Morley, Edward Williams

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Morley, Edward Williams

Edward Williams Morley, 1838–1923, American scientist, b. Newark, N.J., grad. Williams College, 1860. From 1869 to 1906 he was professor of chemistry at Western Reserve College (now Case Western Reserve Univ.). He is known especially for his work with A. A. Michelson and D. C. Miller in investigating the relative motion of the earth and ether and in developing the interferometer as a means of measuring length and distance, and particularly for the Michelson-Morley experiment (1887), which led to the refutation of the ether hypothesis and the development of Einstein's theory of relativity. His other important experiments include research on the oxygen content of the atmosphere; determinations of the density of oxygen and hydrogen and their combining ratio in water; determination of the velocity of light in a magnetic field; and work on thermal expansion.

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