Aether(or ether) relates to the material which supposedly fills the entire universe. It is a concept used to understand action at a distance. Aether was described by Huygen as an "omnipresent, perfectly elastic medium having zero density", to support his wave theory of light.

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Maxwell, speed of light and the electric permittivity and magnetic constants

When Maxwell found that the already-measured speed of light could also be derived from the already-measured electric and magnetic constants, what were the electric and magnetic constants measured to ...
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Do EM waves need a medium to propagate? [duplicate]

The official theorie says that they don't need a medium, it states that: EM waves are a disturbance in the field First of all, what field?? An electromagnetic one ? I mean, I consider that field as ...
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Our speed and direction by comparing the speed of light?

If the speed of light is constant no matter the speed of the source, shouldn't we be able to know the direction and exact speed we are going relative to the absolute 0 in speed? If a photon is sent in ...
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Aether/Ether in Electrodynamics?

From reading Maxwell's original papers on the formulation on the dynamics of electromagnetism, I saw that Maxwell kept mentioning aether in his paper. I know today in modern physics the Michelson ...
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What does velocity relative to CMB mean? [duplicate]

I've see some velocities such as that of the Sun quoted as "relative to the cosmic microwave background"? How is this different to measuring velocities relative to that old, discredited idea, the ...
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Curvature of spacetime as a real thing?

I get the curvature tensor in General Relativity, it is “just” math. Does space-time REALLY curves as a tangible thing, or is Einstein proposing a mathematical abstraction? More naively, please ...
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Why does the Michleson-Morley experiment only contradict the aether?

This question is related to Validity of Maxwell's equations with no aether or relativity? (so please read this first). In this question, the answers seem to suggest that getting rid of the aether ...
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Validity of Maxwell's equations with no aether or relativity?

In From Paradox to Reality: Our Basic Concepts of the Physical World by Fritz Rohrlich page 55 it states that [...] just doing away with the ether would not have resolved all problems. The ...
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Why is the Luminiferous aether theory wrong? [closed]

I saw on this page about the constant speed of light that there are two ways of interpreting this constant speed: General relativity The Luminiferous aether theory I understand why the theory of ...
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Einsteins idea about solving the ether problem [duplicate]

I'm struggling a bit with my Special Relativity course. Most exercises are quite trivial and can be done without much effort, but when you really start to think and analyse why and how certain things ...
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Interferometers and Earth's motion relative to the Aether

Why was the Michelson and not the Fabry-Perot interferometer used to detect the motion of Earth relative to the Aether? Maybe the Fabry-Perot was used but we all know that the most famous experiment ...
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If the vacuum is not “emptiness” why the speed of the electromagnetic wave is independent of the frame of reference?

If the vacuum were "emptiness" it were easy to accept that there is no "preferred frame of coordinates" and the light velocity is the same in any inertial frame of coordinates. But the vacuum is an ...
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Why does the existence of an aether go against Maxwell's equations

I am trying to determine why there is a conflict between Maxwell's equations and Galilean relativity. The standard way I have seen it explained is: The Galilean world model says velocities transform ...
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Doesn't the second postulate of special relativity imply the existence of “luminiferous ether”? [closed]

Einstein expressed his Second Postulate in On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies as: light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity $c$ which is independent of the state of ...
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Who discovered that electromagnetic wave doesn't need a medium?

I have read that physicists in 19 century searching for the aether. They thought that light must have some medium to carry. When did they know that light and other electromagnetic wave doesn't need ...
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If sound travels through matter what medium does light travel through? [duplicate]

So sound is a wave and is basically just vibrations, an atom vibrates causing another next to it vibrate and so on until it finally reaches our ears to become sound. If that's normally how waves ...
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What is light and how does it travel? [duplicate]

My question is: What is light, and, more specifically, how does it travel? I've been contemplating a theory that I watched on Youtube (which has no real credibility to my knowledge), the Cosmic ...
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695 views

Dark matter a medium for light propagation

Is dark matter a candidate to fill void left by luminiferous ether as a medium for light travel?
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Why was theory of cosmic aether discarded? [duplicate]

Can cosmic aether be considered analogous to higgs field? Higgs field remains (almost) consistent throughout.
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How do we know gravity isn't acceleration? [closed]

If an accelerometer sitting at rest on the earths surface measures 1 G of acceleration upward. How do we know "space" (the reference) isn't rushing down into the earth. I mean experimentally that's ...
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Is cosmic background radiation absolute [duplicate]

Now that we don't have permeating Ether anymore, why don't we consider the omnipresent Cosmic background radiation in place of it? and measure Speeds with respect to the CMBR? In that way an object ...
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Why does Einstein say contradictions arise from treating the EM field as lines of force?

EDIT - I have included the context of the quote I am interested in, as people seem to be as baffled by Einstein's quote as I am: In a 1920 address Einstein says this: Think of waves on the ...
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How we disproved aether wind?

