the smell test, but neither does dark matter, so who knows.
##### rubberman
1.6 / 5 (7) Sep 19, 2012
I love this debate! @Visual - Well done on the bathroom scale/inertial mass mistake. Is the universe electrically driven? Yes. The particle accelerators use EM fields to perform their experiments. Cellular function is only possible because of electricity.

Hannes - "Where mainstream theorists look to magnetic reconnection to explain the Sun's inverse temperature enigma, EU theorists look to plasma discharge science." Electricity is required either way. Plasma physics makes a far stronger argument than magnetic reconnection at explaining this phenomenon.

The very fact that we will know when the voyager probes enter interstellar space by the change in direction of magnetic field lines speaks to the importance of electricity as a fundamental force in the universe.

My lack of physics knowledge in this arena is clear, but from an observational standpoint, Electromagnetic force could replace gravity and the universe still functions, ditch electricity and it all falls apart.
##### antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Sep 19, 2012
It wold be very intriguing if it turned out to be true. Think about it: if you can separate inertia from mass you could create (as an extreme) moving mass without momentum.

Which in turn would allow you to accelerate a mass beyond light speed with finite amounts of energy (c.f. inertialess drives in the novels of Heinlein and E.E. Smith)
##### HannesAlfven
1.7 / 5 (6) Sep 19, 2012
Re: "If so, all the particle accelerators provide simpler, more faithful lab scale patterns of dark matter, which are particles after all."

Please explain from where your confidence arises that particle accelerators are showing us *stable* states of matter. How do you know that these aren't simply transient states of matter which have little meaning for our attempts to understand stable matter?

Also, it's worth noting -- as David Bohm seems to have been the last one who cared enough to mention it -- that we still cannot see anything from 10^-19 meters down to 10^-35. This seems to leave plenty of room for competing paradigms, don't you think?

Re: "And no, you can't test alternative gravity theories in the lab either, nor "plasma universe" theories."

Kristian Birkeland was not only one of the first advocates for electricity in space; he was also the world's first "laboratory astrophysicist," and the terrella was his experiment of choice. Sydney Chapman refused to even look at it.
##### antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (5) Sep 19, 2012
that we still cannot see anything from 10^-19 meters down to 10^-35. This seems to leave plenty of room for competing paradigms

Playing 'god of the gaps' hasn't been much of a successful strategy as of late.
##### HannesAlfven
2 / 5 (8) Sep 19, 2012
Re: "Please you, and Hannes, both put on a Faraday-suit, and jump from an airplane. After that, we can discuss what is the fundamental force behind large scale structure formation."

Jokes aside, there is a real problem here: In an electrically connected universe, large-scale electrical disturbances can run through the system after years of stability, during which gravity appears dominant. Truth be known: If you get a chance to see a planetary-scale electrical discharge, it very well may be the LAST THING YOU EVER SEE.

Is it merely coincidence that the ancient Greeks knew several of the fundamental z-pinch morphologies which we had to build billion-dollar plasma research facilities in order to photograph? How did they know to place those shapes into the hands of Zeus? Not only do these shapes fail to even appear as conventional weapons, but they are also directly associated by the ancients with the term, "lightning." This strains the meaning of the word coincidence.
##### Jitterbewegung
1 / 5 (1) Sep 19, 2012
The Earth's gravity field has the Moon and the Sun's gravity fields causing tides so I doubt if your center would be stable.
##### HannesAlfven
1.6 / 5 (7) Sep 19, 2012
There's something going on here which conventional thinkers are not quite getting: People do not just wake up one day and decide to switch allegiances from conventional to the EU. We all start out as believers in conventional theory. But, over time, we are all exposed to data which does not support the conventional worldview. How people react to this is a deeply personal experience, based upon numerous sociological, cultural and psychological factors (many of them subconscious). Some people will just assume that advocates for the Electric Universe are "cranks," "anti-science," or "trolls" looking to stir the pot, and they will protect themselves from misinformation by refusing to learn what it says.

But, other people are not scared of misinformation, and realize that they don't have to be the *subject* of a theory. They can choose to look at theories as "objects," and permit themselves to exist in a state of uncertainty long enough to think critically about what is being stated.
##### Pressure2
1 / 5 (2) Sep 19, 2012
Quote Gswift7: "It would be more difficult to move that mass from the center than it would be to move that same mass away from any other location in the gravity well. Think of an object resting at the center of gravity in exactly the same terms as an object sitting at the bottom of a valley."

