How the sun shines

Nereid
Nereid
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RE: RE: In other words,

Message 71683 in response to message 71680

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In other words, you seem to be using the detection of gammas from the solar atmosphere as precluding any and every other possible source of solar neutrinos.

I don't need to "preclude" any energy source. Even a fusion reaction in the core isn't going to make those surface emissions go away. If standard theory is accurate about fusion reactions in the core, then I might expect to see a very bright dot in the core, but I would still see surface discharges from the gamma ray point sources and I would still see the effects on cosmic rays on these observations. I can't eliminate your model, but I can make somewhat different predictions about these emissions patterns based on an EU solar model.

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Isn't this inconsistent with the uncertainty and tentativeness of your earlier post ("There are many possible options to choose from, and there is currently little if any way to determine how much of the total energy release is due to any of these potential influences.")?

Those gamma rays are observed in the solar atmosphere, irrespective of the energy sources involved in the total solar energy output. These gamma emissions should also emit neutrinos, irrespective of the energy sources involved.

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Further, wouldn't any valid test of the hypothesis that at least some solar neutrinos come from the core require a robust, tightly constrained estimate of the neutrino emission expected from the 'gammas in the solar atmosphere'?

In theory at least, a high resolution neutrino image based on standard theory would have a very compact core with very little else around it. That should be quite distinguishable from an external energy source which would be more apt to create an entire "surface effect" in the neutrino emission patterns. Shouldn't we be willing to make some predictions about neutrino images patterns based on our models? I'm willing right now to predict that high resolution neutrino images will show the moderately bright outline of a whole solar surface, even if there is another internal energy release process that emits neutrinos. Based on the limited resolution image I've seen thus far, I see nothing that resembles a strong "point source" for these neutrino emissions.

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As I just said, the next step, in testing one or other hypothesis, would be to make a robust, ranged estimate of the expected neutrino emission (under that hypothesis).

Were I to make one of those kinds of postdicted "predictions", I would base it strictly upon the observations of the various types of neutrinos and I would assume no "oscillation" effect of any sort. In short, it would take a lot of cosmic rays to pull it off.

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In the case of 'gammas in the solar atmosphere', I'm not aware of any such estimates - can you provide references to any please?

I'm not aware of any such estimates either.


I'm confused again ...

Here's what you said, just a few posts ago, in this thread:

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No internal power source [of the Sun] however could account for [...] that image of neutrino emissions I posted earlier.

Haven't you just stated, rather clearly, that:

a) an internal power source of the Sun *could* account for the Super-Kamiokande data (as summarised in the image)?

b) there are, in principle at least, some empirical tests (observations) by which we could estimate the origin(s) of solar neutrinos?

c) you know of no estimates of how many neutrinos should be expected from 'gammas in the solar atmosphere'?

The last is quite important ... if the number of neutrinos expected from 'gammas in the solar atmosphere' is, say, 10 orders of magnitude below what Super-K (etc) detected, wouldn't that pretty much rule out that hypothesised source?

Of course there will be some neutrinos from those gammas ... a key question is 'how many?'

Nereid
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RE: [snip] RE: One last

Message 71684 in response to message 71671

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[snip]

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One last note: I think I read, somewhere in those >900 pages, that Birkeland's hypothesis leads to the electrons which cause aurorae being (highly) relativistic, and that they take not much more time to get from the Sun to Earth than light does.

Hmmm, well not exactly. He suggested that there may be "beams" of energy (cathode rays) directed at the Earth from the sun. In those instances, particles might travel a significant portion of the speed of light, but I got the impression he also recognized a "background" flow of ions that was not necessarily traveling at very high speeds. Interesting enough we have seen CME events that have spewed heavier protons at a significant portion of the speed of light.

[snip]


I found the bit I remembered struck my eye as I skimmed ... it's on page 663 (767 of 994):

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Thus these cathode rays will pass the earth, not with a velocity of 9 kilometres, but with a velocity very little short of that of light.


There follow some caveats, but the net is that Birkeland seems to have been very clear that the electrons will be (highly) relativistic (to use the modern term) near the Earth, and that they will take not much more than a small multiple of '500 seconds' going from Sun to Earth.

Of course, Birkeland may have qualified this elsewhere ...

Michael Mozina
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RE: RE: Unless you can

Message 71685 in response to message 71681

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Unless you can explain to me why I would not expect to observe neutrino emissions from the high energy events in the solar atmosphere, I see no reason to believe that they do not occur there, or that I would not see surface related "hits" from such events. Lots of different kinds of high energy cosmic ray interactions might release neutrinos in the upper atmosphere of the sun. I could almost be logically certain to observe more than just a single point source of neutrinos from the sun's core.

Alas Michael, and I say this with genuine respect and kindness, the history of science is littered with faux pas based upon arguments of personal credulity. Unless your wording here is a mere literary device, that type of approach is not generally considered a convincing route to better definition of the physical world.

Well, I certainly respect the fact that my opinion is simply a logical and educated "guess" based on known physical processes (gamma rays) and their emission patterns (neutrinos). This "guess" lacks mathematical expression at this point in time so in the sense that it's not mathematically expressed, I'm sure it's not a particularly compelling argument to you right now.

I personally think that one of the most difficult aspects of EU theory in a general sense is that it is extremely difficult to quantify. In many respects it is far more "complicated" than standard theory, and therefore it's harder to quantify EU theory in robust mathematical terms. I think that is why I get particularly dismayed when people like Nereid handwave away some of the best mathematical efforts to quantify EU theory.

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While all theories have some type of mental model within, the main virtue of their inner intellectual mechanics is to construct a framework for *quantitative* prediction.

I hear you on this point loud and clear. That seems to be the whole intent behind Birkeland's work in fact. He experimented with a lot of different variables so that he could begin to quantify the processes and begin to quantify the amount of "flying electric ions" and electrons in his experiments so that he could begin to "predict" what that might equate to at large scales.

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A terrific example is Tycho Brahe who was one of the first to suggest and enact our 'modern' program - to measure some phenomena to the best accuracy available, in order to then present a body of data as a benchmark for comparison of any candidate models that are presented as purporting to explain said phenomena.

Well, that is why I so profoundly appreciate the THEMIS program and other programs like it that attempt to quantify these electrical flow patterns. IMO that is the most important type of work that can be done to begin to quantify the electron flows within the plasmas of spacetime. The more we can learn about our own solar system, the more likely we will be able to predict the behaviors of other solar systems and other objects in space.

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A large slab of both theoretical and observational effort is devoted to 'radii of variation' - for measurement we call this observational error ( various categories ), and similiarly for theory. But data has prime place, as it is the razor that slices off any errant models that lie outside the radius. So if newer concepts are to displace any currently well performing ones ( that are within the radius ), they have the burden ( under this modern program ) of equalling or bettering any incumbents.

