Is There a Mysterious Black Hole Constant?

Article written: 1 Mar , 2009
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
by

[/caption]If you found yourself in the unfortunate situation of orbiting a black hole, you may be in for a rather dizzying and unpredictable ride. If the black hole is spinning, it will flatten out under centrifugal forces, much like the Earth bulges slightly at the equator, but the black hole’s bulge will be radically greater. As the shape of the black hole changes, so does its gravitational profile.

As you are not orbiting a spherical black hole, you can no longer expect to have a boring, predictable orbit; your orbit will become wild and chaotic, seemingly random. However, it would appear that there is an underlying constant to the mayhem, and what’s more, it seems this constant has also been observed in a more pedestrian system: a three-body Newtonian system. So what’s the link? Physicists aren’t quite sure

When a massive star exhausts its fuel, it may collapse in on itself to create a black hole (after some exciting supernova action). The angular momentum of the original star is expected to be preserved, producing a rapidly spinning black hole. If the black hole “has no hair” (i.e. it has no electrical charge), the gravitational field solely depends on its mass and spin. If there is deformation due to the spin, the gravitational field changes, sending any orbiting body (like a neutron star) on a crazy roller-coaster ride.

In a new paper by Clifford Will of Washington University in St. Louis, the excited physicist describes the scenario. “The orbits go wild — they gyrate and spin, they’re incredibly complex. It’s fantastic,” Will says.

However, physicist Brandon Carter discovered a mathematical constant back in 1968, showing these apparently chaotic orbits are predictable, and that it even applies to orbits around extremely warped space-time. “Black holes have this extra constant that restores the regularity of the orbits,” comments Saul Teukolsky of Cornell University. “It’s a mystery. Every other situation where we have these extra constants, we have symmetry. But there’s no symmetry for an orbiting black hole — that’s why it is regarded as a miracle.”

Quite simply, physicists have no idea why the Carter constant could arise from the General Relativity description of a spinning black hole. Now, to make the problem even more perplexing, Will carried out a classical (Newtonian) 2-body simulation with a third body orbiting. Again, the same constant appeared. It would appear that there is something special about the predictability of an orbit around this black hole configuration.

Teukolsky, who worked on similar problems for his Ph.D. in 1970, remains baffled by these results. However, Will continues to investigate the problem, by including a term for black hole frame dragging. In this situation, the spinning black hole will drag space-time around it, “creases” (or ripples) in space time being pulled with the direction of spin. In this case, the Carter constant disappears, only to return when higher order terms are added to the equations.

This all means one of two things. Either it is simply an artefact in the mathematics, a curiosity that will eventually be rooted out of the equations. However, there is a tantalising possibility that we are seeing a characteristic of exotic rotating black holes, where the configuration of the surrounding fabric of space-time can allow a predictable orbit to come out of the apparent chaos…

Source: Science News

Here’s an article about black body radiation.


96 Responses

  1. feraligatr8 says

    I wanna go inside

  2. Feenixx says

    I’ve been following this fascinating development.

    It seems unlikely to me that Carter’s constant is a mathematical artifact of the calculations…. because, like you stated: similar effects and patterns show up when doing similar calculations exploring motion and gravity in terms of Newton’s model – very different from Carter’s/Einstein’s “space warp” approach to gravity.

    The fact that both approaches to exploring gravity consistently lead to the same results tells me a lot about the way nature works, and how there may be many very different ways of relating to it and understanding it… without any of them necessarily being “wrong”.

  3. Anaconda says

    I gottta say the post is fun to read, but it’s short on science — observation & measurement that is.

    I think earlier commenters have highlighted the problems, here. All this roller coaster ride (as fun as it is to read) is simply the product of a mathmetican and his mathematical equations, oh, and the computer’s working the equation.

    (what happened to the collimated jets?)

    The three body problem actually works against stable planetary orbits, in contradiction to what we observe in our own solar system. Well, if a theoretical problem comes up in a relatively straightforward planetary orbital system, then what happens at the center of galaxies (where most “black holes are claimed to be located) is even more complicated. And, therefore, harder to predict based on ‘blind’ mathematical equations.

    For we have no direct observations & measurements that confirm the theoretical construct known as a “black hole”.

    I know artists’ rendering aren’t held to a rigorous level of scholarship (they’re meant to be fun), but please, one little “black hole” spinning around the other “black hole”.

    It’s all so fanciful.

    It’s fun, but it ain’t science.

  4. Taqyon says

    Two questions:

    1. This constant is a result of calculations and models based on black hole gravitational physics, isnt it? It’s not observed in real – life, it’s theory/

    So, the constant must be a result of the maths, which is formulated by the cosmologist. It’s man-made. So why is it a mystery?

    2. I understood black holes are singularities, whitout a shape (Phil Plait), but this articlte mentions it can be lobsided. Who’s right?

  5. Excalibur says

    Taqyon:

    1. Yes the constant comes from the math, that in turn comes from the underlying theory. The ‘weird’ part is that the same rare constant occurs in two widely different situations. Without an explanation i find it more of a curiosity, but who knows.

    2. The inside of a black hole would consits of a singularity. However the ‘black’ hole separates itself from the universe we know by an event horison, wich is spherical for a simple, non-rotating black hole, but can take on more complex shapes if it is charged or rotating etc. The event horizon is the ‘point of no return’ where everything would simply fall into the singularity.

  6. Sci-Fi Si says

    What is the value of this constant of which you speek?

    42? Could it be 496? 3.14? 1.14?

  7. Mike says

    Could it be artifact from the hardware/software interface they are doing their simulations on? Surely they have considered this, but so did Royal Navy when they implemented Windows for Submarines, with recent stellar results! (Or not)

    There is no such thing as pure calculable stochastic algorithm, or is there?

  8. Kevin F. says

    If you found yourself in the unfortunate situation of orbiting a black hole, you may be in for a rather dizzying and unpredictable ride.

    News flash – we’re already orbiting a black hole.

  9. Taqyon says

    Thanks Excalibur

    1. In other words it’s two completely different formulae (oversimplified) that has the same artifact.

    2. So it’s the event horizon that’s lobsided, not the hole itself.

  10. Mudbox says

    Well, it hasn’t been proven that there is an event horizon, or a singularity- that is all just theory.

  11. ND says

    Anaconda,

    Are you now working towards the idea that gravity might not be keeping planets in orbit around our sun? How does the 3-body problem say that we should not be seeing the orbits we observe in our solar system?

  12. Anaconda says

    @ ND:

    Because the three body problem (not just my say so) suggests that gravity ALONE results in chaotic orbits for a system with more than two bodies (thus the three body problem).

    Perhaps, it would be wise for you to review the three body problem at your own leisure.

