Article reference:

Extended Michelson-Morley Interferometer Experiment

The original experiment of Michelson and Morley was performed in 1887 in order to confirm the theory that says earth exists in an unseen sea of pre-matter called the aether, and that the daily rotation of the earth around itself and the constant travel of the earth around Sol, our sun, would expose any instrument on the earth's surface to what was called an "aether wind". The concept is that the aether, conceived as the medium that allows light waves to travel from one point in the cosmos to another, would influence the measurement of the length of a path of light, depending on whether the path is in line with the expected "wind" or is oriented perpendicular to it.

The experiment did not find the expected result but rather than looking for a reason the aether wind might not be measurable in this way, the idea of there being an aether in the first place was questioned. Einstein then declared that an aether was "not necessary", and since Einstein's theories gained widespread acceptance, any further investigation into the subject of the aether was relegated to the fringes of science.

Many attempts have been made to explain why the physical configuration of the measuring apparatus of Michelson and Morley was improper for showing the aether wind, but no one has repeated the experiment in a different setting, such as in a satellite orbiting the earth.

Now recently Martin Grusenick, an experimenter in Germany, has repeated the Michelson-Morley interferometer experiment with a rather simple laser set-up and has found - to no great surprise - that rotating his apparatus horizontally, no shifts in the interference fringes are observed. Grusenick however had another idea. He modified his apparatus to make it possible to rotate in a vertical plane ... documenting his results in a video that was uploaded on YouTube:

Extended Michelson-Morley Interferometer experiment

It is probably best if you watch the video before reading on.

The result of vertical-plane-rotation of the apparatus showed a definite fringe shift becoming visible. The shift was going two ways (left and right) during a full 360 degrees rotation. Between the two displacements, there were two points during the rotation (at an approximate 45 degree angle) where the fringes showed no motion.

My first reaction was: "Of course, gravity (which I see as an aether flow) would tend to overwhelm and thus cancel out the expected aether flow in the horizontal direction, but the 'flow of gravity' can be detected in the vertical.

Some NPA members commented on the NPA chat-line where I had posted a link to the video, some of them disagreed with my evaluation.

Here are some of the comments:

Stephan Gift: "This appears to be a very fascinating result. I will study this more carefully. Is a paper on the experiment available? Please let me know."

John-Erik Persson: "The experimenter seems to be ignorant about the changes of length that are introduced by gravitation. The experiment should be done in such a way that this effect is minimized but this is probably not enough. Vertical velocity is very interesting, but also too difficult for second order effects. Perhaps first order effects are possible."

Tom Miles:
"Thank you for posting this notice.

And, may I express my appreciation to Martin Grusenick for the time, effort and expense he has put into this work.

But... He once again proves that the MMX gives a null result. If he had shown us two full periods of fringe motion per rotation, I would have been impressed. His device produces only one full period. This tells me that he has constructed an elaborate strain gage.

I could post wonderful looking fringe shift videos from my experimental work. They actually show two full periods per rotation. Two full periods when the bench was rotating on a large diameter "precision" bearing. But once I put the bench onto an inner tube floating in water, the same device showed no fringe shift. The strain induced by the bearing, through 2" of foam board and 1" of granite produced a lovely fringe shift."

And again Tom Miles, in a second message:
"Perhaps you missed my response to the Martin Grusenick experiment, so I will repeat my comments:

The experiment provides no qualitative or quantitative information.

To have qualitative significance, each full rotation in either the vertical or horizontal mode should have shown TWO full periods of shift. That is, we should have seen left-right-left-right shifts. We saw left-right. (Could be right first, it is not of significance.) This is not a trivial matter. If you don't have two full phases, you have nothing.

It was not the stresses of gravity but rather the strains induced by the stresses that caused a displacement of the optical elements.

This experiment can only be re-produced in a weightless environment to yield anything of value."

