Regular Article - Theoretical Physics
Precision tests with a new class of dedicated ether-drift experiments
Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Catania, Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Catania, Via Santa Sofia 64, 95123, Catania, Italy
* e-mail: Maurizio.Consoli@ct.infn.it
Revised: 18 March 2008
Published online: 9 May 2008
In principle, by accepting the idea of a non-zero vacuum energy, the physical vacuum of present particle physics might represent a preferred reference frame. By treating this quantum vacuum as a relativistic medium, the non-zero energy-momentum flow expected in a moving frame should effectively behave as a small thermal gradient and could, in principle, induce a measurable anisotropy of the speed of light in a loosely bound system as a gas. We explore the phenomenological implications of this scenario by considering a new class of dedicated ether-drift experiments in which arbitrary gaseous media fill the resonating optical cavities. Our predictions cover most experimental set ups and should motivate precise experimental tests of these fundamental issues.
© Springer-Verlag , 2008