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麦克尔逊-莫雷实验是什么?

发布日期:2023年07月16日     分类:物理学

麦克尔逊-莫雷实验是一项里程碑式的实验,用于测试光的传播是否需要媒介。它由美国物理学家阿尔伯特·亨利·麦克尔逊和爱德华·威廉·莫雷于1887年首次进行。这个实验通过比较光在两个垂直方向上的光程差来确定地球是否在一个称为"以太"的媒介中运动。

麦克尔逊-莫雷实验的装置非常巧妙。首先,他们将一个半透明的玻璃板放置在光线的路径上,使光线分为两束。然后,两束光线沿着不同的路径传播,并在一个叫做干涉仪的装置中再次合并。干涉仪是一个由玻璃镜片和半透明镜片组成的设备,可以将两束光线重新合成到一起。

如果光的传播需要媒介,那么地球在移动的过程中,光的速度相对于"以太"也应该有所变化。然而,麦克尔逊-莫雷实验的结果却出乎意料地显示出,在不同的季节和地球运动的不同方向上,光的速度保持不变。这意味着光的传播不依赖于任何媒介,没有所谓的"以太"。

这个实验的结果颠覆了当时的一些物理理论,特别是有关光传播的观念。它为爱因斯坦的相对论理论提供了重要的支持,很大程度上推动了现代物理学的发展。

麦克尔逊-莫雷实验的成就在于它揭示了光的本质和传播方式,并为我们理解光和相对论的奠定了基础。虽然实验看似简单,但却产生了深远的影响,被誉为物理学史上最重要的实验之一。

What is the Michelson-Morley experiment?

The Michelson-Morley experiment is a milestone experiment used to test whether the propagation of light requires a medium. It was first performed in 1887 by American physicists Albert A. Michelson and Edward W. Morley. The experiment determines whether the Earth is moving through a medium called the "ether" by comparing the optical path difference of light in two perpendicular directions.

The setup of the Michelson-Morley experiment is ingenious. Firstly, a semi-transparent glass plate is placed in the path of the light, splitting it into two beams. These two beams of light then propagate along different paths and are recombined in a device called an interferometer. The interferometer consists of glass mirrors and semi-transparent mirrors, which can recombine the two beams of light.

If the propagation of light requires a medium, then the speed of light should vary relative to the "ether" as the Earth moves. However, the surprising result of the Michelson-Morley experiment showed that the speed of light remained constant in different seasons and in different directions of the Earth's motion. This implies that the propagation of light does not depend on any medium, and there is no "ether."

The results of this experiment overturned some of the prevailing theories at the time, particularly those regarding the propagation of light. It provided important support for Einstein's theory of relativity and greatly contributed to the development of modern physics.

The achievement of the Michelson-Morley experiment lies in its revelation of the nature and mode of propagation of light, laying the foundation for our understanding of light and relativity. Although the experiment appears simple, it has had a profound impact and is regarded as one of the most important experiments in the history of physics.

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