    Apparently, our solar system is not chaotic, at least that we can tell, which would suggest that something else is working besides gravity, or we don’t understand gravity as well as we think, one or the other or both.

    A possible explanation is that gravity is assisted by electromagnetic forces. Let me be clear, gravity exercises the major power in the orbits of the planets, but electromagnetism may also play a role in regularizing and stabilizing the orbits.

    @ Andre Vienne:

    Andre, you are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to make up your own facts. The Hubble telescope has NOT been able to observe & measure anything that would verify the existence or non-existence of “black holes”.

    Yours is a misstatement that is common as “modern” astronomy likes to give the impression that “black holes” have been observed & measured, but that is far from reality. This post is an example of such. Review the post carefully; notice not one actual observation & measurment is mentioned.

    That’s because not one observation & measurement can be quantified AND attributed to “black hole” processes.

    Speculation, sure, but all the calculations or I should say equations are based on a “starting point”, a priori, of an all-encompassing theory or “set of equations,” rather than observations & measurements taken from telescopes.

    What is talked about are mathematical equations and computer simulations based on mathematician’s calculations.

    Okay, you say, but what about when Hubble pictures are shown of a distant galaxy?

    Several things, first, it’s just that, a picture of a galaxy, there’s nothing observable which identifies a “black hole”, remember “black holes” are invisible; second, when astronomers do try and ascribe specifics to a “black hole” their descriptions turn suddenly vague with hand waving descriptions with no mathematical rigor; third, the descriptions of “black holes” have changed and “evolved” as new and as of yet unexplained phenomenon have been observed & measured in galactic centers.

    In the beginning, “black holes” where collapsed stars, then “black holes” were the seed for galaxy formation, but if so, then that contradicts the collapsed star theory because galaxies produce stars, not the other way around.

    Yes, you are entitled to your own opinion, but not to make up your own facts.

  13. Excalibur says

    Anaconda, you are misrepresenting the 3-body problem, you are also misrepresenting galaxy evolution.

    But how can you tell with certainty that “galaxies produce stars, not the other way around? Of all the dumb things you have said in these forums over the past time, this statement must be the dumbest of them all. Proof that you have an agenda, and dont adhere to evidence.

  14. Anaconda says

    Apparenty, there are folks who don’t like it when the “black hole” hypothesis is challenged.

    Why is it a problem when somebody points out reasons for uncertainty regarding “black holes”?

    @ Excalibur: “Anaconda, you are misrepresenting the 3-body problem, you are also misrepresenting galaxy evolution.”

    How so? The three body problem is well known and it speaks to three ‘bodies’ causing a chaotic system. The post makes reference to a chaotic system and references the three body problem. So, Excalibur, the post supports my view of the three body problem. And, yes, I couldn’t tease the math apart, but I know what the conclusions are, however, inconvient for some of the readers.

    Regarding your contention about galaxy formation, to a certain extent you are right because “modern” astronomy, itself, doesn’t understand how galaxies form with any degree of confidence.

    Ah…Miss Conception, she petulantly stamps her foot and says, “black holes exist!” Then requests, “why don’t you prove it? eh?”

    I already did offer some salient points of observation, that’s why you’re stamping your foot.

    @ Ghost: “Isn’t Plasma cosmology is based on… and you’ve guessed it;
    ‘…mathematical equations and computer simulations based on mathematician’s calculations’.”

    The distinction is straightforward: The “Black hole” hypothesis is based, as I stated before, on a starting point, a priori, set of equations, of an all-encompassing theory, rather than from observations & measurements taken from telescopes or observed & measured by in situ experiments in space.

    As opposed to Plasma Universe where mathematical equations are based on observation & measurment derived from plasma physics laboratory experiments and electrical engineering.

    This is a crucial distinction because while your are right that Plasma Universe hypothesis on galaxy formation is based on computer simulations, the equations fed into the computer are derived from actual observation & measurement gathered over the many years that plasma (ionized electrons and ions) has been studied in the laboratory.

    And now in the space age with in situ observation & measurement from satellites the mathematical quantification of plasma physics gained in the laboratory have been confirmed in near-space and Earth’s magnetosphere.

    So, Plasma Universe theory is well rooted, not in a priori grand equations, but on mathematical equations (relationships) developed and confirmed in the laboratory and confirmed by in situ observation & measurement in space.

    See the difference?

    Ghost presents my [Anaconda’s] statement: “The three body problem actually works against stable planetary orbits, in contradiction to what we observe in our own solar system.”

    And Ghost responds: “BS. You don’t know what you talking about. The three body mathematical problem Not an observational one.”

    Exactly my point: It’s a mathematical construction based on “modern” atronomy’s understanding of gravity, so either the understanding of gravity is wrong, as expressed in the mathematical equations or something else is acting on the planets’ orbits.

    But what is important to note is that the mathematical equations which state the three body problem are based on the same a priori, set of equations, of the all-encompassing theory, which the “black hole” hypothesis is based on, so if the three body problem equations are wrong, so are the mathematical equations that predict the “black hole” hypothesis.

    See the problem?

    Ghost: “The greatest minds over two centuries have spend effort in solving this problem, and you brush it aside as if it inconvenient to your warped garbage.”

    No, on the contrary, I bring the problem to the readers’ attention, and you don’t like the fact that it makes an excellent illustration of the larger problems of “modern” astronomy, today.

    Mathematics is valuble to quantify relationships in the physical world,

  15. Anaconda says

    @ Lawrence B. Crowell:

    I appreciate your thoughtful comment, although, I do have some observations on what you stated.

    As thoughtful as your comment was, I note it was based strictly on an abstract, mathematical, view of the problem which furthers my earlier observation that the “black hole” hypothesis is entirely an abstract, mathematical construct, not based on observation & measurement.

    Whoa…you say, I wrote about “gravity waves”: “The connection to the three body problem is that the warpiness of spacetime associated with the two black holes results in gravity waves.”

    Big problem: Gravity waves have NEVER been detected. Millions of dollars have been spent on ground detector instruments and now in space satellites to detect these “gravity waves.”

    None have been found.

    Yet, these “gravity waves” are an essential corollary of “modern” astronomy’s understanding of gravity.

    Many argue that the detector instruments are not “sensitive” enough, yet, maybe so, but as your comment points out there is an expectation of “strong gravity waves.” How strong do the “gravity waves” have to be before Man’s instruments can detect them?

    And how long must we search and not find any before we begin to question whether they exist at all?

    So, the foundation of your comment is based on a phenomenon that has NEVER been observed & measured, that is dangerous ground for science to be standing on.

    Science is based on observation & measurement. When it isn’t…well it’s shaky science at best and at worst not science at all.

