Experimental Determination of the Velocity of Light
It is an science book. In Cornu's elaborate memoir upon the determination of the velocity of light, several objections are made to the plan followed by Foucault, which will be considered in the latter part of this work. It may, however, be stated that the most important among these was that the deflection was too small to be measured with the required degree of accuracy. In order to employ this method, therefore, it was absolutely necessary that the deflection should be increased. In November, 1877, a modification of Foucault's arrangement suggested itself, by which this result could be accomplished. Between this time and March of the following year a number of preliminary experiments were performed in order to familiarize myself with the optical arrangements. The first experiment tried with the revolving mirror produced a deflection considerably greater than that obtained by Foucault. Thus far the only apparatus used was such as could be adapted from the apparatus in the laboratory of the Naval Academy. At the expense of dollar 10 a revolving mirror was made, which could execute 128 turns per second. The apparatus was installed in May, 1878, at the laboratory. The distance used was 500 feet, and the deflection was about twenty times that obtained by Foucault.