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Author Topic: Is there any evidence for aether?  (Read 11778 times)

Offline thedoc

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Is there any evidence for aether?
« on: 26/04/2016 23:50:01 »
John Lindop asked the Naked Scientists:
   From  the  ancient  Greek  philosophers  down  to  Oliver  Loge and  beyond  the  view  that  we exits in  and are  made  of some  sort  of dense  energy  field  called  the  aether , evidence, in  part,  by  the  velocity  of  light  et al  is  quite  compelling.
Where  is  the  evidence  that  the  aether  does  not  exist ?
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 26/04/2016 23:50:01 by _system »


 
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Offline stacyjones

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #1 on: 27/04/2016 00:01:18 »
Where  is  the  evidence  that  the  aether  does  not  exist ?

The Michelson–Morley experiment looked for an absolutely stationary space the Earth moves through. The aether is not an absolutely stationary space. The aether is displaced by the particles of matter which exist in it and move through it. Particles of matter move through and displace the aether. The wave of wave-particle duality is a wave in the aether.

There is evidence of the aether every time a double slit is performed, it's what waves.

'From the Newton's laws to motions of the fluid and superfluid vacuum: vortex tubes, rings, and others'
arxiv.org/abs/1403.3900

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This medium, called also the aether, has mass and is populated by the particles of matter which exist in it and move through it
...

... and displace it.

'EPR program: a local interpretation of QM'
arxiv.org/abs/1412.5612

Quote
Wave particle duality is described as the compound system of point particle plus accompanying wave (in the ćther).
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #2 on: 27/04/2016 01:24:22 »
There's no way to disprove Aether, but it's implicit in Maxwell's equations that it is impossible to detect the Aether if it exists, using any electromagnetic measurement.
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #3 on: 27/04/2016 03:26:03 »
Quote from: John Lindop
   From  the  ancient  Greek  philosophers  down  to  Oliver  Loge and  beyond  the  view  that  we exits in  and are  made  of some  sort  of dense  energy  field  called  the  aether , evidence, in  part,  by  the  velocity  of  light  et al  is  quite  compelling.
Where  is  the  evidence  that  the  aether  does  not  exist ?
It's a well-known facts of the scientific method is that it's impossible to prove that something doesn't exist. With that in mind, it's not possible to prove that something doesn't exist. Given that you really asked where is the evidence that the aether doesn't exist then we can discuss that logically. In what follows please keep in mind that scientific reasoning results in probabilities, not certainties. By the way, you might find the definition of (scientific) energy to be a lot different that you might have imagined.

The term scientific evidence is defined as follows. From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_evidence
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Scientific evidence is evidence which serves to either support or counter a scientific theory or hypothesis.

The term evidence is defined as follows. From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence
Quote
Evidence, broadly construed, is anything presented in support of an assertion.

As mentioned above, the Michelson-Morley experiment and the Trouton–Noble experiment. You're most likely familiar with Michelson-Morley experiment. The Trouton–Noble experiment was an attempt to detect motion of the Earth through the luminiferous aether, and was conducted in 1901–1903 by Frederick Thomas Trouton (who also developed the Trouton's ratio) and H. R. Noble. It was based on a suggestion by George FitzGerald that a charged parallel-plate capacitor moving through the aether should orient itself perpendicular to the motion. The results of each experiment were null, meaning that the results were consistent with the Earth not moving through or dependent on an aether or any medium which supported electromagnetic waves. Both of those experiments and their outcome is the evidence that there is no aether.

Quote from: stacyjones
The wave of wave-particle duality is a wave in the aether. ... There is evidence of the aether every time a double slit is performed, it's what waves.
The waves which are spoken of in quantum mechanics are not physical waves in that they have no physical reality. They are merely mathematical devices which, e.g. for a photon, are used to define the probability density that the photon will be observed/detected at a particular place at a particular time. If an aether actually did exist then it would be totally unrelated to quantum mechanical waves.

Quote from: wolfekeeper
There's no way to disprove Aether, but it's implicit in Maxwell's equations that it is impossible to detect the Aether if it exists, using any electromagnetic measurement.
Maxwell's equations cannot be applied for such a purpose. Those equations would be valid in an aether if the permittivity and permeability of free space were variables whose values depended on the observer's frame of reference.
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #4 on: 27/04/2016 03:54:02 »
The waves which are spoken of in quantum mechanics are not physical waves in that they have no physical reality. They are merely mathematical devices which, e.g. for a photon, are used to define the probability density that the photon will be observed/detected at a particular place at a particular time. If an aether actually did exist then it would be totally unrelated to quantum mechanical waves.

