Compelling Evidence That Light Travels In A Perfectly Straight Line As It Passes Through a Gravitational Field
The trajectory of light as it passes by the sun is computed by making use of a method introduced by Schiff in 1960. A key assumption thereby is that the light always travels in a straight line with a locally observed speed of c. The fact that the speed of light decreases as the gravitational potential is lowered, as first predicted my Einstein in 1907, and verified by the time-delay measurements of Shapiro et al. for radio waves as they pass Jupiter, has the effect of rotating the wave front of the light away from the sun. This gives the illusion that the positions of stars are shifted during solar eclipses. The observed angle of deflection is obtained to the same level of accuracy with Schiff’s method as with Einstein’s considerably more complicated General Theory of Relativity (GR) introduced in 1916. Huygens’ Principle is applied to obtain the correct result in both cases. The latter assumes that the angle of deflection depends on the variation of the speed of the light waves with distance from the sun, and does not require any additional information about the actual trajectory of the light. The Uniform Scaling method is a generalization of Schiff’s approach for other physical properties than velocity. It is based on the Principle of Rational Measurement (PRM) which assumes that observers located in different gravitational fields and states of motion will always agree on the absolute values of physical properties, but will generally disagree on the corresponding numerical values because of their use of different units in which to express their results. The Uniform Scaling method allows for the prediction of conversion factors to make such comparisons possible.