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Author Topic: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?  (Read 13058 times)

Offline arcmetal

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #75 on: 10/05/2016 08:09:41 »
Consider the use of the term "water" for the complex molecule of H2O.  It is an ancient term which at one time was considered an element.  Except that today we know that it is not an element, but rather it consists of a molecule composed of two hydrogen atoms and an oxygen atom.  In its liquid form it can contain ions and sometimes other impurities.... I can go on, but my point is that we should be using its more modern name: "Dihydrogen Monoxide", instead of the older more taboo term "water" so that people don't confuse it with its ancient elemental form.


Things tend to follow a cycle of nonsense when you introduce demagoguery into the path of people searching for answers.

Ok, we are getting close to understanding this naming issue. I did explain why this is so, but perhaps it was not clear enough. I'll give another try.

I agree, what you call a medium doesn't change its properties. However, if you use the same word to describe mediums with different properties you create confusion.

Sure, I can partly agree with that.

I am very happy to use the ancient term water to describe the medium H2O, but I refuse to reuse it to describe H2SO4.

Tools and weapons used to be made of bronze, today we use high speed steel, I refuse to use the ancient term for a tool medium for HSS. They are different.

Well, that's not quite what I meant.  You can have three substances: H2O, H2S04, and Hg.  They have differing names: water, acid, mercury, these terms exist because of differing properties, but they also have the encompassing term: "liquid".  I would find it silly if it was taboo to use the term "liquid" to describe those substances.... The same goes for the other example of "tools" and "weapons".  Some tools may be made of stone, bronze, wood, or HSS, but they are all still "tools".

A bit closer to what I meant is about a single substance that somehow, magically, it hasn't changed its properties since the beginning of civilization, let's say H2O.  If in ancient times it was called "water", then during the days of alchemy it was called "lead washer", then in the 19th century it was changed to "watertricity" and then in 21st century some are suggesting that we should just call it "water" again, and many cry foul.

If you must use the word aether you have to differentiate them. You could call one luminiferous aether and the other vacuum aether, or even better embed the properties in the name eg nonrelativistic aether and relativistic aether. Then I personally would have no problem with that, but others might say that it could still cause confusion.

Here, we can agree since it looks like this is what's already happening ... that a variety of extensions to the term "aether" is being used to describe differing theories.

SJ
The luminiferous aether that Maxwell knew was a theoretical nonrelativistic aether, it was defined and described as such. The expected light to behave in the same way as sound behaves in air, hence the controversy at the time. That was the reason for Michelson Morley experiment, to detect a change in the speed of light due to the motion of an observer through the aether.



I just find it silly when people get all bent out of shape when someone says that
they want to study the aether, or that it makes no sense to think about
a wave with no medium, etc.  I think if something is not well understood then
it probably deserves some study.  It raises my curiosity even further
when I am told "no, there is nothing to see there because we can't detect it".

I mean what do people think of Feynman when he says that the magnetic
potential, A, is more real than E, or B?  If "A" is what is propagating
through the vacuum, then I don't see how its generating itself on
every cycle. It makes more sense that its a propagating disturbance through
a medium.
 

Offline arcmetal

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #76 on: 10/05/2016 08:22:01 »
Since the ether is probably a superfluid it would make more sense to find its bulk modulus rather than the elastic modulus.
OK, let's have it. Can't be difficult to calculate if you know the density, which SJ claims, and the speed of light, which we all know.


I couldn't find a measured quantity for the density of the ether, but I did find a theorized one given by Lord Kelvin.  So, yeah, sure I'll take a crack at it.
(kg -- kilograms, m3 -- meters cubed, s2 -- seconds squared, Pa -- Pascals)

Kelvin's derived aether density is 5e-6 kg/km3  which is 5e-15 kg/m3

The bulk modulus is B = density * (speed squared)

So,   B = 5e-15 * 9e16  = 450  (kg / m s2)  --- (Pascals)

the compressibility is 1/B = 2.2e-3  ( 1 / Pa ).

and, comparing this to other compressibilities:

air --- 7.04e-6  ( 1 / Pa )
water --- 4.76e-10  ( 1 / Pa )
mercury --- 4e-11  ( 1 / Pa )
diamond --- 2.25e-12   ( 1 / Pa )

So, it looks like the aether would be very compressible, about a thousand times more compressible than air.

