Magnetic Reconnection: Plasma Physics 101

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Magnetic Reconnection: Plasma Physics 101

Unread postby Michael Mozina » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:08 am

I'd like to start a thread on the topic of "reconnection" theory since it's one of THE most misunderstood topics on the internet, and definitely the dumbest TERM every created to describe double layer transactions in plasma. I also knew that Hannes Alfven rejected the concept, particularly in light current carrying plasmas. It therefore took me awhile (and several books on the topic of plasma physics) to fully grasp what the mainstream meant by the term "magnetic reconnection" and how the E and B orientations of plasma physics comes together in that "reconnection event".

If any of you have taken a class on basic EM theory, you're probably well aware of the fact that magnetic fields form as a full continuum. Individual B "line" representations of a field are a gross, and oversimplified representation of an actual magnetic field. The lines just represent the magnetic orientations within the whole field. Magnetic lines have no source, and no sink, no beginning and no end. They are CREATED by the movement of charged particles. They cannot "begin", nor "end" anywhere, nor "disconnect" or "reconnect" to individual B lines. The only way that could happen is if someone found a "monopole". That would allow magnetic lines to actually have sources and sinks, in which case they could begin, end, disconnect and reconnect. Monopoles however are mythical entities and have nothing to do with THIS reality. :) In this reality only CURRENT has a source and a sink.

So what does the term "magnetic reconnection" actually refer to? It's a term from the field of PLASMA PHYSICS (not basic EM theory).

First of all, let's start with the WIKI definition because it does explain the *PROCESS IN PLASMA* pretty well IMO:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_reconnection

Magnetic reconnection is a physical process in highly conducting plasmas in which the magnetic topology is rearranged and magnetic energy is converted to kinetic energy, thermal energy, and particle acceleration. Magnetic reconnection occurs on timescales intermediate between slow resistive diffusion of the magnetic field and fast Alfvénic timescales.


Magnetic reconnection (according to the mainstream) is a PROCESS that occurs in plasma in which changing magnetic flux energy is converted into particle kinetic energy. The reconnection RATE is based upon the rate of acceleration of charged particles. The other CRITICAL thing to understand is how they calculate that RATE. Note that every single variable relates to the movement of plasma within a current sheet. That's important to understand because that is where Alfven's double layer paper comes in, and essentially explains the same events in terms of double layer particle acceleration.

So how does this process in plasma relate back to the E orientation of physics that was used by Alfven and his peers, and how does it all relate back to Alfven's double layer paper?

Let's start with another definition of the same event from an E orientation:

From Anthony Peratt's book "Physics of the Plasma Universe":

Peratt wrote:1 .5 Electrίcal Discharges in Cosmic Plasma
An electrical discharge is a sudden release of electric or magnetic stored energy. This generally occurs when the electromagnetic stress exceeds some threshold for breakdown that is usually determined by small scale properties of the energy transmission medium. As such, discharges are local phenomena and are usually accompanied by violent prαesses such as rapid heating, ionization, the creation of pinched and filamentary conduction channels, particle acceleration, and the generation of prodigious amounts of electromagnetic radiation. As an example, multi-terawatt pulsed-power generators on earth rely on strong electrical discharges to produce intense particle beams, Χrays, and microωανes . Megajoules of energy are electrically stored in capacitor banks, whose volume may encompass 250 m^3 . This energy is then transferred to a discharge regίοn, located many meters from the source, viα a transmission line.
The discharge region, or load, encompαsses at most a few cubic centimeters of space, and is the site of high-variability, intense, electromagnetic radiatιοη (Figure 1 .2) .On earth, lightning is another example of the discharge mechanism at work where electr-o-static energy is stored in clouds whose volume may be of the order of 3,000 km3. This energy is released in a few cubic meters of the discharge channel.
The aurora is a discharge caused by the bombardment of atoms in the upper atmosphere by 1–20 keV electrons and 200 keV ions spirιlling down the earth's magnetic field lines at high latitudes . Here, the electric field accelerating the charged particles derιves from plasma moving across the earth's dipole magnetic field lines many earth radii into the magnetosphere.


