The Michelson interferometer does contract because matter is made of standing waves, which undergo the Lorentz transformations. This leads to Lorentz's relativity, which admits a preferred frame of reference and an absolute point of view. Nevertheless, it also admits a relative point of view which is very close to Einstein's.

It turns out that Lorentz was right. See: "Electromagnetic phenomena in a system moving with any velocity smaller than that of the light", Proceedings, Amsterdam Academy, May 27, 1904.

Unfortunately, nobody believed him. Even worse, he himself changed his mind later because he could not explain why matter should contract. He finally accepted Poincaré, Minkowski and Einstein's point of view.

The point is that Lorentz was unaware that matter exhibits wave properties. He did not know that standing waves contract, either. And finally, chemistry was not well explained in 1904 and scientists ignored that chemical bindings were performed by electrons according to a given wavelength. In 1912, Gilbert Newton Lewis (1875-1946), a famous American chemist, discovered that only the external electronic layer, containing a maximum of 8 electrons, was responsible for chemical binding, but this idea was not immediately accepted.

It is a well known fact since de Broglie's discovery that the electron especially behaves like a wave. The electronic microscope has demonstrated this in a spectacular way. Because any moving wave system should undergo the Doppler effect, which produces a longitudinal contraction, matter should also contract. Matter really undergoes the Lorentz transformations and the Michelson interferometer really contracts as a result of its motion through aether.

The electron frequency.

So this "new" relativity is more than 100 years old, and yet it is not well known. The Internet may change this because ideas can now evolve much more rapidly. Unfortunately, many authors only use it to explain some very unusual, if not impossible phenomena such as faster than light velocity. Many of them even continue to think that aether does not exist because Einstein's influence is still prevalent.   

The important point is that matter is made of standing waves, which undergo a very special Doppler effect involving a slower frequency according to Lorenz's g factor.


f ' =  g f

The electron frequency slows down according to Lorentz's factor.

This phenomenon alone causes the Lorentz transformations and explains Relativity.


The Lorentz transformations are nothing but this special Doppler effect, and this unique cause should make things much simpler.

The Lorentzian relativity admits that there is a preferred frame of reference. However, one cannot simply choose one arbitrarily. It should be preferred for some acceptable reason, and the aether is surely a good one. For example, space and time units then become absolute: they cannot change. In addition, the aether allows one to explain why a moving observer is mislead. And finally, scientists will someday discover what is the true nature of matter and all physical phenomena such as magnetic fields; the aether will also allow them to explain matter mechanics. This will be a major step towards further achievements in physics.

The Michelson interferometer.

Around 1887 Michelson used an interferometer in order to detect the absolute speed of the Earth through the aether.

But it did not reveal anything. George F. FitzGerald, Joseph Larmor and Hendrick A. Lorentz thought that it might contract at high speed. Lorentz also showed that this would make clocks run slower and that this would produce a time shift.

These changes were called the Lorentz Transformations. They typically do not include the mass gain because Lorentz's equation set does not account for it. However, the mass really increases as a consequence of matter contraction and it is of the utmost importance because it explains kinetic energy, hence Poincaré's "new mechanics".

The Lorentz Transformations.

Lorentz and Poincaré worked closely together from 1895 to 1904 and finally discovered Relativity. The Lorentz transformations stand as follows:


1. Distances along the displacement axis contract.

2. All phenomena occur with a slower rate of time. Clocks indicate slower hours.

3. A time shift appears between the front and the rear.



Albert Einstein established his famous Special Theory of Relativity on two main postulates:

1 - "The speed of light is the same in all inertial frames of reference".

This is unthinkable. The only reasonable explanation is that the speed of light is constant with respect to the aether. So it definitely cannot be the same in all frames of reference. As long as the light transmission mechanism remains unknown, scientists cannot reject the aether because it is the only acceptable hypothesis. Waves need a medium, so matter waves and light waves need the aether. First of all, scientists must imperatively and thoroughly explain light and matter mechanics; then, and only then, they will be entitled to reject the aether if by miracle it is found useless. 

2 - "The same laws of electrodynamics and optics will be valid for all frames of reference for which the equations of mechanics hold good".

This is fully true, albeit this postulate was first worded by Henri Poincaré, not by Einstein. At the St-Louis (USA) exhibition in 1904, Poincaré said :

". . . the principle of relativity, according to which the laws of physical phenomena should be the same, whether for an observer fixed, or for an observer carried along in a uniform movement of translation, so that we have not or could not have any means of discerning whether or not we are carried along in such a motion."

