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Old Sep 30th 2014, 11:54 AM   #1
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Question Faulty Michelson-Morley Experiment & Expectations.

Michelson & Morley conducted their (infamous) experiment on the velocity of light through the eather and expected their light pulses to arrive at the receptor at different times. Of course, the two pulses arrived simultaneously as they should have been expected to do. It was this and latter similarly constructed experiments upon which the constancy of C (lightspeed) was presumed by Albert Einstein, et. al. But as I read the M-M Experiment, it has an obvious flaw: the two light pulses were from a SINGLE source which was itself moving at 3 x 10,000 m/s with the Earth, the experiment package, and the Researchers; PLUS the pulse reflected at a tangent was NOT per se at 90 degrees to the Earth's orbital trajectory, but rather at a very wide-angular forward tangent.
So, my question is:
How does getting the expectable results from a flawed experiment justify the conclusion that C is the MAXIMUM attainable velocity through Space?
I don't have much access to the Internet now, because I have to use the Public Library with a limited access. But I'll get back ASAP to see your answers/discussion.
Thanx, Logan the Pen Dragon
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Old Sep 30th 2014, 01:53 PM   #2
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The M-M experiment did not reach the conclusion that you say it did. It showed that there is no aether, or if there is an aether it travels at the same velocity as the earth through space. It was not flawed at all in that regard. It did not prove that the speed of light c is the cosmic speed limit, nor that c is constant for all observers, and Michelson and Morley did not claim it did. That was Einstein's assumption, made 15 years later, which at that point in time had not been proven at all. He based his assumption on reconciling the M-M results with the fact that Maxwell's equations dictate the speed of light without reference to the relative velocity of the source, and staying true to Galileo's assumption that all velocities are relative (i.e. there is no such thing as an absolute velocity measurement). From this assumption Einstein derived his Special Theory of Relativity, then the General Theory, and it's these theories that posit that nothing can travel faster than light. Obviously his assumption met with a lot of resistance at first, but observation has shown repeatedly that the implications of his theories are indeed verified. And in fact variations of the M-M experiment where the source is moving with respect to the observer have also confirmed it.
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Old Oct 1st 2014, 01:21 AM   #3
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And just to muddy the waters, Einstein reintroduced an aether for General relativity, and said the speed of light varies in a gravitational field. Check out his 1920 Leyden Address:

"Recapitulating, we may say that according to the general theory of relativity space is endowed with physical qualities; in this sense, therefore, there exists an ether. "

And have a read of this Baez article:

"Einstein talked about the speed of light changing in his new theory. In his 1920 book "Relativity: the special and general theory" he wrote: "... according to the general theory of relativity, the law of the constancy of the velocity of light in vacuo, which constitutes one of the two fundamental assumptions in the special theory of relativity [...] cannot claim any unlimited validity. A curvature of rays of light can only take place when the velocity [Einstein means speed here] of propagation of light varies with position." This difference in speeds is precisely that referred to above by ceiling and floor observers."

See arXiv for papers with aether in the title. And note that LIGO is an interferometer - it hasn't detected gravitational waves, but people don't cite this as proof that they don't exist.
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Old Oct 1st 2014, 01:09 PM   #4
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I simply wasn't clear on what I meant to say, I suppose? M-M observed the light to reach the detector at the same time when they'd expected the pulse at a tangent to the Earth's orbital trajectory to arrive after the pulse travelling along the Earth's trajectory. Einstein interpreted that to show, also, that the velocity of the source's PLATFORM didn't affect the speed of light, hence, that lightspeed was always a constant C. Then, this bunk about C being the maximum attainable velocity evolved from there.
The experiments and observations made on C/lightwaves that I have been able to find during my research (such as the laser reflected off the mirror on the moon) have ALL had the same general flaw. They do NOT measure the velocity of light through space AGAINST A STATIONARY WALL while taking a simultaneous measure of light BETWEEN A MOVING SOURCE AND A STATIONARY RECEIVER. [see e.g. my suggested experiment @ http://www.logandiez.Wordpress.com in the essay "The Constancy of C"] If we are to have a REALISTIC view of light propagation, we have to do a NON-Relativistic experiment.
Another thing about Einsteinian Relativity is his assertion GRAVITATIONAL FORCE is what "bends" light around massive bodies. Photons are massless particles, ergo, they are NOT affected by Gravity which acts only on massive bodies. It should have been obvious to Einstein, et.al, that since the light was "bent" in observed instances at almost TWICE the angle Einstein had predicted, then it was deflected by some force TWICE the strength of Gravity at near-distances ... Electromagnetic Force. Photons ARE affected by Em. So why create the fantastical "curved space" nonsense?

