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Author Topic: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?  (Read 13264 times)

Offline McQueen

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #25 on: 05/05/2016 15:17:57 »
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

Water molecules which are also particles exhibit ALL of the properties quoted by you, including; interference, diffraction and so on. What is good for the goose is good for the ...........! Common sense to think that any 'particle' of that level of magnitude is going to demonstrate all of these properties not because it has wave like properties but because it is so small.  Incidentally, no-one is doubting for a minute that the electron is a charged particle and  can interact in the way it does.  However, a closer and more intense inspection of the phenomenon will probably reveal that the interaction is mediated by photons. In fact the GAT has a mathematically supported explanation for it.  I can post the explanation in New Theories if you like.
 

Offline chiralSPO

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #26 on: 05/05/2016 16:16:33 »
In fact the GAT has a mathematically supported explanation for it.  I can post the explanation in New Theories if you like.

Please do!
 

Offline agyejy

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #27 on: 05/05/2016 17:34:36 »


Water molecules which are also particles exhibit ALL of the properties quoted by you, including; interference, diffraction and so on. What is good for the goose is good for the ...........! Common sense to think that any 'particle' of that level of magnitude is going to demonstrate all of these properties not because it has wave like properties but because it is so small.  Incidentally, no-one is doubting for a minute that the electron is a charged particle and  can interact in the way it does.

Too bad for you scientists have proven that objects with about a trillion or so atoms also behave according to quantum mechanics:

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100317/full/news.2010.130.html

Quote from: The Link
Cleland and his team took a more direct measure of quantum weirdness at the large scale. They began with a a tiny mechanical paddle, or 'quantum drum', around 30 micrometres long that vibrates when set in motion at a particular range of frequencies. Next they connected the paddle to a superconducting electrical circuit that obeyed the laws of quantum mechanics. They then cooled the system down to temperatures below one-tenth of a kelvin.

At this temperature, the paddle slipped into its quantum mechanical ground state. Using the quantum circuit, Cleland and his team verified that the paddle had no vibrational energy whatsoever. They then used the circuit to give the paddle a push and saw it wiggle at a very specific energy.

Next, the researchers put the quantum circuit into a superposition of 'push' and 'don't push', and connected it to the paddle. Through a series of careful measurements, they were able to show that the paddle was both vibrating and not vibrating simultaneously.
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #28 on: 05/05/2016 18:19:50 »


Water molecules which are also particles exhibit ALL of the properties quoted by you, including; interference, diffraction and so on. What is good for the goose is good for the ...........! Common sense to think that any 'particle' of that level of magnitude is going to demonstrate all of these properties not because it has wave like properties but because it is so small.  Incidentally, no-one is doubting for a minute that the electron is a charged particle and  can interact in the way it does.

Too bad for you scientists have proven that objects with about a trillion or so atoms also behave according to quantum mechanics:

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100317/full/news.2010.130.html

Quote from: The Link
Cleland and his team took a more direct measure of quantum weirdness at the large scale. They began with a a tiny mechanical paddle, or 'quantum drum', around 30 micrometres long that vibrates when set in motion at a particular range of frequencies. Next they connected the paddle to a superconducting electrical circuit that obeyed the laws of quantum mechanics. They then cooled the system down to temperatures below one-tenth of a kelvin.

At this temperature, the paddle slipped into its quantum mechanical ground state. Using the quantum circuit, Cleland and his team verified that the paddle had no vibrational energy whatsoever. They then used the circuit to give the paddle a push and saw it wiggle at a very specific energy.

Next, the researchers put the quantum circuit into a superposition of 'push' and 'don't push', and connected it to the paddle. Through a series of careful measurements, they were able to show that the paddle was both vibrating and not vibrating simultaneously.

Don't go posting evidence! Who needs evidence. Certainly not aetherists.
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #29 on: 05/05/2016 18:37:26 »
Don't go posting evidence! Who needs evidence. Certainly not aetherists.

You mean like the evidence that the particle is always detected traveling through a single slit in a double slit experiment because it always travels through a single slit?
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #30 on: 05/05/2016 18:54:51 »
You need to read this https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Born_rule and then look at results from the triple slit experiment then tell me you know how a wave behaves.
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #31 on: 05/05/2016 20:10:06 »
You need to read this https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Born_rule and then look at results from the triple slit experiment then tell me you know how a wave behaves.