Finally, the only true relativity is simply the consequence of the Lorentz transformations. Poincaré said that we had no means of discerning whether we are moving or not. This means that any observer can postulate that he is at rest. He is nevertheless most likely moving with respect to the aether, but he is mislead because he must deal with Lorentz's very special Doppler effect, which is amazingly confusing.

The incredible mess.

James Clerk Maxwell elaborated his first equations on "Electromagnetic Waves" in 1861 but the famous four equation set was only released in 1884 by Oliver Heaviside and Willard Gibbs. Surprisingly, all scientists immediately approved them. They positively admitted that electric and magnetic fields could travel at the speed of light, without any doubt.

However, light and radio waves could also be made of composite regular longitudinal waves propagating through the aether. Such waves could induce electric and magnetic fields inside matter. This hypothesis remains an acceptable one, especially because scientists do not know what is the true nature of electric and magnetic fields. In addition, Poincaré admitted that the Huygens Principle still produced the same results than Maxwell's equations. It is much simpler to deal with. Light and radio waves (the so-called "electromagnetic waves" do not exist) still behave like waves. 

As soon as 1887, Woldemar Voigt elaborated an equation set which could make Maxwell's equations becoming invariant in spite of the Doppler effect. Because they indicated a contraction, Lorentz used them in 1895 to explain the null result of the Michelson interferometer.

Unfortunately, dealing with Maxwell's equations is not a piece of cake. Lorentz and Poincaré had to fix a lot of difficulties about electric and magnetic fields, but also conciliate the Fizeau experiment, Bradley's stellar aberration, energy conservation law, and many other phenomena. Poincaré was especially confused because he noticed that Lorentz's theory was not consistent with Newton's equal action and reaction law. As a matter of fact, action and reaction are truly unequal because of the mass gain, but it has to be unequal in order to seem equal from the observer's point of view. More exactly, the observer's motion cancels the difference the same way the Doppler effect is cancelled in a moving frame of reference. This well known phenomenon was discovered in 1842 by Christian Doppler himself!

Lorentz and Poincaré's demonstrations are amazingly complex. They ultimately could find their way out of the forest, but they were clearly overwhelmed by so many trees. Joseph Larmor and many other scientists also wrote on this. Their books are filled with integrals which would need a lifetime to examine and understand, not to say that they contain tons of errors. This explains why Relativity seems so complicated. So physicists prefer to rely on Einstein's theory without any further effort, simply because it works.

The point is: it is just a Doppler effect. Voigt's equations were explicit on this, and Lorentz's reversed equations do produce a special Doppler effect involving a lower frequency.

Lorentz's reversed Doppler equations.

Here is a program showing this:

Doppler_Voigt_transformations.bas      Doppler_Voigt_transformations.exe

So why not simply examine this special Doppler effect? I personally searched in many of Poincaré's texts from 1901 to 1905 and I could not find the word "Doppler" anywhere. Lorentz is also very silent about the Doppler effect, and this is weird because he was perfectly aware that Voigt's goal was to correct it.

Poincaré's main error.

Henri Poincaré was already on the wrong track in 1901. His book on "Electricity and optics" contains this comment about Lorentz's contraction:

Poincaré's famous "thumb snap".


I can easily read Poincaré because I speak French. Here is my translation:

"An additional hypothesis was then imagined. All material bodies would undergo a length contraction (Poincaré suggests an example according to Michelson's calculus based on the Earth's velocity around the sun, which is 29 km/s. Then beta = .000096667 and g = .999999995, so the contraction should be 1 g = .000000005 according to Lorentz's 1904 equations).

"This strange property would seem to be a true "thumb snap" (the correct translation would be: "a helpful hand". Around 1900, French scientists frequently used this phrase; it indicates that any additional hypothesis apparently not related to a given phenomenon, but which conveniently explains it, is a priori suspect) from nature in order to avoid that the Earth's motion could be revealed by optical phenomena. This cannot satisfy me and I must say here how I feel: it looks that optical phenomena are very likely to depend on relative motion between material bodies, light sources or optical apparatus, and this, not approximately according to the aberration squared or cubed, but rigorously. The more experiments will become exact, the more this principle will be accurately verified."

"Will a new thumb snap, a new hypothesis be needed each time one submits a new approximation? Surely not: a well established theory should rigorously expose the principle in one single step. Lorentz's theory still does not do this. Of all the ones proposed thus far, it is the nearest to achieve this. So one can hope to render it perfectly satisfying without modifying it too severely."

