Jeans, Sir James - The Mysterious Universe - Energy
Type of Spiritual Experience
How ironic that that Sir Oliver Lodge thought that ‘names weren’t important’. I think it is fairly obvious that if there had been some commonality of naming system, one clear definition of the underlying substance and perhaps a little less reinventing of the wheel, we might have been basing our scientific efforts on finding out more about this substance over 5,000 years ago when it was first ‘noticed’.
A description of the experience
Sir James Jeans – The Mysterious Universe
Each of us must then carry his own ether about with him, much as in a shower of rain each observer carries his own rainbow about with him.
If I change my speed of motion I create a new ether for myself, just as, if I step a few paces in a sunny shower, I acquire a new rainbow for myself. And unless the expanding universe … is a pure illusion, everyone’s ether must incessantly expand and stretch.
Whether a structure of this kind ought to be called ether is open to question; it would be hard to find any property it has in common with the old 19th century ether. Indeed, as the hypothesis of relativity is the exact negation of the existence of the old ether, it is clear that any ether that relativity can allow to remain in being must be the exact opposite of the old ether [that is physical/material substance].
This being so, it seems mistaken to call them by the same name
Sir Arthur Eddington truly says that about half the leading physicists assert that the ether exists and the other half deny its existence, but continues ‘Both parties mean exactly the same thing, and are divided only by words’
Sir Oliver Lodge, who has been the staunchest supporter of the objective existence of an ether in recent years writes
‘The ether in its various forms of energy dominates modern physics, though many prefer to avoid the term ‘ether’ because of its 19th century associations and use the term ‘space’. The term used does not matter much’