Moving Clock Found to Run Slower Than Stationary One
Bell Laboratories Scientist Confirms 40-Year-Old Theory
Dr. Ives' apparatus uses a vacuum tube in which there is a small amount of hydrogen. An electric arc breaks down the hydrogen molecules into charged ions.
These are picked up by a high-voltage electric field and brought up to speeds of the order of a thousand miles a second. Looking into the end of the tube, the observer sees these ions approaching him, and by means of a mirror he also sees them apparently receding from him.
If his eyes were sufficiently sensitive to color, he would notice that the receding ones were redder than the approaching ones; this is the Doppler effect, which also makes the horn of an approaching car sound higher pitched than that of a receding car. But as compared with the color of stationary ions, those moving in either direction are redder; that is, they vibrate more slowly. And that is what Fitzgerald, Larmor and Lorentz proposed nearly 40 years agoatomic "clocks" oscillating more slowly as they move through a stationary medium called "the ether."