Does the universe have a rest frame? (Vol. 48, No. 3)

A simplified diagram showing the basic idea of the experimental design

Experiment aims at resolving divergence between special relativity and standard model of cosmology.

Physics is sometimes closer to philosophy when it comes to understanding the universe. The author attempts to elucidate whether the universe has a resting frame. The results have recently been published. To answer this tricky question, he has developed an experiment to precisely evaluate particle mass. This is designed to test the special theory of relativity that assumes the absence of a rest frame, otherwise it would be possible to determine which inertial frame is stationary and which frame is moving. This assumption, however, appears to diverge from the standard model of cosmology, which assumes that what we see as a vacuum is not an empty space. The assumption is that the energy of our universe comes from the quantum fluctuation in the vacuum. In this study, the author set out to precisely measure the masses of two charged particles moving in opposite directions. The conventional thinking assumes that the inertial frame applies equally to both particles. If that’s the case, no detectable mass difference between these two particles is likely to arise. However, if the contrary is true, and there is a rest frame in the universe, the author expects to see mass difference that is dependent on the orientation of the laboratory frame.

D. C. Chang, Is there a rest frame in the universe? A proposed experimental test based on a precise measurement of particle mass, Eur. Phys. J. Plus 132, 140 (2017)