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Experimental Tests of Special Relativity
- Where to find
I've been asked several times where one can find a description of
tests of special relativity (SR). This is a wide field, especially if one
takes into account those experiments providing indirect tests of SR,
viz. tests of general relativity and all those experimental results of
particle physics which presuppose SR.
I won't list GR test here, those you can find in the two books by
Clifford M. Will, Was Einstein right? Putting General
Relativity to the Test (Basic Books, New York 1986) which is
aimed at a more general audience, and Theory and Experiment in
Gravitational Physics. (Cambridge Univ. Press 1981) which is more
I'm no expert on these tests, this is just a page of pointers to
the literature. The basic information comes from Appendix B of
Special Relativity by Ulrich E. Schröder (World
Scientific: Singapore 1990), which again acknowledges as a source
D. Newman et al., Phys. Rev. Letters 40
(1978), 1355. I vaguely remember coming across some "resource
letter" in the American Journal of Physics covering similar
ground, I don't know the exact reference, though - if any of you do,
please drop me a mail.
Now, for the tests themselves, just a short description taken from
Schröders book and the reference.
- Measuring ether drift à la Michelson-Morley with an
T. S. Jaseja et al. in Phys. Rev. 133
(1964), p. A 1221.
- Measuring the quadratic Doppler effect predicted by SR, using a
R. F. C. Vessot and M. W. Levine in Metrologia
6 (1970), p. 116.
- Measuring the quadratic Doppler effect predicted by SR via the
R. V. Pound and G. A. Febka, Jr. in Phys. Rev. Lett.
4 (1960), p. 274.
- Still the quadratic Doppler effect, this time looking at the
spectral lines of moving atoms:
H. I. Mandelberg and L. Witten in J. Opt. Soc. Am.
52 (1962), p. 529.
- Same thing for the transversal Doppler effect, also via
H. Hay, J. Schiffer, T. Cranshaw and P. Egelstaff in
Phys. Rev. Lett. 4 (160), p. 165.
- Measuring time dilation via the lifetime of high-speed pions in a
D> S. Ayres et al. in Phys. Rev. D3
(1971), p. 1051.
- Measuring time dilation with atomic clocks:
J. C. Hafele and R. E. Keating in Science 177
(1972), p. 166.
- Measuring time dilation via the lifetime of high-speed muons in
a storage ring:
J. Bailey et al. in Nature 268
(1977), p. 301.
- Measuring the velocity of light emitted by fast sources, using
T. Alväger et al. in Phys. Lett. 12
(1964), p. 260.
- Measuring the velocity of light emitted by fast sources,
using the timing of pulses from a binary star:
K. Brecher in Phys. Rev. Lett. 39
(1977), p. 1236 (E).
- Measuring the relativistic mass of moving protons:
D. J. Grove and J. G. Fox in Phys. Rev.
90 (1953), p. 378.
V. P. Zrelow, A. A. Tyapkin und P. S. Farago in
Zh. Eksp. Teor. Fiz. 34 (1958), p. 555 (in
English: Sov. Phys. JETP 7 (1958),
- Measuring the g-factor of the muon by looking at its precession
in a storage ring:
J. Bailey et al. in Nuovo Cimento A9
(1972), p. 369.
J. Bailey et al. in Phys. Lett. 68 B
(1977), p. 191.
- Measuring the g-factor of the electron by looking at its
precession in an electromagnetic trap:
J. Wesley and A. Rich in Phys. Rev. A4
(1971), p. 1341.
R. Van Dyck, P. Schwinberg and H. Dehmelt in
Phys. Rev. Lett. 38 (1977), p. 310.
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