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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 27, Iss. 9 — Sep. 1, 1937
  • pp: 310–313

Optics InfoBase > JOSA > Volume 27 > Issue 9 > Apparent Lengths and Times in Systems Experiencing the Fitzgerald-Larmor-Lorentz Contractions

Apparent Lengths and Times in Systems Experiencing the Fitzgerald-Larmor-Lorentz Contractions

HERBERT E. IVES  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 27, Issue 9, pp. 310-313 (1937)

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HERBERT E. IVES, "Apparent Lengths and Times in Systems Experiencing the Fitzgerald-Larmor-Lorentz Contractions," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 27, 310-313 (1937)

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  1. "Light Signals on Moving Bodies as Measured by Transported Rods and Clocks," J. O. S. A. 27, 263 (1937).
  2. "The Aberration of Clocks and the Clock Paradox," J. O. S. A. 27, 305 (1937).
  3. V0 and υ0 are two different measures of the relative velocity of the observation platform and the observed bodies. V0 is obtained from a clock fixed in position on either platform or body, in conjunction with observation of scale divisions going past; υ0 is obtained from the passage of a fixed point on the observed body past two clocks, one transported infinitely slowly to its station.
  4. The constancy of the measured value of the velocity of light—a feature of the conditions I and I′—is introduced by Einstein in his original communication as “in agreement with experience.” This “experience” consists of measurements made with clocks and rods moved at infinitesimal speeds with respect to the bodies under observation. Had “experience” been sufficiently wide, i.e., had it included experiments with rapidly moved clocks and rods, it would (if the contractions are in fact of the character here assumed) have demanded qualification or abandonment of this assumption. The restriction to infinitesimal velocities should be openly included in the statement of the second postulate of the Special Relativity Theory, and when so stated the postulate loses its appearance of fundamental simplicity and demands a justification. This lack of any explanation is noticed by Levi-Civita (Nuovo Cimento, 13, 45–65 (1936)) who asks “if it is possible to give interval.” The ether and the length and frequency contractions do give a concrete interpretation.
  5. An outstanding merit of the use of the ether as the reference frame is that it handles without difficulty the positive effects obtained in observations with rotating bodies, such as the Sagnac experiment.

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