Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What do pervading and aether mean?

  1. Dec 21, 2011 #1

    s3a

    User Avatar

    What do "pervading" and "aether" mean?

    What do "pervading" and "aether" mean in: "Isaac Newton considered light to be a beam of particles that set the pervading aether vibrating." ?

    I'm not taking a Quantum Mechanics course but I might in the future but either way, I'm interested in learning about it so I bought this book and that's the very first sentence and I already don't get it lol. Could someone please break this down so I can understand it?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 21, 2011 #2

    HallsofIvy

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Re: What do "pervading" and "aether" mean?

    The "aether" was simply the substance that Newton believed filled the universe. "Pervading" simply means "filling" or "is everywhere".
     
  4. Dec 21, 2011 #3

    s3a

    User Avatar

    Re: What do "pervading" and "aether" mean?

    Thanks!
     
  5. Dec 21, 2011 #4
    Re: What do "pervading" and "aether" mean?

    I don't think Newton believed in aether though. Particles do not need a medium to propagate. Waves do. The hypothesis that light was some kind of wave propagating through the "luminiferous aether" (from lumen = light in latin) was put forward by Christian Huygens.
     
  6. Dec 22, 2011 #5
    Re: What do "pervading" and "aether" mean?

    So I guess you consider the vacuum a medium.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: What do pervading and aether mean?
Loading...