3D illustration shows the position of the galaxies and reveals the extent of this gigantic structure. The galaxies located in the newly discovered structure are shown in red. Galaxies that are either in front or behind the structure are shown in blue.  Credit: ESO

galaxies

Do “Skeleton” Filaments Give Structure to the Universe?

3 Nov , 2009 by

This 3D illustration shows the position of the galaxies and reveals the extent of this gigantic structure. The galaxies located in the newly discovered structure are shown in red. Galaxies that are either in front or behind the structure are shown in blue. Credit: ESO

Are there “skeletons” out in the Universe –structures that form the framework of how galaxies are distributed? Astronomers have tracked down a gigantic, previously unknown assembly of galaxies located almost seven billion light-years away from us, which seems to point to a prominent galaxy structure in the distant Universe, providing further insight into the cosmic web and how it formed. “Matter is not distributed uniformly in the Universe,” says Masayuki Tanaka from ESO, who led the new study. “In our cosmic vicinity, stars form in galaxies and galaxies usually form groups and clusters of galaxies. The most widely accepted cosmological theories predict that matter also clumps on a larger scale in the so-called ‘cosmic web’, in which galaxies, embedded in filaments stretching between voids, create a gigantic wispy structure.”

The filament is located about 6.7 billion light-years away from us and extends over at least 60 million light-years. The newly uncovered structure does probably extend further, beyond the field probed by the team, and hence future observations have already been planned to obtain a definite measure of its size.

These filaments are millions of light years long and constitute the skeleton of the Universe: galaxies gather around them, and immense galaxy clusters form at their intersections, lurking like giant spiders waiting for more matter to digest. Scientists are struggling to determine how they swirl into existence. Although massive filamentary structures have been often observed at relatively small distances from us, solid proof of their existence in the more distant Universe has been lacking until now.

The galaxies located in the newly discovered structure are shown in red. Galaxies that are either in front or behind the structure are shown in blue.  Credit: ESO

The galaxies located in the newly discovered structure are shown in red. Galaxies that are either in front or behind the structure are shown in blue. Credit: ESO


The team led by Tanaka discovered a large structure around a distant cluster of galaxies in images they obtained earlier. They have now used two major ground-based telescopes to study this structure in greater detail, measuring the distances from Earth of over 150 galaxies, and, hence, obtaining a three-dimensional view of the structure. The spectroscopic observations were performed using the VIMOS instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope and FOCAS on the Subaru Telescope, operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

With these and other observations, the astronomers were able to make a real demographic study of this structure, and have identified several groups of galaxies surrounding the main galaxy cluster. They could distinguish tens of such clumps, each typically ten times as massive as our own Milky Way galaxy — and some as much as a thousand times more massive — while they estimate that the mass of the cluster amounts to at least ten thousand times the mass of the Milky Way. Some of the clumps are feeling the fatal gravitational pull of the cluster, and will eventually fall into it.

Image of the assembly of galaxies. Credit: ESO

Image of the assembly of galaxies. Credit: ESO


“This is the first time that we have observed such a rich and prominent structure in the distant Universe,” says Tanaka. “We can now move from demography to sociology and study how the properties of galaxies depend on their environment, at a time when the Universe was only two thirds of its present age.”

Source: ESO

By  -        
Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today's Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT's Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.



174 Responses

  1. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    This web might well reflect some small inhomogeneous perturbation in the early universe. These webs are likely composed largely of dark matter, which I think at lowest energy is composed of neutralinos. These are condensates of supersymmetric partners of the Higgs, and the neutral electroweak particles, the photon and Z. As I posted on the blog area about the Milky Way galaxy there is evidence of dark matter decay or annihilation. So the inflationary phase of the universe likely saw small regions with different energy density and differential nucleation regions for the phase transition between various states of matter. It would be interesting to know if there are higher signatures of inverse Compton scattered e-e^+ pairs on these skeletal filaments.

    Cheers LC

  2. Sili says:

    Cue cries of “Dark Matter is a LIE” in 10, 9, 8 …

  3. ioresult says:

    “Galaxies that are either in front or behind the structure are shown in blue.” I guess you mean “green”?

  4. ioresult says:

    The illustration shows a widening field of view. I’m wondering what that pyramid shape would look like if we were to take into account the expansion of the universe, and conversely, it’s shrinking size the further away we look, because we’re looking in the past, when the universe was significantly smaller…
    I guess near us, our “cone field of view” would expand linearly, but as we’re looking further into the past, it would slowly stop expanding and start shrinking and we’d start seeing smaller things instead of bigger things… I wonder at what distance that cone of view would start shrinking instead of widening?

  5. SteveZodiac says:

    I’m sure it can all be explained by stretching space-time by just the right amount to fit the theories

  6. Torbjorn Larsson OM says:

    ioresult, that pyramid shape should be what we see when we look further away/further back in time.

    The universe expansion is over all hyperbolic, despite different rates, so AFAIU theoretically you should see a lot of crowding just before everything gets redshifted out of observational signal. That is, you see more early galaxies, not less. Which is quite consistent with expectations, at least mine.

    MC Escher has made a sketch with such a topology, tiled with horses IIRC, which has been used for illustration. I wish I could find it now.

  7. Jon Hanford says:

    This work is similar to a recent paper on the forming supercluster of galaxies Abell 901/ Abell 902 (see: http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0910/0910.5718v2.pdf ) . In that case four distinct subunits of galaxy clusters are in the process of merging, creating in places filamentary structures similar to the one mentioned in the article. And, as with the above mentioned cluster, the components are all apparently Dark Matter dominated. Great to see the observational evidence of DM gain a more stable footing. These objects, after all, are the largest gravitationally bound objects in our universe.

    Maybe now would be a good time to write an article on the recent discovery of a ‘Ferni Haze’ around our galaxy’s nucleus and its implication wrt DM in the Milky Way.

  8. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    Torbjorn Larsson OM Says,”MC Escher has made a sketch with such a topology, tiled with horses IIRC, which has been used for illustration. I wish I could find it now.”

    That would pertain to the anti de Sitter spacetime corresponding to the de Sitter spacetime, which approximates our observed universe. The Escher diagram is an example of the Poincare disk, which has a PSL(2,Z) structure. The discrete Z corresponds to the modular structure of the space

    x –> (ax + b)/(cx + d) with ac – bd = 1

    The hyperbolic spacetime in the AdS is similar to this with a projective Lorentz structure.

    There are of course some similar features with the de Sitter spacetime. This is in particular with the good question about whether that cone of solid angle of view will stop expanding and contract to a point. The answer is, yes it will — in certain coordinate systems. In a comoving coordinate system it does, but in conformal coordinates it continues to remain opening. General relativity is a bit strange that way. :-) Yet that closing off takes place much further out into spacetime beyond the cosmological horizon, or the Hubble region defined by sqrt(3/CC), CC = cosmological constant.

    I wrote a while back a descriptive essay about this, where I compared these skeletons to spider webs in an attic with sunlight glinting off them to represent galaxy clusters. Then the walls of the room are expanding out. What has intrigued me is whether we can back out some physics about this dark matter, for as the “room” expands these threads persist. They are gravitationally a bit like cobwebs with an effective tensile strength. We can think of a local region of these tendrils as being a tube of gravitating dark matter that is being stretched out. This reduces the diameter of the tube, but the gravitational potential along the axis of the cylinder of material maintains the structure as the universe expands.

    Cheers LC

  9. mharratsc says:

    Jon Hanford said:
    “And, as with the above mentioned cluster, the components are al apparently Dark Matter dominated. Great to see the observational evidence of DM gain a more stable footing. These objects, after all, are the largest gravitationally bound objects in our universe.”

    I think the ibservations are colored by pre-conceived notions, myself.

    You see “observational evidence of DM..”, but I see something that looks like “beads on a string” Bennett pinch instabilities in a very llarge Birkland current.

    Did you know, by the way, that this very effect noted in this report was actually *predicted* in the Plasma model? Arp has diagrammed this on smaller scales in our local arm, also- this just the next scale up, I think. :)

    Here’s another prediction to go with these latest observations:

    Since plasma behaviors are scalar over a couple-dozen orders of magnitude, we can use existing observations to allow us to predict that we will find ‘circuits’ of ionized hydrogen flowong between the ‘clusters on the web,’ This predicted plasma will display a filimenary structure and- on closest inspection- ahelical twist to the filaments.

    The EM force is 27 times more powerful than gravity. No ‘Dark,’ fictions are required to understand the observations of the Universe around us, if you apply the correct Laws.

    In the name of Science- Peace! :)

  10. Jon Hanford says:

    Would the M.C. Escher print mentioned above be the “Horseman” woodcut from 1946 ( http://www.mcescher.com/Gallery/back-bmp/LW342.jpg )? Sort of a modified mobius strip.

  11. Nereid says:

    @mharratsc: that wouldn’t be a case of “if it looks like a bunny rabbit, it must be a bunny rabbit” would it?

    Specifically, in which paper(s) – published in relevant, peer-reviewed journals – was this predicted (“this very effect noted in this report was actually *predicted* in the Plasma model“)?

    Ditto Arp.

    And please, no links to websites that do not contain direct references to actual papers …

  12. Jon Hanford says:

    @mharratsc, I’m be most interested to read any peer reviewed, published predictions using this ‘Plasma model’ of this particular galaxy cluster. Actually, I’d be interested in any “Plasma model’ predictions of any specific galaxy cluster (like Abell 901-902, The Bullet Cluster, Abell 426, Abell 2218, etc.) and see how the authors compare observed phenomena as interpreted by the Standard Model vs. the ‘Plasma model’. What predictions does the ‘Plasma model’ make concerning the gravitational arcs in Abell 370 in terms of the mass distribution and the distribution of ionized gas in the Intra Cluster Medium? What does the SED look like in a lensing galaxy cluster using the ‘Plasma model’ compared to results obtained using current astrophysical models? Any reliable citations would be welcome.

    Aside from the morphology, exactly what physical predictions are made concerning ” ‘circuits’ of ionized hydrogen” flowing between the ‘clusters on the web’? What supplies the energy to this predicted plasma (again, citations, please). :)

  13. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    Uh oh, another EU guy here. The Escher prints which are more relevant are the “limit circles” on the Escher website above.

    LC

  14. ioresult says:

    Torbjorn Larsson OM, did you mean these pictures?
    http://www.josleys.com/show_gallery.php?galid=325

  15. ioresult says:

    Torbjorn Larsson OM: Ah I think I see what you mean. Wow, I didn’t realize that. That universe of ours is huge!

  16. RBH says:

    Nancy wrote “These filaments are millions of light years long and constitute the skeleton of the Universe: galaxies gather around them, and immense galaxy clusters form at their intersections, lurking like giant spiders waiting for more matter to digest. ”

    There’s an interesting causal hypothesis lurking in the verbs of that sentence. Is it justified?

  17. IVAN3MAN says:

    Did you know, by the way, that this very effect noted in this report was actually *predicted* in the Plasma model? [blah blah…]. Here’s another prediction to go with these latest observations: Since plasma behaviors [blah blah…], we can use existing observations to allow us to predict that [blah blah…]. This predicted plasma will display [blah blah… blah].

    That boast by mharratsc reminds me of those adverts that you see in the Racing Post (and other horse racing journals) boasting 10/1, 25/1, 33/1, and 50/1 winners “predicted” by their “genuine system” horse form analysis book that will “take the bookies to the cleaners and hang them out to dry”, which you can have for just £49.99!

    Yeah, right(!). If that “genuine system” is so great, that it threatens the bookies business, then why the bloody hell does the author of the book need to sell them to the mug punters? Why doesn’t he just clean out the bookies himself? Also, if the ‘system’ works, why don’t the bookies just ‘buy out’ the publisher of the book?

    It’s the same with those “Electric Universe” cranks. Where the bloody hell are the peer-reviewed, published ‘predictions’ by EU/PC proponents before the event?

  18. mharratsc says:

    @ Jon-

    Really, you would listen to me now, after Peratt has documented so many. IEEE-reviewed papers on the nature of interstellar currents and the behaviors of plasmas ‘way out there’??

    Go on- pull the other one!

    I think if I bothered to link anything at all, you would refute its veracity because it easn’t ratified as dogma by your Approved Thinking Dept., Jon. It amazes me how dogmatic you guys are- you’re not allowed to even THINK outside of. Your en vogue theory. That’s not good empirical science, you know. 😛

    I’m sure it’s pretty obvious that I’m a layman, isn’t it? I’m sure it is, no need to answer that. Know what convinced me that the Plasma Cosmology guys were on top something? When I saw a comparative analysis of something or other I forget now- but the mainstream explanation had me trying to swallow that it was *undetectable matter* that explained phenomenon… the Loch Ness Monster of space! No one’s taken a picture of I that hasn’t proven to be bogus, but there are so many credible witnesses that say it *must* exist! You jusst can’t refute itls

  19. IVAN3MAN says:

    Correction; that should be: bookies’ businesses.

  20. mharratsc says:

    Existence! By contrast, the Plasma guys showed me details of plasma physics and how they’re scalar to all observable orders of magnitude. No-brainer, IMHO.

    But I digress.

    I’ve made a simple prediction- let’s see if it comes true. That simple. Easily falsifiable, as it SHOULD BE (wink wink nudge nudge).

    I leave it at that, since I typed all this on my G1’s keypad and my thumbs are now cramping… 😛

    See ya when the results come in!

    :)

  21. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    Oh crap, another blog thread torpedoed by EU guys. There was I suppose a prospect for a half way serious discussion.

    LC

  22. IVAN3MAN says:

    mharratsc:

    Know what convinced me that the Plasma Cosmology guys were on top something? When I saw a comparative analysis of something or other I forget now…

    Actually, he is more like the mug punter who buys those “Beat the Bookie — Get Rich Quick” books!

  23. Nereid says:

    @mharratsc: that’s ALL you have, “wink wink nudge nudge“?!?!?

    Even for a layman, the lack of specific details – not to mention reasoning – in your comments is, sorry to say, shocking.

    I mean, we should all take on board these paradigm-shattering ideas because … *you* think they’re cool (but can’t explain *why*)? Because some dude by the name of Peratt published some stuff in IEEE … but you can’t remember what, when, about what, why, …??

  24. Anaconda says:

    Dominated by “dark matter”???

    But it has been admitted that “dark matter” is a synonym for “we don’t know what it is” or more charitably “unknown matter”.

    You guys get so defensive when people call you on this.

    But really why should you get defensive when you “don’t know what it is”?

    In another line of thought, this structure is truly huge “gigantic” was the word used, I believe.

    And this is what seven odd billion light years away? There simply hasn’t been enough time since the supposed “big bang” 13 odd billion years ago, for this large a structure to form. It falsifies the idea that the “big bang” caused a homogeneous distribution of matter in the Universe.

  25. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    Anaconda Says You guys get so defensive when people call you on this.

    It is not about being defensive. It is about being annoyed. Anyway the last paragraph above goes further to illustate you don’t know what you are talking about. Where is SB Crumb whn you really need him? If you run into him send him to this blog thread.

    LC

  26. Anaconda says:

    “‘Matter is not distributed uniformly in the Universe,’ says Masayuki Tanaka from ESO, who led the new study.”

    “The most widely accepted cosmological theories predict that matter also clumps on a larger scale in the so-called ‘cosmic web’, in which galaxies, embedded in filaments stretching between voids, create a gigantic wispy structure.”

    Doesn’t this directly challenge so-called “big bang” doctrine that says the further back in time one observes the more one should observe a homogeneous distribution of matter?

    From New Scientist, 25 June 2008:

    “Many cosmologists find fault with their analysis, largely because a fractal matter distribution out to such huge scales undermines the standard model of cosmology. According to the accepted story of cosmic evolution, there simply hasn’t been enough time since the big bang nearly 14 billion years ago for gravity to build up such large structures.”

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14200-galaxy-map-hints-at-fractal-universe.html

    Looks like another “theory” sucked down the memory hole as the observations & measurements falsify the “theory” and quietly a replacement “theory” is being floated in its place as a trial balloon.

    “The filament is located about 6.7 billion light-years away from us and extends over at least 60 million light-years. The newly uncovered structure does probably extend further, beyond the field probed by the team…”

    And these structures are so gigantic they stretch beyond the present horizon of observation.

    From New Scientist:

    “According to their latest paper, which has been submitted to Nature Physics, Sylos Labini and Pietronero, along with physicists Nikolay Vasilyev and Yurij Baryshev of St Petersburg State University in Russia, argue that the new data shows that the galaxies exhibit an explicitly fractal pattern up to a scale of about 100 million light years.”

    Further:

    “More than a decade ago, Sylos Labini and Pietronero wagered a bet with physicist Marc Davis of the University of California, Berkeley, US. The bet, refereed by Turok, held that if the galaxy distribution turned out to be fractal beyond scales of approximately 50 million light years, Davis would owe Sylos Labini and Pietronero a case of California wine.”

    Bingo!

    “The filament is located about 6.7 billion light-years away from us and extends over at least 60 million light-years.”

    Davis owes Labini and Pietronero a case of wine.

    And the prospects for the “big bang” are getting dimmer all the time.

