Re: GR or QED?

George Murphy (
Wed, 29 Apr 1998 14:58:08 -0400

David Bowman wrote:

> I don't have Hugh Ross' book either, but I did get a chance to check out
> the PRL paper to which he refers. It seems that George's surmise from
> the title is quite correct. The paper *does* only report on a particular
> test of one aspect of local Lorentz invariance, (i.e. *special*
> relativity, SR). That aspect is the local isotropy of space regarding
> the possibility of anisotropic quadrupolar electromagnetic couplings to
> the nuclear energy levels in Hg arising from a local anisotropy of space.
> The paper claims an upper bound of about 10^(-21) for the fractional size
> of the magnitude of such couplings.

David beat me to PRL & has summarized its significance well.
The experiment was a greatly improved version of a classic one of
Cocconi & Salpeter in 1958.
While there is nothing wrong with noting the high precision of
such experiments, it can be a little misleading in the context of
anthropic principles because it suggests that the universe must have
been fine tuned to this precision in order for intelligent life to
develop & that isn't the case.
George L. Murphy