Blog by Mike McCulloch. I chose the title Physics from the Edge because the theory of inertia I have suggested (MiHsC) assumes that local inertia is affected by the far-off Hubble-edge. I've written a book called Physics from the Edge
I have just been for a very pleasant walk for lunchtime, into town and to a tea shoppe. I've been trying to understand the recent paper by Hu et al (reference 2) where they claim to see 'simulated' Unruh radiation by exciting a Bose-Einstein condensate with a high frequency magnetic field. During the walk I realised that this is very similar to a paper I read way back in 2011 by Wilson et al. in Nature (reference 1) where they observed what they called a dynamic Casimir effect. This paper is closer to showing real Unruh radiation, & is simpler to understand as well.
In 1948 Casimir himself noted that mirrors produce a 'boundary condition' on electromagnetic waves (I understand this to be a horizon) since at the mirror the electric field must be zero at the surface. The implication is that if you move a mirror in the quantum vacuum, then it has to zero the vacuum fields as it goes through it. However, moving mirrors fast enough has always been the problem with testing this.
Enter the SQUID. Wilson et al first set up a transmission line with a SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device) on one end. A SQUID is a loop allowing current to go both ways around, with a Josephson junction along each path. The Josephson junctions and therefore the SQUID responds to changes in the applied magnetic field and the change in the SQUID changes the boundary condition of the transmission line so that it is as if it was getting longer or shorter. Its electrical length changes. This means you can make what is effectively a moving mirror (in my view, a moving horizon) since, as Wilson et al say "In the same way as for the mirror, the boundary condition is enforced by currents that flow thru the SQUID". This is much easier than physically varying the length, since nothing solid is moving and you can get much higher accelerations that way (great for seeing QI).
Wilson et al applied a magnetic field varying with a frequency of about 10GHz to move the boundary condition (aka horizon) back and forth, and they stated that the speed of movement of the apparent end of the line (horizon) was 10% of the speed of light. In the paper they go through a complex analysis to show that what they are getting are paired photons emitted from the end of the line due to its speed through the quantum vacuum.
When I first read this paper back in 2011, I immediately tried a back of the envelope calculation and found it can also be understood as Unruh radiation. Since the frequency of the oscillation (f) they applied was 10GHz and the speed of the boundary was 10% the speed of light, then the acceleration of the horizon is 2 x 0.1 x c/t = 0.2cf = 6x10^17 m/s^2. The predicted wavelength of Unruh radiation is then 8c^2/a = 1.2 m. The radiation Wilson et al detected in their experiment ran a range from 0.4 m to 1 m in wavelength, so it seems plausible that what they saw can also be thought of as Unruh radiation. Also, this is a different way to look at horizons. Usually, in quantised inetia, we consider the horizon made by an accelerating object. Here we are looking at an accelerating horizon!
If this really is Unruh radiation then it is a well documented example (in Nature after all). Two symmetric Unruh photons are being emitted in opposite directions, and if we can just add some asymmetry, then we would have thrust. Is this then a direct mainstream way through to a QI thruster?
I've just been reading through the late Halton Arp's book 'Seeing Red' and I have loved it. He was a rare astronomer who was able to look at data with fresh eyes, and think about it without trying to shoe-horn it into standard theories. As an introduction to what he concluded in his decades of observing, I can show you this plot of NGC3516Arp, which is one of many similar examples.
The figure shows a Seyfert galaxy (NGC3516) in the centre with various x-ray sources (quasars) surrounding it (measured by Y. Chu). The Seyfert galaxy has a low red shift. The quasars have high redshifts. Now, it has been assumed by mainstream astronomy that the high redshiftness of these sources means that they are moving away from us at a great speed and are far away. In astronomy redshift=distance. Hence there has arisen the big bang model where the universe is still expanding from an initial explosion so further regions are receding from us faster. However, Arp pointed out that these high redshift galaxies are often near low redshift galaxies, sometimes being connected with tendrils to them. So, they may not be far of at all! Also, these high redshift objects usually appear along the minor axes of the normal galaxies, as in this case, as if they have been ejected along the spin axis. Further, quasars closer to their parent galaxy have a higher redshift, whereas those further way have lower. Finally these redshifts are quantised into the values of: 2, 1.4, 0.95, 0.6, 0.3, 0.06..!