  27. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    Anaconda Says: Doesn’t this directly challenge so-called “big bang” doctrine that says the further back in time one observes the more one should observe a homogeneous distribution of matter?

    No, there should be a range of inhomogeneous structures at different scales.

    The big bang is well established, and it post quantum gravity physics called inflation is also becoming well established as well.

    LC

  28. microverses says:

    Would this be what I have heard referred to as ‘the great attractor’? Wouldn’t there be an additional shift of all matter in the larger region moving towards these large structures?

    @ANACONDA – I watched Elegant Universe and towards the end it is suggested (as a possibility) that the BB is in fact not an uncommon occurrence, but something that happens here and there.

    Say their theory is correct – that the big bang took place when two particles stretched to uncomprehending sizes collided, like two parallel sheets in the wind. The big bang ‘occurs’ at that point – the energy creates matter….however since the particles already existed prior to the impact point – is it not possible that on the surface of the particles these structures already were in place?

    I don’t know, just throwing it out there. I also cannot see why during the inflationary period these structures could not have been ‘formed’ and matter began to gravitate towards them.

  29. Anaconda says:

    Crowell wrote: “No, there should be a range of inhomogeneous structures at different scales.”

    The New Scientist article contradicts your statement and supports what I originally wrote. You know, my statement, which you said showed I didn’t know what I was talking about…

    Crowell wrote: “The big bang is well established…”

    There is a shaky consensus that stands on dubious assumptions — this post further undermines what scientific foundation exists.

  30. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    You don’t know what you are writing about.

    LC

  31. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    PS, read the latest posing:

    http://www.universetoday.com/2009/11/04/new-cmb-measurements-support-standard-model/comment-page-1/#comment-72577

    This looks pretty good for inlationary cosmology. Please, take your persiflage elsewhere. You are like the “Demolition Man” in the song by the “Police,” “I kill conversation …” You are bogging things down with garbage.

    LC

  32. Anaconda says:

    “The most widely accepted cosmological theories predict that matter also clumps on a larger scale in the so-called ‘cosmic web’, in which galaxies, embedded in filaments stretching between voids, create a gigantic wispy structure.”

    This statement is explicitly contradicted by standard “big bang” theory.

    As mentioned by another commenter, the above statement does track Plasma Cosmology which does predict a ” ‘cosmic web’, in which galaxies, embedded in filaments stretching between voids, create a gigantic wispy structure.”

    And here is a further prediction: The “skeletons” and filaments which constitute a “wispy structure” will be found to be magnetized (meaning there is flowing plasma) and this flow will be directional.

    microverses wrote: “Would this be what I have heard referred to as ‘the great attractor’? Wouldn’t there be an additional shift of all matter in the larger region moving towards these large structures?”

    Yes, there is something referred to as the “great attractor”, but it is inconsistent with the gravity “only” model.

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2008/dark_flow.html

    “Using data from NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), scientists have identified an unexpected motion in distant galaxy clusters. The cause, they suggest, is the gravitational attraction of matter that lies beyond the observable universe.”

    “The clusters show a small but measurable velocity that is independent of the universe’s expansion and does not change as distances increase,” says lead researcher Alexander Kashlinsky at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “We never expected to find anything like this.”

    “We never expected to find anything like this.”

    But the amount of matter required to generate this large a gravity effect is simply too much and hasn’t been detected…but wait for it…you guessed it…

    “Kashlinsky calls this collective motion a ‘dark flow’ in the vein of more familiar cosmological mysteries: dark energy and dark matter. ‘The distribution of matter in the observed universe cannot account for this motion,’ he says.”

    So-called “modern” astronomy is apparently littered with these “dark” creatures.

    Failures of the gravity “only” model.

    Actually, this movement could possibly suggest the “ultimate driver” of the electrical energy that would be able to account for this movement.

    From the NASA link:

    “The finding flies in the face of predictions from standard cosmological models, which describe such motions as decreasing at ever greater distances.”

    It is interesting that astrophysical studies demonstrate unexpected movement whenever new instruments with improved vision are implemented.

    How many times are reports from respected scientists, operating complex devices designed to test their theories, going to begin or end with the words:

    “We never expected this”?

    As many times as they are guided by theories that have been cast into doubt, or more literally as we have seen, cast into utter “darkness”.

  33. Anaconda says:

    Crowell: “garbage”…”Where is SB Crumb when you really need him?”

    Crowell and the others react like a congregation when a heretic comes into their church — a church increasingly devoted to “darkness” — the church of astronomy’s beliefs don’t hold up to reasonable scepticism — there is a defensiveness that borders on paranoia.

    Talk about intellectual bankruptcy: Crowell, a supposed scientist, actually a glorified mathmetician, calls out for the resident hachet man to wield his thuggish rhetoric.

    Is that what “modern” astronomy and this website are reduced to — calling on hachet men to defend them from reasonable scientific debate?

    Independent readers take that into consideration when judging the various arguments.

  34. ND says:

    “How many times are reports from respected scientists, operating complex devices designed to test their theories, going to begin or end with the words:
    “We never expected this”?”

    As long as science is done properly, we’ll always be seeing new and unexpected things. This is science. In contrast to this PC/EU claims to have the final answer while all they have is a hypothesis that so far has no solid evidence in support of it. As you yourself admitted.

  35. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    ND, it is often the case that real scientific advancements come not from eureka, but from, “now that is funny.”

    Well it appears that Anaconda has rubbished up another thread here.

    LC

  36. microverses says:

    Thanks Anaconda for the info on that ‘object’.

    Plasma cosmology is not something I have heard of prior to this thread. I’ll look into that more, surely we cannot discount electrical currents?

    Maybe we really have no concept of the scale we’re dealing with, maybe scale is something that is of no consequence and we’ll find that the largest structures are duplicated by the smallest structures.

    We also are limited to our 5 sense prison.

    So we’re handicapped from the start. We should always remember that.

    I hope that none of you having a go at each other are taking it too personally and can walk away and maybe one day observe something, or get new data and say…’hey, this might be plausible if we take into account mr. crackpots idea’.

    I enjoy all of the discussions on this site and look forward to seeing you all contributing all manner of possibilities.

    The earth was once flat, and the universe was a static island.

  37. cipater says:

    Anaconda just convinced me that PC/EU is true.

  38. ND says:

    microverses,

    Mr Crankpot’s ideas have been evaluated since the beginning of this year in over several dozen threads. Those who are in the relevant science fields kept pointing out issues and his misunderstandings of what he’s pushing. It’s worth noting that these aren’t his ideas to begin with. He’s pushing EU/PC hypothesis others have proposed. So we’ve had to deal with Anaconda’s lack of knowledge as well as issues with the EU/PC ideas.

    “We also are limited to our 5 sense prison.
    So we’re handicapped from the start. We should always remember that.”

    We always do. Some notables like Anaconda are also a prisoner of their hubris and overstated sense of importance.

    I hope that none of you having a go at each other are taking it too personally and can walk away and maybe one day observe something, or get new data and say…’hey, this might be plausible if we take into account mr. crackpots idea’.

    Yes, but so far Mr Crankpot’s position is very weak in terms of evidence. And these have been pointed out to him in detail, even in math even though he rejects math (if only because he don’t know it).

  39. Anaconda says:

    Notice the sources I cite are NASA and the magazine New Scientist (no pc there).

    Hardly as ND would have it believed. The evidence relied on in this thread and other threads for that matter is solid.

    NASA: “Electric charges, electric fields and electric current are critical to the study of the structure of the Sun, solar wind and the magnetosphere of the Earth. Moreover, electric current causes magnetic fields (see Electromagnetism) that are important to understanding dynamic characteristics of the Sun and how the Sun interacts with the Earth.”

    http://stargazers.gsfc.nasa.gov/resources/electricity.htm

    And a whole NASA website resource: SUN AND EARTH BACKGROUND

    ***http://stargazers.gsfc.nasa.gov/resources/sun_earth_background.htm***

    With a quick review the discussion of electric fields and magnetic fields, ‘electromagnetsim’, is easy to note.

    There is an abundance of scientific evidence.

    And there is more.

  40. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    Anaconda Says:

    NASA: “… Moreover, electric current causes magnetic fields (see Electromagnetism) … .

    Please, you write this as if it is something new. It was discovered by Faraday in the 1830s. The NASA website is stating stuff that is well known. To get a degree in physics requires lots of study of electromagnetism. This has no bearing on EU conjectures that plasma physics governs the entire universe.

    LC

  41. DrFlimmer says:

    Oh dear. The same garbage as usual. “Gravity only”. God dammit, Anaconda, how many times did I tell you that this is nonsense?

    The NASA has a site dealing with electromagnetism of the sun. Way, surprise! Funny, I have several books on my shelf dealing with electromagnetism and even plasma physics. Of course, the sun is a ball of plasma, and for a detail study of the sun and some of its effects (like what is called “space weather”), you obviously need electromagnetic effects.

    STILL: The sun is not charged! It is not on any electric potential! And there is NO hugh Birkeland current that short circuit the sun to other stars.
    Three big NOs into three major claims of EU.

    And there is a very easy though experiment (oh, I forgot, Anaconda also abandons such things…), why there must have been a beginning of the universe in a recent past that is not infinity (hence a Big Bang or something similar).
    Simple question:
    Why is it dark at night?

    Can someone of our EU friends answer it?

    Hint: This question is called “Olber’s paradoxon”.

  42. DrFlimmer says:

    hey, Anaconda, after you answerd my bold question (haha!) above, you can take a look at this:

    http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

    This is also from NASA, and I urge you to read the text below that beautiful picture until the last dot.

  43. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    All of the interactions play a role in cosmology. Gravity is the structure of spacetime and governs mass through curvature, nuclear interactions power stars, weak interaction are involved with neutrinos that bathe the universe, and electromagnetism is involved with local plasma structures, such as stellar arc or coronal ejections, as well as the CMB.

    I don’t know what to say about Anaconda et. al. Maybe if their posts are completely ignored they will eventually go away. Of course the problem is that people unfamiliar with the real physics will join in and these sites might end up as EU discussion blogs.

    The effect is rather clear though. Rather than discussion the actual physics and astronomy these threads degenerate into rubbish-fests of EU wogs writing nonsense and those who know something countering these persiflagous waste products.

    LC

  44. ND says:

    You know, all this EU/PC is simpler and easier to “understand”. That’s part of the attraction to it. It’s simple and makes complete sense if take their hypothesis at face value. That’s why it’s such a trap for some people.

  45. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    That is the case. A person only need to internalize lots of jargon, Birkeland currents, plasma sheets and so forth, and a person can get a sense of being connected to something fundamental. More importantly it can be done without much work. Even though EU involves electromagnetism you don’t really need to know the difference between Gauss’ law and Lienert-Weichert potentials.

    It is for this reason creationism is so popular. All one need is to internalize the first 3 chapters of Genesis along with a whole faith structure and voila, you know all that is needed to know! And it’s easy.

    George Bernard Shaw once said the future would be a race between education and ignorance. What is interesting is that this ignorance often involves a sort of anti-education.

    Again. where is HSB Crumb when you really need him?

    LC

  46. Jon Hanford says:

    miccroverses, the ‘Great Attractor’ is a a gravitational anomaly (probably a supercluster of galaxies hidden behind the dust and gas of our own Milky Way Galaxy in the direction of Centaurus, Norma and Hydra. This hidden mass is slowly pulling our galaxy, the entire Local Group and the Virgo Cluster, among others, towards it. Wikipedia is a good site to start finding info on the GA (lots of references), found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Attractor

    Also, explore EU/PC all you want but keep a skeptical attitude. Don’t be fooled by the hype you’ve seen here about this ‘science’. As others have noted, we’ve had go ’rounds with some adherents and it quickly turns repetitive and tiring. The same few misleading papers are continually held up as ‘scientific proof’, so tread with caution.

    I feel a Bennet pinch coming on :)

  47. Jon Hanford says:

    Lawrence Crowell, I think you, ND, Dr. Flimmer, Torbjorn Larsson, Nereid, Ivan3man and others are doing just fine at pointing out this folly hypothesis. As long as someone’s around to at least address major logical errors, hopefully those new to the site will catch on. Come to think of it, I’m still waiting on those ‘Plasma predictions’ mentioned early on in this thread. Surely some EU enthusiast has a link to a paper on a specific galaxy cluster. There’s millions of galaxy clusters, ya know.

  48. ND says:

    microverses,

    You’ll also note the strong attacks and ridiculing of “mainstream” astronomy on those sites, particularly using press releases and articles as part of their strategy.

  49. Anaconda says:

    Crowell presents Anaconda’s statement : “NASA: ‘… Moreover, electric current causes magnetic fields (see Electromagnetism) … .”

    And Crowell responds:

    “Please, you write this as if it is something new. It was discovered by Faraday in the 1830s. The NASA website is stating stuff that is well known.”

    “All truth goes through three stages. First it is ridiculed, then it is violently opposed, finally it is accepted as self-evident.” — Schopenhauer

    Good.

    DrFlimmer wrote: “Oh dear. The same garbage as usual. “Gravity only”. God dammit, Anaconda, how many times did I tell you that this is nonsense?”

    Dr. Flimmer, you have come a long way from our first discussion where you denied NASA statements of ‘electricity in space’. And I acknolwledge that.

    But look at the post and the New Scientist article and sadly even the NASA website in the “great attractor”: No reference to anything but gravity, no mention of plasma at all.

    All the discussion is based on the gravity “only” model.

    So, while you, DrFlimmer recognize electromagnetism in space (how much I’m not sure) it’s clear the discussion in the instant post was contemplating a gravity “only” model of the Cosmos.

    DrFlimmer wrote: “…for a detail study of the sun and some of its effects (like what is called “space weather”), you obviously need electromagnetic effects.”

    It’s a little more significant than “space weather”, but ya, that’s what it’s called.

    Dr. Flimmer wrote: “The sun is not charged! It is not on any electric potential! And there is NO hugh Birkeland current that short circuit the sun to other stars. Three big NOs into three major claims of EU.”

    How do you know the Sun is not charged and doesn’t have electric potential? Any authority for that assertion. After all, it puts off electric currents, the helio current sheet.

    As for your third assertion, I point you again to NASA: Giant Ribbon Discovered at the Edge of the Solar System:

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/15oct_ibex.htm

    “This is a shocking new result,” says IBEX principal investigator Dave McComas of the Southwest Research Institute. “We had no idea this ribbon existed–or what has created it. Our previous ideas about the outer heliosphere are going to have to be revised.”

    One important clue: The ribbon runs perpendicular to the direction of the galactic magnetic field just outside the heliosphere, as shown in the illustration at right.

    “That cannot be a coincidence,” says McComas. But what does it mean? No one knows. “We’re missing some fundamental aspect of the interaction between the heliosphere and the rest of the galaxy. Theorists are working like crazy to figure this out.”

    The researchers have commented that the interstellar magnetic field is dominate in shaping the ribbon, suggesting the intersellar magnetic field (Birkeland current) is impinging on the heliosphere.

    Prediction/hypothesis: Should the ribbon change shape and intensity in conjunction with the solar maximum and ninimum that would be evidence of the instellar magnetic field (Birkeland current) influencing solar output leading to a possible conclusion that there is an energy transfer.

    How?

    There is the celestial object known as the plasma electric double layer (aka” magnetic reconnection”

    This electrical object has been identified in the magnetotail and at the magnetosphere pointed towards the Sun:

    See Wikipedia entry for double layer (plasma):

    Cont.

  50. Anaconda says:

    Cont.

    Wikipedia entry for double layer (plasma):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_layer_(plasma)

    “A double layer is a structure in a plasma and consists of two parallel layers with opposite electrical charge. The sheets of charge cause a strong electric field and a correspondingly sharp change in voltage (electrical potential) across the double layer. Ions and electrons which enter the double layer are accelerated, decelerated, or reflected by the electric field. In general, double layers (which may be curved rather than flat) separate regions of plasma with quite different characteristics.”

    And, yes, a plasma electric double layer is the same thing as “magnetic reconnection”

    Note the history in the Wikipedia entry and the footnotes supporting the text.

    Next, I’ll demonstrate plasma electric double layer is the same object as magnetic reconnection.

    Cont.

  51. Anaconda says:

    Cont.

    Review the following: Structure of the dissipation region during collisionless magnetic reconnection:

    “The simulations reveal that the dissipation region develops a two-scale structure: an inner electron region and an outer ion region. Close to the X line is a region with a scale of the electron collisionless skin depth, where the electron flows completely dominate those of the ions and the frozen-in magnetic flux constraint is broken.”

    http://www.leif.org/EOS/97JA03528.pdf

    This computer simulation has been confirmed by insitu observation & measurement. Note there is:

    “a two-scale structure: an inner electron region and an outer ion region.”

    This configuration is consistent with plasma electric double layers.

    And has been observed & measured in situ:

    Cont.

  52. Anaconda says:

    Cont.

