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Science Forum

Science Forum

  1. 06 Apr '10 20:01
    I went to a talk by Prof Brian Cox (a researcher at the LHC at Cern and also broadcaster of science programs such as Wonders of the Solar System) a couple of weeks ago.

    A very interesting talk, at a layman's level fortunately for me, but in it he mentioned the Higgs Field which is posited by current quantum theory and one of the things being searched for at the LHC.

    It struck me that it sounded, to my uneducated ears, a lot like the old, generally discarded, aether theories of the 19th century. Can anyone explain, in non-technical language, the differences between them?

    --- Penguin.
  2. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Do ya think?
    06 Apr '10 20:15
    Well, aether predicted that the speed of light was not constant, while this I am sure does not.
  3. 07 Apr '10 10:24 / 1 edit
    They once believed in something they called 'aether', but they didn't know what it was. One assumtion was that it needed something, a medium, that the light could go through. Like air was needed for sound to travel through.

    With the famous experiment where they measured the speed of light from different directions, and found out that the light didn't need aether to travel through. But yet they didn't disprove the existance of aether, only aether with that kind of property.

    What is aether? Can it be the gravity field? or the Higgs field? perhaps dark matter, that doesn't interact with anything? It's is just a matter of definition, nothing more.

    What we know for sure, is that what they thought at Newtons times wasn't correct by today's standard.
  4. 07 Apr '10 10:24
    "Fields" are common in quantum electrodynamics, and QED works very well.