    At this point, it needs to be observed that your comment assumes “black holes” exist, and maybe your comment is designed that way to provide a confident view that there is merit to the “black hole” hypothesis, but assuming something that hasn’t been observed & measured is a completely different animal than observing & measuring an unknown and not understood phenomenon and then by scientific means attempt to know and understand the phenomenon, and last but certainly not least, be able to quantify the phenomenon based on study and experimentation.

    See the distinction.

    Mr. Crowell, you do an excellent job of laying out and expaining the math involved. But I can’t help noticing all the variables you lay out. And each variable (paricularly unknown variables) added to an equation increases the possibility for error, does it not?

    Mr. Crowell: “For two closely orbiting black holes their dynamics is far more complex …”

    Yes, I noted that in my first comment to this post. And, here, I come back to my original concerns, namely, that if “black holes” are far more complex than the orbits in a star system, which you say are “not generally solvable due to algebraic concerns.” How can a “far more complex” black hole system be quantified with any degree of confidence?

    And if “black holes” can’t be quantified with any degree of confidence, then how can we have any degree of confidence that they exist at all, since their existence is completely predicated on a correct understanding of the mathematical relationships that are supposed to exist concering gravity?

    These are the conundrums one faces when science is divored from observation & measurement, and relies exclusively on abstract, a priori grand equations.

  16. Anaconda says

    @ (wise) Ignoramus:

    You do an excellent job of illustrating how the discussion in the post is rife with uncertainty.

    @ Excalibur: “Since you dont seem to understand the 3-body problem in the general…”

    That is the second time you have made that statement and I previously asked, ” how so?”

    You offer nothing that suggests I’ve failed to correctly summarize the three body problem and I, on the contrary, have offered reasons why I have correctly outlined the three body problem by pointing to the post, itself.

    It would seem, Excalibur, that you would simply expect to have readers take your word for it without offering anything in support. Generally, in science or other areas of debate that is a poor strategy.

    Excalibur: “To my knowledge no experiment on plasma have been carried out to mimc 3-body movements, nor planetary movements.”

    Agreed, not to my knowledge.

    However, the point of my comments and the post is the difficulty of formulating a map, the mathematical equations, when one can’t observe and measure the territory, the supposed “black holes”.

    And if so, then one begins to wonder if the supposed territory can be known with any degree of certainty, at all.

    So, while your point, as far as it goes, is valid, it doesn’t relieve the burdens or the objections associated with the “black hole” hypothesis.

    At best it is a distraction and at worst it’s a “smoke screen” for the inherent problems with the “black hole” hypothesis.

    Excalibur: “Anaconda: In what laboratory did you discover that galaxies gives birth to stars, and not vice-versa ? What evidence do you possess that noone else do?”

    Of course, your question is rhetorical.

    The pertinent question to this discussion is what laboratory, or more broadly, what basis does “modern” astronomy have for assuming “black holes” exist, or getting back to your quote that “black holes” are seeds for galaxies?

    @ ND: “The problem has to do with solving the math.”

    Exactly my point. If they can’t solve the math, then it gives rise to questions about whether they understand the phenomenon, gravity, or that some other force is acting on the orbital system, which the equations, the math, is not taking into account.

    It follows my prior analogy, if mathematicians/ astronomers can’t get the map right, then how should anybody believe they got the territory right?

    Double that conundrum for supposed “black holes”.

    Are you denying that the three body problem suggests astronomy doesn’t understand the orbits? And if astronomy doesn’t understand the planetary orbits, how do you expect me to expain how stronomers don’t understand the orbits?

    Your issue is not with me, but with astronomers that don’t understand how gravity maintains stable and consistent orbits.

    ND: presents my [Anaconda’s] statement: “… equations fed into the computer are derived from actual observation & measurement gathered over the many years that plasma (ionized electrons and ions) has been studied in the laboratory.”

    And ND responds: “And this doesn’t apply to the galaxy collision simulations I pointed out to you? I never heard your thoughts on those.”

    “Modern” astronomy’s galaxy simulations, are based on a starting point, a priori, balancing equations, based on an all-encompassing theory.

    Regrettably, mathematicians have a history of rebalancing the equations when they at first don’t work out, “try, try, again”, the old expression goes.

    So, unfortunately, I have doubts about the efficacy of the predictive power of those simulations and have concerns the equations are rebalanced until the equations duplicate the observations.

    Do those equations include calculations for “dark” matter? Or “dark” energy? If they do, then it’s doubtful that much reliance can be placed on them as a predictive tool since equations that use matter and energy that has never been detected is fraught with scientific uncertainty. It becomes a matter of “getting the right amount” of “dark” matter and “dark” energy into the recipe.

    ND, can you tell me if the simulations use “dark” matter and/or “dark” energy in equations? And if they fail to use “dark” matter and/or “dark” energy, why so, when galaxy stability and the “expansion” rely on their existence, and, indeed, the all-encompassing theory does, too, or it’s falsified?

    But since we don’t even know if, let alone how much, “dark” matter and “dark” energy there really is in the recipe to begin with, it makes all rebalancing very problematic and subject to confirmational bias: “a pinch of salt, here, a pinch of pepper, there, now it looks like we want it to look, which is out on the dinner table,” as it were, in space.

    See my concerns?

  17. Anaconda says

    @ ND:

    Post Script:

    Regarding the galaxy collisions, you asked about, of course, as the star of the show, so-called “black holes”, themselves, would somehow have to be incorporated in the simulations, would they not?

    And as we’ve seen, the whole question of “black holes” is fraught with scientific uncertainty. Taken in this light the whole business of galaxy collision simulations based on the vagaries of the gravity “only” model need to be viewed with caution.

  18. Miss Conception says

    Again the stupid Anaconda returns…
    “Yours is a misstatement that is common as “modern” astronomy likes to give the impression that “black holes” have been observed & measured, but that is far from reality.”
    Well you are such a smarty, then why don’t you prove it? eh?
    BLAXCH HOLES EXIST. GET USE TO IT
    You can’t can you?
    Games up, idiot!.
    Deliberate Inflammatory Note; Hey guys, its is about time we take this nit-wit out!

  19. Anaconda's Ghost says

    Anaconda said;
    “What is talked about are mathematical equations and computer simulations based on mathematician’s calculations.”
    Isn’t Plasma cosmology is based on… and you’ve guessed it;
    “…mathematical equations and computer simulations based on mathematician’s calculations.”
    So hey guys, just how stupid am I???
    I can’t even spell mathematical!!

  20. Anaconda's Ghost says

    “The three body problem actually works against stable planetary orbits, in contradiction to what we observe in our own solar system.”