I responded to this second message of Tom Miles, when I said:
"you're right, I did not see your earlier reply before this message. Both Stephan's and yours somehow ended up in the dark place reserved on my computer for spam. I am having some trouble teaching it the fine points ;)

In any case, you seem to be very harsh with the experimenter.

Can you explain why we should see TWO full changes in the interference shifts, rather than the one complete shift (left-right-left) which we saw in the video? The shift, during the complete revolution, went first all the way left and then all the way right, with a pause at the mid-point as the shift reversed. I don't quite understand why it should do that twice.

You are assuming that the optical elements of the apparatus have been displaced by the stress of gravity. If that was the case, should not the "neutral" point, i.e. the point where no further displacement of the fringes is observed, be at the 3 o'clock (90 degree) and the 9 o'clock (270 degree) position, rather than as observed, at the 45 degree and 225 degree positions? And should not have the maximum displacement occurred at 12 o'clock (0 degree) and 6 o'clock (180 degrees)?

I don't believe that this experiment can be so easily dismissed as providing 'no qualitative or quantitative information'."

Tom Miles did come back with a reply, although not really answering my questions:
"I'm glad you found my first post on this. In it, I was complimentary to Martin and lauded him for his effort. If I sounded a little harsh in my second post it was because I thought you were ignoring my comments.

I will try to find some links for you that display the two-phase requirement, and send them along.

In the meantime, let me say that what we saw on the video would have been very significant if he had only rotated it 180 degrees. When you rotate a Michelson interferometer, you expect a maximum every 90 degrees, returning to zero 45 degrees later in each case.

This is an absolute requirement for meaningful data. You can't say it is significant because he is half-way there. He is nowhere, I'm afraid.

What he observed was strain not stress. The stress (force) from gravity caused a strain (movement) on his optical elements and bench. So yes, in his case the maximum fringe shift appeared to occur when the splitter mirror was horizontal, and again when it was horizontal but flipped, 180 degrees later.

I have to dismiss it as having any scientific value. I would, however, encourage it to be performed on the Int'l. Space Station."

That same day, he also sent a scan of a page of an article with the words:
"Attached is page 227 from Miller's 1933 paper. When you look at the graphs, you will see the sought after, theoretical fringe shift expectation. It is two phases per 360 degrees of rotation."

Miller_RevModPhys_v5n3(1933)203-242 25.pdf

The exchange left me with some doubts. I would therefore like to ask readers who have mulled over the experiment of Michelson and Morley before to tell their views by adding a comment. Is the experiment performed by Martin Grusenick as posted on YouTube a valid experiment and what does it show?

Could the experiment be improved to eliminate points of doubt raised by the people who commented?

And I would especially appreciate if Martin Grusenick himself could address some of the points that were raised in discussion, and perhaps provide a link to a written discussion of the experiment, if such exists.

- - -

Update 28 September:

Here is another comment I just found among my emails, coming from Norbert Feist in Germany. I will post it here in both German and an English translation:

Lieber Herr Grusenick,

ich sah Ihren Film über ein vertikales Michelsonexperiment bei YouTube .

Herzlichen Glückwunsch! Als alter Hase auf dem Gebiet freut es mich ungemein, daß offenbar der Glaube an einen Äther und vor allem der Nachwuchs nicht ausstirbt.

Für mich ist jedoch klar, daß Ihnen die Schwerkraft bzw. die Mechanik einen Streich spielt. Bei den kurzen Interferometerarmen entsprächen die 11 Streifen einer Laborgeschwindigkeit von ca.1/3 Lichtgeschwindigkeit! Da die zeitlichen Schwankungen trotz der Erdrotation gering sind, würde zudem nur Ihr Labor mit dieser Geschwindigkeit in eine Richtung fliegen....

Man könnte über Gravitationseffekte bezüglich Lichtausbreitung spekulieren, aber das alles können Sie sich meiner Ansicht und Erfahrung nach ersparen, wenn Sie Ihren Apparat mechanisch versteifen sowohl bezüglich der optischen als auch der tragenden Teile. Als erstes würde ich den Laser hinten zusätzlich fixieren und die Tragarme durch eine Platte ersetzen. Ich würde anschließend versuchsweise auch den Laser gegen ein anderes möglicherweise stabileres Fabrikat und vor allem die Spiegel gegen kleinere leichtere tauschen (hätte ich).

