Access to eBooks is limited to institutions that have purchased or currently subscribe to the SPIE eBooks program. eBooks are not available via an individual subscription. SPIE books (print and digital) may be purchased individually on SPIE.Org.

Contact your librarian to recommend SPIE eBooks for your organization.
Chapter 30:
The Demise of the Ether
The concept of an ether to convey light probably seems strange and unnecessary to an optical engineer today. However, until well into the nineteenth century it seemed to be necessary to depend on a hypothetical fluid to convey all physical substances. Sound, of course, is conveyed by the air. Heat was considered as a substance called “caloric.” Fire was conceived as “phlogiston.” Electricity and magnetic fields were carried by “effluvia.” Accordingly, the concept of an ether to convey the vibrations of light seemed to be quite reasonable.
Online access to SPIE eBooks is limited to subscribing institutions.

Back to Top