    Separatrix regions of magnetic reconnection at the magnetopause

    “Strong electric fields exist inside the separatrix regions and the electric potential drop across the regions can be up to several kV. On the magnetosheath side of the region there is a density gradient with strong field aligned currents. The observed strong electric fields and currents inside the separatrix region can be important for a local energization of ions and electrons, particularly of ionospheric origin, as well as for magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling.”

    http://www.leif.org/EOS/angeo-27-4039-2009.pdf

    Notice in the course of the peer-reviewed paper that electric fields, magnetic fields, electric currents, electrons and ions are all discussed.

    Next a summary peer-reviewed paper of “magnetic reconnection”, plasma electric double layer.

    Cont.

  53. Anaconda says:

    Cont.

    Summary paper tiltled: Recent in-situ observations of magnetic reconnection in near-Earth space

    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2008GL035297.pdf

    Again, this paper summarizes in situ satellite probe observations & measurements.

    And, again, discusses electric fields, magnetic fields, electric currents and electrons & ions.

    There is a synergy between the components of these objects.

  54. Anaconda says:

    This object, the plasma electric double layer, aka, “magnetic reconnection” connects regions of plasma with different physical properties together and allows the transference of energy between the plasma regions.

    So, DrFlimmer, that’s how energy is transfered between different plasma regions in the solar system and as you’ll note the papers sugggest in astrophysical plasma as well (beyond the solar system).

  55. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    Anaconda Says: Crowell responds: “Please, you write this as if it is something new. It was discovered by Faraday in the 1830s. The NASA website is stating stuff that is well known.”

    “All truth goes through three stages. First it is ridiculed, then it is violently opposed, finally it is accepted as self-evident.” — Schopenhauer

    Good.

    —————

    There is no controversy here. Maxwell was well aware of this and imposed a dispacement current on the Faraday equation to set up the complete equations of electrodynamics. This is old hat, take my word for it — nobody is arguing against this, and there is no great discovery involved about this today.

    As for other plasma references, the problem is that you talk about them, but have you actually worked with these things. Sure there are charge separations which can be established in a plasma, they are called a plasma double layer. Yet have you computed transport equations, or the Boltzmann-Vlasov equation, and continuity conditions with the Vlasov-Poisson equation? You might talk about Alfven waves, but have you ever computed the Maxwell equation in these media to derive this? How is the impedance on the driving wave related to the deBye length? How does the deBye length factor into the condition for a double layer?

    I am no plasma physicist, though the second semester of graduate electrodynamics is about half plasma physics. So I know a thing or two about it. I have my text of Jackson, and poured over its problem assignments. And … further I have taught EM physics, which means going back over that stuff to know it like the back of your hand.

    What I sense coming from you is more plasma-hype, than anything where you have ever cranked out graduate level problem sets on the topic. And besides, your keep spoiling discussions — Sting’s demolition man.

    LC

  56. Nereid says:

    @Lawrence B. Crowell (and general readers): here’s the astonishing thing about the frequent commenter, Anaconda: there is tonnes of objective, independently verifiable evidence pointing to his basic understanding being so appallingly bad that it’s a wonder some of it even seems to make sense.

    Take the recent exchanges of comments (“discussion” would besmirch the word) on emf (electromotive force), for example.

    Anaconda thought this referred to the Coulomb force (electrostatic attraction/repulsion); fair enough, if you don’t actually know, then it’s a not unreasonable assumption.

    Upon being set straight – dimensional analysis, definitions, equations, and all – what did Anaconda do?

    Why he went searching for examples of text strings which seem to imply that emf is, indeed, a force … and, of course, he found some.

    When he was gently reminded that he should do a dimensional analysis (etc), and that some of the words in the text strings he was quoting (impeccable source aside) contained terms with specific, technical meanings, what was his response?

    (I won’t answer this … for readers who don’t already know, see if you can guess …)

    And this brings us to the sad, sorry reality: to Anaconda, science consists of textual analysis, much as one would do, say, bible study, or comparative English lit.

    In short, there is a profound gulf wrt worldviews (a gulf, I might add, which Anaconda is utterly unmoving when it comes to willingness to discuss it).

  57. Anaconda says:

    So, typical of Nereid and Crowell:

    I supply the documentation both in the Wikipedia link on double layers (plenty of footnotes there with peer-reviewed papers).

    And three peer-reviewed papers on “magnetic reconnection” aka plasma electric double layers and nothing but general complaints.

    No specific comments related to the peer-reviewed papers and the scientific evidence presented therein, such as the electric fields, magnetic fields, electric currents and electrons & ions and their respective motions and dynamics.

    Hey, just like the NASA website: Isn’t that neat :-)

    I though Nereid was always demanding peer-reviewed papers?

    I guess not when they tell her something she doesn’t want to hear.

    Mums the word :-)

    Independent readers should note if Nereid or anybody else for that matter will come to grips with actual statements of observations & measurements reported in the papers.

    But first Nereid a simple question: Do you consider “magnetic reconnection” the same structure as a double layer?

  58. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    Here is an electromagnetic question for Anaconda. Why does empty space act as a resistor, and under what conditions does it act like a resistor with some impedance or number of Ohms?

    To be confused between Coulomb and EM force is pretty bad. This is pretty much in telling, as Anaconda’s style is more PT Barnum than anything else.

    LC

  59. IVAN3MAN says:

    Anaconda:

    Dr. Flimmer wrote: “The sun is not charged! It is not on any electric potential! And there is NO [huge] Birkeland current that short circuit the sun to other stars. Three big NOs into three major claims of EU.”

    How do you know the Sun is not charged and doesn’t have electric potential? Any authority for that assertion. After all, it puts off electric currents, the helio current sheet.

    The simple reason for that assertion is plain scientific logic: we would expect that a positively charged Sun would repel positively charged protons, and attract negatively charged electrons; however, what we actually observe is that both electrons & protons are being ‘repelled’ by the Sun, and that immediately negates any consideration of the Sun having a net electric charge that can be detected anywhere in the solar wind flow. If the Sun had a net charge that was large enough, then it should repel one charge and attract the other, depending on whether the Sun’s excess charge is positive or negative, but we do not see that!

    Furthermore, if the Sun had a potentially large net charge to sustain an “Electric Sun”, then some kind of external driving force would have to maintain that charge indefinitely, and not only for the Sun but also for every friggin’ star in the so-called “Electric Universe”.

    So then, Mr. Anaconda, I will ask you again, for what it’s worth: What the bloody hell is that source of that galactic wide, universal “Birkeland current(s)”, which “Electric Universe” cranks are so fond of stating, but cannot provide any evidence of it?

  60. IVAN3MAN says:

    Err… I meant to write the source…, rather than “that source…”; ah, WTF!

  61. Anaconda says:

    Nereid, where are you?

    Can’t you come out to play?

    There are some outstanding questions for you…

    I promise…I won’t pull your pigtails :-)

    Crickets chirping…

    Ivan3Man, you obviously don’t read the thread (not surprising):

    “What the bloody hell is that source of that galactic wide, universal “Birkeland current(s)”

    Check this out:

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2008/dark_flow.html

    There is scientific evidence of a Universal ‘flow” which quite possibly is related to the ultimate electrical driver you seek.

  62. Anaconda says:

    Crowell asks: “Here is an electromagnetic question for Anaconda. Why does empty space act as a resistor…”?

    Because a vacuum acts at least as a partial insulator.

  63. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    Anaconda’s answer goes furlongs in illustrating the problem here! It suggests that in reality he knows little about electromagnetism, but only parrots a lot of hype about it.

    Empty space is not an electrical insulator at all!!! :-) Electrons or any charged particle can travel through space at a constant velocity with no impedance what so ever. However, if I wiggle that charged particle in a periodic manner, the radial lines of electric force have to adjust outwards at the speed of light with an associated magnetic field. This is the radiation of an electromagnetic wave. This can be easily calculated with Maxwell’s equation. This then, which can be seen by the Lenz law of electro-motive force, resists the force I am applying to the charged particle. The energy of the EM wave is being supplied by my wiggling is related to a resistive force or F = int F*dr.

    Next question: Can you use Maxwell’s equations to calculate what the impedance of free space is based on my description above?

    Cheers LC

  64. DrFlimmer says:

    Oh my god.

    First of all, thanks Ivan3man, that was exactly what would have said myself, now.

    And now, Anaconda

    The dark flow is NOT a flow of electrons OR ions, but of entire galaxies. Thus one can assume that this flow is due to gravity, because it attracts electric neutral objects, like galaxies and stars.

    In fact, in order to keep a current running, you need, funny to mention it, an electromotive force – in other words: a source, like a battery. But that dark current is not a battery for electrical space-currents. Where is the battery that keeps those hypothised electric currents running in deep space?

    And to mention it again, although you have provided lots of pages and links, they were all rather irrelevant to my statement. Sorry, your work was in vain.

    The sun is not on any potential. This is a fact. There is no real arguement how the solar wind could move, as it does, if the sun were on an electric potential.

  65. DrFlimmer says:

    And still, my question remains open. To all of you, who oppose the Big Bang:

    Why is it dark at night?

  66. ND says:

    Anaconda,

    Is there evidence that the Sun has a net electrical charge? If yes, where is this evidence? Your link to the NASA page in response to this question is complete misdirection and red herring.

    Is the net electrical charge of the Sun a hypothesis or an observed and measured fact?

  67. solrey says:

    Why is it dark at night?

    Trick question, imo.
    While the light from the sun is blocked by the Earth at night, it’s only dark in the “visible” range of the EM radiation spectrum, but it’s quite “bright” in radio, IR, UV, x-ray…etc., hence the usefulness of radio astronomy. Human eyesight is just limited to relatively low resolution of a tiny snippet of the entire range.

    The plasma discharge regime consists of three “modes”; dark, glow, and arc.
    http://www.nowpublic.com/tech-biz/voltage-current-characteristics-low-pressure-plasma-discharges

    The source of the current flow is not any sort of “generator”. It’s simply a natural result of an infinite expanse of diffuse, inhomogeneous plasma that is forever in motion to resolve the inherent charge imbalances, between regions of varying particle and charge density, that will never be resolved as new imbalances and perturbations are constantly created in the process of equalization among existing imbalanced regions.

    The attempt, by some, to associate “creationism” with EU is completely unfounded as EU recognizes a universe of infinite size and duration. Big Bang theory, on the other hand, IS creationist from ‘beginning to end’, being conceived by a Catholic priest (Lemaitre) in his “Hypothesis of the primeval atom” and eventually lauded by Einstein, known to be a religulous kinda guy:

    From Wiki:

    Lemaître himself also described his theory as “the Cosmic Egg exploding at the moment of the creation”; it became better known as the “Big Bang theory,” the term having originally been a sarcastic remark of Fred Hoyle’s.

    Both Friedmann and Lemaître proposed relativistic cosmologies featuring an expanding universe. However, Lemaître was the first to propose that the expansion explains the redshift of galaxies. He further concluded that an initial “creation-like” event must have occurred. In the 1980s, Alan Guth and Andrei Linde modified this theory by adding to it a period of inflation.

    Einstein at first dismissed Friedmann and then (privately) Lemaître out of hand, saying that not all mathematics leads to correct theories. After Hubble’s discovery was published, Einstein quickly and publicly endorsed Lemaître’s theory, helping both the theory and its proposer get fast recognition.

    Interesting that even Einstein (Mr. Lab in my Head Thought Experiment) was more skeptical of math based theories than most EU bashers on this site, having also said:

    “Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction.”

    As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.

    Oh, EU predictions for this region? Nobody had predictions for this region since it is newly discovered! But EU does predict this sort of large scale structure to the universe, in general.

    peaceout

  68. Nereid says:

    This is a good (!) example of how easy it is to make silly conclusions, if you don’t know what you’re talking about

    While the light from the sun is blocked by the Earth at night, it’s only dark in the “visible” range of the EM radiation spectrum, but it’s quite “bright” in radio, IR, UV, x-ray…etc., hence the usefulness of radio astronomy.

    Solrey, the Sun is the brightest object in the sky, in all wavebands of the EM spectrum, with the exception of very high energy gammas (transients aside; GRBs, SNe, etc, certainly outshine the Sun briefly).

    Do you mind if I ask you something, solrey? Anaconda too.

    You are obviously fascinated by this topic – and, perhaps, astronomy in general – but you seem to think that discussing it without understanding the basic concepts is meaningful. Why?

    OK, two questions.

    The thing which, ultimately, distinguishes science from everything else is its insistence on objective, verifiable evidence which is internally consistent. Now mere words are poor evidence at best, and today all images are quantitative data.

    Why do you still staunchly refuse to examine the evidence quantitatively?

  69. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    Flimmer’s question involves the Olber paradox. If the universe were infinite in extent, then any line or ray projecting from your eye (in the opposite direction of photon flow) would reach the surface of a star. So the night sky should then appear about as bright as the surface of the sun. Clearly something is wrong here.

    The first person to try to solve this was Edgar Allan Poe. He proposed that stars were dying at a faster rate than they were being born — sort of in keeping with his rather dark views of things. Of course reality is far darker. The universe is expanding and distant objects appear Doppler shifted. There is also the speed of light and time-distance relation.

    Lemaitre did say that his cosmic egg was similar to an atom or nucleus which changed by some quantum fluctuation or a similar process to a radio active decay. While this is a bit outdated, the idea is not completely off the mark. Further, the process by which the universe came into existence is a physical process.

    This is so sad IMO. I think it was ND who posted the site

    http://www.apa.org/journals/features/psp7761121.pdf

    And this about says it all. This also seems to have dominated so much of American society. It is a bit of an infection, and PU on astronomy websites and blogs is just one facet of this problem.

    LC

  70. solrey says:

    Flimmer’s question involves the Olber paradox. If the universe were infinite in extent, then any line or ray projecting from your eye (in the opposite direction of photon flow) would reach the surface of a star. So the night sky should then appear about as bright as the surface of the sun. Clearly something is wrong here.

    Ridiculous. Infinity has nothing to do with it, any object we can see is x-distance away, infinite universe or not. There is no magical telescopic ray or line projecting from your eye reaching the surface of any object, regardless of distance. Furthermore, it’s a simple matter of optics. The human eye has a relatively small aperture and a wide field of view, capable of seeing only in the narrow band of visible light, and at a relatively low magnitude at that. If we had vision comparable to the Fermi telescope, the night sky might look something like this:
    http://fermi.gsfc.nasa.gov/ssc/first_light_allsky.jpg

    I’m sure Poe had all kinds of scientific insights while wallowing in his absinthe induced stupor…not. That’s classic, ragging on EU while invoking a drunk poet to prove a point about science. I guess that would just about make Dylan eligible for a Nobel in physics then. :)

  71. IVAN3MAN says:

    @ DrFlimmer,

    You’re welcome, mate!

    @ AnaCONda (referring to the NASA “dark flow” link):

    There is scientific evidence of a Universal ‘flow” which quite possibly is related to the ultimate electrical driver you seek.

    Anaconda, if sophistry were an Olympic sport, you would definitely be gold medal material, I’ll grant you that!

    Also, it is you who obviously does not bother to read the FULL technical details, via the links to the PDF files, at the bottom of that NASA “Scientists Detect Cosmic ‘Dark Flow’ Across Billions of Light Years” article. As DrFlimmer stated: “The dark flow is NOT a flow of electrons OR ions, but of entire galaxies.” Nowhere in that article, nor in those two PDF files, does it mention any possibility of an electrically related flow — only gravitational potential is mentioned, but NO electrical potential!

    Your speculative presumption is analogous to stating that the downhill flow of water is due to static electricity, rather than that of the force of gravity!

    @ solrey:

    The source of the current flow is not any sort of “generator”. It’s simply a natural result of an infinite expanse of diffuse, inhomogeneous plasma that is forever in motion to resolve the inherent charge imbalances, between regions of varying particle and charge density, that will never be resolved as new imbalances and perturbations are constantly created in the process of equalization among existing imbalanced regions.

    So, you’re back, then? You certainly would be silver medal material in the Olympic sport of sophistry!

    Your statement, above, is nothing more than rehashed perpetual motion jabberwocky; it is forbidden (or in German: <bverboten!) by both the first and second laws of thermodynamics! (Well, at least in this Universe!)

  72. IVAN3MAN says:

    Goddamn bloody HTML tags!

    That German term should be: verboten!

  73. Nereid says:

    Hey everyone, it’s Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers … with an ‘s’ on the end, so it’s Olbers’ paradox! 😮

  74. DrFlimmer says:

    Speaking of more or less misplaced Einstein quotes. How about this one:

    There are only two things that are infinite. The universe and human stupidity. But I am not sure on the former.

    Now a quote from Solrey (welcome back):

    Interesting that even Einstein (Mr. Lab in my Head Thought Experiment) was more skeptical of math based theories than most EU bashers on this site, having also said:[…]

    Well. But even Einstein erred. His EPR paradoxon is not a paradoxon at all. And “spooky interaction” is also possible. And quantum mechanics, what Einstein was worried about, is the best proven physical theory EVER.

    The source of the current flow is not any sort of “generator”. It’s simply a natural result of an infinite expanse of diffuse, inhomogeneous plasma that is forever in motion to resolve the inherent charge imbalances, between regions of varying particle and charge density, that will never be resolved as new imbalances and perturbations are constantly created in the process of equalization among existing imbalanced regions.

