141111earthfromspace-596x283In the late 1800s, Albert A. Michelson, the first American to win the Nobel Prize in the sciences, devised an experiment to prove the Earth is moving through space, through a medium for bearing light called the “aether.”  If he could show that light was slowed down by being fired into an aether headwind, like a swimmer swimming against a stream, Michelson reasoned, it would prove the Earth’s motion through space. But the experiment didn’t work the way he expected. In fact, it proved the opposite. The world of science was baffled. Was the Earth not moving? Eventually, however, another Albert, with the last name of Einstein, developed a theory called special relativity to explain Michelson’s results. It wouldn’t be the last time, a startling new documentary called “The Principle” suggests, that scientists had to scramble to make their theories about space fit observable facts and experiments that didn’t jive with their prevalent understandings. More