This idea seem very logical to me until someone begins to insert placeholder terms into the mathematics to "explain" particular observations. Then the placeholder terms become suspect, and the mathematics becomes even more suspect. If we observe the acceleration of objects like solar wind particle or galaxies, is it scientifically acceptable to chalk up this acceleration to something that cannot be demonstrated to exist in nature? What if there are other forces of nature that might this acceleration process in plasma? This is where the "quantification only" approach to science has broken down as it relates to astronomy and astronomy theory IMO. While the basic idea is a noble one, in practical application in astronomy it has been abused by metaphysical constructs that have crept into the mathematical models.

I suppose this is why Birkeland's work is much more appealing to me personally. It is based on theories that are derived from direct experimentation with real (empirically demonstrated) objects and real forces of nature. While plasma cosmology theory may not be well "quantified" at this point in time, Birkeland's overall set of theories is well "qualified" in a standard scientific manner and it involves no unknown, unproven forces of nature.

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To me it appears that the criticism of EU ( and not of yourself as a person ) in this thread seems to relate to whether it compares favourably to existing quantitative knowledge.

Well, as we compare the value of qualitative and quantitative approaches toward science, let's keep in mind that quantitative numbers are not necessarily indicative of reality, nor indicative of how reality actually functions. Chapman's ideas were better quantified but Birkeland's ideas were better "qualified" in the lab, and they more accurately represented the way that reality functions. Mathematics can be misleading, as in the case of Chapman's theories.

I do agree with you however that the mathematical quantification process sometimes offers us a non subjective method to eliminate or validate some aspects of some theories. I simply respect the fact that mathematics alone can never be used in place of a scientific qualification process.

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I don't know if EU does or does not, I'm just pointing out that there may be differing assumptions hereabouts as to what is a valid standard of proof to judge that.

EU theory is very different from other astronomy theories in one very basic respect. It was originally developed by Birkeland to explain relatively "local" phenomenon, that he believed might also apply to a larger scale. It begins at the scale of an electron and proton and builds a bigger picture based on these tiny particles. EU theory as Birkeland approached it, was not intended as a "big picture" theory, but rather it is a "nuts and bolts" approach to scientific discovery that begins with studying local events and works outward toward a larger scale. That is very different than say Lambda-CMD theory that attempts to deal with astronomy from a "big picture" perspective. It therefore becomes very difficult to judge the validity or merit of many of the non empirically demonstrated aspects of Lambda-CDM theories in relationship to other theories, including EU theories and MOND theories, MECO theories, ect.

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It can be quite amazing what turns up sometimes:

Feynman's path integral method, a very exacting calculational machine in quantum electrodynamics ( & later generalised ) specifies that all possible alternate ( but unseen ) event sequences are summated. The result are probabilities, including a normalised denominator - a non-trivial exercise of itself. That then leads to very exact testable quantitative predictions. The measurement of the electron's magnetic moment ( ratio of it's dipole strength to angular momentum ) disagreed with the QED number only after the ninth decimal place! This is despite that we really have no everday gut-feeling clue as to what it really means by all possible alternates summating. ( Note that the integral is of the behaviour of virtual particles ie. 'existing' only to suit the model ). But an arrow that accurate is going to be kept however weird it seems.

Birkeland went through a very similar process as he attempted to integrate the path of electrons through plasma. He ended up with spiraling currents he couldn't fully explain, but indeed, electrical currents do tend to travel in spiraling paths in plasma. It sounds weird, but we observe that behavior today in magnetic ropes that extend at least 1 AU from the sun.

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Einstein, as mentioned, deduced quantum entanglement as a consequence of QM as it then stood. He felt and openly declared that because entanglement 'must' be false/paradoxical then : EPR following from QM => QM invalid. Poor chap didn't have the benefit of later data - as likewise he didn't have Hubble's data on galaxy recession when proposing the cosmological constant to yield a static universe model.

Well, I agree that even great minds can make mistakes. Sometimes new data is required to "push things over the edge" so to speak and to get people to look at an idea in a new way. IMO that THEMIS data has that kind of potential for EU theory. It demonstrates via in situ measurements that there is an electrical link between suns and planets.

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Planck proposed quanta of energy to solve equilibrium radiation properties of 'black' bodies. A continuous integral of infinitesimal amounts gave an infinite answer, whereas a finite sum of discrete terms ( then subjected to a mathematical limit ) yielded not only a finite result but an experimentally agreeable one. It's quirky that while he is immortalised by the name of that constant, he never accepted quanta as 'real' and spent a goodly portion of his remaining work trying and failing to gain a workable classical explanation.

My reason for mentioning any of this is to point out the error we all make at one time or another - inappropriately firm generalisations. Well, assuming one respects the 'logical positivism' approach of science that is. Quantitative measurement and prediction, with a test of alignment between the two, rises above individual foibles. This is largely why reproducibility of experiment ( in the sense of controlling observable variables ) is considered a key property of scientific success ( eg. the cold fusion debacle ).

Well, this is where my primary criticism of standard theory comes from. Without any control mechanism, a pure observation cannot in and of itself tell us the actual 'cause' of that observation. In other words, if we see objects in an apparent spurt of acceleration, unless we can demonstrate that our proposed solution exists in controlled empirical ways, it is impossible to verify or falsify any quantification presented. In other words I might present you with a calculation of acceleration based on a "magic force". Simply by looking at the observation of acceleration, I cannot rule out "magic force" as the cause of that acceleration. I can't rule it in either. Only a controlled test could rule it in. I know from experimentation that EM fields are something like 39 orders of magnitude more powerful than gravity, so it could be that EM fields might accelerate objects. I do not know from experimentation if "dark energy" exists, so I have no way to verify or falsify that idea that "space"(however that is defined) can expand and thereby "resemble" acceleration. "Dark energy" may be better "quantified", but it is an unqualified solution, and an unfalsifiable solution to the observation of acceleration.

Likewise when someone mentions 'magnetic reconnection' I can't help but wonder if they've ever read any of Alfven's work, and whether they have really even attempted to demonstrate this idea in a lab? Magnetic fields not make and break connections in Maxwell's formulas. Only current flows can do that.

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Of course we frequently can't control or reproduce findings, there's certainly no dials on the Sun for us to twiddle. Poorer, but still effective substitutes if done carefully are surveys, sampling ( the more the merrier ), or simply watching and waiting, to name a few strategies.

Well, Birkeland did manage to create a "mini sun", or at least mimicked most of the obvious external behaviors of a sun, including those "magnetic ropes" we observed in THEMIS data. To my knowledge no one has ever created a sustained fusion reaction in hydrogen plasma, and I suspect if they ever do create a sustained fusion reaction it will involve the flow of a stable current through partially ionized plasma. What then is the value of Birkeland's electrical solar theories vs a standard solar theory? How do we objectively decide which theory is a better reflection of reality? My personal method of make such a choice came down to satellite data, heliosiesmology data and chemistry data.

