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Author Topic: Aether!  (Read 4549 times)
Atterton
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« Reply #50 on: July 28, 2009, 06:54:19 pm »

Well, any kind of ray gun using electromagnetic waves would really be an aether oscillator. Assuming aether exists. I also feel rayguns seem wrong for steampunk, except for perhaps the Unnatural Selector or Herr Doktors version of it.

There´s an episode of Doctor Who, where they use a large diamond as a lense for a kind of weapon.
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Khem Caigan
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« Reply #51 on: July 28, 2009, 07:42:07 pm »

I also feel rayguns seem wrong for steampunk, except for perhaps the Unnatural Selector or Herr Doktor's version of it.


Now who's getting picky? Wink
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"Let us create vessels and sails fashioned for the heavenly Æther, for there
will be plenty of people who do not shrink from the vastness of space."
~ Johannes Kepler, letter to Galileo Galilei, 1609.
Atterton
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #52 on: July 28, 2009, 11:25:48 pm »

Damn you Khem, damn you!  Tongue
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Atterton
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #53 on: December 02, 2015, 01:21:26 am »

Come back Khem.

I met with Kip Thorne last week and asked if he though it likely that aether would make a comeback. He didn't seem optimistic about it.
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Kensington Locke
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« Reply #54 on: December 02, 2015, 04:14:18 pm »

Aetherpunk? People are really getting picky now.
This is hardly news.

If folks will check our archives, they
will find aetherpunk and etherpunk
have come up in discussions here on
BrassGoogles since 2007.

As Atterton already necro'd this topic, I found this from page one and had some thoughts.

This quote is from 2009, which I find funny in it's "we've been discussing this for soooo loong" tone being a mere 2 years prior...

Now that a bit more actual time has passed, what's the state of the union for Aether, Aetherpunk/etherpunk?

I just finished Jim Butchers new entry into Steampunk category, and it's got Aether technologies, thus supporting Aetherpunk as a "thing" I guess.
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Peter Brassbeard
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« Reply #55 on: December 02, 2015, 04:25:57 pm »

In classic aether theory the aether had to be a very "stiff" fluid to carry light waves at the observed speed.  At the same time, it would have to present negligible drag on orbiting planets.  As a twist, what kind of drag force could a device using the aether flow expect?  What happens to a planet's orbit if such devices become common place?
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Atterton
Time Traveler
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Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #56 on: December 04, 2015, 12:46:11 am »

Mr Locke: Aether technology is a common thing in steampunk stories.

Mr Brassbeard: It's true that any device interacting with aether would likely slow down the orbit of Earth. Unless the aether is some kind of superfluid.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #57 on: December 04, 2015, 06:09:33 am »

When talking about fluids, there's a difference between liquids and gases.  In order for a fluid to be "stiff," it ocurrs to me the fluid must also be incompressible, or nearly incompressible, like water, where the particles are so close they basically repel each other and yet remain very close to one another, as opposed to a gas where you can continuously compress the fluid until liquefaction ocurrs.

The characteristic of a liquid is to have a higher speed of sound. If the speed of light is assumed to be the rate of information transport, then it implies that the pressure ripples in the aether effectively are light waves themselves. The speed of light is the speed of sound in Aether.

Further, the claim is made that this fluid provides very little viscous resistance, that is very low viscous drag. So basically Aether is an inviscid liquid, not a gas.
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Kensington Locke
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« Reply #58 on: December 04, 2015, 06:13:19 pm »

Mr Locke: Aether technology is a common thing in steampunk stories.

Mr Brassbeard: It's true that any device interacting with aether would likely slow down the orbit of Earth. Unless the aether is some kind of superfluid.

Having had 8 years more to ferment since 2007, looks like your 2009 statement remains true Smiley

I admittedly don't read a lot of SP fiction.  It seems Aether is the wonder solution to sci-fi technologies in SP settings, given steam power's reduced scope in our actual history due to subsequent advances.
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Atterton
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« Reply #59 on: December 04, 2015, 06:39:10 pm »

Also phlogiston is really difficult to get hold of these days.
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von Corax
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Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax


« Reply #60 on: December 04, 2015, 09:53:13 pm »

Also phlogiston is really difficult to get hold of these days.
No kidding. I totally got burned on my last order.
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Khem Caigan
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« Reply #61 on: December 12, 2015, 04:08:36 am »

I met with Kip Thorne last week and asked if he though it likely that aether would make a comeback. He didn't seem optimistic about it.

To which æther model was Dr. Thorne referring? Rigid? Fluid?
Dragging? Non-dragging?

Or, perhaps, I should ask whose æther - that of Newton,
Maxwell, Dirac, Larmor, Lodge, Einstein, &tc ?

I have read a number of posts here that present æther
as if it were a concept that was rigidly defined and maintained
from its inception right on up to the present.

That is not the case.

A casual search of arXiv.org will show that æther continues
to provide a very useful concept for many physicists to
"think with" - which probably accounts for its remarkable
tenacity and longevity in the scientific, if not the Steampunk,
community.

" It is ironic that Einstein's most creative work, the general
theory of relativity, should boil down to conceptualizing space
as a medium when his original premise [in special relativity]
was that no such medium existed. . . .

The word 'ether' has extremely negative connotations in
theoretical physics because of its past association with
opposition to relativity.

This is unfortunate because, stripped of these connotations,
it rather nicely captures the way most physicists actually think
about the vacuum. . . .

Relativity actually says nothing about the existence or
nonexistence of matter pervading the universe, only that
any such matter must have relativistic symmetry. . . .