Last edited by logandiez; Oct 1st 2014 at 01:16 PM. Reason: additional comment
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Old Oct 1st 2014, 02:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by logandiez View Post
I simply wasn't clear on what I meant to say, I suppose? M-M observed the light to reach the detector at the same time when they'd expected the pulse at a tangent to the Earth's orbital trajectory to arrive after the pulse travelling along the Earth's trajectory. Einstein interpreted that to show, also, that the velocity of the source's PLATFORM didn't affect the speed of light, hence, that lightspeed was always a constant C. Then, this bunk about C being the maximum attainable velocity evolved from there.
The experiments and observations made on C/lightwaves that I have been able to find during my research (such as the laser reflected off the mirror on the moon) have ALL had the same general flaw. They do NOT measure the velocity of light through space AGAINST A STATIONARY WALL while taking a simultaneous measure of light BETWEEN A MOVING SOURCE AND A STATIONARY RECEIVER. [see e.g. my suggested experiment @ http://www.logandiez.Wordpress.com in the essay "The Constancy of C"] If we are to have a REALISTIC view of light propagation, we have to do a NON-Relativistic experiment.
Another thing about Einsteinian Relativity is his assertion GRAVITATIONAL FORCE is what "bends" light around massive bodies. Photons are massless particles, ergo, they are NOT affected by Gravity which acts only on massive bodies. It should have been obvious to Einstein, et.al, that since the light was "bent" in observed instances at almost TWICE the angle Einstein had predicted, then it was deflected by some force TWICE the strength of Gravity at near-distances ... Electromagnetic Force. Photons ARE affected by Em. So why create the fantastical "curved space" nonsense?
Oh boy.

As Chip mentioned earlier the MM experiment was not about proving the speed of light is constant, it is about the existence of the aether. The experiment was not done in one part, but two. First when the Earth is moving in a particular direction (say in the Spring) and second when the Earth's direction is opposite (in the Fall). There was no difference in the results and thus there is no aether to affect to transmit light waves.

I'm sorry, but except perhaps on the Quantum scale the speed of light has been measured to be a constant independent of a reference frame in so many experiments the search would probably crash Google. And Historically speaking Einstein was not the first to suggest a constant speed of light in any reference frame. The owner of that one was one Hendrik Lorentz, who incidentally was the first to mention time dilation (that I am aware of), who developed the relative transformation equations of Maxwell's Electrodynamics in about 1904. (They were probably known before then, though, but it was Lorentz' paper.) It was Einstein that picked up on this and suggested that the constancy of light was a general phenomenon, not just for Electrodynamics. (Hence the title of Einstein's SR paper: "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies.") In the future please do your research and blame the right person.

Point in fact, GR can be seen as a Geometric theory, though Weinberg in particular cautions against this. In the Geometric version matter and energy distort the geometry of space-time and hence cause gravitational attractions. I could mention metrics and curvatures and geodesics and Yang-Mills fields and the like but it wouldn't affect the basic argument...from a local point of view massive sources will bend a ray of light in its vicinity.

Oh, I almost forgot. Einstein did, in fact, predict a deflection of light twice the size that it actually was (I have forgotten which experiment), but he did so using a version of GR that was not yet complete. When the calculation was done using the full version of GR the prediction matched the experiment.

-Dan
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Old Oct 1st 2014, 02:50 PM   #6
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I just read through the article mentioned in your (logandiez) last post. Please, feel free to do the experiment you suggested. If you are truly skeptical of the constancy of the speed of light I certainly won't stop you.

If I may be so bold...A flaw in the paper is that until you actually do the experiment you can't make a conclusion based on it. You may want to revise how you do that.

