Also called ether.

Up until fairly recently (like around the turn of the century), the common consensus among physicists was that light must travel through this ultra-dense, ubiquitous material called aether. After all, light travels incredibly quickly, is a wave, and therefore needs a medium. Since it travels so quickly, the medium must be ultra dense. Since light is everywhere, the medium must be everywhere. Hence the invention of aether, an ultra-dense, omnipresent, invisible medium that light travels through. Now everyone and their brother knows that light, and, for that matter, the other members of the electro-magnetic spectrum, needs no medium for travel.


The personification of the upper sky, where the light is clearer than it is in the lower levels nearer the earth. According to Hesiod Aether was the son of Erebus and Nyx (Darkness and Night) and the brother of Hemera or Daylight. According to other traditions, when united with Day he begot not only Earth, Sky and Sea, but a number of abstract qualities, among them Grief, Anger and Falsehood, as well as Oceanus, Themis, Tartarus, Briareus, Gyges, Steropes (which Hesiod considered to be Cyclopes), Atlas, Hyperion, Saturn, Ops, Moreta, Dione and the Three Furies. Among this list, recorded by Hyginus, are perceptible traces borrowed from the Uranus legend. According to Cicero Aether was the father of Jupiter and Caelus (another name for Uranus, the sky personified) and grandfather of the Sun.


Table of Sources:
- Hesiod, Theog. 124ff.
- Hyg. Fab. pref.
- Cic. De Nat. Deor. 3, 44

Ae"ther (#), n.

See Ether.


© Webster 1913.

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