Michelson-Morley experiment


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Michelson-Morley experiment

(ˌmaɪkəlsənˈmɔːlɪ)
n
(General Physics) an experiment first performed in 1887 by A. A. Michelson and E. W. Morley, in which an interferometer was used to attempt to detect a difference in the velocities of light in directions parallel and perpendicular to the earth's motion. The negative result was explained by the special theory of relativity
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Noun1.Michelson-Morley experiment - a celebrated experiment conducted by Albert Michelson and Edward MorleyMichelson-Morley experiment - a celebrated experiment conducted by Albert Michelson and Edward Morley; their failure to detect any influence of the earth's motion on the velocity of light was the starting point for Einstein's theory of relativity
experiment, experimentation - the act of conducting a controlled test or investigation
References in periodicals archive ?
Following the Michelson-Morley experiment several explanations were provided by other scientists to explain the partial "aether wind" results.
This measurement difficulty is evident in the design of the Michelson-Morley experiment of 1887 in which the detection instrument was built to measure not the actual ether but to measure instead the effect of an ether "wind" on the movement of the earth.
The upset started with the Michelson-Morley experiment in 1887.
The Michelson-Morley experiment, which showed that light does not propagate through an ether, gave a result that was unexpected by the physicists of that time.
In his last years, Michelson, who had performed the fateful Michelson-Morley experiment (see 1887), grew interested in measuring the speed of light with new precision.
Another instrument figured in the famous Michelson-Morley experiment, paving the way for the theory of relativity, and still others were applied to optical testing early in the 20th century.
We shall examine in the following section two reasons for adopting PULC (given PLC), the first based on (a 'weak' version of) the relativity principle, and the second on the outcome of the 1887 Michelson-Morley experiment. Later, in Section 4, we derive the kinematics consistent with this principle (the 'PULC-transformations'), and show that light-speed invariance is now equivalent to the kinematic principle of 'reciprocity'--a result which also follows from the classic 1949 paper by Robertson on experimental kinematics.
Hendrik Lorentz, the Dutch physicist, attempted to explain the Michelson-Morley experiment in terms of his now-famous contraction equations.

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