    Infinite space? So also infinite time? And if not infinite time – when did it pop up, and why is space infinite, while time is not?
    Where did the plasma come from? Why is it in motion? Why are there different density values? Where did the “first” perturbation come from? Where did the heat to power the plasma come from? Why hasn’t the plasma cooled off and radiated its energy away, since this radiation goes with the FOURTH power of the temperature?
    And why should imbalances be not equaled out over time? A plasma oscillation definitly settles over time in the lab – why not in space?
    Is the entropy really rising in such a universe?

    I guess, there are even more questions. I wonder, if there are definite answers from EU/PU/PC.

  75. Nereid says:

    Dark flow probably doesn’t exist (a bit like the ninth planet which was supposed to have been perturbing Neptune’s, and Uranus’, orbit … the Pluto Lowell discovered lacks enough mass to account for the observations; many years later it was discovered that the analyses were flawed); see this recent preprint (link is to abstract in arXiv): http://arxiv.org/abs/0910.4233

    Oh, and Anaconda: dark flow is to current as emf is to …?

  76. IVAN3MAN says:

    @ solrey (referring to Lawrence B. Crowell’s comment):

    There is no magical telescopic ray or line projecting from your eye reaching the surface of any object, regardless of distance.

    Dude, do you always take things so literally? Lawrence was speaking metaphorically when, referring to Olbers’ paradox, he stated: “If the universe were infinite in extent, then any line or ray projecting from your eye (in the opposite direction of photon flow) would reach the surface of a star.” Did you fail to see the parenthetical clause — “in the opposite direction of photon flow” — in his statement?

    This is an extract from Wikipedia’s Olbers’ paradox article, which has an illustration of the analogy that Lawrence B. Crowell was referring to:

    In astrophysics and physical cosmology, Olbers’ paradox is the argument that the darkness of the night sky conflicts with the assumption of an infinite and eternal static universe. It is one of the pieces of evidence for a non-static universe such as the current Big Bang model. The argument is also referred to as the “dark night sky paradox” The paradox states that at any angle from the Earth the sight line will end at the surface of a star. To understand this we compare it to standing in a forest of white trees. If at any point the vision of the observer ended at the surface of a tree, wouldn’t the observer only see white? This contradicts the darkness of the night sky and leads many to wonder why we do not see only light from stars in the night sky.

  77. Nereid says:

    @solrey: Olbers’ paradox does not require math … simple logic is enough (though you might want to treat the Anaconda version of logic with some care).

    Pick a direction in the sky, any direction; that is a ‘line of sight’.

    What is on the line of sight?

    Well, there’s some air, but we can pretend we’re on the surface of the Moon, where there is no air; next?

    Well, below the plasma frequency of the solar wind, it’s a bit like being on the surface of the Earth (air and all), so we’ll ignore that (for now).

    Ditto blue-ward of the Lyman limit, at least into the soft x-ray region (different mechanism, different kind of matter blocking our view, but the principle is similar).

    Let’s also pretend, for now, that we live in a universe without dust, just stars and planets.

    If our line of sight is, in fact, a cone approx an arcsec or so wide, it will sooner or later hit a galaxy, as any one of the Hubble Deeps will show. Now the furthest galaxy, in any of these HDFs, is approx 4 Gpc away (we have to be careful about what we mean by distance, but for this logic it doesn’t matter, as long as we’re consistent). So, for simplicity (for now), we’ll say each 1″ cone hits a galaxy by ~4 Gpc.

    But wait! Remember we said the universe was infinite! So if you go another ~4 Gpc, you’ll hit another galaxy, and if you … you get the idea … it’s galaxies all the way down.

    But galaxies are pretty darn faint, in gammas, x-ray, UV, visual, IR, … (well, most of them are, and we’re only concerned with ‘most’).

    And when you narrow your cone to 0.1″, to 1 milliarcsec, to a … you get the idea, well, then you see that each galaxy is actually made up of stars (remember we’re ignoring dust, and we might as well ignore gaseous nebulae too, for now), and that stars are so small (on the sky) that they look like points (zero-D objects), even with micro-arcsec cones …

    Nearly done, for now.

    This next bit is somewhat tricky, surface brightness.

    Here’s an amazing thing about surface brightness … it’s the same, no matter what the distance is! 😮 (assuming, of course, nothing in the way).

    IOW, the number of photons from a square arcsec (that’s an area – on the sky – one arcsec by one arcsec) from the Sun is the same … no matter how far, or how close, you are to the Sun (as long as it is bigger than 1″, on the sky).

    Can you fill in the rest for yourself now, solrey?

    Do you now see why, in an infinite, changeless universe filled with only stars the night sky should be as bright as the Sun is, in every waveband of the EM spectrum?

  78. Anaconda says:

    @ Crowell:

    You are right. I stand corrected there is no resistence only the distance between the charged particles.

    A vacuum tube works on the principle that a vacuum or near vacuum cuts down resistence and allows the charged particles to flow in the vacuum space.

    Thank you for the correction.

  79. IVAN3MAN says:

    Nereid:

    Hey everyone, it’s Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers … with an ‘s’ on the end, so it’s Olbers’ paradox!

    As a former proofreader, I know this very well; it’s a hanging offence to get that wrong! 😉

  80. Anaconda says:

    Ivan3Man wrote: “As DrFlimmer stated: “The dark flow is NOT a flow of electrons OR ions, but of entire galaxies.” Nowhere in that article, nor in those two PDF files, does it mention any possibility of an electrically related flow — only gravitational potential is mentioned, but NO electrical potential!”

    Ivan, you demonstrate my point: The discussion was entirely about the gravity “only” model.

    Ivan, thanks for helping out and contradicting DrFlimmer’s implied assertion the discussion in the post was taking into account plasma and its attendent electric and magnetic fields or NASA for that matter.

    Ivan, actually DrFlimmer wrote more: “Thus one can assume that this flow is due to gravity, because it attracts electric neutral objects, like galaxies and stars.”

    Stars and galaxies are electromagnetic objects, mostly made out of plasma — remember over 99% of the Universe is plasma, charged particles. Everybody knows stars are almost entirely plasma.

    Now, you could be right…no one knows for sure what forces are acting at such huge astronomical scales.

    But considering Science knows that cosmic dust will act like plasma when the charged particles are as tenuous as 1 in 10,000, it suggests that the coulomb attraction between free electrons & ions is powerful and more pertinent to this response, neutral atoms, matter, will get caught up in and “flow” with the direction of the charge particle flow.

  81. Anaconda says:

    Nereid wrote: “Why do you still staunchly refuse to examine the evidence quantitatively?”

    Funny, it’s DrFlimmer that brings up a qualitative philosophical question that has no quantitative answer.

    If there is a quantitative answer, I’m all ears.

    Oh, but there is no quantitative answer, even Nereid admits: “Olbers’ paradox does not require math … simple logic is enough…”

    Yes, in small part that is exactly what I’ve been saying about Plasma Cosmology, and what is wrong about conventional astronomy:

    It fails simple tests of logic.

  82. DrFlimmer says:

    Would you mind answering my questions I raised about solrey’s comment about PC, Anaconda?

  83. Anaconda says:

    “I thought Nereid was always demanding peer-reviewed papers?” — Anaconda, November 4th, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    Wasn’t Nereid supposed to be the “pro” at discussing peer-reviewed papers when they are offered in good faith for consideration?

    But no discussion at all. No…cat’s got her tongue.

    Independent readers that should tell you something.

    In the same comment i asked:

    “But first Nereid a simple question: Do you consider “magnetic reconnection” the same structure as a double layer?”

    A simple direct question.

    But no answer.

    Isn’t Nereid supposed to be big on answering questions?

    Afterall, Nereid demands her questions be answered when she participates in the BAUT forum.

    Instead, Nereid is happy discussing: “Why is it dark at night?”

    Anything to distract for the scientific evidence at hand — same goes for DrFlimmer, since he originally asked: “Why is it dark at night?”

    (Apparently DrFlimmer also has a hard time discussing scientific evidence, peer-reviiewed papers, that he doesn’t want to hear.)

    In fact, review the comments since I laid out the Wikipedia entry for plasma double layers and the three peer-reviewed papers on “magnetic reconnection” aka plasma electric double layers.

    Not a single comment addresses the specifics…and they have had plenty of time to do so.

    (Since DrFlimmer was the one who challenged my view on ‘electric’ processes and such, it would seem encumbent to grasp the specifics raised in the papers…but no.)

    Again, that should tell independent readers something.

    The scientific evidence to these interlocutors is like a silver cross to a vampire :-)

  84. Nereid says:

    And while you’re at it Anaconda, how about responding to Scott’s assertion that astronomy is impossible?

    In more detail: yes, Scott made that statement in sections of material he wrote concerning the solar neutrino problem.

    However, he did not qualify that statement in any way, and explicitly refused to acknowledge the experiment evidence – collected here on Earth – that neutrinos do, in fact, change flavour under circumstances and conditions described by the MSW mechanism.

    Can you find a way out of the obvious, intolerable, inconsistencies Anaconda?

  85. Nereid says:

    @Anaconda: DrFlimmer’s question is not philosophical Anaconda, and the darkness of the sky at night is, indeed, quantitative (but, in this case, we need only consider the quantitative aspects to the nearest six – to twenty – orders of magnitude).

    Re magnetic reconnection: there is no point having an exchange of comments with you … until we can agree on a basis for such an exchange.

    At the heart of any such agreement must, necessarily, be a clear definition of “current” (as in “electric current”). Are you willing to continue working on what this definition might be, Anaconda, and (radical idea!) signing up for the same definition that Maxwell, Birkeland, Alfvén, Peratt, Lerner, … use(d)?

  86. Anaconda says:

    DrFlimmer asks: “Infinite space? So also infinite time? And if not infinite time – when did it pop up, and why is space infinite, while time is not? Where did the plasma come from?”

    Man is not privileged to know the answers to these questions.

    These questions are unanswerable by Science. They are equivalent to asking: Why are we here?

    DrFlimmer asks: ” Why is it [plasma] in motion?”

    The coulomb attraction between free electrons and ions and once in motion magnetic fields , which is duelistic self-reinforcing positive feedback loop.

    But I do like solrey’s answer:

    “The source of the current flow is not any sort of “generator”. It’s simply a natural result of an infinite expanse of diffuse, inhomogeneous plasma that is forever in motion to resolve the inherent charge imbalances, between regions of varying particle and charge density, that will never be resolved as new imbalances and perturbations are constantly created in the process of equalization among existing imbalanced regions.”

    DrFlimmer asks: “Where did the ‘first’ perturbation come from?”

    That question is like if I asked you where the Universe came from.

    Or to put it in terms you might understand: What happened or existed before the “big bang”?

    The “big bang” is nonsense.

    Science doesn’t know how the Universe started or if it started at all.

    As i stated before, Man is not privileged to know.

    DrFlimmer asks: “And why should imbalances be not equaled out over time?”

    They do in localized regions of space.

    But as is evident by the fact that the visible Universe is over 99% plasma — plasma is the fundamental state of Naure — not what we experience on the surface of the Earth where neutral atoms are prevalent.

    It would seem that DrFlimmer is primarily asking existential questions, some more suited for religion than science.

    And distracting from the discussion he raised about astrophysical plasmas, which led to my linking the plasma double layer link and the three peer-reviewed papers with the specifics, therein.

  87. Anaconda says:

    @ Nereid:

    “But first Nereid a simple question: Do you consider “magnetic reconnection” the same structure as a double layer?”

    “A simple direct question.”

    I’m waiting…

    Or are you an intellectual coward when it comes down to it?

  88. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    Anaconda Says: Man is not privileged to know the answers to these questions.
    ————-
    So science is ultimately reduced to religion.

    Sorry, but we have a handle on this question. The k value for the universe, where k = 1, 0, -1, for closed space, flat open space and hyperbolic (saddle shaped) space, appears to be k = 0. The spatial surface of the universe appears to be flat, and infinite. Now spacetime is curved, which stretches the spatial surface as it evolves. As a result the universe appears to be expanding indefinately.

    LC

  89. Anaconda says:

    @ Nereid:

    I’ve answered your questions about electric current ad nauseum. You may be dissatisfied with my answers and may disagree, which is your privilage.

    The same applies to your “Scott” question out of left field — I’ve answered it already.

    Nereid, you are ducking a direct question about peer-reviewed papers I supplied.

    There is no way to spin that.

    If we were on the BAUT forum you would be suspended for refusal to answer a scientific question.

  90. Anaconda says:

    Crowell wrote: “So science is ultimately reduced to religion.”

    No, not at all, Science doesn’t have the empirical observations & measurements to answer every question asked by Man.

    Actually, when Science attempts to answer questions where sufficient empirical observation & measurement does not exist, it runs the danger of turning into a “religion”, i.e., a doctrine of beliefs, a dogma that is not subject to challenge because there are no possible empirical observations & measurements that can contradict it.

    And your inability to understand that suggests your view of science in quasi-religious in nature.

  91. DrFlimmer says:

    Well, so I respond to your lengthy texts and then you respond to my questions, ok?

    Dr. Flimmer wrote: “The sun is not charged! It is not on any electric potential! And there is NO hugh Birkeland current that short circuit the sun to other stars. Three big NOs into three major claims of EU.”

    How do you know the Sun is not charged and doesn’t have electric potential? Any authority for that assertion. After all, it puts off electric currents, the helio current sheet.

    As for your third assertion, I point you again to NASA: Giant Ribbon Discovered at the Edge of the Solar System:

    The helio current sheet is a consequence of the rotating magnetic field. As you might know: A changing magnetic field induces currents. So, there we have our explanation for that current.
    As the wikipedia entry states, is the circuit closed, and as I see it, it is closed inside the solar system.
    This is contrary to EU claims that the sun is connetcted to an interstellar current.
    What the major point is: The helio current sheet is no hint that the sun could have a net charge, or that it could be connected to any current that comes from outside the solar system.

    Btw: EU claims that the sun is powered by such an interstellar current and not by fusion from the inside. Let’s see if the helio current sheet could power the sun. As the wiki entry states, the helio current sheet is of the order of 10^9 A. That sounds rather much. But first one must take in mind that the sun is big, so this is just 10^-4 A/km^2…. that does not as so much as before.
    But that is not the point. Once I calculated the current that is necessary to power the sun and that equals the solar output of energy. The result is that the current must be of the order of 10^16 A. This is a difference of 7 orders of magnitude. Thus the helio current sheet cannot account for the claims of EU.
    (I can repeat the calculations and present them here, if someone wishes them)

    Next point: Let’s assume the sun would be charged, say, it has a negative charge (it could be positive, but it doesn’t change the arguments). What do we learn about charges? Same ones repel and opposite ones attract each other.
    So, if the sun would be negative, what should we see in the interplanetary medium?
    We should see that negative charges get repelled and positive charges get attracted by the sun. We should, at least, see differences in the velocity of the particles. Electrons should rush out faster than protons in the solar wind.
    What is the observation? Guess: Electrons and ions are travelling happily side by side with the same velocity. This clearly contradicts a charged sun (or to say it more precisely: a sun that has a net charge (sum over all charges) that is different from 0).
    Here is a paper that describes the Ulysses spacecraft. It is rather old, but that does not matter:

    adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1992A%26AS…92..237B

    One should especially note page 16 and 29, which give comparisons of the electron and ion distributions. Guess what? They are equal!

    About the IBEX mission: It measures NEUTRAL atoms. What does this have to do with electric currents powering the sun we talked about?

    And then follow lengthy descriptions about magnetic reconnection (hey, didn’t you say earlier this year that magnetic reconnection does not exist?) and that it should be the same as a double layer (which is your interpretation, although it may could be possible). But I wonder, what this all had to do with my remarks?
    Did you just want to tell me that the interestellar magnetic field can connect to the solar magnetic field? Or that there are electric fields INside the heliopause? Such things do not surprise me (anymore). I must say, such things should be expected out there.
    The thing is: This does still not support EU’s claim that the sun is POWERED by interstellar currents and that the sun is (compared to the ISM) on a 10 BILLION VOLT potential.

    Oh well, it is getting late in Germany. I think, this should be enough for the moment.
    Now you, Anaconda. What about my questions concerning an infinite plasma universe? (The questions are in my post from “November 5th, 2009 at 2:12pm”).

    ————————————————————-

    As I see, now, you already answered, while I was writing this answer.
    So, where is the difference, then, between your PC and the Big Bang? Both raises questions that cannot be answered, as you say. And as you also state: That does not matter. So what is your problem with the BIg Bang then?
    Is it harder to imagine a day without a yesterday or time that goes back to minus infinity?
    Is it harder to imagine space that stretches to infinity or space emerging from a single point?

    If it comes to this, then there is no reason for a scientific debate. According to you, such things cannot be answered. So why are you so upset with science? I see no reason in it.

    Oh, and where does the CMB come from?

  92. Nereid says:

    @iantresman: Alfvén may, or may not, have predicted filamentary structure.