Of course, these are just based on estimates but its still interesting that the numbers aren't way off like some crazy infinity here or there...

If there is some other funky way to find its density, I'd be interested.

-----

I did some other fun calculations.  If I use the upper estimate for the mass of a photon (3e-27 eV), as the aether particle's mass, Kelvin's density, and packed the particles end to end in a cube with a one Angstrom on edge, I get that the size of the aether particle can be 1.036e-16 meters.  Which is still bigger than the Planck length (1.6e-35 m) ... so there is still plenty of wiggle room for these figures.


----
edit: I had missed a zero in an exponent of the "fun calculations", I had the aether particle diameter at: 1.06e-25 m, it should read 1.036-16 m.
----
« Last Edit: 15/05/2016 02:03:00 by arcmetal »
 

Online jeffreyH

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #77 on: 10/05/2016 08:37:54 »
At last a sensible discussion. Not just someone pronouncing they know better.
 
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Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #78 on: 10/05/2016 11:34:31 »
From the Newton's laws to motions of the fluid and superfluid vacuum: vortex tubes, rings, and others'
http://arxiv.org/abs/1403.3900

"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.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #79 on: 10/05/2016 12:18:05 »
So now we have galaxies orbiting in a dispersive medium, thus slowing down and spiralling in towards each other - exactly the opposite of what we observe.

Kelvin, although a fellow of Peterhouse and therefore an all-round good bloke, was wrong about several things.
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #80 on: 10/05/2016 12:24:10 »
So now we have galaxies orbiting in a dispersive medium, thus slowing down and spiralling in towards each other - exactly the opposite of what we observe.

Kelvin, although a fellow of Peterhouse and therefore an all-round good bloke, was wrong about several things.

The aether is, or behaves similar to, a supersolid.
 

Online jeffreyH

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #81 on: 10/05/2016 18:42:51 »
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superfluid_helium-4#/search

"Superfluids, such as helium-4 below the lambda point, exhibit many unusual properties. (See Helium#Helium II state). A superfluid acts as if it were a mixture of a normal component, with all the properties of a normal fluid, and a superfluid component. The superfluid component has zero viscosity and zero entropy."

If the Aether has zero viscosity then it would flow in any direction that matter moved through it. If as you claim this is dark matter then how exactly are you going to reconcile a zero viscosity medium with observed gravitational effects? For a start this Aether would flow away from any celestial object that moved through it. This would suggest a locally repulsive nature to the Aether. There are all sorts of things wrong with your ideas that you don't even realise because of your ignorance of the physics.
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #82 on: 10/05/2016 19:15:59 »
A bowling ball rolled through a supersolid displaces the supersolid. By definition, the bowling ball rolls on forever through the supersolid.

Q. Is the bowling ball displacing the supersolid or is the supersolid displacing the bowling ball?
A. Both are occurring simultaneously with equal force and the bowling ball rolls on forever through the supersolid.

Roll the bowling ball fast enough and it will create an associated wave in the supersolid.
 

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #83 on: 10/05/2016 22:15:36 »
If you have a condensate you can throw an extra bit in or take a bit out and nothing changes. That is its nature. To have a superfluid or supersolid state you need a DETECTABLE particulate structure. Nothing like an Aether which is UNDETECTABLE. They are at odds. Nothing you say will change that.
 

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #84 on: 10/05/2016 22:17:49 »
I doubt if anyone has ever detected fairy dust so that might be an ideal medium for your Aether.
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #85 on: 10/05/2016 22:50:23 »
Spacetime has mass. The "missing mass" is the mass of the spacetime connected to and neighboring the matter which is displaced by the matter. The physical manifestation of curved spacetime is the state of displacement of spacetime.
 

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Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #87 on: 10/05/2016 23:49:30 »
Spacetime has mass. Spacetime physically occupies three dimensional space and is physically displaced by the matter which exists in it and moves through it. What is referred to geometrically as the curvature of spacetime physically exists in nature as the state of displacement of spacetime. The "missing mass" is the mass of the spacetime connected to and neighboring the matter which is displaced by the matter.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #88 on: 11/05/2016 00:05:03 »
I beg to differ. It is the transection of Hilbert coordinate space by the primal mass flow that accounts for the apparent nondispersivity of luminiferous aether. Your interpretation is inherently selfcontradictory.
 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #89 on: 11/05/2016 00:09:25 »
Spacetime has mass. Spacetime physically occupies three dimensional space and is physically displaced by the matter which exists in it and moves through it. What is referred to geometrically as the curvature of spacetime physically exists in nature as the state of displacement of spacetime. The "missing mass" is the mass of the spacetime connected to and neighboring the matter which is displaced by the matter.

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

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

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

Spacetime displaced by matter relates general relativity and quantum mechanics.
« Last Edit: 11/05/2016 00:12:11 by stacyjones »
 

Offline arcmetal

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #90 on: 11/05/2016 05:36:54 »
So now we have galaxies orbiting in a dispersive medium, thus slowing down and spiralling in towards each other - exactly the opposite of what we observe.

Ah yes, that reminds that I have been meaning to calculate some properties of the ether by using the observation that the redshifts in galaxies is linearly related to their distances.  So this loss of energy can be some effect of a medium in its way.  And then compare those results to whatever lab scale properties might match up.
 

Offline arcmetal

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #91 on: 12/05/2016 21:40:33 »
'The Mechanics of Spacetime - A Solid Mechanics Perspective on the Theory of General Relativity'
Quote
... we derive an expression for the Cosmic Fabric's elastic modulus in terms of its thickness. Assuming a thickness about a Planck's length, we calculate the elastic modulus and density to be about 10113Nm−2, and 1096kgm−3, respectively.

Thank you.

Using those figures we can calculate the speed of light as 3.04 meters/second, only a factor of 100,000,000 too low.

And the density of 1096 kg/cubic meter is slightly greater than that of water, as against the measured value of zero.

I think that ends this correspondence.



Wo, what is going on here?  I don't see how you get a speed of light at 3.04 m/s  from those numbers: modulus of: 1e113, and density of: 1.11e96 ?? Maybe you missed some zeroes somewhere.

When I calculate it I get (using the relation of the bulk modulus, B):
( kg -- kilograms, m3 -- meters cubed, s2 -- seconds squared )

(speed squared) = B / density

(speed squared) = 1e113 / 1.11e96  ( kg m3 / m kg s2 )

(speed squared) = 9.009e16  ( m2 / s2 )

speed = 3.00e8 ( m / s )

... which looks about right.

Except that what looks odd is the density:  1.11e96  (kg/m3) ... it seems a bit high.

I thought I'd compare that to some other known densities:

water --- 1e3 kg/m3
white dwarf --- 1e9  kg/m3
neutron star --- 1e17 kg/m3
galactic black hole --- strange
     (this can vary from a super high value to a density of water, or air, or even vacuum, depending on its total mass)

a googol --- 1e100 (just a large number)

A density of 1.11e96 (kg/m3) makes it look like we are living inside something akin to a googol black hole?   :P
Could it be we don't notice this density since everything is a part of it, like a delicate jellyfish at the
bottom of the Mariana trench.

 

Offline Colin2B

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #92 on: 12/05/2016 22:35:55 »
Here, we can agree since it looks like this is what's already happening ... that a variety of extensions to the term "aether" is being used to describe differing theories.

Excellent, at least we are beginning to understand each other.

You will realise that some discussions are not worth pursuing. An extreme example is the poster who claims to understand what gravity really is, it is air pressure holding us down! I usually try a few posts to point them in the right direction, but mostly they are stubbornly attached to their idea, and do not have the capacity to understand the concepts - discussion is futile.  In these cases I withdraw, the poster makes a last post and assumes because there is no challenge that they have won the argument. That doesn't worry me, if I am confident of my information I don't have to prove anything to anyone.

In other discussions it is possible to see that although there is disagreement it is possible the person on the other side is capable of understanding the concepts and common understanding may be possible. In these cases it is worth continuing even if eventually we agree to differ. I am glad we continued.

Yes, I agree with your use of the umbrella terms liquid and metal, but within those groups we must be clear to separate the elements that are different. So the aether for sound can be any liquid or gas, but the speed of sound in a particular aether will depend on the properties of that aether. Also other properties will depend on the aether, for example sound in air is non-dispersive, but is dispersive in CO2. Also sound waves will propagate inside the space station, but water waves will not (assuming you could get an ocean up there!). So we must not assume that the behaviour of waves in one aether will mirror that in another aether.
Also, there is a tendency to talk about the vacuum aether, but the vacuum supports a range of fields so there could be a range of different aethers in the vacuum.

The only other issue is that we have to be clear about the properties of different aether types so we do not get confused. I come back to the luminiferous aether which SJ described as a relativistic aether and pointed me to the quantum vacuum. But the luminiferous aether was not relativistic, so I'm confused by the reference.
So we don't bounce this one back and forth, I will put it all down together.
Let's assume that in the vacuum there is a relativistic aether supporting electromagnetic radiation. Let's call it the EMR Vacuum aether.
At the time of Michelson & Morley it was assumed that light propagated in the same way as sound in air and waves in water. In other words light would propagate at a fixed speed in the luminiferous aether, but if an observer measures the speed of those light waves then if the aether moves relative to the observer, or if the observer moves through the aether then the measured speed of light would differ. That is a nonrelativistic aether and this behaviour is seen in sound and water waves. In a relativistic aether (EMR Vacuum aether) the speed of light will not vary either by motion of the aether or the observer. Below is a quote from Wiki on Maxwell's biography:

"Maxwell believed that the propagation of light required a medium for the waves, dubbed the luminiferous aether. Over time, the existence of such a medium, permeating all space and yet apparently undetectable by mechanical means, proved impossible to reconcile with experiments such as the Michelson–Morley experiment. Moreover, it seemed to require an absolute frame of reference in which the equations were valid, with the distasteful result that the equations changed form for a moving observer."

So when SJ describes the luminiferous aether as relativistic I am confused. If they had expected the luminiferous aether to be relativistic the M&M experiment would have hailed as a blinding success, parties for weeks etc. What am I missing?




 

Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #93 on: 12/05/2016 23:13:01 »
So when SJ describes the luminiferous aether as relativistic I am confused. If they had expected the luminiferous aether to be relativistic the M&M experiment would have hailed as a blinding success, parties for weeks etc. What am I missing?

The MMX 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.

You are correct, the MMX result is evidence of a relativistic aether.

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.

The 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.

'Ether and the Theory of Relativity by Albert Einstein'
http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Extras/Einstein_ether.html

Quote
"Think of waves on the surface of water. Here we can describe two entirely different things. Either we may observe how the undulatory surface forming the boundary between water and air alters in the course of time; or else-with the help of small floats, for instance - we can observe how the position of the separate particles of water alters in the course of time. If the existence of such floats for tracking the motion of the particles of a fluid were a fundamental impossibility in physics - if, in fact nothing else whatever were observable than the shape of the space occupied by the water as it varies in time, we should have no ground for the assumption that water consists of movable particles. But all the same we could characterise it as a medium."

if, in fact nothing else whatever were observable than the shape of the space occupied by the aether as it varies in time, we should have no ground for the assumption that aether consists of particles which can be individually tracked through time. But all the same we could characterise it as a medium having mass which is displaced by the particles of matter which exist in it and move through it.

The following video represents the state of the aether connected to and neighboring the Earth which is displaced by the Earth. The state of the aether connected to and neighboring the Earth is, for the vast majority, determined by the Earth. It's the reason for the near-null result of the MMX experiment.


'NASA's Gravity Probe B Confirms Two Einstein Space-Time Theories'
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/gpb/gpb_results.html

Quote
"Imagine the Earth as if it were immersed in honey. As the planet rotates, the honey around it would swirl, and it's the same with space and time," said Francis Everitt, GP-B principal investigator at Stanford University.

Honey has mass and so does the aether. The swirl is the state of displacement of the aether.

« Last Edit: 13/05/2016 00:23:33 by stacyjones »
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #94 on: 13/05/2016 00:43:26 »
Wo, what is going on here?  I don't see how you get a speed of light at 3.04 m/s  from those numbers: modulus of: 1e113, and density of: 1.11e96 ?? Maybe you missed some zeroes somewhere.
The figures given were 10113 and 1096, not 1e113 and 1e96.  So now, using the new figures, it seems that the vacuum is completely full of stuff that is a zillion times stiffer than steel and denser than lead. But when I pump the air out of a container, it gets lighter and doesn't transmit sound. 