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

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“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’
http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/fluid-systems-quantum-mechanics-0912

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“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’
http://www.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.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #32 on: 05/05/2016 20:57:12 »
'Empty' space has mass which is displaced by the particles of matter which exist in it and move through it.


Therefore it has density and an elestic modulus. I've shown you how to calculate one if you know the other, and you consistently refuse to answer the question, so I must assume you are lying about its existence, or are complete ignoramus. Your choice, but I won't waste any more time arguing with you in either case, and I strongly advise others to do likewise.
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #33 on: 05/05/2016 21:40:27 »
Stacyjones you really don't have a clue fo you? I think I'll take Alan's advice
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #34 on: 05/05/2016 21:53:36 »
Therefore it has density and an elestic modulus. I've shown you how to calculate one if you know the other, and you consistently refuse to answer the question, so I must assume you are lying about its existence, or are complete ignoramus. Your choice, but I won't waste any more time arguing with you in either case, and I strongly advise others to do likewise.

'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

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

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #35 on: 05/05/2016 21:56:40 »
Stacyjones you really don't have a clue fo you? I think I'll take Alan's advice

When de Broglie says, "“subquantic medium” which escapes our observation and is entirely chaotic, and which is everywhere present in what we call “empty space”” he is referring to the aether which fills 'empty' space and is displaced by the particles of matter which exist in it and move through it. He is also referring to chaos theory which allows for a correct understanding of what occurs physically in nature which leads to the probabilistic results of experiments.
 

Offline McQueen

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #36 on: 06/05/2016 00:05:55 »
 

Offline agyejy

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #37 on: 06/05/2016 00:15:23 »
http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100317/full/news.2010.130.html

Saw the video on youtube, not very convincing to tell you the truth!

I guess it is a good thing that your inability to comprehend something as now impact on the validity of that thing.
 

Offline puppypower

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #38 on: 06/05/2016 00:24:21 »
The speed of sound, in various media, is a function of the medium. For example, sound moves at 1100ft/second in air. If the aether is a medium and the speed of light is constant, then the medium would need to be fairly uniform, since fluctuations in density, pressure or temperature  would cause the speed of light to speed up or slow down, as it moves through the aether.

Here is a unique observation that might help the aether theory people. 

Liquid water is an interesting medium for sound. The aether may have an analogy to water. The speed of sound in the oceans has a minimum speed at about 1000 m deep, where the increase in speed due to increasing pressure, balances the decreasing speed with drop in temperature. Sound waves are trapped and propagate horizontally in this SOFAR channel. Submarines can hide below the SOFAR channel, because the sound waves, from ships above, get trapped horizontally and can't penetrate the SOFAR channel.

If the aether was the medium for EM waves, a parallel for the SOFAR channel would result in waves above and below the channel propagating  uniformly in a horizontal way.


In my last post, I asked if anyone was aware of an experiment that can propagate waves without a medium? Science sort of assumes light uses no medium. However, since this theory came after the aether theory, did anyone in the past, ever show if waves without a medium was even possible? Or was this just a new tradition that formed out of consensus, but without any analogous proof of concept?

I can show a way to propagate a wave without a medium. What you do is hang a spring vertically, that is attached at one side; top, so it can't move. Next, you pull the spring, down and let it bounce up and down. Now we have a wave. Next, the vibrating spring stays put, but the  observation reference moves. If you follow any point in the spring you will see a wave moving. The way the trick works, is your reference has to belief it is not moving, but rather the spring/wave is moving.

The speed of light is the ground state of the universe. This does not move, in an absolute sense. This is the attached end of the spring. Moving slower than C has the potential.
 

Offline arcmetal

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #39 on: 06/05/2016 01:19:43 »

In my last post, I asked if anyone was aware of an experiment that can propagate waves without a medium? ...

I can show a way to propagate a wave without a medium. What you do is hang a spring vertically, that is attached at one side; top, so it can't move. Next, you pull the spring, down and let it bounce up and down. Now we have a wave. Next, the vibrating spring stays put, but the  observation reference moves. If you follow any point in the spring you will see a wave moving. The way the trick works, is your reference has to belief it is not moving, but rather the spring/wave is moving.

I'm sorry I don't quite see how that is an example of a wave without a medium. What is the metal spring, if its not the medium that sustains the wave?   I do see your tricks with the reference points, but the wave is still riding the spring.  (I was hoping to finally see an example of a wave without a medium).
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #40 on: 06/05/2016 01:58:14 »
(I was hoping to finally see an example of a wave without a medium).

