Relativity and Cosmology


The Michelson-Morley Experiment and Classical Analysis of Reflection of Light From a Moving Mirror - Implications for the Lorentz Transformation Equations

Authors: Henok Tadesse

This paper presents an argument that the conventional analysis of the Michelson-Morley experiment ( MMX) might be only approximately correct but not strictly accurate. Accurate classical analysis would require revision of the Lorentz-Fitzgerald length contraction formula. This new analysis may have even more far reaching consequences: if the new classical analysis requires different length contraction formulas for different experimental setups to give a null result, this would lead to absurdity of the whole concept of length contraction and Lorentz transformation. The standard ether analysis of the MMX implies a law of reflection of light from a moving mirror and this may not agree with the classical analysis. Accurate ether analysis of MMX should be based on the classical analysis of reflection of light from a moving mirror, which should be derived from fundamental classical wave principles, and not from the requirement that the Michelson-Morley experiment should give a null fringe shift.The significant divergence of the light beam has been neglected ( overlooked ) in the standard analysis. The fallacy in the standard analysis is that it presumes that the transverse light will not miss the observer/detector, which is possible only if we consider the finite divergence of the beam, but ignores the beam divergence in the analysis and goes on to extraordinary conclusions ( length contraction ). Michelson's analogy of a man swimming across a river is the original fallacy.The standard relativistic explanation is that length contraction of the beam splitter will compensate for the change in angle of reflection. However, even if the length contraction formula is applied to the whole apparatus, including the beam splitter, the Michelson-Morley experiment will never give a null result because the classical analysis and its result is complicated and cannot be compensated by the simple Lorentz contraction formula. The resulting complex formula for the difference in path lengths of the longitudinal and transverse light beams may not even allow the application of length contraction concept, and modification of the simple Lorentz-Fitzgerald length contraction formula. This will invalidate the whole concept of length contraction.

Comments: 12 Pages.

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Submission history

[v1] 2018-10-22 01:29:03
[v2] 2018-10-22 08:43:14
[v3] 2018-10-25 08:05:44

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