Light Isotropy - Theory and Experiment

From Natural Philosophy Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Scientific Paper
Title Light Isotropy - Theory and Experiment
Author(s) Jeff Alford
Keywords Light Isotropy, Experiment
Published 2001
Journal General Science Journal

Abstract

A lot of people misinterpret that the Michelson Morley experiment represents strong evidence in favor of Einstein?s Theory of Relativity. It is true that the Michelson Morley experiment agrees with relativity theory, but it in no way represents strong evidence for the theory. There are several theories which attempt to interpret with respect to what light travels when it travels through empty space. The results of the Michelson Morley experiment only disagree with one of these theories-the stationary ether theory. Therefore, the Michelson Morley experiment has much more to do with disqualifying the stationary ether theory than it does with confirming Einstein?s.

The reason why the Michelson Morley experiment is so popularized probably has more to do with the fact that it was this experiment which caused Lorentz and Fitzgerald (who believed in the stationary ether theory) to propose their "hypothesis of contraction" (i.e. to rescue the stationary ether theory from the results of the MM experiment). This "hypothesis of contraction" is equivalent mathematically to Einstein?s transformations. It therefore serves, not only as an indication that the stationary ether theory was wrong, but also as an introduction to the origin of the mathematical transformation equations that Einstein uses in his theory of relativity. This is probably why the MM experiment receives so much attention in literature about relativity theory.

This paper is about the isotropic (same in all directions) velocity of light when it travels through empty space. With respect to what does light travel isotropic to, when it travels through empty space? Einstein?s theory of relativity assumes that it always travels isotropic to the observer. The ballistic theory assumes that it travels isotropic to some source of the light. The ether theory assumes that it travels isotropic to some ether.