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Testing quantised inertia with extreme spins.

M.E. McCulloch

November 18, 2017

A new model for inertia has been proposed that assumes that inertia
is caused by Unruh radiation subject to a Hubble-scale Casimir eect
(called MiHsC or quantised inertia). This model predicts galaxy rotation
without dark matter and cosmic acceleration without dark energy and
predicts that a rotating object and objects close to it should gain inertial
mass, and become less responsive to gravity (ie: appear to lose weight).
For the example of a disc of radius 5 cm rotating at 3k, 10k, 20k and 753k
rpm, a nearby test mass frictionally isolated from it is predicted to lose
0.0015%, 0.015%, 0.07% and 100% of its weight respectively.

1 Introduction
The Podkletnov eect (Podkletnov, 1992, 1997) is a small weight loss of 0.06%
seen in test masses suspended above superconducting discs of diameter 13.5
cm cooled below 70K and subjected to a high frequency AC magnetic eld. A
larger weight loss of 0.6-2% was observed when the discs were spun. The Tajmar
eect (Tajmar et al., 2009) is an unexplained acceleration that appears in laser
gyroscopes when discs close to them, but not in frictional contact, are rotated.
These experiments are controversial since they disagree with standard theory
and have not yet been reproduced in another lab which they must be to be ac-
cepted. However, they are similar in some ways, in that local accelerations seem
to have produced new dynamics, and it is not good scientic practice to disre-
gard observations because they disagree with existing theory: the observations
must come rst.
McCulloch (2007-2013) proposed a new model for inertia that assumes that
inertia is due to Unruh radiation which is subject to a Hubble-scale Casimir
eect. In this model only Unruh wavelengths that t exactly into twice the
Hubble diameter are allowed, so that a greater proportion of them are disallowed
for low accelerations leading to a gradual new loss of inertia as accelerations
become tiny. MiHsC modies the standard inertial mass (m) as follows:
Plymouth University, PL4 8AA, UK.

mi = m 1 (1)

where c is the speed of light, is the Hubble diameter and '|a|' is the magnitude
of the relative acceleration of the object relative to surrounding matter. Eq. 1
predicts that for terrestrial accelerations the second term in the bracket is tiny
and standard inertia is recovered, but in low acceleration environments such as
deep space (when a is small) the second term in the bracket becomes larger and
the inertial mass decreases in a new way.
MiHsC can explain galaxy rotation without the need for dark matter (McCul-
loch, 2012) and cosmic acceleration without the need for dark energy (Mc-
Culloch, 2007, 2010), but astrophysical tests like these can be ambiguous and
laboratory tests are preferable.
MiHsC can account for half of the rotationless part of the Podkletnov experi-
ment (McCulloch, 2011b) and can explain the Tajmar experiment completely
(McCulloch, 2011a). In both cases when the disc or ring was vibrated by the
AC magnetic eld (Podkletnov) or rotated (Tajmar) this added mutual acceler-
ations and so MiHsC predicts that the test mass gains inertia. In the Podkletnov
case this means that the test mass becomes less responsive to gravity, an appar-
ent loss of weight, as observed. In the Tajmar case to conserve the momentum
of the ring-gyroscope system the gyroscope had to move slightly with the ring,
exactly as observed.
MiHsC violates the equivalence principle (but not in a way that could have
been detected in the usual torsion balance experiments) and so does not agree
with general relativity which has been well tested in the Solar system, so it is
very important to suggest an unambiguous experimental test of it. That is the
purpose of this paper.
The suggested experiment is based on the Tajmar and Podkletnov experiments,
but is simpler and more conclusive. In the Podkletnov case, superconductors
were needed and the accelerations induced in the disc by the AC magnetic
eld were unknown. In the Tajmar experiment, although the accelerations were
known, being rotations, they were small and so the anomalous eect was dicult
to detect. Here, an experiment is suggested that does not require superconduc-
tors, and produces a known, large acceleration that can be input into MiHsC to
make testable predictions.

