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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fringes. We could not, in the time, build another apparatus of timber which had not been dried all winter, nor was it thought well to construct another apparatus closely resembling the first. While planning a new apparatus, we made a couple of experiments to show, what was well enough known, that difference of magnetic attraction on the iron parts of our apparatus could not disturb our observations. We suspended two massive pieces of iron at the ends of one arm, so that one should be in the lines of magnetic force of the earth’s field, and the other transverse to them, these relations being reversed on reversing the position of the apparatus. But observations with this load of iron gave the same result as before. Next we placed an analytical balance on one arm, with which to weigh a bar of iron at the extremity of that arm. It was so placed that at one azimuth the bar was nearly in the lines of force, and at another was transverse to them. If there were a difference of half a milligram in twelve hundred grams, it would have been detected, but no such difference existed. We found by trial how much a weight of a hundred grams displaced our fringes, and so learned, as was known before, that the influence of the earth’s magnetism could not be a disturbing factor.

The Rumford Committee of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences having made a grant in aid of this experiment, we carried out our original plan of making a steel structure so rigid as to permit easy and satisfactory observation. In this new apparatus all the optical parts are carried by a steel frame built of plate and angle-iron, somewhat like a bridge girder. A cubical steel box, fourteen inches on each edge, constitutes the centre of the structure, which is in the form of a cross. To each of the four sides of this cube are firmly attached arms, each about six feet and a half in length. Each arm is made of steel plates, three eighths of an inch thick, eighteen inches wide at one end, and six inches wide at the other, standing on edge, and kept fourteen inches apart by suitable plates, angle-irons, and other braces ; thus are formed hollow beams of great rigidity, especially in a vertical direction. This framework is shown in Plate 1, from which it is seen that the structure is in effect two rigid beams, each fourteen feet long, crossing at right angles, and symmetrical as regards strength and rigidity.

On two ends of the cross, S and T, Figure 1, are two upright cast-iron frames, fastened by bolts, each of which carries four mirrors, marked 2, 4, 6, and 8. Against the corners of each of these frames rest four pine rods, three quarters of au inch in diameter and fourteen feet long. Each rod is supported throughout its length by a brass tube an inch in


diameter; each pair of tubes is joined together in a vertical truss, as shown in Plate 1. Against the farther end of these rods there rest the frames which hold the two sets of mirrors, I and II, Figure 1. Each of the latter frames is freely suspended by two thin steel ribbons and is held firmly against the pine rods, and through these against one of the two fixed mirror holders ; the pressure is applied by means of adjustable spiral springs. Thus the distance between the opposite systems of mirrors depends upon the pine rods only. This construction permits the convenient substitution of distance rods of other material, so that experiments might be easily made to test the theory that the dimensions of different materials are differently affected by motion of translation through the ether. The diagonal mirrors are carried by adjustable supports bolted to the steel frame near its centre.

The observing telescope of an inch and a half aperture with a magnifying power of thirty-five is attached to a support bolted to the steel frame. The acetylene lamp and the four-inch condensing lens stand on a wooden shelf as far as convenient from the mirrors, which are protected by asbestos screens with air spaces. The whole path of light through the apparatus is enclosed by a wooden cover made of pine seven eighths of an inch thick, having doors and glass windows where these are required. The observer’s eyes are protected from extraneous light by a dark cloth.

The entire apparatus, weighing about nineteen hundred pounds, rests upon a circular wooden platform about five feet in diameter. An annular projection on the under side of the platform is immersed in mercury of such depth as to float the platform and the apparatus. The mercury is contained in an annular cast-iron trough of such dimensions as to leave a clearance of about half an inch between the iron and the wooden float. A small pin at the centre of the iron trough enters a socket in the wooden float, so as to keep the float from touching the sides of the trough.

Plate 1 shows the steel framework and float, together with the trusses which are to support the distance pieces. The mirror frames and the telescope are in position, but lamp and lens are not in position. Plate 2 shows the apparatus as it appeared at the time of the observations.

With this apparatus, fringes adjusted on a certain Monday remained in adjustment throughout the whole of the week during which our observations continued. Observations were made in precisely the same manner as with the previous apparatus.

We obtained 260 complete observations, consisting each of readings at