middle Michelson-Morley Fountain

Tue. Nov 12 2019
Nobel Laureates
CWRU Legacies of Science
Biology Hall
Anne and M. Roger
Clapp Hall
The Rockefeller
Physical Laboratory
Frank and Dorothy
John Schoff Millis
Science Center
Andrew E. Schmitt
Michelson-Morley Fountain  

Spire on the Michelson-Morley Fountain in the Case Quad of CWRU


The "Luminous Ether"

In July 1886, Albert A. Michelson and Edward E. Morley performed an experiment to detect the motion of the earth through the "luminous ether," a theoretical substance that was essential to the transmission of light. Their discovery found that the earth's motion had no effect on the movement of light, disproved the belief of ether, and became the foundation of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity.

Case School of Applied Sciences' Michelson's research, conducted in collaboration with Western Reserve University's Edward W. Morley, facilitated the birth of modern physics by showing that the speed of light was unaffected by the earth's movement through space.

In the fountain, located near the site of their experiments, light passes
through waves of moving water, to remind generations of students of
the great importance of this work for Science.