Albert Michelson was born in Strelno, Germany in 1852. When he was three years old, his family immigrated to the United States. Subsequently, he studied physics, specializing in the field of optics. Michelson was professor of physics at the Case School of Applied Science in Cleveland, at Clark University and at the University of Chicago. In his later years, he went to California to calculate astronomical measurements. He died in 1931.
In 1907, Albert Michelson was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics “for his optical precision instruments and the spectroscopic and meteorological investigations carried out with their aid.”The best known and most important achievement was the Michelson-Morley experiment of 1887. According to the prevailing opinion of physicists at that time, the speed of light varies in relation to the direction of the earth’s movement. Michelson and his colleague, Edward Morley built an interferometer, an instrument for precise measurement determination. With the interferometer, they were able to prove that the speed of light is constant and does not vary according to the relative movement of the earth.
This discovery posed a difficult dilemma for classical physics. Eighteen years later, the dilemma was solved with the publication of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity.