A person might wonder what Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity ("
") has todo with the photon versus ether issue. Actually, the SR was designed to be akey part of Einstein's three-pronged attack on ether in 1905.Ether, as believed in 1905, filled the universe and was stationary (i.e. notmoving). This meant that ether formed a "
Universal Reference Frame
." In other words, in 1905 our sun was considered totally "at rest" relative tothe universe and our sun was considered totally "at rest" relative to ether. Thismeant that the ether itself was "at rest" relative to the universe and thereforeconstituted a URF. Einstein's Theory of Relativity tried to replace the URF ofether with the concept of "
Relative Reference Frames
"). The removal ofa URF is exactly the same thing as a removal of ether. In the introduction to theSR paper, Einstein made this statement: "The introduction of a "luminiferousether'' will prove to be superfluous inasmuch as the view here to be developedwill not require an "absolutely stationary space'' provided with special properties,nor assign a velocity-vector to a point of the empty space in whichelectromagnetic processes take place." This first prong in the attempt toeliminate ether was called the first postulate of the SR.Einstein's second attack on ether had to do with the speed of light. In the 1880s,Michelson and Morley had done an experiment to detect the ether by detectingvariances in the "
speed of light
" caused by our earth's motion through thestationary ether, which was considered the medium for light. The experimentreceived a "null result," meaning they did not detect any variance in the speed oflight. Einstein's second postulate in the SR was another attempt to dispense withether. In this postulate he speculated that the speed of light was a constant to allobservers. He used this postulate to explain the null result of the Michelson-Morley Interferometer experiment. By using the SR to explain the Michelson-Morley null result, there was no need for "
" (which will be discussed ina moment) to explain the null result, thus opening the door to a particle nature oflight.Because both of the postulates of the SR were designed to dispense with ether,it is clear that the main purpose of the SR was to dispense with ether. Thus, theSR and the photon theory are heavily intertwined.Einstein's third approach to dispensing with ether in 1905 was to use the"
particle nature of light
." In his paper on the Photoelectric Effect, he tried touse the particle nature of light to try and disprove the "
wave theory of light
,"meaning he again tried to dispense with ether.Einstein's three-pronged attack on ether in 1905 was supplemented by otherexperiments and other observations, such as the blackbody radiation formulas of