Electric sand and sandstorms

Historic planetary instability and catastrophe. Evidence for electrical scarring on planets and moons. Electrical events in today's solar system. Electric Earth.

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Electric sand and sandstorms

Unread postby Drethon » Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:26 pm

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/06/sandgrains/

Could this be a result of the voltage differences due to elevation on earth (similar to the theory of asteroids exploding from electrical charge) or is the distance too small to produce the kind of static charge that might explain this behavior?
Last edited by nick c on Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: thread title changed/merged posts
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Re: Sand that behaves like water?

Unread postby mharratsc » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:46 pm

Actually, I think there's more to water forming spherical droplets than just 'surface tension'...

I would like to see someone on a the space station bring some beads, marbles, gravel, sand, whatnot and let it go just like they did with the first experiments with water in zero-gravity. Would sand, with no surface tension (I presume?) clump together in a ball like water does?

Or does someone already know if they tried something like that?

Mike H.
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Re: Sand that behaves like water?

Unread postby greylion » Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:35 am

mharratsc wrote:Actually, I think there's more to water forming spherical droplets than just 'surface tension'...
Mike H.

May I divert your attention to
http://amasci.com/freenrg/wasser.html (the emails from Ivan Korsund at the bottom).

Tells of "water snakes" in the Mojave desert, which seem to have been caused by a buildup of charge in some water, from rain that fell just before the snake appeared.
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Re: Sand that behaves like water?

Unread postby mharratsc » Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:12 pm

Wow, that's wicked! :)

So my guess would be that areas of different charge had developed in different strata there. The water gets ionized and gets pulled along in a double layer between the two. The intervening terrain must've been highly resistant to conductivity, and so the double-layer of H2O just bee-lined to where it could connect to the other strata where it could equalize.

The rest of tha page was pretty interesting as well- the guy creating current filaments between that energized pan of water and his hand, and seeing the effects of that negative ion generator hit the field that built up in the pan was pretty amazing as well!

Mike H.
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Re: Sand that behaves like water?

Unread postby Lloyd » Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:01 pm

* I guess this below is the most relevant excerpt from http://amasci.com/freenrg/wasser.html
Date: Sat, 27 Jul 1996 09:37:49 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ivan Korsund
Reply-To: freenrg-l eskimo com
Subject: wasser thread
I have observed what I believe to be a natural demonstration of the wasser thread. On two different occasions in the mojave desert I have observed a unique type of flash flood. Both times the temperature was in excess of 120 degrees F. and there were extreme electrical disturbance in the atmosphere. I had noticed a down pour over some nearby hills and was carefully watching for any signs of a flash flood when a tube of water exited the hills and proceeded to jump and bounce along the desert floor. What was remarkable was that on these two different occasions the water retained a tubular shape (snake like) for its entire length (~100 feet) and traveled each time approximately 1/2 mile before breaking up. I have been told by some older indians of that area that there are stories of this event happening in the distant past - Any comments would be appreciated - Ivan

Date: Thu, 24 Aug 1995 10:56:00 -0700
From: Ivan Korsund
To: William Beaty
Subject: Re: wasser thread
I was never close enough to the phenomenon to feel or touch anything. On one occasion I tried to find the area where it broke up and traced its path back a few hundred M but noticed nothing unusual. Evaporation had reduced it to an almost dry pool. The old Indian I spoke to about it had made a comment that the legends indicated that the water snake was lethal, so I wouldn't suggest to anyone to try to touch it if they are lucky enough to see one. I don't think I mentioned that the tube was approximately 2M in diameter. The area of the desert where I saw both of these was about 10 miles south of the Solar One electric generator. I saw the first one in the early 60's and the other one about 1980.
* 2 meters is over 6 feet!
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Re: Sand that behaves like water?

Unread postby newalexandria » Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:22 pm

I heard stories of these originally from people out in Hopi country. They asserted that any human contact was deadly, but I have yet to hear anyone remember a story of how the deaths occurred.

Zak
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Dust storm and earthquake in SE Australia

Unread postby trevbus » Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:17 pm

Coincidentally we have experienced a very dense dust storm here in south east Australia and also a minor earthquake in Melbourne.

http://www.smh.com.au/multimedia/nation ... -g19h.html
http://www.theage.com.au/national/small ... -g0du.html

High winds of course can lift dust but for it to remain suspended, does that require electrical charge?

It has rained recently here in Canberra (as a result the rain deposits dirt on cars etc), perhaps in the absence of moisture, dust particles are the only electrical conductors available, as on Mars?
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Re: Dust storm and earthquake in SE Australia

Unread postby mharratsc » Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:45 am

Here's some info that might shed some light on things for ya-

[url2=http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2009/arch09/090910dust.htm]Dust In The Wind[/url2]

Talks a good deal about the dynamics of how the dust manages to loft so high and travel so far.

And for you and all my friends Down Under- between the drought and this damn dust storm, keeping you guys in my thoughts! Hoping you all get some relief from the strain of all this weather. Especially all those poor farmers down there... :(

Mike H.
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Electric sandstorms

Unread postby jjohnson » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:28 pm

An article on MIT's Technology Review site discusses (and links to) an arXiv paper with an explanation nof how electricity, both static and lightning grade) can build up in sand grains. They start right out by referencing Maxwell's observations (a heartening change of pace), and then get into some of the 'pumping' action of the grains in creating charge separations. They also mention in passing that this research might have implications for moon and Mars exploration. http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/24983/

This is timely and pertinent because they are discussing electrical phenomena - charge separation and phenomena - in a fairly matter-of-fact way, and not going cosmic and claiming dark energy is doing the work, or anything like that - as well as predicting that the expected effects might have implications on Mars - where we have seen HiRISE photos of bright areas topping dust devils that many have interpreted as an arc discharge or lightning phenomena.
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Re: Electric sandstorms

Unread postby starbiter » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:52 pm

Hello jjohnson: Interesting article. Thanks. This is similar, but not matching. I've posted it before, so if you've seen it already, please ignore it.

http://www.riken.go.jp/lab-www/library/ ... 12_013.pdf

I'd like to see lightning in a sand storm.

