The Aether F A Q
Frequently Asked Questions
The Aether Hypothesis
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FAQ - Contents
Thus, in its most basic form, aether is nothing more than a distributed physical medium permeating the entire universe, endowing it [space] with measurable physical qualities. Einstein readily acknowledged this when, in 1920 (See "Sidelights on Relativity", A. Einstein, Dover Edition 1983 Page 23), he said:
It is more important to point out here what aether is not required to be. Aether is not a preferred reference frame (it could be, but isn't required to be). The specific properties of the aether are not defined, as should be clear, from the above basic definition. To be a preferred reference frame, the aether and matter must be assigned certain characteristics, which is encompassed by specific models of aether. It is these specific variations and conceptual models that, once defined, can be evaluated and tested.
Contrary to popular myth, modern science isn't incompatible with, and does need, the aether concept. In fact, modern science could not be defined without incorporating some form of its definition into its foundation. Let's remember that the basic definition of aether is nothing more than a "physical medium permeating the entire universe, endowing it with measurable physical qualities". Currently, modern science uses the term "fields" or "fabric" instead of aether, since the term aether has become associated with a specific set of 19th century conceptual models considered to disproven and thus invalid.
However, to ever understand the processes that give rise to special relativity, rather that just accept the fact that it occurs, one will need to re-introduce the physical medium concept and quantify the interaction of matter/EM energy that give rise to SR's results.
Since these articles are 30 years removed from each other (1920 & 1950), it becomes very clear that Einstein's position on this matter was neither changed or was deferential to placate Lorentz. For further support regarding the answer to this question, also refer to the full text of an address given by Albert Einstein in 1920, at the University of Leydon.
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