**What** happened decades after the MM experiment?

The MM experiment was conducted in 1887. (In fact, Michelson developed a prototype of his interferometer in 1881)

Many physicists—including Woldemar Voigt, George FitzGerald, Joseph Larmor, and Hendrik Lorentz himself—had been discussing the physics implied by these transformations also since 1887, specifically to explain how the speed of light was observed to be independent of the reference frame, in the MMX, and to understand the symmetries of the laws of electromagnetism. So, I am not sure what you are trying to say happened “decades after 1887”. In fact Voigt’s paper that you are linking, is also dated 1887.

It looks to me the MMX experiments were in the forefront studying light as being independent of reference frame, and if you examine the geometry of the interferometer, you will see that the factor [math] \frac { 1 }{ \sqrt { 1-\frac { { v }^{ 2 } }{ { c }^{ 2 } } } }[/math] is right there, in the geometry.

G.F. Fitzgerald and H.A. Lorentz proposed in the 1890s, that if the horizontal arm of the interferometer were to contract by the value [math] \frac { 1 }{ \sqrt { 1-\frac { { v }^{ 2 } }{ { c }^{ 2 } } } }[/math], in the direction of motion of the interferometer through the ether, that would sufficiently explain the null result the experiment was showing.

So, you seem to like conspiracy/collusion theories; did Lorentz and Fitzgerald collude and conspire to use MM’s experiment to formulate the Lorentz transform? Did Einstein then steal it all away from them? Was there much bloodshed?

Or, was it simply a matter of many distinguished scientists working either together or independently, in a spirit of cooperation, to solve the same problem? It was Einstein who came up with the most plausible, scientifically consistent theory, and that is why the Theory of Relativity bears his name.

Well, either that or all the rest of the group felt he had the coolest name for such an important theory. Who can top “Einstein” as a cool name to put on a revolutionary new theory? I think Shelley’s Frankenstein monster story was popular around those times as well and may have had an influence.

Either way, in the great stream of things, who really cares?

**Edited by OceanBreeze, 11 May 2019 - 08:53 AM.**