Aether theories: A physics fairytale re-told

Hajek, K. M. and Nieminen, T. A. (2006). Aether theories: A physics fairytale re-told. In: Robert Sang and John Dobson, Proceedings of: Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) 17th National Congress. Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) 17th National Congress, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Queensland, Australia, (1-4). 3-8 December 2006.


Author Hajek, K. M.
Nieminen, T. A.
Title of paper Aether theories: A physics fairytale re-told
Conference name Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) 17th National Congress
Conference location Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Queensland, Australia
Conference dates 3-8 December 2006
Proceedings title Proceedings of: Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) 17th National Congress
Place of Publication Brisbane, Australia
Publisher Australian Institute of Physics
Publication Year 2006
Sub-type Fully published paper
ISBN 0-9598064-7-4
Editor Robert Sang
John Dobson
Issue Paper # 599
Start page 1
End page 4
Total pages 4
Collection year 2006
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary Physics students are often told a story along the following lines: "During the nineteenth century, all physicists believed in the æther, and wasted much effort trying to study it. In the nick of time, the great heroes Michelson and Morley arrived on the scene, and with their experiment, vanquished the æther. Physics was thus turned away from a dead end,and progress again became possible." Apart from being wrong, this also does scant justice to a prolic and fruitful period in which the foundations of much of modern mathematical physics were laid down. We outline the rise and fall of the æther, and its role, far from encumbrance, as the strand intertwining developments in electrodynamics, optics, and special relativity. The elastic-solid æther is probed in greater detail to allow the importance not of the fairytale's critical experiments, but rather of boundary conditions, to emerge.
Subjects E1
249999 Physical Sciences not elsewhere classified
780102 Physical sciences
0299 Other Physical Sciences
Keyword Physics education
Students
Q-Index Code E1

 
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Created: Thu, 23 Aug 2007, 22:10:49 EST