The aether does exist and it is what waves in a double slit experiment.

Q. Why is the particle always detected traveling through a single slit in a double slit experiment?
A. The particle always travels through a single slit. It is the associated wave in the aether which passes through both.
 

Offline Atomic-S

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #5 on: 27/04/2016 07:35:21 »
Quote
Both of those experiments and their outcome is the evidence that there is no aether.
or more precisely, their outcome is the evidence that there is no aether of the sort scientists were then looking for. The experiments do not disprove the possibility of an aether having some radically different properties.

Quote
The waves which are spoken of in quantum mechanics are not physical waves in that they have no physical reality. They are merely mathematical devices which, e.g. for a photon, are used to define the probability density that the photon will be observed/detected at a particular place at a particular time.
It is not necessary to assume that quantum waves have no physical reality in order to also say that they manifest themselves only in determining the probabilities of particle detection. Their reality and their probabilistic interpretation can be reconciled if there is some principle in the quantum order of things that makes it impossible to precisely replicate a quantum experiment and also impossible to fully observe a quantum result. This inherent limitation on the transfer of information would give probabilistic results even for waves having physical reality.
Quote
If an aether actually did exist then it would be totally unrelated to quantum mechanical waves.
There is no reason why this must necessarily be true, in view of the foregoing.
Quote
Q. Why is the particle always detected traveling through a single slit in a double slit experiment?
A. The particle always travels through a single slit. It is the associated wave in the aether which passes through both.
This is probably incorrect. The  notion that there is a particle and a separate associated wave is a problematic concept that, on close inspection, need not be assumed. The correct view is very likely that the wave and particle are not distinct objects, but different manifestations of the same object. One of the consequences of that is, that there is no compelling reason to suppose that the "particle" when passing through the slits is confined to a single location.  It is confined to a single location when, and only when, it is observed at a single location.  I believe it is possible in principle to observe it in such a way that it is clearly not located at a single location, but to do that would require an exotic experiment, of which I have written elsewhere. In any case, we err to suppose that the particle exists as a localized particle prior to its detection as such.  The process of detection has much to do with why it looks like a particle at a single location.  therefore it is unnecessary to inquire as to which slit the particle passes through; it passes through both.




 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #6 on: 27/04/2016 11:57:22 »
Quote from: John Lindop
Where  is  the  evidence  that  the  aether  does  not  exist ?
  • We have all seen the light of the Sun reaching the Earth through the vacuum of space.
     
  • For the last 2 centuries or so, it has been evident that the Earth is swinging around the Sun at some impressive speed like 100,000 km/hr.
  • If light were some vibration in the Aether (which is one interpretation of Maxwell's equations), then this Aether would have to be stiffer than steel.

A material which is stiffer than steel, and lighter than gossamer; when it does not disturb an astronaut floating freely on a spacewalk, it is time to look for another explanation!

In some ways, quantum theory gave us an alternative explanation - light has the characteristics of a particle, and we can imagine photons like little bullets flying through the air or through a vacuum.

Bullets don't need a medium to travel through - in fact it would impede their progress (lose energy) if they had to push something out of the way. This would be visible in the case of light as a red shift which should be visible between a stationary source and detector in the lab.
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #7 on: 27/04/2016 12:27:11 »
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aether_theories#Quantum_vacuum

Quote
Robert B. Laughlin, Nobel Laureate in Physics, endowed chair in physics, Stanford University, had this to say about ether in contemporary theoretical physics:
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 [..] The word 'ether' has extremely negative connotations in theoretical physics because of its past association with opposition to relativity. This is unfortunate because, stripped of these connotations, it rather nicely captures the way most physicists actually think about the vacuum. . . . Relativity actually says nothing about the existence or nonexistence of matter pervading the universe, only that any such matter must have relativistic symmetry. [..] It turns out that such matter exists. About the time relativity was becoming accepted, studies of radioactivity began showing that the empty vacuum of space had spectroscopic structure similar to that of ordinary quantum solids and fluids. Subsequent studies with large particle accelerators have now led us to understand that space is more like a piece of window glass than ideal Newtonian emptiness. It is filled with 'stuff' that is normally transparent but can be made visible by hitting it sufficiently hard to knock out a part. The modern concept of the vacuum of space, confirmed every day by experiment, is a relativistic ether. But we do not call it this because it is taboo.
 

