Fr.: dérive de l'éther
1) The hypothetical motion of the supposed → ether relative to
the Earth. The → Michelson-Morley experiment found no
ether drift. An analogy is given by a boat drifting in a fast-flowing river due
to the river's current. With the same power, the speed would be slower
when sailing across the stream. Moreover, in order to reach
directly opposite the starting point, the boat would have to be headed
somewhat upstream. See also the → ether drag.