Volume 6: Pages 492-509, 1993
An Alternative Explanation of the Michelson‐Morley Result without the Relativity Concept
Berthold W. Schumacher 1
124635 Winona Drive, Dearborn, Michigan 48124 U.S.A.
An alternative explanation for the null result of the Michelson‐Morley experiment is presented, based on time dilatation as an experimental fact and the assumption of a light ether, which is at rest. The time dilatation depends solely on the velocity of the experimenter on his inertially moving platform with respect to the light ether, not with respect to any other inertial reference frame, which is postulated to be “the” rest frame. To evaluate the Michelson result properly, it must be realized that the experimenter measures his velocity with his moving, retarded clock, since he has no other one, and this velocity must be converted to the one that one would measure using a clock at rest in the light ether (which we cannot do experimentally). Ignoring this conversion, as in the past, would mean we make the analysis with inhomogeneous numbers. If the time scale in the rest frame is called the t scale, and the time scale in the experimenter's frame (his proper time) the τ scale, then the well‐known relationship, derived from the geometry of the forked, extended light path of Michelson's orthogonal beam, is t = γτ. For the velocity conversion this requires vt = γ−1ve, where vt is the velocity measured with the rest frame clock, and vτ is the velocity that the experimenter measures. The familiar γ factor appears in this and, as before, in the other well‐known equations, but now it is related to the required velocity conversions. We do not need to resort to the Lorentz contraction or the like in order to explain what we see.
Keywords: absolute space, absolute rest, clocks, inertial systems, light ether, Michelson‐Morley, relativity, time dilatation, velocity conversion
Received: January 15, 1991; Published Online: December 15, 2008