Offline McQueen

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #8 on: 27/04/2016 12:35:29 »
We have all seen the light of the Sun reaching the Earth through the vacuum of space.
For the last 2 centuries or so, it has been evident that the Earth is swinging around the Sun at some impressive speed like 100,000 km/hr.

This is just the kind of obtuse, obfuscating answer which can and does  ruin an otherwise fruitful discussion. Look at these two statements and then consider your reply:

or more precisely, their outcome is the evidence that there is no aether of the sort scientists were then looking for. The experiments do not disprove the possibility of an aether having some radically different properties.
There's no way to disprove Aether, but it's implicit in Maxwell's equations that it is impossible to detect the Aether if it exists, using any electromagnetic measurement.

To both of these reasonable statements you replied with :

If light were some vibration in the Aether (which is one interpretation of Maxwell's equations), then this Aether would have to be stiffer than steel.
A material which is stiffer than steel, and lighter than gossamer; when it does not disturb an astronaut floating freely on a spacewalk, it is time to look for another explanation!

You do go onto to redeem yourself with the next statement:
Quote
  evan_au : In some ways, quantum theory gave us an alternative explanation - light has the characteristics of a particle, and we can imagine photons like little bullets flying through the air or through a vacuum.
 Bullets don't need a medium to travel through - in fact it would impede their progress (lose energy) if they had to push something out of the way. This would be visible in the case of light as a red shift which should be visible between a stationary source and detector in the lab.

The redeemin factor being the words : In some ways." The only problem is that you have completely ignored the wave aspect, it is well recorded in the literature of Quantum Mechanics, that as they travel through space photons ( because of the wave properties) are disassociated ( they exist everywhere at least as far as probability goes)  and then when detected they are no more disassociated but are found in only one place.  So I am afraid your answer is half baked and lacking clarity.

Incidentally the aether would have to be  "stiffer than steel" because transverse waves cannot travel in a dispersive medium like fluids and gases. Thus electromagnetic radiation should not be able to propagate at all through air, the only reason ( according to Maxwell) that they are able to propagate is because of the self sustaining electric and magnetic fields generated by electrons in motion. Incidentally Maxwell's equations are a wave theory, the Quantum Mechanics attempt to adapt this theory to a particle theory is pathetic.

It is not necessary to assume that quantum waves have no physical reality in order to also say that they manifest themselves only in determining the probabilities of particle detection. Their reality and their probabilistic interpretation can be reconciled if there is some principle in the quantum order of things that makes it impossible to precisely replicate a quantum experiment and also impossible to fully observe a quantum result. This inherent limitation on the transfer of information would give probabilistic results even for waves having physical reality.

This is a dodgy interpretation at best, Max Born the founder of quantum  probability theory stated: “ We have two possibilities. Either we use waves in space of more than three dimensions…………..or we remain in three dimensional space, but give up the simple picture of the wave amplitude as an ordinary physical magnitude , and replace it with a purely mathematical concept into which we cannot enter.” I can't see much reality in that !
 
Quote
This is probably incorrect. The  notion that there is a particle and a separate associated wave is a problematic concept that, on close inspection, need not be assumed. The correct view is very likely that the wave and particle are not distinct objects, but different manifestations of the same object.

What IF both manifestations existed simultaneously in one object in a synthesis of a particle and a wave. Take lithotripsy as an example, it is manifestly a wave BUT it can shatter stones, a purely particle property. Here it should be noted that when you hit a stone with a hammer it shatters because of the vibrations set up in it, lithotripsy works in exactly the same way, so it is a synthesis of a wave and a particle.
 
As mentioned above, the Michelson-Morley experiment and the Trouton–Noble experiment. You're most likely familiar with Michelson-Morley experiment. The Trouton–Noble experiment was an attempt to detect motion of the Earth through the luminiferous aether, and was conducted in 1901–1903 by Frederick Thomas Trouton (who also developed the Trouton's ratio) and H. R. Noble.