Essentially Peratt's definition of an electrical discharge in plasma is the same as the definition of "magnetic reconnection". They are one and the same "event". Stored magnetic field energy is being CONVERTED into particle kinetic energy. The reconnection process in plasma is nothing more than an electrical discharge in plasma!

How can we verify that? Well, the first thing we need to do is look at the origins of the name and it's early champions. One of those early champions of the "reconnection" process was James Dungey. In fact, in many of his early papers he does in fact USE both terms in relationship to solar events, and even describes the process in terms of a CURRENT coming up the Z axis that "discharges/reconnects" to the X,Y plane.

http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu//ful ... 5.000.html
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1 ... 0708521050

In fact they both describe an acceleration process inside a double layer, just as Hannes Alfven did in his double layer paper. They are all describing the acceleration process inside of a double layer.

So why exactly did Alfven reject the term?

Alfven wrote:B. Magnetic Merging — A Pseudo-Science

Since then I have stressed in a large number of papers the danger of using the frozen-in concept. For example, in a paper "Electric Current Structure of the Magnetosphere" (Alfvén, 1975), I made a table showing the difference between the real plasma and "a fictitious medium" called "the pseudo-plasma," the latter having frozen in magnetic field lines moving with the plasma. The most important criticism of the "merging" mechanism of energy transfer is due to Heikkila (1973) 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. Indeed, we have been burdened with a gigantic pseudo-science which penetrates large parts of cosmic plasma physics. The monograph CP treats the field-line reconnection (merging) concept in 1.3, 11.3, and 11.5. We may conclude that anyone who uses the merging concepts states by implication that no double layers exist.

A new epoch in magnetospheric physics was inaugurated by L. Lyons and D. Williams' monograph (1985). They treat magnetospheric phenomena systematically by the particle approach and demonstrate that the fluid dynamic approach gives erroneous results. The error of the latter approach is of a basic character. Of course there can be no magnetic merging energy transfer.

I was naive enough to believe that such a pseudo-science 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; the "merging" pseudo-science 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 some of the published papers are science and part pseudoscience, perhaps even with a majority for the latter group.

In those parts of solar physics which do not deal with the interior of the Sun and the dense photospheric region (fields where the frozen-in concept may be valid), the state is even worse. It is difficult to find theoretical papers on the low density regions which are correct. The present state of plasma astrophysics seems to be almost completely isolated from the new concepts of plasma which the in situ measurements on space plasma have made necessary (see Section VIII).

I sincerely hope that the increased interest in the study of double layers — which is fatal to this pseudoscience — will change the situation. Whenever we find a double layer (or any other E ll # 0) we hammer a nail into the coffin of the "merging" pseudo-science.


He rejected it because his double layer paper makes the whole concept UNNECESSARY! Hannes Alfven's double layer paper describes the acceleration process inside of that double layer. It makes the entire "term" obsolete and unnecessary" from his perspective. If you haven't seen MichaelSuede's criticisms of the term/theory, it's well worth checking out, along with the mainstream's reaction to such a public criticism of their sacred cow:

http://www.libertariannews.org/2011/03/ ... onnection/

It's quite clear that what the mainstream is REALLY describing are the double layer interactions in a double layer that forms between two CURRENT CARRYING FILAMENTS. Aflven described coronal loop activity from the E/circuit orientation, whereas the mainstream uses a B orientation exclusively and insists on putting the magnetic cart in from of the electric horse. They are essentially quite ignorant of the role that charge separation plays in coronal loop formation.
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Re: Magnetic Reconnection: Plasma Physics 101