2 Method
The proposed experiment is as follows. A test mass is suspended from a cross
bar and balanced by another mass resting on a scale balance. The rst mass is
placed over a rotatable disc within a cryostat (to reduce local thermal acceler-
ations). The mass is suspended over the edge of the disc to maximise mutual
accelerations due to disc rotation and to maximise the eects of MiHsC. The

disc is then rotated. Following McCulloch (2011a) for the Tajmar eect, and
McCulloch (2011b) for the Podkletnov eect the vertical acceleration predicted
by MiHsC when the mutual acceleration seen by the test mass changes, is

2c2 arm
da = (2)
where as is the initial accelerations relative to the xed stars, arm is the later
acceleration due to the nearby sudden rotation of the ring, c is the speed of
light, and is the Hubble scale. This formula exactly reproduced the Tajmar
eect, including the observed parity violation (McCulloch, 2011). An intuitive
explanation is as follows. Initially the test mass only has a small mutual accel-
eration with respect to the xed stars (as ) so the Unruh waves it sees are long,
a large proportion of them are disallowed by the Hubble-scale Casimir eect
of MiHsC and the inertial mass of the test mass is slightly less than would be
expected. When a high acceleration is added to the system (arm ), the test mass
sees shorter Unruh waves, fewer are disallowed by MiHsC, and so the inertial
mass of the test mass increases so that is becomes less responsive to gravity and
appears to lose weight.
The initial acceleration (as ) is the mutual acceleration of the test mass and the
xed stars since it is on the rotating Earth. At the latitude of, for example,
Plymouth this is would be as = v 2 /r, where r is the distance from the spin
axis (r = r0 cos where r0 is the earth's radius: 6367500m and is the latitude
of 50.33o ). The velocity v = 2r/86400. Therefore as = 4 2 r0 cos/864002 =
0.021m/s2 .
The later acceleration caused by the rotating disc, at a radius r is

4 2 R2 r
ar = (3)
where R is the rotation in revolutions per minute. Substituting Eq. 3 in Eq. 2
the anomalous vertical acceleration for the test mass in the proposed experiment

2c2 4 2 R2 r R2 r
da = 7.24 1012 (4)
3600as as

3 Results Predicted
Table 1 shows the vertical acceleration predicted by MiHsC (Eq. 4) for a test
mass suspended 5cm over the edge of a disc of radius 0.1m. Column 1 shows
the spin rate of the disc in rpm (revolutions per minute). The acceleration of
the disc's edge (arm ) in shown in column 2. This is the mutual acceleration
between material in the rotating disc and the test mass (Eq. 2). The upwards
acceleration of the test mass when the disc is spun as predicted by MiHsC (Eq.

4) is shown in columns 3 and 4 as an acceleration and as a percentage of g
(9.8m/s2 ).
Spin rate Acceleration of disc rim da da
rpm m/s2 m/s2 % of g
3000 4935 0.00015 0.0015%
10,000 54,800 0.0015 0.015%
20,000 219,324 0.007 0.07%
30,000 493,480 0.016 0.16%
753,994 311,541,808 9.8 100%
The results show that the anomalous acceleration expected from a rotation rate
of 3000 rpm (0.0015% of g) is smaller than that seen by Podkletnov (0.03% of
g), because in their case they were accelerating the disc far more by using AC
magnetic elds (the acceleration was 95921m/s2 , see McCulloch, 2011b). To
get the same high acceleration from a rotation the disc would have to be spun
at more than 10,000 rpm, as shown in column 2.
Nevertheless these results do show that, without the need for superconductors,
the predictions of MiHsC should be detectable. For a rotation rate of 3000 rpm
for a 5 cm radius disc the eect should be 0.0015% of g and therefore 0.0015% of
its expected weight. This change of weight should be detectable using a simple
balance. For example Podkletnov (1997) could detect changes in weight of a
few micrograms for test masses of 10-50g. In this case, MiHsC predicts that for
a 100g mass and a rotation of 3000 rpm the loss of weight would be 1.5mg.
Further, the last row shows that with a spin rate of 753,994 rpm (dicult
to attain, but see below) a disc 5 cm in radius should be able to resist the
downwards pull of gravity, and at greater spin rates it should take o. If a
payload could be added to this system it would be a way to launch satellites
without rockets.

