Regular Article - Theoretical Physics
A quest for the origin of the Sagnac effect
High Energy and Cosmic Ray Research Center, University of North Bengal, 734013, Siliguri, India
2 Department of Physics, Harish-Chandra Research Institute, Chhatnag Road, Jhunsi, 211019, Allahabad (Prayagraj), Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Physics, Visva-Bharati University, 731235, Santiniketan, West Bengal, India
Accepted: 15 July 2022
Published online: 27 July 2022
In the literature, there is no consensus on the origin of the relativistic Sagnac effect, particularly from the standpoint of the rotating observer. The experiments of Wang et al. (Phys Lett A 312(1–2):7, 2003; Phys Rev Lett 93(14):143901, 2004) has, however, questioned the pivotal role of rotation of the platform in Sagnac effect. Recently, the relative motion between the reflectors which force light to propagate along a closed path and the observer has been ascribed as the cause of the Sagnac effect. Here, we propose a thought experiment on linear Sagnac effect and explore another one proposed earlier to demonstrate that the origin of the Sagnac effect is neither the rotation of frame affecting clock synchronization nor the relative motion between the source and the observer; Sagnac effect originates purely due to asymmetric position of the observer with respect to the light paths. Such a conclusion is validated by analysis of a gedanken Sagnac kind experiment involving rotation.
© The Author(s) 2022. 2022
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