Albert Abraham Michelson Facts

Albert Abraham Michelson Facts
Albert A. Michelson (December 19, 1852 to May 9, 1931) was a noted American physicist who is best known for his work in measuring the speed of light. He also carries the honor of being the first American to receive the Nobel Prize in any field of science.
Interesting Albert Abraham Michelson Facts:
Michelson immigrated to the US with his family from what is now Poland during the height of the California Gold Rush.
A toddler at the time that they moved, Michelson became a naturalized citizen and attended school in the US.
He received a special appointment to the United States Naval Academy from President Ulysses S. Grant, where he studied optics, climatology, art, and other fields.
After graduating and serving time aboard ship, he returned to the Naval Academy as a physics and chemistry instructor.
He began his research while appointed to what is now the Naval Observatory, refining experiments with the speed of light that he began while a student at the academy.
Michelson determined that the speed of light in air is 299,864±51 kilometres per second, and that the speed of light in a vacuum is 299,940 km/s, or 186,380 mi/s.
He made these determinations by improving on the design of the rotating mirror that had originally been used to measure speed of light.
By using a better quality of optics and a longer baseline, he was able to make a more accurate determination.
He is also well-known for improving on the design of the interferometer, which uses light waves to measure stellar diameters and the distances between binary stars.
Michelson and a colleague were the first researchers to measure the diameter of any star other than the sun when they measured Betelgeuse in 1920.
This work on the interferometer earned Michelson the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1907, marking him as the first American to win the prize for sciences.
Michelson is widely remembered for the Michelson-Morley experiment with Edward Morley, which ruled out any existence of the concept of aether.
Other honors include several buildings named after him at various colleges and universities where he either taught or conducted research, and a crater on the moon named after him.
He also received the Gold Medal from the Royal Academy of Sciences, the Henry Draper Medal from the National Academy of Sciences, and many other awards.
Michelson was featured in an episode of the popular television series Bonanza in 1962, portrayed by an actor, as it told the story of his efforts to attend the Naval Academy despite the bigotry of his teacher.

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