Unread postby kiwi » Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:54 am

Hi Michael

Chapter 12 of the Electric Sky was where I found an understanding of this phenomena ... the violation of Maxwells ^.B=0 ( that is as near as my keyboard allows to express that equation) which is saying "the divergence of any magnetic field is zero" is a very telling point ... although a strong e-current is required to "diverge" a magnetic field ( "bending" the two seperate field boundaries that approach each other away from themselves ) the null/saddle or zero point where this occurs contains no stored energy, as the 2 fields "energy" potentials cancel each other out as they approach.... this is said to happen in many locations on the boudary surfaces where Mag fields "meet" .... so simply put , no stored energy ... no explosive expulsion at these locations ... Don Scott draws a couple of good analogys concerning the non-existant "field-LINES" .... the contour lines on maps is one .... and the fact you are fully entitled to draw a "line" showing the path of fall of an object dropped from any height above the ground to the surface ... you could call this line a "Gravatational-field-line" ... but it certainly does not "exist" beyond its purpose as a draughting artifact used solely to allow you to "visulaise" the event and make certain deductions from the use of it as a trajectory path indicator ... one interesting thing also mentioned by him is that one of the "points" where M/R is said to occur is also the earth/sun L1 position ... not an ideal place to have your Satellite parked if M/R per mainstream was occuring there? .... anyway,.... enjoyed reading your post , thanks :)
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Re: Magnetic Reconnection: Plasma Physics 101

Unread postby kiwi » Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:20 am

hope you dont mind but I think this contribution from MichaelGM is worthy of a spot on your thread :idea: :ugeek:
http://www.thunderbolts.info/thunderblo ... luster.htm
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Re: Magnetic Reconnection: Plasma Physics 101

Unread postby Michael Mozina » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:14 am

kiwi wrote:hope you dont mind but I think this contribution from MichaelGM is worthy of a spot on your thread :idea: :ugeek:
http://www.thunderbolts.info/thunderblo ... luster.htm


Oh, by all means. The more perspectives the better IMO. I found the whole concept to be mystifying at first. It took a lot of reading of plasma physics textbooks to even get a handle on what they were talking about when they used that term. It has to be THE single most confusing term ever!

I think it's important to realize that B *LINES* do not "reconnect" What they describe is an *INDUCTION* process in plasma where magnetic flux changes result in particle kinetic energy.
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The dumbing down process by the mainstream begins:

Unread postby Michael Mozina » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:41 am

Ok, so what *EXACTLY* do the professional plasma physicists mean when they talk about two "magnetic lines" experiencing a change in topology (reconnecting), and how do these "lines" actually 'reconnect'?

In EVERY physical experimental (and every *PUBLISHED* theoretical paper) I've read, the physical things that "reconnect" are the CURRENTS, AKA the charged particles. Certainly the EFFECT of the FLUX change is always measured in terms of kinetic energy changes on charged particles.

IMO however the actual PHYSICS takes place in the lab. In the lab, *ALL* of the papers I have read begin with two "currents". I've seen lasers used to generate the currents, but the currents are of course mandatory, otherwise there's no magnetic field energy in the first place. So what are this "lines" that actually 'reconnect" in the plasma and thereby generate particle kinetic energy? In the final analysis, they are nothing more than two ordinary current carrying filaments in plasma, AKA Birkeland currents, AKA plasma pinches.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birkeland_current

Image

An ordinary plasma ball filament is what they're really talking about, only it's scaled in terms of voltages, amps and density and such.

Keep in mind that in plasma, particularly current carrying plasma filaments, there are actually *TWO* different particle flows to consider, the ion flow of the magnetic rope itself, and the electron flow through those ions. It's the electron FLOW that does all the actual work. The initial "source" of all the particle kinetic energy at the point of reconnection are the E fields that provide the kinetic energy source for those electrons. The magnetic energy present at any point of "reconnection" is directly related to the electron flow through the rope/filament.

The reason the mainstream has such a hard time understanding the SPEED at which "reconnection' occurs is because it is INTENT on ignoring the fundamental driving force of the process, the E field that drives that current through the ion rope.

There are essentially two basic current carrying 'plasma structures' that "reconnect". There are two current carrying Bennett Pinch filaments/magnetic ropes. If they are moving in opposite directions and they touch, they "short circuit" themselves via a current sheet, aka a double layer. The actual total potential energy release in such an event is the total circuit energy of both circuits. Both circuits are driven by E fields in the photosphere according to Alfven. The current carrying filaments 'reconnect' through a double layer. Alfven already explained the entire process of that transaction WITHOUT using the term "magnetic reconnection".

