How was Newtonian relativity ruled out in EM propagation?

  • #1
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What I've read on the Michelson/Morley experiment explains that it made the idea of the luminiferous aether seem less likely, but I don't think I've ever seen an explanation of why everyone didn't just assume that light follows normal Newtonian relativity. What I mean is this: according to Maxwell's equations, EM radiation is just propagating electric and magnetic fields. Those fields begin with an object that is moving at some velocity, v, with respect to the observer. Each induced field will be moving at the same relative velocity, so that the measured speed of the EM radiation will be c + v.

If this were the case, then you would expect the speed of light to be measured the same in all directions, regardless of the earth's movement through space, and there would be no need for the Lorentz transformations. Can anyone tell me how this interpretation was ruled out?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Precisely because the speed of light does not depend on the movement of the source, which is why the lorentz transforms are necessary.

Think that the length of the path of the light beam is different in different reference systems, if the speed of light remains constant then the time must also be different, so that the speed of light remains constant.

I c is a constant, then length and time must be different for different observers.
 
  • #3
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What I mean is this: according to Maxwell's equations, EM radiation is just propagating electric and magnetic fields.
t I don't think I've ever seen an explanation of why everyone didn't just assume that light follows normal Newtonian relativity.
If you accept Maxwell, you have to give up Gallilean relativity. Maxwell's equations are not invariant under Gallilean transforms.
 

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