12. E. W. Silvertooth, C. K. Whitney, A New Michelson‐Morley Experiment

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Volume 5: Pages 82-89, 1992

A New MichelsonMorley Experiment

E. W. Silvertooth 1, C. K. Whitney 2,3

1Star Route, Box 166, Olga, Washington 98279 U.S.A.

2Tufts University ElectroOptics Center, Medford, Massachusetts 02155 U.S.A.

3W. J. Schafer Associates, Inc. Chelmsford, Massachusetts 018244191 U.S.A.

We have augmented a MichelsonMorley interferometer with additional instrumentation and secured additional measurements of a type not previously reported by other researchers. Where the original MichelsonMorley experiment looked only at the interference between two beams that had traversed the two interferometer arms, we look at the standingwave interference within one of the arms as well. Assuming that the interferometer is resident in an inertial coordinate frame, special relativity theory predicts nodes spaced λ/2 apart. Our experiment shows a departure from this expected nodal spacing. The discrepancy is here shown to be consistent with an anisotropy in the speed of light having the form c(θ) = c/[1+(v0/c) cos (θ) ], where c is the usual 3 × 108 m/s, v0 is about 378 km/s, and θ = 0 lies in a unique direction relative to fixed stars. The apparent v0 is consistent with both the known anisotropy of background cosmic radiation and the believed orbital velocity of the Sun in the Milky Way Galaxy.

Keywords: special relativity, Sagnac effect, velocity detection

Received: August 31, 1990; Published Online: December 15, 2008