IMO the mainstream is simply *INTENT* (with a vengeance) on ignoring the role of the E field in the kinetic energy transfer process. Were it not for the E fields that sustain the coronal loops individuals, and heat the loops individually, there would be no magnetic or kinetic energy at the point of "reconnection". It's really that simple. They are intent on dumbing down the whole current carrying process to the B orientation of Maxwell's equations. it's like they understand only ONE orientation of Maxwell's equations, and they are intent on using it like a sledgehammer on every event they observe in plasma. It's just sad IMO.

After recent conversations with folks that mostly don't own any textbooks on the topic of plasma physics, I must add one more warning. Keep in mind that there is a MAJOR difference in the way that the 'professionals' describe the "reconnection" process in MHD theory and the way that the EU haters describe the process. The EU haters typically do not own, nor have they ever read a textbook on the topic of plasma physics. They therefore ASSUME (based on absolute and willful ignorance) that the professionals are describing B LINE reconnection in the absence of plasma and in the absence of charged particle acceleration! Nothing of the sort is true, nor could it ever be true. B lines do not have sources, or sinks. They cannot begin, nor end, disconnect, nor reconnect to other B lines. Even the concept of individual B LINES is a gross oversimplification of an ENTIRE FIELD interaction. The actual professionals like Somov and Priest and Birn and many others understand that they are talking about PLASMA physics, and the acceleration of plasmas particles due to flux changes. Most haters however do not even understand BASIC EM THEORY correctly! Virtually every single one of them thinks that individual B lines can "begin", or "end" in an ordinary NULL, where *NO* lines ever exist! Honestly, it's really sad to see the scientific schism between the professional description of that term, and the average EU hater. The haters are clueless. The only way to combat that kind of ignorance is with knowledge. By all means, if anyone else has anything else they want to add to this topic, please do.
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Re: Magnetic Reconnection: Plasma Physics 101

Unread postby jjohnson » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:55 pm

Michael M, I think you have this down correctly, regarding field line "reconnection" and double layer phenomena, and that the reconnection version is not only a reification of the imaginary lines used to describe local field direction (or lines of equal intensity, depending on the purpose) in 3-D magnetic fields, which are located as volumes in 3-D space, and not on sheets of paper in a book. Double layers are a necessary but not sufficient description of plasma events and interactions, and are absolutely foundational to understanding how energy is stored and released as well as conveyed across long distances throughout the cosmos.

Worse, scientists generally do not use the Alfvén corrections to the use of MHD in describing or modeling plasma physics, despite his realization and publication that it is too simplistic in the assumptions it makes to be computationally tractable. "Advice unheeded does not mean un-needed." Particle-in-cell (PIC) and its modern derivations are much better suited to tracking events at the particle level, as you know Peratt discusses at length in his textbook, even giving the TRISTAN pseudo-code so someone can follow the general outline of how the program works. Peratt updated his thinking on programs in Advanced Topics on Astrophysical and Space Plasmas, the proceedings of the 1994 International Conference on Plasma Physics in Brazil, in his talk titled Advances in Numerical Modeling of Astrophysical and Space Plasmas.

Please keep up your references to good sources, textbooks and articles and links. They are invaluable. In fact, the more mainstream the source is in confirming the tenets of the EU perspective, the better, as those tend to be the hardest to argue against. I like to quote Philipp Kronberg's paper, "Current measurement in a Kpc-Scaled Jet" for that very reason. It helps other astronomers and EU enthusiasts both understand the carefully rigorous, very mainstream methodology he uses and the conclusions that he draws. It is harder for the types of "mainstream police" who harass Michael Suede to say that their own people are wrong and stupid for it, even though that is essentially what they can do on Wikipedia. And do, sadly. "Move on; move on. No counter-mainstream interesting chatter here."

Thanks and kudos for your interesting and carefully well-read participation. We see more of this as time passes, I'm glad to observe.

Jim
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Re: Magnetic Reconnection: Plasma Physics 101

Unread postby saul » Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:27 am

Thanks for your post. I need to study double layers in more detail.