We know that the universe is not vacuum. The average temperature of the universe is 3° above absolute zero. So some "aether" really exist, but that is not some gas with very low density, but stardust. ...
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A vertical variation of modern versions of Michelson-Morley

For almost a year now, I have been in the uncomfortable position of having an idea. However, there is one nice thing about this idea. It makes a concrete, exact and relatively easy to test physical ...
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Why does light travel at finite speed? [duplicate]

We have known for quite some time now that light travels at a finite speed of 3x10^8m/s (approx) through vacuum. But why is that? Why can't the speed be infinite? Or at least higher than the current ...
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Did Einstein know about Michelson-Morley experiment?

The second postulate of special relativity deals with constancy of light in inertial reference frames. But, how did Einstein came to this conclusion? Did he knew about the Michelson-Morley experiment? ...
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The Movement of Light

I've asked several other questions like this, and I know it's a dumb question but I really can't understand. When light is emitted from a moving source, it still moves straight in that source's frame. ...
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187 views

Vacuum as a physical/chemical/material substance

Can the vacuum be understood as a physical/chemical/material substance? Remark: Vacuum has a density energy (so it has a density "mass" equivalence due to $E=mc^2$). Vacuum is quantum (but not ...
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Historical aspect of wave theory of light

Huygens thought light as a wave. Wave is a propagation of physical disturbance. We now know that light is electromagnetic field. Electric and magnetic field fluctuates here. What Huygens really ...
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Displacement current - how to think of it

What is a good way to think of the displacement current? Maxwell imagined it as being movements in the aether, small changed of electric field producing magnetic field. I don't even understand that ...
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562 views

Why cosmic background radiation is not ether?

why cosmic background radiation is not ether? I mean it's everywhere and it' a radiation then we can measure Doppler effect by moving with a velocity.
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Determining Ether Drag - Aberration of Starlight

In order to determine the relative motion between the Earth and the ether (the medium through which light supposedly propagated. It has zero density and complete transparency), scientists used the ...
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282 views

Vacuum-ether and spacetime

In the past you could not give an explanation for various phenomena in which there was an action at a distance, like magnetism or gravity, that occurred in a vacuum; For this reason, ether was ...
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Is the curvature of spacetime invariant? Could it be characterized as the ether?

I'm writing a paper for a Philosophy of Science course about GR/SR and I'm wondering if I can (1) characterize the curvature of spacetime as invariant and (2) argue that this is what Einstein referred ...
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What is light, and how can it travel in a vacuum forever in all directions at once without a medium?

I know there are many questions that are similar (maybe identical?). I am not a physicist nor a student - I am just interested in physics and have been watching many physics channels on youtube ...
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Is a preferred reference frame of the universe the old aether?

About two years ago I posted a question about a symmetrical twin paradox: Here. Recently a new answer was posted and an intense discussion ensued: Here. One of the points discussed concerns a ...
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Could we have assumed the speed of light to be different in different reference frames?

Ptolemy's model of universe assumes that our earth is the static center of universe and everything else move relative to it (ref: The grand design ch:3). This model would give us a consistent picture ...
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The notion called aether

I am trying to learn relativity theory and going through an introductory text on special relativity. I stumbled on the Michelson-Morley experiment. The book claims (accounts) that the result of this ...
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What were the intention/conclusions for Michelson-Morley experiment?

Which of the following were the intentions of M&M? to disprove the existence of aether. to show that the aether has no effect on matter and energy and therefore is as good as non-existent. ...
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How does Higgs field relate to Aether theories?

I am an amateur learning about the Higgs because I was interested in what the LHC's purpose is. I read that as a particle passes through space, it is actually passing through a Higgs field and there ...
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Does the efficiency of radiation change in any way in the presence of a medium?

I've read that radiation doesn't really require a medium. But if you're taking, for example, the sun's light, then does its efficiency of transmission increase or decrease once it reaches the earth's ...
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Can Mirror box simulate long light travel?

Imagine that there is a cube box that has mirrors all 6 faces in . If we use a strong laser and enter in the box from a small hole on the box. The laser light travels in the box long time that we can ...
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Is it correct to say that electromagnetic waves does not require a medium?

I can conceive of a particle existing in empty spacetime, but not a wave. A wave appears to me at least, to insist upon a medium for its very definition. I understand that the 19C physicists ...
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Why has the ether been disregarded as a valid medium through which light can propagate? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Ether theory acceptance Although the Einstein's theory of relativity seemed to make the concept of an ether obsolete, did it necessarily invalidate it? Are there any ...
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Why don't electromagnetic waves require a medium?

As I understand it, electromagnetic waves have two components which are the result of each other, i.e., when a moving electric charge creates a changing magnetic field at point X then a changing ...
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Can photons and gluons be holes in an aether?

Consider photons and gluons have 0 mass and 0 charge. In many respects they're already understood as the absence of a particle by mathematical models. Couldn't this be interpreted to mean they ...
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About the Ether Theory acceptance

Why was the Ether Theory refused by Modern Physics? If you please explain me, I just wanted to understand it more.
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The Higgs field a new Luminiferous aether?

As of this writing it has been made clear to me that classical physics' Luminiferous aether was a terriblly poor discriptor of space. With the advent of Special Relativity and General Relativity, that ...
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Is the Woodward effect real?

Did anyone ever heard about this?I've never seen any serious physicist talk about "mass fluctuations". Here is the man in his own words: http://www.intalek.com/Index/Projects/Research/woodward1.pdf ...