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fommxintro
Overview of FOMMX

Overview of the Fiber-Optic Michelson-Morley Experiment

According to the Æther Theory of the 1800's, the motion of a hypothesized medium called Æther past the Earth affects the speed of light. In 1887 an experiment was done that shocked physicists because it was inconsistent with the Ether Theory, the dominant theory of that time. It is called the Michelson-Morley Experiment.

Following this experimental rejection of the Ether Theory, relativity theories were developed that explain the 1887 Michelson-Morley results. Beginning at the same time, Michelson-Morley experiments were performed with various configurations, or design details. Almost all experimental results were consistent with relativity. The physics community would say, and still says, that all (valid) experiments are consistent with relativity. By 1920, Relativity theory was generally accepted and Ether theory was abandoned.

Based upon a review of 100 years of such experimentation, I have identified two parameters that unexpectedly affect the Michelson-Morley results. These parameters are characteristics of the light path within the apparatus of the Michelson-Morley experiment.

  • The Mass Density in the Light Path: Vacuum results are consistent with relativity; dense materials are generally not. (Shamir & Fox, D. Miller)
  • The Extent of the Light Path: Short light path results are consistent with special relativity; long light paths are generally not consistent with relativity. (D. Miller)

The extent of the light path is defined here as straight line distance from one point in the light path to another. Conventional Michelson-Morley experiments used mirrors to direct the light path to retrace itself and multiply the small interferometric effect by the number of traces. That principle is useful and still applies here, although it is incomplete. The mass density and geometric extent can be thought of as affecting the sensitivity of the interferometer.

I have tested these conjectures by performing an experiment that is a variant of the Michelson-Morley experiment. The objective of this experiment is to test the combination of mass density and light path extent most likely to contradict special relativity in the Michelson-Morley experiment. Based on the above observations, it has a dense material in a long light path.

This combination of parameters has been achieved by using optical fiber rather than the mirrors used in earlier Michelson-Morley experiments. The core of an optical fiber, where the light travels, is typically glass. The mass density of glass is far larger than that of a lab vacuum or ambient air, which were used in most earlier Michelson-Morley experiments. Optical fiber enables long light paths to be formed that are more immune to thermal and mechanical variations than mirror systems. In addition, fiber optic systems do not require the demanding alignment process that is required by mirror systems. Finally, the fiber optic approach is far less expensive than the mirror approach.

An extensive standard description of the Michelson-Morley experiment is given in the Michelson–Morley experiment. However my conclusions differ from theirs.

This experiment does employ a fiber optic light path, as described. The straight arm length is 5 meters. I have run my experiment over a period of half a year, and it is still running. The results are certainly not null. They have many clear features and a lot of noise.

The important question is to determine whether these patterns were likely conventional effects or not. If they are not conventional effects, then the test does not support relativity. That would reopen the door to wave theories similar to the aether theory of the 1800's.

The bulk of this site describes in detail the many facets of the apparatus and the experimental results. The preliminary analysis and conclusions are presented and the planned improved analyses are identified in the Road Map. Next, the logic of Falsification is discussed. And finally, the implications of the fall of relativity and, in turn, of statistical particle physics and the return of wave physics is described.

…sz

fommxintro.txt · Last modified: 2021/03/06 19:25 by sz