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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Constancy of the speed of light in the hypotenuse of the triangle in the Michelson and Morley experiment [on hold]

In Michelson and Morley experiment, Michelson calculated that the total time traveled by light with respect to the stationary observer standing at ether field was $2L/c$. Here, Michelson followed ...
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Why did Einstein retain the hypothesis of length contraction?

Why did Einstein retain the hypothesis of length contraction, which Lorentz introduced to save his æther theory, yet Einstein had no need to accept length contraction because he rejected the æther?
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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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Were the Michelson-Morley results a surprise?

How unexpected were the Michelson-Morley experiment results? Did physicists have theoretical reasons to predict that the speed of light would result to be invariant?
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54 views

Why shift in fringe is expected in Michelson Morley Experiment?

When I (beginner) learnt Michelson Morley experiment, it was expected that there should be a shift in the fringe pattern when the setup was rotated by 90 deg if the presence of ether is true. But why ...
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Why does the Michelson-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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What would happen if space were considered a medium?

Space is not empty they say, is it a new idea or has it always been like that? Can you explain what is the (current) real meaning of vacuum, which is just the Latin for empty Can you also explain ...
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53 views

What is the space-time medium? [closed]

What is the space-time medium? According to this answer: "... fields are a fundamental part of the universe." Then why do we describe a gravity as being depressions in space-time? And why don't we ...
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Multi-directional ether

In the Michelson-Morley experiment,the two beams of light should be directed at right angles in order to test the existence of ether, but that postulate is based on the prediction that ether has only ...
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Ether (LET) vs electromagnetic field in the double slit experiment

According to this answer, Lorentz Ether Theory (LET) is experimentally indistinguishable from SRT, because the Ether is immobile and practically redundant. However, on quantum scales, photons are ...
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Isn't LIGO basically measuring the luminiferous aether?

I am bit confused about this one. I am not very acknowledgeable about gravitational waves and LIGO. But if it is basically a Michelson interferometer and can detect shifts in vacuum, doesn't this ...
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Could discovered gravitational waves in fact be an aether wind? [duplicate]

Proving the existence of gravitational waves might revolutionise cosmology, but the method used by LIGO is quite similar to the famous Michelson-Morely interferometer built more than a hundred years ...
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Could dark matter be like ether?

Could dark matter (and dark energy) be proven wrong as ether was? Is it possible that we actually misunderstand how gravitation works, and that our current model is wrong? The fact that we need an ...
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Michelson–Morley experiment's aether; Why is the time gained from travelling downwind less than that lost travelling upwind?

From the Wikipedia article on the Michelson–Morley experiment, explaining one of the concepts behind the landmark experiment: "If the Earth is traveling through an aether medium, a beam reflecting ...
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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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Why must the speed of the aether wind be so small compared to the speed of light?

I was doing some reading on the Michelson-Morley Experiment. One of the principle equations for the equations is this one. $$\frac { 2w }{ c } \times \frac { 1 }{ 1-\frac { { v }^{ 2 } }{ { c }^{ 2 }...
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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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Electromagnetism and a simple doubt [duplicate]

Why don't electromagnetic waves need a medium to propagate? How does light get such a magnificent velocity?
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Isn't the aether existent?

Before you say I'm wrong consider this, Einstein is supposedly the first person to get completely get rid of the various aether models that were proposed. But didn't Einstein actually prove them right ...
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Was Nikola Tesla right about his ether theory?

There are a lot of articles on the net that mention Nikola Tesla's ether (aether) theories, such as this quote: Only the existence of a field of force can account for the motions of the bodies ...
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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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202 views

Why does this treatment of the Michelson-Morley experiment assume the speed of light is constant?

In the Michelson-Morley experiment as per the above picture, the difference between the time for light to travel from $P$ to $R$ and back and the time for light to travel from $P$ to $Q$ and back is ...
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4answers
446 views

How did we disprove 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 exists, but that is not some gas with very low density, but stardust....
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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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653 views

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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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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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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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 allow,...
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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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715 views

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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181 views

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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190 views

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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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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408 views

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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142 views

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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721 views

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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930 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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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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138 views

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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227 views

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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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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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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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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1answer
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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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693 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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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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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 ...