Chapter 24 — Dayton Miller - and the speed of Earth

Chapter 24: Dayton Miller - and the speed of Earth

24.1 Miller’s ‘milling’ of Einstein’s relativity

Fig. 24.1 : Dayton Miller (1866-1941)

Dayton Miller has to be one of the most tenacious experimental astronomers of the past century. His relentless quest to measure the translational speed of the Earth is second to none. As a Copernican, he believed that Earth revolved around the Sun at about 30 km/s (90 times the speed of sound), yet over and over again his sophisticated interferometer yielded apparent velocities he could only interpret as somewhere between 9 and 10 km/s.

"Dayton Miller performed over 326,000 turns of interferometer with 16 readings each one, (more than 5,200,000 measurements). They showed what appeared to be a small amount of drift (about 9 km/s, 1/3 of the velocity of the Earth around the Sun)." "Dayton Miller" - Wikipedia (opens in a new tab)

The full story of Miller’s tireless experiments is far too extensive to be reproduced in this book, and so is the ensuing epic and still ongoing controversy over the existence of the ether, involving none other than Albert Einstein. To those interested I warmly recommend a 2014 publication by James De Meo which does a fine job summarizing these matters. In the introductory paragraph we learn that...

"The author reviewed the experimental ether-drift experiments and publications of Michelson-Morley, Dayton Miller, Michelson-Pease-Pearson, and more recent others, from the late 1800s through the present. Many of these historical studies presented positive results in detecting a cosmic ether, and ether-drift through space. Among these experiments, the most widely cited Michelson-Morley experiment of 1887, which did show a slight positive result, was found to be the least significant or robust in terms of experimental procedures and actual data collected, as compared with the far more important 1920s' study by Miller on Mount Wilson near Los Angeles, California." "Does a Cosmic Ether Exist? Evidence from Dayton Miller and Others" (opens in a new tab) by James De Meo (2014)

Oddly enough, Miller’s far more important and exhaustive interferometer experiments are rarely cited or debated in the modern literature. Most people will only have heard of the famed Michelson-Morley ‘null results’ which were said to confirm Albert Einstein’s hallowed theories. The true story behind the various interferometer experiments is, however, quite different. Suffice it to say that Einstein was seriously worried about Miller’s findings. He famously made the following statement:

“If Dr. Miller’s results should be confirmed, then the special relativity theory, and with it the general theory in its present form, fails. Experiment is the supreme judge. Only the equivalence of inertia and weight remain, which would lead to an essentially different theory.” "A New Crucial Experiment for Relativity" (opens in a new tab) by Steven Zins (2012)

As you may know, Einstein had basically decreed that the ether does not exist, that the speed of light is independent of the observer, and that the orbital speed of Earth is therefore undetectable and unmeasurable. Miller’s repeated and consistent non-null results of 9 or 10 km/s were thus perceived as a threat to Einstein’s relativity theory which was gaining popularity in the scientific community of the time. But let us take a closer look at Dayton Miller’s findings through the lens of the TYCHOS model.

In Chapter 23, we saw that ‘the speed of our Solar System in relation to the stars’ is officially estimated at 19.4 km/s (or 69480 km/h). We also saw that if the TYCHOS reduction factor is applied to this figure, it translates into ~1.6 km/h (69480 / 42633), i.e. the orbital speed of Earth in the PVP orbit, as proposed by the TYCHOS model.

At the end of chapter 14, we saw that the mean variation coefficient (MVC) of Earth’s orbital speed is 0.8 km/h. The slow advance of Earth along the PVP orbit implies a curvature of only 1.42° per century, making it appear to our senses as if we were traveling along a straight line. However, the MVC will oscillate differentially in relation to each octant of the firmament. The oscillation will be ±1.6 km/h at the solstices, ±0.8 km/h at the ‘cross-quarters’ and 0 km/h at the equinoxes. Therefore, in the TYCHOS, if the Earth’s motion were monitored over a full day or a full year, an MVC of 0.8 km/h is just what would be expected.

Dayton Miller was adamant that his interferometer findings consistently indicated an orbital speed in the range of 9 to 10 km/s. As we have seen, this amounts to about one third of the translational velocity required by the Copernican model. In fact, several of Michelson-Morley’s experiments yielded velocities in that same range, as stated by Reg Cahill of Flinders University: “They reported, based upon only 36 rotations, the observation of fringe shifts and inferred a light speed anisotropy of 8-10 km/s”. If we average Miller’s minimum and maximum values we obtain a mean value of 9.5 km/s (34200 km/h). At this point it would be interesting to apply the TYCHOS reduction factor of 42633 to see what happens:

34200 km/h / 42633 = 0.802 km/h

This is almost identical to the MVC proposed by the TYCHOS model. In other words, Dayton Miller may well have unwittingly detected Earth’s true translational speed of 1.6 km/h!

