MICHELSON, Albert Abraham (1852-1931) and Edward Williams MORLEY (1838-1923). "On the relative motion of the earth and the luminiferous ether", in: The American Journal of Science, third Series (1887), no.203, pp.333-345. New Haven, 1887. [And:]
"Influence of Motion on the Medium on the Velocity of Light". Ibidem, no.185, pp.377-386. New Haven, 1886.
Together 2 volumes, 8° (222 x 142 mm). Blue and dark blue morocco tooled in gilt and blind, by Johanna Rojgard (2002), depicting diagrams of the Michelson-Morley experiments, in a folding cloth box.
FIRST APPEARANCE. Michelson and Morley devised a series of experiments designed to calculate the effect of the earth's motion on the passage of light rays through the 'luminiferous ether' which was believed to surround the earth. Despite their careful preparations - which included mounting their equipment on a large stone floating in mercury to exclude interference from incidental vibration - they found no difference between the speed of beams of light travelling either with or against the 'ether wind'. 'The failure of this experiment was a serious blow to classical scientific theories because it cast doubts on the existence of the universal ether which had been a basic principle of, for example, the Newtonian theories of the universe', PMM 401. 'This negative result held revolutionary implications which led directly through Lorentz and Einstein to the acceptance of new standards of time and space from geometry and cosmometry', Dibner 161; Norman 1508. The second work was undertaken, also in collaboration with E.W. Morley, in 1885. 'Their first effort, undertaken at the suggestion of W, Thompson, and of Rayleigh and Gibbs, was to verify the Fizeau experiment, reported in 1859, that supposedly had confirmed Fresnel's drag coefficient by comparing the apparent velocities of light moving with and against a current of water' (DSB). Norman 1508. (2)