4 Other Comparisons
Hayasaka et al. (1997) enclosed a spinning gyroscope in a capsule in freefall.
They found that a gyro of radius 2.9 cm spinning at 18,000 rpm showed an
decrease in its downwards acceleration of 0.00014g 0.00007g (1 part in 7000).
This is consistent with an increase in its inertia mass, which slows down its
acceleration given the same applied force. Using Eq. 4, MiHsC predicts a loss
of weight of 0.000266g 0.0000266g (assuming a 10% error in ). These values
are close but do not quite agree given the error bars. Also, the experimental
result only showed an anomaly for right-spinning gyroscopes (a clockwise spin
when looking from above).
In a recent experiment Arita et al. (2013) span a microscopic sphere of radius
r = 4 106 m using circularily polarised light to suspend and rotate it in vacuo
up to R = 6 108 rpm and at this acceleration the rotated sphere was reported

to have 'vanished' (pers. comm. K. Dholakia). It probably disintegrated due
to centrifugal forces, but this may be a way to test MiHsC. Rearranging Eq.4
it is possible to predict using MiHsC that the anomalous upwards acceleration
of the sphere should be greater than g when the rotation rate is greater than
about 7.9 107 rpm.
MiHsC implies that the anomalous eect should increase towards the equator,
since at the equator the acceleration with respect to the xed stars (as ) is
lower so the denominator of Eq. 4 is smaller and the result is a larger upwards
acceleration. MiHsC also predicts that the eect should increase with higher
accelerations (of whatever source) and with the radius of the disc (r). This may
explain why the eorts to reproduce the Podkletnov eect using smaller discs
and without a strong AC magnetic eld to induce large accelerations have failed
(Woods, 2001 and Li et al., 1997).

5 Discussion
One puzzling observation of Podkletnov (1997) was that the anomalous loss of
weight they saw was also present in an extended column above their spinning
disc. There is another way to think about this, and that is recognising that
when an object accelerates, a Rindler horizon forms at a distance of dR = c2 /a
away, we can then rewrite Eq. 2 in terms of Rindler distances

2c2 dold
da = (5)
McCulloch (2013) showed that Rindler horizons can suppress Unruh waves just
as the Hubble horizon does, and produce an asymmetric Casimir eect that
acts on Unruh radiation producing a force that opposes their acceleration and
looks just like inertia. In the Podkletnov case the contraction of the Rindler
horizon from the distant one caused by the small initial acceleration with the
respect to the xed stars to the closer one when the disc is accelerated predicts
an increase in the suppression of Unruh waves since those longer than the new
Rindler distance are suddenly disallowed. This model (Eq. 5) predicts the same
acceleration as Eq. 2. This way of thinking in terms of horizons is interesting
because the horizon (for accelerations close to 1011 m/s2 is within the Earth and
so may block some of the Earth's mass from the point of view of the test mass.

6 Conclusion
A new model for inertia has been proposed (MiHsC) that assumes that inertia is
due to Unruh radiation which is subject to a Hubble-scale Casimir eect. It has
successfully explained some astrophysical anomalies, but a more unambiguous
test is needed.

MiHsC predicts that if a test mass is placed above the edge of a cryostat contain-
ing a disc and the disc is spun then the mass should show detectable reductions
in its weight (see Table 1). For a test mass suspended above the edge of a
disc which is 10 cm in radius the reduction in weight predicted by MiHsC for
rotations of 3k, 10k, 20k and 753k rpm are 0.0015%, 0.015%, 0.07% and 100%
of the original test mass.

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Appendix A
An alternative way to understand Eq. 10 is to recognise that if you impose a
mutual acceleration on a test mass (arm ) as is done here, and the test mass
also gains inertial mass by MiHsC, this needs an extra force on the test mass
of dF = dm arm , where dm is the change in inertial mass. Now the ratio
between the initial and nal inertial mass due to MiHsC is
mnew 1 anew 1 6.6 1015
= 2

= = 1.000000031 (6)
mold 2c
1 aold
1 3.1 108

so dm/m = 3.1 108 . This mass change is very small so how does it cause the
larger apparent change in weight? The way to understand this is that the new
internal force due to MiHsC must be balanced by a force outside the system
which has the same size so the acceleration caused on the system as a whole aV
must be
dF arm dm
aV = = = 105 3 108 = 0.003 (7)
m m
and so a tiny change of inertial mass (dm) can lead to a larger apparent change
in vertical acceleration, or weight.