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Author Topic: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?  (Read 13309 times)

Offline jeffreyH

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What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« on: 04/05/2016 18:54:46 »
I ask because I am at a loss to understand it. Is it simply because people find relativity so hard to grasp properly and an aether becomes easier to imagine since it has no mathematics attached to it.


 

Offline chiralSPO

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #1 on: 04/05/2016 19:26:01 »
I suspect that proponents of aether-based models feel that light waves must require some medium to propagate through. After all, sound waves, ocean waves and earthquakes all require media, and cannot propagate through empty space.

Of course, this is an improper generalization. Electromagnetic waves, probability density waves and others are very different animals from compression waves in a medium, even if the math used to describe each is very similar...
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #2 on: 04/05/2016 19:40:06 »
https://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.

Matter, quantum solids and fluids, a piece of window glass and 'stuff' have mass.

'Empty' space has mass which is displaced by the particles of matter which exist in it and move through it.

What ripples when galaxy clusters collide is what waves in a double slit experiment, the mass which fills 'empty' space.

Einstein's gravitational wave is de Broglie's wave of wave-particle duality, both are waves in the mass which fills 'empty' space.

The mass which fills 'empty' space displaced by matter relates general relativity and quantum mechanics.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #3 on: 04/05/2016 20:10:50 »
'Empty' space has mass
What is the density of space? You keep trotting out the same assertion, with no numbers to back it up.

Quote
which is displaced by the particles of matter which exist in it and move through it.
What is the ealstic modulus of space?  You keep trotting out the same assertion, with no numbers to back it up.

I don't agree with Jefffrey that it's an escape from relativity, because the propagation of electromagnetic radiation does not require relativitic explanation or calculation. I suspect the attraction of aether is that it helps those of simple mind to equate wholly unrelated phenomena that make the same pretty patterns. Such a pity that they don't look at water waves spreading from a single slit - I flew over Lulworth as the tide was turning a few days ago: utterly unlike any quantum phenomenon, but very similar to the diffraction of radio waves.

In short: an unwillingness to observe and think.
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #4 on: 04/05/2016 20:35:47 »
What is the density of space? You keep trotting out the same assertion, with no numbers to back it up.

In terms of Maxwell's equations you keep insisting no one equates them with the aether when Maxwell himself does.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aether_theories#Luminiferous_aether

Quote
James Clerk Maxwell said of the aether, "In several parts of this treatise an attempt has been made to explain electromagnetic phenomena by means of mechanical action transmitted from one body to another by means of a medium occupying the space between them. The undulatory theory of light also assumes the existence of a medium. We have now to show that the properties of the electromagnetic medium are identical with those of the luminiferous medium."

In short: an unwillingness to observe and think.
 

Offline puppypower

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #5 on: 04/05/2016 21:05:04 »
Since EM waves are part of the debate, whether there is an aether or not, are there any experiments, besides using EM waves, that can propagate waves without a medium, to show a medium is not needed? If you had a tangible lab analogy, this could end the debate. If this is not possible, except on paper, that tells us something different.



 
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #6 on: 04/05/2016 22:13:18 »
Since EM waves are part of the debate, whether there is an aether or not, are there any experiments, besides using EM waves, that can propagate waves without a medium, to show a medium is not needed? If you had a tangible lab analogy, this could end the debate. If this is not possible, except on paper, that tells us something different.

See Maxwell quote in previous post.
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #7 on: 05/05/2016 00:51:10 »
In the following two articles the aether is what waves in a double slit experiment.

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

Quote
"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'
http://arxiv.org/abs/1412.5612

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

A moving particle has an associated wave in the aether. In a double slit experiment the particle travels through a single slit and the associated wave in the aether passes through both.

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.

The wave of wave-particle duality is a wave in the aether.
 

Offline McQueen

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #8 on: 05/05/2016 04:38:13 »
I ask because I am at a loss to understand it. Is it simply because people find relativity so hard to grasp properly and an aether becomes easier to imagine since it has no mathematics attached to it.
One of the reasons that an aether would be useful is in explaining the fact that the speed of light remains constant regardless of the motion of the observer. In the same manner as  the speed of light is constant relative to all frames of reference.

