Michelson-Morley Experiment

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The motion of the Solar System and the Michelson-Morley experiment

M. Consoli, E. Costanzo
(Submitted on 26 Nov 2003)
From: arXiv.org > astro-ph > arXiv:astro-ph/0311576
URL http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0311576

Abstract: Historically, the Michelson-Morley experiment has played a crucial role for abandoning the idea of a preferred reference frame, the ether, and for replacing Lorentzian Relativity with Einstein's Special Relativity. However, our re-analysis of the Michelson-Morley original data, consistently with the point of view already expressed by other authors, shows that the experimental observations have been misinterpreted. Namely, the fringe shifts point to a non-zero observable Earth's velocity v_obs = 8.4 +/- 0.5 km/s. Assuming the existence of a preferred reference frame, and using Lorentz transformations to extract the kinematical Earth's velocity that corresponds to this v_obs, we obtain a real velocity, in the plane of the interferometer, v_earth = 201 +/- 12 km/s. This value is in excellent agreement with Miller's calculated value v_earth = 203 +/- 8 km/s and suggests that the magnitude of the fringe shifts is determined by the typical velocity of the Solar System within our galaxy. This conclusion, which is also consistent with the results of all other classical experiments, leads to an alternative interpretation of the Michelson-Morley type of experiments. Contrary to the generally accepted ideas of last century, they provide experimental evidence for the existence of a preferred reference frame. This point of view is also consistent with the most recent data for the anisotropy of the two-way speed of light in the vacuum.

Cite as: arXiv:astro-ph/0311576v1

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