The Active Ether

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Physics book series (SpringerBriefs in Physics)


During most of the nineteenth century the existence of an all-encompassing ether as a substitute for a true void was taken for granted. According to the successful electromagnetic ether theory based upon Maxwellian electrodynamics, the ether was endowed with energy and hence very different from nothingness. Oliver Lodge thought that its energy density was enormous, about \(10^{33}\) erg cm\(^{-3}\). The active ether of the fin-de-siècle period was in some respects surprisingly similar to the later quantum vacuum, yet it was based fully on classical physics.


Ether Electromagnetism Vortex theory Oliver Lodge 


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© The Author(s) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Science StudiesAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Physics, Astronomy and GeosciencesTowson UniversityTowsonUSA

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