I have no doubt that these experiments which are repeatedly quoted had the same versimillitude that the LIGO experiments have today, with billionths and trillionths of accuracy claimed ??
Another quote from Max Born:

Quote
I am now convinced that theoretical physics is actual philosophy.
Autobiography
I for one don't want philosophy! I want to know how a current travels through a wire. I want to know what causes magnetism, instead of philosophising about it.
« Last Edit: 27/04/2016 12:50:11 by McQueen »
 

Offline McQueen

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #9 on: 27/04/2016 12:52:13 »
Could anything be more telling than the passage quoted by  stacyjones in 2016!
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #10 on: 27/04/2016 13:18:31 »
Could anything be more telling than the passage quoted by  stacyjones in 2016!

physics.stanford.edu/people/faculty/robert-laughlin

Quote
Faculty Type: Active Faculty
Title: Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Physics

Co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics, 1998
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #11 on: 27/04/2016 13:42:32 »
Where  is  the  evidence  that  the  aether  does  not  exist ?

Occam requires evidence that it does exist.

So it is incumbent on its proponents to define a measurable property or function of aether that cannot be explained by other means.
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #12 on: 27/04/2016 13:51:19 »
Where  is  the  evidence  that  the  aether  does  not  exist ?

Occam requires evidence that it does exist.

So it is incumbent on its proponents to define a measurable property or function of aether that cannot be explained by other means.

In a boat double slit experiment are you able to understand the boat travels through a single slit even when your eyes are closed?

It's the same with the particle in a double slit experiment. The particle is always detected traveling through a single slit because it always travels through a single slit. It is the associated wave in the aether which passes through both.

It's thinking the particle doesn't always travel through a single slit which is incorrect.

Occam's razor: In a double slit experiment the particle is always detected traveling through a single slit because it always travels through a single slit.
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #13 on: 27/04/2016 18:09:49 »
It is irrelevant if the aether exists. It is unnecessary as it adds nothing to the physics. The physics works quite happily without it. Please explain what new properties it explains or what anomalies it resolves. If you just type very large paragraphs that doesn't make up for a lack of mathematics.
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #14 on: 27/04/2016 18:21:27 »
It is irrelevant if the aether exists. It is unnecessary as it adds nothing to the physics. The physics works quite happily without it. Please explain what new properties it explains or what anomalies it resolves. If you just type very large paragraphs that doesn't make up for a lack of mathematics.

It explains what waves in terms of wave-particle duality. It relates general relativity and quantum mechanics. It resolves the nonsense of a supposed weakly interacting dark matter that travels with the matter.

Aether has mass which physically occupies three dimensional space and is physically displaced by the particles of matter which exist in it and move through it, including 'particles' as large as galaxy clusters.

What ripples when galaxy clusters collide is what waves in a double slit experiment, the aether.

Einstein's gravitational wave is de Broglie's wave of wave-particle duality, both are waves in the aether.

Aether displaced by matter relates general relativity and quantum mechanics.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #15 on: 27/04/2016 18:34:28 »
The problem with wave-particle duality is that some people believe in it!

Whilst you can model the behavior of many particles with a wave, a single particle such as a visible photon or 10 keV electron cannot interact with a receptor (a photographic film or fluorescent plate) over an extended area - it doesn't have enough energy.

Therefore whilst a wave model gives an accurate prediction of the distribution of an ensemble of particles or quanta, or the probability of finding one particle or photon at any particular point in space, it can't be said that waves actually direct the particles to their destinations. 
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #16 on: 27/04/2016 18:36:22 »
it can't be said that waves actually direct the particles to their destinations.

Of course it can.


 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #17 on: 27/04/2016 18:46:51 »
So how does the particle decide which part of the wave it is going to follow? It can't follow the entire wave, or it wouldn't have enough energy density to record an interaction with the receptor.

All the macrosopic stuff about travelling waves is great fun, and we do use travelling waves to accelerate electrons, but that's a classical contuinuum phenomenon, not a quantum interaction.
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #18 on: 27/04/2016 18:57:33 »
So how does the particle decide which part of the wave it is going to follow? It can't follow the entire wave, or it wouldn't have enough energy density to record an interaction with the receptor.

en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Stewart_Bell

Quote
While the founding fathers agonized over the question 'particle' or 'wave', de Broglie in 1925 proposed the obvious answer 'particle' and 'wave'. Is it not clear from the smallness of the scintillation on the screen that we have to do with a particle? And is it not clear, from the diffraction and interference patterns, that the motion of the particle is directed by a wave? De Broglie showed in detail how the motion of a particle, passing through just one of two holes in screen, could be influenced by waves propagating through both holes. And so influenced that the particle does not go where the waves cancel out, but is attracted to where they cooperate. This idea seems to me so natural and simple, to resolve the wave-particle dilemma in such a clear and ordinary way, that it is a great mystery to me that it was so generally ignored.

