What is ETHER or AETHER?

is a pur ely “hypothetical medium of great elasticity and extreme tenuity, supposed to pervade all space, the interior of solid bodies not excepted, and to be the medium of transmission of light and heat”. Humboldt thought of the universe as filled with a worldether or volatile fluiddensified in the nebulae, more so in the comets and in the planets as of all degrees of density from that of metals to that of honey, water, etc. Newton calculated upon slender data that imponderable ether must be at least 700,000 times less dense than air, basing this upon the velocity of the propagation of sound as compared with that of light deduced from the horizontal parallax of the sun. To the chemical mind, it is inconceivable that the interstitial spaces of matter can be occupied by this hypothetical etheras, for example, an atmosphere of oxygen gas. So far as such a conception is possible, the result would be a mixture of oxygen and this socalled ether, which, however imponderable, must have qualities and be detectable by them. Oliver Lodge has expressed the opinion that mechanical forces cannot tie exercised across really empty space in the completest sense, but to the chemical mind there are nu empty spaces, but only attenuated atmospheres. His reasoning appears to be paradoxical, for while he writes of matter and ether as distinct things, yet at other times he describes matter as essentially composed of this hypothetical ether. Chemically, then, the conception has no foundation, for if such a medium existed it could only be regarded as a universally distributed and extremely attenuated furm of matter, and there is no evidence whatever of its material existence.

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Definition of  ETHER or AETHER