Does the null result of the Michelson-Morley experiment rule out the existence of the ether medium?

My understanding is that if instead of Galilean transformation, we use Lorentz transformation (i.e. the velocity of light is the same both downstream and crossstream), the fringe shift will also be zero whether or not there is an ether medium.

  • $\begingroup$ The null result says that the velocity of light is independent of the velocity of the ether. That would make “ether”’s wave propagation properties unique, unlike any other medium. At that point can you still claim it exists? $\endgroup$
    – Floris
    Commented Dec 31, 2021 at 17:57

1 Answer 1


The null result of the Michelson Morley experiment rules out a rigid aether. The Michelson Gale experiment rules out a dragged aether. Currently only the Lorentz aether, which is an aether that is designed to be experimentally indistinguishable from no aether, is compatible with experiment.


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