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Why the Sagnac effect favors absolute over relative simultaneity

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We consider a thought experiment, equivalent to the Sagnac effect, where a light signal performs a round trip over a closed path. If special relativity (SR) adopts Einstein synchronization, the result of the experiment shows that the local light speed cannot be c in every section of the closed path. No inconsistencies are found when adopting absolute synchronization. Since Einstein and absolute synchronizations can be discriminated, the conventionality of the one-way speed of light holds no longer. Thus, as sustained by specialists, it might be a viable formulation of SR that reinstates the conservation of simultaneity, even though it allows for relativistic effects, such as time dilation. Such an approach may lead to the discovery of new effects and a better understanding of relativistic theories.
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Keywords: Einstein Synchronization;; One-Way Speed of Light;; Relativistic Theories;; Sagnac Effect

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centro de Física Fundamental, Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida 5101, Venezuela 2: Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Chr. Magnus Falsens vei 18, 1430 Ås, Norway

Publication date: September 30, 2019

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  • Physics Essays has been established as an international journal dedicated to theoretical and experimental aspects of fundamental problems in Physics and, generally, to the advancement of basic knowledge of Physics. The Journal's mandate is to publish rigorous and methodological examinations of past, current, and advanced concepts, methods and results in physics research. Physics Essays dedicates itself to the publication of stimulating exploratory, and original papers in a variety of physics disciplines, such as spectroscopy, quantum mechanics, particle physics, electromagnetic theory, astrophysics, space physics, mathematical methods in physics, plasma physics, philosophical aspects of physics, chemical physics, and relativity.
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