Re: [PrimeNumbers] Re: Maxwell
- On Tue, 2013-05-14 at 20:09 +0000, John wrote:
> --- In email@example.com, "WarrenS" <warren.wds@...> wrote:
> > DJB's recommended "amazing" paper
> > J Clerk Maxwell:
> > A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field. Maxwell, J
> Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London
> > is available free online here:
> > http://archive.org/details/philtrans00041514
> > in several formats; "read online" seems for me the best.
> > Maxwell's seems pretty pitiful to me compared with modern
> > Definitely would not recommend that anyone try to learn from this.
> > It is interesting in showing the magnitude of the struggle he had to
> > and the fact that in various ways he still remained trapped in some
> > notions.
> Now, concerning Maxwell's ideas and their "false/misleading" I presumeWarning: possible heresy ahead.
> were to do with the "ether" in great part. Whatever is in the material
> world is capable of rudimentary description, and that description
> becomes in its most sophisticated form the thing called science. Some
> science uses mathematics in order to attempt to understand and
> manipulate matter, in which case it makes possible technology, which
> contains within it aspects of craft and art.
> I understand that, in scientific circles, the idea of "ether" has not
> been completely dismissed, but this is possily because the idea of
> empty space is abhorrent, as in "Nature abhors a vacuum".
"Aether" as the medium of transmission of electromagnetic waves has
rather gone out of fashion, and for good reasons, not least the famous
Michelson-Morley experiment. However, the work of Einstein, Poincare et
al has shown that space-time has many of the properties of the old
Consider: space-time is the transmission medium for gravitational
radiation; aether for electromagnetic radiation. It is invisible to
anything except gravitational physics (c.f. aether's invisibility to
anything but electromagnetic physics). It is the most rigid material
known (the entire mass-energy of the earth is sufficient only to bend
space-time to a radius of curvature of around one light year) and is
arguably the most rigid possible (c.f. aether's perfect elasticity).