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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, November 26, 1926, Image 12

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1926-11-26/ed-1/seq-12/

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$3.50 Philadelphia
$3.25 Chester
$3.00 Wilmington
And Return
Sunday, Nov. 28
Similar Excursion
December 12
Lv. Washington 7:20 a.m.
Standard Time.
Lv. Philadelphia 7HO p.m.
Lv. Chester 7:50 p.m.
Lv. Wilmington 8:10 p.m.
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Scientist Uses Tiny Mirror to j
Prove Opponents of Rela- j
tivity Wrong.
j Special Dispatch to The Star.
PASADENA, Calif., November 26.
The failure of a tiny mirror, half an
inch in diameter, to turn when Dr.
Carl T. Chase of the Norman Bridge
Laboratory of Physics here was per
forming an experiment may prove to
I be strong evidence in support of Ein
stein's theory of relativity. It differs
from results obtained by Dr. Dayton
C. Miller and which have been inter
preted by authorities on the subject
as antagonistic to Einstein's ideas.
In Dr. Chase’s experiment, he re
' peated one performed by two English
( physicists about 20 years ago, and
| which was repeated in Germany with
!in the last two years. According to
j the older ideas, which relativity has
changed, all space is filled with a hy
pothetical medium called the ether,
which is stationary, while the planets,
including the earth, and other astro
nomical objects move through it.
If this were the case and a small
condenser, similar to that used in
radio sets, were on the earth, moving
through the ether and were hung free
ly so that it could turn, the motion
through the ether would tend to twist
it. In the previous attempts, no such
rotation was found.
Experiment Blocks Twisting.
According to Dr. Chase, however,
the way the experiment was done pre
viously was such that even if the con
denser had been moving through the
ether no twisting could have taken
place. In the German experiments, j
conducted by Dr. R. Tomaschek of the j
University of Heidelberg, says Dr. |
j Chase, connection of the condenser'
with the electrical apparatus required I
to charge It was made through tht j
ffrie upper wire by which it was hung I
and through a wire hanging from it
and dipping into an acid solution.
He has repeated this arrangement
and has found that the friction of the
wire in the liquid is so great that the
top of the suspending wire can be
deliberately twisted through two or
I three complete revolutions without
i turning the condenser, or the mirror
j attached to it, and by means of which
the rotation is measured.
In Dr. Chase’s apparatus the con
denser and the mirror are hung on
a wire of phosphor-bronze a yard long
and two thousandths of an inch in
diameter. A duplicate of this wire,
fastened at the bottom, provides the
other conection, while the condenser
itself is inclosed in a steel cylinder
9 inches high, 3% Inches In diameter,
with walls five-eighths of an inch
Tubes Contain Wires.
Long brass tubes from the top and
bottom contain the supporting wires.
.The steel cylinder prevents heat cur
rents within and electrical disturb
ances from without. The condenser
was about an eighth of an inch thick,
weighed about a third of an ounce and
had a capacity! of .04 microfarad.
To make the observations, readings
had to be taken of the apparatus,
by means of light reflected from the
tiny mirror, every 5 minutes for 24
hours at a stretch. No evidence of
any turning corresponding to a mo
tion of the earth through the ether
was found, says Dr. Chase, even
though he has estimated his apparatus
delicate enough to have detected a
motion of 2% miles a second, much
less than the motion was supposed
to be.
A remarkable example of precision
in scientific research has Just been
uncovered in the old records of the
I Bureau of Standards,
j Twenty years ago Dr. N. Ernest
Dorsey, then a bureau physicist and
j now on the staff of the National Re
| search Council, and Dr. E. B. Rosa,
| since dead, determined the speed of
i light at 299,790 kilometers a second.
! Last week Dr. Albert A. Michelson of
j the University of Chicago, inventor
of the interferometer, announced that
he had fixed the light speed constant,
after a .lifetime of experimenting, at
299.796 kilometers a second —approx-
imately 20 miles a second slower than
the accepted figure of 299,860 kilo
meters a second.
Dr. Michelson’s figure was reached
by direct physical measurement of
the speed of light itself traveling be
tween two mountain tops. Dr. Dorsey
and Qr. Rosa approached the prob
lem from an entirely different angle
and did not use light at all in their
experiments. The tw'o were among
the early experimenters in this
country along the lines of the electro
magnetic theory of light, advanced,
but never proved, by the English
physicist, Clerk-Maxwell, which may