Quote
All the macrosopic stuff about travelling waves is great fun, and we do use travelling waves to accelerate electrons, but that's a classical contuinuum phenomenon, not a quantum interaction.

The whole point is wave-particle duality can be explained classically.

NON-LINEAR WAVE MECHANICS A CAUSAL INTERPRETATION by LOUIS DE BROGLIE

Quote
“Since 1954, when this passage was written, I have come to support wholeheartedly an hypothesis proposed by Bohm and Vigier. According to this hypothesis, the random perturbations to which the particle would be constantly subjected, and which would have the probability of presence in terms of [the wave-function wave], arise from the interaction of the particle with a “subquantic medium” which escapes our observation and is entirely chaotic, and which is everywhere present in what we call “empty space”.”

The “subquantic medium” is the aether.

‘Fluid mechanics suggests alternative to quantum orthodoxy’
newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/fluid-systems-quantum-mechanics-0912

Quote
“The fluidic pilot-wave system is also chaotic. It’s impossible to measure a bouncing droplet’s position accurately enough to predict its trajectory very far into the future. But in a recent series of papers, Bush, MIT professor of applied mathematics Ruben Rosales, and graduate students Anand Oza and Dan Harris applied their pilot-wave theory to show how chaotic pilot-wave dynamics leads to the quantumlike statistics observed in their experiments.”

A “fluidic pilot-wave system” is the aether.

‘When Fluid Dynamics Mimic Quantum Mechanics’
sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130729111934.htm

Quote
“If you have a system that is deterministic and is what we call in the business ‘chaotic,’ or sensitive to initial conditions, sensitive to perturbations, then it can behave probabilistically,” Milewski continues. “Experiments like this weren’t available to the giants of quantum mechanics. They also didn’t know anything about chaos. Suppose these guys — who were puzzled by why the world behaves in this strange probabilistic way — actually had access to experiments like this and had the knowledge of chaos, would they have come up with an equivalent, deterministic theory of quantum mechanics, which is not the current one? That’s what I find exciting from the quantum perspective.”

What waves in a double slit experiment is the aether.
« Last Edit: 27/04/2016 19:00:37 by stacyjones »
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #19 on: 27/04/2016 21:03:08 »
You appear to be determined to misunderstand and not listen to reason so good luck in your endeavors.
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #20 on: 27/04/2016 21:10:54 »
You appear to be determined to misunderstand and not listen to reason so good luck in your endeavors.

In a double slit experiment the particle is always detected traveling through a single slit because it always travels through a single slit. It is the associated wave in the aether which passes through both.

You appear to be determined to misunderstand and not listen to reason so good luck in your endeavors.
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #21 on: 27/04/2016 21:56:48 »
Quote from: Max Born
Either we use waves in space of more than three dimensions…………..or we remain in three dimensional space, but give up the simple picture of the wave amplitude as an ordinary physical magnitude
I understand that electromagnetism has a particularly simple structure in 5 dimensions.
I understand that gravity has a particularly simple structure in 10 dimensions.

But my 5 & 10 dimensional maths is non-existent, so I will have to take the word of others for it.

Extra dimensions work well as a mathematical tool; what we lack is some experimental evidence for them (or some theoretical solution that can't be obtained in other ways).
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #22 on: 27/04/2016 22:52:56 »

The whole point is wave-particle duality can be explained classically.



Why bother, when quantum mechanics does the job without invoking aether, and unlike classical mechanics, allows the hydrogen atom to exist, black body radiation to have finite energy, photoelectricity to have a threshold work function, and the transistors in this computer to work.
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #23 on: 27/04/2016 23:16:09 »

The whole point is wave-particle duality can be explained classically.



Why bother, when quantum mechanics does the job without invoking aether, and unlike classical mechanics, allows the hydrogen atom to exist, black body radiation to have finite energy, photoelectricity to have a threshold work function, and the transistors in this computer to work.

Because it relates general relativity and quantum mechanics. Aether has mass and is displaced by matter. What ripples when galaxy clusters collide is what waves in a double slit experiment, the aether. Einstein's gravitational wave is de Broglie's wave of wave-particle duality, both are waves in the aether. Aether displaced by matter relates general relativity and quantum mechanics.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #24 on: 27/04/2016 23:39:01 »
Aether has mass
What is the mass or density of aether?
 

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Re: Is there any evidence for aether?
« Reply #24 on: 27/04/2016 23:39:01 »

 

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