Physics from the Edge

It’s not often I pick up a non-fiction book and devour it cover to cover, but the writing here is accessible, and the theory and equations well explained and helped by illustrations. It is in no way a physics textbook, but neither is it popular science for the layperson. It is, rather, a trail of breadcrumbs laid as an invitation to any physicist with an open mind.

The study of physics is the grand quest for the ultimate truth, the human need to understand the mechanisms of the physical world around us, and perhaps also to challenge the myth of creation – not to deny the existence of God, so much as to be truly at one with the divine. Passions run high, and although physics is based fundamentally on the repeatability of measurements, the human pressure for respect and money, specifically research funding, creates an almost religious orthodoxy in the scientific world.

Woe betide any physicist who pursues antigravity or faster-than-light travel, or who dares to question the existence of dark matter or dark energy. How strange is it that physicists have come to believe in something that cannot be seen? “I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, allegedly, in Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a book that is oft quoted in Physics from the Edge.

McCulloch takes physics back to its fundamental roots of evidence and measurement, and begins by walking the reader through the basics of mass and inertia, and the foundations of modern physics in special relativity and quantum reality. The real purpose of the book, however, is the discussion of many anomalies that have left physicists scratching their heads over the years, and a demonstration of how McCulloch’s own theory of inertia makes predictions that match the data.

I have for years now watched unhappily as cosmologists talked about distributions of dark matter and high energy physicists talked about the search for these elusive particles. It’s all so desperate and illogical… but alternative theories have never been able to explain galaxy rotation curves and the Pioneer anomaly convincingly – until now. McCulloch’s MiHsC model not only solves both with ease, it solves the fly-by anomaly.

The MiHsC makes some extraordinary predictions, but it also has an elegant simplicity to it. The book predates the recent discussion of NASA’s EmDrive, but perhaps the impossible drive will prove the extraordinary MiHsC correct.

About Frank

A Sci-Fi & Fantasy author and lyrical poet with a mild obsession for vampires, succubi, goddesses and Supergirl.
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8 Responses to Physics from the Edge

  1. Interesting review, Frank. I like physics, but I like it as it presses on the known – good fodder for sci-fi and fantasy. A book for the layperson is always welcome.

    • Frank says:

      Any theory that dares to suggest that Newton’s laws need adjustment, or worse that the speed of light may not be absolute, risks outrage from all those physicists who long ago abandoned their hope for faster-than-light travel, deeming it but a childish fantasy…

  2. BroadBlogs says:

    Physics is the only science that really interests me — other than biology when my hypochondria acts up. I’ll have to take a look at this book when I get a chance.

    • Frank says:

      Fortunately, my library had a copy. I think it’s an interesting book even if you don’t understand the more theoretical parts because it’s a view from outside the mainstream.

  3. purehaiku says:

    I’m adding this one to my list of “to read” !

    • Frank says:

      Regardless of whether his theory stands the test of time, current theories of physics can only explain major cosmological observations through the invention of stuff that can’t be seen. McCulloch’s book is a nice walk through the edges of physics, from that perspective.

      However, the more I think about his theory, the more I find myself asking questions, and maybe I’ll talk about this more in a blog post soon.

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