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Michelson-Morley experiment(s)

  1. Aug 16, 2011 #1

    fluidistic

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    "Michelson-Morley" experiment(s)

    Do any of the (repeated too) Michelson-Morley experiments took into account that the Earth is accelerating? I.e. that it isn't inertial and that the beam of the laser isn't propagating in a straight line but rather in a curve? How small should this affect the results? I'd rather ask for the 2009 experiments since the "Maximum anisotropy of c is [itex]\leq 10 ^{-17}[/itex]".
    Thanks!
     
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  3. Aug 17, 2011 #2

    bcrowell

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    Re: "Michelson-Morley" experiment(s)

    Interesting question. Note that as defined in GR, the earth's center of mass isn't accelerating, but its surface is, and that's what's relevant, because the apparatus is fixed to the surface.
     
  4. Aug 17, 2011 #3

    ghwellsjr

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    Re: "Michelson-Morley" experiment(s)

    The change in the speed of the surface of the earth where the experiment was located was insignificant over the period of time where they would collect a set of data (one rotation of the apparatus) but it should have been significant over a period of 12 hours or at least a period of six months when they were hoping to measure the speed difference caused by the change in the ether wind.
     
  5. Aug 17, 2011 #4

    atyy

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  6. Aug 17, 2011 #5
    Re: "Michelson-Morley" experiment(s)

    My problem with the M&M experiment is in understanding why effects gained in travelling to the mirror should not be lost in returning to origin. Why should the total time not be the same in all directions?
     
  7. Aug 17, 2011 #6

    ghwellsjr

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    Re: "Michelson-Morley" experiment(s)

    Would you say the same thing about the fact that two observers in relative motion would both continue to measure themselves to be in the center of a single expanding sphere of light that was set off when they were colocated, even though forever thereafter they are traveling further apart?
     
  8. Aug 17, 2011 #7
    Re: "Michelson-Morley" experiment(s)

    I started out with that same suspicion. It was because I didn't fully understand how the experiment was conducted. May I suggest this analogy I wrote for laymen.

    http://mysite.verizon.net/mikelizzi/Documents/MichaelsonMorelyAnalogy.htm
     
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