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2

"What Einstein was really looking for was a new way to transform between reference frames that would keep the laws of electrodynamics invariant inasmuch as the Galilean transformations keep the laws of Newton invariant?" It wasn't so much about finding the transformations, because the Lorentz transformations had been known for a while at the time, since ...


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I second Jammer's book. It is conceptually well laid out. Contrasted to this, Pais' book ("Inward Bound") tries to chronologically catalogue the events. So, it depends on what exactly you are looking for. Apart from these two, there are other books which are narrow and focused about quantum physics topics. E.g., there is Wheaton's "The Tiger and the ...


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The obvious difference is that Newton's equations retain their form for all inertial reference frames when Galileo's Principle of Relativity is used, but Maxwell's equations are not invariant under this transformation. Instead one must use the Lorentz transform, which recognizes that there is a fixed speed for light, $c$. This limit was recognized by ...


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Two of Maxwell's equations combine to yield a wave equation with a fixed wave velocity, the speed of light $c$, for both of two observers in relative motion to one another, contrary to the behavior of waves in Newtonian mechanics.


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I think this is an interesting question. Unfortunately, many hasty sketches of the history of physics, as they are taught, tend to draw somewhat biased conclusions for the sole purpose of avoiding delving into these types of questions (some people consider it to be a waste of time apparently). As far as I can tell, the classical scattering theory at the ...


1

You can find a listing of the extant works of Aristotle here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_Aristotelicum There are a couple of sets of translations available at www.archive.org In answering most of these questions, Google is your friend.


19

It was a completely unexpected result at the time. The principle of the MM experiment hinged on the hypothesis that Maxwell's equations of electromagnetism were valid only in a special frame of reference called the aether frame.The speed of light was equal to its standard value only in this frame and its speed in any other inertial frame had to be given by ...


25

As far as I know, the only clue at the time that the speed of light would be invariant were Maxwell's Equations where "something" shows up as a constant. However, speed of light being invariant in all inertial reference frames is very counter-intuitive. One might rather expect physics to be slightly different in different frames, which is what the MM ...


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http://authors.library.caltech.edu/5456/1/hrst.mit.edu/hrs/renormalization/Polyakov/index.html Here is an interview about him. You can also find a short review article written by Polyakov in "50 years of Yang-Mills theory"


13

As far as I know the first time anyone proved that light has a finite speed was when the astronomer Rømer discovered variations in the timings in the transits of Jupiter's moons. He correctly attributed this to the time light took to reach Earth from Jupiter. His calculated value for $c$ was about 26% too low, but that was pretty good given the state of the ...


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It was discovered through the Michelson-Morley Experiment. in 1887. The main goal of that experiment was the discovery of aether, the medium through which light travels, as scientists hypothesized back then. In their setup they had two light sources moving at perpendicular directions, with the whole experimental apparatus (light source, some mirrors, ...


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Measuring light speed is rather trivial now a days, we have laser pulses which have durations of the order of 10^-14 sec, photodiodes which can measure the light pulses as fast as 10^-11 sec, and oscilloscope which can display these events with a resolution of 10^-9 sec. so overall you can detect a nanosecond (10^-9 sec) very easily. now what you can do if ...



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