Dialog: Akademie Olympia
Well, that definitely settles it. So, the situation was desperate. Aether had been abolished, but Lorentz also got it right somehow. What did you two do?
We discussed everything again. What remained was the paradox that the speed of light is always the same, the same whether observed from a moving or stationary frame of reference.
I was just about to give up. Then I went to Besso. It was he who posed the decisive question about time. How do you prove that two events occur at the same time? Is it not possible that events appearing to occur simultaneously to a stationary observer on a railroad embankment can, for a conductor on a moving train, appear to occur at different times? Common sense speaks for the absolute character of time. Lorentz’s theory speaks for the absolute character of the speed of light, and its validity is unassailable. What we need is a new paradigm of space and time, if only to explain contraction.