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To summarise : unfortunately without exacting predictions we can wind up with theories that are sufficiently vague as to explain everything, which is the same result as explaining nothing. String theories are in this bind at present.

Hmmmm. I would actually have to say (admit) that string theories seem well quantified to me, but the don't seem to very qualified when applied to particle physics, whereas I would say that EU theory is not very well quantified, but extremely well qualified in terms of laboratory experimentation and plasma physics.

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and thanks to you for your contributing here .... :-)

Cheers, Mike.

Thanks for having me Mike. I appreciate it. Cheers to you as well, and happy new year to everyone.

Nereid
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That "magnetic rope" that

That "magnetic rope" that NASA found "in situ" using THEMIS ...

Here is the abstract of the paper which the NASA/THEMIS PR seems to be based on (it is one of the Fall 2007 AGU conference presentations):

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Since its launch, on February 17 2007, the five-satellite (or -probe) THEMIS mission has been operating nominally in a 14.6Re apogee (low-perigee), near-equatorial orbit. Most instruments have been on since March 15. Electric field (EFI) instruments on three probes were turned on and operating nominally since mid-June. EFI instruments on the other two probes will be deployed in early winter. THEMIS nominal science operations commenced on July 1. In its early orbits through the dusk magnetotail, the THEMIS probes captured several substorms and a small storm at roughly radial alignments along the 20-23MLT meridian. The THEMIS first-light (a single orbit in nominal science mode during early operations) on March-23, was nature's welcome: Two substorm sequences were captured in fast survey mode: particle injections and dipolarization signatures were seen propagating from one probe to another. An Earthward flow pulse ahead of a predominantly duskward flow accompanied a strong field-aligned current pair signature at the THEMIS altitude. POLAR VIS,UVI imaged the global evolution of the aurora. The THEMIS GBO array captured the salient features of the largest intensification of the first substorm, concurrent with the most intense particle injection on THEMIS probes. FAST, whose orbit passed through the vicinity of the THEMIS footprints 3 min after the major intensification, made detailed observations of the field aligned currents, arc and outflowing ions. In July and August, the THEMIS probes repeatedly encountered the magnetopause and bow shock, observing FTEs, LLBL and boundary layers with the three inner, deployed-EFI-bearing probes (C,D,E) at 100-500km separations, and the two outer probes (B, A) at 5,000-10,000 km separations. Dissecting FTEs, providing evidence for simultaneous reconnection at both cusps for northward IMF orientation, and directly relating magnetopause and boundary layer motion to corresponding ULF waves in the magnetosphere, are some of the exciting findings from this dayside interlude. In September 2007 the probes commenced the series maneuvers that will place them into their final orbits with approximately 30Re, 20Re, 12Re (2) and 10Re apogees and orbital periods of 4, 2, and 1 days. In these orbits, they will be aligned along the Sun-Earth line in Earth's magnetotail in January - March 2008. Results obtained demonstrate the high data quality and the potential for scientific discovery, particularly when combined with existing ancillary data or campaigns.

I think 'field aligned currents' in the Earth's magnetosphere are also called 'Birkeland currents', in honour of Birkeland's role in their discovery.

Perhaps we could try to find one of the ~15,000 scientists who attended that conference, and ask them about this presentation?

There are, it seems, at least seven other presentation at the conference, based on the THEMIS 'magnetic rope' event; perhaps Observation and modeling of the injection observed by THEMIS and LANL satellites during March 23rd, 2007 substorm event may be of pertinence to Michael's posts:

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AB: During the first encounter of a substorm on March 23rd, 2007, THEMIS constellation observed energetic particle injections and dipolarizations in the pre-midnight sector during the onset. Clear injection and dipolarization signatures were observed by three probes (A, B and D) in the region around 11 Re and 21:00 local time. THEMIS C, which was leading in the constellation at 8.3 Re, also observed a good injection signature, but the dipolarization is not so clear. From the timing based on these observations, a westward expanding ion injection and dipolarization front is identified. In combination with the energetic particle observations from LANL geosynchronous satellites, the particle injection seemed to initiate between LANL-97A (21 LT) and 1989-046 (1 LT). Ion injection can only be observed west of the center, whereas electron injections can only be seen east of the center. This event provides us an excellent opportunity to examine the dipolarization and particle injection processes beyond geosynchronous orbit. We model this injection event by sending an earthward dipolarization-like pulse at 23 local time and record the injected ions and electrons associated this pulse at the various satellite locations. Most of the basic features of the injected particles during the main injection are reproduced and the timing among satellites is consistent with observations. It is suggested from the model that the center of this substorm injection was initiated around 23 local time and located beyond 19 Re.

That conference also had a presentation by Sibeck, Phan, and Omidi (the first two are, apparently, THEMIS team members), "Reconnection initiated in the magnetosheath: Comparing hybrid simulations and Cluster observations":

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Recent observations by the Cluster spacecraft have established the occurrence of magnetic reconnection in the magnetosheath. It was shown that reconnection occurs due to the interaction of a thick tangential discontinuity, with northward IMF at its leading edge and southward IMF at the trailing edge, with the bow shock. This interaction involves compression of the discontinuity by the bow shock to a thickness of about 10 ion skin depth. In this study, we use 2.5-dimensional global hybrid (kinetic ions, fluid electrons) simulations to show that the interaction of a thick tangential/rotational discontinuity with the bow shock leads to its compression and eventual onset of reconnection in the magnetosheath. The observed and simulated thickness of the discontinuity as well as reconnection rates and plasma and field signatures compare favorably. The reconnection in the simulation is quasi-steady with minimal level of island formation. These results are also compared to simulations with thinner discontinuities and different internal structures (e.g. polarization) which show highly time-dependent behavior with magnetic islands forming and evolving on varying scales. Implication of these results regarding steady state and time dependent reconnection is discussed. In addition, global scale consequences of this interaction and transformation of the magnetopause from northward to southward IMF is discussed.

Pace Michael, it seems 'magnetic reconnection' is not only part of modern space science, but is being studied in situ (and quantitatively).

Michael Mozina
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RE: That "magnetic rope"

Message 71687 in response to message 71686

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That "magnetic rope" that NASA found "in situ" using THEMIS ...

