On The Dynamics of the Electron (Excerpts)

  • Henri Poincaré
Chapter
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 250)

It seems at first that the aberration of light and related optical and electrical phenomena will provide us with a means of determining the absolute motion of the Earth, or rather its motion with respect to the aether, as opposed to its motion with respect to other celestial bodies. Fresnel pursued this idea, but soon recognized that the Earth’s motion does not alter the laws of refraction and reflection. Analogous experiments, like that of the water-filled telescope, and all those considering terms no higher than first order relative to the aberration, yielded only negative results; the explanation was soon discovered. But Michelson, who conceived an experiment sensitive to terms depending on the square of the aberration, failed in turn.

Keywords

Posit Refraction Dinate Electromagnetism Aether 

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© Springer 2007

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  • Henri Poincaré

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