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What Medium is Propagating Electromagnetic Waves?

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posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 07:43 PM
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a reply to: AntonGonist



So you are again claiming that the space between the Sun and the Earth for instance has no underlying structure. Again, not anyone anywhere agrees with you.



Quote where I ever posted such a thing.

There is no proof of an ever present field independent of the interaction of objects, and no evidence of an Aether type field that solely exists by its own.

Let’s put it this way. The sun makes energy, and that energy creates “fields”. That energy can travel to a solar panel on earth. The “fields” interact with the solar panel to generate electricity. The sun sets, the solar panel’s ability to generate electricity drops to essential zero. The “field” that was generating electricity is not interacting with the solar panel.

Now name an experiment that shows no matter what happens around us, there is always an Aether type “field” present not dependent on the interaction of objects.




posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 08:49 PM
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a reply to: neutronflux

My personal research supports an aether theory. I have found that the main argument against the aether theory is the Michelson–Morley experiment.

In my opinion, the experiment was flawed. They make the assumption that the aether/medium is fixed in space, and the movement of Earth through the medium would affect the speed of light propagation in their experiment.

But what if the medium wasn't fixed in space? What if its fixed to something you don't understand?

What if it was fixed to the observer?
edit on 19-7-2019 by More1ThanAny1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 09:22 PM
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A non-materialist viewpoint on the Ether and associated topics from the Baha’i Faith if you are so inclined.

bahai-library.com...



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 10:24 PM
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a reply to: More1ThanAny1

Nothing wrong in what you believe in. But proof of what you believe is entirely different. The experiment wasn’t flawed if it was testing for a fixed field. But the argument for a Aether is not really if it is fixed nor in flux. The argument is, Aether is ever present in ever aspect of the observable universe through all time, and it’s existence is independent of anything else of the universe. Is that false?

So, how do you differentiate from just having the fundamental building blocks for being part of this “reality” vs an Aether.

Like a painting “needs” a canvas, but a canvas has no control over the colors applied. A canvas cannot dictate how the paint is applied. Brush vs spray paint for example. But a canvas does define and influence the limitations of a painting.

Are there any known phenomena that can only be explained by incorporating an aether?
edit on 19-7-2019 by neutronflux because: Added and fixed.

edit on 19-7-2019 by neutronflux because: Added and fixed



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 10:57 PM
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originally posted by: AntonGonist
This is just showing you that the idea is widespread and even supported by Einstein himself.

Stupid Einstein for believing in a stupid "magical field", as you put it.
This is more proof that you indeed need a history lesson on ether, which Einstein provided, though I have doubts you will understand what he said since your willingness to try to actually learn or discuss anything seems to be about zero. What he said is there is an ether, but it's not a medium, yet you keep trying to posit a medium.


originally posted by: puzzlesphere
a reply to: AntonGonist

The idea may be widespread, and Einstein may even have refereed to an "aether" colloquially in later years, but his math never definitively showed an aether from what people are saying, (unless you consider said fields to be the aether itself... though the maths doesn't show that either, from my understanding... though I can't verify that myself as I can't read the math, so I have to take it on the words of more learned minds in these areas... I can and do keep asking questions though).
There's not one mathematical equation in Einstein's 1920 talk about ether.

I'll post the link and comment on some excerpts from his talk but I recommend anyone interested in the topic read his talk in its entirety.

Ether and the Theory of Relativity by Albert Einstein
First, Einstein discusses the birth of the concept of luminiferous ether, and how mainstream science came to embrace the idea to the point it was widely accepted:


When in the first half of the nineteenth century the far-reaching similarity was revealed which subsists between the properties of light and those of elastic waves in ponderable bodies, the ether hypothesis found fresh support. It appeared beyond question that light must be interpreted as a vibratory process in an elastic, inert medium filling up universal space. It also seemed to be a necessary consequence of the fact that light is capable of polarisation that this medium, the ether, must be of the nature of a solid body, because transverse waves are not possible in a fluid, but only in a solid. Thus the physicists were bound to arrive at the theory of the "quasi-rigid" luminiferous ether, the parts of which can carry out no movements relatively to one another except the small movements of deformation which correspond to light-waves.