Definition of terms is important when it comes to science. Let's look at how a "magnetic rope" is defined in MHD theory according to the creator of that theory. From his book "Cosmic Plasma":

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However, in cosmic plasmas the perhaps most important constriction mechanism is the electromagnetic attraction between parallel currents . A manifestation of this mechanism is the pinch effect, which was studied by Bennett long ago (1934), and has received much attention in connection with thermonuclear research . As we shall see, phenomena of this general type also exist on a cosmic scale, and lead to a bunching of currents and magnetic fields to filaments or `magnetic ropes' . This bunching is usually accompanied by an accumulation of matter, and it may explain the observational fact that cosmic matter exhibits an abundance of filamentary structures (II .4 .1) . This same mechanism may also evacuate the regions near the rope and produce regions of exceptionally low densities.

A magnetic rope is a *current carrying* device that he specifically describes as a "Bennett pinch". That is how the creator of MHD theory defines a "magnetic rope".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bennett_pinch

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A pinch is the compression of an electrically conducting filament by magnetic forces.

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Recent observations by the Cluster spacecraft have established the occurrence of magnetic reconnection in the magnetosheath. It was shown that reconnection occurs due to the interaction of a thick tangential discontinuity, with northward IMF at its leading edge and southward IMF at the trailing edge, with the bow shock. This interaction involves compression of the discontinuity by the bow shock to a thickness of about 10 ion skin depth. In this study, we use 2.5-dimensional global hybrid (kinetic ions, fluid electrons) simulations to show that the interaction of a thick tangential/rotational discontinuity with the bow shock leads to its compression and eventual onset of reconnection in the magnetosheath. The observed and simulated thickness of the discontinuity as well as reconnection rates and plasma and field signatures compare favorably. The reconnection in the simulation is quasi-steady with minimal level of island formation. These results are also compared to simulations with thinner discontinuities and different internal structures (e.g. polarization) which show highly time-dependent behavior with magnetic islands forming and evolving on varying scales. Implication of these results regarding steady state and time dependent reconnection is discussed. In addition, global scale consequences of this interaction and transformation of the magnetopause from northward to southward IMF is discussed.

There is no such thing as "magnetic reconnection". Let me quote Hannes Alfven himself from his book Cosmic Plasma:

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Again, it should be mentioned that there is no possibility of accounting for the energy of the particles as a result of 'magnetic merging' or of 'magnetic field-line reconnection', or any other mechanism which implies changing magnetic fields in the region of acceleration. In the region of the double layer, the magnetic field during the explosive transient phase is almost constant and cannot supply the required energy (of course, the secondary effects of the explosion also cause changes in the magnetic field).

Page 33, Chapter 2

http://members.cox.net/dascott3/IEEE-TransPlasmaSci-Scott-Aug2007.pdf

Alfven:

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“Of course there can be no magnetic merging energy transfer. The most important criticism of the merging mechanism is that by Heikkila [21], who, with increasing strength, has demonstrated that it is wrong. In spite of all this, we have witnessed, at the same time, an enormously voluminous formalism building up based on this obviously erroneous concept.

I was naïve enough to believe that [magnetic recombination] would die by itself in the scientific community, and I concentrated my work on more pleasant problems. To my great surprise the opposite has occurred: ‘merging’ . . . seems to be increasingly powerful. Magnetospheric physics and solar wind physics today are no doubt in a chaotic state, and a major reason for this is that part of the published papers are science and part pseudoscience, perhaps even with a majority in the latter group.�

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Pace Michael, it seems 'magnetic reconnection' is not only part of modern space science, but is being studied in situ (and quantitatively).

It is pseudoscience according to the author of MHD theory. If you believe Alfven to be in error, perhaps you could explain the physical energy release process for us at a plasma physics level? What is the unique energy release process of "magnetic reconnection" that can be distinguished from ordinary electrical interactions in plasma? Don't tell me that this idea hasn't been lab tested and lab isolated like so many other parts of astronomy theory. This idea most certainly *can* be tested and isolated if in fact there is any such thing as "magnetic reconnection". All of Maxwell's equations treat magnetic fields as a full continuum, they don't make and break connections like an electrical circuit.

Mike Hewson
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RE: Well, I certainly

Message 71688 in response to message 71685

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Well, I certainly respect the fact that my opinion is simply a logical and educated "guess" based on known physical processes (gamma rays) and their emission patterns (neutrinos). This "guess" lacks mathematical expression at this point in time so in the sense that it's not mathematically expressed, I'm sure it's not a particularly compelling argument to you right now.

I guess there are levels of credulity depending on the stage/progress to date. I really wanted to find out whether you like the general sense of logical positivism or not. It isn't a panacea for all questions by any means, as some of the best ones are well outside it! But a scientific discussion with hidden and mixed assumptions can be a bit of a wally.... :-)

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I personally think that one of the most difficult aspects of EU theory in a general sense is that it is extremely difficult to quantify. In many respects it is far more "complicated" than standard theory, and therefore it's harder to quantify EU theory in robust mathematical terms. I think that is why I get particularly dismayed when people like Nereid handwave away some of the best mathematical efforts to quantify EU theory.

Heck, while General Relativity can be summarised by a single tensor equation, solving it is another task again! I do get a bit annoyed when it's implicit depedencies ( aka horrible & non-linear ) are glossed over in describing it. The solutions which have given excellent fruit are in the weak field area ( Mercury's perihelion, Taylor-Hulse pulsar, 1919 eclipse .... ). It's a good start for sure, with no other serious competitor, but the numerical relativity groups are having a real wrestle with the close-in/high-mass scenarios.

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I hear you on this point loud and clear. That seems to be the whole intent behind Birkeland's work in fact. He experimented with a lot of different variables so that he could begin to quantify the processes and begin to quantify the amount of "flying electric ions" and electrons in his experiments so that he could begin to "predict" what that might equate to at large scales.

Sounds like Edison, as he went through ~ 2000 materials in filament testing. I think one was grass! If I remember rightly he's the origin of the '1% inspiration, 99% perspiration' formula for genius. Personally I prefer the Woody Allen approach - '85% of success is just turning up' ! :-)

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Well, that is why I so profoundly appreciate the THEMIS program and other programs like it that attempt to quantify these electrical flow patterns. IMO that is the most important type of work that can be done to begin to quantify the electron flows within the plasmas of spacetime. The more we can learn about our own solar system, the more likely we will be able to predict the behaviors of other solar systems and other objects in space.

Now there's an important fork in the road. One often unstated assumption is that physical 'laws' hereabouts ( in space and time ) are sufficiently similiar to distant space/time rules. Not a bad assumption, indeed it is the simplest option to choose. The dark matter issue began as an observation of only mildly reducing tangential velocities of stars with respect to the radial distance from galactic centres. The visible mass in the galaxy predicts a more Keplerian distribution. In our own solar system Newton/Kepler/Galileo give the radius-cubed/period-squared relation - and a more rapidly diminishing tangential velocity curve for those galaxies. The extreme version of the fork is: keep Newton et al but add dark matter, OR keep the observed mass but change gravity theory for that scale ( MOND ... ). ( GR is sufficiently close to Newton for these purposes here - weak field again ).