    BS. You don’t know what you talking about. The three body mathematical problem Not an observational one.
    Three planets have orbited in the solar system for the last 4.5 billion years, so how stupid are you to suggest it is a “contradiction”.
    Mathematical cripples like you should just learn to shut their months – permanently! Fool!

  21. Anaconda says

    @ Lawrence B. Crowell:

    I appreciate your reasoned response.

    “Gavity is a very weak force.”

    Agreed. That is one of the reasons it is so problemmatic to rely on it as an explanation for all the observations of deep space structure. And why all the exotics including “black holes” have to be derived in order to make the equations balance out.

    Mr. Crowell: “General relativity pretty strongly predicts gravity waves.”

    So, if we can detect “gravity waves” that falsifies the theory doesn’t it?

    Mr. Crowell: “I am sure if we wait long enough we will detect them.”

    But if we don’t, then aren’t we suspending the day that other theories are considered? And isn’t science based on actual observation & measurement as opposed to waiting around hopping “if we wait long enough we will detect them?

    Should scientific understanding stagnate waiting for that day to happen?

    Mr. Crowell: “As for plasma universe ideas, nobody really has taken that stuff seriously in decades. The electromagnetic field is much stronger than gravity, but with lots of charges the field content cancels out with equal numbers of + and – charges. On a large scale gravity with sufficient mass-energy becomes the dominant actor, which includes the universe.”

    Actually, Mr. Crowell, NASA has confirmed the presence of electromagnetism (the underpinning fundamental force for Plasma Universe theory) in present almost everyplace science looks in the interplanetary medium.

    And magnetic fields have been detected all about the deep space structures we observe, today, and science knows of only one cause of magnetic fields — electric currents.

    it seems that as science reaches out into space that more and more instances of electromagnetism as observed & measured.

    Doesn’t it make sense to follow up on those observations of electromagnetism in space?

    If in the mainstream “nobody really has taken that stuff seriously in decades,” shouldn’t they be cognizant of the present discoveries being made, today?

    How much more electromagnetism does science have to observe & measure in space before “modern” astronomy takes it seriously?

    Mr. Crowell, are you aware of processes that drive the electromagnetic force such as the ‘double layer’?

    Mr. Crowell: “…but with lots of charges the field content cancels out with equal numbers of + and – charges.”

    Actually, NASA is confirming that your statement is inaccurate.

    The ‘double layer’ process, itself, seperates charges and accelerates electrons and ions in opposite directions, which causes and maintains ‘charge seperation’

    What NASA is confirming is that the Earth’s magnetopause is a ‘double layer’ and there are other instances of ‘double layers’ in the near space around Earth.

    Per the above link:
    “And although plasmas are highly electrically conductive, a property that tends to neutralised charges, double layers may self-generate, or form when two plasma regions with different properties come into contact.”

    In fact, the acceleration of charged particles science observes in deep space is easier explained by electromagnetism than gravity which only attracts, but doesn’t repel — which on the other hand, electromagnetism does both.

    So, while you don’t take electromagnetism seriously, maybe you should.

    If you want to follow the observed & measured physical evidence, that is.

  22. Anaconda's Ghost says

    This stupid idiot Anaconda said;
    “Perhaps, it would be wise for you to review the three body problem at your own leisure.”
    What the flaming hell would you know of the three body problem. You have admitted your a mathematical cripple, so what the hell are you know about the three-body system? Eh?
    Are you talking about the Jacobi Theorem, the restricted or open Jacobi system?
    What part of the three body system fails in its predictions.
    What are the errors system used to describe the perturbations? What was Poincaré contribution to the three-body problem?
    How many solutions did Joseph-Louis Lagrange find for the tree-body problem?
    The greatest minds over two centuries have spend effort in solving this problem, and you brush it aside as if it inconvenient to your warped garbage.
    Idiots like you might learn that the three-body problems is important to the stock market and weather forecasting. (Oh, you knew that didn’t you!)
    Then to say; “Andre, you are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to make up your own facts.”
    WHAT!!!! and you don’t know or have the foggiest clue, but it is alright for you to make up your own facts as you go along.
    Total codswallop fool!

  23. Anaconda says

    @ Moderator:

    Sorry, my apology about the blue mix up.

    Mr. ND meet Mr. Excalibur, you can exchange notes.

  24. Anaconda's Ghost says

    Oh the grand genius of plasma cosmology rises again!!
    “Apparently, our solar system is not chaotic, at least that we can tell, which would suggest that something else is working besides gravity, or we don’t understand gravity as well as we think, one or the other or both.”
    Geez !! How stupid are you, Anaconda!!!
    The only thing “at work” is your own chaotic idiocy.
    Oh I see “we don’t understand gravity as well as we think.” WHAT!!!! And so you obviously do then. Then why don’t you enlighten us then!!

  25. Ben Shelef says

    My Friend J once told me:

    “Never wrestle with a pig… You’re only going to get dirty, and the pig likes it.”

    Also, I submit http://xkcd.com/386/

    Just let him be. This was a fun forum to read before the flame wars began.

  26. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    The connection to the three body problem is that the warpiness of spacetime associated with the two black holes results in gravity waves. If you have two black holes far enough separated in a mutual orbit the dynamics is essentially Newtonian. If the bodies are close enough that post-post Newtonian variables enter into the picture there is the production of weak gravity waves similar to the production of EM waves in Maxwell’s theory of electrodynamics. Thse gravity waves act in a way as a third body. The perturbation adjusts the orbits of the two black holes in ways which causes the orbits to inspiral as energy is lost. A Newtonian analogue would be a two body problem perturbed by a small satellite being kicked into a higher orbit as it takes energy away from the two primary bodies.

    For two closely orbiting black holes they dynamics is far more complex and gravity wave production much stronger. The numerical relativists have studied this to predict what sorts of gravity waves would be produced by two inspiralling black holes.

    The three body problem in Newtonian mechanics is not generally solvable due to algebraic concerns. For an N-body problem there are 6N degrees of freedom. So for a 2 body problem there are then 12 degrees of freedom. Newtonian mechanics imposes 10 constraints, three each for the center of mass, momentum and angular momentum, plus an additional one for energy. So in general there are 6N – 10 first integrals of motion with solutions that define polynomial equations. For N = 2 there are two first integrals and the solutions define a quadratic equation. For the three body problem there are eight solutions which define a octic polynomial. The problem is that the octic equation is the product of a quntic and a cubic. Galois theory shows that quintic polynomials are not generally sovlable by algebraic means. This extends to higher N-bodies as well.

