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#3: Post edited by user avatar Canina‭ · 2021-10-02T15:28:11Z (12 months ago)
  • Modern physics has pretty much dismissed the concept of the ether. Any modern claim that something like the luminiferous aether exists would be up against *mountains* of experimental results indicating that it doesn't, and *mountains* of experimental results indicating that theories based on the very concept of it *not* existing being correct.
  • The luminiferous aether *was* a way to explain how, for example, EM radiation (such as light and magnetism) could propagate. However, not only did it suffer from inconsistencies and generally resulted in [undesirable effects](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Clerk_Maxwell#Electromagnetism); when [experiments](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelson%E2%80%93Morley_experiment) were conducted, those were unable to demonstrate the existence of such a medium. By now, we have experimental results at least down to the [10<sup>-17</sup> level](https://doi.org/10.1103%2FPhysRevLett.103.090401).
  • The results of the Michelson-Morley experiments was part of [what motivated](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_relativity#Origins_and_significance) what later became the special theory of relativity, which does not rely on the existence of any particular all-encompassing medium and which specifically postulates that the speed of light in vacuum is the same for all observers regardless of motion (which would be very difficult to reconcile with the existence of such a medium).
  • Maxwell lived between 1831 and 1879, while the Michelson-Morley experiment was conducted and published in 1887, so while I don't have an absolute answer to whether Maxwell stated that the ether did not exist, he would not have had any experimental result that would support such a statement. (He may or may not have realized the difficulty of reconciling his own results with the existence of such a medium.) Wikipedia notes, though, [that](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell's_equations) "Einstein developed special and general relativity to accommodate *the invariant speed of light, a consequence of* Maxwell's equations" (my emphasis). Keep in mind that Einstein was *born* in 1879, the same year that Maxwell died, and published his paper on special relativity in 1905, a full quarter century after Maxwell's death.
  • Modern physics has pretty much dismissed the concept of the ether. Any modern claim that something like the luminiferous aether exists would be up against *mountains* of experimental results indicating that it doesn't, and *mountains* of experimental results indicating that theories based on the very concept of it *not* existing being correct.
  • The luminiferous aether *was* a way to explain how, for example, EM radiation (such as light and magnetism) could propagate. However, not only did it suffer from inconsistencies and generally resulted in [undesirable effects](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Clerk_Maxwell#Electromagnetism); when [experiments](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelson%E2%80%93Morley_experiment) were conducted, those were unable to demonstrate the existence of such a medium. By now, we have experimental results at least down to the [10<sup>-17</sup> level](https://doi.org/10.1103%2FPhysRevLett.103.090401).
  • The results of the Michelson-Morley experiments was part of [what motivated](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_relativity#Origins_and_significance) what later became the special theory of relativity, which does not rely on the existence of any particular all-encompassing medium and which specifically postulates that the speed of light in vacuum is the same for all observers regardless of motion (which, at a minimum, would be *very* difficult to reconcile with the existence of such a medium).
  • Maxwell lived between 1831 and 1879, while the Michelson-Morley experiment was conducted and published in 1887, so while I don't have an absolute answer to whether Maxwell stated that the ether did not exist, he would not have had any experimental result that would support such a statement. (He may or may not have realized the difficulty of reconciling his own results with the existence of such a medium.) Wikipedia notes, though, [that](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell's_equations) "Einstein developed special and general relativity to accommodate *the invariant speed of light, a consequence of* Maxwell's equations" (my emphasis). Keep in mind that Einstein was *born* in 1879, the same year that Maxwell died, and published his paper on special relativity in 1905, a full quarter century after Maxwell's death.
#2: Post edited by user avatar Canina‭ · 2021-10-02T15:25:21Z (12 months ago)
  • Modern physics has pretty much dismissed the concept of the ether. Any modern claim that something like the luminiferous aether exists would be up against *mountains* of experimental results indicating that it doesn't, and *mountains* of experimental results indicating that theories based on the very concept of it *not* existing being correct.
  • The luminiferous aether *was* a way to explain how, for example, EM radiation (such as light and magnetism) could propagate. However, not only did it suffer from inconsistencies and generally resulted in [undesirable effects](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Clerk_Maxwell#Electromagnetism); when [experiments](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelson%E2%80%93Morley_experiment) were conducted, those were unable to demonstrate the existence of such a medium. By now, we have experimental results at least down to the [10<sup>-17</sup> level](https://doi.org/10.1103%2FPhysRevLett.103.090401).
  • The results of the Michelson-Morley experiments was part of [what motivated](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_relativity#Origins_and_significance) what later became the special theory of relativity, which does not rely on the existence of any particular all-encompassing medium and which specifically postulates that the speed of light in vacuum is the same for all observers regardless of motion (which would be very difficult to reconcile with the existence of such a medium).
  • Maxwell lived between 1831 and 1879, while the Michelson-Morley experiment was conducted and published in 1887, so while I don't have an absolute answer to whether Maxwell stated that the ether did not exist, he would only have had an actual experimental result that would support such a statement in the last about two years of his life. (He may or may not have realized the difficulty of reconciling his own results with the existence of such a medium.) Wikipedia notes, though, [that](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell's_equations) "Einstein developed special and general relativity to accommodate *the invariant speed of light, a consequence of* Maxwell's equations" (my emphasis). Keep in mind that Einstein was *born* in 1879, the same year that Maxwell died, and published his paper on special relativity in 1905, a full quarter century after Maxwell's death.
  • Modern physics has pretty much dismissed the concept of the ether. Any modern claim that something like the luminiferous aether exists would be up against *mountains* of experimental results indicating that it doesn't, and *mountains* of experimental results indicating that theories based on the very concept of it *not* existing being correct.
  • The luminiferous aether *was* a way to explain how, for example, EM radiation (such as light and magnetism) could propagate. However, not only did it suffer from inconsistencies and generally resulted in [undesirable effects](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Clerk_Maxwell#Electromagnetism); when [experiments](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelson%E2%80%93Morley_experiment) were conducted, those were unable to demonstrate the existence of such a medium. By now, we have experimental results at least down to the [10<sup>-17</sup> level](https://doi.org/10.1103%2FPhysRevLett.103.090401).
  • The results of the Michelson-Morley experiments was part of [what motivated](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_relativity#Origins_and_significance) what later became the special theory of relativity, which does not rely on the existence of any particular all-encompassing medium and which specifically postulates that the speed of light in vacuum is the same for all observers regardless of motion (which would be very difficult to reconcile with the existence of such a medium).
  • Maxwell lived between 1831 and 1879, while the Michelson-Morley experiment was conducted and published in 1887, so while I don't have an absolute answer to whether Maxwell stated that the ether did not exist, he would not have had any experimental result that would support such a statement. (He may or may not have realized the difficulty of reconciling his own results with the existence of such a medium.) Wikipedia notes, though, [that](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell's_equations) "Einstein developed special and general relativity to accommodate *the invariant speed of light, a consequence of* Maxwell's equations" (my emphasis). Keep in mind that Einstein was *born* in 1879, the same year that Maxwell died, and published his paper on special relativity in 1905, a full quarter century after Maxwell's death.
#1: Initial revision by user avatar Canina‭ · 2021-10-02T15:21:45Z (12 months ago)
Modern physics has pretty much dismissed the concept of the ether. Any modern claim that something like the luminiferous aether exists would be up against *mountains* of experimental results indicating that it doesn't, and *mountains* of experimental results indicating that theories based on the very concept of it *not* existing being correct.

