Precision test of the isotropy of light propagation
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- Müller, H., Herrmann, S., Braxmaier, C. et al. Appl. Phys. B (2003) 77: 719. doi:10.1007/s00340-003-1318-0
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We report on a test of the isotropy of light propagation performed by comparing the resonance frequencies of two orthogonal cryogenic optical resonators subject to Earth’s rotation over ∼1 yr. The technical aspects of the experiment are discussed and the analysis of the data is presented in detail. For a possible anisotropy of the speed of light c, we obtain Δθc/c0=(2.6±1.7)×10-15. Within the general extension of the standard model of particle physics, we extract limits on seven parameters at accuracies down to 10-15, improving the best previous result by about two orders of magnitude. Within the Robertson–Mansouri–Sexl test theory, this implies an isotropy-violation parameter β-δ-1/2=(2.2±1.5)×10-9, about three times lower than the best previous result.