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This idea seem very logical to me until someone begins to insert placeholder terms into the mathematics to "explain" particular observations. Then the placeholder terms become suspect, and the mathematics becomes even more suspect. If we observe the acceleration of objects like solar wind particle or galaxies, is it scientifically acceptable to chalk up this acceleration to something that cannot be demonstrated to exist in nature? What if there are other forces of nature that might this acceleration process in plasma? This is where the "quantification only" approach to science has broken down as it relates to astronomy and astronomy theory IMO. While the basic idea is a noble one, in practical application in astronomy it has been abused by metaphysical constructs that have crept into the mathematical models.

Yes, indeed. Point well made. Dark energy is such a place-holder. I saw another derivation of it a few weeks ago. I felt like asking what does a negative pressure in outer space really mean guys? The term in the equation which represents it *analogises* to our everyday meaning for sure, but it's presence there flips the sign of a gravitational energy term and then ..... expand away Mr. Universe. I guess there's a phenomenology/numerology approach here, but it would help us lesser mortals who are eavesdropping if that type of thinking was highlighted as being such.

Inflationary theory has a similiar feel. A superluminal exponential expansion of spacetime flattens metrics, and separates the universe into causally disconnected regions ( which are now coming back within horizons ) thus freezing in homogenous features that we see now in the CMB. A terrific bit of work but we could leave out the 'face of God' stuff when variations from uniformity only appear four magnitudes down!

However careful spotters will note that we haven't got a pre-inflation comparison data set here, merely a set of deductions ( consistent, yes ) extrapolating backwards from ~ 300Kyrs post BB ( the CMB sphere ). Since we postulate both uniformity and opacity prior to that time does it really matter what the 'inflaton' particle was that slowly rolled off some potential field? It is not ( and theory says will not ) be now measurable outside of 'relic' data, as the energy scale is humungous compared to current levels.

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I suppose this is why Birkeland's work is much more appealing to me personally. It is based on theories that are derived from direct experimentation with real (empirically demonstrated) objects and real forces of nature. While plasma cosmology theory may not be well "quantified" at this point in time, Birkeland's overall set of theories is well "qualified" in a standard scientific manner and it involves no unknown, unproven forces of nature.

Well I'd say you are in good company there! I think that, like Feynman dipping an O-ring into ice-water, we all like a handle on the universe that we can grab onto and yank ... :-)

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Well, as we compare the value of qualitative and quantitative approaches toward science, let's keep in mind that quantitative numbers are not necessarily indicative of reality, nor indicative of how reality actually functions. Chapman's ideas were better quantified but Birkeland's ideas were better "qualified" in the lab, and they more accurately represented the way that reality functions. Mathematics can be misleading, as in the case of Chapman's theories.

I do agree with you however that the mathematical quantification process sometimes offers us a non subjective method to eliminate or validate some aspects of some theories. I simply respect the fact that mathematics alone can never be used in place of a scientific qualification process.

That's the both ends reaching to meet in the middle for sure, and generally we have the dichotomy of scientific labor into theory and experimentalist streams. Feynman once took a sabbatical into a bio-lab to get a break from his blackboard. Lisa Randall does an excellent job in her 'Warped Passages' book of illustrating this very point ... and others. ( It's a great all round book even if you have no formal background ).

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EU theory is very different from other astronomy theories in one very basic respect. It was originally developed by Birkeland to explain relatively "local" phenomenon, that he believed might also apply to a larger scale. It begins at the scale of an electron and proton and builds a bigger picture based on these tiny particles. EU theory as Birkeland approached it, was not intended as a "big picture" theory, but rather it is a "nuts and bolts" approach to scientific discovery that begins with studying local events and works outward toward a larger scale. That is very different than say Lambda-CMD theory that attempts to deal with astronomy from a "big picture" perspective. It therefore becomes very difficult to judge the validity or merit of many of the non empirically demonstrated aspects of Lambda-CDM theories in relationship to other theories, including EU theories and MOND theories, MECO theories, ect.

The overlapping of and the extension of domains of applicability is a difficult synthetic process. Alas such 'sewing' is neither quite opposite, nor orthogonal, to reductionist inquisitions.

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Birkeland went through a very similar process as he attempted to integrate the path of electrons through plasma. He ended up with spiraling currents he couldn't fully explain, but indeed, electrical currents do tend to travel in spiraling paths in plasma. It sounds weird, but we observe that behavior today in magnetic ropes that extend at least 1 AU from the sun.

It was a bothersome divergence in the summation I described earlier, which yielded infinites close in to the electron for QED. So by 'moving' within the cloud of virtual particles the coupling ( ~ strength of interaction, ~ probability of a vertex occurring ) increased. More and more of the previously ignored higher order terms ( diagrams ) dominated, these had been given upper bounds before that couldn't now apply. Feynman's solution was a simple fiat, subtract away the said infinity. So that yields : 'bare' charge + masking from a virtual cloud = observed charge. So if higher kinetic energies bring you closer in to an electron it won't be as per Coulomb. I think this is weird.

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Well, I agree that even great minds can make mistakes. Sometimes new data is required to "push things over the edge" so to speak and to get people to look at an idea in a new way. IMO that THEMIS data has that kind of potential for EU theory. It demonstrates via in situ measurements that there is an electrical link between suns and planets.

Fair enough, let us await with interest.

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Well, this is where my primary criticism of standard theory comes from. Without any control mechanism, a pure observation cannot in and of itself tell us the actual 'cause' of that observation. In other words, if we see objects in an apparent spurt of acceleration, unless we can demonstrate that our proposed solution exists in controlled empirical ways, it is impossible to verify or falsify any quantification presented. In other words I might present you with a calculation of acceleration based on a "magic force". Simply by looking at the observation of acceleration, I cannot rule out "magic force" as the cause of that acceleration. I can't rule it in either. Only a controlled test could rule it in. I know from experimentation that EM fields are something like 39 orders of magnitude more powerful than gravity, so it could be that EM fields might accelerate objects. I do not know from experimentation if "dark energy" exists, so I have no way to verify or falsify that idea that "space"(however that is defined) can expand and thereby "resemble" acceleration. "Dark energy" may be better "quantified", but it is an unqualified solution, and an unfalsifiable solution to the observation of acceleration.

