The December, 1932 ish of Modern Mechanix immortalized this wondrous and loony German machine that measured the drift of the ether, "that impalpable substance which, according to one school of thought, fills the space in which the universe swims."
It is an apparatus to measure the drift of the ether, that impalpable substance which, according to one school of thought, fills the space in which the universe swims. Theoretically the motion of the earth, passing through this ether, should set up a drift comparable to the breeze generated by the motion of an automobile through the air.
To determine if such a drift actually does exist, the elaborate optical apparatus shown on this page was built by German scientists It consists of four arms on a perpendicular axis, containing a series of mirrors, lenses, and reflecting plates. A ray of light enters at the top of the device and is bounced back and forth thousands of times, finally emerging at the bottom, where its passing leaves a record on a photographic plate.