First taking the example of light imagine what this means:

Suppose that a car is driving along the highway at 70 Km per hour and a truck is approaching from the opposite direction at 60 Km/hr then the combined speed would be 130Km/hr, similarly if  another car moving in the same direction overtakes at 100 km/hr then the relative speed of the car would be 100-70 = 30 Km/hr. However if  the truck as it approaches is moving at 60 Km/hr and it is blowing its horn, the speed of sound, provided the medium doesn't change, would remain the same (say 340 m/s)at whatever speed it moves in that medium irrespective of the speed of the truck or of the observer. Of course exactly the same phenomena applies to light, since we cannot detect a medium it is much more mystifying than sound, where the medium is easy to detect.

Sound simply cannot travel through the air faster than the speed of sound in air at those conditions. No matter how fast the vehicle moves, the sound will always move away as fast as it can in the medium. Sound speed is a property of the medium. Sound is not an object, but a disturbance in a given medium, so it will always travel at the rate the medium prescribes.
Thus if an aether does exist it would solve the huge mystery of why the speed of light is a constant.

What is the density of space? You keep trotting out the same assertion, with no numbers to back it up. What is the ealstic modulus of space?  You keep trotting out the same assertion, with no numbers to back it up.

If the aether does exist it would be undetectable but still be all around us. When walking from one room to another in your house, the atmosphere around you is chock full of emanations that you cannot see, and cannot possibly suspect to be there unless you happen to have a device that can detect the Electro- magnetic radiation in the air.  In the GAT , the aether would consist of photons with very low energy, of about 10-40 J to 10 -50J. When a real photon is released these low energy 'virtual photons' that are all around us line up in the direction of propagation of the real photon forming a line whose ends rest on infinity, and the energy of the real photon travels along this line of aligned 'virtual photons', so the aether functions exactly  like a medium.  So when considering the aether consider light propagating through light ! Similarly the aether because of its extremely low energy can move through matter as if it did not exist, no electron will react with photons of such low energy, matter passes through the aether, and the aether passes through matter effortlessly, without the slightest change being recorded.   The lamb shift experiment and its results indicate that electrons do interact with the 'virtual photon aether' but do so in such short time intervals in accordance with HUP:
4e81392406ab31a5b93910e42ed5a376.gif
 that the laws of conservation of energy are not disturbed.  GAT holds that it is  these interactions that result in the force of gravity. Thus the aether moves through matter and matter moves through aether and the result is gravity !

« Last Edit: 05/05/2016 09:37:07 by McQueen »
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #9 on: 05/05/2016 04:56:42 »
Thus the aether moves through matter and matter moves through aether and the result is gravity !

The Earth displaces the aether. The aether displaced by the Earth pushes back and exerts pressure toward the Earth. The aether displaced by the Earth pushing back and exerting pressure toward the Earth is gravity.

The geometrical representation of gravity as curved spacetime physically exists in nature as the state of displacement of the aether.

The state of displacement of the aether is gravity.
 

Offline McQueen

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #10 on: 05/05/2016 06:23:00 »
Continuing from the earlier example: Car (a) moving at 70 kmph car (b) moving at 60 kmph then their combined speed is 130 kmph. If their initial distance apart is 2 kms then Given that car (a) is moving at 19.4 m/s and car (b) is moving at 16.6 m/sec then their combined speed per sec equals 36 m/s . Therefore time T equals 2000/36 = 55.5 secs. During this time car (a) would have traveled 1078 m and car (b) would have travelled 921.3 m. Whereas if car (b) is travelling towards the sound emanated by horn (a) then if the sound is travelling at 340m/s, they would meet after 2000/340 = 5.8 secs regardless of how fast car (b) is travelling. Car (b) would have traveled only 97.6 m during this time.


« Last Edit: 05/05/2016 09:08:33 by McQueen »
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #11 on: 05/05/2016 07:55:45 »
Why do virtual photons seem to crop up a lot with these ideas? Does anyone actually stop to think what virtual photons are? Anybody got a definition for virtual photon that can enlighten the aetherists?
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #12 on: 05/05/2016 08:44:33 »
In terms of Maxwell's equations you keep insisting no one equates them with the aether when Maxwell himself does.
And you consistently refuse to state the mechanical properties (density, elastic modulus) of the medium you insist that we should believe in.  So nobody does.

To give you yet another clue, the speed of a compression wave is √(K/ρ), where K is the elastic modulus and ρ is the density of the medium.

All you need to do is state K and ρ for a vacuum. Come on, you know the answer, just tell us!
 

