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FQXi FORUM
May 20, 2013

CATEGORY: FQXi Essay Contest - Spring, 2012 [back]
TOPIC: An Experiment to Verify the Existence of Luminiferous Ether by Mahesh Rameshbhai Patel [refresh]

Author Mahesh Rameshbhai Patel wrote on Jun. 26, 2012 @ 16:09 GMT
Essay Abstract

The nature of light is still subject to contention 107 years after Special Relativity theory (hereafter referred to as SRT). Second postulate of SRT is about the absolute constancy of speed of light. However, SRT did not solve the problem of the “local” constancy of c by means of a casual explanation, but by a postulate which simply imposed what seemed so difficult to explain, stating “a priori” that, such apparent speed constancy was a special property of light [1]. Many logical arguments are made against the “local” constancy of speed of light but none of them has been able to confirm their claim experimentally /satisfactorily. This essay suggests few experiments that can verify the constancy of speed of light for relative motion.

Author Bio

There are/were many people who believe/d that the speed of light is not constant and Luminiferous ether do exist. This essay may provide another ray of hope to prove their point. Although I am a student of Doctor of Engineering in EE department, I have enormous respect for Physics and would like to contribute to it with my best.

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Pentcho Valev wrote on Jun. 27, 2012 @ 12:37 GMT
Mahesh,

You want to test Einstein's 1905 light postulate but then discuss the Michelson-Morley experiment in a somewhat different context. What did the experiment show in 1887? That the speed of light is independent of the speed of the light source, an assumption Einstein borrowed from the ether theory? Or that the speed of light varies with the speed of the light source as predicted by Newton's emission theory of light? Useful references:

http://www.pitt.edu/~jdnorton/papers/companion.do
c

John Norton: "These efforts were long misled by an exaggeration of the importance of one experiment, the Michelson-Morley experiment, even though Einstein later had trouble recalling if he even knew of the experiment prior to his 1905 paper. This one experiment, in isolation, has little force. Its null result happened to be fully compatible with Newton's own emission theory of light. Located in the context of late 19th century electrodynamics when ether-based, wave theories of light predominated, however, it presented a serious problem that exercised the greatest theoretician of the day."

http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/1743/2/Norton.pdf

John Norton: "In addition to his work as editor of the Einstein papers in finding source material, Stachel assembled the many small clues that reveal Einstein's serious consideration of an emission theory of light; and he gave us the crucial insight that Einstein regarded the Michelson-Morley experiment as evidence for the principle of relativity, whereas later writers almost universally use it as support for the light postulate of special relativity. Even today, this point needs emphasis. The Michelson-Morley experiment is fully compatible with an emission theory of light that CONTRADICTS THE LIGHT POSTULATE."

http://www.amazon.com/Relativity-Its-Roots-Banesh-Hoffmann/d
p/0486406768

"Relativity and Its Roots" By Banesh Hoffmann: "Moreover, if light consists of particles, as Einstein had suggested in his paper submitted just thirteen weeks before this one, the second principle seems absurd: A stone thrown from a speeding train can do far more damage than one thrown from a train at rest; the speed of the particle is not independent of the motion of the object emitting it. And if we take light to consist of particles and assume that these particles obey Newton's laws, they will conform to Newtonian relativity and thus automatically account for the null result of the Michelson-Morley experiment without recourse to contracting lengths, local time, or Lorentz transformations. Yet, as we have seen, Einstein resisted the temptation to account for the null result in terms of particles of light and simple, familiar Newtonian ideas, and introduced as his second postulate something that was more or less obvious when thought of in terms of waves in an ether."

Pentcho Valev pvalev@yahoo.com

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Author Mahesh Rameshbhai Patel replied on Jun. 27, 2012 @ 22:21 GMT
Dear Pentcho,

Thanks for sharing your ideas and views. My only point here is if we can conduct the proposed interferometer experiment, we can surely make some concluding statement out of it regarding the constancy of speed of light (second postulate of SRT). It can provide the experimental proof that cannot be neglected (discarded as some calculation error or inappropriate assumption).

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 27, 2012 @ 14:34 GMT
The question seems to be not so much whether light travels from a light source to an observer in waves or in particles, but whether those light wave formations or particle accumulations are somehow identical and measurable. I think that there is no way to isolate any particular light beam or light ray. In the experiments you describe in your exceptionally well written essay, you appear to have neglected to state that the light has to be on in the laboratory while the experiment is being conducted. When one shines a light into a mirror, it enhances and utterly distorts its reflection immensely. This practice might have been the reason the Michelson - Morley experimental results were so confounding.

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Roger Schlafly wrote on Jun. 29, 2012 @ 19:08 GMT
Your experiment to verify the constancy of the speed of light is just like the Michelson-Morley and other experiments that have been done 100s of time. How would it tell us anything new? It would not tell us anyting about the existence of the aether. It could only discredit certain 19th century aether theories that have been long abandoned anyway.