And in English:

Dear Mr. Grusenick,

I have seen your video about a vertical Michelson experiment on YouTube .

Congratulations! As an old hand in this field I am very happy to see that obviously belief in the esistence of an aether and it is especially good to see that younger people continue to get into this.

For me it is clear however, that gravity and mechanics are misleading you. Considering the short arms of the interferometer, 11 interference stripes would indicate a laboratory velocity of one third of the speed of light! As the time-dependent variations are small, despite the earth'l rotation, it would be only your laboratory that is flying in one direction with that velocity.

One could speculate about effects of gravity regarding the transmission of light, but my view and experience are that you can disregard all that if you stiffen up your apparatus mechanically, both with regard to the optical parts as also the frame. As a first action I would add another fix-point on the laser at its end and I would replace the arms of the frame by a plate. After that I would try to replace the laser with a different, perhaps more stable, kind and above all, I would exchange the mirrors with smaller, lighter ones (I have some if needed).

- - -

Update 13 December 2009:

In response to comments from several investigators, Martin Grusenick constructed a much stiffened version of his apparatus. A description and photographs of this new set-up are posted on the Ning group page of the Natural Philosophy Alliance.

- - -

Update 19 January 2010:

Martin Grusenick says:

at the moment I work on a new project. It is a vertically built up non-rotary interferometer. With it the influence of gravity on the apparatus is no longer of much importance. The interferometer is fastened with elastic strings. In the cupboard I can hold surprisingly the temperature very exact. The temperature sways only between 21,3°C and 21,6°C degrees. On the base plate is mounted a small camera. The camera is programmed to take a photo, every five minutes.

Moreover, I have fastened to the plywood screen a digital thermometer. An electronic control, linked with the PC, switches the laser on and off in five minute intervals. With software the single pictures are combined into a time-lapse photography video.

The first test run of about two days was already very promising. The star constellations are a little bit unfavorable at the moment, but the moonset can be seen clearly. The rising and setting of the other planets has not been investigated.

The device temperature is of great importance. But I still have a big problem. The resolution of the digital thermometer is too low. To be able to better document temperature fluctuations, the thermometer must have a better resolution. 21,0°C is not enough, it must be at least 21,00°C. A thermometer with this resolution, including the measuring sensor costs here in Germany about 170 euro.

The email included some photos of the new experiment, some of which are reproduced here.

In the meantime, Martin has found someone to meet the cost of the high accuracy digital thermometer needed for the experiment. If you want to contact Martin directly, try mgrusenick(at)aol(dot)com

You will need to substitute the correct symbols for (at) and (dot) ;)

Detail of the new, non-rotating experimental set-up:


Testing the apparatus:


Overall view of the new experiment:

Total 2.jpg

- - -


Dear Martin,

Congratulations on the reconstruction of the apparatus. I would encourage to review my paper on the work of Dayton Miller, which goes into the issue of how the cosmic ether is entrained by dense substances in the surroundings. Miller was able to get good ether-drift results by moving his apparatus to high locations in a shelter without dense material in the composition of the walls, as was the case with Michelson-Morley, and every other ether-drift experiment which got small or no positive results. And he was not alone. So please repeat your experiment in a manner that gives the apparatus shielding from thermal distortions, but outdoors. Also be aware, the shifting nature of the ether-drift signal, as sometimes it will come directly vertical while at other times, more horizontal. This is discussed in my papers on the subject:

Dayton Miller's Ether-Drift Experiments: A Fresh Look

Please do not be distracted by the "skeptics", and only pay attention to reasonable rational criticisms. Also the work of Yuri Galaev in the Ukraine is centrally important and an excellent verification of the ether-drift effects, using simple equipment similar to your own, and from which you can get many good ideas.

