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THE INTERFEROMETER AND THE SPECTROSCOPE: MICHELSON'S STANDARDS AND THE SPECTROSCOPIC COMMUNITY

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<title> SUMMARY </title>This is a study of the role of the spectroscope in the making of the interferometer. As Michelson developed interferential refractometry into a multifaceted field of research, he drew on the spectroscope as a complementary instrument, but also highlighted the increased accuracy that interferometry promised. Michelson's primary goal was metrological: to establish the wavelength of specific spectral lines as a new standard of length. This sharpened the contrast with spectroscopes, firstly because Michelson gave different values for wavelength than researchers using gratings, but also because Michelson failed to develop the kind of practices paramount in much spectroscopy: mapping structure.

Affiliations: 1: University of Wisconsin-Madison I wish to thank the Dudley Observatory, Scherectady, NY (Herbert C. Pollock Award) and the Research Group on Experimental History of Science at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, for their support. I thank the Research Library, Harscom Air For- ce Base, Bedford, MA; the Nimitz Library of the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD; and the Library of Congress for permission to quote from their collections.

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/content/journals/10.1163/182539103x00170
2003-01-01
2016-12-10

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