This theory - also called the theory of the stationary luminiferous ether - moreover found a strong support in an experiment which is also of fundamental importance in the special theory of relativity, the experiment of Fizeau, from which one was obliged to infer that the luminiferous ether does not take part in the movements of bodies. The phenomenon of aberration also favoured the theory of the quasi-rigid ether.

By "light" Einstein is referring to one example of electromagnetic radiation; this is just a simplification of terminology in his talk to make it more understandable to a wider audience. Note the " It appeared beyond question that light must be interpreted as a vibratory process in an elastic, inert medium filling up universal space. " which was the widespread belief.

So what happened to change that? Einstein then explains how that idea of luminiferous ether ran into difficulties, the beginning of the fall of luminiferous ether when people that attempted explain how it worked found that they couldn't do it and became depressed.


neither Maxwell nor his followers succeeded in elaborating a mechanical model for the ether which might furnish a satisfactory mechanical interpretation of Maxwell's laws of the electro-magnetic field. The laws were clear and simple, the mechanical interpretations clumsy and contradictory. Almost imperceptibly the theoretical physicists adapted themselves to a situation which, from the standpoint of their mechanical programme, was very depressing.

So Maxwell, credited with the brilliantly simple laws in "Maxwell's equations", and his followers were unable to come up with a mechanical model for ether that worked, which was depressing. Einstein also mentions Hertz who came up with a model which was not supported by observation and eventually was contradicted by experiments.

Next Einstein mentions Lorentz, a physicist who Einstein admired, as in the "Lorentz ether theory" which I mentioned at the top of page 2, which hasn't been proven false, which mainstream science accepts as a possibility in a form which is indistinguishable from relativity:


Such was the state of things when H A Lorentz entered upon the scene. He brought theory into harmony with experience by means of a wonderful simplification of theoretical principles. He achieved this, the most important advance in the theory of electricity since Maxwell, by taking from ether its mechanical, and from matter its electromagnetic qualities. As in empty space, so too in the interior of material bodies, the ether, and not matter viewed atomistically, was exclusively the seat of electromagnetic fields. According to Lorentz the elementary particles of matter alone are capable of carrying out movements; their electromagnetic activity is entirely confined to the carrying of electric charges. Thus Lorentz succeeded in reducing all electromagnetic happenings to Maxwell's equations for free space.

As to the mechanical nature of the Lorentzian ether, it may be said of it, in a somewhat playful spirit, that immobility is the only mechanical property of which it has not been deprived by H A Lorentz.
So all the problems with the mechanical nature of the ether were removed by Lorentz and the only mechanical property which remained was immobility.


It may be added that the whole change in the conception of the ether which the special theory of relativity brought about, consisted in taking away from the ether its last mechanical quality, namely, its immobility. How this is to be understood will forthwith be expounded.
This last point is the topic of some debate and some mainstream scientists still question whether maybe Lorentz was right and special relativity doesn't really take away the immobility. So far nobody has devised an experiment to distinguish between relativity and the Lorentz ether theory (LET) so either could be true based on experiment, but see my previous post with the link to comments by Matt Strassler on why most physicists see the additional postulates in LET as unnecessarily complicated, when relativity explains things more simply, so the preference for the latter could be said to be based on Occam's razor.

Then Einstein explains what appeared to be the death of the luminiferous ether idea:
(see next post)



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 10:58 PM
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(continued from previous post)
Then Einstein explains what appeared to be the death of the luminiferous ether idea:

The next position which it was possible to take up in face of this state of things appeared to be the following. The ether does not exist at all...
Certainly, from the standpoint of the special theory of relativity, the ether hypothesis appears at first to be an empty hypothesis. In the equations of the electromagnetic field there occur, in addition to the densities of the electric charge, only the intensities of the field. The career of electromagnetic processes in vacuo appears to be completely determined by these equations, uninfluenced by other physical quantities.

So, this clearly states the answer to the question asked by this thread, that no medium is required for the propagation of electromagnetic fields. But then continues to explain that even if there is no such luminiferous ether, that space must have properties:


The electromagnetic fields appear as ultimate, irreducible realities, and at first it seems superfluous to postulate a homogeneous, isotropic ether-medium, and to envisage electromagnetic fields as states of this medium.