While I agree with some of what you stated I have a problem with what you state in the excerpt above. It would be easier to move a mass away from the center of a gravity well because the force of gravity on all sides would be equal and the mass would be weightless. At the center of the earth you would only have to overcome inertia, everywhere but the center you have weight and inertia to overcome.

##### HannesAlfven
2 / 5 (8) Sep 19, 2012
Although it will certainly disturb many people to state it, there's little doubt that many, if not most, advocates for conventional theory within online forums are subjects of the theory. In other words, they have created their own ignorance, by refusing to seek out a better paradigm. And now they must live with this decision, essentially existing as a captive of the theory. The more thoughtful advocates for conventional theory are usually not the most vocal advocates for conventional theory online.

It has always been the case that the more gung-ho advocates for conventional theory are also the least thoughtful. In fact, this is precisely why Jeff Schmidt wrote his book, "Disciplined Minds," critiquing the physics PhD program's culture: He found that the gung-ho types are much more eager to mindlessly do research which might leave the more thoughtful types scratching their heads, wondering about the bigger picture and their role in it.
##### HannesAlfven
1.5 / 5 (8) Sep 19, 2012
In their book, "Immunity to Change," Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey explain that there are three common mindsets in culture:

(1) The Socialized Mind: A team player; A faithful follower; Aligning; Seeks direction; Reliant

(2) The Self-Authoring Mind: Agenda-driven; A leader who is learning how to lead; They own their own compass, their own frame of mind; They are problem-solving and independent

(3) The Self-transforming Mind: A meta-leader; This leader leads in order to learn; They relish identifying problems; They realize our interdependencies; and, most importantly ...

The self-transforming mindset is defined as being "multiframe-capable" and able to "hold contradictions", even at the very base of their knowledge.

Kegan and Lahey created a test for the self-transforming mindset, which correlated with Fortune 500 CEOs. In their research, they found that only 1% of the population is capable of the self-transforming mindset.

Think carefully about the ramifications for science.
##### HannesAlfven
1.9 / 5 (10) Sep 19, 2012
To be clear, the world of physics research involves an enormous amount of mundane, truly boring trial-and-error work at the very edges of our knowledge. When engineers need to build things, they are not going to sit around and wait for theorists to come up with a rock-solid theory to point the way. They try lots of things out, like a symphony of worker bees or a hive of ants. It's not always fun or thoughtful work. In fact, the most important quality for somebody doing this work is DISCIPLINE. We actually owe much of the progress of our modern society to our ability to train technical workers to do this disciplined work. An engineer can actually go all the way through school without picking up ANY critical thinking skills. In fact, we don't even teach any philosophy or history of science to a lot of these engineers!

But, the side effect is oftentimes a refusal to question the textbooks which they have memorized. Many don't even know what critical thinking is.
##### Pressure2
1.5 / 5 (6) Sep 19, 2012
Continued: This also explains why stars near the center of rotating galaxies rotate slower than expected, the gravitational-force is lower. All the gravity from stars further out subtract from or "cancel" some of the force of gravity from the stars on the other side of the galaxy. So stars at the center of the galaxy may be in the most intense gravity field BUT at the same time the force of the gravity field's effect on them would be close to zero.
##### Pressure2
1.8 / 5 (5) Sep 19, 2012
While seldom mentioned, Lagrange points are in the center of all gravity fields, even in the center our sun's or a galaxy's gravitational field. A Lagrange point can explain why stars at the center of a galaxy rotate slower than expected.

http://en.wikiped...an_point
##### GSwift7
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2012
While I agree with some of what you stated I have a problem with what you state in the excerpt above. It would be easier to move a mass away from the center of a gravity well because the force of gravity on all sides would be equal and the mass would be weightless

That "weightless" state only has meaning in a theoretical sense. It would only apply at a single quantum point of space. Okay, how about this example to compare to: Toss an object into the air and then catch it when it comes back down. Does it's vertical motion ever reach zero? In order to go from positive to negative, it must cross zero, but only for a single quantum of time. If you choose to use a strict enterpretation of the term velocity, then you need two quanta of time to define a velocity, since the distance traveled in a single quanta of time will always be zero. So, unless you average the vertical distance traveled over an odd number of quanta, centered at the point where it changes direction, then you'll..
##### GSwift7
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2012
continured...

you'll never get a zero answer. Taking any two consecutive quanta of time, the object will always have a non-zero vertical velocity.