    When it comes to testing his prediction, surely it is important to examine the nature of the filamentation? Such as what are the characteristic lengths? densities? compositions? If filamentation is related to currents and magnetic fields – as, IIRC, it is in Alfvén’s works – then what are the typical magnetic field strengths? where are the circuits closed (Ampere’s law)? What is the ultimate source of the energy behind this?

    And so on.

    At least Alfvén attempted to address Olbers’ paradox, and he did so in a fully scientific fashion (aside: Anaconda, solrey: do you know the details? or the paper in which he presented his ideas on this?).

    And – in dramatic contrast to what Anaconda and solrey have presented, so far, in all their comments on UT stories – Alfvén’s ideas are testable … and have been tested, and failed.

    Details? It’s all to do with one of less-well-known tests of standard cosmology, the large-scale structure of the universe (HINT: the larger the scale, the more homogenous the universe appears to be … a result quite inconsistent with Alfvén’s speculation).

  93. Nereid says:

    @Anaconda: “plasma double layer” and “magnetic reconnection” are terms which have meaning only within a framework in which Maxwell’s equations are assumed to have validity (within the appropriate scope, etc).

    If one uses your – personal, idiosyncratic – definition of “current”, then it is not at all obvious that Maxwell’s equations have any meaning whatsoever, let alone any validity.

    Ergo, within the framework of your own, self-admitted, view of the world, your question makes no sense (“Do you consider “magnetic reconnection” the same structure as a double layer?“).

    You might as well be asking “Is grue the smell of slithy wabes?”

  94. IVAN3MAN says:

    @ Anaconda:

    Stars and galaxies are electromagnetic objects, mostly made out of plasma — remember over 99% of the Universe is plasma, charged particles. Everybody knows stars are almost entirely plasma.

    It’s true that stars a mostly plasma; that’s not in dispute, but if the Universe were over 99% plasma, it would be a glowing much more brightly than it does now, and there would not be much free hydrogen gas left condense into new stars.

    Actually, according to this diagram, the composition of the cosmos is: 0.03% Heavy Elements (metals); 0.3% Neutrinos; 0.5% Stars; 4% Free Hydrogen & Helium; 25% Dark Matter; and 70% Dark Energy. Which means that just ~11% of the baryonic (visible) matter is in the form of stars, so there’s plenty of hydrogen to go around for billions and billions of years to come.
    @ Anaconda:

    But considering Science knows that cosmic dust will act like plasma when the charged particles are as tenuous as 1 in 10,000, it suggests that the coulomb attraction between free electrons & ions is powerful and more pertinent to this response, neutral atoms, matter, will get caught up in and “flow” with the direction of the charge particle flow.

    As DrFlimmer has already asked: “Where did the plasma come from? Why hasn’t [that] plasma cooled off and radiated its energy away, since this radiation goes with the FOURTH power of the temperature? And why should imbalances be not equaled out over time? A plasma oscillation definitly settles over time in the lab – why not in space? Is the entropy really rising in such a universe?”

    Anaconda’s response:

    Man is not privileged to know the answers to these questions.

    That’s the sort of fob off answer one gets from a friggin’ creationist!

    Anaconda:

    These questions are unanswerable by Science. They are equivalent to asking: Why are we here?

    You’re probably here because your father did not wear a condom! 😉

    @ DrFlimmer (referring to Anaconda):

    So what is your problem with the BIg Bang then?

    Probably, when he was a kid, he forgot to light the gas stove after turning the gas on, and then… 😉

  95. IVAN3MAN says:

    Hey iantresman, here’s a picture of your friend: Click here.

    :mrgreen:

  96. IVAN3MAN says:

    Anaconda:

    DrFlimmer asks: ” Why is it [plasma] in motion?”

    The coulomb attraction between free electrons and ions and once in motion magnetic fields , which is duelistic self-reinforcing positive feedback loop.

    But I do like solrey’s answer:

    “The source of the current flow is not any sort of “generator”. It’s simply a natural result of an infinite expanse of diffuse, inhomogeneous plasma that is forever in motion to resolve the inherent charge imbalances, between regions of varying particle and charge density, that will never be resolved as new imbalances and perturbations are constantly created in the process of equalization among existing imbalanced regions.”

    “That’s not right; it’s not even wrong.” — Wolfgang Pauli

    Furthermore, since you brought up religion…

    Ecclesiastes 5:3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.

  97. Anaconda says:

    Nereid weasels out of answering a direct question, again.

    So much for Nereid’s intellectual courage.

    Well, I won’t stay up waiting for Nereid to answer.

    Here is the question: “Do you consider “magnetic reconnection” the same structure as a double layer?”.

    Remember, I linked the Wikipedia entry for plasma double layers and three published peer-reviewed papers on “magnetic reconnection”.

    Dr. Leif Svalgaard is a Stanford University helio-astrophysicist of some renown and no friend of Plasma Cosmology.

    Here is Dr. Svalgaard’s answer to the question I put to Nereid, which she cravenly refused to answer, even after repeated requests:

    Dr. Svalgaard presented an interlocutor’s statement: “Frankly, the descriptions [of “magnetic reconnection”] are consistent with a plasma ‘double layer’”

    And Dr. Svalgaard answered:

    “Of course, nobody doubted that for a second. These double layers are generated in currents resulting from plasma moving in a magnetic field.”

    Now, the readers know why Nereid cravenly refused to answer: She knows the two terms refer to the same object, but she couldn’t summon the intellectual integrity to acknowledge as much because her purpose, here, is not to actually discuss scientific evidence in good faith, but to block Plasma Cosmology in any way possible.

    Admitting double layers and “magnetic reconnection” are the same structure would give too much credibility to Plasma Cosmology, and Nereid just couldn’t abide by that — it defeats her purpose for being here.

    Let’s remember what Hannes Alfven, 1970 Nobel Prize physics, stated:

    “The new discoveries include the existence of double layers in magnetized plasmas and in the low magnetosphere, and energy transfer by electric current in the auroral circuit.” (1982)

    And how Alfven outlined the problem with conventional analysis:

    “It is argued that solar flares and the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction should not be interpreted in terms of magnetic merging theories, and that electric current needs to be explicitly taken account of in understanding these phenomena.” (1982)

    It would seem that Hannes Alfven had a firm grasp of the physics of electric double layers.

    So much for Nereid’s cavalier statement, “Alfvén’s ideas are testable … and have been tested, and failed.”

    False.

    On the contrary Alfven’s ideas have been tested and confirmed.

    This is another reason Nereid couldn’t bring herself to answer: It sticks in her craw that Alfven’s ideas regarding electric double layers have been confirmed by in situ satellite probe observation & measurement to be 100% correct.

    Such is Nereid’s consternation.

  98. IVAN3MAN says:

    @ iantresman,

    Oh, what about this, then?

  99. DrFlimmer says:

    First of all: Sorry for quite a lot mistake in my last post. But it was late (yes, Ivan3man, I know an astronomer should not be tired at that time 😉 ) and I didn’t check what I wrote.

    Now, Anaconda:

    Admitting double layers and “magnetic reconnection” are the same structure would give too much credibility to Plasma Cosmology, and Nereid just couldn’t abide by that — it defeats her purpose for being here.

    Sorry, but suddenly I must think of the three South Park episodes:
    IMAGINATIONLAND! IMAGINATIONLAND!….

    So much for Nereid’s cavalier statement, “Alfvén’s ideas are testable … and have been tested, and failed.”

    False.

    On the contrary Alfven’s ideas have been tested and confirmed.

    Depends on the idea! No discussion, Alfven was a great mind and his name is still associated with many achievements in physics. But as I already said: Even Einstein erred sometimes…..

  100. Nereid says:

    Can we try to find a common basis on which to start to have a discussion, Anaconda?

    Let’s start with this:

    Stars and galaxies are electromagnetic objects, mostly made out of plasma — remember over 99% of the Universe is plasma, charged particles. Everybody knows stars are almost entirely plasma.

    How do you, Anaconda, know these things?

    Specifically, how do you know that stars “are almost entirely plasma“?

    To be clear about this, it is my intention to demonstrate that this sort of knowledge is based on application of scientific theories (specifically, physics theories), and that rejection of the underlying theories leads, leads, logically, to you not knowing stuff.

  101. Nereid says:

    @iantresman: Anaconda would need to agree to that (and solrey too).

    Unless we first identify, and then address, the root cause of the non-discussion we’re having (at least the science-based parts of it), the exchanges of comments will continue to empty.

    Now I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to learn that this is good for the UT website (it increases traffic), and good for EU cult leaders (the more results, on the more sites, search terms produce, the better for their egos, and book sales); however, it’s not good for anyone interested in learning more about astronomy, about the universe, about how their money is being spent (as taxpayers, most readers are contributing to research programmes such as the HST, the VLT, Geminis, and XMM-Newton).

  102. Nereid says:

    @Anaconda: I thought my comment – about Alfvén’s ideas being testable, having been tested, and having failed those tests – was perfectly clear … it refers to his ideas on how to address Olbers’ paradox in an infinite, static (i.e. no evolution) universe.

    Do you know in which paper(s) Alfvén published his ideas on this topic? Do you know how he proposed to address Olbers’ paradox?

    I think iantresman does (know the answer to both questions).

    But most importantly of all: do you know why Alfvén’s ideas (re Olbers’ paradox) are wrong (as in, inconsistent with good observational evidence)?

  103. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    I am of course not familiar with the world of Plasma universe nutso’s. Yet it appears that a heavier hitter in that game has appeared here, named Ian Tresman — never heard of him, but a 10 minute trail search is interesting.

    I outlined the solution to the problem of the impedance of free space, that Anaconda could not work up.

    http://www.universetoday.com/2009/11/04/new-cmb-measurements-support-standard-model/

    It is a 5 minute problem to solve if you really know electromagnetism. But what we have here is plasma-e-mag-hype.

    This is very sad in a way, and it is suggestive of the sort of decline in American society that is so endemic — in particular the inability to really reason and think properly. This might be a signature of why Americans might replace Obama, who is reasonably intelligent even if you disagree with him, with Sarah Palin who is an idiot.

    Seriously folks, this is really sad to see and so telling of a much deeper pathology in our society.

    LC

  104. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    Nobody is paying attention. The model density violates a number of more fundamental “axioms” of physics, in particular there is no preferred position.

    LC

  105. Nereid says:

    Alfvén also presents, briefly, a “hierarchical cosmology” (“which envisages an infinite universe with a hierarchical organization“) in “Cosmology, Myth or Science?” (J. Astrophys. Astr. (1984) 5, 79-98).

    These ideas fail the acid test of observation … all available evidence points to a universe in which the deviations from average (density) decrease as the scale-length increases (i.e. the larger the volume you average over, the more uniform all such volume samples become).

  106. Lawrence B. Crowell says:

    IN the case of PU claims there is no need to retest. These theories are really dead.

    LC

  107. IVAN3MAN says:

    Lawrence B. Crowell (emphasis mine):

    IN the case of PU claims there is no need to retest. These theories are really dead.

    The “Electric Universe” Motto.

    :mrgreen:

  108. Anaconda says:

    @ Nereid:

    Excuses, excuses, nothing but excuses.

    Nereid refuses to discuss the linked papers on “magnetic reconnection”.

    Obviously, Nereid’s discussion would not be constrained one iota by my views. She is free to discuss them in any fashion she likes…but she doesn’t.

    Instead she still refuses to discuss published peer-reviewed papers.

    Nereid refuses to answer the question.

    Again, She can answer any way she likes.

    My views and opinions don’t constrain how Nereid chooses to answer.

    What’s so hard about this question: “Do you consider ‘magnetic reconnection’ the same structure as a double layer?”

    Nereid is a phony…a big fat phony…

    In fact, notice as the thread has gone on, still none of the usual suspects can be brought to discuss the “magnetic reconnection” papers…

    That should tell you something.

    To understand the dynamics of the solar system’s plasma (i.e., the Sun, the solar wind, and the planet’s magnetospheres and their interaction with each other, one must consider the electric field, the magnetic field, the motions of free electrons & ions, and electric currents.

    That’s the facts.

    Nereid’s refusal to discuss these papers is the confirmation.

  109. DrFlimmer says:

    Counterquestions:

    Have YOU, Anaconda, read the whole papers, or just the abstracts, like always? Have you really understood them?

    Btw: I can remember times in which you heavily opposed against the conceptions of MHD, frozen-in flux and magnetic reconnection. And suddenly you acknowledge them? We can all do mistakes, naturally, and if we find out we were wrong it is a good sign to say so. I did it, as you know. If you would do, now, that would be nice to read. But if you do, you should say so explicitly. Or otherwise one could think that you just took the papers, saw in them something that could be in favor of you, and that you didn’t think about the rest.
    Just like when I presented you that simulation of accretion disks, you remember? It was easy to show that your whole interpretation was flawed!
    Maybe this time is at least a little different…. maybe….
    So: Do you acknowledge, now, the concepts of MHD, frozen-in flux and magnetic reconnection?

    To understand the dynamics of the solar system’s plasma (i.e., the Sun, the solar wind, and the planet’s magnetospheres and their interaction with each other, one must consider the electric field, the magnetic field, the motions of free electrons & ions, and electric currents.

    That’s the facts.

    Yeah, and? This does not confirm any of the ideas of an electric sun.

    ———————————————————-

    Believe it or not, I have just read the three papers. However, I should admit that I merely overflow them and just read the introduction and conclusion sections completely.

    What I infer from these papers is that magnetic reconnetcion is an important way to accelerate particles to high energetic speeds, like in coronal mass ejections, and that it is also important to understand the behaviour of the local interplanetary medium around the earth, with the implication of polar lights.
    This concept can also be extended to phenomena concerning the heliosphere and other astrophysical events dealing with magnetic fields (however, they can only be measured indirectly, of course).
    It is also possible, although not explicitly stated in the papers (!!), that magnetic reconnetcion events are connected in some ways with double layers. (Btw: Anaconda, you always name them with a different prefix: “plasma”, “plasma electric”, etc. Do these different names have different meanings? You should stay consistent with your nomenclature!)

    Still, I wonder, what are these papers proof of?
    They do not acknowledge a charged sun, nor an interstellar current, nor anything else you want us to deal with.
    What was your intention to show us these papers? They do not support your specific point of view.
    So, why did you mention them in your answer to my assaults towards EU?
    And why do you insist on discussing them?

    I don’t get it.

    Shall I insist on something, too? How about answering my detailed discussion on the electric sun hypothesis from “November 5th, 2009 at 5:40 pm”?

  110. Anaconda says:

    DrFlimmer: “Have YOU, Anaconda, read the whole papers, or just the abstracts, like always? Have you really understood them?”

    Dr.Flimmer, you are an idiot, if you had even bothered to down load and read the papers, you would have seen the papers exactly as they appeared in the journals, themselves.

    So, yes, I have read the “whole” papers.

    And re-read them, and studied them.

    Flimmer, you’re a clown drinking the Kool-Aid.

    This is as good as when you accused NASA of lying and putting out a hoax schematics on the internet.

    Why?

    Because your teachers told you there wasn’t any electricity in space.

    And your co-interlocutors either were so pigheaded, or so ignorant that they never took you aside and explained the facts of space to you.

    So, yes, I’ve read the papers.

    And now I wonder if you even have the stones to read the papers instead of making a fool of yourself.

    Come back after you’ve read them and discuss.

    Or just shut up.

  111. Anaconda says:

    Really, DrFlimmer, take in the observations & measurements, study them, and then analyze & interpret for your own understanding and then present your finding to the “class” if you will.

    I’d really like to see it.

    Or is that beyond your skill set now?

  112. DrFlimmer says:

    Anaconda, I cannot believe what I must read here. I cannot believe it. As you might have noticed: I HAVE downloaded them and went through them. I even admitted that I didn’t read them fully, but that does not matter. I presented my opinion about them, so what else do you require? Do you want me to find a flaw in them? That is ridicolous! Do you want me to explain them to you?

    I read the papers, I discussed them. What do you want?

    And instead of reacting to my whole post, you pick out the first two lines, start some horrible attackings against me, which are absolutly baseless.

    This is as good as when you accused NASA of lying and putting out a hoax schematics on the internet.

    Why?

    Because your teachers told you there wasn’t any electricity in space.

    And your co-interlocutors either were so pigheaded, or so ignorant that they never took you aside and explained the facts of space to you.

    I accused NASA of nothing. It is YOU, who claims that NASA is right on one hand, and wrong on the other one.
    My teachers did not tell me that there are no currents in space. In fact, in my 3rd semester a heard a course about “spacephysics”, which explicitly dealt with the atmosphere, magnetosphere and a bit about the heliosphere. It was me being wrong in January. It was ME. And I admitted that rather quickly. Why are bringing this thing back on? I am not proud of my performance back then, and I even acknowledge it in these discussions in order to show that I’ve been wrong in the past and also could be, now.

    Really, DrFlimmer, take in the observations & measurements, study them, and then analyze & interpret for your own understanding and then present your finding to the “class” if you will.

    Have you read my post? I did it! What do you want from me?

    Do you know what this rattling looks like? As if you cannot say something about my post. And as if you want to draw off the attention from the real topic.

    Yor read those papers fully? Good, no need to rattle. Read my paper I linked to some time ago? Yes? Good. Any comments on it?

