Is the Aether Truly Attached to Earth?

In summary, the conversation discusses the theory of aether being attached to the Earth and its potential explanation for celestial observations. One participant suggests that experimental falsification is the real reason for physicists' rejection of the theory. Another brings up the issue of defining time in classical physics versus special relativity. The conversation also touches on the nature of time and the importance of concrete definitions in science. Ultimately, the participants disagree on the validity of the aether theory and its potential impact on the existing scientific system.
  • #1
hartlw
72
0
Just out of curiousity, what's wrong with the theory that the aether is attached to the earth? It's no more fantastic than the hypothesis that the Earth is the only inhabited piece of matter in the known universe. And if it makes it easier to "think" and explains the Michelson Morley and similar experiments and celestial obsevations, why not? Halliday and Resnick second edition comment that physicists don't like it. That's the reason?

While I'm on the subject, why is it that classical physicists carefully define time and distance while special relativity simply starts with speed without first defining time?
 
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  • #2
hartlw said:
Just out of curiousity, what's wrong with the theory that the aether is attached to the earth? It's no more fantastic than the hypothesis that the Earth is the only inhabited piece of matter in the known universe. And if it makes it easier to "think" and explains the Michelson Morley and similar experiments and celestial obsevations, why not? Halliday and Resnick second edition comment that physicists don't like it. That's the reason?

No, experimental falsification is the actual reason.
 
  • #3
Link unintelligible. Why bother upsetting a very useful and intelligible hypothesis with obscure experiments?
 
  • #4
hartlw said:
Link unintelligible. Why bother upsetting a very useful and intelligible hypothesis with obscure experiments?

I apologise for wasting my time, I promise not to do it again :-)
 
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  • #5
hartlw said:
Link unintelligible. Why bother upsetting a very useful and intelligible hypothesis with obscure experiments?

Are you suggesting that we should ignore experimental results that disprove an unverified theory simply on the basis of the theory's subjectively assigned "usefulness"?!

:rolleyes:
 
  • #6
The gravitational field of Earth is quite dominant here locally. It might well have much effect on observations made in the vicinity of the Earth.
 
  • #7
I don't think it's worth upsetting the system to explain an obscure, questionable, experiment. Especially if the "explanation" involves a fudamental parameter like time without even first defining it.
 
  • #8
Ooke wrote: "The gravitational field of Earth is quite dominant here locally. It might well have much effect on observations made in the vicinity of the Earth."

That's a reasonable observation. I love reason. As an example of logical thinking:

It is logically concluded an electron must reside outside of nucleus. But then it would collapse due to force of attraction. OK, so it revolves around nucleus. But then it would lose energy by elecrical radiation and slowly collapse. OK, it occupies specific orbits (energy levels). Let's determine them by theory and experiment. Fine. I'm sold. Quantum mchanics. Very interesting. Can't imagine the thought process with relativity in mind.
 
  • #9
Mech_Engineer said:
Are you suggesting that we should ignore experimental results that disprove an unverified theory simply on the basis of the theory's subjectively assigned "usefulness"?! :

I'm suggesting we should look for a logical explanation based on first principles, like the definition of time.
 
  • #10
Hartlw:
In my opinion you're talking rubbish.

First you haven't defined what you mean by 'an aether', and secondly you prefer intellectual indulgence to hard physical evidence. The 'nature of time' has nothing to do with the case.
 
  • #11
Mentz114 wrote:
"In my opinion you're talking rubbish.

First you haven't defined what you mean by 'an aether', and secondly you prefer intellectual indulgence to hard physical evidence. The 'nature of time' has nothing to do with the case."

Aether: A reference frame in which the speed of light is the same in all directions, postulating the availability of an absolute clock and measure of length.

"The nature of time has nothing to do with the case." I agree. That's not science. we need a concrete definition. What is "the nature" of mass, length, charge, time? We can only define them with physical definitions based on experiment and observation. Only God knows "the nature" of these things.
 
  • #12
I don't think it's worth upsetting the system to explain an obscure, questionable, experiment. Especially if the "explanation" involves a fudamental parameter like time without even first defining it.

The MM experiment is neither obscure nor questionable. "upsetting the system " what system ? You mean your own private set of beliefs which you arrogantly hold to be true ?

How can any explanation not involve time ? Time is well enough defined to make physical theories self consistent and agree with experiment.
 
  • #13
Mentz114 said:
The MM experiment is neither obscure nor questionable. "upsetting the system " what system ? You mean your own private set of beliefs which you arrogantly hold to be true ?

:smile:
 

Related to Is the Aether Truly Attached to Earth?

1. What is Aether?

Aether is a hypothetical substance believed to be a medium for transmitting light and electromagnetic waves. It was once thought to fill all space and be the medium through which all celestial bodies moved.

2. Is Aether attached to earth?

According to the theory of Aether, it is believed that Aether is attached to or permeates the Earth, allowing light and other electromagnetic waves to travel through it.

3. How does Aether affect the movement of celestial bodies?

The concept of Aether was proposed to explain the movement of celestial bodies in a frictionless medium. It was believed that the Aether moved with the celestial bodies and acted as a medium for their motion.

4. Is there any evidence for the existence of Aether?

Despite being a popular theory in the past, there is no scientific evidence to support the existence of Aether. With advancements in physics and the discovery of new laws, the concept of Aether has been largely discredited.

5. How does the theory of Aether relate to modern physics?

The theory of Aether has been largely replaced by the theory of relativity in modern physics. While the concept of a medium for transmitting waves is still prevalent, it is not believed to be Aether. The laws of modern physics also do not require the presence of Aether for their explanation.

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