Offline McQueen

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #13 on: 05/05/2016 09:11:47 »
Why do virtual photons seem to crop up a lot with these ideas? Does anyone actually stop to think what virtual photons are? Anybody got a definition for virtual photon that can enlighten the aetherists?
For the simple reason that ill-informed people ( not referring to you necessarily) prefer to ignore Richard Feynman and Paul Dirac. But of course also because it is a part of Quantum Mechanics that is acceptable. Quantum Mechanics has borrowed freely ( whole- sale would be a better word) from classical physics. Why shouldn't any new model of physics borrow, from Quantum Mechanics ?
 

Offline McQueen

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #14 on: 05/05/2016 09:27:06 »
To give you yet another clue, the speed of a compression wave is √(K/ρ), where K is the elastic modulus and ρ is the density of the medium.

Once again, not germane to the topic we are talking about sound waves NOT shock waves.

Quote
And you consistently refuse to state the mechanical properties (density, elastic modulus) of the medium you insist that we should believe in.  So nobody does.

You have almost as much stamina in questioning what has already been answered as a person one third your age!

Photons are traditionally said to be massless.  This is a figure of speech that physicists use to describe something about how a photon's particle-like properties are described by the language of special relativity. The logic can be constructed in many ways, and the following is one such.  Take an isolated system (called a "particle") and accelerate it to some velocity v (a vector).  Newton defined the "momentum" p of this particle (also a vector), such that p behaves in a simple way when the particle is accelerated, or when it's involved in a collision.  For this simple behaviour to hold, it turns out that p must be proportional to v.  The proportionality constant is called the particle's "mass" m, so that p = mv.

Having stated that the charge on a 'virtual photon ' of the 'virtual photon aether' might be in the vicinity of 10 -40 J it should be possible from this to calculate the mass. Of course 'virtual photons' have no momentum, they are more or less stationary, so a new e = mc2 type of approach will be needed,  but still.
 

Offline McQueen

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #15 on: 05/05/2016 09:54:31 »
Of course, this is an improper generalization. Electromagnetic waves, probability density waves and others are very different animals from compression waves in a medium, even if the math used to describe each is very similar...

Could  'probability density waves'  be re-phrased as "dense probability waves" ?
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #16 on: 05/05/2016 12:31:16 »
Virtual particles never leave the confines of a Feynman diagram. Can you please explain to us dolts why that is McQueen?
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #17 on: 05/05/2016 12:44:41 »
Why do virtual photons seem to crop up a lot with these ideas? Does anyone actually stop to think what virtual photons are? Anybody got a definition for virtual photon that can enlighten the aetherists?

There are no such things as virtual photons. The aether is chaotic. What is thought to be virtual particles is the chaotic nature of the aether. In the following video the water wave Casimir effect is analogous to the chaotic nature of the aether.


You are trying to use something which doesn't exist, virtual photons, to try and refute something which does, the aether.
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #18 on: 05/05/2016 12:46:49 »
And you consistently refuse to state the mechanical properties (density, elastic modulus) of the medium you insist that we should believe in.  So nobody does.

Do you at least understand Maxwell himself said his equations have to do with the aether?

The following article describes gravity as a pressure exerted by aether toward matter.

'The aether-modified gravity and the G ̈del metric'
http://arxiv.org/abs/1109.5654

"As for the pressure, it is equal to p = 53−αg,6a2 so, it is positive if αg < 3 which is the weaker condition than the previous one. One notes that the results corresponding to the usual gravity are easily recovered. Also, it is easy to see that the interval αg < 15 corresponds to the usual matter."

The following article describes the aether as an incompressible fluid resulting in what the article refers to as gravitational aether caused by pressure or vorticity.

'Phenomenology of Gravitational Aether as a solution to the Old Cosmological Constant Problem'
http://arxiv.org/abs/1106.3955

"One proposal to address this puzzle at the semi-classical level is to decouple quantum vacuum from space-time geometry via a modification of gravity that includes an incompressible fluid, known as Gravitational Aether. In this paper, we discuss classical predictions of this theory along with its compatibility with cosmological and experimental tests of gravity. We argue that deviations from General Relativity (GR) in this theory are sourced by pressure or vorticity."

The following article describes a gravitating vacuum where aether is the quantum vacuum of the 21-st century.