    If I said something offending, my aplogies. It wasn’t meant so harsh as you seem to see it.

    I cannot believe what you said. Anaconda, you are weakening your position with things like that.

  113. Nereid says:

    @iantresman: what you write seems rather, um, disingenuous.

    (1) through (7) are aspects of plasma physics, a branch of classical physics which Alfvén did much to develop. There is nothing particularly ‘universal’ about these, any more than one could compile a similar kind of list and call it ‘Thermodynamics Universe concepts’, or ‘Mechanics Universe concepts’.

    (8) is merely the application of one tiny part of physics to astronomical phenomena; I wasn’t aware that Alfvén played any particularly notable role in is; do you have any material which says otherwise?

    (9) and (10) are certainly interesting phenomena, but why highlight them?

    I have no idea what (11) is; it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with plasma physics, in its ‘what airlines try to use, to cut down on fuel consumption’ meaning.

    (12) is the kicker; by calling this collection ‘Plasma Universe’ (capital P, capital U) you seem to be trying to distance yourself from Plasma Cosmology, which is also associated with Alfvén (and which, under Lerner, has turned into non-science).

    Finally, what does a paper on solar system physics have to do with cosmology? Specifically, haven’t a great many of Alfvén’s ideas on cosmology been studied, and found inconsistent with relevant observations? IOW, LBC’s statement is spot on, isn’t it?

  114. ND says:

    Anaconda,

    You’ve really stepped out of line with your insults in your last postings. You have a history of throwing back anything that appears to disprove mainstream consensus without really understanding it.

    “So, yes, I’ve read the papers.”

    There is great scepticism that you can actually understand what you read. Actually, it’s really not scepticism as this point, it’s something you’ve demonstrated over and over.

  115. Anaconda says:

    DrFlimmer,

    I re-read the intire thread for your comments since the papers were introduced.

    DrFlimmer: “Btw: I can remember times in which you heavily opposed against the conceptions of MHD, frozen-in flux and magnetic reconnection.”

    If you understood the papers, you would understand these papers demonstrate the fallacy of “fronzen in flux”. That MHD is an approximation, space plasma does not follow the MDH approximation in important respects and my objection to “magnetic reconnection” was that it’s concepts failed to incorporate the neccessary electric fields, charged particle motion, and electric currents, along with magnetic fields.

    DrFlimmer your frequent revision of prior comments, either mine or your own doesn’t truck with me.

    And my interlocutors, like you, were busy denying electric fields and electric currents had anything to do with it. Frankly, they didn’t want to talk about free electron & ion motion, but that was hard to avoid.

    If you’re thinking, you”discussed” the papers, you are shallow in your understanding of what the word “discuss” means.

    A couple of drive-by comments doesn’t come close to the idea of “discuss” in vigorous scientific discourse.

    It’s sad you don’t.

    That being said, you did shoot off a couple of driv- by comments.

    Nereid can’t even do that.

    By the way, DrFlimmer, you have explained where your head was at when you were insisting there was no electricity in space — but how do you explain your fellow interlocutors being as ignorant as you at the time?

    You got your excuse, what’s their lame excuse?

  116. Anaconda says:

    Computer simulation of ‘electric double layers’.

    http://www.leif.org/EOS/97JA03528.pdf

  117. Anaconda says:

    in situ observations & measurements of ‘electric double layers

    http://www.leif.org/EOS/angeo-27-4039-2009.pdf

  118. Anaconda says:

    Summary paper tiltled: Recent in-situ observations of magnetic reconnection in near-Earth space

    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2008GL035297.pdf

    Read the papers themselves.

  119. DrFlimmer says:

    If you understood the papers, you would understand these papers demonstrate the fallacy of “fronzen in flux”. That MHD is an approximation, space plasma does not follow the MDH approximation in important respects and my objection to “magnetic reconnection” was that it’s concepts failed to incorporate the neccessary electric fields, charged particle motion, and electric currents, along with magnetic fields.

    See? This is wrong. No paper states anywhere that MHD or frozen-in flux are wrong. In fact, the first one states explicitly:

    In the magnetosphere the classical
    collision rate is very small and the inertia of electrons allows the frozen-in flux constraint to be broken and magnetic reconnection to proceed [Vasyliunas, 19 75]

    Every physicist will understand this sentence, epecially the last part, as follows:
    Frozen-in flux only occures when the conditions are right. And they are right, if the resistivity of the plasma goes to zero. This is the constraint. It is broken when the resistivity reaches a value that differs from “approximately” zero. If this happens, the magnetic field is no longer frozen-in and thus magnetic reconnection can happen.
    This does not mean that the frozen-in flux concept is flawed at all. In fact:

    Outside of the dissipation region the electrons and ions move together and both are frozen into the magnetic field.

    You know, the limits of MHD, and especially ideal MHD (which is another way of saying “no resistivity”), are well known. And it is the important thing that you can find regions where its approximantion is valid at all. But you find those regions in the solar system (normally not in earth-bound plasmas).

    So, I see that the first paper goes beyond MHD, which is fine. I have no objections to it. But as we also see, the paper deals with a numerical analysis, which shows how difficult it really is to deal with such problems, especially analytically. This is another reason for MHD: It was developed to be able to actually calculate something at all. As I said, its limits are well known, and that you must extend it, if you deal with problems like reconnection, is nothing but expected.

    But let’s take a look at the introduction of the second paper:

    In the MHD description of steady reconnection of two similar plasmas, outflow and inflow regions are separated by a pair of slow shocks originating in the diffusion region (Petschek, 1964). In the case of asymmetric reconnection, as at the magnetopause, the MHD description predicts an Alfv´en wave (rotational discontinuity) on the magnetosheath side and a slow expansion fan on the magnetospheric side (Levy et al., 1964). Depending on the asymmetry
    the structure of discontinuities can be different (Lin and Lee, 1994). The simplified MHD description of discontinuities has been successful in explaining low altitude observations
    of ion and electron signatures (Lockwood et al., 1996). More complicated MHD discontinuities develop when plasmas are different on either side of the current sheet and/or the reconnection is time varying (Semenov et al., 1992; Biernat et al., 1998).

    Notice especially the last but one sentence! “The simplified MHD description has been applied succesfully”.

    From the third paper (introduction again):

    For reconnection to occur, the ‘frozenin field’ condition of magneto-hydrodynamics (MHD) must break down in a localized region, commonly called the ‘diffusion region’, of the current sheet separating the plasmas.

    This acknowledges that the MHD condition break down only in localized regions.

    Btw: The third paper states that the regions where the frozen-in restriction is broken are of the order of 100km (a factor 2 or 3 does not really count here). This not too large in an interplanetary context.
    As you can also in section 5 of that paper (where I also got the 100km from), it talks about E an B fields and things related to them and how they describe the frozen-in restriction (E + v x B = 0). So, the concept (like reconnection) actually must deal with all the things, you thought were missing.

    A few more words directly to your post:

    [..] and my objection to “magnetic reconnection” was that it’s concepts failed to incorporate the neccessary electric fields, charged particle motion, and electric currents, along with magnetic fields.

    Correct me, if I am wrong, but wasn’t one of your major objections to magnetic reconnection that it deals with “explicit” field lines? (But probably it was solrey who had problems with this; I am not sure).
    Still, as I mentioned above, to deal with such things you must use all these things you missed.

    A couple of drive-by comments doesn’t come close to the idea of “discuss” in vigorous scientific discourse.

    It’s sad you don’t.

    Better now?

    […] You got your excuse, what’s their lame excuse?

    How should I know? The only thing I know of you all is your nickname. Anaconda, you don’t expect me to be able to look in their mind, especially over distances between hundreds and thousands of kilometers.

    Btw: All this does not change one thing of my comments before:

    Still, I wonder, what are these papers proof of?
    They do not acknowledge a charged sun, nor an interstellar current, nor anything else you want us to deal with.
    What was your intention to show us these papers? They do not support your specific point of view.
    So, why did you mention them in your answer to my assaults towards EU?
    And why do you insist on discussing them?

    (If you meant to show the fallacies of MHD and frozen-in flux…. well, you didn’t achieve it!)

    Perhaps you are in the mood of dealing with my post from “November 5th, 2009 at 5:40 pm”, now?

  120. DrFlimmer says:

    Btw: Sorry, I should proof-read what I write before I hit the submit button…..

  121. ND says:

    So … quiet …

  122. IVAN3MAN says:

    @ ND,

    Yeah, for now that dog has finally stopped barking… until the next night!

  123. ND says:

    IVAN3MAN,

    Given DrFlimmer’s analysis, those papers Anaconda threw at him sounded like a smoke screen for him to either run away or not respond to specific questions asked of him. Same ol’ Anaconda.

  124. Nereid says:

    It’s amazing that Anaconda can get so vehement in his insistence that others answer HIS questions, yet he seems to feel no obligation to answer questions asked of him, not even out of courtesy.

  125. ND says:

    iantresman,

    Your scientific credentials please?

  126. ND says:

    iantresman,

    Anaconda has received quite a bit of patient, critical criticism (aside from the more personal ones when discussions really degenerated) when he was fully engaged in discussions.

    “You don’t even need to know anything about science”
    Does this include Anaconda?

  127. solrey says:

    DrFlimmer Says:
    October 19th, 2009 at 11:30 am

    First of all, I understand perfectly, Tammy, that you are probably bewildered about what’s going on here.
    But, although I do not like MSBC’s methods, he has a point.
    I know Anaconda since the beginning of January this year. We first met at Bad Astronomy and there were 3 really long discussions. He intruduced himself as an “interested reader” and asked some questions, which I and others (like Ivan3man) tried to answer. But as longer as those discussions went on, it became more and more obvious that he wasn’t interested in our answers, but just to show “an alternative”.
    I think, in the end, he was banned from BA, at least, he didn’t show up anymore (just like OilIsMastery – who remembers him?). I think it was Ivan3man who guided our attention to UT (for which I am very thankful, not because the discussions with Anaconda went on here, but because the stories and topics are always very interesting and informative!), where Anaconda was also at work with his nonsense.
    And sorry for saying it so directly: It is nonsense. And he is also dishonest in his words – sometimes he claims this and sometimes that, even though it could contradict himself (what it did from time to time, as can be seen in several older threads), but only to attack “mainstream science” that is using just the “gravity-only model” (to use his words).
    Even though I made some mistakes in the beginning (like my statement that there shouldn’t be any currents in space, which is obviously wrong), I always (and almost still) try to counter him with physical arguments and I try not to be offended (which would result in name calling or something like that).

    So there is a certain group that followed, and continued to badger, Anaconda from BA forum here to UT. As for myself, I was immediately met with hostile insults and off topic obfuscations when I started posting to this site as well, even with no prior history.
    You all try to act so innocent.
    What are your scientific credentials ND, since you asked?

  128. solrey says:

    btw, none of the EU skeptics commented on the papers I provided demonstrating the research relating laboratory plasma discharge morphology/structure to cosmic structures. Just the distraction of Olbers paradox, which can be explained by the light passing through dust, debris, plasma and neutral gas prior to reaching our, quite optically limited, eyeballs. Otherwise, the night sky is bright when including the entire EM spectrum.

  129. IVAN3MAN says:

    Extract from Wikipedia — Olbers’ paradox:

    Absorbtion
    An alternative explanation, which is sometimes suggested by non-scientists, is that the Universe is not transparent, and the light from distant stars is blocked by intermediate dark stars or absorbed by dust or gas, so that there is a bound on the distance from which light can reach the observer.

    However, this reasoning alone would not resolve the paradox given the following argument: According to the second law of thermodynamics, there can be no material hotter than its surroundings that does not give off radiation and at the same time be uniformly distributed through space. Energy must be conserved, per the first law of thermodynamics. Therefore, the intermediate matter would heat up and soon reradiate the energy (possibly at different wavelengths). This would again result in intense uniform radiation as bright as the collective of stars themselves, which is not observed.

    So there!

  130. Nereid says:

    Where did you present these, solrey? Not in this UT story comment section, right?

    none of the EU skeptics commented on the papers I provided demonstrating the research relating laboratory plasma discharge morphology/structure to cosmic structures.

    On Olbers’ paradox, you said “Otherwise, the night sky is bright when including the entire EM spectrum.”

    Do you recall that I mentioned that the Sun is the brightest source of EM radiation, in all wavebands (except, perhaps, some high energy gamma ones)? So, no matter how you examine the paradox – in which EM waveband, in this case – you conclude the night sky should be as bright as the Sun is (in that waveband).

    You can also do an exercise your comment implies, and look at the total energy from the night sky, by summing up over all wavebands. When you do this, you find that the night sky is not at all bright … the Sun still totally dominates. One way to see this, without the math, is to ask what temperature a totally black object would reach if it were placed in space (and, perhaps, shielded from cosmic rays). AFAIK, Eddington’s calculation of this is the best known … and it’s somewhere between 250 and 300 K at 1 au from the Sun, and ~5 K well away from any star (say, at 1000 au from the Sun).

    BTW, you did not say whether you’d followed the explanation of Olbers’ paradox I’d presented earlier; did you?

  131. Nereid says:

    @iantresman: to what extent do you think it necessary to clearly establish a foundation of common understanding, wrt core scientific concepts, in order to have a meaningful discussion?

    A science-based discussion, or one about science, that is.

    To take one specific example: is it possible to have such a discussion if the fundamental role of consistency is not accepted by one party to the discussion?

  132. ND says:

    “My credentials are irrelevant. You don’t need them to reference scientific material, or ask questions. I haven’t demanded the credentials of anyone else. I suspect that there are only a few professional astrophysicists on this forum. I have two degrees in unrelated subjects.”

    It doesn’t take much to reference scientific materials and papers, but do you understand them? Do you have the knowledge and understanding of the science of the topic being discussed? This is more than about referencing. If you’re asserting that mainstream astronomy has things fundamentally wrong and some other set of ideas are the correct ones, then you really need to understand the science, the theories the evidence at the same level as the scientists you’re asserting have things wrong.

    Studying science (ie at a school where you’re immersed in the fundementals) and having experience doing science is fundamentally important if you’re going to debate science.

    Anaconda is a case in point. He just threw out 3 papers. Does he even understand what’s in those papers?

    “I expect the same standards of respect and discussion to apply to everyone. That includes me and Anaconda.”
    Anaconda displayed belligerence very early on in the face of legitimate criticism of the scientific concepts he was discussing. The animosity and ridicule Anaconda faces today is something he earned. When he came to UT with his ideas, I think it was either Hanford or Crowell who debated with him, calmly and out of frustration Anaconda proceeded to insult him. Many of the knowledgeable people here are more than happy to help clear up concepts and discuss scientific concepts.

    I’m sure there is more I can say here but this is plenty and goes to the heart of the grievence towards those pushing EU/PC/PU ideas without really understanding the science.

  133. DrFlimmer says:

    So there is a certain group that followed, and continued to badger, Anaconda from BA forum here to UT. As for myself, I was immediately met with hostile insults and off topic obfuscations when I started posting to this site as well, even with no prior history.
    You all try to act so innocent.

    I was about to become a little ironic, but what for?

    I can, of course, only speak for myself, and I will do so, now.

    I do not try to act innocent. I try to debate the ideas presented here in a (more or less) scientific manner. The thing is: In the end it is shown that major premises of the idea presented by Anaconda, you and others are not supported by evidence. (The charged sun does not act on the solar wind? e.g.)

    And I just try to show it. And I try to stay calm. Name-calling is, as I see it, not the way to talk to each other. If I have ever done so, I am sorry.

    And Anaconda is definitly not the victim.
    This thread is an example for it:

    I asked about the charged sun. Anaconda didn’t really answered my question and instead presented 3 papers in which he thought he found evidence for his position and insisted on answers and discussions.
    When I asked, if he had read and understood the papers (he normally just reads the abstracts – there is evidence for it in older threads on UT!), he started some rattling against me. Finally I gave him the answer he demanded – but since then he has remained silent. I can’t command him to make a statement on my discussion, but I’d like to see one (although I fear that I know what it will look like).

    And there are other things I haven’t seen a satisfying answer for.
    Like: Where does the CMB come from in the plasma cosmology? Where is the current powering the sun? Where do the neutrinos come from the sun spits out? Where is the power source for all the plasma?

    Recently Anaconda said that there are things, human beings will never know. Maybe this is right. But that is exactly what he thinks is wrong with the Big Bang – he cannot believe that suddenly something started. But he can believe that an ever lasting plasma exists? Really? Where is the difference? What started the Big Bang is the same question (in this sense) as where does the plasma come from and what powers it? If the latter questions cannot be answered, why should the former? And why are the latter ones more qualified to be science than the former?

    There is a lack of honesty, as I think.
    And even if not: My list of questions remains unanswered! And some of them need an answer, because they should be observable and do not fall into the realm of “unanswerable questions, humans will never know the answer for”.

    Well. I should relax a bit.

  134. Nereid says:

    @iantresman: thanks for the comments.

    Some time ago I too felt that the breakdowns in communication that were so evident (once the vitriol and bombast was stripped out) was due largely to folk not being on the same page wrt vocabulary (case in point: “current”, “plasma”).

