The famous Michelson-Morley experiment carried out for about century ago demonstrated that the velocity of light does not depend on the velocity of the source with respect to the receiver and killed the ether hypothesis. This could have led to the discovery of Special Relativity. Reality is not so logical however: actually Einstein ended up with his Special Relativity from the symmetries of Maxwell's equations. Amusingly, for hundred years later Samuli Pentikäinen told me about a Youtube video reporting a modern version of Michelson-Morley experiment by Martin Grusenick in which highly non-trivial results are obtained. If I were a "real" scientists enjoying monthly salary I would not of course pay a slightest attention to this kind of stuff. But I am not a "real" scientists as many of my colleagues are happy to testify (without "":s of course) and have therefore nothing to loose. This gives me the luxury of thinking and I can even try to understand what is involved assuming that the discovery is real.
To my best knowledge there is no written document about the experiment of Martin Grusenick in web but the Youtube video is excellent. The only detail, which might give a reason to suspect that fraud might be in question is when Grusenick states that the mirror used to magnify and reflect the interference pattern to a plywood screen is planar: from the geometry of the arrangement it must be concave and I have the strong impression that this is just a linguistic lapsus.
Addition: Andre K. told that in German video Grusenick uses the expression "einfach" (simple) instead of the counterpart of "planar". Also pronunciation might have led to wrong pattern recognition as I know from my own experience as a person talking very badly broken english;-).
Addition: The change of the distance between beam splitter and mirror in the vertical position might explain the observations in terms of existing physics. A simple estimate however shows that this effect is by a factor of order 10-3 too small. I am grateful for Samppa for suggesting the estimate.
The reader willing to learn in more detail how Michelson-Morley interferometer works can look very short video sketching how the interference pattern is created. This longer video describes in more detail the principles involved.
I do not bother to transform latex to html since a lot of formulas are involved and automatic translators do not work properly. Instead, I give a link to a pdf file representing the results of Grusenick and their analysis and interpretation in detail.
The results are following.
- The findings of Grusenick can be understood if the radial component grr of the metric of Earth at the Earth's surface deviates from Schwartschild metric by a factor 1+Δ, where Δ is of order Δ ≈10-4.
- If one requires that Gtt vanishes for the modification of Schwartshild metric, Δ(r) behaves as Δ(R) R/r outside Earth's surface in good approximation. If the gravitational fields of stars, say Sun, have similar radial component grr, the predicted effects on planetary orbits are significant only for elliptic orbits sufficiently near to the surface of the star.
- In General Relativity the presence of non-vanishing "pressure" terms Grr, Gθθ, Gφφ in Einstein tensor with a vanishing energy density are difficult to understand. In TGD framework these terms could be due to the sub-manifold constraint forcing the allowed space-time surfaces to be extremals of Kähler action with Einstein equations with energy momentum tensor of matter (not containing the contribution of Kähler action) being satisfied.
- The effect of the gravitational field of Sun on the interference pattern measured at Earth surface can be visible (fraction of order 10-2 about the effect of Earth itself) and the experiments indeed demonstrate a diurnal variation of the interference pattern.
- The extended Michelson-Morley interferometer could provide a new high precision tool to measure the behavior of grr as a function of the distance from the Earth and to test the proposed model.
Addition: I am grateful for Frank Pearce for informing me almost year later (20.11. 2010) that he has carried out the Grusenick experiment again. There is small movement of the interference pattern during vertical rotation but nothing comparable to that detected by Grusenick so that the effect is very probably an artifact. An excellent video Vertical Michelson Morley Interferometer Experiment 11 12 2010 about Pearce's version of the experiment can be found here.
For details and background see the chapter TGD and GRT of "Physics in Many-Sheeted Space-time".