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By Harrison D.M.

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His formula, from which the 'absolute velocity' of the refracting body drops out, turned out to be a universal non-additive law for combining the velocity of light with that of a slowly moving material body, allowing a straightforward derivation of Einstein's relativity theory. 5. It must be admitted that something significant had been overlooked by both Arago and Fresnel: the Doppler effect, discovered later, in 1842. So, in fact, as Mascart pointed out in 1893, Fresnel's reasoning implicitly assumed that the light source is on Earth, like the prism, both rushing together through the ether.

We here find an example of the circularity, or 'autofoundation', of all fundamental physical principles, as discussed by Gonseth (1964). What, then, of the Copernicus and Kepler astronomical reference frame? It turned out later, through Newton's work, that this frame is almost exactly a Galilean frame, because the center of mass of the Solar System is extremely near the center of the Sun. The rotating Earth, however, is not at all a Galilean frame, as demonstrated later by the Foucault pendulum experiment.

Now, as we have said, the 'motions' of this clock are referred to a certain spatial frame, having its center at the center of the Sun and axes piercing the celestial vault in fixed directions. Is this an 'absolute spatial reference frame'? This is a big question, needing serious thought. So let us get down to Earth with Galileo. Not that Galileo was uninterested in celestial 'motions' ('local' or otherwise): satellites of Jupiter, sunspots, and what not. But his outstanding discoveries were in NEWTONIAN MECHANICS 19 the fundamentals of dynamics, and he arrived at them by terrestrial experimentation - in fact, mainly via cleverly devised thought experiments, the intellectual tool used again and again by creative theoretical physicists.

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About Mass-Energy Equivalence by Harrison D.M.


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