Michelson A. A. Light waves and their uses (1903)

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This series of eight lectures on “ Light Waves and Their Uses” was delivered in the spring of 1899 at the Lowell Institute. In the preparation of the experiments and the lantern projections I was ably assisted by Mr. C. E. Mann, to whom I am further indebted for editing this volume.

I have endeavored, possibly at the risk of inelegance of diction, to present the lectures as nearly as possible in the words in which they were originally given, trusting that thereby some of the interest of the spoken addresses might be retained.

While it is hoped that the work will be intelligible to the general reader, it is also possible that some of the ideas may be of interest to physicists and astronomers who may not have had occasion to read the somewhat scattered published papers.

A. A. Michelson.

Ryerson Physical Laboratory The University of Chicago October, 1902


Lecture I. Wave Motion and Interference 1

Lecture II. Comparison of the Efficiency of the Microscope Telescope, and Interferometer - - 19

Lecture III. Application of Interference Methods to Measurements of Distances and Angles - - 44

Lecture IV. Application of Interference Methods to Spectroscopy ------- 60

Lecture V. Light Waves as Standards of Length - - 84

Lecture VI. Analysis of the Action of Magnetism on Light Waves by the Interferometer and the Echelon ------ 107

Lecture VII. Application of Interference Methods to

Astronomy - - - - - - 128

Lecture VIII. The Ether ------- 147