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  27. Excalibur says

    Anaconda:
    Since you dont seem to understand the 3-body problem in the general context of solar systems, its not really much to discuss… it is a difficult subject deeply embedded in mathematcs… but you have clearly not understood it! To my knowledge no experiment on plasma have been carried out to mimc 3-body movements, nor planetary movements.

    Anaconda: In what laboratory did you discover that galaxies gives birth to stars, and not vice-versa ? What evidence do you possess that noone else do ?

  28. ND says

    Anaconda,

    The 3 body problem (also called the n-body problem) does not say that there can’t be stable orbits with more than 2 masses are involved. The problem has to do with solving the math. Please demonstrate to us how the 3-body problem says we can’t have the orbits we see in the solar system.

    The onus is on you to back up your claim.

    Instead of throwing the 3-body problem around to show problems with gravity, you should be talking about the Pioneer anomaly. I’m surprised you haven’t talked about it.

  29. ND says

    Anaconda: “… equations fed into the computer are derived from actual observation & measurement gathered over the many years that plasma (ionized electrons and ions) has been studied in the laboratory.”

    And this doesn’t apply to the galaxy collision simulations I pointed out to you? I never heard your thoughts on those.

  30. Ignoramus says

    Quote: “…comments Saul Teukolsky of Cornell University. “It’s a mystery. Every other situation where we have these extra constants, we have symmetry. But there’s no symmetry for an orbiting black hole — that’s why it is regarded as a miracle.”
    Too fuzzy for me.
    Reminds me of the priest explaining to a nun what the difference is between a mystery and a miracle.
    “If you would become pregnant” he said, “that would be a mystery. If I would become pregnant, that would be a miracle”.
    Since he is good at explaining things to simple souls, maybe we should all go and see him for an explanation of “black holes” (with or without hair).
    BTW, I very much dislike the “tone” of certain posts. Not useful and neither interesting nor funny!

  31. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    Anaconda writes:

    “Many argue that the detector instruments are not “sensitive” enough, yet, maybe so, but as your comment points out there is an expectation of “strong gravity waves.” How strong do the “gravity waves” have to be before Man’s instruments can detect them?”

    Gravity is a very weak force. The Einstein field equation states that curvature equals momentum-energy. The equality has a proportionality factor of units G/c^4. Now if you look up in a text you see that G is pretty small and c is large. So it takes a bit of curvature to make anything really move. This is why it takes the mass of the Earth to get a gravity acceleration of 10m/s^2.

    General relativity pretty strongly predicts gravity waves. They are what we call the Type N solutions in the Petrov-Pirani-Penrose classification scheme. The difficulty in detecting them is the weakness of gravity. The current LIGO detector is calibrated to detect gravity waves emitted by the collision of black holes within about 50 million light years. This is only somewhat larger than the local group of galaxies. I am sure if we wait long enough we will detect them. We also hope that black hole collisions happen “out there” and not close! Remember gravity wave amplitudes drop off with the standard 1/r^2 rule.

    There is some controversy about detecting black holes. The data on stellar movements near the galactic center of the Milky Way, and extragalactic energy processes point to the existence of black holes. We can’t really see them directly, they are black after all. If you were close enough to see it lensing light from the background you would have better observational data, but you’d have to accelerate outwards by 10^4 or 10^5 g’s to keep from being pulled in. Imaging one from Earth to some distant region is also not possible, for the solid angle of view is too small for telescopes at this time.

    As for plasma universe ideas, nobody really has taken that stuff seriously in decades. The electromagnetic field is much stronger than gravity, but with lots of charges the field content cancels out with equal numbers of + and – charges. On a large scale gravity with sufficient mass-energy becomes the dominant actor, which includes the universe.

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  32. ND says

    Anaconda,

    You’re dancing around the issue. You asserted that according to the 3-body problem, we cannot have the orbits we see in our solar system. Please show us how. How unstable would they be? What would Earth’s orbit look like without, as you claim, the stabilizing influence of EM. To what extent is this stabilizing influence? How is EM accomplishing this?Gravitational models of the solar system do just fine predicting orbits here in the solar system and other extra-solar system. That said there *are* gravitational issues and anomalies. You should look into them.

    As for the galaxy collision simulations, they were a counter to the Perrat [sp?] sims, which you love so much. Gravity sims generating results looking very much like what we observe. And this was one of the Perrat’s points, “these sims look like galaxy arms”. I don’t know to what extent they used dark matter, if any, in their sims. Perrat used a very large doses of salt and pepper when he used large Birk currents as part of his simulations. Currents which have not been observed.

    Lawrence B. Crowell made some excellent summaries about the realities of GW detection. Not only detection but what gives scientists confidence for their existence. He summarized points that were made to you before. You’re trying too hard to make the current state of GW detection a strike against the existence of GW.

  33. Excalibur says

    Anaconda:

    Good that you object on taking someones word for it, now do you understand that we cant take your word for it either ?

    3-body and n-body gravity are chaotic, but show both instabilities and stabilities in that chaos, much like the solar system overall shows – many orbital resonances, wich acts to stabilise the system, the possible instabilities results in either orbital rearrangments and possibly ejections, and a new possible non-instability can be reached, or else another instability gets handled and so forth. This leads, with high probability, to large stable systems forming over long time, the rest is discarded from that system.

    However, you reject one model based on no proof for rejection, yet accepts another model (a model with even less theoretical and observational support) again with no proof or reason for acceptans. How do you reconside that ?

    The statements “galaxies make stars, and not the other way around” is not supported by ANY single obsevation, in fact the opposite statement would be equally unsupported. This in turn shows that you possess ‘knowledge’ that has not been reached by observation. You want the statement to be true, because that would give some (not full) credibility to your PC theory, but the fact is that the proof simply is not here yet. This makes your statement purely DUMB, as you dont even seem to recognise that your observation is lacking – something you blaim scientist for all lthe time, wich in turn shows how intellectually false you are with evidence.

    You are also leaving out a third alternative, namely that stars and galaxy (and the dreaded black holes that you so detest) grow in symbiosis. That third alternative, if any out of the three, are the one with strongest observational support, partly because of the lack of proof for the other two.

  34. ND says

    Anaconda,

    I’m assuming the black holes would be treated as very strong and compact gravitational sources according to appears to exist based on observations. The creation process of black holes may not be dealt with, something you have an issue with. Simulations are approximations after all. If I remember right from one of the simulation pages, the authors were careful to say that the sims were not the final say in galaxy collisions. Something any good scientist would make clear.

    We would have to dig through what the simulations were doing as Tom Marking did with the Perrat sims.

  35. ND says

    Anaconda,

    BTW, that 3-body website you linked to elsewhere had this to say on the last page.

