The belief persists in some quarters that the concept of an ether as a medium for electro-magnetic waves has been completely discredited. Although it is true that the mathematics of electrodynamics and Einstein's special relativity operate without reference to details of a transmission medium, in neither case is the ether concept contradicted; it is simply not addressed. J.P. Claybourne, "Why an Ether is Positively Necessary and a Candidate for the Job", Galilean Electrodynamics, Vol 4, No.2, P.38
Neutrinos and Aether
“If physicists can’t agree on the properties of empty space, they won’t be able to explain the physics of planets or particles either." – Physicist James Owen Weatherall
The EU has been primarily focused on the things that we can apprehend with our senses from the microscopic level to the telescopic level, but mostly on the directly tangible level. On just these three levels, there is an overwhelming abundance of phenomena and structure that show the universe−galaxies down to cells down to atoms−works electrically.
Much if not most of this should be obvious, and would be IF a wrong paradigm didn’t obscure the thinking. For instance, welders and machinists familiar with EDM get the electrical cratering and scarring aspects immediately, usually exclaiming that it’s obvious. EEs often find other aspects to be easily assimilated and accepted. But many plasma phenomena on this triune level are NOT that familiar; for examples, Birkeland currents, double layers, cells, and Peratt instability formations, and these haven’t been widely understood. And plasma phenomena can be very complex beside being outside of our normal experience.
Let me say a few honest words about our limits. It should be understood that, below the level of the various microscope tools or beyond the various telescope tools, when thinking about the material universe, aspects and attributes of phenomena and structure CANNOT be apprehended “directly” by our vision, our sight, nor by the other senses. We can ONLY do experiments and get “CLUES” as to what we are dealing with and then we can ONLY build models for and/or project metaphors or analogies FROM OUR TANGIBLE EXPERIENCE on these aspects. I suggest that our ignorance is profound; we don’t know what we think we know.
This restricted domain on the lower level includes the basic atomic particles, and we can only get blurry visual patterns of nuclei shape and where they are located and arranged in material. To this point, theory has claimed that atomic nuclei must be symmetrical in three dimensions, either spherical, flattened or elongated spherical, as in discus or rugby ball shape. Now we can confirm that some nuclei are pear shaped and oriented in a specific spatial direction. This development actually sweeps away much current cosmological theory. Even the orbital model of the atom has NOT been confirmed, and part of the time it must be discarded in atomic thinking.
On the other end of the spectrum we should be mindful that we have ONLY electro-magnetic radiation given off by radiating bodies or structures that we can access through our telescopes. Nothing else comes through. No direct chemical analysis to determine material or molecular structure, no physical analysis to determine density, specific gravity, index of refraction, hardness, viscosity, etc., no application of tape measures, scales, hydrometers, or reagents, no sound waves to hear, nothing to fell or taste−JUST and ONLY patterned radiation to work with.
Soooo....down on a more “fundamental” level, concepts that we have can be little more than pure speculation. We have a tendency to project the orbital metaphor down to this level but this is probably unwarranted. Mainstream thinking has imagined quarks on this level, and the EU talks about sub-sub atomic particles as positive or negative subtrons. The point is that beyond sensationalism there is little justification to present these “physics phlights of phancy” to the public as knowledge!
Let’s also be mindful that all of our relevant observations have taken place from a platform within familiar distances within our own sun's helio-pause, and essentially within a platform perpendicular to the axis of the sun. When considering bodies outside of our platform, in more distant “outer space” and beyond that, we are projecting from our own environment and then speculating. We don’t know enough about the true distances, the true sizes, and the attributes of the regions such as any charge differentials, aether density, field strengths etc,. to confidently extend meaningful values on the decrease of force with distance of the three distance squared formulas. Thornhill is even suggesting that the attractive force that we call gravity actually turns repulsive at some point.
The EU lays a theoretical foundation for all of this on the atomic particle level by positing just and only TWO electric charge carriers−negative and positive matter particles−and just and only two forces−electric attraction and repulsion. These fundamental things along with motion−which includes oscillation−and the aspects and constrictions of the geometry of 3 dimensions−the basis for polarity−account for or undergird ALL other physical phenomena. Also, in the EU paradigm the definition of energy is that it is always MATTER IN MOTION in relation to the rest of the universe, not something mystical nor a thing in and of itself.
Early theoretical physics accepted the existence of an aether, and it is only a modern scientific failure to detect it that has precluded it. The famed Michelson-Morley type experiments and others have so far not given positive result that are expected if an aether is present. However, the problem is probably in carrying aspects of the "wave in water" analogy or metaphor along for light "waves" that are not applicable. OTOH, the earth may carry along an entrained cocoon of aether with it. Because of some assumptions that may not be true, science will tell you it has disproved this, but it hasn't. The measured decrease in the speed of light over the last century DOES indicate an aether that is getting denser in the vicinity of the earth.
Given that there cannot be voids of nothingness, the EU paradigm has−because of both sound evidence and reasoning−confidently settled on the conclusion that the volume of the physical universe is filled with an aether. In other words, the existence of an aether is next to being axiomatic. Currently the thinking is that this aether is composed of polarizable neutrinos where these are matter particles that have a vanishingly small amount of mass/energy and dipolarity in their "empty".state. These dipolar particles can spin axially, rotate radially, and oscillate between the charges. The internal mass/energy would be some combination of these three "internal"−there is no skin−motions.
If you build a universe of 3 dimensions that can't have any voids, then you have only two regular polyhedrons that can fill or "tessellate" a volume, those being tetrahedrons and cubes. So, if we must think of shape we should probably think of aether particles as having one of these two forms. OTOH, neutrino based particles probably are asymmetrical in shape. (At this point we have crossed the border into a different realm and are deep into projecting a topological shape metaphor into it). But since other more substantial particles and objects apparently move without friction through this aether medium, the particles must be quite flexible if not compressible and their "surfaces" must be without friction. Their vanishingly small mass would generate vanishingly small viscosity.
We also need to think of “force” as something tangible and not as something theoretical. We should also note that when we feel a substance with our fingers it is NOT the atomic material (matter) that we feel with our tactile faculty, but the electric repulsive force from the material. So, in this model force is transmitted across distance by contact of the aether particles. See Force Fields