Michelson morley exp and rotating 90 degrees

In summary, the conversation discussed the difference in time for the Michelson Morley experiment and how the fringe shift is calculated to be B^2*L/wavelength. The question arose about why a 90 degree rotation of the experiment would result in a different fringe shift, since the perpendicular and parallel positions of the light should just exchange values for time. The solution was then proposed, with a British accent, that the 90 degree rotation affects the fringe shift because it changes the orientation of the light in relation to the ether wind.
  • #1
LBloom
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Homework Statement



Ok, I was able to figure out the difference in time for the michelson morley experiment and hence the fringe shift is B^2*L/wavelength. What i can't understand is why after shifting the experiment 90 degrees the fringe shift is supposed to be different. the one perpindicular to the ether wind is now parallel, and vice versa so wouldn't they just exchange values for time in terms of how long it takes for the light to travel. Why should a 90 degree rotation affect that or lead to a different fringe?

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  • #2
actually i think i got it (in british accent)
 

Related to Michelson morley exp and rotating 90 degrees

1. What is the Michelson Morley experiment?

The Michelson Morley experiment was a scientific experiment conducted in the late 19th century to measure the speed of light in different directions in order to test the theory of the luminiferous ether, which was believed to be the medium through which light waves propagated. It is considered one of the most famous and important experiments in the history of physics.

2. How did the Michelson Morley experiment work?

The experiment involved splitting a beam of light into two perpendicular beams and then recombining them to create an interference pattern. The setup was then rotated 90 degrees and the same process was repeated. If there was a difference in the speed of light in different directions, the interference pattern would shift. However, the results of the experiment showed no shift, indicating that the speed of light is constant in all directions.

3. What did the Michelson Morley experiment prove?

The results of the Michelson Morley experiment disproved the existence of the luminiferous ether, which was previously believed to be the medium through which light waves propagated. This led to the development of Einstein's theory of special relativity, which states that the speed of light is constant in all inertial reference frames.

4. What impact did the Michelson Morley experiment have on physics?

The Michelson Morley experiment had a significant impact on physics, as it paved the way for the development of Einstein's theory of special relativity and revolutionized our understanding of space and time. It also played a crucial role in the development of quantum mechanics and the theory of general relativity.

5. Are there any modern applications of the Michelson Morley experiment?

While the original purpose of the Michelson Morley experiment has been superseded by newer theories, the experiment is still relevant in modern physics. It has been replicated and refined numerous times, and its principles have been applied in other areas of research, such as gravitational wave detection and testing the theory of relativity. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of rigorous and careful experimentation in scientific discovery.

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