02
Oct

There has been a great observational study done recently by Hernandez et al. (see: http://arxiv.org/abs/1105.1873). They have looked at wide binary stars and found that when they are separated by 7000AU or more, so that their accelerations decrease below 2*10^-10 m/s^2, then their behaviour becomes non-Newtonian, in that their orbital speeds are so large that the centrifugal (inertial) forces separating them should be greater than the gravitational pull inwards from the mass that we can see, so they should zoom off to infinity. A similar behaviour is seen in galaxy rotation curves, which deviate from Newtonian behaviour below this same acceleration. For these simple binary systems, it is hard to see how dark matter (DM) could kick in at a particular acceleration, and Newton and MoND both predict only about 1/10th of the orbital speeds seen. This provides a experimentum crucis, and so I have recently been testing MiHsC on these data: because of their low acceleration, MiHsC predicts a decrease in the stars’ inertial masses so they manage to orbit each other at the faster speed without inertia separating them. The orbital speed predicted by MiHsC is still only 1/2 of that seen, but this is much better than the 1/10th from Newtonian dynamics and MoND. I have just today submitted an abstract on this to the UK’s National Astronomy Meeting (NAM 2012).

Originally Posted by Mike McCulloch on Physics from the edge<