The luminiferous aether *was* a way to explain how, for example, EM radiation (such as light and magnetism) could propagate. However, not only did it suffer from inconsistencies and generally resulted in [undesirable effects](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Clerk_Maxwell#Electromagnetism); when [experiments](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelson%E2%80%93Morley_experiment) were conducted, those were unable to demonstrate the existence of such a medium. By now, we have experimental results at least down to the [10<sup>-17</sup> level](https://doi.org/10.1103%2FPhysRevLett.103.090401).

The results of the Michelson-Morley experiments was part of [what motivated](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_relativity#Origins_and_significance) what later became the special theory of relativity, which does not rely on the existence of any particular all-encompassing medium and which specifically postulates that the speed of light in vacuum is the same for all observers regardless of motion (which would be very difficult to reconcile with the existence of such a medium).

Maxwell lived between 1831 and 1879, while the Michelson-Morley experiment was conducted and published in 1887, so while I don't have an absolute answer to whether Maxwell stated that the ether did not exist, he would only have had an actual experimental result that would support such a statement in the last about two years of his life. (He may or may not have realized the difficulty of reconciling his own results with the existence of such a medium.) Wikipedia notes, though, [that](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell's_equations) "Einstein developed special and general relativity to accommodate *the invariant speed of light, a consequence of* Maxwell's equations" (my emphasis). Keep in mind that Einstein was *born* in 1879, the same year that Maxwell died, and published his paper on special relativity in 1905, a full quarter century after Maxwell's death.