Relativity and Cosmology


The Role of Light in Observation: Why is the Speed of Light Invariant?

Authors: Xiaogang Ruan

In 1905, based on the Michelson-Morley experiment, Einstein proposed the hypothesis of invariance of light speed (ILS). He then theoretically deduced the Lorentz transformation from ILS, established the theory of special relativity (SR), and revealed the relativistic phenomena of matter motion. Up till today, however, we still don’t exactly know what role light plays in Einstein’s theory, or why the speed of light is invariant; moreover, we still don’t exactly understand relativistic phenomena. Based on the locality of physical world, this paper establishes the principle of observational locality (POL), proposes the hypothesis of observational limit (HOL), and tries to accertain the role of light in observation and the root and essence of ILS. According to POL and HOL, the Michelson-Morley experiment does not really mean ILS, but does demonstrate to us a significant phenomenon in physical observation: the speeds that observational media transmit the spacetime information about observed objects possess observational invariance. In Michelson-Morley experiment, light acts as both the observed object and the observational medium, and therefore, its speed is observationally invariant. Perhaps, this paper could provide new knowledge on light speed and new understanding on relativistic phenomena including ILS. Perhaps, in the future, the observational locality of light would be broken through with technological progress so that we could observe a more real objective world.

Comments: 15 Pages.

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Submission history

[v1] 2018-07-16 15:06:38

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