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The Ether of Space

Nature volume 82, page 271 (06 January 1910) | Download Citation

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Abstract

THIS book is a contribution to what the publishers describe as a “Library of Living Thought.” In appealing to Sir Oliver Lodge for a book on the ether they could count on getting something which could certainly be called “thought,” in the most exalted sense of the word, and would as certainly be alive. But, notwithstanding the many picturesque images with which the theme is illustrated, we must confess that we have found the book as a whole somewhat unsatisfactory. This is perhaps due to a certain indefiniteness of aim; some sections would seem to be addressed to the cultivated dilettante, and dwell at great length on very elementary matters, whilst others can hardly be appreciated except by the expert who is already conversant with the more abstruse parts of electrical and optical theory. Thus the primary notions of aberration are expounded very fully, whilst the theories of Michelson's experiments and of Fresnel's law of wave-velocity in a moving substance are treated with tantalising brevity. Again, the mechanical and optical details of the author's own experiments with the “ether machine” are given with a minuteness which in a work on the present scale rather tends to distract attention from the main point.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/082271a0

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