The idea of the wind being a manifestation of plasma/electricty may have something to do with all this.

michael
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Re: Electric sandstorms

Unread postby solrey » Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:18 pm

Nice one Jim. Where do you find this stuff? ;)

The last paragraph of the article caught my attention.

That's an elegant idea that produces some fascinating results. But it leaves open one very important question. In real storms, what generates the electric field that polarises the sand particles in the first place? It looks like Pahtz and co will have interesting time ahead getting to the bottom of that one.


Yes, interesting times ahead indeed. :D
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Re: Electric sandstorms

Unread postby redeye » Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:04 pm

I'd like to see lightning in a sand storm.

The idea of the wind being a manifestation of plasma/electricty may have something to do with all this.


Wind is caused by fluctuations in air pressure which are caused by deformation of the troposphere. I feel the Earth's atmosphere is essentially the Earth's plasma sheath. During a thunderstorm I've often found that after the initial bolt of lightning there is a squally wind immediately preceding it. If there is an electrical discharge between the ground and the troposphere this would change the potential difference between the two (cathode to anode). This could cause the troposphere to be raised, lowering the air pressure locally and causing air to move into this zone from the surrounding higher pressure causing the squally wind.

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Re: Electric sandstorms

Unread postby starbiter » Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:16 pm

Hello redeye: I hate to pick nits, but isn't what you describe caused by plasma/electricty? Now that i've re-read your post i think we're in agreement. Is this the case? The sandstorm would be the visual manifestation of this process.

There is an unexplained electric field that polarises the sand, described in the story posted by Jim. Might not there be a more direct cause and effect between wind and electricty?

While i cowered in fear during Hurricane Andrew, my unprepared friends and i were lucky enough to have a battery powered TV. While watching the TV radar it was shocking how the storm would ebb and flow based on the bands displayed for us. When the strong bands were overhead it was frightening. This would be followed by relative calm when the band moved past our location. The boundary was crisp. From 135 MPH to maybe 25 MPH. Fifteen miles South, the winds were 160 MPH. This went on for 5 hours. There seemed to be a direct, local connection. This might be what you described above, i'm not sure. The entire process seemed electrical, with current being drawn in from the warm salty water, and rising in a vortex. I don't think the process was caused by heat.

michael
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Re: Electric sandstorms

Unread postby redeye » Sun Apr 04, 2010 9:09 am

Hello redeye: I hate to pick nits, but isn't what you describe caused by plasma/electricty? Now that i've re-read your post i think we're in agreement. Is this the case? The sandstorm would be the visual manifestation of this process.


Hey Micheal. I do agree that sandstorms and many features of deserts are caused by electricity, or at least that this could be a fruitful area for electric theory. I don't like the polarisation idea generally. The huge electrical discharges in thunderstorms cannot be explained by particles bumping against each other. It feels like an attempt to explain electrical phenomenon without referring to the wider electrical environment we find ourselves in. Thats just my opinion though and it's not based on anything empirical.

Your description of hurricane Andrew sounds intense, I've never experienced anything like that! The major features of cyclonic weather systems, the spiral structure and the "hot towers" in the centre, are more easily explained through electrical discharge I feel. The fact that we see enormous sand storms (dust storms really) and dust devils in the tenous atmosphere of Mars suggests that these events are caused by something that the Earth and Mars have in common, and there aren't too many similarities between the atmospheres of Mars and Earth, Dahleanaz had an interesting video where he produced a cyclonic effect on a dusty crt screen through an electrical discharge.

Cheers!
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Re: Electric sandstorms

Unread postby starbiter » Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:05 am

Hola redeye: I was referring to the initial electric field that gets the process started, in the link Jim provided at the beginning of the thread.


From the article
. "In an electric field, dielectric particles become polarised, causing charge to gather on each side of the sand spheres. When two spheres touch, the charge redistributes across the boundary between them, creating a larger, doubly polarised particle."

This electric field is a mystery. I think the field is plasma/electricty, and it's causing the wind in a direct manner. But the scientists don't have a model for this. They haven't read Thornhill and friends.


From the article
"That's an elegant idea that produces some fascinating results. But it leaves open one very important question. In real storms, what generates the electric field that polarises the sand particles in the first place? It looks like Pahtz and co will have interesting time ahead getting to the bottom of that one."

All the sand is doing is make the wind/electricty visible. Now they measure the electricty and are baffled.


Concerning Hurricane Andrew. If the storm had been 15 miles North we would have probably died. We had no shutters. People with shutters to the South had their homes riped away while they huddled in bath tubs. My friends 14 year old son passed out from fear. They still haven't gotten over it. You can't imagine the sound. And what we experienced is a pimple compared to the story of myth. Kind of puts things in perspective. Our ancestors experienced Hell on Earth. Literally. Fire and Brimstone and all. Hell apparently isn't after you die. It's what you experience when worlds collide.
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