Morley E.W., Miller D.C. Report of an Experiment to Detect the FitzGerald-Lorentz Effect // Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts Sci., Vol. 41 (1905)

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to the observer at T. Another part of the incident ray is reflected along the other arm of the cross, is similarly passed to and fro, returned, and at last transmitted to the observer. In the apparatus actually used, mirror 5 lay above 3, rather than to one side of it ; Figure 2 shows this arrangement. The whole path of the light along these mirrors was enclosed and covered, to lessen the effect of air currents and other local disturbances. An acetylene flame was carried as a source of

ror with its surface always parallel to a given surface. This we had avoided, in order to have everything about the two arms as symmetrical as possible.

We now computed the direction and velocity of the motion of the centre of the apparatus by compounding the annual motion in the orbit of the earth with the motion of the solar system towards a certain point in the heavens. During part of August, the whole of September, and nearly all of October, this motion never coincides with the plane of our apparatus. For other dates, there are two hours in each day when the motion is in the desired plane, except for two days when the two hours

light. A telescope magnifying thirty-five diameters gave distinct vision of mirror 8, at whose surface the interference fringes are apparently localized.

Figure 1.

Figure 2.

The mirrors, being silvered and polished, were put in place, and the lengths of the two paths were measured with a split rod and then made nearly equal. Establishing interferences in sodium light, we found the central part of a series of some seven hundred interferences which are brighter than the adjoining three hundred. With no long search, we could see interferences in white light, although we had provided no screw for moving a mir


coalesce into one. At the beginning of June the two hours are about 11 h. 20 m. a.m., mean solar time, and 9 h. 50 m. p.m. At the time of our last set of observations, July 5th to July 9th, the hours were 11 h. 40 m. a.m. and 8 h. 20 m. p.m., local mean time.

After many trials, with filar micrometer, and with scale on mirror 8, we found it advisable to accumulate a great number of observations made as rapidly as might be. What we had to do, in presence of all the local disturbances of density of the air which sometimes made observation impossible and always made it difficult, was as if we were trying to measure the solar atmospheric tide. If we could vary the period of this tide at will by controlling the revolutions of the earth, we should doubtless get a result sooner by accelerating the latter and making a great number of observations in a given time, rather than by retarding the period in order to measure with very great precision the hourly height of a barometer. We therefore proceeded as follows. One observer walked around with the moving apparatus, his eye at the telescope, while he maintained the rotation by an occasional gentle pull on a cord so fixed as not to bring any strain to bear on the cross arms of the apparatus. The room was darkened. The other observer also went around with the apparatus ; as an index showed the azimuth of the apparatus to be that indicated by one of sixteen equidistant marks, he called out the number or some other signal. The first observer replied with the reading for the given azimuth, which the second observer recorded. The next azimuth was called at the proper instant, the reading given, and so on. Half the time, perhaps, the observations were interrupted before they became numerous enough to be useful, being stopped by excessive displacement of fringes owing to temperature changes and the like. But patience is a possession without which no one is likely to begin observations of this kind. Runs of twenty and thirty turns, involving 320 or 480 readings, were uot uncommon. A run of thirty turns meant that the observer, who could sometimes make a turn of sixteen readings in sixty-five or seventy-five seconds, walked half a mile while making the severe effort involved in keeping his eye at the moving eyepiece without the least interruption for half an hour. The work is, of course, somewhat exhausting.

Observation with this apparatus could not begin till the month of August, and we had to stop without having accomplished as much as was desirable. During the busy season of the school year, observation is impossible. We had therefore expected to resume our work in June. But we then found that our pine apparatus had so much suffered from the dryness of the building that we could not maintain the adjustment of our