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PLASMA SCIENCE, VOL. PS-14, NO. 6, DECEMBER 1986
Double Layers and Circuits in Astrophysics
http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleD ... er=4316626
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Re: Magnetic Reconnection: Plasma Physics 101

Unread postby Michael Mozina » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:44 am

jjohnson wrote:Michael M, I think you have this down correctly, regarding field line "reconnection" and double layer phenomena, and that the reconnection version is not only a reification of the imaginary lines used to describe local field direction (or lines of equal intensity, depending on the purpose) in 3-D magnetic fields, which are located as volumes in 3-D space, and not on sheets of paper in a book. Double layers are a necessary but not sufficient description of plasma events and interactions, and are absolutely foundational to understanding how energy is stored and released as well as conveyed across long distances throughout the cosmos.


After reading authors like Somov, I've come to believe that there are folks that "get it" both from the B, magnetic field orientation, and the E, the circuit orientation. Those folks are few and far in between in my experience. In fact I've seen haters refer to his description of reconnection in a vacuum, while *IGNORING* the fact he stared with current and described the kinetic effect of the flux ON THAT CURRENT. Most of the haters try AVIDLY to disassociate the physics from the math that the math actually relates to. I've seen haters try to use MHD theory to support a claim that B lines 'begin" in a Null! I've seen them claim that it was irrational to talk about a rate of reconnection in the absence of plasma but still claim that reconnection happens in the absence of plasma and particle acceleration! I've seen just about every irrational statement on the planet from HATERS. They are are LOT more common on the internet than the Somov's of the world unfortunately. Most of the haters on the internet do not own, nor have they every read a book on the topic of plasma physics written by anyone, let alone a plasma physics textbook written by Somov. Dungey and Somov understood both orientations, but most EU haters are the internet are pretty clueless to even basic EM theory.

Worse, scientists generally do not use the Alfvén corrections to the use of MHD in describing or modeling plasma physics, despite his realization and publication that it is too simplistic in the assumptions it makes to be computationally tractable. "Advice unheeded does not mean un-needed."


I would argue that resistive MHD theory is a step forward in that direction. I think the mainstream knows that it needs to account for the resistance of the plasma to current that runs through the ion rope, but they still don't get the fact that they need CHARGE SEPARATION in the solar atmosphere to drive the CURRENT DRIVEN process. All of the actual kinetic energy and the "stored magnetic energy" at the point of "reconnection" began with charge separation in the solar atmosphere which generated charged particle kinetic energy in Bennet pinches. All the energy exchange at the point of "reconnection' between the filaments is CAUSED BY the E field that drives the process.

Particle-in-cell (PIC) and its modern derivations are much better suited to tracking events at the particle level, as you know Peratt discusses at length in his textbook, even giving the TRISTAN pseudo-code so someone can follow the general outline of how the program works. Peratt updated his thinking on programs in Advanced Topics on Astrophysical and Space Plasmas, the proceedings of the 1994 International Conference on Plasma Physics in Brazil, in his talk titled Advances in Numerical Modeling of Astrophysical and Space Plasmas.


It would be interesting to try to take his pseudocode, put it in object oriented format in a modern language like C# and see how well it describes a "magnetic rope/Bennett Pinch" in plasma. IMO that's the key to explaining flares.

Please keep up your references to good sources, textbooks and articles and links. They are invaluable. In fact, the more mainstream the source is in confirming the tenets of the EU perspective, the better, as those tend to be the hardest to argue against.


I agree. I also think it's inevitable that circuit theory and the B orientation of plasma physics takes place inside of a double layer that forms between two current carrying Bennett pinches in plasma. That "reconnection" of current can be described by MHD theory in a B orientation, but that doesn't mean that the E orientation is any less valuable or NECESSARY in trying to understand the WHOLE PROCESS.

I like to quote Philipp Kronberg's paper, "Current measurement in a Kpc-Scaled Jet" for that very reason. It helps other astronomers and EU enthusiasts both understand the carefully rigorous, very mainstream methodology he uses and the conclusions that he draws. It is harder for the types of "mainstream police" who harass Michael Suede to say that their own people are wrong and stupid for it, even though that is essentially what they can do on Wikipedia. And do, sadly. "Move on; move on. No counter-mainstream interesting chatter here."


