Chapter 24: Dayton Miller - and the speed of Earth

Dayton Miller has to be one of the most tenacious astronomers of the past century. His relentless quest to try and measure the translational speed of Earth was certainly second to none. As a Copernican, he believed that Earth revolved around the Sun at about 30km/s (or 90X the speed of sound, as of the heliocentric theory), yet his sophisticated interferometer instrument kept 'yielding', over and over again, an apparent velocity that he could only interpret as somewhere between 9 or 10Km/s. Here's what we may read on his Wikipedia page:

"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)."

I cannot reasonably include in these pages the full story of Miller's tireless experiments - nor the ensuing, epic (and still ongoing) controversy concerning the very existence of the ether (involving none other than Albert Einstein), but I can warmly recommend to those interested this 2014 paper by James De Meo which does a fine job summarizing the same. Below is the introductory paragraph of De Meo's essay:

"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

Suffice to say that Einstein was seriously worried about Miller’s findings and is quoted as having pronounced the following, 'dramatic' 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.”

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 - therefore - the orbital speed of Earth is undetectable and immeasurable. Miller's repeated non-null results (of 9 or 10 km/s) were thus perceived as a threat to Einstein's relativity theory which was already in full swing among the scientific community of the time. But let's get on and take a closer look at Dayton Miller's findings - as viewed through the TYCHOS 'lens'.

In the previous chapter, we saw that "the speed of our Solar System in relation to the stars" is currently estimated at 19.4km/s. We also computed that, under the TYCHOS model's 42633 Reduction Factor, these 19.4km/s (or 69480km/h) 'translate' into: 69480 / 42633 ≈ 1.6km/h - i.e. the proposed orbital speed of Earth in the TYCHOS.

By the end of chapter 14, I also illustrated the "Mean Variation Coefficient" (MVC) of 0.8 km/h, which represents the expected rate of diurnal velocity variation that will affect the perceived speeds of ALL of our Solar System's bodies (against the fixed stars) - since they will alternately move every 12 hours in the same - or in the opposite - direction of the diurnally rotating Earth (which itself travels at 1.6km/h).

Now, Dayton Miller was adamant that his interferometer data (and thence extrapolated Earth velocities) consistently indicated a speed of about 9 or 10km/s (i.e. about 1/3 of the assumed translational velocity of Earth - as of Copernican theory). Hence, we may reasonably average these two numbers into a mean value of "9.5km/s"(or 34200km/h); as we apply our TYCHOS reduction factor of 42633 (see chapter 23), we thus obtain:

34200/42633 = 0.802 Km/h (i.e. almost precisely the MVC-value proposed by the TYCHOS model)

Could all of this be sheer coincidence? Am I perhaps trying too hard to validate the TYCHOS model's tenets? Maybe. However, let's earnestly proceed on this line of thought and see if we can find other indications in support of my proposed MVC of 0.8 km/h.

We shall fast-forward in time to a most fascinating French paper authored in 2007 by Pierre Fuerxer, titled “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) - famed for having forcefully deconstructed Einstein’s relativity theories.

As Maurice Allais decided to perform a statistical examination of Dayton Miller's data, he demonstrated that the sheer coherence and statistical consistency of Miller's vast body of observations was such that it couldn't be dismissed as being "spurious" or "systematically flawed" (as Miller's influential opponents had argued, eventually throwing his entire body of work into disrepute). In short, Miller's data had shown that there was a most regular DIURNAL dissymmetry between civil time and sidereal time - and that this dissymmetry also manifested itself over a six-month periodic sinusoidal curve (peaking at the March 21 and September 21 equinoxes). In fact, Maurice Allais' analysis of Miller's data still stands today as one of the strongest 'threats' to Einstein's theory of relativity.

Here is an extract from the Maurice Allais Foundation's website:

Fondation Maurice Allais

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 this most fascinating statement. To appreciate its full significance, you must know that the most popularly-known interferometer experiments (those of Michelson and Morley) were dismissed as having yielded "NULL" results. This is simply not true: their results - and those of several successive interferometer experiments - showed similar and comparable positive results. The only "problem" was: NONE of them confirmed the supposed 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.”

The results of most of the various Michelson-type experiments performed over the years have, as shown by Fuerxer, showed a speed-of-light variation of around 8x10-10, whereas two other particularly accurate experiments by Roy Kennedy and Esclangon yielded a marginally smaller value of 7x10-10. In any event, Fuerxer's conclusions are that several such experiments had pretty much agreed with each other. This flies straight in the face of the widespread notion (in academic / relativistic circles) that the various interferometer experiments yielded conflicting or “null” results - and/or were afflicted by 'systematic errors' (caused by temperature variations or whatnot).

To clarify, in scientific annotation, 8x10-10 simply means 0.0000000008 (of the speed of light), while 7x10-10 simply means 0.0000000007 (of the speed of light). For the sake of the following calculus, I will use the mean, averaged value of these two figures: 0.00000000075.