Arp's own judgement here was that a Steady State theory by Hoyle & Narlikar (1964) could explain them. This theory also has similarities to the theory of Dicke (who I have also been reading about lately in a book 'Einstein's Lost Key' by A. Unzicker). In Hoyle and Narlikar the mass of objects depends on the surface area of the sphere that they could be aware of. New matter then can only be aware of a very small region of space, since it has not had time to collect information from anywhere else, and so new matter (mass produced from energy) has lower mass. Therefore, the new electrons have lower mass and so when they make the transition between atomic energy levels the photons given off have less energy than expected - their emissions are red-shifted. Therefore light coming off the quasars newly ejected from the galaxy, have high redshifts, which decline as they move away. Hoyle and Narlikar's theory can not explain the quantisation - but QI could.
Of course, Arp's observations enjoyed about the same popularity in astrophysics as Galileo did in the Vatican since, if they are true, the big bang theory & all of modern cosmology, with its distance measures, is reduced to a pile of expensive rubble. His accounts of the bizarre lengths the mainstream community went through to silence him are hilarious (I would recommend the book for entertainment as well as for information). A was a bit like stalinism, as perpetrated by a bunch of prim maiden aunts.
Arp's observations are music to my ears because they sound like quantised inertia. Arp states that his observations demand a theory with the following characteristics. It requires inertial mass to increase with cosmic time (as predicted by Steady State theories and QI). It requires inertial mass to be quantised (quantised inertia). It has matter being ejected from the spin axes of galaxies (as QI predicts). It is a Machian theory in which the mass of an object is determined by the amount of matter the object could have been in contact with in its history, which links to Hoyle and Narlikar and QI in which the mass of objects is determined by the size of the cosmos they perceive.
It is my instinct that raw anomalous observations are the key to truth. Halton Arp, despite being dead, has just proven in my opinion to be hugely more incisive than modern 'theory-first' cosmology and I hope this will provide the inspiration to finally complete QI which may be a quantum-enabled cousin of a whole range of early classical theories by Hoyle, Dicke, Narlikar..etc that were blown up by the big bang freight train. I can email Narlikar too - he's still around.
So much has happened over the last few months thanks to my new collaborators. My post doc, Dr Jesus Lucio is working very well. I asked him to write a matlab script that simulates wide binaries with ordinary Newtonian physics, and MoND and QI. His script has produced a very nice animation, see below, that shows that when you model a real wide binary, only quantised inertia (red) predicts the stars to be bound together (as they are in reality). Newton and MoND (blue and green) predict wrongly that the two stars should zoom off to infinity and so they are falsified. He has extended this tool to also simulate the Solar system. It compares the predictions with the observed orbital trajectories. We are having fun simulating Oumuamua at the moment.
The other project I asked him to do is to develop a numerical COMSOL simulation of the asymmetric Casimir effect that underpins quantised inertia (reference 1). The process by which when you accelerate something to the right, say, relativity and the speed of light limit, implies there is a region of space to your left that you can no longer see and a horizon forms that damps the intensified (Unruh) quantum vacuum on the left side of the object leading to a net quantum force that resists the object's acceleration: inertia. Unfortunately COMSOL is having a hard time modelling a particle at the Planck scale (10^-35 metres wide) moving within a cosmos approximately 10^26 metres wide. Rather like my calculator when I try to calculate the power in the Unruh spectrum for low accelerations, COMSOL cannot cope with the exponent. So, our first plan is to use a particle the size of a galaxy cluster, and then slightly smaller, and we will use the difference to extrapolate down to the Planck scale.
