Science: Timing Light

Ranked in scientific achievement with Newton and Einstein, Dr. Albert Abraham Michelson, 78, last week began his final contribution to physics. Again and again delayed—by illness, the collapse of delicate machinery, minute improvements in apparatus—Dr. Michelson stepped up to his corrugated steel, mile-long test tube stretching along the valley near Santa Ana, Calif., pressed a button, started whirling the tiny 32-sided mirror that is to determine once and for all the exact velocity of light.

To the search for this "yardstick of space beyond the stars,"...

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