MGmirkin wrote:But, in science we also want to understand the ACTUAL processes involved, and how they interact. Trying to get as close to "reality" as possible. If we trace the causes back to "second cause" but fail to trace it back a step further to "first cause," can we really say that we've understood the process that's going on? I think that science really does want to get back to "first cause" in order to understand the underlying process and to have an understanding down to the lowest level so that we can use the understanding to get as refined models / predictions as possible. So, why leave out a major force of nature that may be "first cause" of a number of processes?
Then how do you explain the relentless search for a magnetic field that doesn't come from a magnet or a current? I mean, all I knew about dynamos before I read about them last week was my high school physics professor had said if a dynamo did not lose its E/M fields after the permanent magnet was taken away that you had a free energy machine and that a few years back there had been some fad in academia about making one. Solar modelers invented a "self-sustaining dynamo" and made a computer program to calculate its magnetic moment. Then they took solar/helioseismology data and fit parameters using the dipole term of the expansion of the completely imaginary moment to approximate the sun's magnetic field. Then they say that because their models aren't nearly as bad as the previous generation's that they've somehow proven there really is a self-sustaining dynamo in the sun. They might as well be talking about magic leprechauns. It's one thing to want to smooth over first causes with approximations, I'm happy using the ideal gas law to calculate how long I need to run the air machine to get my tire back up to 35psi, I don't really care if making a non-linear model of the heat, momentum and mass transfer equations and solving with a workstation and numerical methods will get me a more accurate answer. I can't shut the machine off a thousandth of a second earlier. But this is not ignoring or smoothing over a first cause, this is making one up out of whole cloth with not an iota of experimental evidence to base it on.
MGmirkin wrote:But, has "magnetic reconnection" made physically accurate statements? Especially where it states that magnetic field lines can merge, twist, break, coil up, act like springs, etc. Don Scott's paper appears to bring a bit of realism back to the science of it all. Field lines are not "real" entities any more than the lines on a weather map or the lines of latitude and longitude are "real" objects. They're only a conceptual tool and can no more be "broken" or "coiled up" than a few unbound atoms in the air that happen to line up in a similar direction.
When they ascribe to the magnetic fields characteristics or behaviors that are not supported by observations of ACTUAL currents and magnetic fields, then it seems like there's a problem...
I think you've nailed it on the head. Astronomers often don't want to call an organized net flux of charge a current. They don't want to have to deal with electrodynamics unless they're forced to. But if they ignore the electrodynamics, then it seems they're ignoring the root CAUSE of many of the things they're trying to figure out.
In some ways it may be semantics. In some ways not. If astronomers refuse to acknowledge underlying electric currents, and attempt to divorce magnetic fields from them, it can't help but lead to confusion.
I think that if the astronomers had to actually make something work, and there are more ways to create that requirement than cold profit, then you'd have people resorting to currents pretty quickly. Like Orwell said, "The point is that we are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield." Academia is a place where the "bump frequency" is pretty low.
Speaking of impudently twisting the facts, you all should do a piece on the deep impact water soap opera. First the theory was hydroxil radicals were really water, but when the impact happened the hydroxil radical count stayed the same. And boy did all those X-rays embarrass them. Now, obviously the X-rays came from electrons interacting with ions from the solar wind, so maybe it's possible to kill two birds with one stone here. Queue laboratory experiment. Create an ion stream with electron stripping and slam it into water vapor at high enough speeds to make X-rays. The next step is hard, because it requires ignoring that the X-rays are all coming from the site of the impact and dropping the lack of new hydroxil radical lines down the memory hole, but all that was overcome. After chalking a good deal of the X-rays up to standard interactions with the solar wind, one can conclude [sic] that the remainder must have come from "ion stripping" off of water when solar wind impacted small ice covered granules kicked off by deep impact, because you know, there's no other possible cause. And viola! We've found our missing water. A circle is such a nice shape, it always makes me think of a
MGmirkin wrote:So, there does really seem to be a bit of a conceptual gap, as opposed to necessarily just a "semantic" gap. IE, they seem to literally only think in terms of the "magnetic field," doing things and NOT in terms of the flows of charged particles (and the various configurations that might take in a plasma).
Just my opinion, of course.
See, It's just most of those people are practically super geniuses, or at least quite talented in many ways. I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt but I can't escape the conclusion that they actually think in terms of the magnetic field lines doing things. But that's ... just ... so ... wrong ... in every way imaginable.
Solar wrote:That is not "magnetic reconnection". The magnetic fields of VASIMR "direct" the accelerated plasma, as in 'guides' it. But be sure to note the "electric power source" required for the production of magnetic field and the electric fields necessary to accelerate the plasma.
So, the NASA (engineers) are using the same principles to build a "plasma based propulsion system" for a space vehicle, but when the EU/Plasma Cosmology posits that these principles work in the universe, galactic jets for example, astrophysical theoreticians turn the other cheek. Oh that's ripe.
It's the theoreticians that have put forth "magnetic reconnection" and it would serve them good to look at what the NASA engineers are doing right under their noses. Without "magnetic reconnection", but fully as a result of the dynamics of electricity, the magnetic, and electric fields, and plasma.
No no no, the magnetic field lines in the plasma are not diffusing very quickly and so you have to have a reconnection event in order for them to pass through the nozzle otherwise the plasma could not escape the acceleration chamber. And if you don't agree it's because you need to get a PhD in plasma physics, then you'll understand what's really going on.
Well, I hope everyone enjoyed reading the sarcasm as much as I enjoyed writing it. I'm going to go make a blogger account called HicRhodusHicSalta and spam message boards saying "put the computer down and let the research money go."