The two experimental teams are also getting started. The Dresden team are building resonators, but the Madrid team are already experimenting and have seen some thrust of the hoped-for kind, that is over six sigma outside the noise. However, it will be a long struggle to show it is definitely The Big One. They are now slowly eliminating mundane effects that could also be causing it.
As well as thinking about thrust, I am trying to generalise and further extend QI to explain gravity. After reading a book by A. Unzicker (ref 2), it seems that Einstein may have been on a more QI-compatible course until 1911 when he was redirected into bent space by his geometer friend Marcel Grossman. The variable speed of light version of general relativity (VSL-GR) that Einstein published in 1911 had a flaw at the time, but that flaw was corrected by Dicke (1957) (ref 3) and this version is far simpler and agrees with all the predictions of standard general relativity. VSL-GR is far more satisfactory to me than normal GR since it relies on a process (slowing photons) that can be measured directly, as opposed to standard GR which relies in bent space, which is an abstract thing that you cannot measure directly, except by virtue of the moving objects it was designed to predict anyway. I have had some success in building a mathematical bridge between quantised inertia and VSL-GR. I am still trying to decide whether the piles I built the bridge on (assumptions) are solid or not. The best way to do this is to jump up and down on them a lot. I'll let you know if there is a splash.
The best way to do incisive science is to find an empirical case that can discriminate between hypotheses, in this case dark matter, MoND and QI.
Galaxy rotation is not ideal in that respect. To recap: galaxies spin far too fast at their edges to be stable. They should fly apart, but they appear to be gravitationally bound. So astro-physicists have proposed that there is invisible dark matter in them to hold them together. One of the properties of this dark matter has to be that it stays spread out, otherwise it would collapse to the centre of the galaxy and not predict the rotation correctly. The problem is that although QI can predict galaxy rotation, dark matter can be 'fudged' to predict it too, and even MoND is tweakable (a0).
Something un-fudge-able is needed and wide binaries are brilliant examples of unfudgeability. I have discussed them before. They are binary stars so far apart that their accelerations are as low as they are at the edges of galaxies. Hernandez et al. (2018) have shown in some brilliant papers, that wide binaries orbit each other far too fast, just as galaxies do. The data I have used here is from his latest paper which uses brand-new GAIA data. The data is shown by the crosses in the Figure below (prepared by my new post-doc Jesus Lucio). The x axis shows the separation of the stars in parsecs and the y axis shows their mutual speed in km/s. The grey area shows the uncertainty in the data, so it means that the orbital speed at each separation is somewhere in the grey area.
The dotted line shows the prediction of Newton or of general relativity (the same in this case). Just as in galaxies, although Newton/GR says the orbital speed should decrease with radius/separation (dotted line), the observed speeds stay much higher. Beyond a distance of 0.2 parsecs both Newton and general relativity are falsified. These theories disagree with the data and dark matter cannot be added to these wide binaries to save them, because to fit the larger galaxy it must stay diffuse. Unless they now come up with quantum dark matter that can be simultaneously spread out and clumpy!
The prediction of MoND is shown by the dashed line here with its fitting parameter set to a0 = 1.3x10^-10 m/s^2. It under-predicts the data at 1 parsec but if we set a0 = 2x10^-10 m/s^2 then it just about fits. However, the MoND prediction should probably be closer to the Newtonian/GR curve because it is subject to the External Field Effect (still under debate) which means that external accelerations bring it back towards Newtonian behaviour. These wide binaries are close to the Sun, and so accelerations due to the galaxy are still on the order of 8x10^-10 m/s^2. So, MoND is possibly also falsified by this data.
