Sailing the Silent Seas: Galilean Relativity Shortly after graduation, Michelson was ordered aboard the USS Monongahela , a sailing ship, for a voyage through the Caribbean and down to Rio. According to the biography of Michelson written by his daughter ( The Master of Light , by Dorothy Michelson Livingston, Chicago, 1973) he thought a lot as the ship glided across the quiet Caribbean about whether one could decide in a closed room inside the ship whether or not the vessel was moving. In fact, his daughter quotes a famous passage from Galileo on just this point: [SALV.] Shut yourself up with some friend in the largest room below decks of some large ship and there procure gnats, flies, and other such small winged creatures. Also get a great tub full of water and within it put certain fishes; let also a certain bottle be hung up, which drop by drop lets forth its water into another narrow-necked bottle placed underneath. Then, the ship lying
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course PHY PHY2053 taught by Professor Davidjudd during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.