    “The motions of planets and other celestial bodies give the most convincing observational support for the laws of classical Newtonian mechanics. In this wonderful space laboratory all phenomena are observed in their purest form, without the complication of friction and air resistance that are inevitable in an ordinary earth laboratory.”

    source: 3-b-s.org

  36. ND says

    Anaconda,

    That’s it? Is that the best you could do? You’re not going to demonstrate how the observed orbits in the solar system are gravitationally not possible?

    You don’t understand the 3-body problem.

    I think I’ve been rolling with the pig in the mud for too long.

  37. Amber K. Muir says

    I had an interesting read of this thread and was a bit annoyed at some of the harsh abuse in the replies. I also noticed there is some evasion of simple questions, making it confusing to the reader here. Anaconda is being stubborn just to cause some trouble I think.
    Perhaps Anaconda could answer two easy questions for me?
    Do you think white dwarfs exist and how do they relate to plasma cosmology?
    Could neutron stars and black holes just be larger kinds of white dwarfs?

  38. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Thanks the link…
    How come I can’t find Plasma Cosmology in this ‘dictionary’, eh?
    Don’t tell me…. You probably made that up too?
    I agree with ND and Anaconda Ghost.
    You don’t understand the 3-body problem.

  39. Anaconda says

    @ Excalibur: “However, I dont take you seriously anymore…”

    Please, before I ever posted any comments on this website, I read your attacking comments directed against anyone who would broach an electromagnetic explanation for a given observation, your claims of objectivity ring hollow.

    @ Salacious B. Crumb: “he [Anaconda] just point blank doesn’t believe in neutron stars. (No one knows why)”

    False. I stated quite clearly why I don’t subscribe to “neutron”stars on a proceeding post. The main reason is the nuclear physics law called the island of stability. The study of nuclear physics doesn’t recognize that “neutronium” exists.

    It is you, Cumb, that was evasive about the existence of of “neutron” stars, refusing to answer a direct question on their existence and then providing evasive answers and this was on a post devoted to “neutron” stars, mind you.

    Your dishonesty knows no bounds.

    But you’ve already admitted the reason ethical considerations are no matter: Plasma Universe theory is a “direct threat” to the staus quo of the gravity “only” model.

    Can’t have that can we?

    Your motives are quite clear in this matter.

    @ Lawrence B. Crowell:

    While I appreciate your response, it glosses over all the NASA confirmations that electromagnetism has been observed & measured in near space and the interplanetary medium.

    Sir, your comparison of Plasma Universe theory to “cold fusion” is misleading at best and disingenuous at worst.

    Why?

    Because the “cold fusion” experiment was never replicated (if the report of the experiment was honest in the first place), whereas, plasma physics carries out replicable experiments on plasma, all over the world that have been been confirmed by multiple in situ observations & measurements by satellite in space.

    I don’t hesitate to apply the word disingenuous to your comparison because the reference to “cold fusion” was designed to evoke allusions to fraudulent scientfic work.

    That was uncalled for in my opinion.

    For 70 years “modern” astronomy contested and rejected the existence of of electromagnetic Birkeland currents between the Sun and the Earth. NASA has confirmed the existence of Birkeland currents between the Sun and the Earth.

    “Modern” astronomy was proven wrong.

    Yet, you casually wave a hand, and say,”I studied electromagnetism in school.”

    But you fail to respond directly to the facts I presented to you about NASA’s confirmation of electromagnetism in space.

    Sorry, a casual wave of the hand and “I studied it in school” doesn’t pass academic rigor, it’s slipshod and superficial.

    As if that should carry any scientific weight at all. When you think about it — it’s a vacuous statement.

    And, your attempt to bolster the unproven hypothesis of “gravity waves” by relying on other unproven objects, namely “black holes” and “neutron” stars is faulty scientific method.

    Your can’t prove one hypothesized phenomenon by stacking it ontop of another uproven phenomenon; by your own description, it’s a house of theoretical cards.

    The reality still stands: Gravity waves have not been found, and your causual wave of the hand and saying “we’ll detect it eveually,” doesn’t pass academic rigor.

    “Modern” astronomy is in more trouble than I thought.

  40. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    The strongest empirical data to support gravity waves is the Hulse-Taylor binary observation. This is two neutron stars in a pretty close orbit that are losing orbital energy. This energy is being removed from the two precisely according to what general relativity predicts as due to the emission of gravitational waves. The two researchers were awarded the Nobel Prize for this in 1993. This is of course an indirect measurement, but it is pretty substantial, which leads one to suspect that LIGO, or more precisely calibrated upgrades and versions of this will eventually detect gravity waves.

    As for the electromagnetic force, I of course in graduate course work went through the two semester of EM with the text by Jackson, and worked the problem assignments and so forth. I have of course also published papers with electromagnetic calculations, and quantum electrodynamics. So of course I know a fair amount about the electromagnetic interaction.

    I am not much of a plasma physicist, it is not my primary area of research or work. I know some about it, enough to know that while about 90% of luminous matter is in a plasma state, at large these plasmas are extremely diffuse and low energy. They really can’t play the large scale dynamic role that Arp and others thought in the 1960s. That people might continue to want to uphold this is similar to those who persist in cold fusion ideas.

    Another little point I might point out about the three body problem is that Jacobi back in the 19th century found there are certain symmetries which can exist in three body problems which make them actually integrable. Of course these are special cases. I am not sure about this, but if there is a dynamical predictability to the orbits of two black holes, then it might be possible to convert these dynamics to a problem similar to a 3-body problem with Jacobi’s symmetries (conservation laws etc). I am not saying this has been done, or even can be done. It might however be an interesting problem to work on see if it is so!