The prediction of quantised inertia is shown by the solid line, with the error shown by the two lighter solid lines above and below it. QI agrees with all the data (just). I submitted a paper on this to MNRAS a few weeks ago including a plot similar to this one, but in which QI did not quite agree. Well, a sincere thanks to my post-doc who recently spotted a factor of two error in my calculations which was making QI seem worse than it is, and he corrected it. So we will now resubmit with the new result.
In summary, QI predicts the orbits of these 83 pairs of wide binary stars better than other theories. Furthermore, QI does it without the need for any arbitrary fitting parameters (MoND needs one). QI needs just the observed mass, the observed speed of light and the observed cosmic scale. QI can only predict one outcome, and that turns out to agree with the data.
It has been a time of transition for me. Last year I was a part time lecturer. Now I am a full time research lecturer with no teaching duties, a post-doc and a hyper-ambitious project to manage. Projects don't come more ambitious than propellant-less propulsion. Anyway, I'm trying to seize the chance of a lifetime with both hands.
With my new funding, I have employed a QI post-doc (he started on January the 4th). He has already produced several toy models of basic QI-thrusters, treating QI mathematically as an external force which simplifies some things, and has just written a fascinating report on that, which may become a paper. I have also managed to get all parties, Plymouth University, TU-Dresden and Alcala, Madrid to agree to and sign the contract agreements - a new experience for me.
Last week I visited Airbus & told them how QI could be useful for satellite station-keeping since it predicts thrust without the need for propellant: the kind of thrust that does not run out. You just need energy for Solar sails, assuming it works! :) I'm now very confident about QI in astrophysics. The difficulty will be making it appear in a lab, but lab tests are still the most direct test and all roads in physics lead to the lab. My talk at Airbus was very popular - people were crowded into the lecture room - I suppose that is not surprising when you suggest to people in an aerospace company that they can ditch fuel!
Next month I will be meeting the great Roger Shawyer, and that will be fascinating. It could be that some polite disagreements will occur because we have different interpretations of what may or may not be going on in those hot copper cones. I'll be asking him about the recent null tests of the emdrive and trying to dig down a little to his comments that the emdrive needs a little resistance to push against. Who doesn't? It would also be great to meet Hawking (but sadly too late!), Milgrom, John Anderson, Paul Davies, Bill Unruh & Hal Puthoff (I have met the latter by email).
I have submitted a paper to MNRAS showing that quantised inertia predicts wide binary orbits well. To summarise: co-orbiting binary stars far apart show the same sort of anomaly that galaxies do at their edges (too high an orbital speed), but in the binaries' case you cannot add dark matter, because it must stay spread out smoothly if you want to continue to predict the whole galaxy. They can't have it both ways! I've now shown that quantised inertia predicts wide binaries' orbital speeds (orbital speed data from Hernandez et al, 2018) just as well as MoND, and without needing MoND's adjustable parameter or, of course, dark matter, see the plot. There is a discrepancy around one parsec separation where both MoND and QI underpredict the data.
I've submitted a paper to EPL on the Allais effect, and although I realise this is controversial data, it is true that any observation that disagrees with the standard model is going to be controversial, and yet the only observations that will help us build a new physics will have to disagree with the standard model, and so they will be controversial. In other words, the quickest way to build new physics is to look for trouble. I would not say that is how I work, but it may appear that way to some! The Allais effect is also less than ideal since it has not been seen in some experiments, which bothers me, but I enjoyed writing the paper since it involves QI working elegantly in quite a different situation.
I've submitted a paper with Jaume Gine improving the way I derived quantised inertia before from the uncertainty principle, so we can now derive QI exactly that way. He is also helping me to resubmit the paper on EPR and time that I've been trying to get published for years. We are just ironing out our differences now and then Foundation of Physics might be the lucky target.