But on the other hand there is a weighty argument to be adduced in favour of the ether hypothesis. To deny the ether is ultimately to assume that empty space has no physical qualities whatever. The fundamental facts of mechanics do not harmonize with this view. For the mechanical behaviour of a corporeal system hovering freely in empty space depends not only on relative positions (distances) and relative velocities, but also on its state of rotation, which physically may be taken as a characteristic not appertaining to the system in itself.


So then Einstein explains that "empty" space has properties, as described by the theory of general relativity, which he refers to as the "ether of general relativity", which we now call "space-time", but this does not have any of the properties of the luminiferous ether except what little is left in LET:


What is fundamentally new in the ether of the general theory of relativity as opposed to the ether of Lorentz consists in this, that the state of the former is at every place determined by connections with the matter and the state of the ether in neighbouring places, which are amenable to law in the form of differential equations; whereas the state of the Lorentzian ether in the absence of electromagnetic fields is conditioned by nothing outside itself, and is everywhere the same. The ether of the general theory of relativity is transmuted conceptually into the ether of Lorentz if we substitute constants for the functions of space which describe the former, disregarding the causes which condition its state. Thus we may also say, I think, that the ether of the general theory of relativity is the outcome of the Lorentzian ether, through relativation.


In conclusion, Einstein says that there is an ether, the "ether of general relativity" which we now call space-time.


Recapitulating, we may say that according to the general theory of relativity space is endowed with physical qualities; in this sense, therefore, there exists an ether. According to the general theory of relativity space without ether is unthinkable; for in such space there not only would be no propagation of light, but also no possibility of existence for standards of space and time (measuring-rods and clocks), nor therefore any space-time intervals in the physical sense.


So Einstein concludes there is an ether, the ether of general relativity. But it's not a medium according to Einstein, and modern physicists also agree it's not a medium, which is why it's not luminiferous ether which proposed a medium.


But this ether may not be thought of as endowed with the quality characteristic of ponderable media, as consisting of parts which may be tracked through time. The idea of motion may not be applied to it.
So the ether Einstein talks about is NOT a medium, since it "may not be thought of as endowed with the quality characteristic of ponderable media", rather it is the concept we now call space-time he refers to as ether, an ether which is NOT a medium.


originally posted by: More1ThanAny1
But what if the medium wasn't fixed in space? What if its fixed to something you don't understand?

What if it was fixed to the observer?
Theoretical physicist Matt Strassler explains why he and most physicists think that idea doesn't make sense:

profmattstrassler.com...

edit on 2019719 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 11:42 PM
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so... i made it to page 7, about ready to scratch my eyeballs out, fast forwarded to the end and still see that nobody has gotten anywhere with this guy... lol wow. i skipped quite a few pages (about 10) so i apologize if my post is a repeat

it appears his biggest issue is the naming of em wave. because science decided to name something a certain way, and use the words a wave shall behave this way, a ether must exist .
I am in no way as smart as some of the people battling it out in here, i am an electrician though, and have a pretty good imagination.

I am purposely going to write this in the most simplistic way i know how to, so that my wife would understand it


It is my understanding that most traditional waves are an energy being carried through a medium( like sound in air), which forms an oscillation.
I have heard many times that the magnetic field within the em wave acts as the medium. even if this is not technically correct(or correct at all), the sine waves pass through each other, in phase, carrying themselves away from the origination source.

you are also missing a key definition of a wave. the transportation of an energy without the transportation of a matter.
your biggest hangup is this medium bs. a mechanical wave is defined as needing a medium to pass through, where as a em wave is defined as not needing one because it does not need anything other than itself to carry

I am at a loss as to what is so hard to understand... oh, cause you want to take a generalized definition to make a point even though there is an exception listed right next to it... grasping at straws



posted on Jul, 19 2019 @ 11:57 PM
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originally posted by: atx84
your biggest hangup is this medium bs. a mechanical wave is defined as needing a medium to pass through, where as a em wave is defined as not needing one because it does not need anything other than itself to carry
If you had explained that on page 1 we could have saved 20 pages, lol, just kidding about saving 20 pages, but yes that's it in a nutshell.


I am at a loss as to what is so hard to understand...
Is there any desire to understand though?