We have the answer to the question "what makes the idea of an aether so attractive?". The answer is nothing. The concept is obvious bullshit, and could only appeal to a complete moron.
« Last Edit: 13/05/2016 00:46:10 by alancalverd »
 
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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #95 on: 13/05/2016 00:56:59 »
The figures given were 10113 and 1096, not 1e113 and 1e96.  So now, using the new figures, it seems that the vacuum is completely full of stuff that is a zillion times stiffer than steel and denser than lead. But when I pump the air out of a container, it gets lighter and doesn't transmit sound. 

'The Mechanics of Spacetime - A Solid Mechanics Perspective on the Theory of General Relativity'
http://arxiv.org/abs/1603.07655v1

Quote
Having a negative value for the bulk modulus 𝐾 means that stretching the Cosmic Fabric, would result in an overall decrease of the material volume. Having a vanishing value for the p-wave modulus implies that the p-wave speed, 𝑣𝑝 = √𝑀⁄𝜌 = 0, where 𝜌 is the density of the material. This is actually consistent with observations since there are no known p-waves propagating in the Fabric. For example, neither gravity waves nor electromagnetic waves are p-waves because they do not propagate by volume compression but
by distorting the material. At the same time, the speed of the shear wave is given by 𝑣𝑠 = √𝜇⁄𝜌 ≠ 0. In fact, as demonstrated in §4.6, 𝑣𝑠 = 𝑐 is the speed of light.

Quote
We have the answer to the question "what makes the idea of an aether so attractive?". The answer is nothing. The concept is obvious bullshit, and could only appeal to a complete moron.

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:
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 PmbPhy

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #96 on: 13/05/2016 01:56:02 »
Quote from: stacyjones
...
'The Mechanics of Spacetime - A Solid Mechanics Perspective on the Theory of General Relativity'
http://arxiv.org/abs/1603.07655v1
...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aether_theories#Quantum_vacuum
...

Stacy: Do you mind if I ask you about your background in physics?

Let me give you some advice which applies here. Have you ever heard of Dr. John Wheeler? He's the physicist who coined the term Black Holes and was one of the physicists who created the hydrogen bomb, aka H-Bomb. He wrote a paper entitled Wheeler’s rules of writing. Do a search using Google and you'll find it. The paper contains what is basically a set of axioms for proper scientific writing. In it Wheeler wrote
Quote from: Dr. John Wheeler
Appeal to experiment or logic—not to the professions. Do not invoke “scientists” to enforce a point.
You do this all the time. You can't prove a point by quoting someone whose opinion is in the minority, i.e. is a dissenting opinion. You can always quote an authority when his opinion is in the majority. That's known as the Argument from Authority.
 
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Offline stacyjones

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #97 on: 13/05/2016 03:02:11 »
Quote from: stacyjones
...
'The Mechanics of Spacetime - A Solid Mechanics Perspective on the Theory of General Relativity'
http://arxiv.org/abs/1603.07655v1
...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aether_theories#Quantum_vacuum
...

Stacy: Do you mind if I ask you about your background in physics?

Let me give you some advice which applies here. Have you ever heard of Dr. John Wheeler? He's the physicist who coined the term Black Holes and was one of the physicists who created the hydrogen bomb, aka H-Bomb. He wrote a paper entitled Wheeler’s rules of writing. Do a search using Google and you'll find it. The paper contains what is basically a set of axioms for proper scientific writing. In it Wheeler wrote
Quote from: Dr. John Wheeler
Appeal to experiment or logic—not to the professions. Do not invoke “scientists” to enforce a point.
You do this all the time. You can't prove a point by quoting someone whose opinion is in the minority, i.e. is a dissenting opinion. You can always quote an authority when his opinion is in the majority. That's known as the Argument from Authority.

Or, you could understand Robert Laughlin is correct and a relativistic ether is confirmed every day by experiment.
 

Offline arcmetal

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #98 on: 13/05/2016 08:39:47 »
Here, we can agree since it looks like this is what's already happening ... that a variety of extensions to the term "aether" is being used to describe differing theories.

Excellent, at least we are beginning to understand each other.


Yes, yes! Glory be, I am in agreement with all of your sane comments.
I will make brief points on your comments in the next post.

My disagreement has always been with the silly way that a mob mentallity has taken over the advancement of physics these past 70 years or so, and I don't think I am the only one that thinks this way.  I just started reading Carver Mead's book:  "Collective Electrodynamics, Quantum Foundations of Electromagnetism" where in it, the first line of the introduction reads:

Quote
It is my firm belief that the last seven decades of the twentieth century will be characterized in history as the dark ages of theoretical physics.

