A NEW LIMIT ON PHOTON MASS, less than 10^-51 grams or 7 x 10^-19 electron volts, has been established by an experiment in which light is aimed at a sensitive torsion balance; if light had mass, the rotating balance would suffer an additional tiny torque. This represents a 20-fold improvement over previous limits on photon mass. Photon mass is expected to be zero by most physicists, but this is an assumption which must be checked experimentally. A nonzero mass would make trouble for special relativity, Maxwell's equations, and for Coulomb's inverse-square law for electrical attraction. The work was carried out by Jun Luo and his colleagues at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China (junluo@mail.hust.edu.cn, 86-27-8755-6653). They have also carried out a measurement of the universal gravitational constant G (Physical Review D, 15 February 1999) and are currently measuring the force of gravity at the sub-millimeter range (a departure from Newton's inverse-square law might suggest the existence of extra spatial dimensions) and are studying the Casimir force, a quantum effect in which nearby parallel plates are drawn together. (Luo et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 90, 081801
See also: Article in Science and a more recent review in RMP 2010 . Check the Table on pg 972.