Bending the Aether
|Space is full of lines.|
Time and space, according to Einstein's theories of relativity, are woven together, forming a four-dimensional fabric called "space-time." The mass of Earth dimples this fabric, much like a heavy person sitting in the middle of a trampoline. Gravity, says Einstein, is simply the motion of objects following the curvaceous [sic] lines of the dimple.This is what Einstein in his 1920 speech in Leyden called the "relativistic ether."
If Earth were stationary, that would be the end of the story. But Earth is not stationary. Our planet spins, and the spin should twist the dimple, slightly, pulling it around into a 4-dimensional swirl. This is what GP-B went to space in 2004 to check.There is something that seems vaguely Michelson-Hale-ish about the business.
Put a spinning gyroscope into orbit around the Earth, with the spin axis pointed toward some distant star as a fixed reference point. Free from external forces, the gyroscope's axis should continue pointing at the star--forever. But if space is twisted, the direction of the gyroscope's axis should drift over time. By noting this change in direction relative to the star, the twists of space-time could be measured.So apparently the aether does spin with the earth, which may be why the Michelson-Morley experiment failed.