    Now I feel the root cause is much deeper … fundamentally different views/approaches to what science is.

    A substantial part of this is, no doubt, epistemology (how we know what we know), and your comment about gravity may reflect this aspect well (“I know gravity, and even know some of its properties, Do I understand it?“), and I think it’s worth exploring this a bit more.

    You, like all readers of this comment, have undoubtedly had many experiences which you use the word “gravity” to describe (at least in part), both direct (e.g. falling, floating, rising) and indirect (e.g. watching a helium balloon rise, a rocket or plane take off, a glass fall and smash into pieces all over the kitchen floor, a rock float in a pool of mercury).

    But there’s no particular reason to lump the experiences all together, united by “gravity”; the falling, floating, and rising ones could be grouped into three separate categories, for example. So what is it, fundamentally, which leads you to use just one category?

    An easy answer to that question is “convention”; as you grew up you learned the meanings of the word “gravity” the same way everyone else did – hearing others use it in their speech, reading the word in print, being tested on it in school, and so on.

    So far, so good … and so boring.

    Now for the interesting part … in science, how do we know something? Specifically, in physics, what does “gravity” mean, and how did it come to have that meaning?

    It’s at this point that many of us who have exchanged comments with Anaconda part company with him (this may also apply to solrey, and others who have written comments on UT stories, arguing in favour of so EU or PC idea or other).

    You see, gravity, in physics carries with it a truly amazing amount of other things. For starters, it includes all the experiments ever done, to test ideas of what gravity is, from Galileo’s to GPB. It also carries all the theories ever proposed (at least since the time of Newton) to describe it … including all the math behind those theories.

    And that’s what Anaconda seems to not get.

    Thoughts?

  135. Nereid says:

    But wait! There’s more!!

    To have a discussion – rather than a mere exchange of comments – that is science-based certainly requires a total acceptance, by all parties in the discussion, of the need to ground everything in evidence, objective, independently verifiable evidence.

    Further, any such discussion will always incorporate theories (as in physics theories, such as the universal law of gravitation), if only because, today, in astronomy, almost all the evidence we want to consider is only evidence we can agree on if we accept the validity of all the theories of physics which were applied to produce it (think of how much physics must be correct for you to even view, on your computer monitor, an image from Herschel, say, or INTEGRAL, let alone discuss it in terms of FIR sources, or 10 MeV transients).

    And what unites all this? What absolutely critical characteristic (or property) must all participants swear by (cross their hearts and hope to die)?

    Consistency.

  136. IVAN3MAN says:

    Iantresman:

    What absolutely critical characteristic (or property) must all participants swear by? I would suggest that it is to be respectful to each other, but constructively critical of each other’s views.

    Yeah, well, that’s easier said than done. The problem is that those two cranks, “Anaconda” and his friend, “OilIsMastery” (a.k.a. “TotalScience”), do more damage to the alternative hypothesis of Plasma Cosmology than all the skeptical mainstream astronomers put together. Both Anaconda and especially OilIsMastery are both in denial about gravity and General/Special Relativity, despite the fact that the Global Positioning System, which is based on G.R., works bloody perfectly — right down to an accuracy of a few metres for standard GPS!

    As for the complaint by solrey that he was a victim of insults, it was he who first instigated the barrage of insults by referring to everybody here on Universe Today, who did not agree with him, as ‘idiots who don’t understand plasma physics’.

    It was the same with Anaconda, back at Bad Astronomy, earlier this year, when he referred to adherents of mainstream astronomy as ‘fools drinking from the Kool-Aid’. Also, as you can see above, he called DrFlimmer an “idiot”, which is hypocritical of Anaconda when he himself has made numerous embarrassing mistakes about basic physics, not only here at Universe Today but also at Bad Astronomy.

  137. Nereid says:

    @iantresman: I have no problems whatsoever having a science-based discussion of UT stories from the perspective of non-mainstream physics.

    The key is “science-based”.

    And of course many participants in such a discussion may have had formal science education only to high school level … the key point I’m making is that consistency is essential.

    Whatever it is that may be discussed, all participants agree that demonstrating consistency is the bedrock; conversely, demonstrating inconsistency is – in and of itself – sufficient to rule out an idea, comment, or suggestion. Once identified, all discussion around the point of inconsistency should stop (and only continue if the inconsistency can be resolved … there are, of course, many ways to do this).

    Now a big difficulty, as I see it, is that some ‘regulars’ here do not appreciate just how powerful this insistence on consistency is … when it comes to astrophysics, the number of well-established experimental results and observations behind every aspect is simply staggering (and the logic chains that bind it all together great in number, with huge numbers of cross-links).

    Take the exchanges, earlier, on Olbers’ paradox.

    IIRC, solrey had suggested that some sort of an infinite, unchanging universe was possible (i.e. consistent with astronomical observations); Dr Flimmer (?) asked what about Olbers’ paradox. And that’s a perfect ‘consistency’ question … the night sky is not as bright as the Sun, yet it should be (or close to it) in an infinite, unchanging universe. Solrey attempted to address this, in two ways, first by looking at the entire EM spectrum, and second by invoking intermediate scatterers (etc). Of course, nothing new in either ‘out’ … both have been known to be unable to explain why the night sky is dark for a long time (at this point solrey seems to have dropped out).

    But the point isn’t that you can’t solve Olbers’ paradox by the means solrey proposed; rather, it’s that Olbers’ paradox shows a fatal inconsistency with solrey’s idea (of a certain kind of infinite, unchanging universe) … and so we can stop discussing it immediately (and only resume when someone CAN present a resolution to Olbers’ paradox … Alfvén, say).

  138. solrey says:

    IVAN3MAN Says:
    November 10th, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    As for the complaint by solrey that he was a victim of insults, it was he who first instigated the barrage of insults by referring to everybody here on Universe Today, who did not agree with him, as ‘idiots who don’t understand plasma physics’.

    I don’t recall ever unleashing a ‘barrage of insults’, here or on any other forum covering any topic of interest to me…that’s not my style. Although I did take a break from UT when the barrage of insults directed towards me got over the top.

    This is an example of what folks that even mention EU/PC might expect, calling for the more vitriolic commenters, if things seem a bit too polite.

    Where is SB Crumb when you really need him? If you run into him send him to this blog thread.

    LC

  139. solrey says:

    Here’s the link I posted in a prior comment, that seems to have evaporated, that’s how ‘puters are sometimes.

    Self-similarity of plasma networking in a broad range of length scales:
    From laboratory to cosmic plasmas

    http://plasmascience.net/tpu/downloadsCosmo/KukushkinKartinovCos.pdf

    Nereid, I think I see the disconnect. You’re assuming I’m talking about an infinite, static (or unchanging, as you put it) universe. I suppose I should have clarified that EU proposes an infinite, dynamic universe…quasi-static specifically. Meaning there are large scale, ‘anchoring’ structures, which are in relative motion internally, as well as externally among the surrounding structures. From a dynamic point of view, EM induced thermalization would be dissipated rapidly and not increase over time so as to cause the night time sky to glow as bright as the sun. Although there will be thermal, and non-thermal “hot spots” identified by their IR/synchrotron radiation signature.
    Regardless, we can’t even ‘see’ a small fraction of the stars in our own galaxy without the aid of precision optics and/or EM receivers covering as much of the spectrum as we can muster, even then we need long exposures and filters to see through a majority of the muck in our own ‘back yard’ of the cosmos, including the telescopes in orbit.

  140. Nereid says:

    @solrey: thanks for the clarification … but what does “quasi-static” mean?

    And, getting concrete, what is the characteristic sizes (or size ranges) of the “large scale, ‘anchoring’ structures“?

    Also, what are the characteristic relative speeds (or range of speeds) of the “relative motion internally“, and of the anchoring structures “externally among the surrounding structures“?

    Where would any “EM induced thermalization” be dissipated (to)?

    Finally, did you understand the thermodynamics logic, in IVAN3MAN’s earlier comment?

  141. Nereid says:

    @solrey: what was the point you made, in the now (apparently) gone comment (based on the A. B. Kukushkin and V. A. Rantsev-Kartinov document)?

  142. Anaconda says:

    DrFlimmer wrote: “See? This is wrong. No paper states anywhere that MHD or frozen-in flux are wrong. In fact, the first one states explicitly: “In the magnetosphere the classical
    collision rate is very small and the inertia of electrons allows the frozen-in flux constraint to be broken and magnetic reconnection to proceed [Vasyliunas, 19 75]”

    It’s apparent, there is a communication problem.

    For DrFlimmer’s edification, “frozen in” magnetic field lines were supposedly a constant in space plasma per the MHD approximation.

    But as DrFlimmer quotes, “…the frozen-in flux constraint to be broken…”

    Got that DrFlimmer? The “frozen in” constant is wrong. Electric double layers, aka, “magnetic reconnection” would not happen if “frozen in” field lines was constant.

    Here is where DrFlimmer repeatedly demonstrates his basic lack of logical reasoning ability and basic knowledge: This idea, the “frozen in” constant of the MHD approximation is what held up understanding of “magnetic reconnection” because it violated the “frozen in” concept and many astro-plasma physicists would not accept any physical explanation that violated the “frozen in” dogma — interesting that Hannes Alfven, himself, repudiated the concept of “frozen in” magnetic field lines in his 1970 Nobel Prize acceptance speech.

    That is why it is stated at the beginning of the paper that the “frozen in” concept is “broken” because it is remarkable — worth mentioning.

    The summary paper on “magnetic reconnection” also states as much:

    “For reconnection to occur, the ‘frozenin field’ condition of magneto-hydrodynamics (MHD) must break down in a localized region, commonly called the ‘diffusion region’, of the current sheet separating the plasmas.”

    Again, why does the author mention this right off the top in the introduction? Because it is remarkable and violates a well known tenent of the MHD approximation.

    DrFlimmer, you are ignorant and your ability for logical construction is minimal.

    I guess you need to be dressed down.

    DrFlimmer wrote: “Every physicist will understand this sentence, epecially the last part, as follows: Frozen-in flux only occures when the conditions are right. And they are right, if the resistivity of the plasma goes to zero.”

    First, you don’t know your history, the “frozen in” concept was held to be true ALL THE TIME.

    Second, space plasma doesn’t have “zero” resistivity, it is not a superconductor. This is well known as physical reality, but those that want to maintain the fiction of “frozen in” magnetic field lines paper over this physical obstacle to their ideas.

    Again, it is not even “approximately” zero, as Hannes Alfven clearly stated, but others ignored his Nobel Prize speech warning because that allowed them to ignore electricity in space.

    DrFlimmer: “This does not mean that the frozen-in flux concept is flawed at all.”

    The “frozen in” concept has no basis in space plasma because space plasma is NOT a superconductor or even close thereto.

    DrFlimmer presents a statement from one of the papers: “Outside of the dissipation region the electrons and ions move together and both are frozen into the magnetic field.”

    They may well move together, but they are not, repeat, not “frozen in” to anything.

    Reading further, it’s clear DrFlimmer is contradictory, so that he can argue both sides against the middle — another favorite tactic of DrFlimmer.

    Here, we have a window into the mind of DrFlimmer: “…if you deal with problems like reconnection…”

    Electric double layers, aka “magnetic reconnection” is not a “problem”. Rather, it is only a “problem” to those that want to protect their dogma.

    Rather, it is a physical process, an object, where the electric field, the magnetic field, current density, and plasma flow velocity must be taken into account.

    DrFlimmer wrote: “…is nothing but expected.”

    No, it wasn’t expected and went against the “frozen in” conception.

    That’s why it has taken so long for the “magnetic reconnection” idea to gain currency as a fully explained physical process. Even today, NASA is publically on record as saying they don’t know how it works:

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/31aug_mms.htm

    “The problem is, researchers can’t explain it.”

    “Something very interesting and fundamental is going on that we don’t really understand — not from laboratory experiments or from simulations,” says Melvyn Goldstein, chief of the Geospace Physics Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.”

    In reality, it is understood, but NASA won’t sign on because the researchers cling to “magnetic reconnection” without any mathematics that quantifies the energy relationships for “magnetic reconnection.”

    Also, researchers cling to their refusal to summarize the process as being “electromagnetic” in nature, when any fool can look at it and know that “magnetic reconnection” is inherently ‘electromagnetic’ in nature.

    That’s why Nereid now looks like a fool, because she won’t answer obvious questions — what a hypocrit — she questions why I don’t answer, yet she refuses to answer at all — like I said, Nereid is a phony, a big fat phony, probably paid by Fenton Communications to block anything “electromagnetic”.

    DrFlimmer wrote: “So, the concept (like reconnection) actually must deal with all the things, you thought were missing.”

    You are thick, aren’t you?

    The point wasn’t that “magnetic reconnection” didn’t discuss these items in the papers, themselves, they had to, the point was that when “magnetic reconnection” was discussed in general, all the focus was on the magnetic field and little or nothing on the other three elements. In fact, since the electric field is what accelerates the charged particles, it can be argued it is the most important element. My take is that they all are necessary to the process, so no one element is “Supreme” in juxtaposition with the other elements.

    DrFlimmer wrote: “Correct me, if I am wrong, but wasn’t one of your major objections to magnetic reconnection that it deals with “explicit” field lines?”

    Yes, it was and it still is, thank you for reminding me, I had forgotten that issue at the time I wrote the above quote.

    DrFlimmer asked: “Better now?”

    Yes, although, as in the paper, there are four elements:

    Electric field

    Magnetic field

    Current density

    Plasma flow velocity

    DrFlimmer, pull your head out.

    DrFlimmer wrote: “The dark flow is NOT a flow of electrons OR ions, but of entire galaxies. Thus one can assume that this flow is due to gravity, because it attracts electric neutral objects, like galaxies and stars.”

    The visible Universe consists of over 99% plasma, and it is known in dusty plasma as little as one in 10,000 amount of charged particles will induce all the matter to act as a plasma.

    So, when galaxies move in one they are in fact mostly plasma. Besides, the coulomb attraction is 39 orders of magnitude stronger than gravity.

    DrFlimmer: “Where is the battery that keeps those hypothised electric currents running in deep space?”

    No one knows.

    DrFlimmer: “The sun is not on any potential. This is a fact.”

    No, it is not a “fact”.

    You offer nothing but your assertion, sorry, at this point your assertions carry little weight.

    DrFlimmer: “There is no real arguement how the solar wind could move, as it does, if the sun were on an electric potential.”

    You are ignorant.

    If you knew anything, you would know there is disagreement even among conventional helio-astrophysicists about what causes the solar wind.

    Look…basically, from the beginning you have shown little knowledge and almost zero “thinking” ability.

    You drink the Kool-Aid from your teachers.

    The one saving grace is that you have the good sense to try and learn and discuss, this is an improvement over many of the other interlocutors, who show no such inclination at all.

    In that regard, you are the one who I hope will figure it out eventually.

    Why is it dark at night?

    Because Nereid’s big fat bottom is blocking the Sun out :-)

    Just sit back and learn.

  143. DrFlimmer says:

    @ iantresman:

    Do you see the problem?

    DrFlimmer presents a statement from one of the papers: “Outside of the dissipation region the electrons and ions move together and both are frozen into the magnetic field.”

    They may well move together, but they are not, repeat, not “frozen in” to anything.

    Just like NASA: One item of the paper is right, and the other one is wrong. Why does Anaconda present papers that are right on the one side and wrong on the other one?

    And there are many more things in this post by Anaconda I could complain about. But what for? He will neither listen nor learn. In fact, every single thing he said is already debunked. But he does not care.
    He does not know what I mean with a “problem” and he does not know what a physicist means with the term “a condition is broken” – although I tried to explain the latter to him in my post.

    But everything is in vain. I will continue drinking the Kool-Aid and will be happy with it.

    Anaconda: What applies to me, applies to you as well:

    Just sit back and learn!

  144. IVAN3MAN says:

    solrey:

    I don’t recall ever unleashing a ‘barrage of insults’, here or on any other forum covering any topic of interest to me…that’s not my style. Although I did take a break from UT when the barrage of insults directed towards me got over the top.

    What I had meant was that it was you who had started the name calling with your ‘idiots who don’t understand plasma physics’ remark, to which S.B. Crumb and I responded in more stronger terms, and that things kind of escalated into a ‘barrage of insults’ from there — which is probably why Universe Today implemented their commenting policy.

    However, I have to agree, for once, with Ian Tresman when he stated:

    But by bringing the tone of your language down to a common level, you set a bad example to anyone looking at these message.

    And if people see just your message, and not the tone of previous messages, they may feel that that is the general tone accepted by the forum.

    Therefore, solrey, I am prepared to call a truce to the animosity between us and refrain from juvenile name-calling — which belongs in the school-yard — if you will reciprocate. There is no point in having this forum descending to the level of the comments section in YouTube, as Anaconda has demonstrated above, is there?

    @ Anaconda,

    As for you, I see that you’re still up to your old tricks of trolling and antagonizing other commenters with your derogatory remarks: “you are ignorant”; “your ability for logical construction is minimal”; “looks like a fool”; “is a phony, a big fat phony”; “You are thick, aren’t you?”; and “… big fat bottom…”.

