ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Albert Abraham Michelson (1852-1931), US physicist. 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. 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.
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