Space-Time Lab - Tutor Page 5

I will show you what problem Einstein had to solve. I said before that at the time before special relativity, physicists were trying to make Maxwell's equations fit into classical mechanics. One solution was to create ether, a colorless, tasteless, weightless and most importantly motionless substance that permeated all space. This ether solves the problem of having the earth being an inertial frame, and it also provided a medium for light to propagate through.
The ether would then predict that each body had an absolute velocity - velocity with respect to the ether. (Which postulate of Einstein's does that violate?) The Michelson-Morley experiment in 1887 set out to discover the absolute speed of the earth, and using the power of Java, we'll try to do that too.

Click Next, and we'll go through the basis of the experiment.
Back Page 5 Next A B C

[Return Home] [Return to Java Applet [Get Java]
Questions or Comments? Send email to