You have made a good start, but it is possible your vertical-axis result is the product of gravity effects upon the instrument. I suggest, to submit your apparatus to control procedures testing it against deliberately-applied heat-radiation. Also when the apparatus is in the horizontal orientation, try to create the fringe shifts by moving the various components with a slight pull by a thread. If you can make the fringe-shifts only by substantial pulling, or by hard thermal stress, this will negate any criticisms that your effects are the product of greatly weaker influences from the local environment, or from gravitational pulling of the components of the apparatus itself.

Also to move your apparatus out into the open environment, on a high location, should increase the resulting fringe-shifts. Nearly nobody does that, as it implies a tangible and dynamic cosmic ether, and even some ether-advocates don't like that idea.

Kind regards,
James DeMeo, Ph.D.
Orgone Biophysical Research Lab
Ashland, Oregon, USA

Perhaps there is actually no such thing as the "speed of light".

If all EMR are vibrations in the aether, and the aether being an electric fluid, then maybe it is better to write the speed of light as a volumetric flow rate.

Much like how a hydraulic press maintains a constant pressure, perhaps this is how the Universe also applies a constant pressure.

When using instruments to infer the existence of the imponderable aether, it might serve us well to search for a pressure value rather than speed.

The result is extremely interesting! Schwartschild metric predicts this effect but it is by factor 10^-4 too small. Simple modification of Schwartshild metric reproduces the effect. Similar modification of solar metric could explain diurnal variation.

The effect on planetary orbits is negligible unless they are highly elliptic and very near to surface of the star. See my blog and links therein.

Many have now claimed that Mr. Grusenick's experiment confirms an "aether" or gravitational gradient that affects the laser beam as the interferometer is rotated in the vertical orientation. Yet, the same effect can be induced by introducing a very small amount of strain or stress into the base of the interferometer. I have confirmed this in my recent interferometry experiments in which the fringe lines move in one direction when strain is slowly added and in the opposite direction when this strain is relieved. You will note that the noted effect in Mr. Grusenick's apparatus begins just as the heavier parts, the flat mirrors and their housings, induce the most strain. I would and will suggest to Mr. Grusenick to add counterweights to the apparatus and to record the results. I predict that the starting and ending points of the fringes "marching" across the screen will shift, thereby confirming the true cause of this result.


Frank G. Pearce
Richardson, Texas

Bonjour, Hello

Je suis un newtoniste.
I am a newtonist.

(déplacements absolus d'un lieu absolu jusqu'à un autre lieu absolu, temps absolu, vitesses absolues)

(absolute motions from an absolute place to another absolute place, absolute time, absolute speed)

De gravitatione + De motu + Principia

Je combats la Relativité. (restreinte et générale)
I struggle against Relativity (special and general)

Je pense que MMM se trompent.
I think Michelson, Morley, Miller are wrong.

Martin Grusenick nous a donné la preuve de l'escroquerie.
Martin Grusenick give the proof of the swindle.

MMM (ils) nous avaient emené à la foire pour nous montrer leur attraction foraine.
MM, (they) had taken us along to the fair to show us their open attraction.

MMM refusaient de voir que le Soleil bougeait (Herschel) et leur partisans ont refusé la révolution galactique.

MMM refused to see that the Sun moved (Herschel) and their partisans refused the galactic revolution.

J'attends avec impatience le TEXTE de la vidéo. (J'utilise la traduction automatique .... qui ne sait pas ENTENDRE LES YOUTUBE !!)

Merci d'avance !

I await the TEXT of the video impatiently. (I use the automatic translation…. who cannot HEAR the YOUTUBE!!)

Thank you in advance!

Encore BRAVO à Martin Grusenick !
Still CHEER with Martin Grusenick!

