Projects per year
© 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Lorentz symmetry is a foundational property of modern physics, underlying the standard model of particles and general relativity. It is anticipated that these two theories are low-energy approximations of a single theory that is unified and consistent at the Planck scale. Many unifying proposals allow Lorentz symmetry to be broken, with observable effects appearing at Planck-suppressed levels; thus, precision tests of Lorentz invariance are needed to assess and guide theoretical efforts. Here we use ultrastable oscillator frequency sources to perform a modern Michelson-Morley experiment and make the most precise direct terrestrial test to date of Lorentz symmetry for the photon, constraining Lorentz violating orientation-dependent relative frequency changes " 1/2/1/2 to 9.2±10.7 × 10 â'19 (95% confidence interval). This order of magnitude improvement over previous Michelson-Morley experiments allows us to set comprehensive simultaneous bounds on nine boost and rotation anisotropies of the speed of light, finding no significant violations of Lorentz symmetry.