The Center for the Study of Origins is pleased to announce a lecture by Visiting Scholar Dr. Zee Perry, from Rutgers University, on Thursday, December 5th, at 5pm, in the British and Irish Studies Room (Norlin Library).
Title: There's no Speed of Light, so What the Heck Did Michelson Measure?
Abstract: This talk concerns the origin and justification of a particularly influential piece of scientific notation: the value c, currently accepted as equal to approximately 299,792 km/s, as the speed of light. In particular, I will be concerned with understanding and resolving the tension between a pair of claims, both of which (I maintain) are very plausibly true: (1) A. A. Michelson measured the speed of light in the late 1870s to within 99% accuracy. (2) Strictly speaking, in special relativity, there is no such thing as the speed of light.