Yanick Toutain

Mr. Miles is full of nonsense. The question is "Why there is a zero point at the one diagonal but NOT for its complement?" The answer is THIS - take a good look at your own comparisons. The paths for the zero point are NOT equivalent; in fact, they are exactly opposite. The zero point is where one beam travels above the mirror in BOTH directions, while the split beam travels BELOW the mirror in both directions, consistently at a lower gravitational potential than the upper one. Why is there a zero point?
Okay then, now, look at the complementary angle where there is no zero point, but Mr. Miles thinks there should be. Each beam travels the same gravitational gradient, both legs of each beam are below the mirror. Ok, you'd think this should be a zero point because the two paths are the same, but the movement depends strictly on correlation between points in the gradient - a 100% correlation occurs when the paths are equal, 0% when they are 90% out of synch, which occurs at 180 degree intervals in a rotation (approximately a sine wave). That is what my stat theorem proves, if you can grasp the concept, and the gradient wheel I developed to establish the direction and magnitude of a gradient for any kind of experimental design uses the same concepts.
By the way, the gradient that causes the shifts is not gravity as we think of it, but it is coincident with gravity. It is the same exact effect that causes the starlight deflection that made Einstein famous (for bogus reasons). There is a time lag for travel through a lower gravitational potential where clocks run a bit more slowly, and the diurnal and other cyclical shifts that Martin reports were also seen in the original Michelson-Morley experiment. The investigators simply didn't report those results because they didn't want anyone to think they were important. There's the correct answer, glad I could be here when you all needed me. For reference,

My apology, I may need to make a correction to my last post (if it ever appears). Mr. Grusenick's zero point occurs at a negative 100% correlation in the two paths, NOT a zero percent. The complement on the other side of vertical still represents a positive 100% correlation. I don't know about strain, but this is precisely what would happen if there was a difference in the time traveled between the two paths, so I'm still not sure why anyone would not see that. thanks...

The correct interpretation is that a change in direction (zero point) for the shifts can only occur when correlation shifts from the negative towards the positive and not the other way around. An easier way to visualize this is to simply tabulate the total distance (time lag) traveled between the two paths from horizontal, which is simply the sum of the sines of the angles from vertical for both beams. If this is a gravity effect, the shifts should change direction at the maximum intervals. At 45 degree intervals, this is the result:

0 45 90 135 180 225 270 315
1.00 1.41 1.00 0.00 -1.00 -1.41 -1.00 0.00

Note that there are two positions only where a change in direction occurs, at 45 degrees and 225 degrees, exactly where Mr. Grusenick found them and exactly where a maximum negative correlation occurs.

Oh, well, at first I was quite excited about these results, but then the 18 to 3 fringe shift diff between designs hints strongly at design artifact. In fact, if the apparatus does hang straight down, not only are the beam paths equal, but strain in the two mirrors is equal, whereas the zero point angles correspond not only to max grav diff, but also to the point where strain on the mirrors would cause an unequal shift in path. I have made a design that will distinguish between these two effects, but high quality parts and shipping to Thailand will hit about $800 bucks. Would someone like to go partners with me on this? If so, I'll email design plans and my part quotes. Remember, I'm a superb statistician, so believe me when I say that I can distinguish between the effects of gravity on the beam itself from equipment stress to a nat's eyebrow, including any two way interaction of both - to a nat's eyebrow. The results could be disappointing, but then we would know for certain.

For anyone thinking of using a web camera like this you should check out the java tool "ImageJ" by Wayne Rasband at NIH. It is open source and public domain. Lots of the measurements done in Martin's experiments can probably be automated.


That Grusenick's zero points are only caused by mirror stress is not a discouragement - it just points out that a different design than MM is required that eliminates the lack of symmetry in the design between upward and downward paths. I think this can be done, but I don't want to bother, because I already know the answer. To sense the time delay between paths at different gravitational potentials, you'd need a path difference of roughly 50 feet. Doesn't mean you need int'r arms that are that long, though.

