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Relativity in Modern Physics$
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Nathalie Deruelle and Jean-Philippe Uzan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198786399

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198786399.001.0001

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Light in Newtonian theory

Light in Newtonian theory

(p.155) 17 Light in Newtonian theory
Relativity in Modern Physics

Nathalie Deruelle

Jean-Philippe Uzan

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses light in Newtonian theory. Astronomy (and physics in general) is certainly not a complete science without a theory of light. However, the nature of light and its kinematical properties were not completely understood until the advent of Maxwell’s theory, special and general relativity, and quantum field theory. The answers to these questions provided by Newtonian theory were only partial and sometimes even contradictory. Thus this chapter seeks to present a few aspects of this topic, such as the influences of gravity on light, stellar aberrations, and wave propagation. It also studies the Fizeau and Michelson–Morley experiments.

Keywords:   light, theory of light, kinematical properties of light, nature of light, gravity, stellar aberrations, wave propagation, Fizeau experiment, Michelson–Morley experiment

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