Speed of light: 299792.5km/s

299792.5km/s x 0.00000000075 = 0.000224844km/s

Converting km/s to km/h, we have 0.000224844 x 3600 = 0.809439 km/h. (i.e. the average diurnal variation of "c" observed in several distinct / unrelated interferometer experiments). Once more, this is very close to my 0.8 km/h MVC (“Mean Variation Coefficient”).

Another coincidence, perhaps? In any case, the main point with this present chapter is to highlight how two important facts which (following the 'triumph' of Einstein's theories) appear to have been 'erased' from academic astronomy literature. To wit:

  • NONE of the major interferometer experiments produced "null" results. Hence, Einstein's GR was ultimately falsified.

  • The results obtained, however, did NOT indicate anywhere near the supposed hypersonic speed of Earth around the Sun.

Since Earth only moves at 1.6 km/h, covering only 7018 km every six months and 14036 km annually, we can now understand why it has been so incredibly difficult to detect its relative orbital speed, along with any stellar parallaxes. As it is, almost all astronomy debates and vivid controversies over the last few centuries have been revolving around minuscule variations or 'inequalities'. It’s time to start asking ourselves whether these infinitesimal celestial motions are due, quite simply, to the slowness of the Earth's own motions. In other words, I suggest we should all get up to speed (pun intended) about the tranquil, 'snail-paced' progress of our planet; after all, this blissful slowness may well be a contributing factor to the very existence of life on Earth.


To round off this chapter, I wish to make a firm distinction between the translational and the rotational motions of Earth.

It is absolutely crucial to distinguish between these two wholly different experimental endeavors :

1: The experiments performed to try and measure Earth's so-called "translational motion" - i.e. Earth's supposed speed of 30 km/s (or 90X the speed of sound!) as it purportedly hurtles around the Sun - as postulated by the heliocentric theory (all of which have failed to confirm such hypersonic velocities).

2: The experiments performed to measure Earth's diurnal rotation around its polar axis (most of which have successfully confirmed this motion).

As mentioned earlier in this book, it was Tycho Brahe's trusty assistant Longomontanus who, in his voluminous 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 (and as few people may know) some text books suggest that he had, by the end of his life, finally accepted that Earth's polar axis (and not the entire firmament) revolved once every 24 hours. Today, many geocentrists still hold on to the notion that all of our stars revolve, in unison, around Earth every day - something that I personally find extremely unlikely. After all, ALL of our visible planets can be empirically observed to revolve around their axes - without exception. To think that Earth (and Earth only!) does not revolve around its axis is - pardon my bluntness - plain silly. Yes, our Mother Earth is quite 'special' and occupies a privileged, central place in our little binary system, but She surely knows how to spin!

Over the last decades, countless diverse experiments have been successfully conducted, consistently proving the rotational motion of our planet. This stands in stark contrast with the many attempts to measure Earth's supposed, hypersonic translational speed around the Sun.

On the science discussion forum, we may find this good question submitted by one of its members (back in 2013):

"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 earths rotation and at the same time the Michelson Interferometer can't see translational motion?" Waverly Marsh-ResearchGate

You may be curious to go to that link and read the many tentative answers that Mr Marsh has received over the years. As far as I can tell, none of these answers contain any sort of intelligible information / explanation as to why it has proved impossible to this day to determine that Earth revolves around the Sun (at 90 times the speed of sound!) - whereas its rotational velocity (about 1600km/h at the Equator) can be experimentally detected.

I can now hear someone say: "1600km/h? Wow, so why don't we all get flung out in space by the centrifugal force?" In fact, I well remember asking myself this very same question - at a very young age. So let me try and dispel this childish idea - once and for all:

Imagine yourself traveling at high speed on a rollercoaster and entering one of those 360° "death loops". As you spin around the loop, you will certainly feel the pressure of the centrifugal force on your seat (i.e. in your buttocks) - no doubt about that. That's because the diameter of that "death loop" is quite short (say, 30m or so). Well, if that "death loop's" diameter were instead some 12756km (like Earth's diameter), you wouldn't feel anything at all. Similarly, if you were traveling around Earth at 1600km/h in a high-speed train, you would certainly not feel any noticeable centrifugal force pushing you up towards the train cabin's ceiling. You may also perform a quite simple experiment in the comfort of your own home: grab an orange in your kitchen. Sit down on your sofa in the living room, and start spinning the orange around its axis very, veeeery slowly... In fact, you will have to patiently sit there for 24 hours to complete one single rotation of your orange! Now, imagine if a mosquito had landed on your orange whilst you were spinning it: do you think it would have been violently flung out in your living room - due to the centrifugal force exerted on the rotating orange?

In physical / rotational terms, what must be considered is that Earth revolves around its axis at the extremely sluggish rate of 0.000694 rpm!

That's just simple maths: 1/1440 (i.e. 1 rotation every 1440 min / or 24h) = 0.000694 rpm

For a better understanding of how Earth's rotation around its axis can be detected and measured experimentally, this 2011 article by Doug Marett is an excellent place to start: Detecting Earth's Rotation Through Space Using a Large Area Sagnac Interferometer

We shall now proceed and see how the TYCHOS model can readily resolve 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.