17 Facts About Dayton Miller


Dayton Clarence Miller was an American physicist, astronomer, acoustician, and accomplished amateur flautist.

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An early experimenter of X-rays, Miller was an advocate of aether theory and absolute space and an opponent of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity.

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Dayton Miller spent his entire career teaching physics at the Case School of Applied Science in Cleveland, Ohio, as head of the physics department from 1893 until his retirement in 1936.

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Active in many scientific organizations, Dayton Miller was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

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Dayton Miller continued to work on refining his experimental techniques after 1904, conducting millions of measurements on aether drift, and eventually developing the most sensitive interferometer in the world at that time.

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Dayton Miller performed over 326,000 turns of interferometer with 16 readings each one,.

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However, the effect Dayton Miller saw was tiny – much smaller than would be expected for a stationary aether.

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However, Dayton Miller continued to defend his results, claiming that the probable reason for the so-called null results were that they were not being done at high locations, where the ether wind was supposedly much higher due to less ether drag.

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However, Dayton Miller claimed that the explanation for results of the experiments of Georg Joos were because they were done at low altitude in the interior of a building, where the aether wind was very low.

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Shankland, who led the report, noted that the "signal" that Dayton Miller observed in 1933 is actually composed of points that are an average of several hundred measurements each, and the magnitude of the signal is more than 10 times smaller than the resolution with which the measurements were recorded.

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Shankland concluded that Dayton Miller's observed signal was partly due to statistical fluctuations and partly due to local temperature conditions, and suggested that the results of Dayton Miller were due to a systematic error rather than an observed existence of aether.

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In particular, he felt that Dayton Miller did not take enough care in guarding against thermal gradients in the room where the experiment took place, as, unlike most interferometry experiments, Dayton Miller conducted his in a room where the apparatus was deliberately left open to the elements to some degree.

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Shankland concluded that Dayton Miller's observed signal was spurious, due mainly to uncontrolled temperature effects rather than to the observed existence of an aether.

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Dr Dayton Miller published manuals designed to be student handbooks for the performance of experimental problems in physics.

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Dayton Miller used the machine to compare the waveforms produced by flutes crafted from different materials.

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Dayton Miller was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1921.

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Dayton Miller was a member of the National Research Council in Washington, DC from 1927 to 1930.

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