Einstein Shift and Doppler Shift

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Abstract

IN answer to Sir Oliver Lodge's question (NATURE, December 26, p. 938), it depends on our point of view whether the Einstein shift is considered to be imposed on the light at its origin or in course of transit to us. We cannot state the frequency of the ether vibrations without presupposing a system of time-reckoning, and in the non-Euclidean region round the gravitating star the ordinary conventions of time-reckoning have broken down. There is a particular system of time-reckoning (t) commonly used in relativity investigations; but it must be understood that no merit is claimed for this system except that it renders certain calculations easier. In this reckoning the Einstein shift occurs at the origin of the light, and is carried to us by the light without change. But if we pay attention rather to the proper-time (s), which gives us an absolute point of view, atomic vibrations have the same period s wherever they are situated; and the Einstein shift is imprinted on the light as it travels through the non-Euclidean region into the comparatively flat region of space-time where we observe it.

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