Interferometer

Interferometer

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Description
Designed by the American physicist, Albert A. Michelson, this type of interferometer measures the speed of light along two different paths. Using an instrument of this sort in 1887, Michelson and Edward Morley showed that the speed of light is not affected by the motion of the earth through the supposed luminiferous ether. This example was used with the Mendenhall gravity apparatus at the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey. The wooden box is marked "INTER F.B." and "C.&G.S."
Ref: Clarence H. Swick, “The Force of Gravity and Methods of Measuring It,” Bulletin of the American Geographical Society 44 (1912): 183-189.
Clarence H. Swick, Modern Methods for Measuring the Intensity of Gravity (Washington, D.C., 1921), fig. 16.
W. H. Burger, “The Measurement of the Flexure of Pendulum Supports with the Interferometer,” Appendix 6 in Report of the Superintendent of the Coast & Geodetic Survey Showing the Progress of the Work from July 1, 1909 to June 30, 1910.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
Interferometer
Measurements
overall: 4 3/4 in x 10 1/2 in x 6 in; 12.065 cm x 26.67 cm x 15.24 cm
ID Number
ZZ.RSN79580Z08
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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