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Mahesh replied on Jun. 29, 2012 @ 20:08 GMT
Dear Roger

There is a huge difference in the concept of verifying the presence of ether here. Predicted change in interference pattern for M&M experiment was based on the stationary ether assumption (they assumed that earth moves at 30Km/sec with respect to that ether). Their experimental results were very small than the expected and hence the experiment is considered as a supporting evidence for constancy of speed of light.

All the interferometer experiments performed so far had very small expected fringe shift and none of them were performed with liner motion. If the ether is stationary with respect to earth’s surface then there is no way that one can discover this truth just by performing an interferometer experiment in lab itself, but it does not mean that speed of light (traveling through this medium) is constant for all the reference frames.

Proposed interferometer experiment gives large expected interference shift for small amount of relative motion (~200 mph). Sagnac recorded the change in interference pattern when he rotated the interferometer, so why not try with linear motion?

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Roger Schlafly replied on Jun. 30, 2012 @ 01:16 GMT
Yes, the predicted change in interference pattern for M&M experiment was based on the stationary aether assumption, but Lorentz showed that the no-interference result could be explained even if there was a stationary aether. The constant speed of light is so firmly embedded into physics, that it is not clear what it would mean for the speed to be not constant. So I still don't understand what you are trying to accomplish.

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Author Mahesh Rameshbhai Patel replied on Jun. 30, 2012 @ 01:55 GMT
Dear Roger,

Experimental violation of second postulate of SRT was the biggest news of 2011 announced by CERN, but unfortunately that was an erroneous measurement.

Let me put it in a simple way. If we get the change in the interference pattern for proposed experiment in any way (stationary (360 rotation) or relative motion) then it experimentally proves the violation of second postulate of SRT, which indeed changes some fundamental rules and measurement methods in Physic.

Second postulate of SRT assumes that speed of light remains constant for all the reference frames, so an observer should never notice any change in interference pattern if both (an observer and interferometer) are in same reference frame.

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Frank Makinson wrote on Jun. 30, 2012 @ 05:40 GMT
Mahesh, I would like to suggest a slight modification in your experiment, not in the setup but the time periods the experiment is performed. The experiment should be performed when the earth is the farthest and then nearest to the Sun, and then over the period of the Sun's core rotation. The farthest and nearest Earth-Sun distance could be combined with the Sun's core rotation. I suggest this because of the observed varying nuclear decay rates.

During a 15 year study, the Germans identified seasonal decay rates.

Seasonal nuclear decay

"A team of scientists from Purdue and Stanford universities has found that the decay of radioactive isotopes fluctuates in synch with the rotation of the sun's core."

Varying decay rates by Sun core rotation

Some influence caused the decay rates to change.

There can be a very simple explanation for the decay rate variations, and the same mechanism could cause a difference in the experiment results you are proposing, but you won't observe them unless you match the time and Sun-Earth positions that show nuclear decay rate variations.

I suspect you will get a slight shift in the observed frequency of the light source used. Also, I suggest that vacuum permittivity be measured at the same time the interferometer experiments are run.

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Jeff Baugher wrote on Aug. 22, 2012 @ 02:46 GMT
Mahesh,

I haven't broken your argument down yet, but seeing the following statement:

"Now, if the detector detects the laser pulse then it supports the concept of stationary

medium (ether) as shown in Fig.2 (a). So there can be two possibilities for the

luminiferous ether:

1) Ether may be dragging along the earth surface

2) Relative velocity between ether and the earth is quite small"

what are your opinions of length contractions as postulated by Lorentz and Fitzgerald?

If you would like a more fundamental approach which may give you a point from which you can hang your hat on, you can find my essay here.

Regards,

Jeff Baugher

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Peter Jackson wrote on Aug. 29, 2012 @ 07:50 GMT
Mahesh

I do see the point of what you are suggesting, but can you comment on and predict the likely results on the basis of the mechanism at the plane of a detector lens medium as I describe in my essay.

My predictions seem to be consistent and match those of Ruyong Wang's linear interferometer, as a re-interpretation of Stokes thesis and explaining the CMBR anisotropic flow (and 'surfaces last scattered).

many thanks

Peter

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Gurcharn Singh Sandhu wrote on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 17:32 GMT
Dear Mahesh,

I read your essay and found it very interesting and well written. In principle I agree with your viewpoint. However, in practice certain effects related to the wave nature of light are likely to create problems. Some of these effects concern beam divergence after refraction and diffraction of light beam passing through the narrow slit in coated glass plate. Some other effects concern the influence of the state of motion of the emitter and the reflector on the frequency of light. Anyway, in principle your proposal is excellent and I appreciate it. Good luck.