Isn't it more of an ego boost to say this?
"thousands of the world's smartest physicists can't figure out something which is simple and obvious to me so I'm smarter than all the world's smartest physicists"

If I try to understand what the physicists are saying and find that they are right, then that kills the idea that I'm smarter than all the world's smartest physicists and, well, that is just too deflating for my ego. So isn't it better for ego to subscribe to the electric universe channel on youtube and write comments like "you go girl" on videos saying mainstream scientists are completely wrong and have no idea what they are talking about? That way I can feel smarter than all of them (even if I'm really not).



posted on Jul, 20 2019 @ 12:42 AM
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originally posted by: Arbitrageur


I am at a loss as to what is so hard to understand...
Is there any desire to understand though?


not so much a desire... as a curiosity. I do enjoy seeing things from other people's perspective. i put in my 2 cents, could have talked longer on the subject but my dogs needed to go out and i frankly just gave up lol.

I did not refresh before i started writing my post and did not see yours. good read. I was sitting here for a while going over OP argument in my head, thinking about the constant of light speed, how it changes depending on the 'medium' it travels through and the refraction and all that.... and how if there was a ether, would it all have the same consistency, are we even able to detect any slight variations in the speed of light through space. is our vacuum constant really an ether constant
. i was going down a rabbit hole in my head and had to stop haha

there may very well be something hidden in the void, but the OP's argument was very weak.. I would have enjoyed it more had he stolen the nothingness from the never ending story and said thats what was in space



posted on Jul, 20 2019 @ 01:53 AM
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a reply to: AntonGonist

Wrong, a wave is anything that satisfies the wave equation.



posted on Jul, 20 2019 @ 06:31 AM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur




If you had explained that on page 1 we could have saved 20 pages, lol, just kidding about saving 20 pages, but yes that's it in a nutshell.


This is not an explanation. Its a laughable inept cop out.




it does not need anything other than itself to carry


Why dont you explain how it "carries itself" and what "itself" consists of. Go ahead.
edit on 20-7-2019 by AntonGonist because: (no reason given)


(post by AntonGonist removed for a serious terms and conditions violation)

posted on Jul, 20 2019 @ 06:43 AM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur




rather it is the concept we now call space-time he refers to as ether


Isnt that what I posted?




which is NOT a medium.


Space time is not a medium? So you do claim to know what spacetime is. What is spacetime? Maybe you can answer a question this time.



posted on Jul, 20 2019 @ 06:57 AM
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Some thoughts, after reading 21 pages of this now:

1) moebius made a very good post highlighting the problem here. Physics is no longer physics; it is math. In the present math there are neither particles nor waves nor wavicles nor any "things" at all, rather there are just equations. These equations can be manipulated to allow for tests, and the present body of these equations match all known tests.

More specifically, the modern status quo no longer has an underlying physical model at all. Yet certainly there are waves, as Maxwell's Equations lead to a wave equation for light. But the status quo position is that it is Maxwell's equations that are fundamental, not some underlying physical thing like the aether. No underlying physical model is needed - it is considered superfluous.

This post was started this well before Arbitrageurs excellent post on Einstein's thoughts. Note that if you interpret Einstein's thoughts as replacing a physical model of a ponderable-body-aether by a mathematical model of space-time-aether-and-differential-equations that you can get to the revolutionary shift in thought process. No ponderable body is needed.

2) Expositions such as what appear in these pages make it extremely hard to get a new aether theory or a new preon model seriously considered.

The status quo practitioners know well the present math, and know well how successful the present math is. They embrace a position that science has "advanced beyond" the more "primitive" pre-Einstein thinking involving physical models. The present Lagrangian of the Standard Model accurately describes all known data in a relativisticly covariant way. And there is an enormous amount of that data! When someone starts stating opinions based on an assumption of a physical model, status quo practitioners know that the one who utters such things must not be at all up to date and they laugh out loud. If one is that far behind the times, how can you even engage with them? Again, we've moved beyond such primitive thinking now. It is assumed that anyone thinking otherwise does not even know that they are predicating their thoughts on assumptions that have themselves been set aside.

By insisting that there must be an underlying physical cause for phenomena, the one doing the insisting is exposing the fact that they are the one who does not know that modern physics is, in essence, a great escape from just that limited line of thinking.