I'm sure I've met the same dozen or so, highly ignorant, and highly vocal folks on the internet. Only three of them that I've met actually own a book on the topic of plasma physics. The rest of them are entirely clueless IMO. They will continue to pretend to be experts on plasma physics for years to come, but most of them will NEVER go out and buy themselves a good book on the topic of plasma physics. They're couch potato physicists. They are a lost cause because they are entirely ignorant by choice.

FYI, I've even seen them go so far as to CHANGE A WIKI PAGE during the middle of our debate on magnetic lines. They then ignored more than a dozen OTHER references on the topic that all stated very clearly the B LINES cannot begin or end. When it comes to denial and strange behaviors, they're in a class by themselves IMO. I've seen cults before, but that particular EU hater cult is just as ignorant and hateful as any I've ever run across in cyberspace. Even most religious groups are not that militantly fixated on personal attacks to sway opinion, or nearly as oppressive in terms of their reaction to dissent. They definitely are NOT "scientists".

Thanks and kudos for your interesting and carefully well-read participation. We see more of this as time passes, I'm glad to observe.

Jim


I'm glad you participated. FYI, I totally agree with you about rounding up good scientific links. I think I'll work the process a bit from the mainstream orientation and provide a few good papers on reconnection theory that were written by professionals that actually understand that they are describing an INDUCTION driven process that results in particle acceleration inside of a current sheet. I'd like this thread to become an excellent resource on plasma physics from BOTH the B and the E orientations. Alfven wrote many good papers from the circuit/E orientation on the topic, none more important than his double layer paper. I think there are good writers like Somov and Sweet that do understand the reconnection process properly, and who can and do explain it pretty well from the B orientation. In Somov's case, I know for sure he understand both orientations. The book on plasma physics I own from Somov describes the process BOTH ways. That's EXTREMELY rare in my experience.

Like I said, I think the only thing that can really combat the willful ignorance of the few but vocal EU critics on the internet is for us to be "well informed" and much better educated. That's really about the best we can do.
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Re: The dumbing down process by the mainstream begins:

Unread postby MGmirkin » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:05 pm

Michael Mozina wrote:So what are [these] "lines" that actually 'reconnect" in the plasma and thereby generate particle kinetic energy? In the final analysis, they are nothing more than two ordinary current carrying filaments in plasma, AKA Birkeland currents, AKA plasma pinches.


I think that's a slight misstatement. Magnetic field lines are not themselves plasma as you seem to have accidentally stated. Rather they are a representation of the 'force' that would be felt by a charged particle placed proximal to the current(s) in question.

A 'magnetic field' is simply a force felt between nearby electric currents (those currents in wires/conductors or the net of those in the individual atoms of permanent magnets, that is, the cloud of electrons around each atomic nucleus; at least according to the Ampere model of permanent magnetism).

http://www-spof.gsfc.nasa.gov/Education/wmfield.html

But, I think that you were generally meaning the right thing... :)

The magnetic 'field lines' merely map the strength / direction of the 'magnetic field.' Generally they map surfaces of some equal property, not unlike isobars on weather maps or lines of elevation on topographical maps.

I dare say geologists / seismologists would never get away with saying that 'reconnecting lines of elevation caused the earthquake'! They'd be laughed out of seismology school... Basically, what you've got is something like an electrical 'earthquake' (metaphorical) causing the rearrangement of the field lines. NOT the other way around. (Credit to the late author James P. Hogan, via private e-mail correspondence, for the perfectly apt analogy.)

The rearranging magnetic field lines are directly related to the changing electric current structures that are driving them. Field lines DO NOTHING. They are passive. They are a draftsman's artifice. It is the current systems that change and AS A RESULT the magnetic field lines MUST BE REDRAWN. Nothing more or less...

And yes, see my thread / blog post. The Bellan / Moser experiments (with a little reference to Alfvén via Don Scott) tell the tale. Frankly, that lab work should pretty much be lauded far & wide, as with the right understanding (via a vis Alfven's) is squarely puts "magnetic reconnection" in its place as an exploding electric circuit.
1) Current.
2) Pinch.
3) Kink instability.
4) Rayleigh-Taylor instability.
5) Current pinches further, necking off, disrupting the current.
6) The entire inductive energy of the circuit explodes out of the break in the circuit (vis a vis Alfven).

