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Questions tagged [aether]

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 Huygens as an "omnipresent, perfectly elastic medium having zero density", to support his wave theory of light.

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Contradiction of electromagnetic theory and ether theory with principles of relativity [closed]

What was the contradiction between the electromagnetic theory and relativity that led Einstein to his two postulates? Also, Einstein thought that if ether existed there would exist an absolute frame ...
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Why isn't the electromagnetic field considered as the medium for electromagnetic waves by scientists in general?

According to a google search, the definition of a medium in physics is the substance that carries a wave. The definition of a substance in physics is matter with specific composition and properties. ...
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Why did Michelson believe the aether was moving?

If a wave moves east towards California the wave-motion would be slower north-south. Is this the kind of way they were thinking about the aether as medium for light, of what was later, by Lorentz, ...
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Did ether come back to Physics? [closed]

In his book “Einstein and the ether”, Kostro relates that Einstein brought a new relativistic ether to Physics in 1916. https://www.amazon.com/Einstein-Ether-Ludwik-Kostro/dp/0968368948 . In his ...
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How is electro-magnetic wave formed without medium? [duplicate]

There are particles in a medium. When these particles oscillate with SHM motion, a flow is formed. That is called a wave. But when there is no medium, there is no oscillation. That means no flow. ...
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Is Ether wind theory completely unverifiable?

Reference (http://download.library1.org/get/1547064EDA9124039512188DCF7D80E9/Martin%20Gardner-Relativity%20Simply%20Explained-Dover%20Publications%20%281997%29.pdf) Page number 27 and onwards I ...
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How can light travel in a vacuum? [duplicate]

Lets get on to it! we know that a wave is simply a disturbance in a certain surface or any kind of a field and this should be common to every wave even light. The problem comes with the property of ...
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Theory of physical vacuum (ether) [closed]

Recently, I came across this : Theory of physical vacuum (ether) Postulate. All fields and material objects in the Universe are various perturbations of physical vacuum, which is dense ...
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Bending light due to gravity

My question is can you consider the fabric of spacetime to be a medium? And if so, can one explain the bending light due to gravity, that warps spacetime, as analogous to light changing between the ...
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Light as an Electric Field

A friend of mine insists that light must have an electric field medium through which it travels. I told him that light creates its own electric field, but an additional 'medium' field is not ...
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Properties of luminiferous aether

My textbook says that one of the properties of the aether that scientists hypothesised was that it needed to have great elasticity in order to support and propagate light waves. Wiki defines ...
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Is it possible to form modern physics using entirely “classical” theory?

Each of the big theories of modern physics have a somewhat more "classical" equivalent, that is The Lorentz aether theory for special relativity The Bohm theory for quantum mechanics Pauli-Fierz ...
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Einstein aether gravity and spherically symmetric solutions

I've been studying gravity with a dynamical preferred frame, namely one in which the preferred frame is set by the existence of a unit time-like vector field called the "aether". I've been using this ...
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Michelson Morley Experiment- how are fringe shifts created?

Currently, I understand that under the aether model, the two perpendicular light rays (which were created when a monochromatic light was split by a half silvered mirror) will be out of phase when they ...
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Michelson Morley experiment

In the Michelson Morley experiment, the light from a source is passed through a semi-silvered mirror from where a part of it moves horizontally towards a mirror(from where we calculate t1) and a part ...
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Does aether not exist or is it simply superfluous

My question is motivated from studying the null result of the Michelson Morley experiment. Does the experiment prove that the aether does not exist? Wikipedia says that it was more broadly ...
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What does a Galilean transformation of Maxwell's equations look like?

In the 1860's Maxwell formulated what are now called Maxwell's equation, and he found that they lead to a remarkable conclusion: the existence of electromagnetic waves that propagate at a speed $c$, ...
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The local Lorentz invariance is violated in Einstein-Aether theory, but not in Einstein-Maxwell theory. Why?

Einstein-aether theory is a theory of gravity with the local Lorentz violation. In addition to the metric tensor, it contains a unit timelike vector field, called aether $u^a$. Because of the ...
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Vertical path of the michelson-morley experiment setup

In an exercise I am asked to calculate the time taken for the light to travel the path $ct=\sqrt{L^2-v(\frac{t}{2})^2}\Rightarrow t=2\frac{L}{\sqrt{c^2-v^2}}$. Where the Pythagorean theorem was used ...
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detection of ether wind (Michelson Morley experiment)

I have been reading about Michelson Morley experiment. According to the explanation given in that book the experiment tried to detect ether wind when earth was moving through ether. But doesn't that ...
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In what medium are non-mechanical waves a disturbance? The aether?

