http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/einsteinlig ... _logic.htm
Professor Joe Wolfe: "At this stage, many of my students say things like "The invariance of the speed of light among observers is impossible" or "I can't understand it". Well, it's not impossible. It's even more than possible, it is true. This is something that has been extensively measured, and many refinements to the Michelson and Morely experiment, and complementary experiments have confirmed this invariance to very great precision. As to understanding it, there isn't really much to understand. However surprising and weird it may be, it is the case. It's the law in our universe. The fact of the invariance of c doesn't take much understanding: what requires understanding are its consequences, and how it can be integrated into what we already know."
Needless to say, the Michelson-Morley experiment has not confirmed the invariance of the speed of light:
John Norton: "These efforts were long misled by an exaggeration of the importance of one experiment, the Michelson-Morley experiment, even though Einstein later had trouble recalling if he even knew of the experiment prior to his 1905 paper. This one experiment, in isolation, has little force. Its null result happened to be fully compatible with Newton's own emission theory of light. Located in the context of late 19th century electrodynamics when ether-based, wave theories of light predominated, however, it presented a serious problem that exercised the greatest theoretician of the day."
John Norton: "In addition to his work as editor of the Einstein papers in finding source material, Stachel assembled the many small clues that reveal Einstein's serious consideration of an emission theory of light; and he gave us the crucial insight that Einstein regarded the Michelson-Morley experiment as evidence for the principle of relativity, whereas later writers almost universally use it as support for the light postulate of special relativity. Even today, this point needs emphasis. The Michelson-Morley experiment is fully compatible with an emission theory of light that CONTRADICTS THE LIGHT POSTULATE."
http://www.amazon.com/Relativity-Its-Ro ... 0486406768
"Relativity and Its Roots" By Banesh Hoffmann: "Moreover, if light consists of particles, as Einstein had suggested in his paper submitted just thirteen weeks before this one, the second principle seems absurd: A stone thrown from a speeding train can do far more damage than one thrown from a train at rest; the speed of the particle is not independent of the motion of the object emitting it. And if we take light to consist of particles and assume that these particles obey Newton's laws, they will conform to Newtonian relativity and thus automatically account for the null result of the Michelson-Morley experiment without recourse to contracting lengths, local time, or Lorentz transformations. Yet, as we have seen, Einstein resisted the temptation to account for the null result in terms of particles of light and simple, familiar Newtonian ideas, and introduced as his second postulate something that was more or less obvious when thought of in terms of waves in an ether."
As to the important consequences of the invariance of c that Joe Wolfe's students have to understand, here are some of them:
http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/R ... _pole.html
"These are the props. You own a barn, 40m long, with automatic doors at either end, that can be opened and closed simultaneously by a switch. You also have a pole, 80m long, which of course won't fit in the barn. (...) If it does not explode under the strain and it is sufficiently elastic it will come to rest and start to spring back to its natural shape but since it is too big for the barn the other end is now going to crash into the back door and the rod will be trapped IN A COMPRESSED STATE inside the barn."
Stéphane Durand: "Ainsi, une fusée de 100 m passant à toute vitesse dans un tunnel de 60 m pourrait être entièrement contenue dans ce tunnel pendant une fraction de seconde, durant laquelle il serait possible de fermer des portes aux deux bouts! La fusée est donc réellement plus courte. Pourtant, il n'y a PAS DE COMPRESSION matérielle ou physique de l'engin."
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/Hb ... rivet.html
"The bug-rivet paradox is a variation on the twin paradox and is similar to the pole-barn paradox.....The end of the rivet hits the bottom of the hole before the head of the rivet hits the wall. So it looks like the bug is squashed.....All this is nonsense from the bug's point of view. The rivet head hits the wall when the rivet end is just 0.35 cm down in the hole! The rivet doesn't get close to the bug....The paradox is not resolved."
John de Pillis Professor of Mathematics: "In fact, special relativity requires that after collision, the rivet shank length increases beyond its at-rest length d."
Divine Albert about the "mystery of non-understanding":
http://plus.maths.org/issue37/features/ ... index.html
John Barrow: "Einstein restored faith in the unintelligibility of science. Everyone knew that Einstein had done something important in 1905 (and again in 1915) but almost nobody could tell you exactly what it was. When Einstein was interviewed for a Dutch newspaper in 1921, he attributed his mass appeal to the mystery of his work for the ordinary person: "Does it make a silly impression on me, here and yonder, about my theories of which they cannot understand a word? I think it is funny and also interesting to observe. I am sure that it is the mystery of non-understanding that appeals to them...it impresses them, it has the colour and the appeal of the mysterious."