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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

Albert A. Michelson

Photo

Dates

December 19, 1852 – May 9, 1931

Authorized Form of Name

Michelson, Albert A. (Albert Abraham), 1852-1931

Additional Forms of Names

Michelson, A. A. (Albert Abraham), 1852-1931

Michelson, Albert Abraham, 1852-1931

Майкельсон, Альберт Абрахам, 1852-1931

אלברט אברהם, מיכלסון, 1852-1931

Biography

Abstract

Albert A. Michelson was a phyicist studying electromagnetism and optical physics at the University of Chicago. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for "his work on optical precision instruments and the spectroscopic and metrological investigations carried out with their aid."

Important Dates

December 19, 1852Birth, Strzelno (Województwo Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland).

1873Obtained degree, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis (Md.).

1875 – 1879Professor of Chemistry and Physics, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis (Md.).

1883 – 1889Professor of Physics, Case School of Applied Physics, Cleveland (Ohio).

1890 – 1893Professor of Physics, Clark University, Worcester (Mass.).

1893 – 1929Professor and First Head of Departmen tof Physics, University of Chicago, Chicago (Ill.).

1900President, American Physical Society.

1907Awarded Copley Medal, Royal Society.

1907Awarded Nobel Prize in Physics "his work on optical precision instruments and the spectroscopic and metrological investigations carried out with their aid".

1916Awarded Draper Medal, National Academy of Sciences.

1923 – 1927President, National Academy of Sciences.

May 9, 1931Death, Pasadena (Calif.).

Occupation

Electromagnetism and optical physicist.

Places

Birth

Strzelno (Województwo Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Poland)

Undergraduate Education

Annapolis (Md.)

Graduate Education

Annapolis (Md.)

Employment

Cleveland (Ohio)

Worcester (Mass.)

Chicago (Ill.)

Death

Pasadena (Calif.)

Subjects

Electromagnetic fields.

Interferometry.

Optical physics and engineering.

Optics.

Relationships

People

Family

Livingston, Dorothy Michelson

Daughter.

Michelson, Edna Stanton

Wife.

Advisors & Collaborators

Gale, Henry Gordon, 1874-1942

Advised by Michelson at University of Chicago.

Helmholtz, Hermann von, 1821-1894

PhD advisor at Physikalish-Technische Reichsanstalt.

Millikan, Robert Andrews, 1868-1953

Advised by Michelson at Columbia University.

Morley, Edward Williams, 1838-1923

Conducted Michelson-Morley experiment which failed to detect evidence of the existence of the luminiferous ether and both employed at University of Chicago.

Colleagues

Dempster, Arthur Jeffrey

Both employed at University of Chicago.

Hilberry, Norman, 1899-

Both employed at University of Chicago.

Mulliken, Robert Sanderson

Both employed at University of Chicago.

Swann, W. F. G. (William Francis Gray), 1884-1962

Both employed at University of Chicago.

Thomas, Tracy Y. (Tracy Yerkes), 1899-1983

Both employed at University of Chicago.

Additional

Birge, Raymond T. (Raymond Thayer), 1887-

Bohr, Niels, 1885-1962

Born, Max, 1882-1970

Cady, Walter G. (Walter Guyton), 1874-1974

Chladek, Edward A.

Compton, Betty Charity McCloskey, 1916-

Crew, Henry, 1859-1953

Darrow, Karl K. (Karl Kelchner), 1891-

Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955

Fletcher, Harvey, 1884-1981

Gingrich, Newell Shiffer, 1906-

Goldberg, Stanley

Hale, George Ellery, 1868-1938

Heaviside, Oliver, 1850-1925

Hoag, J. Barton, 1898-1962

Hutchisson, Elmer, 1902-

Jaffe, Bernard, 1896-1986

Jesse, William Polk, 1891-1974

Knudsen, Vern Oliver, 1893-1974

Lenzen, Victor F. (Victor Fritz), 1890-1975

Loeb, Leonard B. (Leonard Benedict), 1891-

Loeb took graduate courses from Michelson at University of Chicago.

McAllister, D. T.