There are many problems in both quantum mechanics and in electrodynamics, and he addresses them in his book.  Its great to read about these collected problems in one location after reading about them spread out all over many articles. 

So, what I see as the major problem with EM theory is this taboo with the study of the ether... it holds people back from just looking at the problem, and similarly in QM theory they have ignored De Broglie's pilot-wave theory.  A better study of these theories would probably help move the understanding of nature forward.

I subscribe to a determinstic emergent behavior in the mechanisms of nature. We have better technology these days, and experiments are showing that these theories have validity.  So this can go towards my answer to the original post: that I'd prefer an understanding of the ether so that we can advance our understanding of nature, and not because I don't understand relativity.

To pass along a couple of points that aren't in this thread yet: consider how experiments and new discoveries are made. If one starts out with garbage assumptions, one will end up with garbage solutions.  It would be a cold day in hell if someone, somehow, is able to achieve great breakthroughs in science from initial conditions that are nonsensical, but anything is possible.

So how did Maxwell arrive at such useful and groundbreaking equations to describe EM theory, while starting out with Kelvin's theory of rotating fluid vortices that tried to describe the ether?  To help him, there was Faraday's experiments, his own understanding of fluid dynamics, plus there were a couple fellows a few years earlier that had found a relationship between permittivity, permeability and the speed of light.  So one can say that Maxwell already had some of the answers to the main questions, which he then combined into a coherent theory.

And then there's Einstein.  So many articles, incorrectly, keep saying that "he did away with the ether". Instead he merely found the right set of equations that physicists and engineers can use to solve problems at high speeds without needing to have knowledge of some complex ether (Einstein explains it this way repeatedly). Sometime after 1916 he continued working on finding ways to incorporate properties of the ether, now his relativistic ether, that does not get all messy with it being a frame of reference, and so on.

His statements about the ether in articles and lectures is well known.  I like this line from the 1920 Morgan manuscript:

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... Thus, once again, empty space appears as endowed with the physical properties, i.e., no longer as physically empty, as seemed to be the case according to special relativity. One can thus say that the ether is resurrected in the general theory of relativity, though in a more sublimated form.

I doubt that anyone can say Einstein finds the idea of an ether attractive because he is having a hard time grasping the theory of relativity.
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #99 on: 13/05/2016 08:47:38 »
Quote from: stacyjones
Or, you could understand Robert Laughlin is correct and a relativistic ether is confirmed every day by experiment.
You completely missed the point. My response in my last post had nothing to do with the aether. It was entirely about your reasoning process. I made that quite clear too. Posting a quote from someone in no way strengths your position whatsoever.

To be precise you made an error known as a fallacy of false authority. An authority is defined as follows
Quote
Authority[/i] - An expert other than ourselves.

The fallacy of false authority is an argument that violates any of the criteria for a legitimate appeal to authority. Thus,
1) if an argument uses an expert who in fact is not an expert in the appropriate field,
2) if there is not a consensus of expert opinion, or
3) if we cannot - even in theory - verify the claim for ourselves
then the argument offers as a premise something that is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

When you wrote reply 95 what did you know about Robert B. Laughlin? I looked him up using Google and came to his webpage on Wikipedia. There's nothing in that page which says that he is an expert on relativity. Does that mean that he has a poor understanding relativity? Most certainly not. But to be called an authority in a field a person must have extensive knowledge in that field, which he does not.

Quote from: stacyjones
Or, you could understand Robert Laughlin is correct and a relativistic ether is confirmed every day by experiment.
That is quite incorrect. If you understood what he wrote then you'd know that what he's talking about is not the luminiferous aether from special relativity. He's speaking about vacuum fluctuations. But that doesn't support the propagation of light.

If I were you I'd start from scratch. First obtain a solid understanding of algebra, trigonometry and calculus. Then pick up a text on basic physics and read the entire text, cover to cover. We'll all chip in and help you understand it. But it's hard work. I know because I had to do it. In fact I had two majors in college, physics and math.

Please don't take anything that I wrote in this thread to be insulting. I'm just trying to help. However if you don't want my help then please let me know and I'll stop trying.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: What makes the idea of an aether so attractive?
« Reply #99 on: 13/05/2016 08:47:38 »

 

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