I've also started a paper that was inspired by my son. I'd just been fiddling around with QI formulae while I was waiting for him to finished a school tutorial, and as I was driving him home he asked me a question about schoolwork "Dad. What's Pi?". I said "3.14.." and immediately realised that the odd number that dropped out of QI onto paper half an hour ago was close (within 0.5%) to Pi. In haste I hadn't made the connection. This result may be a coincidence or it may have given me a huge new handle on nature. It rings true to me, and is very simple. I'll spill the beans when I'm sure it's not a circular argument..
The Journal of Space Exploration has just accepted my latest paper in which I focus far more on applying quantised inertia to propulsion, and which also shows an even simpler way to derive and understand QI, just from the uncertainty principle and relativity. This is a path I've been tending towards for a long time (see references). As Werner Heisenberg showed, for a quantum object, the uncertainty in its momentum (dp) times the uncertainty in its position (dx) always has to be larger then Planck's constant divided by two Pi, over two (aka hbar/2). So: dpdx > hbar/2.
Quantised inertia says that you can also apply quantum mechanics on the macroscale, if you add relativistic horizons. So, imagine we have a highly-accelerated system that excites the quantum vacuum (another way to say that it to say it sees Unruh radiation). For example, this might be a cavity with microwaves or a spark bouncing around inside. Imagine we can now just increase 'hbar' to represent the energy in this larger system - bringing quantum mechanics to the macroscale. Now make the cavity asymmetrical so that the Unruh waves on the left side are blocked by a large mass but those on the right side are not. Since you are blocking information from the left from getting to the system you are decreasing dx on the left side (the uncertainty in position in space is decreased because so far as the system knows there is no space beyond your block), and so dp must increase to the left. This means that the normal quantum jitter (dp) usually very weak, but now magnified by the large accelerations (Unruh radiation) must be larger towards the left hand side. So the system on a statistical average will move towards the left. As I show in the paper, this predicts, quite well, the emdrive, the Woodward drive and also some intriguing results from asymmetrical capacitors.
The take home message is that quantum mechanics may not just apply to the small, and relativity to the fast, quantised inertia implies that at high accelerations they can join up to produce observable behaviour.
McCulloch, M.E., 2013. Gravity from the uncertainty principle. Astrophy & Space Science, 349, 957-959 Preprint
McCulloch, M.E., 2016. Quantised inertia from relativity and the uncertainty principle. EPL, 115, 69001 Preprint
McCulloch, M.E., 2018. Propellant-less propulsion from quantised inertia. J. of Space Exploration (in press). Preprint
I arrived at Prof Martin Tajmar's Institute fuer Raumfahrttechnik at TU-Dresden at 10am. One of his students met me and took me to his office and then after a short chat, I gave a one-hour talk on quantised inertia to him & his group of 30 or so. Martin asked a few questions, eg:
How does the cosmic horizon interact with local dynamics given the speed of light limit? (Answer: there is no relativistic speed limit for monochromatic waves).
Your assumption of an average acceleration of photons in the emdrive is wrong, they accelerate only when they rebound (Answer: true but I take the time-average acceleration, but see below).
What is the degree of shielding of Unruh radiation by matter? Won't that introduce an adjustable parameter to QI? (Answer: Maybe).
After the talk we went for a meal at the nearby canteen, and I made it clear, as I tried to do in my talk, that I am very confident about quantised inertia on a galactic scale, but I need Tajmar and his team's world-class experimental expertise to bring it down to the lab scale.
Then he gave me a tour of his labs, in which he seems to be testing most of the anomalies I have heard of. I saw the equipment he used for the 'Tajmar effect' that I tried to explain in a paper in 2011. It is still embedded in its concrete well. I held his small emdrive. He also has a massive wind tunnel for more mundane aeronautical experiments. At one point he said "And here is my Stargate!". I looked through a window and saw a huge room in which he is building something that looks like the fictional stargate, but of course it is not.
Back in his office, a student who has just started a PhD devoted to the emdrive gave a talk on recent progress. They have applied 3-10 Watts to an emdrive and measured a thrust of two microN, but it disappears when they subtract thermal changes due to an asymmetrical expansion of the cavity and resulting changes in the centre of mass. Note that this is a thrust ten times smaller than the thrust NASA JPL was getting for a similar power and this work is still in progress.
