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For almost a year now, I have been in the uncomfortable position of having an idea.

However, there is one nice thing about this idea. It makes a concrete, exact and relatively easy to test physical prediction.

The idea predicts that there is a 11,187 m/s (Earth’s escape velocity) aethereal wind directly into the surface of the Earth at its surface.

I believe it would be possible to test this by performing a vertical variation of modern versions of the Michelson-Morley experiment (MMX) with one arm pointed in the vertical direction. (Modern MMX)

In 2003, Müller et al. performed a normal (2 horizontal orthogonal arms) modern MMX using cryogenic optical resonators that found a “possible anisotropy of the speed of light c, (of) 2.6 +/- 1.7 parts in 10^15” ( arXiv )

In a brief conversation with Holger Müller a Professor at Berkeley and the lead author of that paper, he stated that to this knowledge no one had ever performed a variation of the experiment using a vertical arm. He also mentioned that such an experiment would be complicated by the fact that gravity would slightly compress the length of the vertical bar making two equal length bars no longer equal in length.

“They haven't been done as far as i know. The problem is that any interesting physics signal would be hard to tell from a large signal from stretching of the arms under their own weight.” - H. Müller

I am interested in attempting to run this experiment myself. To that end, I have the following questions:

  1. Given current Physics understanding, is there any reason to expect that such a vertical variation of the MMX wouldn’t return the exact same results as all other MMXs, namely that there is no anisotropy in the speed of light?
  2. Given the complications mentioned by Professor Müller, are there reasonable methods available to overcome them? Especially considering the size of the effect (c + 11,187m/s vs c) is substantially larger than the accuracy obtained in his and similar modern MMXs.
  3. What is the order of magnitude cost of such an experiment? If I am to fund this personally, would such a project cost \$10,000? \$100,000? \$1,000,000? more?

Any insight offered on this topic will be greatly appreciated.

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Material compression isn't the only problem: the gravitational redshift is more than a little significant in this arrangement. –  dmckee Feb 17 at 0:44
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@dmckee Is the redshift reversible? Will a photon sent from the surface of the earth and bounced off a mirror in space back to the surface have a net redshift or will it blueshift back to where it started? –  aepryus Feb 17 at 1:11
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Certainly it reverse coming back in the sense that the wavelength of the light is the same when it gets back onto the shared optical path, but it introduces a phase shift which is exactly what an interferometer is sensitive to. What I haven't done is attempt to estimate if this is something you could subtract out of the data. –  dmckee Feb 17 at 1:16
    
@dmckee Ok, thanks a lot for the feedback. I'll work on the calculation. –  aepryus Feb 17 at 1:19
    
aepryus: "In 2003, Müller et al. performed a normal (2 horizontal orthogonal arms) modern MMX using cryogenic optical resonators [... arxiv.org/abs/physics/0305117 ]" -- There (p. 2) it is claimed "In our experiment (Fig. 1), we use two $L = 3 ~ \text{cm}$ long COREs (cryogenic optical resonators)". How did Müller et al. measure whether (or to which accuracy) this setup condition was and remained actually satisfied throughout the trial? (Surely that's not only a worry in case in a "vertical variation" of the setup?) –  user12262 Mar 2 at 19:11

2 Answers 2

An example of a similar experiment is the famous measurement of a gravitationally induced phase shift in a neutron beam by Colella, Overhauser, and Werner (often called "the COW experiment"). It's interesting to note that while there was an unambiguous gravitational phase shift, its size was not as predicted.

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A "vertical variation of modern versions of the Michelson-Morley experiment (MMX) with one arm pointed in the vertical direction" experiment has been performed.

Watch the following video starting at 0:45.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=s9ITt44-EHE

"Imagine the Earth as if it were immersed in honey," says Francis Everitt of Stanford University in California, "As the planet rotates, the honey around it would swirl, and it's the same with space and time."

The 'swirl' is more correctly described as the state of displacement of the aether.

Aether has mass, physically occupies three dimensional space and is physically displaced by the particles of matter which exist in it and move through it.

The aether is, or behaves similar to, a supersolid.

The state of the aether as determined by its connections with the Earth and the state of the aether in neighboring places is the state of displacement of the aether.

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I use the term 'aether' to describe my thinking, but that is perhaps a very inaccurate term. The aether I have in mind has really nothing to do with the 19th century concept. –  aepryus Feb 21 at 18:04
    
Aether has mass, physically occupies three dimensional space and is physically displaced by the particles of matter which exist in it and move through it. There is no such thing as non-baryonic dark matter anchored to matter. Matter moves through and displaces the aether. What is referred to as the Milky Way's dark matter halo is the state of displacement of the aether. Displaced aether pushing back and exerting inward pressure toward matter is gravity. The state of displacement of the aether is gravity. –  user36375 Feb 21 at 18:15
    
Resolving these questions, I guess is the purpose of the experiment I have in mind. –  aepryus Feb 21 at 18:50
    
The state of the aether as determined by its connections with the Earth and the state of the aether in neighboring places is the state of displacement of the aether. You are going to be hard pressed to find a difference in the state of the aether in terms of performing a vertical MMX. The Gravity Probe B experiment found the state of displacement of the aether as determined by its connections with the Earth and the state of the aether in neighboring places and it required satellites in order to do it. –  user36375 Feb 21 at 20:47

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