Does Aether Exist?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Jan Ardena, Sep 9, 2011.

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  1. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    This is something I've always been meaning to ask.

    Thanks
    jan.
     
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    If you mean "aether" as in the hypothesised substance that carries light waves, then the answer is: no, it doesn't exist.

    The Michelson-Morley experiment in the early 20th century quite effectively killed the aether. And Einstein's relativity shows that such a thing is not necessary to explain any physical observation.
     
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  5. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    Is there a difference between ''aether'' and ''ether''?

    jan.
     
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  7. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    yes, the former is what was thought to inhabit all of outer space.

    the latter is a class of chemical compounds.
     
  8. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

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    The aether or luminiferous aether as define in the late 1800s, is not consistent with general relativity or quantum mechanics and has been discarded as a matter of consensus. The Michaelson and Morley experiments were not designed to detect the aether directly, only the motion of the earth relative to a fixed and stationary aether, so in that sense those experiments nor the many that have followed in the same vein have not disproven its existence.

    James R is correct in his assessment of the impact that Einstein had on the aether model. He, Einstein demonstrated with the introduction of special relativity that "the aether" was not required to explain experience. On the other hand SR itself also does not disprove the aether model.

    While as I mentioned there is a consensus of scientific opinion that discards the original Lorentzian aether model of the late 1800s, there have been and continue to be ether theories that are explored or routinely reevaluated by current researchers.

    Both condensed matter models and perfect fluid models are often used in connection with the field equations of GR to model gravity. Both in some ways are similar to an ether model, though not in any way consistent with the old fixed luminiferous aether previously mentioned.

    Aether and ether are just two spellings of the same word. The definition of which has changed over time or is different depending upon historical and/or contemporary reference.

    Though as mentioned, the concept of "an ether" is routinly revisited and some applications of both perfect fluids and condensed matter states within the context of GR, bear some similarities to "an ether", to the best of my knowledge there is no ether model that is completely consistent with experience from either the perspective of GR or QM.

    The question does "the ether" exist is largely contingent upon the definition and characteristics one attributes to the ether. It is at this time however, not generally accepted.

    The question, is there a difference between "aether" and "ether"? Is, nothing other than the spelling.
     
  9. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Um, as Leopold said:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ether
     
  10. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

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    Einstein did not fully agree, http://www.tu-harburg.de/rzt/rzt/it/Ether.html

    So as not to confuse the original questions with this reference...

    It is my opinion that within the context of the above link, Einstein was using the word "ether" in a context consistent with and equivalent to "space" as defined within GR, not as an independently existing substance within space, as the aether/ether was generally thought to be prior to his introduction of GR.
     
  11. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Jan Ardena is trying to trick people.


    BG 7.4 Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego — all together these eight constitute My separated material energies.

    He believes that ether exists, at least in that particular sense as given by the scriptures.
     
  12. universaldistress Extravagantly Introverted ... Valued Senior Member

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    For all intents and purposes, Jan is a bit of a crackpot. I question his interest in science, as he has demonstrated in the past his vehement disregard for Science's core values.
     
  13. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    Your display here is disgusting.

    jan.
     
  14. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

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    This thread seems to have taken a turn for the worse. While it is true that we get our fair share of pretenders and crackpots, as they are affectionately referred to here on "the dark side", we also have our own watchdogs who do a decent job of protecting the integrity of basic scientific discussion.

    I must admit we even find the defense of science, to at times involve the inclusion of "colorful metaphors" and even "colorful descriptions" of the "pretenders" and "crackpots" and their ideas. Still our resident watchdogs do a fairly good job on their own, defending scientific methods and understanding of the world as a whole. Though there are always exceptions, usually based on past experience, such a defense is generally mounted only after a "crackpot" has identified theirselves as such, through the context and content of their post(s).

    The OP was certainly within the realm of a genuine question and appropriate for this forum, absent any prejudgement of the poster's intent and the first seven posts consistent with the governing forum, "Science", the following twenty posts do not to me seem to be!

    While it may be true that the intent of the OP was not entirely of a scientifically based origin, over the long haul I believe that the methods and colorful metaphors of our own resident watchdogs are better suited to this forum, than the completely unscientific approach of what appear to be non-resident watchdogs.

    Just because you have seen someone step over the lines you set within your own house does not mean you should follow them into a neighbor's house to enforce your own standards. I am fairly certain that should anyone overstep the lines set for discussion of scientific subjects here in a science forum, our own watch dogs are more than capable of dealing with the situation.

    It is probably a truth that the thread would have degenerated and strayed from a scientific discussion. We will at this point never really know, since what appears to be a biased reaction to the OP based on experience not originating from within the thread, initiated a departure before any scientific infraction, became apparent.
     