' be considered the foundation of the
Dr Dorsey’s Theory.
This theory, as stated by Dr. Dor
sey, was that ‘‘the disturbance giving
the sensation of light consists of elec
tro-magnetic waves, exactly similar to
radio weaves.’’ That is, that the dif
ference between light and electricity
is a matter of the length of the
weaves set up in the ether. Acting
upon this principle, the two measured
the ratio between the electrostatic
and electro magnetic units of electric
ity. which, according to the Maxwell
theory, would.give the exact rate at
which either electro-magnetic waves
or light traveled.
The experiments were conducted
j over a period of three years and later
• : _ _ , _ __ _. _
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corrections were applied because of
he determination of more exact fig
ures for certain electrical units. The
ngure finally published was not put
out with very much confidence that
it would upset the generally accepted
“We only claimed,” said Dr. Dor
sey yesterday, “that our figure was
correct to one part in 10,000. Up to
that time the best figure obtained by
uch means w’as not claimed to be cor
rect by more than one part in a thou
sand and we were satisfied in having
made 10 times more accurate measure
ments than nad ever been made be
“We allowed for an error of 1 part
in 10,000 in the figure for the speed
of light obtained by direct physical
measurements of light itself. By mak
ing both of these corrections our fig
ures would have about coincided. But
from the latest developments it seems
we might just as well have claimed
an accuracy up to 1 part in 30,000.
Speed of Light Measured.
“There are tw r o systems of electrical
units, upon either of which scales of
voltage, current, capacity—in fact,
every kind of electrical units—can be
built up. The firsjt is the electro
static, or the force of attraction be
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tween two electric charges. The sec
ond is the electro-magnetic, or the
extent of the magnetic field produced
by an electric current. The ratio be
-1 tween them, accurately measured,
should give the speed of light very
' Dr. Dorsey considers that the ac
ceptance of the new figure which will
follow the Michelson announcement
is very Important to the science of
physics, but will be by no means as
revolutionary as has been predicted.
It may be necessary, he holds, to re
test some theories by applying the
new figure, but the difference is too
slight to seriously affect the measure
ments of the universe, which have
been reached by using light as a sort
of celestial yard stick. Particularly,
Dr. Dorsey believes, there will be no
effect on the Michelson ether drift ex
periments, upon which the Einstein
theory originally was based, and
w’hich some have predicted might be
overthrown by the new light speed
These experiments showed the i
light apparently moved no faster in I
the direction of the rotation of the j
world than in right angles in this
direction in spite of the fact that the I
ether through which it presumably j
was moving would be carried along by
- movements of the great body j
rushing through it—in other words!
that light moved at the same speed I
regardless of the speed of its sources !
of origin.
This experiment. Dr. Dorsey holds, j
can hardly be affected by a difference I
of only 20 miles a second which would
be too small to be detected over the
necessarily small distances over which
the experiment must be conducted.
The experiment after all, he says, does
not depend so much on the exact
speed of light but on the actual time
a beam takes to traverse certain mea
surable distances.
9 depend largely on Good Health
The great enemy to good health Is con
jßL stipation. If your dally habits do not
drive the poison our of your system you
WIU c ® rtalnJy pay tho penaJty of your
C onstipation is always annoying, most
always painful and ver>
often serious
Dr. Boice’*
Prescription Tablets V
and give real relief. \ YOUR
Fine for rough, blotchy skin DRUGGIST’S
To Offer Prayers for Oysters.
In memory of oysters who gave up
their lives for the sake of the artificial
pearls they produced, a Japanese firm
that has won riches In selling thou
sands of the synthetic gems, is to
erect a shrine at Ise, Japan. The
shrine, which will be erected In front
of the Impeial Shrine, will take the
form of a tower containing 100,000
pearls. At the unveiling a religious
mass will be said for the repose of the
souls of the oysters.
| AsEßONlTEStringstoaSdch l
Around the tons I
| If you want long usage /
and less repair bills use I
| 1 Ebonite in the rear axle
gear cases. V
I Just say “EBONITE" ll
Be Snre Ten Get It
20 Cento a Shot i
From the Checkerboard pnmp |‘
only, and In tire-pound ran*. I
SAt All Good Healers’
( ifi SHRtODCD OIL ) f
GOLUMj,Ak2S _ |

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