A Look at NASA's Take on Earth's Magnetosphere

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A Look at NASA's Take on Earth's Magnetosphere

Unread postby jjohnson » Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:08 pm

Here
http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/Education/Intro.html
is a wide ranging discussion which surprisingly includes Birkeland's work and discusses plasmas and so on. The author's biggest error is when he discusses the perfect conductivity of plasmas, which is not correct according to Hannes Alfven (who notes in Cosmic Plasma that a cosmic plasma has a small but finite resistance)and the resulting "frozen in" conclusions. Despite some of their conclusions and unwillingness to go very far out on the electric model's limb, they are not ignorant of plasmas and their effects. They keep using dynamos (moving fluids in magnetic fields) to create electrical currents in space, rather than having the currents create their accompanying magnetic fields, but this is a result of the perfect conductor aspect which they attach to plasmas.

Jim
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Re: A Look at NASA's Take on Earth's Magnetosphere

Unread postby Sparky » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:43 pm

I was wondering this morning about conductivity of plasma...

Seem to remember reading about a self-limiting effect..don't know where i read that, or if i remember correctly.

Could plasma, under certain conditions, be considered a "super conductor"?
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Re: A Look at NASA's Take on Earth's Magnetosphere

Unread postby Phorce » Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:25 am

Interesting page. I've become wary of reading these things unless my focus is really good enough to weed out the nonsensical / no commonsense aspects of this kind of work. But the Science is there. Most, if not all of the various space probes that are sent out there are bristling with plasma detectors of one kind or another. One need only browse the Planetary Data System (shared by all the space agencies) to find large amounts of plasma / radio / magnetic data and measurements. Individual and small groups of researchers seems far more willing to be honest about EU Science (and other approaches) than the Group Mind Think that tends to be afraid of the implications of the research. For example I seem to remember that the Bose-Einstein condensates that exist in cell membranes are exactly the superconducting plasma that is involved in a field consciousness effect.
Exploration and discovery without honest investigation of "extraordinary" results leads to a Double Bind (Bateson, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_bind ) that creates loss of hope and depression. No more Double Binds !
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Re: A Look at NASA's Take on Earth's Magnetosphere

Unread postby jjohnson » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:16 am

Re: is plasma considered superconducting?

I guess that depends on one's definition of what is really "superconducting". As a guess, I'd say it is fair to say that plasma can be superconducting, in the sense that its conductivity is far higher than that of the best of metals in the solid state. However, it is not a "perfect" conductor; i.e., it has resistance, low to be sure, which prevents the phenomenon of its magnetic field becoming fixed, or "permanently" frozen in.

Of course, it is a lot harder to do the math when the magnetic fields are not so constrained, but Mom never told you it'd be easy. This is the sort of shortcut (frozen-in fields) that Hannes Alfvén warned physicists about, after his experiments showed that plasma was indeed not a perfect conductor, and that its behavior could not accurately be modeled in the conventional bulk-simplification magnetohydrodynamic equations he, himself had invented and gotten the Nobel Prize for, for fluid-state dynamics.

I might add that in general NASA and its adjunct research institutions do a tremendous job in acquiring astronomical data. Sure, the EU ideas would like to see a lot more careful and more complete measurements of the current strengths and charged particle quantities and vectors around the Sun and throughout the Solar System, but a fair amount of that is starting to be available now. We are all looking at the same data sets, except that for most people outside the research groups, access to the raw data is not easy, and most of us wouldn't know how to calibrate and process it correctly anyway.

The significant difference is how these two camps interpret the same data. We believe that electrical and magnetic effects are significant enough to profoundly affect the workings of the universe at the largest and smallest scales, whereas the conventional view posits that gravity alone is the over-arching driver of virtually all phenomena, and that magnetic observations are minor entities, and that electric currents in space are small and readily neutralized, so are insignificant compared with gravity.

And, especially among rank and file astronomers, there are semantic problems in which I suspect we may be saying much the same thing, but the jargons are different. "Magnetic reconnection" for example, is dismissed by EU adherents, typically, even as some scientists say that they are only using such terms in a metaphorical sense to help explain what, in our jargon, might be termed "electrical stress breakdown of double layers". Just like with Alfvén in 1970, a failure to communicate is keeping us apart, even as we try to solve the same problems.

Not to be too rosy, there are dogmatic consensus higher-ups who will go to great lengths to preserve the present or "Standard" model. They will say of EU theory, "that's been disproved" and refuse to consider it further, or "show us the math", and claim that (despite this approach's fairly recent renaissance and the rather difficult task of getting beyond MHD to provide predictive models) it is false because there is not a great body of math and computer simulations to "prove" it.

Peratt did terawatt experiments with plasma in the 1980's under DOE auspices and modeled the math in his textbook, Physics of the Plasma Universe, and ran particle-in-cell simulations on the available supercomputers, so there is observation, math, and simulation out there. Unfortunately, Springer Verlag only published 847 copies of that book, and a lot of plasma research is kept secret because it has to do with weapons programs, I'm guessing.

Still, there are certainly good books on plasma, such as the one by Paul Bellan, at the CalTech plasma physics lab, titled Fundamentals of Plasma Physics. His index does not even include the word "gravity", and has more than enough math to stall the novice astronomer without a rigorous foundation in electrodynamics. It matters not that Paul is a valuable member of the Standard Model clan - he would be a valuable member no matter what, with his experiments with plasmas and his papers and textbooks. Read between the lines. If you can't do that, admire the photo of a controlled experiment emulating a solar filament in his lab's vacuum chamber (color) and this inverted gray-scale image of a plasma jet sim.

Jim

kink_instability_in_lab_plasma.jpg


stellar jet 305 ns.jpg
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