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Michelson Morley and Paul Marmet

  1. Sep 8, 2004 #1

    Andrew Mason

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    Retired Canadian physicist, Paul Marmet, has published a number of 'heretical' papers that question some fundamental principles of modern (non-newtonian) physics. see: http://www.newtonphysics.on.ca/

    I have glanced through his paper that tries to explain errors in the math used in the Michelson Morley experiment.
    http://www.newtonphysics.on.ca/michelson/michelson.html

    I am quite sure that it must be wrong simply because I feel sure the problem would have been identified long ago it there was one. This is not a very good reason, however, to dismiss his paper.

    I'd like to know where Marmet is wrong. Does anyone know if Marmet's paper on the Michelson Morley 'mistake' has been reviewed/critiqued? If Marmet is right, I wonder how he explains E=mc^2.

    Andrew Mason
     
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  3. Sep 8, 2004 #2

    JasonRox

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    Who cares if the math from theMichelson-Morley experiment was wrong? Why bother with it?

    The conclusion of the Michelson-Morley experiment is correct. I wouldn't be surprised if a mistake was found, but the conclusion stays valid.

    If he is a Historical Canadian Physicists, than I guess it's ok to bust your balls on it, but otherwise I think its a waste of time.

    Checking older work is fine, but it depends on which work you are talking about. If you are talking about the Michelson-Morley experiment, than no. If you are talking about the math Keppler used to come up with his 3 laws, than yes because that may result in a slight change in the laws even though it wouldn't affect the physics world because they know something is correct about it.

    He may be right, but special relativity still stands. From what I heard, Einstein never knew about the Michelson-Morley experiment when he wrote special relativity, so I don't see how it would affect it, since experiments proved his theory correct. The Michelson-Morley experiment can be a complete hoax, but it would not change anything. We already know there is no aether, so why bother with it.

    I'm going to go now. I probably look like a prick and all because I'm a Canadian myself, but if this is Marmet's interest, than good for him.
     
  4. Sep 8, 2004 #3

    russ_watters

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    He makes a couple of specific points:
    This isn't true even in Newtonian physics. If you are playing ping pong on a train (for example), as long as the train isn't accelerating, you don't have to account for its motion to be able to play. In the M&M experiment, the whole apparatus is moving together, thus no corrections for motion are needed.
    Same as above: in the instrument's frame it does enter at 90 degrees (otherwise the beam wouldn't stay inside the apparatus). Finding the angle in the "aether's" frame is the whole point of the experiment.

    As for specific issues with his math, I don't have the patience to go through it all, but I exect that the math is fine, its just the premise that is wrong.
     
  5. Sep 8, 2004 #4
    Relativity is based on the assertion that it is impossible to determine your absolute velocity. Marmet doesn't disagree with this. While SR insists that the laws of physics be the same in all inertial frames, but makes time and space dependent on the observer, it is possible to take the approach that time and space are absolute, but the laws of physics can be different for different frames. The change in the laws of physics then exactly cancels out the effect of motion with repect to the absolute space and time. This is not a new idea, it is possible that things would have gone this way if it hadn't been for Einstein.

    Of course its just silly to claim that relativity would predict a shift of the interference fringes if the maths were done correctly, so Marmet isn't to be taken seriously.
     
  6. Sep 9, 2004 #5

    Andrew Mason

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    Since the purpose of the MM experiment was to detect the aether, it assumed that the speed of light would depend on the speed of the light source and mirrors relative to the aether medium. (ie. if the luminiferous aether existed, Newtonian physics would predict that the speed of light depends on its direction of motion relative to the aether. I don't think the ping-pong game inside a moving train is analagous. A ping pong game on an open flat car would be closer.)

    But I agree with you that Marmet's objection seems wrong. The MM experiment did take into account the mirror's motion relative to the aether. The view was that the time required for the light to travel in the direction of motion relative to the aether was slightly longer than the time of travel in the transverse direction. I believe that Marmet says this view was wrong: the MM experiment failed to take into account that the transverse path in the frame of reference of the MM apparatus was shorter than the actual path through the aether (because it is a "<" shape instead of -). I think that may be where Marmet is wrong but I can't put my finger on the error - yet.

    thanks for the comments.

    Andrew Mason
     
  7. Sep 11, 2004 #6

    anti_crank

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    Much to my horror, I have seen this site before. For amusement purposes, I offered the author $5000 if he successfully derives the electron's g factor to 10 significant digits using his "common sense" physics. (This is a QED calculation.) The fact that he has not responded in any way speaks volumes about the value of the theories posted on that website.
     
  8. Sep 13, 2004 #7

    Alkatran

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    ...wow... alright, first of all, it's THEN NOT THAN. I tied my shoes THEN went to the store. Two is greater THAN one. That drives me NUTS.

    Secondly, as to "Who cares if the math from theMichelson-Morley experiment was wrong? Why bother with it?", if the math is wrong, then the conclusion isn't sound. If the conclusion isn't sound, well... umm we have enough trouble with people not understanding relativity as it is.

    And for "If he is a Historical Canadian Physicists, than I guess it's ok to bust your balls on it, but otherwise I think its a waste of time.", do you REALLY think that the popularity of a scientist magically affects the 'trueness' of his work? Honestly, this is another image we don't need going around because it is ALWAYS pointed out in relativity debates. You know, "The establishment believes this because of lies perpe...."

    For this: "Checking older work is fine, but it depends on which work you are talking about. If you are talking about the Michelson-Morley experiment, than no. If you are talking about the math Keppler used to come up with his 3 laws, than yes because that may result in a slight change in the laws even though it wouldn't affect the physics world because they know something is correct about it."
    So, you're saying if the expirement was proved invalid, we wouldn't be freaking out? BS. If that experiment was invalid (incorrect conclusions), realativity takes a huge blow. As for Keppler's laws, if we find errors in them, why would the laws of physics change but not change? :rolleyes:

    I like how you end with the whole "you might not like me cause I'm Canadian" bit.
     
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