From aether theory to Special Relativity
by Rafael Ferraro
Publisher: arXiv 2013
Number of pages: 24
At the end of the 19th century light was regarded as an electromagnetic wave propagating in a material medium called ether. The speed c appearing in Maxwell's wave equations was the speed of light with respect to the ether...
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These notes introduce undergraduates to special relativity from its founding principle to its varied consequences. The text can also serve as a reference for those of us who need to use special relativity regularly but have no long-term memory.
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Classic introduction to Einstein's theory, written by a prominent physicist, provides the two main postulates upon which the theory rests and their experimental evidence. The relation between relativity and the principle of least action is discussed.
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