Many have now claimed that Mr. Grusenick's experiment confirms an "aether" or gravitational gradient that affects the laser beam as the interferometer is rotated in the vertical orientation. Yet, the same effect can be induced by introducing a very small amount of strain or stress into the base of the interferometer. I have confirmed this in my recent interferometry experiments in which the fringe lines move in one direction when strain is slowly added and in the opposite direction when this strain is relieved. You will note that the noted effect in Mr. Grusenick's apparatus begins just as the heavier parts, the flat mirrors and their housings, induce the most strain. I would and will suggest to Mr. Grusenick to add counterweights to the apparatus and to record the results. I predict that the starting and ending points of the fringes "marching" across the screen will shift, thereby confirming the true cause of this result.

Please scroll to the point in the video where Grusenick states: "Because of the camera, we are now able to nicely view the interference fringes during this rotation. As we can see, there are no shifts in the interference pattern when a complete rotation of the apparatus by 360 degrees occurs."

1) Find a speck on your computer screen.
2) Center a fringe on the speck.
3) Run the video from the beginning of Grusenick's statement to the end of the statement.
4) Grab the video cursor and scroll back and forth a few times.
5) I estimate approximately 1/3 fringe shift back-and-forth as the apparatus is turned 360 degrees in a horizontal plane.
6) As noted by other commentators on this blog, any REAL effect would have shown two cycles per 360 degree rotation.

1) Martin Grusenick's apparatus failed the horizontal control. He did not succeed even in replicating the MMX results.
2) The effects are fully explained as being due to the poor design of his apparatus.

Dear Martin,
If You check the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) Database, you find that my brother (Erich) and I have registered an invention that deals with this type of phenomenon. The registration Nr. is 2615016. (or type in Erdmann Erich into the "Basic" CIPO search engine, and you will get more of our inventions.) We named it "Laser Gravitational Field Fluctuation Detector", since we believe that the gravitational field of the earth has an effect on the speed of light. This phenomenon would explain "Black Holes" in space. Our invention was registered the 17th of December 2007, so you are exactly not the first. But it is still amazing that both, you and we have come up with the same (or very similar) findings. This tells me that there is something to it.
The reason we called gravitational field fluctuation detector is because, at certain times of the day a movement of the interference pattern would show up for no obvious reason.
Anyway, I congradualate you on your work and wish you good luck in your future endeavors.

Adolf Erdmann

Interference fringes during the rotation..that's obvious..

Dear Mr. Martin Grusenick
Simply, I have established "The Super Unified Field Theory ", in my book titled,

The Last Chapter of the Symphony of Existence
The Super Unified Field Theory (The TOE)

International Standard Book Number (ISBN): 977-17- 9789 – 1
National Library & Archives Number (Egypt): 21006-2010

In this book, this phenomenon has been fully explained with its corresponding equations based on "The General Theory of Relativity", and I am willing to send you a free copy of my book if send me your postal address.

Dr. Engineer: M.E. Isma'eel

My e-mail address:

Today I made test 4 am I eliminate mirror from my tool
(I started yesterday with mirror) now I'm using wall to break light and I see wave )

I'm using long line light
I see motion

I can see wave >>> or <<<

from flore to celing
or from celing to flore

I have been trying to contact Martin Grusenick at his AOL account. No answer. Is there another email I can try?

The explanation of the results of the Michelson-Morley experiment on the basis of the universal frame of reference is possible. Stating that the Michelson-Morley experiment proved that the velocity of light is absolutely constant is untrue. Stating that the Michelson-Morley experiment proved that there is no universal frame of reference in which light propagates and moves at a constant velocity is also untrue

There are infinitely many theories with ether, which are in accordance with the Michelson-Morley experiment.

It turns out that the velocity of light in one direction (momentary) has never been accurately measured. In all measurements of the velocity of light, only the average velocity of light traveling the path along the closed trajectory was measured. In order to measure the velocity of light, light had to return to the measuring device. From these experiments, it is clear that the average velocity of light traveling the path to and back is constant, and not that the velocity of light in one direction (momentary) is constant.
It is on these facts that the 'Special Theory of Ether' is based.