Napkin physics

ABOVE  —  Dr. Mickey Mouse for the first time in the history of modern physics directly observes Unruh radiation, and falls in Love with it at the first sight.


Dr. Mickey Mouse and the Physics from the cutting edge of his napkin.

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My name is Dr. Mickey Mouse, and I am a Professor of napkin physics, a little known field of cutting edge scientific research, which has recently started enjoying unprecedented and rapidly accelerating growth. And I mean: rapidly accelerating. What we are talking here is acceleration on the order of magnitude of 10 to the power of 20 meters per second square, i.e. 10,000 trillion kilometers per second square.

For the second time in the history of science, this time it was napkin physics that successfully combined Einstein’s relativity with quantum mechanics, and not only theoretically, like Stephen Hawking did, but most of all experimentally.

Experimental napkin mechanics, often improperly referred to as quantum vacuum relativistic noise metaphysics“, under controlled laboratory conditions managed to put a quantum spin on the impossible and triumphantly turned it into the possible. And, so far, we haven’t seen even a shred of a horizon of its possibilities yet. Because, once the impossible becomes possible, then its possibilities become absolutely unlimited.

The following will constitute an introduction to the fundamentals of napkin physics theory, as well as a detailed explanation of empirical methods applied in napkin mechanics and their groundbreaking experimental results.

I have started from a surprising mathematical prediction of quantum field theory, i.e. the Unruh effect. It has not been experimentally verified, but so what? There is also another experimentally un-verified effect, i.e. the Hawking radiation. Now, we have the two quantum effects, so if one of them can be a radiation, then why not the other one, too? Seeing no reason why not, I put a modified Unruh effect on my napkin as a radiation. Good start!

Hawking radiation would be a result of how a black hole separates a virtual pair (if ever), so we would see a horizon. For my freshly minted “Unruh radiation” there is no physical cause, like a black hole, but who cares? If, at least, we could find some horizon, akin to Cheshire cat’s grin, hanging there without the actual cat present, i.e. something like a black hole horizon without any black hole being there in the first place, then that would be better than nothing, eh?


And, guess what? I’ve found one! The Rindler horizon. Never mind horizons are not made of anything physical, because they are mere perceptions of absence (of something physical not being there), but sometimes people call “Hawking radiation” a “black hole horizon radiation” (as if horizons could possibly ever radiate anything!). Well, then I did a clever semantic twist by putting a spin on it and, with a few masterful strokes of a pen on my napkin, I called my “Unruh radiation” a “Rindler horizon radiation”,  and… ?!

Bingo! I’ve got new quantum-relativistic radiation from nothing! Wow! And my “Unruh radiation” strongly radiates (blasts!) from the Rindler horizon! Wow! It is the first instance in the recorded history of physics of pure “horizon radiation”, because other than the Rindler horizon (which isn’t made of anything physical) there is no other physical cause needed for my freshly minted “Unruh radiation” to radiate. And in this brilliant way I made the impossible possible (on my napkin). And once the impossible becomes possible, then its possibilities become absolutely unlimited.

But, so far, you haven’t seen nothing yet. Trust me. Because now comes the best part, the experimental detection, the cherry that tops the cake! Yes, I have actually experimentally detected my freshly minted “Unruh radiation”.

Impossible? Don’t you forget! With my experimental napkin mechanics, nothing is impossible! I’ve designed my experimental detection methods after the Nobel Prize winning experimental detection methods used for gravitational waves. Let it suffice to say that the detector was extremly sensitive, and it was less expensive than the LHC at CERN. To make the long story short,

yes, I actually did experimentally detect the signal of the Unruh radiation (i.e. of the Rindler horizon radiation). So, what else do you want?

However, small technical doubts still persist regarding how to draw the line between the Unruh radiation signal and the quantum vacuum fluctuations noise. Because it would be nice to empirically answer the following question: Was It All Just Noise? Independent Analysis Casts Doubt On the DetectionIf the correlation properties of signal and the noise are similar, how is one to know precisely what is signal and what is noise?