The same principle also applies to the theoretical center of a gravity well. Only at the exact quantum point of the center would there be a zero value of gravity, but when talking about the slope of a curve, a single point (instantanious) slope only has mathematical meaning, not real world meaning. You have to consider an adjacent point of space in the gravity field as well as the center point (by the definition of a field, just as with the definition of velocity). In this sense, there's not a "real" zero field anywhere in the Universe.
##### Pressure2
1 / 5 (4) Sep 19, 2012
GSwift7: While there may be no perfect zero point it is close enough to zero for satellites be placed in Lagrange points to stay in those points for long periods of time.

Natello: If the stars at the center of a rotating galaxy are following Newton's law than the star further out are not. It is either one or the other. A galaxy certainly does have a Lagrange point, and it is at the center of the galaxy's gravitational field which just happens to be at the very center of the galaxy.

Read up on Lagrange points and you will find that a satellite can rotate slowly aroung the center of a Lagrange point just as stars rotate slowly around the center of a large rotating galaxy.
##### SteveL
1 / 5 (1) Sep 19, 2012
It wold be very intriguing if it turned out to be true. Think about it: if you can separate inertia from mass you could create (as an extreme) moving mass without momentum.

Which in turn would allow you to accelerate a mass beyond light speed with finite amounts of energy (c.f. inertialess drives in the novels of Heinlein and E.E. Smith)
Or, you could simply step outside of space time, where the present speed limit no longer applies:

http://www.space....ght.html
##### GSwift7
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2012
While there may be no perfect zero point it is close enough to zero for satellites be placed in Lagrange points to stay in those points for long periods of time

Read up on Lagrange points and you will find that a satellite can rotate slowly aroung the center of a Lagrange point

Note that a lagrange point is not a spherical gravity well. They are saddle shaped. You can only orbit them in the plane parallel to the direction that they pull. An orbit outside that plane is not stable. Galaxies and galaxy clusters do not display this property. Lagrange point physics do not apply in that scale. The distances are so large compared to the strength of the force that galactic scale lagrange points should be so faint that they essentially don't exist (if you accept the Plank limts).
##### Infinion
1 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2012
so natello, if I had a massive sphere in space made out of a bunch of clumped particles, you're saying that because they are clumped, they form the "massive object" where lagrangian points can't exist at its center where gravitational forces cancel out and no orbital motion exists? That would seem to contradict your definition of a lagrangian point existing only between objects when they objects themselves were scaled down. I think you need to ascertain what "objects" implies in the theory.
##### GSwift7
3 / 5 (2) Sep 19, 2012
That would seem to contradict your definition of a lagrangian point existing only between objects. I think you need to ascertain what "objects" implies in the theory

ugh. What he meant to say was that it takes two seperate and distinct gravitational fields interacting with eachother within certain constraints regarding the distance relative to the strength of the fields. It's really just a semantic issue you are bringing up. You 'could' say that a cluster of objects creates a very complex set of lagrange points pointing in many different directions, interacting with eachother in a complex pattern of amplification and negation, concentric around the center of mass, but most people just call that the 'center of gravity' and call it good enough for government work.
##### cantdrive85
1 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2012
It wold be very intriguing if it turned out to be true. Think about it: if you can separate inertia from mass you could create (as an extreme) moving mass without momentum.

Which in turn would allow you to accelerate a mass beyond light speed with finite amounts of energy (c.f. inertialess drives in the novels of Heinlein and E.E. Smith)
Or, you could simply step outside of space time, where the present speed limit no longer applies:

http://www.space....ght.html

Hahahaha, good sci-fi article. There are no "loopholes in the laws of physics", there are however, loopholes in mathematical theories and human logic. That article describes one scientists loophole in logic.
##### Pressure2
1 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2012
GSwift7, you bring up a good point when you state, "that a cluster of objects creates a very complex set of lagrange points pointing in many different directions, interacting with eachother in a complex pattern of amplification and negation, concentric around the center of mass,".
True, but that is no way precludes the lagrange point in the center of those masses also.

