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Unformatted text preview: of it to pass through. Each beam
traveled the same distance before being reflected
back and allowed to recombine. Based on the
interference pattern of the combined waves,
Michelson should have been able to detect a
winner. But no matter how the experiment was
done, the race was always a tie. This eventually
forced physicist to abandon the ether theory.
Einstein resolved the problem in 1905 with his
theory of special relativity. In it he asserts that the
speed of light is the same no matter how fast or
which way an observer is moving. Michelson Einstein Light Vs. Sound
It is important to emphasize just how fast light is. Compared to light, sound is
a snail. A wise person once said, “Light travels faster than sound, which is
why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.” Have you ever
watched a baseball game from a distance? You see the batter make contact
with the ball, but the sound of the wallop is delayed. This is because,
although sound is really fast, light is super-duper fast. For all practical
purposes, when you see som...
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This note was uploaded on 11/17/2011 for the course PHYS 121 taught by Professor Burgeson during the Fall '11 term at BYU.
- Fall '11