Please, beware that ever since my theoretical and experimental discoveries, there has been a vast and massive, left and right wing conspiracy to debunk and discredit my experimental results. In the following pages I will quote examples of their illogical and absurd pseudo-criticism.

Your are allowed to post expressions of your shock & awe, and wonder, in the comments section below. Thank you.

Yours truly,


ABOVE:  Dr. Mickey Mouse in 2007, while performing quantum-relativistic observations between two colliding black holes. As a result, he sustained near-lethal exposure to extremely high levels of Hawking radiation, and was shaken (not stirred) by powerful high-frequency gravitational waves, all that for the sake of scientific progress.


ABOVE:  The ship does not need to be accelerating away from the dock in order to be pushed towards the dock. Same applies to the two plates in the Casimir effect.


ABOVE:  Any such purported “asymmetric” Casimir effects are, by definition, simply physically impossible, because they lack the second “plate”, like for instance the dock for the ship. The horizon (crescent moon) above, despite looking massive and being drawn in black exactly like the circular accelerating object, in reality isn’t made of anything physical, and therefore could not possibly function as the second “plate”.


ABOVE:  In theory, it is generally accepted that a system undergoing uniform acceleration with respect to zero-temperature vacuum will thermalize at a finite temperature (the so-called Unruh temperature) that is proportional to the acceleration. Unfortunately, it was calculated also that for this system to gain 1’K of its Unruh temperature, it would have to undergo acceleration of approx. 10,000 trillion kilometers per second square. Therefore, it seems that if inertia were to be an effect of the as yet undetected Unruh radiation, it could effectively manifest only in case of the above near-impossible rates of acceleration. In respect to inertial effects in the Universe, most of the phenomena never come even close to experiencing thousands of trillions of kilometers per second square accelerations. So, it is not like it is stated at the bottom of the above illustration: “At low acceleration, the process weakens”, and instead the truth is: THE PROCESS KICKS-IN ONLY WHEN THE OBJECT ACHIEVES NEAR-IMPOSSIBLE RATES OF ACCELERATION (if ever).



Mickey, in theory of relativity, there is no such thing as a pair of virtual particles. In theory of relativity, a SINGLE photon is either behind YOUR horizon (invisible), or visible to you. There is no such possibility that half of the photon is invisible behind YOUR horizon, and its other half is visible, and as a result of you not seeing the other half, the two halves become separated, resulting in some new, fractional quantum “half-photon” radiation.

On the other hand, in quantum mechanics, in case of a virtual pair made of TWO particles, in principle, it seems possible that one of them could be invisible behind YOUR horizon, and the other one visible.

Now, you say, that from your relativistic point of view it is true that, effectively, the invisible particle does not exist (for you).

However, at the same time, from the relativistic point of view of your visible particle of the pair, the other particle, even though invisible to you, is still visible to it, because YOUR horizon is relative to you, and the visible particle’s horizon is relative to it.

Therefore your invisible particle of the pair is still visible to the other particle, and that is the reason that your visible particle is not free to go alone, because the connection between the pair does not become broken merely because you do not see one of them. Therefore the pair will annihilate, and there will never be any radiation.

If your observation of a single particle of the pair would somehow made it physically free of the other one in the pair, then and only then it could be free to go alone (radiate), because other than you merely observing (or not observing) a particle, no other physical cause exists, like for instance a black hole, that would be physically able to separate the pair.

What I am saying is that, for the above reasons, Unruh radiation is physically impossible, and never happens in physical reality.

In other words, and also to make the above long story short, the reason that it is experimentally impossible to detect Unruh radiation is that Unruh radiation simply does not exist physically, as anything distinct from quantum vacuum fluctuations noise, remaining merely a “surprising”, but ultimately physically non-existent  mathematical prediction (artifact).

Mathematics is not physics, and mathematical physics is not experimental physics. The theory, i.e. what an observer would purportedly be able to “see”, is not what necessarily must be objectively happening in reality. Our observations of physical reality and their results, are not the physical reality itself, because these are two radically different things.