  15. universaldistress Extravagantly Introverted ... Valued Senior Member

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    The "aether" in question was never verified. I was asking for clarification (which wasn't forth coming). Without the willingness to clarify the question the thread's creator sabotaged the thread. Simple.

    I would be willing to discuss IF the thread's creator would be willing to embellish on the OP's questing.

    Is it our job to guess?
     
  16. universaldistress Extravagantly Introverted ... Valued Senior Member

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    Having read back through this thread I see that James R (moderator) was also confused by the thread. He, unlike me, was willing to take a guess at the what Jan is referring to when he uses the term "Aether". If you bothered to check my links to the dictionary you would see that "aether" has a few different, but interlinked, meanings.

    Moreover, asking whether aether exists (Physics standard terminology) shows either lack of education (I DO NOT believe Jan is unaware of the fact "aether" (I'll assume standard Physics definition applies) is not recognised by science as existing) or a goading attitude (as it is widely accepted by scientists to not exist (something I really do believe Jan is aware of as he is meticulous in his research, usually. It's just interpretation he falls down on). Having knowledge of Jan's past affiliation is of relevance. Who are you to say it isn't, lol.

    Alternatively: I would again ask Jan to really clarify his definition of "Aether" so we can then tackle this thread appropriately, and fully.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
  17. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

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    James is both a moderator and an administrator of these forums. Unlike myself, I seriously doubt he is confused about anyone's historical posting habits or tendencies. His response was completely consistent with the forum within which the OP was posted.

    Jan's OP did not hyjack this thread and was not in and of itself inconsistent with the forum. While it may be that his/her intentions may have been other than science related, it was not his/her posts that altered the subject of the thread.

    The thread seems to have been highjacked by preformed opions about his/her true motives and intent. As to the issue of the capitalization of the word "Aether", Jan started the thread with a title in which all words were in caps, "Does Aether Exist?". After that it was not Jan who continued to reference the word beginning with a capitol "A". Perhaps we should also be concerned with the "true" meaning and intent of the capitalized word "Exist", also part of the thread title?

    While I am relatively new to these forums and do not "know" anyone, in any real sense of the word. A simple search of the threads started by both yourself and Jan, displays a similar pattern. This together with the direction the thread has taken supports my earlier assumption that there is a history that drove the initial divergence from a scientific response to the OP to what appears to be a personal argument or disagreement which most likely began within some other forum and thread.
     
  18. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

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    Hi OnlyMe, appologies for how this thread has turned, it was not my intention.
    I don't know much about aether/ether, other than it is a substance which is more sublte than air, and I don't even know if that is correct.
    In the past I have made some effort to find out more about it, but there doesn't seem to be a consensus either way, on if it exists, or what it is.
    The idea to to pose the question in this section came to me while I was in the psuedo science section where there was a thread regarding aether.
    My intention was to start the thread then sit back and observe the responses to gain a better understanding. Which is why I posted it in the science section. If I'd want to impose theistic ideals I would have posted it in the religion forum.

    Once again, please accept my appologies.

    jan.
     
  19. OnlyMe Valued Senior Member

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    Earlier posts by both myself and James R should point you in the right direction as to the consensus within the scientific community that the aether/ether does not exist. This is not what you will encounter by just searching the Internet. However, most of the ether theories you will encounter from a Google search are considered fringe science at best. There is even an active thread here on these forums that lies within that fringe definition, and that is a generous assessment in itself.

    Again consensus among reputable scientists in the involved fields is that there is no aether.

    That does not stop reputable and respected scientists from reevaluating the issue from time to time, as new discoveries and observations warrant it. As of yet, no ether theory has been presented that is rigorously consistent with experience, experiment and observation of the world and universe, within which we reside.
     
  20. Emil Valued Senior Member

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    ...Who knows?..... maybe electromagnetic field needs some kind of "aether" to propagate,
    maybe gravitational field needs some kind of "aether" to propagate....Who knows?.....
     
  21. wlminex Banned Banned

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    Agree with Emil . . . even those arguing vehemently against 'either' the "aether" or the "ether" can only quote the Michelson-Morley experiment as a negative proof. A negative proof doesn't positively-prove anything! Besides, the then-thinking, and now-thinking, (M-M) concept of ether (or aether) was probably not correct. Should be thinking (now) subquantum fields that don't interact with anything 'material' . . . even photons (they're too big to be used as a 'probe' of the finer-grained subquantum).

    wlminex
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
  22. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    who cares what einstein thinks.
    you look up ether and it will reference either:
    1. an organic radical that defines this class of compounds.
    or
    2. diethyl ether.

    you look up aether and you will find "the outer space stuff".

    you know how opinions are.
     
  23. wlminex Banned Banned

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    . . . . yeah . . . soft, and wrinkly and attached to your backside . . . . plus, everyone has one!
     
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