We talked about Travis Taylor's mirror proposal. It may not be possible to build as originally proposed, due to the dielectric and mirrors not being able to fit together - manufacturing limitations. So they suggested a simpler arrangement where the dielectric and mirrors do not touch.
Martin then said "We are physicists, let's play" and started writing on a white board, asking me for the relevant QI formulas to put in, and this way, we derived the maximum acceleration of a photon of given frequency. The result was interesting because it means that for visible light bouncing off a mirror the Rindler horizon will be so close that a shield will not effect it, but it also shows that for microwaves the horizon is cavity-sized, so they can see the emdrive shape, or a shield.
The most unexpected thing that Martin said to me was in the evening while socialising (I had some delicious Saxische Sauerbraten and dumplings, and rather more than my usual amount of beer). He criticised most of the well-known lab anomalies as being debatable due to often sloppy technique, and yet showed some interest in an anomaly I thought had been wildly discredited: Hutchison's. I thought I'd had too much beer.. Good physics is of course predictive, but the profession itself is not!
It was not long ago that I myself was trying to get a full time post, now, not only do I have one but I am offering a post-doctoral position. So, if you are good at the numerical modelling of the interaction between em radiation and physical systems, preferably using COMSOL/Java, you fully understand what is behind the terms Unruh radiation and Rindler horizons, and you are keen to help with the conquest of space (ie: saving both the planet and the human race) then this job advert is for you:
Research Fellow in Modelling Propellantless Thrust, University of Plymouth, UK.
We are seeking an enthusiastic postdoctoral researcher with excellent skills in physics & numerical modelling, to develop a predictive model based on a ground-breaking theory called quantised inertia. The numerical model will be used to design a new kind of thruster.
The new theory suggests that inertia is caused by an interaction between Unruh radiation and matter. It explains, for example, galaxy rotation without dark matter, but in order to enable accurate experimental tests of the theory, it must be fully coded into a numerical model that can predict exactly how Unruh radiation will push on any given configuration of matter. Your role will be to do this coding.
You must have a PhD in physics, experience in translating physics into numerical models, an understanding of the interaction between radiation and matter, quantum mechanics and relativity. Experience of COMSOL and java will be an advantage.
You will work with Dr Mike McCulloch. The post includes short trips to Dresden (Germany) and Madrid (Spain) to liaise with groups who are setting up experiments.
It's not every day you get a well-paid chance to make history. In order to apply please go to: Link
As I have repeated many times on this blog, galaxies spin far to fast to be bound by their visible matter. This anomaly disagrees with standard physics and yet it has not only been brushed under the proverbial carpet, but it has been forbidden in many places to even admit that there is a carpet. A serious flaw (floor) in the mainstream attitude :) The carpet is the dark matter that has been invented to cover this up and save general relativity (which may be fine for high acceleration, but does not work for low accelerations).
There are two cases though, in which the dark matter fudge cannot be applied 1) globular clusters (see Scarpa et al., 2008 below) and 2) wide binaries which are even better (discussed earlier here). Wide binaries are twin star systems that orbit with a separation of more than 7000 AU (about 0.03 parsecs) and they show the same sort of impossibly fast orbits that larger galaxies do. Dark matter cannot be used to fudge this problem because in order for it to predict galaxy rotation it must stay spread out and therefore it cannot be squeezed in little wide binary systems. So wide binaries are the astrophysics equivalent of testing the emdrive in a vacuum which rules out air currents - wide binaries rule out dark matter.
I have started looking a wide binaries again, going back to a paper of Hernandez et al. (2014) who processed a lot of data on them. The data is shown in the Figure by the blue and red crosses. The x axis is the separation of each pair in parsecs and the y axis is the orbital speed (km/s). I've shown the uncertainty in the data crudely by the blue and red coloured areas around the crosses, so you can see that the SDSS data is far less accurate then the Hipparchus data. To be deemed successful a theory has to predict within the blue and red areas.
