Physics of the Ether - Preface

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The present work, the result of much thought and careful study, is intended to afford an explanation or insight into the mode of working of an important series of physical phenomena at present referred to the theories of "action at a distance" and "potential energy" The subject dealt with includes the general phenomena of the aggregation of molecules, at present referred to "cohesion," &c.; and the mutual — strikingly diversified — actions of dissimilar molecules, at present referred to "chemical affinity" including the remarkable development of molecular motion taking place in the phenomena of combustion and in the case of explosives, referred to "potential energy;" comprising also the movements of approach and recession of bodies in the "electric" condition (or when "statically charged") and the general effects comprised under the phenomena of "attraction and repulsion".

The first part of the work contains an argument designed to prove that the allied theories of "action at a distance" and "potential energy" (i.e. the existence of two forms of energy, or an energy without motion) are inadmissible. The second part, or greater bulk of the work, is devoted to a consideration of the mode in which the above-named series of physical phenomena are brought about, or the regulating physical - processes therein concerned.

It is hoped that the arguments in the first part of the work will be received in the spirit in which they are written, i.e. not in a captious spirit, but keeping in view the attainment of truth as the ultimate object.

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