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## Main Question or Discussion Point

In 1851 Fizeau made a famous experiment which corroborated de Fresnel's drag coefficient of the luminiferous ether. In the experiment two light beams traveled through a tube of moving water (at 7cm per second), one moving against the water flow (let's called it beam A), and one for the water flow (beam B). Then, the two beams were detected at the same detector, making an interference patern. The results were in agreement with Fresnel's theorerical prediction. According to it, the velocities of each light beam must be:

[V][/B] = c/n + αv,

[V][/A] = c/n - αv,

where n is refraction index of the water, and α is the Fresnel's drag coefficient, equals to 1 - 1/n², v is the velocity of the water, and c is the velocity of light in vacuum.

Nowadays we can reinterpretate this experimental result with Einstein's transformation of velocities.

Let's consider two reference frames: the laboratory frame, and the water frame, moving in respect to the first. In the water frame the velocity of light is c/n. In the lab frame the velocity of light must be:

[c][/lab] = (c/n + v)/(1 - v/nc)

If we expand this expression and neglect terms of the order of (v/c)2 and higher, we obtain exactly the same results as predicted by Fresnel's theory.

Ok, so far so good.

But one may ask: "The principle of relativity teaches us that light moves with the same speed, no matter the frame of reference (lab frame, water frame, whatever). So, how can we explain the Fizeau's experiment?"

[V][/B] = c/n + αv,

[V][/A] = c/n - αv,

where n is refraction index of the water, and α is the Fresnel's drag coefficient, equals to 1 - 1/n², v is the velocity of the water, and c is the velocity of light in vacuum.

Nowadays we can reinterpretate this experimental result with Einstein's transformation of velocities.

Let's consider two reference frames: the laboratory frame, and the water frame, moving in respect to the first. In the water frame the velocity of light is c/n. In the lab frame the velocity of light must be:

[c][/lab] = (c/n + v)/(1 - v/nc)

If we expand this expression and neglect terms of the order of (v/c)2 and higher, we obtain exactly the same results as predicted by Fresnel's theory.

Ok, so far so good.

But one may ask: "The principle of relativity teaches us that light moves with the same speed, no matter the frame of reference (lab frame, water frame, whatever). So, how can we explain the Fizeau's experiment?"