    As Dr. Phil Plait would say about his commenting policy on Bad Astronomy: “Don’t be a jerk!”

  145. Nereid says:

    @Anaconda: Let’s take a deeper look at your question, shall we?

    But first Nereid a simple question: Do you consider “magnetic reconnection” the same structure as a double layer?

    The simple, most straight-forward answer is as follows: “Anaconda, I have no idea what you are asking.

    Let’s try re-phrasing the question: “Does “magnetischen Wiederanschluss” have the same structure as shuangceng?

    If you know German, you’d guess that two English words have been put through an online, mechanical, translator (and you’d probably guess that ‘shuangceng’ is ‘double layer’ in some other language) … words have meanings which depend upon the language(s) they come from.

    But let’s look at this from the ‘gravity’ perspective of an earlier comment of mine.

    What – specifically, and in detail – is the background to “magnetic reconnection”?

    What – specifically, and in detail – is the background to “double layer”?

    Part of the background is obvious … plasma physics to at least advanced (final year) undergrad level; and at that level it becomes obvious why my response (“Anaconda, I have no idea what you are asking.“, remember) is appropriate … epistemologically speaking, Anaconda’s question is the same as “Does “magnetischen Wiederanschluss” have the same structure as shuangceng?” (at least to someone who knows no language other than English).

  146. DrFlimmer says:

    @ Nereid:

    Actually the “technical term” for magnetic reconnection in German is

    “magnetische Rekonnexion”
    (sometimes the latter is written as “Rekonnektion” – I don’t know if the former term (with the x) is due to the “Neue deutsche Rechtschreibung”…. in fact, I would have written it in the latter form (with kt), but that’s not so important 😉 ).

    So, it is almost the same as the English one 😉 .

    Shall I tell you Anaconda’s reaction towards your post?

    “Nereid refuses to answer straight questions. And why? Because it would undermine her position”

    Possible slight variation not excluded!

  147. Nereid says:

    @DrFlimmer: thanks, I was 99% sure the online translator would give an incorrect answer … but that was not important for the point I was trying to make (I hope I made that point sufficiently clearly anyway …)

  148. DrFlimmer says:

    You’re welcome.

    In fact, “Wiederanschluss” would be a proper translation for reconnection, but not in the physical context.

  149. Anaconda says:

    @ DrFlimmer:

    You are right.

    @ Nereid:

    Anaconda asks: “Do you consider “magnetic reconnection” the same structure as a double layer?”

    Nereid responds: “Anaconda, I have no idea what you are asking.”

    Simple, compare the structure known as a double layer and the structure known as “magnetic reconnection”.

    Are they the same?

    Apparently Dr. Leif Svalgaard doesn’t have the same problem you do.

    You sound like Bill Clinton, “it depends on what the meaning of “is” is.

    Or in your case, it depends on the German translation…eyes role.

    Don’t want to answer? Failing to answer is answer enough about your purpose here.

    Certainly, your purpose doesn’t involve discussion of space structures in good faith, if it works against your denial of electric forces in space, that much is clear.

    And still, you haven’t discussed the three papers on “magnetic reconnection”.

    Again, it’s answer enough.

    “I have no idea what you are asking.”

    Sure you do, but it doesn’t serve your purpose, so you don’t.

    Readers of good faith know why you refuse to discuss published peer-reviewed papers.

    And that was supposed to be your strong suit — guess not.

    My work is done here.

  150. Nereid says:

    Some time ago, elsewhere, I posted the following:

    Is light:
    a) a wave?
    b) a particle?
    c) neither a wave nor a particle?
    d) both a wave and a particle?
    e) none of the above?
    f) all of the above?

    The point – well one point – of this exercise is to illustrate the critical importance of definitions, when talking about physics. With the arrival – and confirmation, via thousands of independent experiments – of quantum physics, a successful description of electromagnetic radiation/light/etc was established. The description is successful in the sense that it can account for all relevant experimental and observational results, quantitatively.

    So, to create a rough analogue to Anaconda’s (re-phrased!) question

    Is the structure of “magnetic reconnection” and double layers:
    a) the same?
    b) different?
    c) neither the same nor different?
    d) both the same and different?
    e) none of the above?
    f) all of the above?

  151. Nereid says:

    @Anaconda: no; in this case:
    -> it depends on what the meaning of “double layer” is,
    -> it depends on what the meaning of “magnetic reconnection” is,
    -> it depends on what the meaning of “structure” is, and
    -> it depends on what the meaning of “the same” is.

    You sound like Bill Clinton, “it depends on what the meaning of “is” is.

  152. DrFlimmer says:

    @ DrFlimmer:

    You are right.

    Actually, this makes me sad!

  153. IVAN3MAN says:

    Anaconda:

    My work is done here.

    Which means the resident chimp has run out of crap to throw about!

  154. Anaconda says:

    @ Ivan3Man:

    Is Dr. Leif Svalgaard, Stanford University helio-astrophysicist, a “chimp”?

    @ Nereid:

    Apparently, Dr. Svalgaard doesn’t have your problem understanding the question.

    But Nereid’s response is typical of obfiscating politicians’ responses to questions they don’t want to answer:

    “I don’t know what you mean.”

    So, when Nereid is backed into a corner, she won’t answer and provides myriad excuses for failing to do so.

    (That gives a good indication of what she really thinks of the readers of this website — obfiscating responses will satisfy them.)

    By the way, even these myriad excuses don’t offer a reason why Nereid won’t discuss the three published peer-reviewed papers on “magnetic reconnection”.

    But since Nereid won’t answer the question and won’t discuss the peer-reviewed papers, I suggest she study both electric ‘double layers’ and the peer-reviewed papers.

    Oh, and just to make it easier on Nereid, here is the link to the Wikipedia entry for plasma double layers (it’s like spoon feeding a child medicine that tastes bitter — but is good for them :-) ).

    And if she has any integrity, after doing so, she’ll come back and answer the question and discuss the papers (which have already been linked in this thread).

    Don’t hold your breath waiting…

    After all, Nereid’s only purpose on this website is to discourage the readers from considering electromagnetism in space.

    But as is apprent, that posture doesn’t hold water anymore.

  155. Anaconda says:

    Oops, here’s the link to double layers:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_layer_(plasma)

  156. Nereid says:

    @Anaconda: Dr. Svalgaard didn’t ask the question … you did.

    Further, you didn’t ask him, did you? So how do you *know* what his understanding of the question is?

    Apparently, Dr. Svalgaard doesn’t have your problem understanding the question.

    Anaconda, it’s your question, so how about providing the necessary clarifying statements?

    You’ve made a good start, by re-posting the link to the Wikipedia entry on double layers; now how about “magnetic reconnection”? “structure” (this one is very important)? “same”??

  157. ND says:

    I found the Dr. Svalgaard discussion

    wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/17/discoveries-from-the-ibex-satellite-show-we-still-dont-know-quite-a-few-things-about-the-heliosphere-and-solar-system/

  158. Anaconda says:

    Nereid, study the wikipedia entry for plasma double layers and the three published peer-reviewed papers, linked on this thread, and anybody else for that matter who is still following this thread, and the answer will be obvious.

    (Nereid, you can analyze & interpret the Wikipedia entry and the papers can’t you?)

    (And after study, analysis, and interpretation make a comparison — you do know how to do that don’t you?)

    (Or do you like spoon-feeding sessions?)

    (I’m tired of wiping your chin.)

    Your obfiscation only reinforces my point.

  159. Nereid says:

    @ND: OMG! What an amazing blog!!

    Is “James F. Evans” Anaconda perchance?

    I started to collect some quotable quotes, but there were simply too many …

    … but here are a few anyway:

    Now, there is a good difference with the Electric Universe cult, because the EU cannot make calculations, only hand waving, false analogies

    None of the voices in Astrophysics endorse the Electrical Universe.
    I can see from your posts that you have no idea about science, the scientific method, and physical laws, so consider this blog to be your chance to learn something [for free, even].

    Almost everything in your post is wrong, so it is hard to comment specifically [and won’t have any effect anyway].

    The equations [Maxwell’s and Newton’s] have been verified by observations and therefore one can perform mathematical deductions and calculations from them. The equations are just a shorthand for the overwhelming experimental evidence behind them.

  160. Nereid says:

    @Anaconda: I’m in the ‘slow class’ today, and ‘the answer’ does not seem ‘obvious’ to me …

    and the answer will be obvious

    How about taking a leaf from Dr Svalgaard’s book (or blog) and spell it out for me (and any other reader, for whom, perchance, it also does not seem obvious)?

  161. ND says:

    Anaconda must be James F. Evans
    – in one posting JFE refers to himself as Anaconda
    – JFE put down ‘deleted’ for the home page url linked to from the username. Something Anaconda did early on when posting to Bad Astronomy.

    Not that this matters.

  162. IVAN3MAN says:

    @ ND,

    I noted that as well, but I don’t think that those two are one and the same, because (a) J.F.E. acknowledges electron “spin”, and (b) J.F.E. appears to be fairly consistent with his arguments, even though they are wrong, whereas Anaconda tends to contradict himself — I think that he is just a parrot who just repeats what he hears/reads, but does not know WTF he is talking about!

  163. IVAN3MAN says:

    Anaconda:

    Dr. Svalgaard presented an interlocutor’s statement: “Frankly, the descriptions [of “magnetic reconnection”] are consistent with a plasma ‘double layer’.”

    And Dr. Svalgaard answered:

    “Of course, nobody doubted that for a second. These double layers are generated in currents resulting from plasma moving in a magnetic field.”

    So what? That does not prove the “Electric Universe”!

    Anaconda:

    Admitting double layers and “magnetic reconnection” are the same structure would give too much credibility to Plasma Cosmology, and Nereid just couldn’t abide by that — it defeats her purpose for being here.

    Err… what the hell gives you that idea?

    As Dr. Svalgaard himself stated (emphasis mine):

    It would seem that the in situ measurements demolishes the ruminations of a certain Electric Universe enthusiast, Donald Scott: “Magnetic reconnection was invented to ‘explain’ away the release of vast amounts of energy from magnetic fields in plasmas by people who could not bring themselves to study EM field theory. Again – gravity does not squirt out energy. Energy is released from magnetic fields when the current CAUSING the field to exist, drops in magnitude. Proponents of ‘magnetic reconnection’ demonstrate their ignorance of electro-magnetic principles by committing several fundamental errors in that regard.”

    It seems to me that you are not only putting 2 and 2 together and getting 5, but 22 as well!

  164. ND says:

    IVAN3MAN,

    Anaconda sounds awefully like J.F.E.. Anaconda looses it when he becomes desperate and his ignorance is fed back to him on a platter. As for that electron-spin skirmish we had a few months ago, he tried very hard with red-herrings and conflation of “electron movement” to try and label electron spin as just a hyphotheses. “Has anyone observed electron spins” he protested. What is wrong with this guy?

  165. Nereid says:

    @ND, IVAN3MAN: There’s a particularly good response, by Svalgaard, on the 30th, timestamp 16:45:34

    First he quotes JFE:

    If I refer to magnetic reconnection as a ‘double layer’ and emphasize its electromagnetism, I suggest that be taken as a synonymous term as magnetic reconnection and not seen as some misleading term open to disparagement.

    Then this response:

    It is not a question of ‘naming’, but of physics. All currents we observe in space plasmas are created by plasma moving relative to a magnetic field [and almost currents we have on the Earth as well – that’s how power stations work]. If the magnetic field gradient is large enough and/or the movement [i.e. the resulting change in magnetic field dB/dt] is fast enough these current can be enormous. Huge currents exert tremendous forces and the plasma is thus highly unstable [a particularly nasty instability is called the Buneman instability [incidentally, Oscar Buneman had his office across the hall from my old office at Stanford and has often lectured me on this – he was a good man].
    As a result of these instabilities, pinches, filaments, and current sheets appear naturally, and when two of the latter [with opposite charge] occurs together we call it a double layer. Reconnection drives these currents and are thus a natural cause of double layers. Currents have to be constantly ‘driven’ by something, otherwise they just either dissipate their energy or short out, and go away, unless some force is constantly regenerating them. As that is where the Electric Universe falters, because there is no explanation of what drives these large currents.

    The ‘electromagnetism’ label is dead wrong. There are electric fields and magnetic fields, but no ‘electromagnetic’ fields – although people often loosely talks about such a field or force. Maxwell’s equations [link omitted] make no reference to any ‘electromagnetic field’, only to electric and magnetic fields. It is a common tactic to obscure matters by referring to an ‘electromagnetic’ field allowing one to be vague and imprecise about what is meant,

    Sadly, a few days’ later, JFE writes a very long comment which shows that he understood almost nothing of what Svalgaard tried to explain (sound familiar?)

    Anyway, again thanks to ND for supplying the link … now I understand (better anyway) where Anaconda is coming from with his question (and his three papers, and …) …

  166. DrFlimmer says:

    This is disturbing. Dr. Svalgaard is really patient with JFE, who just repeats the same logical fallacies again and again and again and — yeah, you know.

    But apparently Dr. Svalgaard has the same opinion on magnetic reconnection and double layers as I had (although I didn’t stated it — my lame excuse: the questions were directed to Nereid, shame on me). Magnetic reconnection is the CAUSE that builds the double layer. They are not the same.

    Btw: It is interesting. There was a time when Anaconda heavily opposed to magnetic reconnection. And now he acknowledges them suddenly and still thinks they serve his ideas? What?

    Ah, what the heck. I guess, a few posts from now we will see comment about some playing mice while the cat was gone…

  167. IVAN3MAN says:

    Nereid (my emphasis):

    Sadly, a few days’ later, JFE writes a very long comment which shows that he understood almost nothing of what Svalgaard tried to explain (sound familiar?).

    As I have already posted above…
    Ecclesiastes 5:3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.

  168. Nereid says:

    @Anaconda: Here’s another way at looking at one aspect of what I’m trying to get you to see:

    You know the expression ‘to take something out of context’, right?

    You know that it can be quite misleading (taking something out of context, that is), and that it is quite easy to do, both deliberately (coldly, cynically … the sort of thing that happens all too often in politics, for example), and inadvertently.

    I’m sure you also recognise that a discussion based on things which have been taken out of context is likely to be unsatisfactory (and may be downright misleading, or even surreal).

    Good.

    Now consider this: every time you use a key word (“emf”, perhaps), or concept (“magnetic reconnection”, perhaps) ‘out of context’ you make it likely that any further discussion will be unsatisfactory (at a minimum).

    Here comes the punch line …

    … a very high proportion of your comments, here in UT-land, are equivalent to taking key things out of context!

    Now I, Nereid, have no interest in participating in an exchange of comments where there is not just one or two things being taken out of context, but a whole legion of them.

    However, I’m more than willing to work with you, to show you how and why some (most?) of what you write cannot possibly lead to a meaningful discussion … but only if you either explicitly acknowledge ‘consistency’ as an essential element of contemporary astrophysics, or accept that you need to become conversant with at least the foundations of classical physics.

  169. ND says:

    IVAN3MAN

    I submit the following that James F. Evans is Anaconda

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/04/th-sun-puts-on-some-fireworks-for-the-4th-of-july/

    search for “Anaconda”, it’s the only mention on that thread. Not that it matters.

  170. ND says:

    Also see

    wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/17/solar-cycle-24-lack-of-sunspots-caused-by-sluggish-solar-jet-stream-returning-soon/

    search for “I suggest that you dial back your rhetoric and accusations a bit” and look at the next immediate posting.

  171. Nereid says:

    @ND: another very interesting thread, many thanks.

    Here’s something somewhat curious: Anaconda (a.k.a. JFE) has had various aspects of (classical) electromagnetism pointed out to him many times, over many months. He’s also had someone who personally knew Alfvén, who is obviously very familiar with both Alfvén’s work and plasma physics explain (more than once!) how, where, and why Anaconda errs in his references to Alfvén. And so on.

    Yet Anaconda continues to write just as he has always done.

    (BTW, Svalgaard delivers a very powerful rebuttal of the PU website so many EU proponents like to cite (it’s 22nd June, 17:43:13, or search “besmirch”): “The website is basically fraudulent in its claims and reflects the pseudo-science of its promoter. The site does not pass an elementary smell test once you begin to look at it in details, for instance this on Hubble: “Hubble was a stern warner of using the Doppler effect for galaxies and argued against the recessional velocity interpretation of redshift, convincing Robert Millikan, 1923 recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics and director of physics at the California Insitute of Technology, that the redshift interpretation as an expanison of the universe was probably wrong, the year before both of their deaths in 1953.” So modern cosmology also goes down the drain. Since I knew Alfven personally and have discussed his ideas with him, I cannot let you besmirch him with this pseudo-science.

  172. IVAN3MAN says:

    @ ND,

    Thanks for the links, I’ll check them out later; it’s 06:42 hours, here in the UK, and it’s nearly my bedtime!

  173. DrFlimmer says:

    It is really depressing to read that Anaconda (JFE) learns nothing.

  174. IVAN3MAN says:

    @ ND,

    After checking out those two links, above, that you have provided, I now see that “Anaconda” is James F. Evans. Nice bit of research there, ND!

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