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Mathematics "is" Organized Thinking.

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Posted by Richard D. Stafford, Ph.D. on May 8, 2001 14:03:30 UTC

Alex,

I think aurino is getting close to understanding the reason for Michelson and Morley's experiments. That is the first step in comprehending the problem relativity is supposed to solve. Once he understands the situation from their perspective, then he needs to accept the results of their experiment. At this moment, I don't think he really understands what is meant by the statement "the speed of light is a constant in all frames".

Aurino,

You need to look at the 6th paragraph of Part I (starts with "In order to solve…") of:

http://sites.netscape.net/doctordicks/CHAPTER.III.htm

It is just straight old fashioned algebra. The problem is that, since the speed of light is constant in all inertial frames, one could scatter detectors at various places in your frame of reference and set off a flash bulb at the origin when the origins of the two frames are in the same place. The detectors would then go off when the light reached them. The two observers could then use exactly the same data to determine where the light was and when it was there. If light is to have the same speed in all frames, then the advancing front of the light flash must be a sphere centered on the origin in both frames.

In classical physics, that statement is a contradiction. It turns out that there is but one solution to the problem. That solution is laid out in detail on my web page above.

Have fun -- Dick




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