Yup, I follow you there. See as above. One thing harder than hidden assumptions, is hidden circular arguments. This can of course depend upon the precision of language and care with definitions too. Try this : Galileo/Newton give inertia as a material property with frames defining forces as those influences which cause deviations from straight lines. Einstein gives straight lines devolving to those paths which light travels along ( SR or GR ). Now in cosmology a frequently used yardstick is 'co-moving distance', with a factor/ratio that scales 'real' distances to some co-ordinate system choice. But hang on, haven't we used some light ( path/speed ) type simultaneity program to lay out a grid in space to quantify our measurements? This *empirical* frame can't be BOTH the 'real distance' AND the co-ordinate frame! So choose it as representing one of them, and you will then leave the other as a pure abstraction. Expansion of space then is one-half mathematics only. The trouble is an old unresolved chestnut which is whether 'space' is defined by 'matter' or vice-versa. Yes GR connects the two but avoids nailing either. Similiarly Mach worried the hell out of the 'inertia' bit - see Newton's pail of water - and 'modern' resolution seems to involve the as yet unseen Higgs particle....

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Likewise when someone mentions 'magnetic reconnection' I can't help but wonder if they've ever read any of Alfven's work, and whether they have really even attempted to demonstrate this idea in a lab? Magnetic fields not make and break connections in Maxwell's formulas. Only current flows can do that.

I've never understood the term 'magnetic reconnection'. :-(

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Well, Birkeland did manage to create a "mini sun", or at least mimicked most of the obvious external behaviors of a sun, including those "magnetic ropes" we observed in THEMIS data. To my knowledge no one has ever created a sustained fusion reaction in hydrogen plasma, and I suspect if they ever do create a sustained fusion reaction it will involve the flow of a stable current through partially ionized plasma. What then is the value of Birkeland's electrical solar theories vs a standard solar theory? How do we objectively decide which theory is a better reflection of reality? My personal method of make such a choice came down to satellite data, heliosiesmology data and chemistry data.

Please don't forget all the min-suns that the particle physicists make as they do have relevance to plasmas. Have you read any of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books? If not, I implore you to do so, I reckon you'll love what goes on on in the High Energy Magic building. :-)

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Hmmmm. I would actually have to say (admit) that string theories seem well quantified to me, but the don't seem to very qualified when applied to particle physics, whereas I would say that EU theory is not very well quantified, but extremely well qualified in terms of laboratory experimentation and plasma physics.

String theory currently has an embarrassment of riches, with no principle(s) to trim down the flock. There's a wide panoply of variants for those little curled up dimensions, the Calabi-Yau spaces. Their behaviour ( in theory ) gives our forces and fields in detail. Quantity yes, precision no.

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Thanks for having me Mike. I appreciate it. Cheers to you as well, and happy new year to everyone.

Thanks indeed, so far the year is going well! :-)

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

Michael Mozina
Michael Mozina
Joined: 15 Nov 05
Posts: 51
Credit: 8,270
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RE: Michael, there are

Message 71689 in response to message 71682

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Michael, there are excellent records by what we might call 'Chinese astronomers' or 'Chinese observers' which clearly indicate that they 'knew' there was a solar wind (they concluded this from the appearance of comets).

And these records pre-date Birkeland, Maxwell, and (IIRC) Newton.

Should we conclude that they, not Birkeland, were first to correctly describe the nature of the IPM?

Sure, why not? Birkeland still would have been the first individual to describe the nature of the "solar wind".

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As I said in my previous post, you seem to be employing a logical fallacy called 'false dichotomy' ... the fact that Birkeland got some things (very) right does not preclude him having got some things (very) wrong.

I'm not suggesting he got everything right, I'm only suggesting that he got *a lot* of things right. He understood the explicit and intimate physical relationship between observations of "structures" (like planetary rings) and electrical activity. I would personally suggest that he got more things right about astronomy than you have, even with your 100 years of 20/20 hindsight and advanced technologies. At least he acknowledge the electrical nature of spacetime, and he experimented with variable to begin to understand how it worked. I can't even get you to read Alfven's book yet, even after 2 years of yacking at you at cyberspace.

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And the nature of the IPM, and the specifics of how the mechanisms by which electrons give rise to aurorae, and ... are among those which Birkeland got wrong (as Peratt said).

Unless I missed something, the only thing he got wrong is that he oversimplified the model a bit. That's not surprising since he was winging the whole theory, without the benefit of modern satellite technologies like THEMIS.

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From your comment, I would guess that your source is a NASA Press Release, and not the preprint(s)* associated with the team's work. In any case, how about we look at the actual paper(s)? I suspect a cool-headed comparison between the observational results presented there and what Birkeland wrote will show a more nuanced correspondence than your dramatic summary.

That's sounds fine by me. How about starting with a physical description of the energy release mechanisms that are unique to magnetic reconnection so that we can compare that to ordinary electrical interactions in plasma.

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And of course you are entitled to your opinion, just as all of us are.

However, no matter what the details are of Birkeland's observations, the contemporary understanding of the magnetosphere and the IPM rests far more on the GB of in situ data from space missions (note too that those who study these are called 'space scientists', not 'astronomers', to reflect the huge difference between remote observations based solely on the detection of photons and data from in situ instruments).

Sure Nereid, but he didn't have access to that kind of data now did he? If he had, he could probably put both of us to shame in his explanations of what we're actually observing in these high tech images and he could show us the relationships to his laboratory tests.

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We acknowledge Birkeland's fine pioneering work, in writing the history of this field of science, and return to getting on with making progress ...

Return to what? Dark matter? Dark energy? Inflation? Magnetic reconnection? How did those ideas *ever* get published without any laboratory testing done to demonstrate they actually exist and have some unique effect on nature?

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by designing new missions, collecting more data, testing and refining (tweaking) hypotheses, etc.

Shouldn't we be trying to refine *his* model, *his* tests and *his* hypothesis?

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Nitpick: most of that work was done, up to centuries before, by many others ... leading to the classical unification (Maxwell's equations).

I think your criticism is irrelevant. He applied these equations to objects in space and showed how the directly related to observations from space.

[quote[and how the electromagnetic forces of nature affect bodies in space.

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I think you are confusing effort with results ...

No, I think you are confusing mathematical theories with reality and scientific tests of reality.

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thousands and thousands of scientists have done just as much "sweat equity science", only to find many of the conclusions they drew from their data overturned - even in their own working lifetimes.

I'm sure that's true. I'm sure Birkeland knew that this was true which is why he constructed these experiments in the first place. He wanted to make sure his ideas worked in a lab before developing a whole mathematical theory about it.

You are not acknowledging the difference in sweat equity science that was done by Birkeland to test his theories, vs. the kinds of things done to support inflation, or dark energy which are based upon theoretical projections upon simple observations without any benefit of a control mechanism.

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But Michael, the universe doesn't do batting averages, nor keep track, nor even care ...

It doesn't care about math either. It does it's thing in it's own way, irrespective of what mathematical presentations we make on paper. Magnetic reconnection might look mathematically beautiful and elegant on paper, but it doesn't work in the lab! That's why the say "one test is worth a thousand expert opinions." It was Alfven's opinion (after a lot of lab work) that magnetic reconnection theories were nonsense. Today they've been resurrected in mathematical models. How do we decide who is right and who is wrong? We do to a lab and and we test the theories. Since you can't even define the physical (atomic) energy release mechanism of "magnetic reconnection" there isn't even a method to test your theory in any controlled test of the concept. The whole thing is paper (mathematical) mythology.

