Einstein's ultimate conclusion regarding ether and Relativity?

In summary, Einstein's paper from 1920 on "ether" in relation to General Relativity suggests that there must be something in space capable of transporting electromagnetic energy, even though it does not have the mechanical properties of the old "aether". Since then, physics has evolved without the need for an underlying medium like the ether.
  • #1
W.RonG
48
0
Hi again. I just re-read the paper from 1920 where Einstein ponders "ether". Based on General Relativity he seemed to conclude that there must be something in space besides nothing. It does not have mechanical properties as the old "aether" was assigned before Relativity, but it must be capable of transporting electromagnetic energy/waves (light, etc). Has there been any advance in the thinking about or modeling of the substance of space since then?
thanks.
rg
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
Einstein got rid of the ether with special relativity because the classical reasons for it were no longer necessary. But with general relativity, in which mass modifies spacetime, he felt that there was still "something" there. Nevertheless, physics has subsequently been developed without reference to an underlying medium like the ether (unless the "vacuum" now plays that role).
 
  • #3


Einstein's ultimate conclusion regarding ether and Relativity was that while there is something in space, it is not the same as the traditional concept of ether. He believed that the concept of ether as a mechanical substance, as proposed in the 19th century, was not compatible with the principles of Relativity. Instead, he proposed that there is a "substance" in space that is capable of carrying electromagnetic energy and waves, but it does not have the same properties as the old conception of ether.

Since Einstein's time, there have been advances in the understanding and modeling of the substance of space. The concept of the vacuum has been explored and studied, and theories such as quantum field theory have been developed to explain the behavior of particles and fields in empty space.

Additionally, experiments such as the Michelson-Morley experiment and more recent studies of the cosmic microwave background have provided evidence that supports Einstein's view that there is something in space that can carry electromagnetic energy.

However, the exact nature of this substance is still a topic of ongoing research and debate. Some theories propose that it may be made up of virtual particles or quantum fluctuations, while others suggest that it may be related to the concept of dark matter or dark energy.

Overall, while Einstein's conclusion about the substance of space remains relevant, our understanding of it has certainly evolved since his time. It is an exciting area of study that continues to push the boundaries of our understanding of the universe.
 

Related to Einstein's ultimate conclusion regarding ether and Relativity?

1. What is Einstein's ultimate conclusion regarding ether?

Einstein's ultimate conclusion regarding ether is that it does not exist. He rejected the concept of a stationary, all-pervading medium called ether that was once believed to be necessary for the propagation of electromagnetic waves.

2. How does Einstein's theory of Relativity relate to ether?

Einstein's theory of Relativity replaced the need for ether by proposing that the laws of physics are the same for all observers in uniform motion. This means that there is no absolute frame of reference and the speed of light is the same for all observers.

3. Why did Einstein reject the concept of ether?

Einstein rejected the concept of ether because it was not necessary to explain the behavior of light and electromagnetic waves. He believed that the laws of physics should be based on observable phenomena and that the concept of ether was not supported by any evidence.

4. Did Einstein's rejection of ether have any impact on his theory of Relativity?

Yes, Einstein's rejection of ether was a fundamental part of his theory of Relativity. It allowed for the development of the theory of special relativity, which states that the laws of physics are the same for all observers and that the speed of light is constant.

5. How has Einstein's conclusion regarding ether and Relativity influenced modern physics?

Einstein's conclusion regarding ether and Relativity has had a significant impact on modern physics. It has led to the development of many important theories, such as general relativity, which explains the behavior of gravity, and quantum mechanics, which describes the behavior of subatomic particles. It has also changed our understanding of space, time, and the fundamental laws of the universe.

Similar threads

  • Special and General Relativity
Replies
3
Views
1K
  • Special and General Relativity
Replies
15
Views
2K
  • Special and General Relativity
2
Replies
57
Views
4K
  • Special and General Relativity
Replies
6
Views
3K
  • Special and General Relativity
2
Replies
35
Views
3K
  • Special and General Relativity
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Special and General Relativity
2
Replies
40
Views
2K
  • Special and General Relativity
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • Special and General Relativity
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Special and General Relativity
Replies
5
Views
4K
Back
Top