In 1887, Michelson and Morley tried to observe in laboratory the 'ether drift' by measuring a small difference in the velocity of two perpendicular light beams. The result of their measurements, however, was much smaller than the classical prediction and interpreted as a 'null result'. This was crucial to stimulate the first pioneering formulations of relativity and, as such, it represents a fundamental step in the history of science. Since then, many repetitions of that original experiment have been performed with better and better sensitivity and the standard conclusion has been always the same: no genuine ether drift has ever been detected. However, in the authors' new scheme, the small irregular residuals observed in laboratory show surprising correlations with the direct observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) with satellites in space. This opens the possibility of finally linking the CMB to a fundamental reference frame for relativity, with substantial implications for the interpretation of non-locality in the quantum theory. The importance of the issue would require new dedicated experimental tests and significant improvements in the data analysis. Otherwise, without such more stringent checks, these crucial experiments will remain forever as an enigma for physics and the history of science. The book illustrates the many facets of this research together with historical accounts on some leading scientists involved in these measurements.
|Publisher:||World Scientific Publishing Company, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.50(d)|
Table of Contents
Preface; Chapter One: Premise; Lorentz vs. Einstein; Classical Ether–Drift Experiments: Just Null Results?; A Universal Thermal Gradient, the CMB and the Vacuum Structure; Chapter Two: Some Historical Notes on the (A)Ether; Descartes; Newton; Kant; Young and Fresnel; Maxwell; The Turbulent–Ether Model; Chapter Three: The Idea of the Ether Drift; Albert A Michelson and His First 1881 Experiment; The 1887 Michelson–Morley Experiment; A Closer Look at the Michelson–Morley Data; Chapter Four: After Michelson–Morley: Morley–Miller (1902–1905); Miller 1920–1925; Tomaschek 1924; Miller 1925–1926; Kennedy–Illingworth 1926–1927; Piccard and Stahel 1926–1928; Michelson–Pease–Pearson 1926–1929; Joos 1930; Criticism of Shankland's Criticism of Miller's Work; Chapter Six: The Non-Trivial Vacuum of Present Particle Physics; The Cosmic Microwave Background; General Aspects of the Ether–Drift Experiments; A Modern Version of Maxwell's Calculation; A Stochastic Form of Ether–Drift; Reconsidering the Classical Experiments; Reanalysis of the Piccard–Stahel Experiment; Reanalysis of the MPP Experiment; Reanalysis of Joos's Experiment; Summary of the Classical Ether–Drift Experiments; A Modern Experiment with He–Ne Lasers; Chapter Seven: Modern Experiments with Vacuum Optical Resonators; An Effective Refractivity for the Physical Vacuum; Simulations of Experiments with Vacuum Optical Resonators; Gaseous Media vs. Vacuum and Solid Dielectrics; Summary and Conclusions; Bibliography; Author Index