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And that's just my point ... whatever Einstein embraced, or didn't embrace, is now pretty much irrelevant; the primary test of any hypothesis is how well it accounts for good, reliable observations and experimental results (preferably independently verified, like the resolution of the EPR paradox).

Well, like I said, I've seen many folks claim to be smarter than Einstein (Lambda proponents) and yet they can't produce any empirical evidence that "dark energy" has any effect on matter or space or spacetime or anything in a controlled scientific test.

Likewise I've seen plenty of folks claim to know more about MHD theory than Alfven, but I've never seen any of them demonstrate this point in a laboratory experiment. Talk is cheap. Science requires sweat equity science like Birkeland did, not more elegant math formulas. Someone has to role up their sleeves and get their hands dirty to find out if "magnetic reconnection" is actually taking place in plasma in a controlled test before pointing to plasma in sky and claiming "magneticreconnnectiondidiit". Every time I read a paper on some proposed citing of magnetic reconnection in space, it has twisted filaments and obvious electrical aspects. There is no such thing as magnetic reconnection which is why Alfven crusaded against the idea and nobody has ever described the physical energy release mechanism of "magnetic reconnection". It's a paper concept based on math, not a real thing that exists in reality.

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Or do you think we should stick with Einstein's views, no matter what the data says?

I think we should not be stuffing metaphysics related to acceleration into a theory about the gravitational attraction of mass to other forms of mass without first demonstrating that they are in any way related to Einstein's concept of gravity.

The last drink I had is starting to kick in now, so I think I'll stop here. The point here is that scientific experimentation is the only way to determine if ideas have merit or they do not. You can't tell how many pixies fit on the head of pin via a mathematical presentation. Likewise you can't tell how much energy "magnetic reconnection" can account for until you show that it can do something in a lab, and you can show what that "something" is. Astronomers today have a very bad habit of stuffing metaphysical concepts into an otherwise perfectly good mathematical model. The problem with that approach is that one cannot ever know if the metaphysical entity has any effect on nature based only on a math formula. To know whether there is a unique energy release mechanism (that also defies the laws of physics) called "magnetic reconnection", one has to identify the unique feature of magnetic reconnection and show that it is uniquely different from ordinary electrical reconnection.

The other key issue is addressed in detail by Don Scott in that link I provided. He is an electrical engineer and as such, he is familiar with Maxwell's equations and how they are applied to physics here on Earth. In no way do Maxwell's equations, or MHD theory support the idea that magnetic connections make and break contact like electrical circuits. In fact we know that they do not make and break connections like electrical circuits, but rather they form full a continuum. They are not open ended either. The whole basis for promoting "magnetic reconnection' theory is because the mainstream is allergic to the words "current flow" when it comes to plasma. There is no scientific basis for magnetic reconnection theory. It's just another example of the pure metaphysics that is promoted by astronomers that has never been tested and confirmed in a lab. Birkeland confirmed that his ideas worked in a lab before he ever took up paper to write down a mathematical theory to explain what he observed. Nobody ever did that with magnetic reconnection, dark energy, non baryionic dark matter, or inflation. All these things are metaphysical constructs that lack qualitative support.

Nereid
Nereid
Joined: 9 Feb 05
Posts: 79
Credit: 925,034
RAC: 0

RE: RE: And the nature of

Message 71690 in response to message 71689

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And the nature of the IPM, and the specifics of how the mechanisms by which electrons give rise to aurorae, and ... are among those which Birkeland got wrong (as Peratt said).

[snip]

Unless I missed something, the only thing he got wrong is that he oversimplified the model a bit. That's not surprising since he was winging the whole theory, without the benefit of modern satellite technologies like THEMIS.

From reading a bit more of the 994 pages, my impression is, increasingly, that Peratt was rather kind to Birkeland, in regard to his actual achievements.

This part is particularly good: "Birkeland could see that bunches of electrons curved down and toward the Earth's poles. While the actual process is somewhat more complicated than he envisioned [...] his results were surprisingly good."

However, re the IPM, he got a great deal wrong - relativistic electrons, the role of the ions (mostly protons), coronium, (and geocoronium!), and most of the actual plasma mechanisms, to name just a few.

Further, it seems by so aggressively extrapolating from his lab results, he came up with a whole lot of things that are even more wrong - the nature of planetary rings (Saturn's were the only ones known at the time), the formation of the solar system ("the origin of the worlds"), ... and how the Sun shines.

All the more reason to not put him on a pedestal.

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We acknowledge Birkeland's fine pioneering work, in writing the history of this field of science, and return to getting on with making progress ...

Return to what? Dark matter? Dark energy? Inflation? Magnetic reconnection? How did those ideas *ever* get published without any laboratory testing done to demonstrate they actually exist and have some unique effect on nature?

I don't follow this at all ... as far as I know, no one has proposed that dark energy, dark matter, inflation, or magnetic reconnection play any role in how the Sun shines (if you do know of any such proposals, would you mind referencing them?)

The point I was making is that, no matter how fantastic the scientific work Birkeland did, the tools and techniques that have been developed since he died should be used, and that the construction and testing of hypotheses and theories (both old and new) is how we make progress. After all, this is what he himself did!

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by designing new missions, collecting more data, testing and refining (tweaking) hypotheses, etc.

Shouldn't we be trying to refine *his* model, *his* tests and *his* hypothesis?

[snip]

I don't think so ... as Peratt noted, there's too much that he got wrong - his models and hypotheses have mostly been tested, found wanting, tweaked, refined, etc; his tests are now of secondary importance to the in situ data (though I think you'll see, from the KTH website, that lab capabilities have advanced far beyond Birkeland's, and are, of course, used to test contemporary models).

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thousands and thousands of scientists have done just as much "sweat equity science", only to find many of the conclusions they drew from their data overturned - even in their own working lifetimes.

I'm sure that's true. I'm sure Birkeland knew that this was true which is why he constructed these experiments in the first place. He wanted to make sure his ideas worked in a lab before developing a whole mathematical theory about it.

You are not acknowledging the difference in sweat equity science that was done by Birkeland to test his theories, vs. the kinds of things done to support inflation, or dark energy which are based upon theoretical projections upon simple observations without any benefit of a control mechanism.

[snip]

Again, aren't we discussing how the Sun shines?

Nereid
Nereid
Joined: 9 Feb 05
Posts: 79
Credit: 925,034
RAC: 0

RE: RE: That "magnetic

Message 71691 in response to message 71687

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That "magnetic rope" that NASA found "in situ" using THEMIS ...

