Is there an Æther?


IN the last century, the idea of a universal and all-pervading æther was popular as a foundation on which to build the theory of electromagnetic phenomena. The situation was profoundly influenced in 1905 by Einstein's discovery of the principle of relativity, leading to the requirement of a four-dimensional formulation of all natural laws. It was soon found that the existence of an æther could not be fitted in with relativity, and since relativity was well established, the æther was abandoned.

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    Proc. Roy. Soc., [A, 209, 291 (1951)].

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DIRAC, P. Is there an Æther?. Nature 168, 906–907 (1951).

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