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Einstein’s first postulate

Not only are the principles of classical mechanics simplest in inertial frames, but they are the same in all inertial frames. Einstein based the first postulate of his theory on the idea that this is true for all the laws of physics, not merely those in mechanics.

First postulate of special relativity

The laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames of reference.

This postulate denies the existence of a special or preferred inertial frame . The laws of nature do not give us a way to endow any one inertial frame with special properties. For example, we cannot identify any inertial frame as being in a state of “absolute rest.” We can only determine the relative motion of one frame with respect to another.

There is, however, more to this postulate than meets the eye. The laws of physics include only those that satisfy this postulate. We will see that the definitions of energy and momentum must be altered to fit this postulate. Another outcome of this postulate is the famous equation E = m c 2 , which relates energy to mass.

Einstein’s second postulate

The second postulate upon which Einstein based his theory of special relativity deals with the speed of light . Late in the nineteenth century, the major tenets of classical physics were well established. Two of the most important were the laws of electromagnetism and Newton’s laws. Investigations such as Young’s double-slit experiment in the early 1800s had convincingly demonstrated that light is a wave. Maxwell’s equations of electromagnetism implied that electromagnetic waves travel at c = 3.00 × 10 8 m/s in a vacuum, but they do not specify the frame of reference in which light has this speed. Many types of waves were known, and all travelled in some medium. Scientists therefore assumed that some medium carried the light, even in a vacuum, and that light travels at a speed c relative to that medium (often called “the aether”).

Starting in the mid-1880s, the American physicist A.A. Michelson, later aided by E.W. Morley, made a series of direct measurements of the speed of light. They intended to deduce from their data the speed v at which Earth was moving through the mysterious medium for light waves. The speed of light measured on Earth should have been c + v when Earth’s motion was opposite to the medium’s flow at speed u past the Earth, and c v when Earth was moving in the same direction as the medium. The results of their measurements were startling.

Michelson-morley experiment

The Michelson-Morley experiment    demonstrated that the speed of light in a vacuum is independent of the motion of Earth about the Sun.

The eventual conclusion derived from this result is that light, unlike mechanical waves such as sound, does not need a medium to carry it. Furthermore, the Michelson-Morley results implied that the speed of light c is independent of the motion of the source relative to the observer. That is, everyone observes light to move at speed c regardless of how they move relative to the light source or to one another. For several years, many scientists tried unsuccessfully to explain these results within the framework of Newton’s laws.

Questions & Answers

in the wave equation y=Asin(kx-wt+¢) what does k and w stand for.
Kimani Reply
derivation of lateral shieft
James Reply
how are you?
I'm fine
total binding energy of ionic crystal at equilibrium is
All Reply
How does, ray of light coming form focus, behaves in concave mirror after refraction?
Bishesh Reply
Refraction does not occur in concave mirror. If refraction occurs then I don't know about this.
What is motion
Izevbogie Reply
Anything which changes itself with respect to time or surrounding
and what's time? is time everywhere same
how can u say that
do u know about black hole
Not so more
Radioactive substance
These substance create harmful radiation like alpha particle radiation, beta particle radiation, gamma particle radiation
But ask anything changes itself with respect to time or surrounding A Not any harmful radiation
explain cavendish experiment to determine the value of gravitational concept.
Celine Reply
For the question about the scuba instructor's head above the pool, how did you arrive at this answer? What is the process?
Evan Reply
as a free falling object increases speed what is happening to the acceleration
Success Reply
of course g is constant
acceleration also inc
which paper will be subjective and which one objective
normal distributiin of errors report
normal distribution of errors
photo electrons doesn't emmit when electrons are free to move on surface of metal why?
Rafi Reply
What would be the minimum work function of a metal have to be for visible light(400-700)nm to ejected photoelectrons?
Mohammed Reply
give any fix value to wave length
40 cm into change mm
Arhaan Reply
40cm=40.0×10^-2m =400.0×10^-3m =400mm. that cap(^) I have used above is to the power.
i.e. 10to the power -2 in the first line and 10 to the power -3 in the the second line.
there is mistake in my first msg correction is 40cm=40.0×10^-2m =400.0×10^-3m =400mm. sorry for the mistake friends.
40cm=40.0×10^-2m =400.0×10^-3m =400mm.
this msg is out of mistake. sorry friends​.
what is physics?
sisay Reply
why we have physics
Anil Reply
because is the study of mater and natural world
because physics is nature. it explains the laws of nature. some laws already discovered. some laws yet to be discovered.
physics is the study of non living things if we added it with biology it becomes biophysics and bio is the study of living things tell me please what is this?
physics is the study of matter,energy and their interactions
all living things are matter
why rolling friction is less than sliding friction
thanks buvanas
is this a physics forum
Physics Reply
explain l-s coupling
Depk Reply
Practice Key Terms 7

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Source:  OpenStax, University physics volume 3. OpenStax CNX. Nov 04, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12067/1.4
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