24.2 The ‘diurnal speed-of-light variation’

We shall now fast-forward in time to a most fascinating French paper published in 2007 by Pierre Fuerxer under the title: “Les expériences optiques et la relativité”. Fuerxer is a radar engineer and signal processing specialist who worked closely with the eminent physicist and economist Maurice Allais (1911-2010) who pitilessly dismantled Einstein’s theory of relativity.

When Maurice Allais performed a statistical examination of Dayton Miller's data, he found that the sheer coherence and statistical consistency of Miller's vast body of observations was such that it could not be dismissed as ‘spurious’ or ‘systematically flawed’, as Miller’s opponents had argued, eventually throwing his entire body of work into disrepute. In short, Miller’s data had shown that there was a regular diurnal dissymmetry between civil time and sidereal time and that this dissymmetry also manifested over a six-month periodic sinusoidal curve, peaking at the equinoxes (21 March and 21 September).

Fig. 24.2 Extract from the website of the Fondation Maurice Allais Source: Fondation Maurice Allais (opens in a new tab)

Now, as I have highlighted in the above screenshot, Dayton Miller was seeing “diurnal variations in the speed of light of an amplitude of about 8 km/h”. This “8 km/h” variation in the diurnal speed of light immediately caught my attention. Could this value possibly be “off” by one decimal? Was that 'diurnal variation' perhaps 0.8km/h - instead of 8km/h? Well, as I reached the end of Fuerxer’s paper about Dayton Miller's experiments I found the below-cited, most fascinating statement. To appreciate its full significance, you must know that it is widely claimed that most of all interferometer experiments (e.g. those of Michelson and Morley) yielded "NULL" results. This is simply not true: in reality, many of the interferometer experiments yielded similar and comparable positive results. The only "problem" was that NONE of them confirmed the expected 30km/s speed of Earth - as of heliocentric theory... Quoting from Pierre Fuerxer's above-linked 2007 paper:

"Tous les interféromètres de Michelson dont le schéma optique est celui de l’interféromètre initial ont donné des résultats comparables" [All Michelson-type experiments using the optical scheme of his original interferometer have yielded comparable results]. "Les expériences optiques et la relativité" (opens in a new tab) by Pierre Fuerxer (2007)

Fig. 24.3

The results of most of the various Michelson-type experiments performed over the years have, as shown by Fuerxer, detected a ‘speed-of-light variation’ of around 8x10-10, whereas other rigorous experiments (e.g., Kennedy-Thorndike and Ernest Esclangon) have yielded a marginally smaller value of 7x10-10. Fuerxer concluded that the experiments pretty much agreed with each other. This contradicts the widely believed notion that the interferometer experiments conducted by different scientists have mostly yielded inconsistent or ‘null’ results or have been afflicted with systematic errors associated with temperature variations or whatnot.

In scientific annotation, 8x10-10 simply means 0.0000000008, while 7x10-10 means 0.0000000007. For the sake of the following calculus, I will use the averaged value of these two figures to represent the purported ‘speed-of-light variation’ detected by various experiments.

• Average variation factor: (0.0000000008 + 0.0000000007) / 2 = 0.00000000075

• Speed of light = 299792.5 km/s

• Average variation: 299792.5 km/s x 0.00000000075 = 0.000224844 km/s = 0.809439 km/h

So what was interpreted as the average ‘speed-of-light variation’ in several unrelated interferometer experiments is nearly identical to the MVC of 0.8 km/h posited by the TYCHOS. Another spectacular strike of luck perhaps? As you will have noticed by now, the ‘coincidences’ are piling up in this book. In any case, it would certainly appear that a number of potentially significant and mutually compatible interferometer experiments subsequent to the ‘triumph’ of Einstein’s theories have been ‘overlooked’ by the scientific community.

Summarizing the current state of affairs of the measurement of Earth’s translational speed:

‒ None of the various interferometer experiments produced ‘null’ results. Hence, Einstein’s theory of general relativity was experimentally falsified.

‒ None of the results obtained was anywhere near the hypersonic speed of Earth required by the Copernican model (30 km/s).

‒ The ‘diurnal speed-of-light variation’ measured by various interferometer experiments may be reasonably interpreted to support the translational speed of 1.6 km/h proposed by the TYCHOS.

If Earth only moves at 1.6 km/h, covering only 7018 km every six months and 14036 km annually, it is easy to see why it has been so difficult to measure its orbital speed and detect stellar parallaxes. As it is, almost all astronomy debates and controversies over the last few centuries have been centered around minuscule variations or ‘inequalities’. The TYCHOS suggests these infinitesimal celestial motions are quite simply due to the snail-paced motion of the Earth. Moreover, the leisurely stroll of our planet along the PVP orbit may well be an essential prerequisite for the existence of life on Earth.

24.3 Addendum dedicated to assorted skeptics

To round off this chapter, I would like to address some basic issues concerning Earth’s motions. This section is dedicated to Copernicans, Geocentrists, Concave Earthers and Flat Earthers, all of whom will naturally have objections to the motions modeled in the TYCHOS. We are all entitled to our own world view, but if rationality is your cup of tea, you will likely appreciate what follows.

