Ether

Ether (Greek: αἰθήρ) means the air. An idea of an aether (later also ether), as a light substance that forms the universe, was introduced into antique European thought by Democritus (460-370 B.C.). Democritus determined ether as a universal substance thinking that it is light due to its pervasive property in contrast to the heavy substance of the Earth.

According to Democritus, among components of the ether there are atoms (those that cannot be divided) and amers (those that cannot be measured because of their tiny size). These components, especially amers, are eternal; they are never created nor do they die. Democritus' amers and atoms possess various geometric forms; their shapes can be very different and they can have concavities and convexities.

It is known that Democritus traveled a lot; especially he visited Egypt, Iran and India. He did not ascribe the knowledge on atoms, amers and the ether to himself. It is known that among his teachers there were Magies – wise men living in India and Iran.

The knowledge of Democritus is indeed very close to that presented in Vedic physics. Democritus’ views were accepted by Epicurus (341-270 B.C.). Manuscripts from the 4th century say that Epicurus’ knowledge was further accepted by Titus Lucretius Carus who stated these views in his well-known book De rerum nature (On the Nature of Things). Only in the 17th century European researchers returned to the ether as a preliminary physical substance. Up to the beginning of the 20th century the ether dominated in physics, as a primary substance, in which also matter exists (points of singularity in the ether), and in which light, radio waves and electrical and gravitational interactions spread far away from objects that generate these fields, up to infinity.

It seems Democritus had a predecessor, namely, Anaximander (Anaximandros: c. 610 – c. 546 B.C.E.). Indeed, Anaximander noted that any elements have boundless nature from which all arise. From this 'apeiron', which is not perceptible to people, things appear for their existing and then their destruction returned the things into the apeiron. This is the essence of the religious concept of immortality, which was known to ancient Greeks. There is a suspicion about Iranian influence on Anaximander’s ideas (M. L. West, Early Greek Philosophy and the Orient, Oxford 1971). Pseudo-Plutarch in The Doctrines of the Philosophers (I, 3) wrote: "Apeiron, subject to neither old age nor decay, that perpetually yielded fresh materials from which everything we perceive is derived." Simplicius, in Comments on Aristotle's Physics (24, 13) wrote: "Anaximander maintains that all dying things are returning to the element from which they came (apeiron). The one surviving fragment of Anaximander's writing deals with this matter. Simplicius transmitted it as a quotation, which describes the balanced and mutual changes of the elements".

"Whence things have their origin,

Thence also their destruction happens,

According to necessity."

It is interesting to note that the concept of deterministic submicroscopic physics presented on this web site, especially the theory of real physical space, exactly coincides with both ideas on the ether (and apeiron, as stated by Democritus and Anaximander) and as described in the Vedic physics. Such ether is also in line with de Broglie's requirements needed to construct his double solution theory. Submicroscopic physics, as presented here, is built on the notions of ether and space as developed at the beginning of the 20th century by Henri Poincaré.

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