MICHELSON, ALBERT A.:
American physicist; born at Strelno, in the district of Bromberg, Prussia, Dec. 19, 1852. His father, Samuel Michelson, emigrated to the United States and settled inSan Francisco, where Albert Michelson received his early education. After leaving the high school he entered the United States Naval Academy, at Annapolis, Md., and graduated in 1873. For the purpose of extending his studies he went to Germany in 1880, entered the University of Berlin, and remained there for a short time. From Berlin he went to Heidelberg University and studied there until 1881. In that year Michelson resigned from the United States naval service and went to Paris, where he entered the Collège de France and the Ecole Polytechnique (1882). On his return to the United States he accepted the chair of physics at the Case School, Cleveland, Ohio, which position he resigned for the chair of physics at Clark University, Worcester, Mass. (1889). There he remained until, three years later, he was called to the professorship in physics at the University of Chicago. This office he still holds (1904).
Michelson has received the degrees of Ph.D. (hon.) from Stevens Institute, D.Sc. from Cambridge (Eng.), and LL.D. from Yale. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a foreign member of the Royal Society (London), a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the Institute of France, and a member of the International Committee on Weights and Measures. He was awarded the Rumford medal by the Royal Institution of Great Britain. His international scientific reputation is largely due to his determination of the velocity of light and to other experiments in the domain of optics which were marked by a high degree of accuracy. He designed a new form of spectroscope, and has largely contributed to the scientific journals the results of his researches on light.