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No. 90: Nov-Dec 1993

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Einstein Questioned

Aberration: The apparent angular displacement of the position of a celestial body in the direction of motion of the observer, caused by the combination of the velocity of the observer and the velocity of light. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms)

An Abstract. Stellar aberration, discovered nearly three centuries ago by Bradley, was immediately recognized as a phenomenon owing to the velocity of the earth in its orbit around the sun. Einstein provided an explanation of aberration in his famous 1905 paper using his new relativity theory, and his explanation remains essentially without modification in many modern textbooks. Herein, we show that his explanation is very much in disagreement with measurement. (Hayden, Howard C.; paper to be published in Galilean Electrodynamics, vol. 4, no. 5, 1993.)

A Comment. The essence of Prof. Hayden's main argument is that, if stellar aberration depended on the relative velocity between source and observer (as Einstein maintained), then each component of a spectroscopic binary star would have drastically different stellar aberration, contrary to observation.

(Van Flandern, Tom; Meta Research Bulletin, 2:29, 1993.)

From Science Frontiers #90, NOV-DEC 1993. � 1993-2000 William R. Corliss