1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Michelson-Morley ?

  1. Dec 4, 2012 #1
    Help with Modelling the Michelson-Morley Experimnt.

    Hi Everyone, i have this assignment due in 2 weeks its on recreating a Model in class of the Michelson-Morley experiment to detect the aether. My first problem after a lot of research on youtube clips and just general study is, why?
    I understand that they were trying to prove that light needs a medium to travel therefore they were trying to discovder the actual medium it does.
    I did go to my teacher and asked her and she said a way to Model the experiement would be to hang a pendulum off a string have a fan blowing against it and release the pendulum each time, however im struggling to see what relevance that has with the experiment.
    So Could someone please tell me in lamens terms or with a good analogy what the MMX was actually trying to prove how it was conduct.

    - I have read the textbook and i just cant grasp it i have never had this before its really fustrating. Please help thankyou, ask for any added information and i wil be glad to help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 4, 2012 #2
    Michelson-Morley ?!?!!

    Hey guys would someone be able to explain in lamens terms the Michelson Morley experiment and what it was trying to achieve, i just cannot grasp it i understand that they were trying to find out if light requires a medium to travel through, however, what relevance does this have to the experiment, also could someone use adifferent analogy that isnt the swimmers one that just confuses me more. Thanks
  4. Dec 4, 2012 #3
    Re: Michelson-Morley ?!?!!

    If you are travelling in a car with two guns. You fire one forwards and one sideways. The bullet you fired forward will be going faster than the other because the bullet will have the added velocity of the car. But the car has no sideways component of velocity so the bullet you fired sideways will travel at its normal speed.

    Basically this is what they did with laser beams and the earth. But they measured no difference in the laser beams and experimentally proved the constancy of the speed of light regardless of the speed of the source.

    I think the originally were trying to measure ether drift but basically proved that the ether does not exist.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook