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Homework Help: Michelson-Morley experiment

  1. May 21, 2017 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Lorentz suggested that L parallel shortens the amount:
    Snap4.jpg And inserting it back cancels the time difference: Snap5.jpg
    Logic says i have to increase L in order to increase t1+t2 so it will equal 2t3

    2. Relevant equations
    The times t1+t2 parallel to the velocity u, and 2t3 vertical, to mirror C are:
    Snap2.jpg Snap3.jpg

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I understand the mathematical trick, but logically the horizontal distance should grow, no?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 21, 2017 #2


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    This problem statement is ill-defined and so is your "attempt at a solution". I suspect that you will not get many responses until you are clear about what kind of help you are seeking and why.
  4. May 22, 2017 #3
    Well i don't know what to write in the Relevant Equations, so i spread the problem statement in both, the Problem Statement and the Relevant Equations.
    But i ask why does the horizontal distance L contract instead of lengthen.
  5. May 22, 2017 #4
    Seems to me you are trying to compare/contrast the output of the interferometer when it is at rest with respect to the observer and when it is moving with respect to the observer. But that's not what MMX was about. For the original Michelson-Morley experiment, the interferometer, light source and observer were always at rest with respect to each other.
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