Firstly, we need to make a clear distinction between the translational and rotational motions of the Earth. Countless experiments have successfully proven the rotational motion of our planet around its axis. The same cannot be said for the translational motion. The many attempts to measure the Earth’s presumed hypersonic translational speed around the Sun have failed miserably. So, let us draw a sharp line between these two wholly different secular experimental endeavors:

• The experiments conducted to confirm heliocentrists’ claim that Earth hurtles around the Sun at 30 km/s (107226 km/h) have invariably failed. There is simply no scientific, experimental or empirical evidence in support of the Earth’s purported revolution around the Sun.

• The experiments performed to measure Earth’s diurnal rotation have for the most part been successful. The body of evidence in support of Earth’s daily rotation around its polar axis at the extremely sluggish rate of 0.000694 rpm is overwhelming and ranks among the most robust experimental results ever produced (whether Flat Earthers like it or not). All the visible planets and moons in our system can be empirically observed to rotate around their axes—a fact beyond dispute.

As mentioned in Chapter 1, it was Tycho Brahe’s assistant and successor, Longomontanus, who in his voluminous treatise “Astronomia Danica” eventually allowed for the diurnal rotation of Earth. His master had for some reason held on to the idea that Earth was completely motionless, yet some text books suggest that by the end of his life he had in fact accepted that Earth’s polar axis, rather than the entire firmament, revolved once every 24 hours. Geocentrists, on the other hand, still hold on to the notion that all the stars revolve in unison around the Earth each day—something I find rather unlikely, to say the least.

In 2013, Mr Marsh, one of the members of the science discussion forum, submitted the following relevant question:

"Why can a Sagnac Interferometer see the rotation of the earth, but a Michelson Interferometer can't see orbital speed? Could someone with knowledge of Relativity explain why a Sagnac Interferometer can plainly see the rotation of the earth (or at least a rotating reference frame of 1 day), yet the Michelson Interferometer can not detect the earth's translational motion around the sun. There seems to be a paradox here and I can't see a mathematical or theoretical way out of it. If there is no Aether....then how can the Sagnac Interferometer see the earth's rotation and at the same time the Michelson Interferometer can't see translational motion?" Waverly Marsh - (opens in a new tab)

It is an interesting experience to read the answers Mr Marsh has received over the years on the forum. As far as I can tell, none of these answers provide any sort of intelligible or meaningful explanation as to why it has proved impossible to this day to demonstrate that the Earth revolves around the Sun at break-neck speed, whereas its diurnal axial rotation can be experimentally detected in a number of ways.

I can now hear someone ask: “If the Earth spins once daily around its axis, why don’t we get flung out in space by the resulting centrifugal force?” In fact, I well remember asking myself this very same question as a child. Later in life I realized that the centrifugal force I could feel in a children’s merry-go-round was due to the small diameter of the same in relation to its rotational speed. To dispel the childish and commonplace notion of the ‘massive centrifugal force’ that our Earth’s rotation would exert on us, here is a simple experiment you may perform in the comfort of your own home:

Place an orange on a table and put your hand on top of it. Then slowly rotate it around its axis once in 24 hours (if you can stay awake that long). Now, imagine a mosquito sitting on the side of the orange. Would it be flung violently off the peel and into the room as a result of the centrifugal force? In plain physical terms, Earth revolves around its axis at the extremely sluggish rate of 0.000694 rpm. The math is simple enough: 1 rotation every 1440 min = 1/1440 = 0.000694 rpm.

To put this into perspective, if you take a ride on a children’s merry-go-round with a diameter of 12.756 meters (that’s one million times smaller than the Earth’s diameter of 12 756 000 meters), the merry-go-round would have to spin one million times slower than the Earth to match the centrifugal force exerted upon your body by the Earth’s rotation. Since the Earth’s rotational speed at the equator is about 1674 km/h, your merry-go-round would have to move at 1674 km/h / 1 000 000 = 0.001674 km/h, or 1.674 meters per hour. That’s roughly 30 times slower than your average snail’s top speed. I hope this will put to rest, once and for all, the notion that the centrifugal force of the Earth’s rotation should cause people to be flung out in space.

For a better understanding of how Earth's rotation around its axis can be detected and measured experimentally, this explicative article by Doug Marett is a great place to start: "Detecting Earth's Rotation Through Space Using a Large Area Sagnac Interferometer" - by Doug Marett (2011) (opens in a new tab)

We shall now proceed and see how the TYCHOS model can readily demystify the most unspoken (and/or poorly excused) aberration of heliocentric astronomy. Namely, the "mystery" of the regularly observed NEGATIVE stellar parallaxes. Under the Copernican model, NEGATIVE stellar parallaxes could not possibly exist. In the TYCHOS, on the other hand, their existence and regular occurrence are to be fully expected.