So forgive me when I ask, why all the hate?
In a dry run to sharpen his pencil for grander things to come, Albert Einstein decided to put the final nail on the coffin to prove the non-existence of aether (or ether) and that light can in fact propagate in nothingness. He wrote a paper describing the electrodynamics of moving bodies, thereby unifying Newtonian mechanics with Maxwell's equations of electromagnetism.
As the special theory of relativity, it is understood by few. However, even school children would know about one of its important corollaries which is that of e=mc2, the equivalence and interchangeability of mass and energy. This simple equation inspires nuclear holocaust as well as origin of the universe.