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This nOde last updated March 22nd, 2005 and is permanently morphing...
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ether (ê´ther) or aether, in physics, a hypothetical medium for transmitting ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION, filling all unoccupied space.
The poetic personification of the clear upper air breathed by the Olympians.
[Latin, from Greek aithêr, upper air.]
ether (ê´ther) noun
1.Any of a class of organic compounds in which two hydrocarbon groups are linked by an oxygen atom.
2.A volatile, highly flammable liquid, C2H5OC2H5, derived from the distillation of ethyl alcohol with sulfuric acid and widely used as a reagent, a solvent, and an anesthetic. Also called diethyl ether, ethyl ether.
3.The regions of space beyond the earth's atmosphere; the heavens.
4.The element believed in ancient and medieval civilizations to fill all space above the sphere of the moon and to compose the stars and planets.
5.Physics. An all-pervading, infinitely elastic, massless medium formerly postulated as the medium of propagation of electromagnetic waves.
[Middle English, upper air, from Latin aethêr,
from Greek aithêr.]
- ether´ic (î-thèr´îk, î-thîr´-) adjective
And New York is the most
beautiful city in the world? It is not far from it. No urban night is like
the night there. . . . Squares after squares of flame, set up and cut into
the aether. Here is our poetry, for we have pulled down the stars to our
Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic. "Patria Mia," in New Age (London, 18 Sept. 1912).
1973 - Ethernet
Robert Metcalfe devised the Ethernet method of network connection at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. He wrote: "On May 22, 1973, using my Selectric typewriter ... I wrote ... "Ether Acquisition" ... heavy with handwritten annotations -- one of which was "ETHER!" -- and with hand-drawn diagrams -- one of which showed `boosters' interconnecting branched cable, telephone, and ratio ethers in what we now call an internet.... If Ethernet was invented in any one memo, by any one person, or on any one day, this was it."
Robert M. Metcalfe, "How Ethernet
Was Invented", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Volume 16, No.
4, Winter 1994, p. 84
Carroll points out that his conception of ether is merely a model to explain existing phenomena, and should not be thought of as necessarily having an independent existence outside of this conception, just as physicists make models to explain events in physical interactions. According to the magical model, ether 'acts as though it were a form of information emitted by matter that is instantaneously available everywhere and has some power to shape the behaviour of other matter' (Carroll, p21). This vision of a fundamentally interconnected, dynamic universe is in a sense a return to an ancient, Aristotelian vision of an organic, interconnected cosmos; it is also a concept of reality which is particularly apt in terms of chaos theory, with its fractal maps of infinite space.
"Ether, having once failed as a concept, is in the process of being reinvented. Information is the ultimate mediational ether"
"the ethereal fire" - an alchemical
term for electricity
Recapitulating, we may say that according to the general theory of relativity space is endowed with physical qualities; in this sense, therefore, there exists an ether. According to the general theory of relativity space without ether is unthinkable; for in such space there not only would be no propagation of light, but also no possibility of existence for standards of space and time (measuring-rods and clocks), nor therefore any space-time intervals in the physical sense. But this ether may not be thought of as endowed with the quality characteristic of ponderable media, as consisting of parts which may be tracked through time. The idea of motion may not be applied to it."
From "Ether and the Theory of Relativity" an address delivered on May 5th, 1920, in the University of Leyden by Albert Einstein.
A seventeenth century chemical sign for oil. Oil was also drawn , , and in many other ways. Different types of oil also had their special signs.Three golden circular forms is also an old sign for pawnbrokers and money-lenders. Pawnbrokers are still often symbolized by the similar .
Note that means silver in some modern mining contexts, and is a sign for rain in certain meteorological systems. Compare with , clubs, and , one of the signs for silver in alchemy.
In the chemistry of the eighteenth century also could stand for aether, ether. That could have meant the ether known by todays chemists, the substance used in nineteenth centrury medicine as an anaesthetic, or it might have meant ether as that element formerly held to form the material of the heavenly spheres from themoon to the fixed stars.