What is nine ather


ether, a hypothetical medium pervading the whole space, the essential property of which is to trace back forces occurring at a distance in the description of nature to forces at close range. Newton's theory of gravity introduced gravitational forces as forces acting suddenly over distances. These could be traced back to the hypothesis of the existence of an aether penetrating the whole space, which by its elastic deformation transmits the distant forces of gravity. The ether hypothesis remained purely formal in Newtonian mechanics and did not yield any new statements. It was first revitalized with the study of electromagnetic waves.

For the description of the propagation of electromagnetic waves, however, the existence of a light ether with solid-state properties that only allows the propagation of transverse waves seemed necessary to explain the differences in the propagation of electromagnetic waves in different reference systems that emerged in Maxwell's electrodynamics. This ether, which filled the entire space and was supposed to represent an absolutely stationary reference system, was closely related to Newton's concept of an absolute time and absolute space that existed independently of the observer's reference system. Through the electromagnetic phenomena, especially through measurements of the propagation speed of electromagnetic waves relative to the ether, a possibility now seemed to be given to check the elastic and the movement properties of the ether and in particular to determine the excellent reference system in which the ether rests.

It turned out that the ether must be the seat of the electromagnetic fields, and not the atomistically conceived matter. The only mechanical property that could theoretically be ascribed to aether without contradiction was that of possessing a state of motion. The attempts to measure the speed of a reference system in relation to the ether (Michelson-Morley experiment, Trouton-Noble experiment) showed, however, that it is not possible to ascribe a speed to the ether (not even the speed zero), or that there is no ether with the originally conceived mechanical properties; Due to the special theory of relativity, the ether hypothesis finally lost its physical meaning at the beginning of the 20th century. In modern physics, remote forces are avoided through the consistent use of the field term.