Overview of the Fiber-Optic Michelson-Morley Experiment

According to the Ether Theory of the 1800's, the motion of the supposed Ether 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 (M-M) Experiment.

Following this experimental rejection of the Ether Theory, relativity theories were developed to explain the 1887 M-M results. Beginning at the same time, M-M experiments were performed with various modifications. Almost all results were consistent with relativity. Mainstream physicists would say that all valid experiments are consistent with relativity. By 1920, Relativity theory was generally accepted and Ether theory, and Ether, was discredited.

Based upon 100 years of such experimentation, I have identified two parameters that unexpectedly affect the M-M results. These parameters are characteristics of the light path within the apparatus of the M-M experiment.
  1. The mass density: Vacuum results are consistent with relativity; dense materials are generally not consistent.
  2. The length of light path: Short light path results are consistent with special relativity; long light paths are generally not consistent.
The objective of this experiment is to test the combination of mass density and light path lengths most likely to contradict relativity.  Based on the above pattern, this would have a dense material in the light path and a long light path.

This combination of parameters can be better achieved by using optical fiber rather than the mirrors used in earlier M-M experiments.
  1. 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 M-M experiments.
  2. Optical fiber enables long light paths to be formed that are more immune to thermal and mechanical fluctuations 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. See: Component Cost for Experimental Apparatus.

This experiment does employ a fiber optic light path. The straight arm length is 16 feet.  It is called a Fiber-Optic Michelson-Morley Experiment (FOMMX).

For more detail on the above argument, see FOMMX Grant Proposal to NSF.
For a full description of the M-M experiment, see the Wikipedia.



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