Newton, Isaac, 1642-1727

Pease, F. G. (Francis Gladheim), 1881-

Planck, Max, 1858-1947

Rayleigh, John William Strutt, Baron, 1842-1919

Richardson, O. W. (Owen Willans), 1879-1959

Rowland, Henry Augustus, 1848-1901

Sawyer, Ralph A. (Ralph Alanson), 1895-1978

Severinghaus, Willard L. (Willard Lesly), 1882-1947

Shackelford, Benjamin Estill, 1891-

Shankland, Robert S., 1908-

Silberstein, Ludwik, 1872-1948

Stratton, Samuel W. (Samuel Wesley), 1861-1931

Wadsworth, Frank Lawton Olcott, 1867-1936

Wolcott, Edson Ray, 1877-1966

Zeleny, Anthony, 1870-1947

Institutions

Major Positions

Case Western Reserve University. Department of Physics

Professor of Physics.

Clark University (Worcester, Mass.) Department of Physics

Professor of Physics.

United States Naval Academy

Obtained degree (1873). Professor of Chemistry and Physics.

University of Chicago. Department of Physics

Founded the department and Professor of Physics.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

Académie française

Associate.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

President.

American Astronomical Society

American Physical Society

President.

Carnegie Institution of Washington

Mount Wilson Observatory

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

President and awarded 1916 Draper Medal.

Optical Society (Great Britain).

Optical Society of America

Royal Astronomical Society

Fellow.

Royal Society (Great Britain)

Fellow.

United States Naval Observatory

United States. National Bureau of Standards

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Albert A. Michaelson papers, 1891-1969.

The Joseph Regenstein Library. Department of Special Collections

University of Chicago

1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

Albert Michelson papers and notebook on the velocity of light, 1878-1930.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Albert Michelson papers, 1803-1989 (bulk 1861-1965).

Nimitz Library Special Collections Division

United States Naval Academy

Annapolis, MD 21402, USA

Edward Williams Morley papers, 1833-1923 (bulk 1863-1899).

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

James Madison Memorial Building, First Street and Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20540, USA

Experimental determination of the velocity of light: treatise, circa 1882.

The John Hay Library. University Archives

Brown University

Providence, RI 02912, USA

Henry Crew papers, 1833-1975.

University Archives

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL 60201, USA

Mount Wilson Observatory records of George Ellery Hale, 1901-1925.

Henry E. Huntington Library

1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108, USA

O. W. Richardson papers, 1897-1959 (bulk 1920-1940).

Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

University of Texas at Austin

P.O. Drawer 7219, Austin, TX 78713-7219, USA

Willard L. Severinghaus papers, 1895-1947.

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Columbia University

Butler Library, 6th Floor East, New York, NY 10027, USA

Subject

A tribute to Albert A. Michelson, 1969.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Albert Abraham Michelson, undated.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

American Astronomical Society records, 1897-1988 (bulk 1920-1980).

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Anthony Zeleny autobiography, circa 1945.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Baron John William Strutt Rayleigh papers, 1864-1919 [microfilm].

Phillips Laboratory. Geophysics Directorate. Research Library.

United States Air Force

Hanscom Air Force Base, MA 01731, USA

Benjamin E. Shackelford papers, 1913-1916.

The Joseph Regenstein Library. Department of Special Collections

University of Chicago

1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

Bicentennial session on the history of pioneering American physicists [sound recording], 1976 April 28.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Case Western Reserve University Physics Department history [website], 2009.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Clark University records, circa 1891-1950.

Goddard Library. Archives and Special Collections

Clark University

Worcester, MA 01610-11477, USA

Collection on Sir Isaac Newton, 1684-1949.

Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Stanford University

Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA

Edson Ray Wolcott autobiography, 1951.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Edward Morley collection on Albert A. Michelson.

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

James Madison Memorial Building, First Street and Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20540, USA

Engineering drawings for Edward Williams Morley and Albert Abraham Michelson's laboratories at Adelbert College of Western Reserve University.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

F. L. O. Wadsworth correspondence, circa 1889-1892.

Goddard Library. Archives and Special Collections

Clark University

Worcester, MA 01610-11477, USA

Francis G. Pease papers, 1850-1937 (bulk 1905-1937).