The aether fills 'empty' space so there is no such thing as a wave without a medium.
 

Offline arcmetal

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #41 on: 06/05/2016 21:02:57 »
(I was hoping to finally see an example of a wave without a medium).

The aether fills 'empty' space so there is no such thing as a wave without a medium.

Yeah, it appears to be looking like that is the case.
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #42 on: 06/05/2016 21:13:14 »
(I was hoping to finally see an example of a wave without a medium).

The aether fills 'empty' space so there is no such thing as a wave without a medium.

Yeah, it appears to be looking like that is the case.

Yup, and with that you get to understand what relates general relativity and quantum mechanics. Since people can't handle the term 'aether' I will not use 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.
« Last Edit: 06/05/2016 21:20:35 by stacyjones »
 

Offline Colin2B

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #43 on: 07/05/2016 08:59:33 »
Since people can't handle the term 'aether' I will not use it.
It's more that it has connotations of specific properties that don't align with recent experiments. The few physicists who use the term are referring to something with very different properties.
Apologies, I had intended to give you a fuller reply on how your 'aether' might be detected, unfortunately I am working on a project with is taking most of my free time and so the short answers I have given may have been misunderstood. I'll try and put something together in the odd bits of time I can grab.
 

Offline arcmetal

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #44 on: 07/05/2016 09:31:05 »
Yup, and with that you get to understand what relates general relativity and quantum mechanics. Since people can't handle the term 'aether' I will not use 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.

I have read plenty material on what you list here.  It feels like I have read almost all there is on this topic, but I still get surprised by new material I hadn't seen, like the Weber and Kohlrausch's experiment of 1855, and so on.

To contribute to the original post I'd rather not explain its uses for EM devices, but a brief analogy using gravity can be useful.

If one needed to create a machine that would navigate the solar system one would need to use Newton's equation for gravity. On the Earth this equation simplifies to calculate the acceleration on a mass (9.8 m/s2, or it can be measured), but out in space it gets more complicated since the mass of the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn has a different value.  So the engineers would say that knowledge of the force of gravity is a requirement.... On the other hand if one needed to design a machine that controls a beam line inside of a particle accelerator, inclusion of the force of gravity for the calculations would be unnecessary and therefore cumbersome (if I can avoid a few pages of code, I will :P). 

So, the beam line engineers would say that inclusion of gravity is superfluous, while the celestial mechanical engineers would say its a requirement. And so it is with the ether.
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #45 on: 07/05/2016 11:51:33 »
Apologies, I had intended to give you a fuller reply on how your 'aether' might be detected, unfortunately I am working on a project with is taking most of my free time and so the short answers I have given may have been misunderstood. I'll try and put something together in the odd bits of time I can grab.

The aether is 'detected' every time a double slit experiment is performed, it's what waves.

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 and so does the aether.

Particles of matter move through and displace the aether. A moving particle has an associated wave in the aether.

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 stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #46 on: 07/05/2016 11:54:35 »
but a brief analogy using gravity can be useful.

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

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

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.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #47 on: 07/05/2016 20:31:40 »
Aether has mass, physically occupies three dimensional space and is physically displaced by the particles of matter which exist in it and move through it.

But you cannot or will not tell us its density or elastic modulus, despite the fact that these numbers determine the speed of light in vacuo.

May I respectfully suggest that you put up or shut up?
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #48 on: 07/05/2016 20:46:47 »
Aether has mass, physically occupies three dimensional space and is physically displaced by the particles of matter which exist in it and move through it.

But you cannot or will not tell us its density or elastic modulus, despite the fact that these numbers determine the speed of light in vacuo.

May I respectfully suggest that you put up or shut up?

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

Quote
"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."

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

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 the quote above Maxwell is saying his equations refer to the "luminiferous medium". I respectfully ask you answer if you understand he is referring to the aether or shut up.
 

Offline Colin2B

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #49 on: 08/05/2016 06:22:53 »
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.
.
This is an excellent example of why physicists today avoid the term aether. The Aether that Laughlin is talking about is very different from the luminiferous aether that Maxwell was talking about.  I'll be honest and say that, despite his determination to put false emotions into posts which I write in a very neutral frame of mind the way I view the vacuum Laughlin is talking about as much closer to McQueen's view than yours.
To understand the difference you need to understand what Maxwell was talking about, and the physics he was familiar with. I'm going to go over this because I know a lot of school age folks read these pages, so this is for their benefit.
Firstly, Maxwell understood relativity. Not Special Relativity, because Einstein hadn't yet discovered it, but Galilean Relativity (after Galileo who first described it) . Maxwell would have understood  observers, reference frames, and inertial frames, because it was Galileo who specified that the laws of motion are the same in all inertial frames (Galilean Invariance). When Einstein wrote his SR he used terms familiar to those around him. So everything that follows refers to Galilean relativity.

