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Volume 12: Pages 358-367, 1999
Aberration in Special Relativity: A Case of Chronic Scientific Confusion
Begoniavej 20, DK 2820 Gentofte, Denmark
The aberration of light was described by Bradley in 1729. Until Einstein's theory of special relativity it was explained in terms of light particles or waves in the ether. Einstein introduced the motion of the light source as decisive in aberration. The inadequacy of this notion was made clear in 1914 by Herassimovitch, who proposed a two‐observers theory of aberration. In the subsequent controversies the two‐observers theory was largely ignored, and eventually a chronic situation has been reached in which the scientific literature continues to support three different, incompatible explanations of aberration.
Keywords: aberration, stellar aberration, planetary aberration, relativity, special relativity, Einstein, Herassimovitch, Stark, astronomy, light
Received: February 22, 1999; Published online: December 15, 2008