Speed of Light Experiment

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This experiment will test relativity under previously untried conditions. The relevance of these conditions is not now recognized by mainstream physicists but is consistent with their experiments. This experiment will attempt to unambiguously demonstrate that such conditions affect its results.         (see zins.org for more)


A tale of two theories and one experiment:

Æther Theory
Æther was a hypothesized medium filling all space. In this theory, light was explained as a wave traveling in the Æther. This theory has been falsified by all Michelson-Morley experiments.

Michelson-Morley Experiment
This experiment directly measures the difference in the speed of light in two perpendicular directions using interferometry. By making many such measurements in many different directions, the Michelson-Morley experiment can determine the speed and direction of a purported Æther past the Earth as it moves around the Sun. This experiment falsified Æther Theory in 1887.

Relativity Theory
Special relativity, published by Einstein in 1905, provides fundamental rules to account for space and time at high velocities. It was consistent with the 1887 Michelson-Morley experiment. Relativity was deemed incompatible with Æther because there is a unique frame associated with the Æther, and a unique frame is disallowed by relativity.

Summary of all Michelson-Morley experiments' results:
No Michelson-Morley experiments support the Æther theory. The Michelson-Morley experiments almost all support relativity some with astonishing accuracy.

The main exception is a single disputed, large scale Michelson-Morley experiment by Dayton Miller (1933) that was not consistent with either relativity or æther theory. While the experiment was disparaged as a single, discrepant experiment, the experiment included well over 100,000 readings by eye, probably more than all such experiments of that era put together. I consider Miller's experiment to be valid.

Miller's experimental results and the results of others are contradictory. Since there is so much evidence supporting relativity, asserting that relativity is wrong would misrepresent the situation. However, relativity would need some kind of correction or extension if Miller's results are valid.


Two ways to deal with contradictory experimental results are: 1) find errors in all but one experiment, or 2) find an experimental variable that explains the differences in results.

Mainstream physicists chose to discredit Miller's experiment (Shankland, 1955 ). Given that choice, relativity explained all (remaining) experiments.

Here, an experimental variable means some condition that the experimenter can control, either at the beginning or during an experiment.
I looked for an experimental variable that affects the Michelson-Morley experimental results. I found two potential variables. They are both characteristics of the light path. The variables and their effects are:
  1. path length: the length of the arm or straight light path. Greater path lengths tend to violate relativity.
  2. path density: The (optical, mass) density of the light path. Greater path densities tend to violate relativity.

Based on this, a large path length and large path density in a Michelson-Morley experiment may explain the violation of relativity.

Optical fiber can be used to define the light path of a Michelson-Morley experiment. It has the desired high density of glass. Furthermore, it can be arranged in long lengths without a rigid apparatus to hold in place mirrors, which were used in earlier experiments.


FOMMX stands for Fiber Optic Michelson-Morley eXperiment. This FOMM experiment will have an arm/path length of five meters. The path density will be determined by the the particular optical fiber chosen.

The Goal
The goal of this project is to: develop apparatus, software, and manual procedures for the FOMMX; operate the apparatus to collect data and save the data in a public repository; analyze the collected data for periodic patterns; and publish the results.

Cost Analyses
A first detailed study of component costs was $7,500. Based on that I started the project in earnest at the beginning of 2018. My current (Oct., 2018) estimate is $8,500.

Current Status of Project
The picture above shows a mechanically complete rotor for the experiment. The rotor comprises two sixteen-foot arms fastened to a rectangular hub at the center. The servo motor driving the rotor has been purchased. Out of sight is a hoist mounted on the ceiling. The motor and hoist have been generously donated.

Immediate Plans
Finish the structural mechanical assemblies. The main one is the motor mount, holding the motor that rotates the rotor containing the arms. This includes a slip ring, a rotary encoder, and a safety chain.

The remaining major areas are:
1) Laser and fiber optic components. I've started collecting specifications and prices for laser.
2) Computer power, connection to sensors, software. A Raspberry Pi has been donated to this project.

Use of Funds
The funds will be used to cover the costs of the apparatus for the FOMMX.
Cost of test equipment, if necessary.
Cost of engineering assistance, if necessary.

A second interferometer can be added in same arms.
There is room in the mechanical structure to fit a second interferometer, mainly its laser and optical fiber. This would enable an additional test for an æther. Since the interferometers are independent, except for power input, any apparent noise that is cross-correlated must come from the æther, while any non-correlated noise must come from instrumentation. This would be an independent test of the existence of the æther.

Patent filings related to the FOMMX apparatus.


Successful means here demonstrating that large path density and path length give results contradicting special relativity.

Potential impact on relativity theory.
Assuming that the experiment is successful: Relativity will be shown to be conditional. In terms of the Michelson-Morley experiment, the result is dependent upon the path length and path density which are selected by the experimenter. Relativity will have to be modified to accommodate the condition. This also brings into question the fundamental space-time relationships of relativity. While the previous point requires a modification, this point requires a fundamental conceptual overhaul of relativity.


Please consider supporting this project with a donation. It has been a long and lonely journey and every donation warms my heart. Also, please ask anyone who you think might be interested to have a look at this project. If you would like to help on this project in some way, please email me at stevenzins@gmail.com. My web site at zins.org has a few relevant documents plus contact information.

...Steven Zins
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First DRAFT version of Story posted about 7pm, 10/25/18 for review.
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