This page had imperatively to be translated into English because it is of the utmost importance. It represents the beginning of over 100 years wasted in a blind alley. The error is that according to Poincaré and Einstein, optical phenomena depend on relative motion between material bodies. Poincaré firstly says that it is how he feels. He says that it "looks that", and he speaks about a "strange property". It should be only a personal disputable idea, but he finally states so outright that Lorentz's theory does not rigorously expose the principle in one single step. This is totally false: Lorentz's theory did. It was complete and perfect.

To say it shortly, Poincaré was wrong.

From 1895 to 1905, Lorentz was right because he was quite sure that matter behaves in an absolute way according to its true motion through the aether. Unfortunately, Lorentz changed his mind later and he wrote: "I did not indicate the correct transformation". Because of this, many authors then thought that Poincaré found the correct equation set for the Lorentz transformations.

As a matter of fact, Poincaré's symmetric equations which prove Relativity were absent from Lorentz's 1904 book. However, Lorentz's equations were present and they were already perfect in 1904. They were even correct in his 1895 book in Voigt's form. This is not disputable because Poincaré himself wrote that Lorentz found that Voigt's constant should be equal to 1 using the try and error method (in French: "par tâtonnements"). In such a case, the constant can be removed from Voigt's equations and the result after conversion in a more modern form is Lorentz's equations. So Lorentz did find the correct equation set, not Poincaré. 

Finally, the truth was exclusively on Lorentz's side.

In the future, scientists will admit that Einstein plagiated Poincaré because his theory contains the same errors. The same ideas without any difference including the same errors is surely a strong indication that it is a copy. It suddenly appears funny because so many students were convinced of plagiarism in a similar way: the truth is unique, but errors are not!

Beyond Relativity.

On the one hand, Lorentz's Relativity is not a theory any more because it has been verified thousands of times. It admits an absolute point of view, but its conclusions are nevertheless much similar to those of Einstein's Special Relativity. 

Relativity is a very simple law of nature, which can be worded like this:


From its own point of view, any material entity seems at rest, and other entities only act, react and seem to undergo the Lorentz transformations in accordance with their apparent speed.

 The law of Relativity.

Relativity is all about appearances and illusion.

It is not what is really going on, it is just what any moving observer will record.


On the other hand, please bear in mind that Lorentz's discovery is much more important than relativity because it is how matter really acts and reacts.

Lorentz's first law.

The Lorentz transformations were never accepted as a true fact, but scientists will someday realize that they are a mechanical law of nature, perhaps the most important of all. So this law should be called Lorentz's first law, and it should include the mass gain, which is kinetic energy and was also discovered by Lorentz.


Matter axial contraction is caused by the Doppler effect, which transforms its standing waves according to its absolute velocity. Its mechanics work slower and in different times in accordance with the unequal relative wave velocity, and the wave compression causes higher mass, force and energy. 

Lorentz's first law.

It is not an illusion. It is what is really going on.


Lorentz's first law is the origin of Poincaré's "new mechanics", which lead to severe changes in Newton's laws. But, instead of throwing them all in the garbage can like Einstein did, scientists should rather upgrade them by taking the Lorentz transformations into account. It is quite possible, and it is also much simpler.

The Time Scanner page and the Doppler effect page contain interesting information about the Lorentz transformations and Relativity. One must also perfectly understand plane standing waves and spherical standing waves.

If you did not carefully read all those pages, you will certainly think that the current page on Relativity is rather exotic. If you did, then you will admit that it is consistent with elementary physics. It does not invoke absurd ideas such as time dilation or space-time contraction and curvature any more. In addition, there is no "General Relativity" because all forces such as gravity, light, electrostatic, electric, magnetic or atomic are all caused by aether waves. They can be unified because they all produce similar fields of force, which are standing waves. Thus, gravity is not directly linked to Relativity, albeit it is submitted to the Lorentz transformations the same way all forces and matter are.

The next page has not been translated yet. It will show why a moving observer can never detect his motion with respect to the aether. It will list and explain many situations. Surprisingly, all experiments without any exception systematically yield a null result, which nonetheless always can easily be explained thanks to Lorentz's very special Doppler effect.


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Gabriel LaFreniere,

Bois-des-Filion in Québec.

On the Internet since September 2002. Last update December 26, 2007.