Definition of terms is important when it comes to science. Let's look at how a "magnetic rope" is defined in MHD theory according to the creator of that theory. From his book "Cosmic Plasma":

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However, in cosmic plasmas the perhaps most important constriction mechanism is the electromagnetic attraction between parallel currents . A manifestation of this mechanism is the pinch effect, which was studied by Bennett long ago (1934), and has received much attention in connection with thermonuclear research . As we shall see, phenomena of this general type also exist on a cosmic scale, and lead to a bunching of currents and magnetic fields to filaments or `magnetic ropes' . This bunching is usually accompanied by an accumulation of matter, and it may explain the observational fact that cosmic matter exhibits an abundance of filamentary structures (II .4 .1) . This same mechanism may also evacuate the regions near the rope and produce regions of exceptionally low densities.

A magnetic rope is a *current carrying* device that he specifically describes as a "Bennett pinch". That is how the creator of MHD theory defines a "magnetic rope".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bennett_pinch

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A pinch is the compression of an electrically conducting filament by magnetic forces.

Indeed ... and so the best way to determine the extent to which the THEMIS data is consistent with Alfvén's definition is to read the AGU presentation, and, if necessary, download the raw data and perform our own analyses.

But in any case, I think we can agree that press releases should not be used.

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Recent observations by the Cluster spacecraft have established the occurrence of magnetic reconnection in the magnetosheath. It was shown that reconnection occurs due to the interaction of a thick tangential discontinuity, with northward IMF at its leading edge and southward IMF at the trailing edge, with the bow shock. This interaction involves compression of the discontinuity by the bow shock to a thickness of about 10 ion skin depth. In this study, we use 2.5-dimensional global hybrid (kinetic ions, fluid electrons) simulations to show that the interaction of a thick tangential/rotational discontinuity with the bow shock leads to its compression and eventual onset of reconnection in the magnetosheath. The observed and simulated thickness of the discontinuity as well as reconnection rates and plasma and field signatures compare favorably. The reconnection in the simulation is quasi-steady with minimal level of island formation. These results are also compared to simulations with thinner discontinuities and different internal structures (e.g. polarization) which show highly time-dependent behavior with magnetic islands forming and evolving on varying scales. Implication of these results regarding steady state and time dependent reconnection is discussed. In addition, global scale consequences of this interaction and transformation of the magnetopause from northward to southward IMF is discussed.

There is no such thing as "magnetic reconnection". Let me quote Hannes Alfven himself from his book Cosmic Plasma:

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Again, it should be mentioned that there is no possibility of accounting for the energy of the particles as a result of 'magnetic merging' or of 'magnetic field-line reconnection', or any other mechanism which implies changing magnetic fields in the region of acceleration. In the region of the double layer, the magnetic field during the explosive transient phase is almost constant and cannot supply the required energy (of course, the secondary effects of the explosion also cause changes in the magnetic field).

Page 33, Chapter 2

http://members.cox.net/dascott3/IEEE-TransPlasmaSci-Scott-Aug2007.pdf

Alfven:

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“Of course there can be no magnetic merging energy transfer. The most important criticism of the merging mechanism is that by Heikkila [21], who, with increasing strength, has demonstrated that it is wrong. In spite of all this, we have witnessed, at the same time, an enormously voluminous formalism building up based on this obviously erroneous concept.

I was naïve enough to believe that [magnetic recombination] would die by itself in the scientific community, and I concentrated my work on more pleasant problems. To my great surprise the opposite has occurred: ‘merging’ . . . seems to be increasingly powerful. Magnetospheric physics and solar wind physics today are no doubt in a chaotic state, and a major reason for this is that part of the published papers are science and part pseudoscience, perhaps even with a majority in the latter group.�

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Pace Michael, it seems 'magnetic reconnection' is not only part of modern space science, but is being studied in situ (and quantitatively).

It is pseudoscience according to the author of MHD theory. If you believe Alfven to be in error, perhaps you could explain the physical energy release process for us at a plasma physics level? What is the unique energy release process of "magnetic reconnection" that can be distinguished from ordinary electrical interactions in plasma? Don't tell me that this idea hasn't been lab tested and lab isolated like so many other parts of astronomy theory. This idea most certainly *can* be tested and isolated if in fact there is any such thing as "magnetic reconnection". All of Maxwell's equations treat magnetic fields as a full continuum, they don't make and break connections like an electrical circuit.

Hmm ... perhaps you're putting Alfvén on a pedestal? Shouldn't we let actual lab experiments and in situ observations trump his theory (in the spirit of Birkeland)?

Maybe a trip to the Alfvén Laboratory in Sweden might help ...

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MSc Thesis Project: Influence of ion mass on plasma penetration across magnetic barriers
Different mechanisms, like impulsive penetration and magnetic reconnection, have in the past few decades been suggested as possible means for the shocked solar wind plasma in the magnetosheath to enter the magnetosphere. Recent measurements from the Cluster spacecraft have shown that plasma indeed does penetrate the magnetopause. At KTH a series of experiments have been performed using a plasma gun that shoots a plasma at a transverse magnetic field. The plasma penetrates the barrier and enters the transverse field region. While doing so it generates waves in the lower hybrid frequency range.
Waves at lower hybrid frequencies have also been measured on the inside of the magnetopause by the Cluster spacecraft.

The objective of this project is to study how the ion gyro radius affects the experimental results. The plasma gun that was used in the experiments at KTH has been moved to West Virginia University where, at present, it is being reassembled and and modernised. The experimentalist is expected to make characterising measurements of the penetration across the magnetic barrier for plasmas with different ion species. The different species have different mass, and hence the ion gyro radius will differ. In this way the influence of the ion gyro radius on the penetration process can be assessed.

The project is carried out at West Virginia University (WVU) in the USA.

Research leader and scientific advisor at WVU is Dr. Herbert Gunell.

(source)

Nereid
Nereid
Joined: 9 Feb 05
Posts: 79
Credit: 925,034
RAC: 0

I'm curious about one thing

I'm curious about one thing Michael, are you the same Michael Mozina who is listed as an author of the arXiv preprint, Isotopes Tell Origin and Operation of the Sun?

If so, in light of your posts in this thread, would you mind providing references for the Birkeland-like lab work done on the process which the paper states "generates > 57% of solar luminosity", namely "neutron emission from the [collapsed supernova] solar core, -> n + ~10-22 MeV"?

Also, I recall reading a later paper, perhaps with a Michael Mozina as an author, that presents an idea concerning the fragmentation of a (super massive) neutron star, created by a supernova, to many smaller neutron stars, which become the cores of Sun-like stars.

If so, would you mind providing references for the Birkeland-like lab work done on this neutron star fragmentation process?

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