It turns out that such matter exists.

About the time relativity was becoming accepted, studies
of radioactivity began showing that the empty vacuum of
space had spectroscopic structure similar to that of
ordinary quantum solids and fluids.

Subsequent studies with large particle accelerators have
now led us to understand that space is more like a piece
of window glass than ideal Newtonian emptiness.

It is filled with 'stuff' that is normally transparent but can
be made visible by hitting it sufficiently hard to knock out
a part.

The modern concept of the vacuum of space, confirmed
every day by experiment, is a relativistic ether.

But we do not call it this because it is taboo. "

- Dr. Robert Betts Laughlin, A Different Universe :
Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down
, 2005.
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von Corax
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Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax


« Reply #62 on: December 12, 2015, 04:13:36 am »

Welcome back, sir. It's good (and informative) to hear from you again.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #63 on: December 12, 2015, 06:06:54 pm »

We are nothing but a virtual simulation performed in a giant Cellular Automata quasi-digital calculation device that probably looks a lot like the so called Aether...
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Khem Caigan
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« Reply #64 on: December 12, 2015, 10:41:18 pm »

We are nothing but a virtual simulation performed in a giant Cellular Automata quasi-digital
calculation device that probably looks a lot like the so called Æther...

That's pretty much the conclusion drawn by Konrad
Zuse - although, at the end of the day, it is a distinction
that doesn't make much of a difference ( unless you
grant that we can gain access to the operating system
and go on to make Universes of our own ).

[ I will only add here that, since we are talking about
digital physics, the computation is a physical one
 - with patterns patterning patterns - and not, strictly
speaking, a simulation at all.
- Khem ]

See :

Zuse's Thesis : The Universe is a Computer,
which is available here :

http://tinyurl.com/q2onyfb

An English translation of Konrad Zuse's
Rechnender Raum ( or " Calculating Space " ),
first published in 1967, is available here as a .PDF :

http://tinyurl.com/jretfvu

Gerard 't Hooft's Discreteness and Determinism in
Superstrings
is available here as a .PDF :

http://tinyurl.com/nrh7d4v

Sadly, Seth Lloyd's Programming the Universe is no
longer available for download from MIT; but his
Ultimate physical limits to computation is available as
a .PDF here :

http://tinyurl.com/olp5kyu

And his Quantum coherence in biological systems is
available as a .PDF here :

http://tinyurl.com/nzzsomx

The works of Edward Fredkin, Jürgen Schmidhuber
and Stephen Wolfram may also prove useful to those
with an interest in digital physics and cellular
automata.

The Idea that the Universe is an Artifact of
Computation has been around for quite a while -
see, for example :

" The Doctrines of Mathematics are so necessary to,
and have such an affinity with Magic, that they that do
profess it without them, are quite out of the way, and
labor in vain, and shall in no wise obtain their desired
effect.

For whatsoever things are, and are done in these
inferior natural virtues, are all done, and governed by
number, weight, measure, harmony, motion, and light

. . .  Hence Magicians, expert in natural Philosophy,
and Mathematics, and knowing the middle sciences
consisting of both these, Arithmetic, Music, Geometry,
Optics, Astronomy, and such sciences that are of
weights, measures, proportions, articles, and joints,
knowing also Mechanical Arts resulting from these,
may without any wonder, if they excel other Workers
in Art and wit, do many wonderful things, which the
most prudent and wise may much admire. . . .

Severinus Boethius saith, that all things which were
first made by the nature of things in its first Age, seem
to be formed by the proportion of numbers, for this
was the principal pattern in the mind of the Creator.

Hence is borrowed the number of the Elements,
hence the courses of times, hence the motion of the
Stars, and the revolution of the heaven, and the state
of all things subsist by the uniting together of
numbers. . . .

Again, all things that are, and are made, subsist by,
and receive their virtue from numbers.

For time consists of number, and all motion, and
action, and all things which are subject to time, and
motion. " - Cornelius Agrippa, Second Book of
Hidden Philosophy, or Magic
, 1651.

Proclus and the Sefer Yetzirah
by Leo Baeck
http://tinyurl.com/26zzjye

"If signs (rather than molecules) are taken as
fundamental units for the study of life, biology
becomes a semiotic discipline."
~ Jesper Hoffmeyer

"We are not stuff that abides, but patterns that
perpetuate themselves."
~ Norbert Weiner

"Bodies are, in reality, 'swarms of swarms', huge
swarms of more or less overlapping swarms of very
different kinds. And the minor swarms again are
swarm entities, so we get a hierarchy of swarms.

These swarms are engaged at all levels in distributed
problem solving based on an infinitely complicated
web of semetic interaction patterns..."
~ Jesper Hoffmeyer

"The World is a great Volume, and man the Index of
that Booke; Even in the Body of Man, you may turne
to the whole world."
~ John Donne

Quantum Semiotics: A Sign Language for Quantum
Mechanics

by Prashant (.PDF)
http://tinyurl.com/pte2ca9

"The individuality of the body is that of a flame, rather
than that of a stone; of a form rather than a bit of
substance."
~ Norbert Weiner

"The essence of the flame is in its burning; so the
essence of God lies in its activity, its energy."
~ Johannes Kepler
« Last Edit: December 12, 2015, 11:19:16 pm by Khem Caigan » Logged
Dr Fidelius
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« Reply #65 on: December 14, 2015, 02:58:13 am »

We have missed you, sir.
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The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not represent any other persons, organizations, spirits, thinking machines, hive minds or other sentient beings on this world or any adjacent dimensions in the multiverse.
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