More-or-less.

It's an electrical explosion. So, of course it's an impulsive event, and of course the underlying current changes, which mandates the magnetic field lines be redrawn.

Best,
~Michael Gmirkin

P.S. Oops, thought the reference earlier up in the thread by Kiwi related to my most current blog post. But that one was from a while back (which isn't to say it was bad, summarizing Don Scott's thoughts on M.R.).

Here's what I was referring to (Bellan / Moser):

viewtopic.php?p=63042#p63042
http://plasmafrontier.blogspot.com/2012 ... netic.html
"The purpose of science is to investigate the unexplained, not to explain the uninvestigated." ~Dr. Stephen Rorke
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Re: Magnetic Reconnection: Plasma Physics 101

Unread postby hertz » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:45 am

to michael mozina: hang in there man
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Maurice_Maeterlinck
Each progressive spirit is opposed by a thousand mediocre minds appointed to guard the past.


to Michael Gmirkin: your explanation here is even better (IMO) than the one at your blog
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Re: Magnetic Reconnection: Plasma Physics 101

Unread postby RoswellJohn » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:58 am

They are essentially quite ignorant of the role that charge separation plays in coronal loop formation.


This is because of Sydney Chapman who didn't believe electric fields could exist in a plasma and maintained until his dying day that there could be no separation of electrons and protons (or oppositely charged particles) in a plasma. And most physicists stick with that idea today. I met Chapman back in the 60's and asked him what he thought of satellite measurements showing separation of charges (i.e. first we saw a cloud of electrons and then a cloud of protons from the sun). Chapman simply said the measurements must be wrong! But since multiple satellites were all showing the same kind of plasmas in space it was Chapman who was wrong and Alven who was right.
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Re: Magnetic Reconnection: Plasma Physics 101

Unread postby mharratsc » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:22 am

Neat! Thanks for posting that, John! :)
Mike H.

"I have no fear to shout out my ignorance and let the Wise correct me, for every instance of such narrows the gulf between them and me." -- Michael A. Harrington
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Re: The dumbing down process by the mainstream begins:

Unread postby Michael Mozina » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:03 am

MGmirkin wrote:
Michael Mozina wrote:So what are [these] "lines" that actually 'reconnect" in the plasma and thereby generate particle kinetic energy? In the final analysis, they are nothing more than two ordinary current carrying filaments in plasma, AKA Birkeland currents, AKA plasma pinches.


I think that's a slight misstatement. Magnetic field lines are not themselves plasma as you seem to have accidentally stated. Rather they are a representation of the 'force' that would be felt by a charged particle placed proximal to the current(s) in question.


You're right of course that magnetic fields and field lines have no MASS. That however is NOT the kind of 'line' that the mainstream is talking about, nor is that the kind of "line" that "reconnects" in plasma physics. Plasma physics adds moving physical particles to the "process".

One of the first papers I read on "reconnection" was by an author called Birn. He described a couple of "magnetic lines" (with current running along that line). The "lines" he described were not simple magnetic field lines. They were a 'combo deal' that included magnetic lines *AND* moving charged particles.

In his "simplest" example of "reconnection", Somov describes two "currents" (aka, two streams of moving charged particles) in a vacuum. He notes that as the currents MOVE toward each other, the field LINES around those currents "flux" and change topology due to that movement. That 'flux' is then converted into kinetic energy in the current streams. He essentially describes a magnetic flux followed by an INDUCTION process in plasma that is originally caused by the MOVEMENT of charged particles. There are no simple "magnetic lines" in plasma physics, particularly in reference to the term "reconnection". The "reconnection" process as far as I can see is between TWO CURRENTS, or between TWO PARTICLES. The magnetic lines simply "flux". They have no mass, so they cannot "disconnect", nor "reconnect" to other magnetic lines. Two CURRENTS can reconnect. Two "circuits" can reconnect (in Alfven's description of coronal loops), but two magnetic lines cannot.