The most basic and simple definition of a wave is that it is a disturbance in a medium. Then what are non-mechanical waves disturbance in? The aether? Please explain to me this question in detail as ...
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Does Michelson Morley experiment assume that the Earth drags aether?

My knowledge is that the purpose of Michelson Morley experiment was to measure the velocity of Earth with respect to aether. It was assumed that the Earth does not "drag" the aether or interfere with ...
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Why do the Michelson-Morley (1887) & Michelson-Gale (1925) experiments both measure a ~0.02 fringe shift?

As I mentioned here, the 1887 Michelson-Morley experiment placed an upper bound on the fringe displacement of about 0.01 or 0.02. Why did the 1925 Michelson-Gale experiment also find a fringe shift of ...
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Why is the Michelson-Morley experiment considered a null-result?

The Michelson-Morley experiment did not seem to be a null-result. Here is what Michelson and Morey say in their 1887 paper: the displacement to be expected was 0.4 fringe. The actual displacement ...
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How can mass bend spacetime, if there's nothing to bend?

The Michelson-Morley experiment proved there was no aether, nothing that light moves through in space. Yet in GR, mass bends spacetime so that light travels in arcs around large masses. How can ...
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What would be the consequences of a preferred reference frame?

As I understand it, the conservation law associated with frame invariance via Noether's theorem is just the constancy of the center of mass at $t=0$, which is rather obvious, and therefore somewhat ...
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Which time in the Michelson-Morley is longer?

The time for the light to travel along the same direction as that of the ether was calculated to be given by the following equation: \begin{equation} \label{Eq:I:15:4} t_1+t_2=\frac{2L/c}{1-u^2/c^2}. \...
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Einstein vs Standard Model on universal rest frame? Hasn't an experiment like this already been done?

As background: Is there a resting frame in the universe? A proposed experimental test based on a precise measurement of particle mass Does the universe have a rest frame? From the second article: "...
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What are some of the problems with the view that light is a disturbance of the ether? [closed]

There is a view that was held by Nikola Tesla, that light does not consist of photons, but is a disturbance of the ether - the same way sound is a disturbance of the atmosphere - and that the speed of ...
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Why don't electromagnetic waves need vacuum to move? [duplicate]

I understand that electromagnetic waves are caused by the oscillation of electric and magnetic fields. But how? Are there magnetic and electric fields in air, or in vacuum? How does this oscillation ...
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2answers
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How does the existence of aether allow for the Galilean transformation?

I was reading this and it said that the aether was proposed as a fix to accommodate the Galilean transform because the Laws of Electromagnetism did not remain constant under the Galilean transform. ...
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Can we reproduce sound waves passing through vacuum?

Since magnetic coil vibrates in speaker it should also be producing EM waves. So if we put a speaker in vacuum chamber we wouldn't hear anything but is it possible to detect EM waves produced by the ...
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Isn't D'Alembert's wave equation enough to see that Galilean transformations are wrong?

The D'Alembert equation for mechanical waves was written in 1750: $$\frac{\partial^2u}{\partial x^2}=\dfrac{1}{v^2}\dfrac{\partial^2u}{\partial t^2}$$ (in 1D, $v$ being the propagation speed of the ...
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Ether vs. Quantum Field Theory

We were asked a question to differentiate the difference between the idea of an Ether and the idea of Quantum Fields. When I really began to think about it I concluded that the ideas are the same. The ...
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Action at distance

Is it even possible that the electric and magnetic forces interacts at distance without something being under? I was thinking about it and actually found that Faraday and Maxwell imagined some fluid ...
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On stellar aberration in the context of ether drag hypothesis

In Resnick's book on introduction to special relativity he mentions two effects that contradict the ether drag hypothesis. Fizeau convection coefficient and stellar aberration. He says that if ether ...
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Is there some kind of aether for rotations only?

Currently I'm reading "A briefer history of time". I understand how the Michelson–Morley experiment refutes the theory of an aether (like in "absolute frame of reference") for translation in space and ...
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Why Bradley's discovery of stellar aberration supports particle theory of light?

I was reading A.P.French's Special relativity and came across a table of evidence bearing on the nature of light: I don't get why Bradley's discovery of stellar aberration supports particle theory of ...
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Constancy of the speed of light in the hypotenuse of the triangle in the Michelson and Morley experiment [closed]

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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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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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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What would happen if space were considered a medium? [closed]

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 why ...
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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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1answer
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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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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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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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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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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 }...