One of the enduring mysteries in solar physics is the unexpectedly hot temperature of the solar wind as it extends away from the Sun. Recently, a team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison performed a study to try to find an answer to the puzzle. And their search led them to the field of plasma physics.
The lead author of the study explains, “There is a fundamental dynamical phenomenon that says that particles whose velocity is not well aligned with the magnetic field lines are not able to move into a region of a strong magnetic field. Such returning electrons are reflected so that they stream away from the sun, but again they cannot escape because of the attractive electric force of the sun.”
At first glance, such language might seem resonant with the Electric Sun model, first proposed by engineer Ralph Juergens, and later developed and in some respects modified by Donald E. Scott, PhD, and physicist Wal Thornhill. However, the University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists propose that a theoretical magnetic process is the mechanism behind the mysterious solar wind heating.
In this episode, we asked retired professor of electrical engineering Dr. Donald Scott for an Electric Sun explanation of the aforementioned phenomenon.
• Phys.org – “New research helps explain why the solar wind is hotter than expected”
FROM THE ARCHIVE
• Donald Scott: Birkeland Currents and the Parker Solar Probe | Space News
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