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Lunar Laser Ranging Test of the Invariance of c

Authors
  • Gezari, Daniel Y.
Type
Preprint
Publication Date
Jun 22, 2010
Submission Date
Dec 20, 2009
Source
arXiv
License
Yellow
External links

Abstract

The speed of laser light pulses launched from Earth and returned by a retro-reflector on the Moon was calculated from precision round-trip time-of-flight measurements and modeled distances. The measured speed of light (c) in the moving observers rest frame was found to exceed the canonical value c = 299,792,458 m/s by 200+/-10 m/s, just the speed of the observatory along the line-of-sight due to the rotation of the Earth during the measurements. This is a first-order violation of local Lorentz invariance; the speed of light seems to depend on the motion of the observer after all, as in classical wave theory, and implies that a preferred reference frame exists for the propagation of light. However, the present experiment cannot identify the physical system to which such a reference frame might be tied.

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