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I KNOW this is a common question in it's topic, but not in this form..

I'm reading a book which explains the significance of certain aspects of experiments.. This section is called "null hypothesis".. The book says, "the failure to measure a difference in the time the light takes to travel the two paths denies the existence of the ether", but it continues,"as a stationary background"..

Is this really what the measurement was for? To measure if the ether were stationary?

Who's to say then, that we are not moving with the ether? Could we measure the difference?

So, Could we be moving with the ether and get the same result? And also, Would the Lorentz contraction be necessary if we were moving at the same rate as the ether?

I'm more of a "passive" ether kind of person, but I'd like to know what we can do about proving something structural..

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Who's to say then, that we are not moving with the ether? Could we measure the difference?

Yes that was the point of the experiment.

They obviously didn't know which direction the ether was coming from so measured the difference through the year when we were at different positions around the sun and moving in a different direction. They also (IIRC) rotated the entire apparatus.

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You can imagine setting up two "Michelson & Morley" experiments, one stationary and one in a moving vehicle. Relativity says you would get the same results, so which experiment is stationary with respect to the ether?

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  • $\begingroup$ HAH! I imagine this has been done then? $\endgroup$
    – David
    Feb 27, 2015 at 2:47
  • $\begingroup$ That was the whole point of the experiment. Two measurements were made at the same place at the same time at orientations orthogonal to each other with no observed difference. $\endgroup$ Feb 27, 2015 at 3:08
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, but if it were only at the velocity of the earth, then we could assume that the earth moves with the aether.. But no. You somehow misinterpreted yet answered my question.. Odd. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Feb 28, 2015 at 17:18
  • $\begingroup$ we can still assume a passive ether, but that leaves us with ZERO empirical evidence, for ever. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Feb 28, 2015 at 17:19

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