Scientific Anniversaries

by John Derbyshire

A couple of notable scientific anniversaries this year:

The Michelson-Morley experiment, the decisive one, was conducted in the spring and summer of 1887, just 125 years ago this year. By any reckoning one of the most important scientific results ever (and replicated many times since), Michelson-Morley established that the speed of light in vacuo is the same in any direction regardless of one’s motion through space, and therefore that there is no such stuff as space. As one of my own professors explained the new understanding to us very helpfully: “Space is what stops everything from being in the same place.”

Alan Turing’s centenary falls on June 23. I shall have much, much more to say about that in a review of George Dyson’s new book in an upcoming issue of National Review.

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