"21st Century Science and Technology" magazine devoted much
of its Spring 1998 issue to the "Michelson-Morley-Miller Coverup"
This is significant to Theosophy because it relates directly to the ether
that Blavatsky asserts and science today rejects.
Background: In 1887 Michelson and Morley performed what has been
called "the most famous experiment that failed". It attempted
to detect the ether by measuring the speed of light in different directions.
Almost absolutely universally today it is said that the experiment failed
to detect a difference in the speed of light in different directions - that
is that the experiment produced a null result. However it isn't so. Reading
Michaelson's words exactly he did not say it produced a null result. He
said the result must be smaller than a given amount.
Michelson's and Morley's work was superceded by the work of Dayton C.
Miller. He earned a doctorate in science from Princeton University in 1890,
was president of the American Physical Society during 1925-1926, chairman
of the National Research Council's Division of Physical Sciences from 1927
to 1930, and president of the Acoustical Society of America from 1913 to
1933. From 1902 to 1933 Miller performed very many experiments along the
lines of Michaelson Morley but with equipment producing more accurate measurements.
His results were distincly not null. It is not clear how to explain them
away by systematic errors such as due to temperature changes. Patterns and
meaningful measurements definitely do emerge from his work. He presented
his calculations for the velocity of the earth through the ether.
Back to Einstein and the Ether
It was Einstein who postulated away the ether in 1905 and who included
the "postulates" in his reasoning that the speed of light is constant.
The non null result of all these experiments is contrary to the postulates
underlying Einstein's relativity theory. If Miller's results are valid,
as they appear to be, then the theory of relativity as constructed is not
valid. Some measurements may remain correct but they must be based on another
theory - and as seems necessary - based on a theory that includes an ether.
Einstein himself was quite open to this possibility and encouraged Miller
in his experiments.
Where it stands
The established science, however, has dismissed all these matters. Maurice
Allais, a Noble prize winner himself, in Economic Science, and who has done
much research in related physics, says in his "Should the Laws of Gravitation
Be Reconsidered?" p. 55:
"It is startling that the findings published in Miller's paper
in 1933 should have been ignored for 25 years. The outright pigeonholing
of Miller's paper strikes me as one of the scandals of contemporary physics."
Personally speaking, we have encountered this material before.
However, this magazine's issue presents the material in a
useful way for the public to begin to access the information.
For Theosophists we note first that Blavatsky predicted that
the ether would "soon" be overthrown (and it was)
but she still asserted it to be a reality. This magazine issue
presents the data to which a Theosophist may point as evidence
that standard science has, in the words of Nobel Prize winner
Allais, a "scandal" on its hands to some day be
Reed Carson, 1998