The speed of a wave in a medium such as air or water is referred to as celerity. Most of my definitions are in textbooks and course notes so rather than scan I'll quote Hyperphysics site:
"ocean waves obey the basic wave relationship c=fλ , where c is traditionally used for the wave speed or "celerity". The term celerity means the speed of the progressing wave with respect to stationary water - so any current or other net water velocity would be added to it."
This is true for both sound and ocean waves, and means that the measured speed depends on the reference frame of the observer (Galilean relativity again). So if you are drifting in a balloon carried on the wind you will measure the speed of sound to be different from the measurement of an observer positioned on a tower. The relationship is simple, effective speed of sound=adiabatic speed of sound +scalar of the wind vector component in the direction you want to calculate.
It was discovered in the 1850s and explained why cannon fire could be louder upwind than downwind. It  is due refraction of the sound waves caused by the difference in speed of sound between ground level and at altitude due to wind vertical shear. Interestingly, you don't need much wind, a wind of 4mph can cause a 12dB difference 150 feet from the source. The person who discovered this was also the first person at the Royal Society to receive Maxwell's formal submission of his famous paper (small world!).  This same celerity also applies ocean waves, when comparing the speed of waves, of the same wavelength, measured from a boat drifting with the current to that measured by an observer in still water or on the shore. Both observers will measure the same wave speed in their local reference frames, but the observer in the still water reference frame will measure the speed of wave in the current as greater (Galilean relativity).
Today this is common knowledge to anyone who has studied acoustics or oceanography, less talked about in acoustics at degree level because most is to do with windless spaces (although I've suffered a few draughty concert halls). I was fortunate enough to study both subjects and can assure you that in oceanography this relativity is emphasised very strongly "be clear about your reference frame, the speed of a wave measured from a drifting research vessel is not the same as that from an observer positioned in the shore reference frame".
This was also common knowledge to Maxwell and his contemporaries so it is hardly surprising that he used c (celerity) for the speed of light, assuming it was carried on a medium (the luminiferous aether) and its speed would vary with the motion of the aether relative to the observer.

This is very different to the vacuum referred to by Laughlin, and most physicists would abhor his use of the term aether for vacuum. In Laughlin's aether there is not much you would recognise other than the name, it is not dark matter, matter doesn't displace it, the speed of light does not vary relative to its motion, in fact it is not a medium in the classical sense. It also obeys the rules of Special Relativity, so from now on any mention of relativity is SR or GR.
We discussed this and virtual particles last year in another forum, so those members here will be familiar with the concepts.
This vacuum (or vacuum state) is widely accepted by physicists. It does not contain any matter, just fields eg electromagnetic field (photon field), Higgs field etc. Due to quantum fluctuations it is possible for particles to briefly appear and disappear. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_state
Virtual particles in these fields are the most often misunderstood. They are transitory disturbances in the electromagnetic field (also called the photon field because longer lived disturbances of this field are photons). This sounds very esoteric and metaphysical, but it is really quite simple. For example, when 2 electrons pass close by each other, their charges will interact causing them to repel one another and they change direction. This charge interaction causes a brief disturbance in the em field, termed a virtual photon for historical reasons, doesn't move at the speed of light.
Many fields require matter eg meteorological wind field requires air, sound field requires gas or liquid (solids are different). However, in this vacuum there are fields called relativistic fields which do not require matter in its classical sense, the em field is one of these. The formula for these specify a fixed speed for em radiation. Although they are fully accepted by physicists there is still debate as to whether underlying the fields is a none classical medium. Such a medium would not have the same properties as the luminiferous ether.

As you can see, most physicists (other than Laughlin and a few others) don't use the term aether for the very reason that people will confuse it with luminiferous aether as you have done.

PS this was prepared offline, as I posted I noticed McQueen has posted something that I'm sure will add to this. Too long to read at present, but a quick skim I think he is proposing a candidate for the underlying medium.
« Last Edit: 08/05/2016 06:33:57 by Colin2B »
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #49 on: 08/05/2016 06:22:53 »

 

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