In July 1907, Bernhard Hasselberg, a member of the Nobel Prize committee, confided to George Ellery Hale that Albert Michelson was his choice for the year's physics award: “In my opinion he is in every way, and absolutely without comparison, the most meritorious of all the gentlemen now proposed to us.”1 After the Swedish committee chose Michelson, making him the first American ever picked for a Nobel science prize, Hasselberg was even more complimentary. He wrote to Hale that Michelson's selection “is the best of all which have been made up to this date. Our earlier laureates Röntgen, Lorentz, Zeeman, Becquerel, Curie, Rayleigh, Lenard and J. J. Thomson are indeed men of eminent scientific merits, but for my part I consider the work of Michelson as more fundamental and also by far more delicate.” Even if we allow for the idiosyncrasies of the Nobel selection process and for Hasselberg's personal biases, we still must grant that by 1907 Michelson had earned the respect of the international physics community.
Michelson in 1887
Albert E. Moyer; Michelson in 1887. Physics Today 1 May 1987; 40 (5): 50–56. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.881073
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