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  41. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Lawrence,
    Thank you for your pleasant and concise discourse on this debate. It is an eloquent affirmation of many who have started their similar case on this issue.
    According to Anaconda throughout multiple threads and posts, he just point blank doesn’t believe in neutron stars. (No one knows why), but it has to do with his myopic views of his solitary faith in the his confused tenets of some plasma hypothesis.
    The truth is the universe contains many astrophysical and plasma astrophysical processes, and these work together to explain phenomena. Most of the plasma topics anyway really involve accretion, gas and dust in the interstellar medium, SN shocks, jets, and turbulence. It is also interesting that many solutions in plasma physics are derived from fluid mechanics (hydrodynamics).
    Of course, where most are at there effects are based on rare exotic phenomena. As you say, “at large these plasmas are extremely diffuse and low energy”, and in this case, gravitational forces predominate near all astronomical objects from ordinary planets, stars to galaxies.
    If I were to slightly diverge from any of you words, it would be on the fact that “90% of luminous matter is in a plasma state”. However, much of this is matter is locked into the stars themselves, significantly reducing further the amount of plasma on extragalactic scales. It is for this reason that theories of the origin and current appearance of the now defunct views plasma cosmology were correctly dumped in the 1960s. Gravitation seems to be the predominate force driving the fate of the expansion, else the universe would not seem so coherent and relatively homogeneous regardless where you are.
    As for; “Another little point I might point out about the three body problem is that Jacobi back in the 19th century found there are certain symmetries which can exist in three body problems which make them actually integrable.”
    Yes. I think you will find the stable solutions are by the so-called ‘restricted’ three body problem, which assumes the third mass is vanishingly small. This is like in the Solar System, where the significant mass in the Sun compared to the planets. This ‘restricted’ solutions generate periodic solutions based on a defined new parameter on the third body. (In the Solar System’s case this is explained by perturbation theory, and periodic functions in the orbital elements, etc..) Advancement in the three body problem towards stellar astronomy was made by Chilmi in 1961, who proved analytical conditions for triple star stability.
    As for the Jacobi symmetries for most systems can be solved depending on the circumstances in question. For example, most triple star systems are usually a closer inner binary, with a distance companion. Nearly all are stable. Others like the trapezia, named after the Trapezium with in the Orion Nebula. These systems are all very young, and are highly unstable. Solutions in this case are difficult to predict, but i the majority of cases, involves ejection of a component, and the system reverting in a close binary with a distant companion.
    I have read several recent papers, whose solutions seem quite innovative. Again, most are application based on specific conditions.
    I thank you very much for your air of rationality.
    Cheers.

    (Sadly, Anaconda will even twist this response towards his own elaborate machinations. In the end, I don’t think anyone is really listening anymore.)

  42. Excalibur says

    Anaconda:

    “So, while you don’t take electromagnetism seriously, maybe you should.”

    I do take electromagnetism just as seriously as i take gravitation though. And frankly, the world is still out there to discover, noone has written the last chapter yet.

    However, I dont take you seriously anymore, You show great lack of understanding, you avoid any issue put forth towards you, and blow up any issue you have against gravity, you are unable to value observations for what they are, and you even make up observation where there are none.

    You have already been exposed as fraudulent and misleading in an earlier thread, i now conclude that you are also intellectually false and devious.

    Since you continue to post the way you do, you only fit the description of a troll who are here to ‘stir the pot’ … “Troll, be gone!”

  43. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Quite frankly, probably like most responding here, I have become very frustrated especially in arguing against Anaconda. Reading some of the ancillary response here, I’m beginning to know why.

    Two points I would like to make, who aim is to quell the continuous and somewhat bitter debate here;

    1) In a general short discussion at a meeting yesterday with some astronomical educators and professional astronomers, I brought up the issue of those who express dogmatic views on astronomical phenomena. I gave an example of Anaconda views regarding plasma physics and the presumed importance / weakness in our knowledge of gravitational sources.
    Needless to say two main ideas were raised
    a) The perception that the majority of the astronomical sources in universe are comprised of exotic phenomena.
    b) That components of magnetic fields, generation of electromagnetic radiation, and gravitational sources were of significant importance to explain the vast majority of known astronomical phenomena.
    However, the first contention is probably the most interesting and relevant. Articles on galactic or extragalactic stories (like we see throughout Universe Today”) tend to concentrate on exotic phenomena. I.e. Gamma-ray bursters, X-ray sources, interacting close binary system, galaxy jets, quasars, etc.
    What some forget to realise is that most observed astronomical phenomena is in fact very very ordinary – passive going through formation and their evolution. Electromagnetic activity in most cases is quiescent.
    So in the end, Anaconda is basically right that electromagnetic activity can be significant, but mostly only in active objects. Regarding the run-of-the-mill objects in the universe its influence is small compared to gravitational sources. (exactly like Lawrence B. Crowell has said above and ND.)
    [Perhaps the other biggest question is the proportion of exotic phenomena to quiescent astronomical phenomena – but that is yet another matter]
    2) I have been reading some of the issues Anaconda has brought up, because few papers discuss gravitation and their electromagnetic counterparts.
    A recent released arvix article given on 2nd March 2009 (you can get more recent than that) might be very useful as an independent source. This will also aid greatly in relevant discussion
    Entitled; “Finding and Using Electromagnetic Counterparts of Gravitational Wave Sources”, by E. Sterl Phinney http://arxiv.org/pdf/0903.0098
    This paper joins information and perspective, study into the immediate future and the role of electromagnetic and gravitational sources.

    [If Anaconda (and Oillsmastery) cannot accept such relevant an up to date information, then I suggests he/they takes his views to another forum.]

    Again many apologies for the length of this reply.

  44. Salacious B. Crumb says

    In all fairness. Just in case you missed this compromise response….
    [Please Note: I’d suggest you think very carefully before your next reply.]
    ***********************
    Quite frankly, probably like most responding here, I have become very frustrated especially in arguing against Anaconda. Reading some of the ancillary response here, I’m beginning to know why.
    Two points I would like to make, who aim is to quell the continuous and somewhat bitter debate here;
    1) In a general short discussion at a meeting yesterday with some astronomical educators and professional astronomers, I brought up the issue of those who express dogmatic views on astronomical phenomena. I gave an example of Anaconda views regarding plasma physics and the presumed importance / weakness in our knowledge of gravitational sources.
    Needless to say two main ideas were raised
    a) The perception that the majority of the astronomical sources in universe are comprised of exotic phenomena.
    b) That components of magnetic fields, generation of electromagnetic radiation, and gravitational sources were of significant importance to explain the vast majority of known astronomical phenomena.
    However, the first contention is probably the most interesting and relevant. Articles on galactic or extragalactic stories (like we see throughout Universe Today”) tend to concentrate on exotic phenomena. I.e. Gamma-ray bursters, X-ray sources, interacting close binary system, galaxy jets, quasars, etc.
    What some forget to realise is that most observed astronomical phenomena is in fact very very ordinary – passive going through formation and their evolution. Electromagnetic activity in most cases is quiescent.
    So in the end, Anaconda is basically right that electromagnetic activity can be significant, but mostly only in active objects. Regarding the run-of-the-mill objects in the universe its influence is small compared to gravitational sources. (exactly like Lawrence B. Crowell has said above and ND.)
    [Perhaps the other biggest question is the proportion of exotic phenomena to quiescent astronomical phenomena – but that is yet another matter]
    2) I have been reading some of the issues Anaconda has brought up, because few papers discuss gravitation and their electromagnetic counterparts.
    A recent released arvix article given on 2nd March 2009 (you can get more recent than that) might be very useful as an independent source. This will also aid greatly in relevant discussion
    Entitled; “Finding and Using Electromagnetic Counterparts of Gravitational Wave Sources”, by E. Sterl Phinney http://arxiv.org/pdf/0903.0098
    This paper joins information and perspective, study into the immediate future and the role of electromagnetic and gravitational sources.
    [If Anaconda (and Oillsmastery) cannot accept such relevant an up to date information, then I suggests he/they takes his views to another forum.]
    Again many apologies for the length of this reply.

