Methodological notes

The Sagnac effect: correct and incorrect explanations

Federal Research Center A.V. Gaponov-Grekhov Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Ulyanova 46, Nizhny Novgorod, 603000, Russian Federation

Different explanations for the Sagnac effect are discussed. It is shown that this effect is a consequence of the relativistic law of velocity composition and that it can also be explained adequately within the framework of general relativity. When certain restrictions on the rotational velocity are imposed, the Sagnac effect can be attributed to the difference in the time dilation (or phase change) of material particle wave functions in the scalar (or correspondingly vector) gravitational potential of the inertial forces in a rotating reference system for counterpropagating waves. It is also shown that all the nonrelativistic interpretations of the Sagnac effect, which are unfortunately sometimes found in scientific papers, monographs and textbooks, are wrong in principle, even though the results they yield are accurate up to relativistic corrections in some special cases.

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Fulltext is also available at DOI: 10.1070/pu2000v043n12ABEH000830
PACS: 01.65.+g, 03.30.+p, 07.60.Ly, 42.87.Bg (all)
DOI: 10.1070/pu2000v043n12ABEH000830
Citation: Malykin G B "The Sagnac effect: correct and incorrect explanations" Phys. Usp. 43 1229 (2000)
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Оригинал: Малыкин Г Б «Эффект Саньяка. Корректные и некорректные объяснения» УФН 170 1325–1349 (2000); DOI: 10.3367/UFNr.0170.200012c.1325

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