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Q & A: Higgs aether?

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Most recent answer: 07/16/2014
Q:
What is the difference between the Higgs field and the aether which supposedly existed when the Michelson and Morley Experiment was performed to detect the speed of light?
- Dennis (age 65)
Peyton, CO, USA
A:

The sort of aether in which people believed was a type of medium in which electromagnetic waves propagated. The speed of light would only be uniform (c) when you measured with respect to the medium. In other frames, you'd get different speeds in different directions. The measurements showed the same speed in all directions in each frame.

The Higgs field was supposed to give rest mass to particles. If it existed, then there would be a type of propagating disturbance in it, called a Higgs boson. That's a prediction from the theory. The prediction was right. 

So regardless of how you use words like "aether", the old theory of an electromagnetic medium was wrong because it made false predictions. The Higgs theory is looking good because its key prediction was right.

Mike W.

 


(published on 07/16/2014)

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