The Mystery of Ether

folding_space_by_ether

References:

Mindful Subject Clearing – Physics

The Disturbance Hypothesis of Light

KHTK Postulates for Physics

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From Evolution of Physics by Einstein

III. FIELD, RELATIVITY – Ether and motion

Thus arose one of the most dramatic situations in the history of science. All assumptions concerning ether led nowhere! The experimental verdict was always negative. Looking back over the development of physics we see that the ether, soon after its birth, became the enfant terrible of the family of physical substances. First, the construction of a simple mechanical picture of the ether proved to be impossible and was discarded. This caused, to a great extent, the breakdown of the mechanical point of view. Second, we had to give up hope that through the presence of the ether-sea one c.s. would be distinguished and lead to the recognition of absolute, and not only relative, motion. This would have been the only way, besides carrying the waves, in which ether could mark and justify its existence. All our attempts to make ether real failed. It revealed neither its mechanical construction nor absolute motion. Nothing remained of all the properties of the ether except that for which it was invented, i.e. its ability to transmit electromagnetic waves. Our attempts to discover the properties of the ether led to difficulties and contradictions. After such bad experiences, this is the moment to forget the ether completely and to try never to mention its name. We shall say: our space has the physical property of transmitting waves, and so omit the use of a word we have decided to avoid.

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All these difficulties resolve when we postulate ether to be a field with no inertia, but which has the ability to transmit electromagnetic waves that have inertia. Ether became “enfant terrible of the family of physical substances” because, to be real, it had to be a substance with inertia, just like anything else.

Ether cannot be described mechanically because the mechanical view assumes mass in all substances, where mass is an expression of inertia. The principles of mechanics apply only to substances with mass, and energy is assumed to be something exchanged among such substances. Mechanics has no concept of energy that is not associated with mass.

Electricity and Magnetism were first assumed to be fluids following the mechanical view. But this caused some fundamental difficulties. These difficulties were finally resolved with the formation of Maxwell’s equations. These equations made the existence of electrical and magnetic fields real without associating them with the concept of mass.

Einstein first viewed ether as a massless substance in the form of a “field”. This was the ether-sea of Einstein. It was expected to provide a coordinate system in which motion could be measured in some absolute sense. But this was found not to be the case.

Einstein writes, “All our attempts to make ether real failed.” This is because reality in the physical universe is viewed as substance with inertia. It is hard for a physicist to conceive of “substance” devoid of inertia.

Einstein then writes, “Nothing remained of all the properties of the ether except that for which it was invented, i.e. its ability to transmit electromagnetic waves.” And that is the reality, and also the truth.

Ether is a “substance” with no inertia, which has the ability to transmit electromagnetic waves that have the property of inertia.

In the final analysis there is no absolute motion.

This is the Disturbance Hypothesis.

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