Covariant Quantum Electrodynamics in Terms of a Possible Ether Flow
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- Institutt for fysikk 
This paper from 1971 has a special history. At that time the present author was working with the covariant quantization procedure for an electromagnetic field in a dielectric medium. In such a theory, the commutator for the potentials contains the medium's four-velocity Vµ. What appeared to be a natural idea, was to suggest that Vµ is not only a formal remedy (as in the Gupta-Bleuler theory), but that it reflects a concept of deeper physical significance, namely the four-velocity of the all-pervading ether. The idea was actually related to that put forward by Dirac in 1951-1953, although there in a somewhat different context. This proposal was written up in a paper published in the archival series "Theoretical Physics Seminar in Trondheim", No. 4, 1971. Submitting afterwards the paper to Il Nuovo Cimento, I received a report from a referee stating that all mention of an ether was pure nonsense, far outside of any reasonable physics. So I gave the idea up at that time. Some years have however elapsed since then, and as we know the ether concept is at present often used in theoretical physics, commonly called the Einstein-Dirac ether. I was probably far ahead of my time. I am posting an extract of this old paper on the arXiv now, since I was recently recommended to do so. A link to the original paper is given.