Definitions for michelson-morley experiment

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Princeton's WordNet

  1. Michelson-Morley experiment(noun)

    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

Freebase

  1. Michelson–Morley experiment

    The Michelson–Morley experiment was performed over the spring and summer of 1887 by Albert A. Michelson and Edward W. Morley at what is now Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and published in November of the same year. It compared the speed of light in perpendicular directions, in an attempt to detect the relative motion of matter through the stationary luminiferous aether. The negative results are generally considered to be the first strong evidence against the then-prevalent aether theory, and initiated a line of research that eventually led to special relativity, in which the stationary aether concept has no role. The experiment has been referred to as "the moving-off point for the theoretical aspects of the Second Scientific Revolution". Michelson–Morley type experiments have been repeated many times with steadily increasing sensitivity. These include experiments from 1902 to 1905, and a series of experiments in the 1920s. In addition, recent resonator experiments have confirmed the absence of any aether wind at the 10−17 level.

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