Michelson-Morley Experiment, Case Western Historical Marker
Located in the heart of the Case Western Reserve University, this marker commemorates one of the most important experiments in modern science. In a building located near this marker in 1887, physicists Albert A. Michelson and Edward Morley conducted an experiment to try to detect whether their light traveled through matter or whether it traveled in the absence of matter. Scientists had speculated that if waves traveled through matter such as water and air, light should travel through matter as well. People at this time referred to this hypothetical substance as "aether" or "ether." Michelson and Morley's experiments revealed that this theory was untrue: aether did not exist, and light traveled at a constant speed. This discovery was central to the modern understanding of the nature of light and how it travels.
Backstory and Context
"Michelson-Morley Experiment." Encyclopedia Britannica. Accessed May 30, 2017. https://www.britannica.com/science/Michelson-Morley-experiment.