Tombe, Frederick David
February 20, 2016
speed of light, electric fluid, aether, centrifugal force, Weber, Maxwell
Nineteenth century physicists Wilhelm Eduard Weber, Gustav Kirchhoff, and James Clerk-Maxwell are all credited with connecting electricity to the speed of light. Weber’s breakthrough in 1856, in conjunction with Rudolf Kohlrausch, revealed the speed of light in the context of a ratio as between two different units of electric charge. In 1857 Kirchhoff connected this ratio to the speed of an electric signal along a wire. Finally in 1862, Maxwell connected this ratio to the elasticity in the all pervading luminiferous medium that serves as the carrier of light waves. This paper sets out to establish the fundamental cause of the speed of light.