'From Analogue Models to Gravitating Vacuum'
http://arxiv.org/abs/1111.1155

"The aether of the 21-st century is the quantum vacuum, which is a new form of matter. This is the real substance"

The aether is, or behaves similar to, a supersolid, which is described in the following article as the 'fluidic' nature of space itself. The article describes a 'back reaction' associated with the 'fluidic' nature of space itself. This is the displaced aether 'displacing back'.

'An Extended Dynamical Equation of Motion, Phase Dependency and Inertial Backreaction'
http://arxiv.org/abs/1208.3458

"We hypothesize that space itself resists such surges according to a kind of induction law (related to inertia); additionally, we provide further evidence of the “fluidic” nature of space itself. This "back-reaction" is quantified by the tendency of angular momentum flux threading across a surface."

The following article describes the aether as that which produces resistance to acceleration and is responsible for the increase in mass of an object with velocity and describes the "space-time ideal fluid approach from general relativity."

'Fluidic Electrodynamics: On parallels between electromagnetic and fluidic inertia'
http://arxiv.org/abs/1202.4611

"It is shown that the force exerted on a particle by an ideal fluid produces two effects: i) resistance to acceleration and, ii) an increase of mass with velocity. ... The interaction between the particle and the entrained space flow gives rise to the observed properties of inertia and the relativistic increase of mass. ... Accordingly, in this framework the non resistance of a particle in uniform motion through an ideal fluid (D’Alembert’s paradox) corresponds to Newton’s first law. The law of inertia suggests that the physical vacuum can be modeled as an ideal fluid, agreeing with the space-time ideal fluid approach from general relativity."

The relativistic mass of an object is the mass of the object and the mass of the aether connected to and neighboring the object which is displaced by the object. The faster an object moves with respect to the state of the aether in which it exists the greater the displacement of the aether by the object the greater the relativistic mass of the object.

The incompressible fluid described in the following article is the gravitational aether which "the theory reduces to GR coupled to an incompressible fluid."

'Empty Black Holes, Firewalls, and the Origin of Bekenstein-Hawking Entropy'
http://arxiv.org/abs/1212.4176

"But why an incompressible fluid? The reason comes from an attempt to solve the (old) cosmological constant problem, which is arguably the most puzzling aspect of coupling gravity to relativistic quantum mechanics [13]. Given that the natural expectation value for the vacuum of the standard model of particle physics is ∼ 60 orders of magnitude heavier than the gravitational measurements of vacuum density, it is reasonable to entertain an alternative theory of gravity where the standard model vacuum decouples from gravity. Such a theory could be realized by coupling gravity to the traceless part of the quantum mechanical energy-momentum tensor. However, the consistency/covariance of gravitational field equations then requires introducing an auxiliary fluid, the so-called gravitational aether [14]. The simplest model for gravitational aether is an incompressible fluid (with vanishing energy density, but non-vanishing pressure), which is currently consistent with all cosmological, astrophysical, and precision tests of gravity [15, 16]:

__3__
32πGN Gμν = Tμν − Tα gμν + Tμν ,
Tμν = p (uμ uν + gμν ), T μν;ν = 0,

where GN is Newton’s constant, Tμν is the matter energy momentum tensor and T'μν is the incompressible gravitational aether fluid. In vacuum, the theory reduces to GR coupled to an incompressible fluid."

The following articles describe what is presently postulated as dark matter is aether.

'Quantum aether and an invariant Planck scale'
http://arxiv.org/abs/1110.3753

"this version of aether may have some bearing on the abundance of Dark Matter and Dark Energy in our universe."

"mass of the aether"

'Scalars, Vectors and Tensors from Metric-Affine Gravity'
http://arxiv.org/abs/1110.5168

"the model obtained here gets closer to the aether theory of [other authors and articles listed], which is shown therein to be an alternative to the cold dark matter."

'Unified Dark Energy-Dark Matter model with Inverse Quintessence'
http://arxiv.org/abs/1209.4758

"We consider a model where both dark energy and dark matter originate from the coupling of a scalar field with a non-conventional kinetic term to, both, a metric measure and a non-metric measure. An interacting dark energy/dark matter scenario can be obtained by introducing an additional scalar that can produce non constant vacuum energy and associated variations in dark matter"

'Singular-Turbulent Structure Formation in the Universe and the Essence of Dark Matter I. Unified model for dark matter and quintessence'
http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0610135

"Superfluid dark matter is reminiscent of the aether and modeling the universe using superfluid aether is compatible."

'Vainshtein mechanism in Gauss-Bonnet gravity and Galileon aether'
http://arxiv.org/abs/1107.1892

"the perturbations of the scalar field do not propagate in the Minkowski space-time but rather in some form of ”aether” because of the presence of the background field"

'On the super-fluid property of the relativistic physical vacuum medium and the inertial motion of particles'
http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0701155

"In this paper we shall show that the relativistic physical vacuum medium as a ubiquitous back ground field is a super fluid medium."
 

Offline McQueen

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #19 on: 05/05/2016 12:50:10 »
Virtual particles never leave the confines of a Feynman diagram. Can you please explain to us dolts why that is McQueen?

Where are you living Mr (amateur physicist) JeffreyH. In the stone Age , like Fred Flint stone ?  Here is a passage from your favourite source:

"In physics, a virtual particle is a transient fluctuation that exhibits many of the characteristics of an ordinary particle, but that exists for a limited time. The concept of virtual particles arises in perturbation theory of quantum field theory where interactions between ordinary particles are described in terms of exchanges of virtual particles. Any process involving virtual particles admits a schematic representation known as a Feynman diagram, in which virtual particles are represented by internal lines."

Is that clear enough, Or do we need to go round once again?

Check out the video posted below by stacyjones also, it is by Laurence Krauss, one of the most esteemed physicist of today !
« Last Edit: 05/05/2016 13:28:20 by McQueen »
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #20 on: 05/05/2016 12:51:30 »
Virtual particles never leave the confines of a Feynman diagram. Can you please explain to us dolts why that is McQueen?

Not according to Laurence Krauss. Kruass says 'empty' space is a sea of virtual photons, with mass, popping into and out of existence out of nothing. What Krauss fails to realize is that what he thinks of as virtual particles, with mass, popping into and out of existence out of nothing is actually the chaotic nature of the mass which fills 'empty' space. In the following video, at the 1:52 mark, is a visual representation of the mass which exists in the proton unoccupied by the quarks. Where the quarks exist the mass has been displaced.

 
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Offline chiralSPO

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #21 on: 05/05/2016 13:43:28 »
Since EM waves are part of the debate, whether there is an aether or not, are there any experiments, besides using EM waves, that can propagate waves without a medium, to show a medium is not needed? If you had a tangible lab analogy, this could end the debate. If this is not possible, except on paper, that tells us something different.

How about cathode rays?

100 keV electrons propagate through ultra-high vacuum in electron microscopes with a wavelength of 3.7 pm (and a velocity of 1.6x108 m/s, the frequency is 4.32x1019 Hz) http://www.microscopy.ethz.ch/properties.htm

We can observe the wavelike properties of the cathode ray as it interacts with the sample being observed. When looking at crystalline samples by TEM, one can easily see the diffraction pattern. (google image search of tem diffraction shows many beautiful examples)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron_diffraction
« Last Edit: 05/05/2016 13:51:29 by chiralSPO »
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #22 on: 05/05/2016 13:51:57 »
Quote from: jeffreyH
I ask because I am at a loss to understand it. Is it simply because people find relativity so hard to grasp properly and an aether becomes easier to imagine since it has no mathematics attached to it.
Based on my 20 years of experience, from 1995 to 2015, I've seen two basic reasons for it: (1) a lack of knowledge relativity/physics and (2) a lack of knowledge of the scientific method.

There are several different meanings of the term Aether. For a list of them please see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aether

The term was based on the concept of an Aether which dates back to ancient Greece. The concept that you're speaking of is called the Luminous Aether which dates back to the 19th century. It was thought that light waves needed a medium through which it travels. It was later found that light is an electromagnetic wave which, as such, didn't need an aether through which it propagated because the waves themselves were really time-varying electromagnetic waves which had no use for a medium and therefore the previous idea of a luminiferous Aether which was varying in tim



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aether_(mythology)
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #23 on: 05/05/2016 14:14:52 »
Quote
We can observe the wavelike properties of the cathode ray as it interacts with the sample being observed. When looking at crystalline samples by TEM, one can easily see the diffraction pattern. (google image search of tem diffraction shows many beautiful examples)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron_diffraction

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron_diffraction

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Electron diffraction refers to the wave nature of electrons.

It's "wave nature" is its associated wave in the aether.
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #24 on: 05/05/2016 14:17:34 »
There are several different meanings of the term Aether.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aether_theories#Quantum_vacuum

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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.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #24 on: 05/05/2016 14:17:34 »

 

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