“What we observe is not nature itself,
but nature exposed to our method of questioning.”

― Werner Heisenberg


I sit on the beach, OBSERVING a motor-ship connected by a chain, or a rope, to a container-ship behind it (with no real motor, but with a tiny propeller powered by a triple-A electric battery trying to pull in opposite direction towards the beach), both going towards the horizon.

As long as I can OBSERVE both ships, I can see the reason for the container-ship being pulled (moving).

Now, the leading motor-ship disappears behind (my) horizon (from my relativistic point of view it does not exist anymore). Then, according to your reasoning, I would expect container-ship (with a tiny propeller) to stop, because I can observe no reason for it to be pulled over the horizon any longer.

Me observing container-ship alone, with motor-ship non-existent (over the horizon) gives me hope that container-ship, by using tiny propeller, could come back to shore (as Unruh radiation).

This is never going to happen.

Even though from my point of view motor-ship does not exist for me anymore (is behind MY horizon ), the motor-ship still does exist for the container-ship, because it is not beyond its horizon, so naturally, it will be pulled over the horizon too, and there is no chance of it ever coming back to the shore (as Unruh radiation).

Mickey, your “Unruh radiation” is like “String theory”. The label “String theory” does not change, only the number of space dimensions is increased every so often, only to find out later that we need few more dimensions. So, the following are the 3 basic facts that you need to print out and glue on in the center of your shaving mirror :

  1. there is no actual, physical Unruh radiation. At least not one that is stronger than quantum vacuum fluctuations noise ;
  2. but, there is this “surprising mathematical prediction” of some effect, allegedly such that from some point of view observer would purportedly see surprising hallucinations that no other observer could see, or be able to experimentally detect as anything distinct from quantum vacuum fluctuations noise ;
  3. because experimental verification conditions are impossible, i.e. acceleration of 10,000 trillion kilometers per second square, nobody can have a clue how this purported Unruh radiation would act in reality, so this creates an opportunity for you, Mickey, to conceptually twist it, and then spin it off so that it fits your beloved MiHsC pet-hypothesis. It just happens that to fit your pet-hypothesis, your version of “Unruh radiation” would also have to be super-luminal, and as such it becomes a label for an omnipotent cause that is able to explain everything.

Is there Unruh radiation?

It is generally accepted that a system undergoing uniform acceleration with respect to zero-temperature vacuum will thermalize at a finite temperature (the so-called Unruh temperature) that is proportional to the acceleration. However, the question of whether or not the system actually radiates is highly controversial. Thus, we are motivated to present an exact calculation using a generalized quantum Langevin equation to describe an oscillator (the detector) moving under a constant force and coupled to a one-dimensional scalar field (scalar electrodynamics). Moreover, our analysis is simplified by using the oscillator as a detector. We show that this system does not radiate despite the fact that it does in fact thermalize at the Unruh temperature. We remark upon a differing opinion expressed regarding a system coupled to the electromagnetic field.

More realistically one could assume that at some distant but finite time in the past the oscillator is impulsively accelerated into hyperbolic motion and the constant force is switched on. At that time there must be an exchange of energy with the field, but it would not be what one could realistically call Unruh radiation.


A system in hyperbolic motion through a zero-temperature vacuum does not radiate, despite the fact that it is in a state corresponding to the elevated Unruh temperature.

We should point out that it has been argued by some authors that this is an artifact of the model we have used. In particular, the interaction of a charged oscillator with the electromagnetic field was discussed, and the authors conclude that there is radiation.

However, we are skeptical since, as we have remarked above, the argument is essentially one of detailed balance: for a system in equilibrium the rate of emission of radiation is exactly balanced by a corresponding absorption, there is no net radiation.

What we have done here is to demonstrate in detail that detailed balance holds for a system in hyperbolic motion exactly as it does for a system at rest at a finite temperature. It is difficult to believe that this principle is model-dependent.


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