Albert Michelson, US physicist

Albert Michelson, US physicist

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Albert Michelson (1852-1931). Portrait of the US physicist Albert Abraham Michelson, in his military uniform. Michelson emigrated from Poland to the USA with his parents at the age of two. He studied at the US Naval Academy, later continuing his studies with two years in Europe. In 1883 he became professor of physics at the Case School of Applied Science in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. His most famous work was the 1897 Michelson-Morley experiment, which used interferometry in a failed attempt to find changes in the speed of light relative to a moving Earth. The null result supported Einstein's 1905 Theory of Special Relativity. Michelson's awards included the 1907 Nobel Prize in Physics, and the 1923 Franklin Medal. Photographed circa 1918.

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