-Dan
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Old Oct 1st 2014, 04:39 PM   #7
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Thanks topsquark, nicely done. To the OP I would add another thing - you are apparently a proponent of the discredited "emission theory," which thinks of light photons like bullets fired from a gun that travel at speed c only relative to the gun. Take a look at this, and let us know what you think:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emission_theory

And also if you're going to bash a theory like GR at least understand what it says. No one claims that gravity bends light through gravitational force, like it bends the path of a thrown ball. Gravity bends light by warping space itself (or more accurately space-time). Light seeks the quickest way to get from point A to point B, and in a warped space-time continuum that means it follows a non-straight path. I'm glad that you acknowledge that gravitational lensing is real, but it has absolutely nothing to do with electromagnetic effects of the gravitational source on photons.
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Old Oct 2nd 2014, 05:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by logandiez View Post
...Another thing about Einsteinian Relativity is his assertion GRAVITATIONAL FORCE is what "bends" light around massive bodies. Photons are massless particles, ergo, they are NOT affected by Gravity which acts only on massive bodies. It should have been obvious to Einstein, et.al, that since the light was "bent" in observed instances at almost TWICE the angle Einstein had predicted, then it was deflected by some force TWICE the strength of Gravity at near-distances ... Electromagnetic Force. Photons ARE affected by Em. So why create the fantastical "curved space" nonsense?
You don't understand how gravity works at all. Einstein did not describe gravity as curved space, he said a gravitational field was inhomogeneous space, the metrical properties of which vary in line with the geometrical model called curved spacetime. See this Baez article and note this:

"in general relativity gravity is not really a 'force', but just a manifestation of the curvature of spacetime. Note: not the curvature of space, but of spacetime. The distinction is crucial."

In addition it's clear you don't understand mass. Please endeavour to understand relativity before you criticize it. There are some issues with the way it's taught, but it isn't wrong. To demonstrate to you where you can get to once you understand relativity, watch this:



topsquark: the speed of light is not constant!

Chip: gravity doesn't bend light by warping space-time!

Last edited by Farsight; Oct 2nd 2014 at 05:21 AM.
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Old Oct 2nd 2014, 11:02 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Farsight View Post
topsquark: the speed of light is not constant!

Chip: gravity doesn't bend light by warping space-time!
Conversations for another thread...

-Dan
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Old Oct 7th 2014, 11:14 AM   #10
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Does ANYONE really understand what gravity is? How about this: gravity is a manifestation of the oscillatory energy of the quantum 'bitts' that compose the mass-energy component of the primary particles; these 'bitts' b work something along the line of a canoe being rocked in the water gently, creating a backwash effect that draws a dropped paddle close to the canoe.
If you can explain gravity better than that, i would like to read your explaination. As i understand it, the FORCE of gravity and WHY it attracts mass is pretty much a mystery the Physics Community is spending a great deal of time and money trying to explain: correct? I reckon my explaination is as good and close to reality as any other currently out there.
Einstein said gravity curves space. I never said he described gravity AS curved space. When observation proved light passing near the sun was deflected at almost TWICE what Einstein had predicted it would be deflected by gravitational force, he revised his theory with the "curved space" concept giving reason for the extra degrees of deflection RATHER THAN looking for the obvious explanation, to wit, that a Force TWICE AS STRONG as gravity (at near distances) is what caused the light to deflect what it did: Electromagnetic Force.
"Spacetime" ... an interesting concept to be sure. S.P.A.C.E. = Simultaneous Probable And Circumstantial Events which give rise to the three-diminsional Cosmos as we know it and the dynamic forces which hold SPACE open creating distances. "Temphyst SPACE" = temporal-physical Simultaneous Probable And Circumstantial Events ... that is Causality which is the whole of what our Cosmos is. IF there is in fact a "curvature" in what constitutes "Space" in the current cosmological physics community, then that curvature is factually "temphyst" and "SPACE." However, other than the deflection of light at near distances to massive bodies (which can be explained equally as logical be Em Force), we really have NO other evidence to suggest that Space can be curved ... it could as easily consist of some form of as yet unidentified energy plasma that massive bodies are suspended in.
Scientific Researchers MUST ALWAYS keep an open mind unless and until there is absolute conclusive proof that a theory is correct. When you don't keep an open mind ... you get the "Flat Earth Syndrom." (i.e. believing the untrue even when someone presents evidence to the contrary)

Last edited by logandiez; Oct 7th 2014 at 11:27 AM. Reason: hit wrong key before i was finished
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