Stellar Aberration and Light-speed Constancy
The distance traveled by a light ray from the vantage point of an observer on earth is analyzed in order to obtain a perspective on the phenomenon of stellar aberration. It is pointed out using vector addition that the latter distance is not the same as that traveled by the light relative to the sun. The required analysis in the case of the Fresnel light-drag experiment proceeds along a different track because it involves only one observer/detector making measurements under different conditions. In this situation the Relativistic Velocity Transformation (RVT) is applicable, as first noted by von Laue in 1907. It is also pointed out the derivation of the RVT is based on Einstein’s light-speed constancy postulate, but is not dependent on the Lorentz transformation [LT]. This is an important observation since it has been shown in earlier work that two of its predictions, remote non-simultaneity and proportional time dilation, are mutually contradictory (Clock Puzzle). Instead, there is a different space-time transformation which also satisfies both of Einstein’s postulates of relativity which does not suffer from the same problem. The latter transformation, referred to as the Newton-Voigt transformation (NVT), eschews the LT space-time mixing characteristic entirely, and is thus consistent with Newtonian Simultaneity. The discussion concludes with a review of various experiments that have confirmed the existence of time dilation and have ultimately led to the development of the Global Positioning System (GPS). The asymmetry of time dilation, contrary to the LT symmetry prediction, in conjunction with Galileo’s Relativity Principle (RP), indicates that an amendment to the RP is in order. Accordingly, the laws of physics are assumed to be the same in each rest frame, but the units of time, distance and inertial mass on which they are based vary in a systematic manner (Universal Time-dilation Law) which depends uniquely on its velocity relative to a specific objective rest system (ORS) in each case.