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Usually when we talk about the Michelson Morley experiment the ether wind is parallel to the light travelling path P-Mirror 1, and perpendicular to the light travelling path P-Mirror 2.

However, I want to show that the ether wind can be any arbitrary angle theta. My understanding is that the speed of light travelling path P-Mirror 1 would be the resultant of adding c and v, which I can find by using the law of cosines and then solving the quadratic equation for c_lf.

Is this correct? It doesn't seem like it. One thing that nags me is that I can't see how the light would reflect back along P-Mirror 1.


1 Answer 1


usually you turn the table the experiment ist done on, and see, that the interference pattern does not change, so if there is an ether wind in any direction, the pattern should change. That you only calculate it for ether wind parallel or orthogonal is just to make it simpler. your drawing is not really the full experiment I can not see how c is going in the direction you draw it. do you suppose v=c?


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