Defending the Ether: The British Response

  • Stanley Goldberg


The british response to the theory of relativity during the years 1905–1911 had a different character from the responses we have analyzed in Germany and France. For the first two years of the period, there was virtually no recognition of the theory in the literature. Following that, there was some controversy, not as much as in the German literature. However, there was not the wide diversity of opinion, the elaboration, or the debate so characteristic of German response. The acceptance of the theory hinged upon making it compatible with the concept of the ether. As paradoxical as that might be, there was almost unanimous agreement within the British physics community about such a program. Almost all British physicists who worked in electrodynamics behaved in similar ways about these issues.


Nineteenth Century Special Theory British Association Modern View German Physicist 
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© Birkhäuser Boston, Inc. 1984

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  • Stanley Goldberg

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