Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Ether and ModernityThe recalcitrance of an epistemic object in the early twentieth century$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jaume Navarro

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198797258

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198797258.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 27 June 2019

Poincaré’s Mathematical Creations in Search of the ‘True Relations of Things’

Poincaré’s Mathematical Creations in Search of the ‘True Relations of Things’

(p.45) 4 Poincaré’s Mathematical Creations in Search of the ‘True Relations of Things’
Ether and Modernity

Connemara Doran

Oxford University Press

How did the vast corpus of mathematical innovation of Henri Poincaré (1854–1912) engage the rationale, and impact the fate, of the notion of the ether in physics? Poincaré sought the ‘true relations’ that adhere in the phenomena—relations that persist irrespective of the choice of a metric geometry and a change in physical theory. This chapter traces how Poincaré embedded utterly new geometries and topological intuitions at the heart of pure mathematics, mathematical physics and philosophy. It demonstrates that Poincaré had no ownership of the physicists’ ether concept and that he viewed the ether as neither necessary nor necessarily a hindrance for further advance. Poincaré attended to the profound and subtle needs regarding space and time within physics by creating profound and subtle mathematics to capture the ‘true relations’, of spacetime. Poincaré thereby rendered the physicists’ ether superfluous while also creating mathematical structures for gravitational and quantum phenomena.

Keywords:   Henri Poincaré, mathematical physics, geometry, space, ether, spacetime, philosophy

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .