"A beautiful theory is oft slayed by an ugly fact." T.H.Huxley
On Jan 31, 2005, at 3:18 PM, Gary S Bekkum / SSR wrote:
The Speed of Light and the Einstein Legacy: 1905-2005
Authors: Reginald T Cahill (Flinders University)
Comments: 22 pages, 10 figures. better graphics
Subj-class: General Physics
That the speed of light is always c=300,000km/s relative to any
observer in nonaccelerating motion is one of the foundational concepts
of physics. Experimentally this was supposed to have been first
revealed by the 1887 Michelson-Morley experiment, and was made one of
Einstein's key postulates of Special Relativity in 1905.
However in 2002 the actual 1887 fringe shift data was analysed for
the first time with a theory for the Michelson interferometer that
used both the Fitzgerald-Lorentz contraction effect, as well as the
effect of the air in the interferometer on the speed of light.
That analysis showed that the data gave an absolute motion speed in
excess of 300km/s.
Isn't this the ~ speed of our solar system relative to the Hubble flow of the expanding space? If so that's probably how it should be according to general relativity where special relativity is only true LOCALLY! Since the curvature of space at surface of Earth from mass of Earth is about 1AU and since the MM measurements are made over periods of time when Earth has moved ~ 1AU in its orbital motion, it is not really all that surprising that this violation of SR is seen BECAUSE GR does violate SR as a GLOBAL theory. Now this is a quick and dirty response and I could be wrong about it. But I would guess that this is simply showing the validity of the tangent space structure of GR. The scale of the MM measurement L is of same order as scale of space curvature radius r*, and GR says SR can only be used when L/r* << 1, but in these measurements L/r ~ 1 so there should be a violation of SR on that scale! What is true in SR need not be true in GR. That is the case for every covering theory of a theory. For example, the speed of light is infinite in Galilean relativity. It is finite in special relativity. So, what is being detected here is L/r* ~ 1.
Note in the picture in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelson-Morley_experiment that the Earth is pictured in two antipodal positions Spring and Fall. As I remember you cannot deduce the number 300 km/sec from a SINGLE local measurement of the fringe shift. You need to process the data from measurements separated by months I think i.e. L/r* ~ 1. Look at p. 5 of the paper you cite for example "four different months of the year". GR does not forbid absolute motion and absolute rest indeed in the case of the FRW metric it DEMANDS it! That is the FRW vacuum solution breaks GLOBAL LORENTZ INVARIANCE! This is merely still one more example of "MORE IS DIFFERENT" "SPONTANEOUS BREAKDOWN OF VACUUM SYMMETRY FOR THE EMERGENCE OF EINSTEIN'S GRAVITY.
FIG 3 on p. 18 is a LOCAL fringe shift measurement. But is it enough to extract the number ~ 300 km/sec? Look at figures on p. 19. That is can one get that smooth theory curve "best fit" from using data from ONLY a local measurement lasting a short time where L/r* << 1? Fig 4 p. 19 says you need the GLOBAL data to get "k" needed for the best fit.
*In any case this is an important paper needing careful study by many people over a long time and my off-the-top of-my-head apologetics above may be wrong. I don't know - but that is my instant response to the stimulus. :-)
Saul-Paul Sirag will know more about the details here than I do at the moment.
So far six other experiments have been shown to give the same result.
This implies that the foundations of physics require significant
revision. As well data shows that both Newtonian gravity and General
Relativity are also seriously flawed, and a new theory of gravity is
shown to explain various so-called gravitational `anomalies',
including the `dark matter' effect. Most importantly absolute motion
is now understood to be the cause of the various relativistic effects,
in accord with the earlier proposal by Lorentz.
Gary S Bekkum
PO Box 1144
Maple Grove, MN 55311