All authors in this contest have presented their viewpoints in different styles. In the grand maze of the unknown it is important to consider all possible alternatives and different viewpoints for building a consolidated common approach.

You are also requested to read my essay titled,"Wrong Assumptions of Relativity Hindering Fundamental Research in Physical Space". Kindly do let me know if you don't get convinced about the invalidity of the founding assumptions of Relativity or regarding the efficacy of the proposed simple experiments for detection of absolute motion.

Best Wishes

G S Sandhu

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Author Mahesh Rameshbhai Patel replied on Sep. 5, 2012 @ 23:06 GMT
Dear Gurcharn Singh Sandhu,

The main idea here is the interferometer experiment. So there is no need to worry about the divergence problem. Proposed interferometer experiment can practically conform the constancy or inconstancy of speed of light. I know that there were several interferometer experiments performed in past but they all had a small expected fringes shift and none of them were performed in linearly moving body (with respect to earth).

I wish I can perform this experiment by myself, but due to money problem I am not able to do so at present.

Best Wishes,

Mahesh Patel

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hoang cao hai wrote on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 15:21 GMT
Dear

Very interesting to see your essay.

Perhaps all of us are convinced that: the choice of yourself is right!That of course is reasonable.

So may be we should work together to let's the consider clearly defined for the basis foundations theoretical as the most challenging with intellectual of all of us.

Why we do not try to start with a real challenge is very close and are the focus of interest of the human science: it is a matter of mass and grain Higg boson of the standard model.

Knowledge and belief reasoning of you will to express an opinion on this matter:

You have think that: the Mass is the expression of the impact force to material - so no impact force, we do not feel the Higg boson - similar to the case of no weight outside the Earth's atmosphere.

Does there need to be a particle with mass for everything have volume? If so, then why the mass of everything change when moving from the Earth to the Moon? Higg boson is lighter by the Moon's gravity is weaker than of Earth?

The LHC particle accelerator used to "Smashed" until "Ejected" Higg boson, but why only when the "Smashed" can see it,and when off then not see it ?

Can be "locked" Higg particles? so when "released" if we do not force to it by any the Force, how to know that it is "out" or not?

You are should be boldly to give a definition of weight that you think is right for us to enjoy, or oppose my opinion.

Because in the process of research, the value of "failure" or "success" is the similar with science. The purpose of a correct theory be must is without any a wrong point ?

Glad to see from you comments soon,because still have too many of the same problems.

Regards !

Hải.Caohoàng of THE INCORRECT ASSUMPTIONS AND A CORRECT THEORY

August 23, 2012 - 11:51 GMT on this essay contest.

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hoang cao hai wrote on Sep. 27, 2012 @ 16:36 GMT
Dear Mahesh Rameshbhai Patel and other Author

Through the research of light I noticed the assumption Luminiferous Ether is more reasonable than other assumptions.

However, using measures an artificial experiment (when not yet a firm theoretical basis) to rule out an experiment has been accepted, will cause controversy without end.

Perhaps we expect a consistent and specific topic for this issue, will be held soon.

Regards !

Hải.Caohoàng of THE INCORRECT ASSUMPTIONS AND A CORRECT THEORY

August 23, 2012 - 11:51 GMT on this essay contest.

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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 09:22 GMT
If you do not understand why your rating dropped down. As I found ratings in the contest are calculated in the next way. Suppose your rating is
$R_1$
and
$N_1$
was the quantity of people which gave you ratings. Then you have
$S_1=R_1 N_1$
of points. After it anyone give you
$dS$
of points so you have
$S_2=S_1+ dS$
of points and
$N_2=N_1+1$
is the common quantity of the people which gave you ratings. At the same time you will have
$S_2=R_2 N_2$
of points. From here, if you want to be R2 > R1 there must be:
$S_2/ N_2>S_1/ N_1$
or
$(S_1+ dS) / (N_1+1) >S_1/ N_1$
or
$dS >S_1/ N_1 =R_1$
In other words if you want to increase rating of anyone you must give him more points
$dS$
then the participant`s rating
$R_1$
was at the moment you rated him. From here it is seen that in the contest are special rules for ratings. And from here there are misunderstanding of some participants what is happened with their ratings. Moreover since community ratings are hided some participants do not sure how increase ratings of others and gives them maximum 10 points. But in the case the scale from 1 to 10 of points do not work, and some essays are overestimated and some essays are drop down. In my opinion it is a bad problem with this Contest rating process. I hope the FQXI community will change the rating process.

Sergey Fedosin

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Kirti wrote on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 18:19 GMT
Dear Mahesh,

Its a great idea,hope you can perform it practically with all scenarios as you mentioned in essay.

I really wish you best luck for your proposal.

Thanks.

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