And since there are SO MANY nut-jobs out there claiming to disprove the status quo just because c + v cannot possibly be c, or some other such clear misunderstanding of the basics of modern physics, when a serious effort comes around which again tries to base things on an underlying real physical model, that serious effort generally gets dismissed without any true consideration. It is assumed it is just another foray into a discredited and discarded line of thought and that no profit will come by studying it.

If you really want to advance physical models and an aether theory, you will need to take on the present status quo, understand the status quo math in sufficient detail, and lastly, come up with a testable alternative that provides some experimental difference from the status quo. It is a large ask, but it can be done. For a serious aether model consider this link as a starter:

The Aether

The above is, to my knowledge, the first mechanical derivation of Maxwell's Equations that is not at all clumsy. It is based on a very simple physical model.

3) Michelson-Morley did not disprove the existence of an aether

Yes, it is true that Michelson-Morley was expected to find the earth's motion through the aether and it did not. But if lengths shrink in the direction of their motion through the aether in just the right amount you will get a null result even if there is an aether. Or, if the mirrors at the ends of the device pin the EM oscillation they will enforce a null result even if there is no length contraction. You can get much more information on all of this by clicking the following link:

Absolute Theory

To say that the aether is disproven by Michelson-Morley is simply incorrect. Arbitrageur made a somewhat similar point in supportive comments about the Lorentz aether theory, but did not mention the option that the length contraction may not exist.

4) An entrained aether is not a solution

I saw a comment above, I believe it was from More1ThanAny1, that the aether will move along with the observer. Please click the above absolute theory link for a thorough description of that possibility. It has been seriously studied, but it appears untenable.

5) The Lorentz Aether theory is not just a philosophical equivalent of special relativity

The Lorentz Aether theory importantly allows for absolute simultaneity and instantaneous action at a distance, things that relativity does not allow. Einstein, Podolski and Rosen argued that quantum mechanics must be incomplete in essence because relativity forbade instantaneous action at a distance. Bell refined the argument to allow for tests, Aspect, Dalibard and Roger did the tests, and quantum mechanics was proven correct. The Lorentz Aether theory had no problem with the Bell's theorem results, but relativity (as per Einstein) did have a problem. It was a testable difference, and Lorentz was proven superior experimentally to Einstein. Relativity and the Lorentz Aether theory are testably different, the tests were done, and Lorentz prevailed. The only way out of this was to abandon realism, and that is what the status quo has embraced.

Here is a video of relevance:




edit on 20-7-2019 by delbertlarson because: typo correction



posted on Jul, 20 2019 @ 07:01 AM
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a reply to: neutronflux




Quote where I ever posted such a thing.


So then you agree there is in fact an underlying stucture. What made you change your mind.



posted on Jul, 20 2019 @ 07:04 AM
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a reply to: delbertlarson

Nm, I may have misinterpreted your post.
edit on 20-7-2019 by AntonGonist because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 20 2019 @ 09:14 AM
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a reply to: AntonGonist

'The field is the sole governing agency of the particle' Einstein.

Are you a particle or are you the field?
Do waves exist or is the ocean waving?



posted on Jul, 20 2019 @ 09:21 AM
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a reply to: Itisnowagain

Waves are the ocean waving.



posted on Jul, 20 2019 @ 09:23 AM
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originally posted by: AntonGonist
a reply to: neutronflux




Quote where I ever posted such a thing.


So then you agree there is in fact an underlying stucture. What made you change your mind.


Hello. I have never changed my mind. I have repeatedly posted if something exists in this reality, it must be part of this reality


From like page 13 of this this thread


originally posted by: neutronflux
a reply to: AntonGonist



According to science, and other posters, there is a universal field of some sorts, it seems to be electrical in nature, it is a medium that propagates EM radiation. What is the difference with the undesirable Aether?


Yes. Things have to be in the “fabric” of this “reality” to exist in this “reality”.

Again. I can transmit a signal from the earth to the moon with no requirements for a “medium” with electromagnetic radiation because electromagnetic radiation is self propagating and requires no “medium”. But the electromagnetic radiation must be “real” to exist.




posted on Jul, 20 2019 @ 09:27 AM
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originally posted by: AntonGonist
a reply to: neutronflux




Quote where I ever posted such a thing.


So then you agree there is in fact an underlying stucture. What made you change your mind.


You are now to the point of blatantly false arguments?


What phenomenon is this observable universe can only be explained in the terms of the debunk aether models?



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