Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Rigney, Carl J. (Carl Jennings), 1925-2011

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Education


Relativity (Physics)


Some discussion of relativity appears in all modern physics textbooks. At the minimum, some texts give only a fair formulas. At the most, ether texts devote a whole unit or chapter to special relativity. In those modern physics texts which devote a specific section to relativity, the topic is usually introduced by a statement of Einstein's postulates for special relativity. These postulates are stated in Jauncey's Modern Physics as follows: "It is impossible to conduct an experiment on a body such as the earth or a train which will tell us whether or not the body is moving in space.... As a consequence of this law, Einstein states that the velocity of light as measured in a vacuum is always the same, no matter hew fast the observer thinks he is traveling. A further consequence is that a body cannot travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum."(1) These postulates stem from a century of peculiar experiments involving light and relative notion. The first consequence, as stated in Jauncey's book, rests specifically on double star observations and the Michelsen-Merley experiment. (1) Jauncey, Modern Physics, New York City, New York, D. Van Nestrand Co. Inc, 1949, p 269-70.


12 pages




Northern Illinois University

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