The Michelson-Morley Experiment Reveals Earth Velocity of 30 km/s

Posted by Steven Bryant On February - 7 - 2008


The 1887 Michelson and Morley experiment was a very innovative experiment with the goal of detecting the orbital (or rotational) velocity of the earth of 30 kilometers per second. They used a device, called an Interferometer, to measure the time difference (also referred to asdisplacement) between two perpendicular paths of light.

Michelson and Morley, as they state in their paper, were able to detect a velocity of 5 to 7.5km/s. Proponents of SRT suggest that this result is within the range of experimental error and that it should be interpreted as 0 km/s, thus agreeing with the predictions of SRT.
But, is this interpretation right?

When analyzed using statiscially, the Michelson-Morley result does not support an experimental result of 0km/s with over 99.9% confidence.  This means that there’s something else going on.  We find that the problem is within their equations, which do not take into account the difference between length and wavlength, among other things.   Once correct, we find their data actually detected an earth orbital velocity of 30 km/s.

Analysis Corrections

In order to see the problem with the original Michelson-Morley analysis, imagine the following experiment. Person A is holding a flashlight aimed at Person B. Both people are separated by a distance of 299,792,458 meters. The frequency of the light originating from the flashlight is FHz.

  • Question: Based on this scenario, can we determine how many cycles of light occur between A and B when the flashlight is on?
  • Answer: Of course, it is F cycles. (Remember Hz is number of cycles in one second and we know that light travels at 299,792,458 meters in one second).

Let’s take this one step further. Person B has a mirror, which will reflect the light back to person A. We can now ask, how many cycles of light occur between B and A. Again, the answer is F. Now for the key question:

  • Key Question: What is the frequency of light that person A sees? Is it (F+F) Hz, since we can count cycles from A to B and add them to the cycles from B to A, or is it simply FHz?
  • Answer: Physics defines the answer as F Hz, using the Superposition of Waves principle. This answer makes since, since a frequency of 2F Hz likely would not be in the visible spectrum of person A.

While the answer to the last question is F Hz, Michelson and Morley analyzed their results using 2F Hz. This, meant that they interpreted their data as producing smaller results for the Earth velocity. With this key analytical problem corrected, the Michelson-Morley experimental data reveals an earth orbital velocity of 30 km/s, not the 5 to 8 km/s they originally concluded.

What Does It Mean for SRT?

This correction, along with two others discussed in my paper, are important in understanding the analysis Michelson and Morley experimental data. These findings suggest that Michelson and Morley detected an earth velocity of 32 km/s. This is not only Michelson and Morley’s expected result, but it also matches the CICS model predictions. Importantly, when analyzed in the same way, Miller’s repeat experiment in 1933 also detected an earth velocity of 30km/s.
This analysis presents an interesting problem for SRT proponents. On the one hand, if they agree that the Superposition of Waves principle applies, then the Michelson-Morley data must be reanalyzed, clearly producing a non-zero result that would invalidate SRT. In fact, the result of the new analysis of the original Michelson-Morley data is approximately 30 km/s, which was Michelson and Morley’s expected result! On the other hand, if they say that the answer is F+F or 2F Hz, then the result is no longer in the visible spectrum and they violate the established Superposition of Waves principle. This would be inconsistent as we know that Michelson and Morley saw visible fringes, suggesting a frequency of F Hz, not 2F Hz.

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