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Miles Mathis – The Michelson-Morley Experiment

The third chapter in Miles Mathis’ book is a critique of the Michelson-Morley experiment; an experiment frequently used as argument against the existence of an aether. Mathis goes about this in his usual way, using algebra to prove his points. However, the critique doesn’t require any math. All we need to point out is that the experiment was designed to detect a very peculiar kind of aether, so the negative results are no proof against the fluid aether proposed by people like Mathis and myself, nor is it proof positive for Einstein’s dismissal of it.

The aether that the Michelson-Morley experiment tried to detect was not a fluid, but a solid. It’s properties were derived from the need to explain light as waves. It had to be extremely rigid and dense. However, the discovery of the photon rendered void the need for such an aether. Photons can travel through space on their own. No rigid medium is needed.

But to conclude from this that there’s no aether at all is quite a stretch, because there are all sorts of other phenomena that do require an aether. Without it, we’re stuck with a mysterious wave-particle duality for photons, and action at a distance becomes a puzzle. There’s also no simple way to explain the spontaneous appearance and disappearance of photons and neutrinos from empty space, or the electromagnetic breakdown of space under extreme electrostatic conditions.

But Mathis doesn’t go this way in his explanation. Instead, he criticizes the setup itself, which I believe is an error. The Michelson-Morley interferometer was correctly designed. They would have detected an aether flow if it was present. But the experiment was done in the basement of a building. That’s a reference frame of its own, and no aether flow can be expected within such a reference frame.

Mathis hints at this explanation with his example of an aircraft. There’s no wind inside the aircraft. That’s all that’s needed to explain the failure of the experiment to detect an aether flow. His math doesn’t add to this explanation. On the contrary, it makes the chapter needlessly complicated.

However, the chapter is not a complete waste. There’s a link to a paper where Mathis enumerates several other aether related experiments. His math, although somewhat misplaced, is clear and relevant to relativity. It’s also clear that Mathis thinks of the aether as something fluid, and that it can be boxed in like air in an aircraft.

This means that any attempt at detecting the aether must be done with equipment that’s open to the environment. The interferometer mustn’t be boxed in, and it must certainly not be placed in a basement. The best way to get a good reading is to perform the experiment at high speeds in the emptiness of free space.

MMX with optical resonators.svg

Modern optical resonator

By User:Stigmatella aurantiacaOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

This Post Has 4 Comments

    1. Thank you for pointing out that all MM experiments have in fact detected an aether flow. This supports the idea that the aether is a fluid. It also means that I have to moderate some of my claims regarding the aether and reference frames.

      The aether is not as easily boxed in as I’ve thought. This shouldn’t be a surprise, thought. High energy neutrinos are known to zip through Earth. Low energy ones should have even less trouble, and if aether is in fact space itself, a planet will be more like a net in a river than a bottle.

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