Lagrangian points certainly can exist in the center of any gravity field. Just because it is commonly applied up to 5 points doesn't in any way mean a galaxy cannot have a center Lagrangian point. It could be viewed as a point of equal gravitational force between millions of five points.

A few questions I would like an answer to how much would you weight in the center of the earth? Also if our galaxy has a blackhole in its center what would its galactic weight be?
My answer is zero for both questions.
##### ValeriaT
1 / 5 (2) Sep 19, 2012
The concentration of dark matter is highest at the perimeter of galaxy, not at its center - so if your idea predicts Lagrange point (or whatever else it should be) at the center of Milky way, then it's apparently wrong.
##### gulfcoastfella
1 / 5 (2) Sep 19, 2012
I particularly like the fact that he is starting by looking for ways to test it. It sure would be strange if the equivalence principle needs to be modified though.

<1920> It sure would be strange if quantum mechanics were true though. =D
##### GuruShabu
1 / 5 (6) Sep 20, 2012
EMF is 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 > than Gravity and 1/137th of the Strong force.

Even though you're off by 4 orders of magnitude (and all your other posts are BS) that part actually contains some information.

No I am NOT and you are unkind and agressive as all insecure guys about a subject that is still wide open.
People INVENT an adhoc theory to explain something they don't know instead of accepting that they just DON'T know yet.
##### GSwift7
3 / 5 (2) Sep 20, 2012
As I explained in previous posts, your zero gravity at the center postulate is mathematically correct, but probably meaningless in any real world observables. Unless the object in question is a zero dimensional object, then it occupies multiple quantum points in space. Therefore, since only the exact center point is weightless, the rest of the object would have weight. If a black hole is actually such an object, then you are certainly right about the 'weight' of a black hole. I don't believe the mass of a black hole is compacted that much though.

Here's a strange thought: If you have a zero dimensional mass, would spin have any meaning? I don't think a zero dimensional object could have spin.
##### antialias_physorg
not rated yet Sep 20, 2012
Since most anything (and certainly a black hole) does have angular momentum a zero dimensional entity is not in the cards. Conservation of angular momentum requires at least one dimension.

Same goes for magnetic moment and charge, BTW.
##### GSwift7
3 / 5 (2) Sep 21, 2012
Conservation of angular momentum requires at least one dimension.

Same goes for magnetic moment and charge, BTW

Yes, that's exactly what I was thinking. Since we have observed what appear to be spinning black holes, then can the mass be a single point object? It makes my head hurt thinking about the dualities and paradoxes that would result if it can. Quantum physics would be just as broken as anything else in that case. Ouch.
##### MaxwellsDemon
3 / 5 (2) Sep 22, 2012
@anti alias_physorg
if you can separate inertia from mass you could create (as an extreme) moving mass without momentum.

That's not what McCulloch is suggesting: he's distinguishing between inertial mass and gravitational mass. So even a small inertial mass would gain relativistic momentum, but it would accelerate toward a gravitational mass to a greater degree than predicted by GR.

@Pressure2 & antialias
Actually, Pressure2 was right about this part: a body in the center of a gravity well has lower inertial mass at that position, so it *would be* easier to accelerate it there than at any other position in the well. Inertial mass @ infinity – gravitational potential energy @ position x = inertial mass @ position x.

@GSwift7
All we really see of a singularity is the gravitational field, and those exhibit frame dragging…so at least we can say that the field is rotating. But I'm suspicious of the idea of infinite density (or infinite anything else for that matter).
##### Caliban
not rated yet Sep 22, 2012
Conservation of angular momentum requires at least one dimension.

Same goes for magnetic moment and charge, BTW

Yes, that's exactly what I was thinking. Since we have observed what appear to be spinning black holes, then can the mass be a single point object? It makes my head hurt thinking about the dualities and paradoxes that would result if it can. Quantum physics would be just as broken as anything else in that case. Ouch.

I believe that it has to have some positive dimensionality. If it has a radius of zero, then it contains an infinite mass, does it not?

##### MaxwellsDemon
1 / 5 (1) Sep 24, 2012
@Caliban
I believe that it has to have some positive dimensionality. If it has a radius of zero, then it contains an infinite mass, does it not?

No, finite mass, infinite density. That is, *if* you buy the idea that singularities are point-like…there have been some interesting but inconclusive arguments to the contrary.

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