## onsdag 14 september 2011

### Many-Minds Explanation of Michelson-Morley Null Result

Einstein's 1905 special theory of relativity came out from a necessity to explain the null result of the 1887 Michelson-Morley experiment designed to detect the motion of the Earth through a luminiferous aether as a space-filling medium carrying electromagnetic waves.

In the experiment, light was reflected along the two perpendicular arms of an interferometer and it was expected that a phase or fringe shift would occur if there was an aether medium through which the Earth was plowing on its lonely journey around the Sun. But no fringe shift was detected as an observation of a negation to the following statement:
• There is a unique aether medium carrying electromagnetics waves.
Logic says that the negation takes the form
• (i) there is no aether whatsoever or (ii) there are more than one different aethers.
Einstein, who was not trained in logic, concluded that the negation was (i), and in the absence of any medium he was led into his special theory with space and time being strangely distorted by uniform motion. Einstein thus explained the null result by simply eliminating any form of aether: If there was no aether, no experiment seeking to detect motion through the aether could be meaningful. Einstein dismissed the Michelson-Morley experiment by simply denying it, and thus did not explain the null result.

In Many-Minds Relativity I explore instead (ii), which offers the following explanation of the Michelson-Morley null result:

Each arm of the interferometer has an aether carrying electromagnetic waves described by Maxwell's equations in a coordinate system tied to the arm. Since there are two arms, there are two coordinate systems and thus two aethers. Maxwell's equations take the same form in both systems, and because there is no way to distinguish one coordinate system from the other, there will be no fringe shift.

An aether in many-minds relativity can be seen as a standard Euclidean coordinate system in which electromagnetic waves propagate according to Maxwell's equations. An observer is assumed to be tied to rest in his coordinate system. Two observers moving with respect to each other thus will use different coordinate systems and thus different aethers. Many-minds relativity explores to what degree different observers moving with respect to each other, can agree in their observations.

Note that since an aether is a non-material medium, like a coordinate system, there is no inherent contradiction in the idea of many aethers, or many minds with different aethers. There is no contradiction in two observers using two different coordinate systems. There is only a contradiction of two different full owners of the same material house.

The punchline is that Einstein did not explain the Michelson-Morley null result, just made it devoid of meaning, while many-minds relativity offers an explanation. What do you think is most constructive, to claim something is meaningless or to carefully explain it in scientific rational terms?

PS The idea of many aethers was suggested by Ebenezer Cunningham, but did not survive under Einstein's simplistic no-aether dogmatism. Maybe it is now time for a revival...in fact the late Einstein reintroduced the aether eliminated by the young one.

This post was stimulated by reading Questioning Einstein, Is Relativity Necessary? by Tom Bethell. No relativity is neither necessary nor sufficient...

There is a connection to my new derivation of Planck's radiation law describing the radiative heat exchange between two (black) bodies carried by electromagnetic waves described by Maxwell's equations in a coordinate system fixed to the bodies, assuming the bodies are moving with the same velocity.

#### 8 kommentarer:

1. einstein did not know of the michelson-morley experiment when he formulated the special theory of relativity. he did formulate his theory mainly because of the wave solution to maxwell equations.
i noticed many times that you have this way of arguing that is so common in tv-debates: you state that your "opponent" has said something that they haven't said and then argue against that something. it maybe fun but it does not push knowledge further.

2. You are not well informed Lorenzo: Einstein copied freely from Lorentz and others and starts his 1905 paper referring to efforts to detect motion through an aether, and thus must have known about the Michelson-Morley experiment. Compare with the book by Bethell.

3. you seems to be more informed than people that have dedicated much time to the subject

there is no definitive proof of either beliefs.
but, of course, believing that einstein knew of m-m fits much better with your "story", so why bother?

4. OK, so you think it is possible that E knew about M-M in 1905?

5. yes, it is possible.
do i think that it is established that "Einstein's 1905 special theory of relativity came out from a necessity to explain the null result of the 1887 Michelson-Morley experiment designed to detect the motion of the Earth through a luminiferous aether as a space-filling medium carrying electromagnetic waves."?
no, i do not think so.

but that's not the reason why i wrote my comment. mostly i am bothered by the fact that instead of doing mathematics and science (as it is declared in the blog's title) you do politics on this blog. your arguments are always about your ideas being or not being politically correct.
you have nerdy pictures that connects your models to the most disparate things but whenever someone asks you to explain how your model works in a simple situation you say something like "that's too simple, let's talk about the real situation". whenever someone asks you to explain how your model works in the real situation you say something like "that's too complicated, just look at the math, that's right, isn't it? nobody has found a fluke, so people are against my model because is politically incorrect and because einstein knew of M-M and was a bad person, in the first place. he was not good as xxxxx and yyyyyy and i have a cartoon to prove it!".

you are, in my opinion, the best specimen of the kind of scientist you criticize so strongly here: discuss for hours about irrelevant stuff and never answer to a direct question about your science.

i cannot think of a single reason why björklund does not want to meet you!

6. You question that I question big guys who no longer belong to this world but still control the thoughts of people. Why don't you do the same understanding that it is more important to question big guys than small guys.

7. who should i question in case i see myself as the biggest guy?

8. Then you have no reason to question me.