Letter | Published:

Basic Concepts of Measurement and the Michelson–Morley Experiment

Naturevolume 199page684 (1963) | Download Citation



ONE of the reasons for the success of the scientific method is the rigorous control of the conditions of measurement. The effect of varying one parameter is examined while the other conditions are maintained constant. It must not be overlooked, however, that some of the conditions cannot be varied, and their effects cannot therefore be examined in this way. All measurements which have been made so far have been carried out on the Earth's surface where there is a strong gravitational field due to the Earth, a rotational velocity, and a centrifugal force balancing the Sun's gravitational field.

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  1. 1

    Einstein, A., The Principles of Relativity (Methuen and Co., London, 1923).

  2. 2

    Essen, L., Nature, 180, 1061 (1957).

  3. 3

    Essen, L., Proc. Roy. Soc., A, 270, 312 (1962).

  4. 4

    Essen, L., Air, Speed and Instruments, edit. by Lees, S., 194 (McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1963).

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    • L. ESSEN


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