I have added to the plot the predictions of general relativity (the dotted curve) which lies outside the coloured areas for all separations greater than about 0.03 parsecs. Therefore because dark matter cannot be applied in these cases, we can say that general relativity has been falsified. This is a strong indication that it is wrong in galaxies as well, since the anomalies are very similar.
The other curves show Modified Newtonian dynamics (MoND, the dashed curve) and quantised inertia (the solid curve). Both theories predict the data but MoND has been tuned to work by arbitrary adjustment of its free parameter a0. Quantised inertia predict the data all by itself, without any tuning, an advantage which makes it deeper, more predictive (it can predict the change in the systems' rotation with cosmic time too) and also simpler. Occam's razor cannot be repealed. Note that the acceleration used for QI here includes that due to their mutual spin and that of the local galaxy.
The next step is to submit this to MNRAS and also shrink the blue and red areas of uncertainty in the data by using data from the new GAIA dataset. This is a genuinely elegant way to debunk general relativity at these low acceleration, and dark matter, and demonstrate the advantages of QI.
GAIA dataset: http://cdn.gea.esac.esa.int/Gaia/ (Thanks to F.Zagami for the link).
Hernandez X., A. Jimenez, C. Allen,2014. Gravitational anomalies signaling the breakdown of classical gravity. Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings 38, 43. https://arxiv.org/abs/1401.7063
Sorry for the gap in blog entries, but I have been traveling a lot, explaining to groups in Germany, exotic Hampshire, and the US, how quantised inertia predicts thrust. As you may know, I now have significant funding to do tests, and will report on these as openly as I can - this is important to me since I value feedback and comments and they help to progress the work.
So how does quantised inertia predict thrust? My explanation of this is becoming more streamlined as time goes on, so here is the latest (see, for background, McCulloch, 2016). QI says that all masses move because of the quantum 'jitter' that can be made anisotropic by horizons (barriers to information). The bold assumption in QI is that horizons are real and are able to reduce the 'dx' in the uncertainty principle, so that dp increases in that direction and the quantum jitter moves the object horizon-ward. These horizons can be either relativistic, or solid conductors (as in the Casimir effect). If the quantum vacuum is more intense, you get more push. The quantum vacuum becomes more intense for accelerated objects because of the enhancement due to Unruh radiation. So the QI recipe for launch, so far, looks like this:
Step 1: Make something that accelerates very fast so that the quantum (Unruh) waves intensify and also shorten so much that they are short enough to interact with a metal structure. For example, to interact with a structure of size 1m, the acceleration of the core has to be about 10^18 m/s^2. This accelerating core could be a spinning object, resonating microwaves (as for the emdrive, which QI predicts) or a hyper-vibrating piezoelectric (as in the Woodward devices, which QI also predicts).
Step 2: Damp the Unruh waves on one side of the core more than the other. If the acceleration of the core (circle) is big enough, this can be done by putting a thicker conductor, say, above it (see the left schematic), or having an asymmetric cavity (see middle) or a patterned structure whose mesh size is bigger in one direction than another (see the figure on the right). All these structures would damp Unruh radiation (orange) more above the core (darker shade) moving them up.
Step 3: Watch the core accelerate towards the more shielded side. Be patient because at the present level of technical development (thrusts of about 1 microN) it would take 11.6 days for it to accelerate to 1 m/s (for a 10 kg setup), but now QI gives us hopefully an understanding of what is going on, it suggests ways to boost this force, and launch should one day be possible. It costs $62M to launch a SpaceX Falcon 9. At the moment, given the funding budget I've just had to submit, I'd estimate a potential factor of 100 reduction in cost for the kind of thruster QI should allow.