Henry E. Huntington Library

1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108, USA

Francis Gladheim Pease addenda, 1908-2001 (bulk 1908-1937).

Henry E. Huntington Library

1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108, USA

From midshipman to physicist, 1964.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

George Ellery Hale papers, 1882-1938.

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

1201 East California Blvd. (Mail Code 015A-74), Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

Henry Augustus Rowland papers, 1793-1970.

Special Collections, Milton S. Eisenhower Library

Johns Hopkins University

3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218, USA

Henry Crew papers [microform], 1833-1967, (bulk 1880-1940).

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

History of metrology and today's frontiers of measurement [sound recording], 2012 March 1.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

History of physics at Clark [University] [website], 2009.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

J. Barton Hoag papers, 1914-1963 (bulk 1917-1962).

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Leonard B. Loeb student notebooks, 1914-1915.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Letter and annotated reprints relating to the application of interference methods to astronomical measurements, 1890.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Ludwik Silberstein letters from Oliver Heaviside, Max Planck, and Albert Abraham Michelson, 1892-1923.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Michelson and his beloved aether, undated.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Newell S. Gingrich student notebooks, 1927-1929.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Niels Bohr scientific correspondence, supplement, 1910-1962.

Niels Bohr Archive

Blegdamsvej 17, Copenhagen, Denmark

Oral history interview with Betty Compton, 1968 April 11 and 15.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Elmer Hutchisson, 1970 October 22.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Harvey Fletcher, 1964 May 15.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with J. Barton Hoag, circa 1965.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Karl K. Darrow, 1964 April 2 and 10 June.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Leonard B. Loeb, 1962 August 7.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Max Born, 1960 June 1, 1962 October 17 and 18.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Robert S. Shankland, 1974 August 20 and 21.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Ronald Lyman McFarlan, 1979 December 18.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Vern Oliver Knudsen, 1964 May 18.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Vern Oliver Knudsen, 1964.

University Research Library. Department of Special Collections

University of California, Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA 90024-1575, USA

Oral history interview with Vern Oliver Knudsen, 1966 December 20 to 1969 June 3.

University Research Library. Department of Special Collections

University of California, Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA 90024-1575, USA

Oral history interview with Walter Guyton Cady, 1963 August 28 and 29.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Papers of physicists and astronomers in Hoover Library, 1918-1965.

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library

West Branch, IA 52358, USA

Ralph Alanson Sawyer student notes, 1916-1917.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Recorded version of the speeches at the unveiling of the bust of Albert Abraham Michelson for the Hall of Fame for Great Americans at New York University, 1973.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Samuel W. Stratton papers, 1881-1934.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.I.T. Libraries, Rm. 14N-118, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

Scientists and science collection, 1870-1948.

Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Stanford University

Stanford, CA 94305, USA

Teacher, researcher, and administrator: transcript, 1966-1969.

University Research Library. Department of Special Collections

University of California, Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA 90024-1575, USA

Three glimpses of Albert Abraham Michelson at the peak of his career [motion picture] /assembled and edited by the staff of the Michelson Museum at the Naval Ordnance Test Station.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

United States Naval Observatory records, 1830-1900.

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

James Madison Memorial Building, First Street and Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20540, USA

Victor F. Lenzen letter to Dorothy Michelson Stevens, 1965.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

William P. Jesse scientific autobiography, 1968.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

William Polk Jesse student notebooks, 1919-1921.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Published Resources

Author

Light waves and their uses.

Studies in optics by A.A. Michelson.

Subject

Albert A. Michelson Nobel Prize biography.

Albert A. Michelson; America's first Nobel prize physicist.

Albert Abraham Michelson National Academy of Sciences biographical memoir.

Michelson and the speed of light.

Program of the Michelson meeting (thirteenth annual meeting) Washington, Nov. 1-3, 1928: catalog of the optical exhibition at the National Bureau of Standards, October 31 to November 3, 1928.

Raymond T. Birge comments on A. A. Michelson, 1962.

Science and the instrument-maker: Michelson, Sperry, and the speed of light / Thomas Parke Hughes.

The Michelson era in American science, 1870-1930 / editors, Stanley Goldberg, Roger H. Stuewer.