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Kehr, R.W. - The Detection of Ether

Kehr, R.W. - The Detection of Ether

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Published by: okowrygo on Oct 08, 2010
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The Detection of Ether
by R. Webster KehrOverland Park, Kansas, USAFirst Edition 1.0: October 4, 2002
Dedicated to: Marit Olaug LisetMy wife of 31 years, and mother ofour seven children and grandmotherto our nine grandchildren.
 © Copyright 2002 R. Webster Kehr. Reproduction, storage and distribution of thisbook are permissible for non-profit purposes only, but no changes are to bemade to this document (including this copyright notice) without the author'swritten consent. Internet web sites that contain advertisements may store anddistribute this book, as long as the distribution of the book is non-profit.
Chapter 1Overview
"I do not know what I seem to the world, but to myself I appear to have been likea boy playing upon the seashore and diverting myself now and then finding asmoother pebble or prettier shell than ordinary, while the great ocean of truth laybefore me all undiscovered."Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
Since the days of Sir Isaac Newton, there have been two basic theories that haveattempted to answer the question: "What is light?" Is light a particle or is theresome substance that fills the universe, and light is a wave or signal that travelsthrough this substance, much like sound is a wave or signal that travels throughthe air? The problem in answering this question is that light has both very strongparticle properties and light has very strong wave properties.The particle theory of light is now called the "
photon theory 
." This theory is thatphoton particles are created and destroyed by atoms when electrons changequantum levels. This is a simplistic view but is sufficient for now. The particletheory of light was the dominant theory of light on two occasions. Newtonbelieved light was a particle, then called a corpuscle, and his theory held until thevery early 1800s. Einstein believed light was a particle, now called the "photon,"and his theory has been in force since 1924 and continues to be the dominanttheory at the current time.The wave theory of light is called the "
aether theory 
" or more commonly the"
ether theory 
." One reason for having two spellings is to differentiate the etherthat fills the universe versus the gas that can be used to put people to sleep. Theether theory is that the universe is filled with small particles, which I call"
." Ether is considered a medium for light, meaning light is a "
" or"
" that travels through the medium of ether. The ether theory of light was infavor with the scientific community from the very early 1800s to 1924.Some people believe in both ether and photons. For example, Einstein admittedthat his General Theory of Relativity would not work without ether, but the etherof Einstein's general relativity is vastly different from the ether of Nikola Tesla andAlbert Michelson, and will not be discussed in this book.
Einstein's Approach
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 
" or"
." 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 "
ether drag 
" (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

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