My point is that the mainstream simply MISLABELS a CURRENT a LINE. They begin with an equivocation fallacy from the start. All the actual kinetic energy at the point of 'reconnection' in Somov's example of reconnection in a vacuum came from the E fields that drove the two currents. The "reconnection" process takes place between two moving "currents" and has a physical effect on the movement of particles in those currents.

FYI, I agree with ALL of your points about actual magnetic LINES. They contain no MASS. They form as a full continuum, without a beginning, without an ending, without the ability to disconnect from, nor reconnect to any other magnetic line. Even the concept of a LINE is a gross oversimplification. It's actually an whole FIELD that experiences "flux change", not single LINES as the mainstream claims.

What I've realized however is that the mainstream BEGINS by MUDDYING the terms. It takes E fields to start the kinetic energy process to begin with, and the magnetic energy at the point of 'reconnection' is all generated by those E fields. The E field does all the work, not the B field. The B fields simply FLUX and that FLUX induces current flow in the plasma/conductor. No magnetic B lines actually "reconnect" in that process. B lines have no source and no sink. Unless someone finds a monopole, B *LINE* reconnection is *PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE*. The term "magnetic reconnection" has nothing to do with B line reconnection, which is why the term is so damn confusing. It's a term that is actually related to PLASMA physics, which describes the TRANSFER of magnetic field energy *INTO* particle kinetic energy, AKA INDUCTION.

I like Perratt's definition of an electrical discharge in a plasma. Since it is *INCLUSIVE* of magnetic field energy flux changes, it ties the E and B orientations together into one nice "discharge/reconnection" event.
Last edited by Michael Mozina on Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:53 am, edited 3 times in total.
Michael Mozina
 
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Re: Magnetic Reconnection: Plasma Physics 101

Unread postby Michael Mozina » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:05 am

FYI, I should have some time later this week to start round up some "good" links on the topic of "reconnection". I will keep referring to the term simply as "reconnection" rather than magnetic reconnection since we all know that B lines do not "reconnect". There are however some good references on 'reconnection" from the both the E and B orientations that I've seen and that I feel should be included in this discussion. I'll try to round them up this week.
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Re: Magnetic Reconnection: Plasma Physics 101

Unread postby Michael Mozina » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:41 am

hertz wrote:to michael mozina: hang in there man
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Maurice_Maeterlinck
Each progressive spirit is opposed by a thousand mediocre minds appointed to guard the past.


Thanks, I appreciate it. I must say that the willful ignorance and pure EU "hatred" I've experienced on the internet is pretty intense. However, that criticism really comes from less than a dozen hard core individuals, most of whom have never even bothered to read a book on the topic of plasma physics. In fact, I learned quite recently that most of them do NOT even understand BASIC EM theory. Most of the hard core EU haters on the internet are utterly ignorant of the terms (like reconnection rate) that are actually used in plasma physics, and they think B *LINES* actually "reconnect".

I gave EU critics WAY too much credit for understanding basic physics, and I ASSUMED that they would actually STUDY the topics that they discuss. Nothing could be further from the truth in my experience. They're a clueless bunch of very vocal haters that have spewed their hatred for YEARS, yet most of them have never bothered once in all that time to sit down and actually read a book on the topic of plasma physics. I realize now that my biggest mistake from the start was assuming that astronomers, and specifically EU haters know anything at all about actual PHYSICS. They seem to know MATH and ONLY math, but most of them know absolutely NOTHING about actual particle physics or EM physics, let alone PLASMA physics.

It turns out that most of the EU haters on the internet are utterly and completely clueless about basic EM theory. They actually believe that magnetic B lines 'begin' in ordinary NULLS! During my conversation with EU haters on the topic of "reconnection", their math guru wrote his entire *UNPUBLISHED* website on the topic of "reconnection" *WITHOUT* ever understanding what the term "reconnection rate" even referred to! They'll believe ANYTHING as long as you toss in a LITTLE math. When I pointed out that their math guru was missing an entire EQUATION in his presentation, and I pinned them into a corner over that issue, they simply banned me. :) Bah. EU haters are clueless in terms of their actual understanding of physics, and they can't handle the truth in my experience. They're incapable of handling an honest scientific discussion that isn't fixated on bashing the individual.
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