Aether drag and moving images

J. Leach, A.J. Wright, J.B. Götte, J.M. Girkin, L. Allen, S. Franke-Arnold, S.M. Barnett, M.J. Padgett

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We contrast the two situations in which either a light beam is incident on a moving medium or a moving optical image is incident on a stationary medium. The principle of relativity suggests that the effects on the light of propagating through the medium should be similar. We find, however, that there are subtle differences which we can understand in terms of the relative alignment of the Poynting and wave vectors. Our analysis and experiments investigate both translational motion and rotation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number153902
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2008


  • Aether drag
  • moving images
  • optical image
  • translational motion


Cite this

Leach, J., Wright, A. J., Götte, J. B., Girkin, J. M., Allen, L., Franke-Arnold, S., Barnett, S. M., & Padgett, M. J. (2008). Aether drag and moving images. Physical Review Letters, 100(15), [153902].