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 as observed, and its assumption dispenses with space curvature. All literature on this subject is futile and destined to oblivion. So are all attempts to explain the workings of the universe without recognizing the existence of the ether and the indispensable function it plays in the phenomena. My second discovery was of a physical truth of the greatest importance. As I have searched the entire scientific records in more than a half dozen languages for a long time without finding the least anticipation, I consider myself the original discoverer of this truth, which can be expressed by the statement: There is no energy in matter other than that received from the environment. (source).

  1. Was there any truth to this idea of his?

  2. Why was it rejected by the scientific community?

  3. Did he actually ever claim it even?

The only places I can find such mentions seem to be pseudo-scientific sites.

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    $\begingroup$ What are you sceptical of? You might want to try physics.se or hsm.se. $\endgroup$ – coleopterist Apr 17 '15 at 12:40
  • $\begingroup$ An interesting quote from the link in the question: "It wasn’t enough to crush Tesla they also suppressed the entire science of Aetheric Engineering and instead gave us the lies of relativism and quantum mechanics." $\endgroup$ – Reinstate Monica iamnotmaynard Apr 17 '15 at 14:26
  • $\begingroup$ A bit of searching: Most of this supposed theory seems to have been derived from this article: tfcbooks.com/tesla/1900-06-00.htm and also this patent: worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/… Anyway, the physical content of this work can either not be confirmed by experiments or has been explicitly demonstrated to be wrong or contradicts other well-established facts in physics. The pseudo-scientific usage and quotes are maybe real, maybe fallacious or distorted, but I couldn't find this. $\endgroup$ – Martin Apr 17 '15 at 15:08
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    $\begingroup$ sigh Nicola Tesla did the bulk of his work before Einstein did his. He worked in the old paradigm. For a while after Einstein's paper and the michelson-morely experiment, there was some debate about special relativity. There is no longer any room for debate on the matter. A large chunk of our modern machinery needs special relativity and/or quantum mechanics to work. $\endgroup$ – Jerry Schirmer Apr 17 '15 at 15:08
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    $\begingroup$ It's not right. See this section. It says aether = curved spacetime, when Einstein said aether = space and a gravitational field = inhomogeneous space. See this article where you can read Robert B Laughlin saying this: "It is ironic that Einstein's most creative work, the general theory of relativity, should boil down to conceptualizing space as a medium when his original premise [in special relativity] was that no such medium existed". $\endgroup$ – John Duffield Apr 20 '15 at 21:42

As stated in the comments these proposals by Tesla are in the framework of the old 19th century physics. The luminiferous aether in all possible manifestations was disproved with the Michelson Morley experiment , and special relativity has been validated innumerable times experimentally since then.

Any proposition that introduces "structure" in space has to be Lorenz covariant in flat space so as not to contradict the experimental data.

  • $\begingroup$ Gravity is a newtonian thought experiment. It would be akin to assuming a dam is what powers a river. Even Einstein retracted his rejection of the aether. The abhorrent vacuum was a good excuse for gravity. How can you go there to measure it? And if it is wrong, simply claim the ruler was stretched by spacetime. This is precisely how Einstein claim Tesla to be wrong. His measurements were correct, but no one gets to use them b/c i have taken the ruler away. $\endgroup$ – Jim True Jul 28 '18 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ @JimTrue classical theories have been falsified by innumerable data. general and special rlativity are continuously validated. data trumps beliefs and mathematical conjectures $\endgroup$ – anna v Jul 28 '18 at 12:23
  • $\begingroup$ There is evidence of red-shift anomaly data that has been chucked as well as telescope time taken for its reporting. Quantum entanglement makes the speed of light hypothesis impossible. It was Einstein who claimed the measuring stick we used to find aether was invalid claiming relativity. You are misinformed in suggesting that we have relativity dials to adjust for spacetime on any tangible equipment. It is 1000% conjecture. I have to say 1000% because you have already asked me to pretend in gravity, dark energy, dark matter, and super hyper mega explosions that are magically homogeneous. $\endgroup$ – Jim True Jul 29 '18 at 13:47
  • $\begingroup$ @JimTrue I am talking particle data, not cosmology. The Lorentz transformation is continuously validated in particle data. $\endgroup$ – anna v Jul 29 '18 at 14:18
  • $\begingroup$ You are misrepresenting yourself and me by pretending red-shift from a telescope is cosmology. Please stop misrepresenting arguments that painted you into a corner. You are why scientism is rampant. being wrong is not the death of you, just the fantasy of the ball electron. $\endgroup$ – Jim True Jul 29 '18 at 23:23

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