ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Lessons From the Michelson-Morley Experiment

This year marks the centenary of one of the most important scientific experiments ever performed It was in Cleveland, Ohio in 1887 that Albert A. Michelson and Edward W Morley undertook a measurement that was a milestone in man's effort to understand the way in which light travels through space. Physicists regard this work as a crucial step in our journey toward an understanding of the very nature of space and time itself Had the results of this measurement been different, Einstein's theory of

Philip Taylor
This year marks the centenary of one of the most important scientific experiments ever performed It was in Cleveland, Ohio in 1887 that Albert A. Michelson and Edward W Morley undertook a measurement that was a milestone in man's effort to understand the way in which light travels through space.

Physicists regard this work as a crucial step in our journey toward an understanding of the very nature of space and time itself Had the results of this measurement been different, Einstein's theory of relativity would not have been tenable.

The Michelson-Morley experiment was remarkable in many ways. Not only did it set the stage for Lorentz, Fitzgerald, Poincare, and finally Einstein to establish the mathematical framework that described the propagation of light through space and time, it also marked a turning point for science in the New World. The year 1887 can be said to mark the birth of...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?
ADVERTISEMENT