Relativity and Cosmology

   

Error in Michelson and Morley Experiment

Authors: Eric Su

Michelson and Morley carried out an experiment in 1887 to determine if the theory of ether is correct. The experiment shows that the speed of light is constant in all directions. However, an error in this experiment was introduced by the calculation of the elapsed time for light to travel between two moving mirrors in the rest frame of ether. Both Michelson and Morley assumed that the speed of light is not altered upon reflection by a moving mirror. This critical error produced a small variation in the distance traveled by the light between mirrors in the rest frame of ether. As a result, Lorentz transformation was proposed to explain the concept of length contraction.

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[v1] 2019-02-16 14:08:54

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