BecomingTesla wrote:I agree. A great example of that behavior are their lab experiments with "magnetic reconnection". There aren't any experiments that systematically rule out induction as the real transfer mechanism between the magnetic field and particle acceleration. They all start with current and Alfven's double layer paper makes MRx redundant and irrelevant in all current carrying environments.

I don't understand the mathematics, or have enough (in fact, any lol) experience working with plasma and discharge phenomena, to be able to critique magnetic reconnection intelligently, so I won't do it until I can.

At the rate you're going, you'll get there soon enough. Going the experimental route first is great. Eventually you'll want to understand the mathematical relationship between magnetic fields and electric fields, but I think it's better to understand the physics first, particularly after my discussions about MRx around the internet. It's easy to get confused by math, and to confuse math with physical reality. Mathematics is a way to "model" the physical universe, but it's not necessarily the same as physical reality itself. For instance we have QM mathematical concepts of gravity, Newton's formulas to model gravity, and Einstein's mathematical models and concepts too. They can't all be correct in terms of the math or the physics, but they could all be wrong on some level. At the most fundamental level, each of them describes gravity somewhat differently. QM and Newton's models of gravity treat gravity as a force, and in the case of QM they have "carrier particles" to transfer energy. GR treats gravity as geometric feature, like hills and valleys, or more like "flat plains" and valleys. It treats gravity more like a geometry rather than a force.

I know magnetic reconnection depends on the concept of frozen-in magnetic field lines, and I understand that Alfven and others have critiqued the concept pretty heavily in its application mathematically in astrophysics.

Ya, he used the "frozen-in" concept for awhile to get certain points across, but eventually people took the concept way too literally. It's really a meaningless term in current carrying plasma however. Current generates magnetic fields and the magnetic "lines" they're describing are actually current carrying filaments, scaled up versions of something you'd see inside of an ordinary plasma ball. As you can see from the plasma ball, the magnetic fields around the filaments, and their location and properties are directly related to the current flow. Nothing is actually "frozen-in".

Alfven consistently and intentionally used circuit theory and double layers rather than MHD theory to describe all high energy events in plasma in space. His circuit model *includes* all the energy contained in the whole circuit (or multiple circuits), whereas MHD models often leave out that circuit energy at their own peril.

https://www.space.com/scientists-measur ... flare.html

https://www.quantamagazine.org/gamma-ra ... -20190501/

That's exactly why the mainstream solar model has failed two critical observational "tests' in just the past couple of months.

So at the very least, I try to maintain a healthy skepticism about it's use in cosmology until I can understand the math and I do have practical experience with discharge phenomena. That seems reasonable to me.

That's a good approach IMO. I did the same thing for a long time. Mathematically speaking, a magnetic field orientation to certain types of events has advantages with respect to understanding the motion of individual (and collective) particles. Energetically speaking the circuit theory approach is superior in terms of accounting for all available energy in the system.

As you get into the math, you'll quickly learn that Maxwell's equations solve for both E and B, but there are underlying physical processes that are happening at the level of physical reality that simply can't be ignored. For instance, in a current carrying environment you can solve the formulas for B (magnetism), but it's still an electric field that's doing the real work in terms of producing the bulk of the particle kinetic energy.

What I did really appreciate in reading Lui's paper was their perspective that MRx and circuit theory are two filters that can be applied to try and understand what's happening when we observe phenomena in space.

Both magnetism and electricity play a role in what happens in space to be sure, but astronomers typically try to "dumb it down" to a magnetic field orientation alone, and ignore the role of the electric fields in space, which is why they often miss the mark by whole orders of magnitude as with the case of solar gamma radiation.

I don't understand the resistance to viewing things that way:

Nor do I as long as you understand the physical processes at work.

without being able to send instruments into the area to take measurements of the conditions in the field, there's an extremely limited amount of information that we can use to construct models for phenomena. The recent discovery that the amount of gamma rays radiating from the sun is actually higher than predicted by a factor of 7-20% comes to mind - we just don't know thru optical/radio telescopes alone, it's not enough. So maybe the conditions of the plasma fit the (very narrow) parameters that can make the frozen-in concept applicable, but maybe they're not. So apply both filters: MRx allows you to explore the deductive potential of the phenomena by using the mathematics, and circuit theory allows you to explore the phenomena inductively by approximating it in lab conditions.

They're both useful.

You're absolutely right that they are both useful approaches in various scenarios, but in term of approximation, a magnetic field approach in a current carrying environment tends to lead to erroneous approximations, as with the case of solar gamma rays.

I don't understand the mainstream's resistance to embracing the circuit concept in plasma, but they resist it with an irrational passion, even when it makes no sense to do so.

MRx is "usually" (but not always) defined by most people as process that occurs in plasma where magnetic field topology changes result in charged particle acceleration. It's defined a lot like induction, and for very good reason.

Yes, magnetic field energy can be converted into particle acceleration, but that doesn't begin to tell the whole story in current carrying environments.