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Michelson to Make New Tests of Light Speed

April 20, 1927
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(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

New plans to obtain a more accurate estimate of the speed of light were disclosed on Saturday by Prof. Albert A. Michelson, famous Jewish physicist, at the University of Chicago during the course of a lecture to the graduate body.

His plan, he said, is to measure the speed of light in a pipe line three miles long. The pipe line is to be filled with rarefied gas or air at one-tenth of an atmosphere in pressure. If arrangements can be made, the professor will perform this experiment in the vicinity of Chicago this summer.

“I started out my life work with three ambitions,” said the scientist. “To test the Einstein theory, to measure the stars and to test the velocity of light. I’ve done them all, but I still keep on checking and trying to get more accuarate results.”

Describing his apparatus, he told of an arrangement of mirrors which will enable him to get results as satisfactory as those obtained over a much longer distance outdoor, such as the eighty-two miles distance which he used in his latest efforts at Mount Wilson.

“Considering the extraordinary accuracy obtained in the experiments of July, 1925, it is dubious whether results obtained with an increased distance, as I attempted to do this winter, can be better,” he said. “There is always a little ‘boiling’ because of disturbance of the atmosphere, and the greater the distance the greater the disturbance.

“By using the pipe line, and with only a slightly modified arrangement of the mirrors, a sharp image can be obtained independent of weather conditions. If we can arrange for the loan of that much pipe, ten to twenty inches in diameter, the exeriment will be undertaken shortly.”

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