  45. Mr. Obvious says

    Nobody takes any of you guys seriously. All you want to do is get off the subject of the actual article in a lame attempt to bash each other with rediculous ramblings.

    Stay within the subject of the articles, and quit getting personal. Especially, when it is obvious you only understand about 70% of what you are saying. Likely because you just quickly did some research on whatever topic you are using to bash the other.

    I do have to admit… it is funny how you guys use $50 dollar words (most of the time incorrectly) when a word worth a nickle will do. The dead give-a-way someone is trying to appear more intelligent than they are.

  46. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Mr. Oblivious
    Good on you popping-up at such a convenient time, so you can lay the boots in. Just like a vulture circling to fall on its hapless prey. Good to see your keeping your usual brilliant form.
    However, there is only just one thing we notice about you, is that you never say ANYTHING about any article at all – like this rancid reply.
    Let’s see 70% of what you are saying against 0%….
    I wonder how seriously they take you then, eh?
    Thank you for your usual insightful comment. Ta!

  47. Anaconda says

    @ Salacious B. Crumb:

    Salacious B. Crumb Says:
    March 3rd, 2009 at 2:41 am

    The above comment is your best comment addressed to me and is, indeed, written with a spirit of compromise.

    And in that spirit of compromise I close.

  48. Excalibur says

    Mr Anaconda

    Read this link and sublinks, perhaps it will give you some insight…

    http://users.telenet.be/vdmoortel/dirk/Physics/ImmortalFumbles.html

  49. ND says

    Anaconda,

    Here are some galaxy collision videos. The first one is a java applet based simulator. It’s rather simplistic but fun to play with

    burro.cwru.edu/JavaLab/GalCrashWeb/main.html

    The links page on that site links to a bunch of other videos

    burro.cwru.edu/JavaLab/GalCrashWeb/links.html

    The first link on the list might be the more interesting one:

    burro.astr.cwru.edu/models/models.html

    Some of the videos are very hypnotic to watch.

  50. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    To S. Crumb,

    There are a number of restricted 3 body problems. In the standard approach to celestial mechanics one uses variables u = 1/r and the problem is put in a form similar to harmonic oscillators. So restricted problems can be similar to a coupled pendulum problem with more or less equal masses. The mode oscillation of the coupled pendulum means that for a restricted 3-body problem one orbiting mass is kicked into a very high orbit with small angular frequency, while the other two enter into a tight orbit, and then later that mass returns and another mass is forced to the outside with small angluar frequency.

    A two boud problem perturbed by a small test mass is another canonical type of problem. The perturbation series leads to a Hamiltonian with a first order term that has a denominator with the different in frequencies. This leads to the “denominator problem” when there are resonances. The denominator can be zero. Kolmogorov, Arnold and Moser (those Russian math geniuses) found a condition for quasiperiodic energy surfaces in phase space called the KAM surface. This stuff is far beyond any adequate description in a blog post, but there are stability conditions on this KAM surface. When violated certain conservation laws (stability of certain frequency conditions etc) are violated and you get punctured KAM surfaces and Hamiltonian chaos.

    Returning to the matter of gravity wave production, at least in the weak limit for now, the gravity radiation is similar to some “satellite” in a Newtonian-like system. The big departure of course are PN terms which violate conservation of the Lense vector (precession of perihelion) and frame dragging for rotating black hole. If the Carter number exists it might be something which has some basis similar to a KAM surface in strictly Newtonian dynamics. It would be interesting to know if this is so and whether there are stability conditions for this.

    Agreed that most plasmas are in stars. The remaining plasmas in the universe are very diffuse interstellar and intergalactic ionized gas in weak magnetic fields. The plasma cosmology idea is as a I recall how this component is what regulates the dynamics of the universe. I think there is little reason to think this diffuse plasma has such an effect.

    There appears to be some level or rancor here. When it comes to scientific issues I notice that what gets people’s dander up is what might be called “alt-science.” These are ideas which deviate in strange way from what might be called the mainstream. This might include intelligent design in a discussino of evolution. These reflect a curious condition in our modern world, where moon hoax ideas, 9/11 conspiracies, creationism, hollow Earth, UFO “theories,” cold fusion and so forth have cropped as ideations which fail to yield in the minds of upholders to more rational argumentation and science. Plasma cosmology seems to be a minority representation of this. Creationism and ID of course are the big examples, where these have religious and political implications.

    As a rule, such as with creationism, you can argue against these things easily enough, but the falsified argument keeps cropping back up. It is like shooting ducks in a carnival gallery: You can shoot the ducks down, but the damned things pop back up. I fail to understand why people want to think this way, but many do. Ultimately you can’t keep debating on the basis of science, but instead you have to cut these ideas out of the domain of discourse. This is why creationism has to be kept out science education, and in the case of blogs I think the rule is “don’t feed trolls.”

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  51. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Anaconda said;
    “”he [Anaconda] just point blank does not believe in neutron stars. (No one knows why)”
    False. I stated quite clearly why I don’t subscribe to neutron”stars on a proceeding post. “The main reason is the nuclear physics law called the island of stability.” The study of nuclear physics doesn’t recognize that “neutronium” exists.”,

    Sorry, This is absolutely plain crazy. The “island of stability” has absolutely nothing to neutron stars. I’m a qualified applied chemist, and as far as I know, the elements controlled by the weak force determine stability of elements. What has this got to do with isotopic abundance at all? Also the “island of stability” is not actually any law its is just a theoretical hypothesis, which is to do directly with the number of bosons in the atomic nucleus
    Do you really mean to say that “neutronium” doesn’t exist because it is not on the periodic table?
    As to the existence of neutron stars (as do white dwarfs), the real evidence is so overwhelming, that the probability that theory and direct observation is wrong is approaching zero. (I actually think a number of half a dozen ways show you based solely on observation, never mind the theoretical ways) – so much so that I didn’t even think it is was even important or needed to be justified. If I was so dishonest, then why would anyone right an article on it here?
    I also honestly don’t have a clue why you don’t believe neutron stars exist. I’d assumed you did just on theoretical grounds !!

    Q. Do you think the little graphic in the article “Ancient Pulsar Still Pulsing” showing the PSR J0108-1431 ‘s neutron star is probably pretty close to how they theoretically should appear?

  52. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Anaconda, I said;
    “So in the end, Anaconda is basically right that electromagnetic activity can be significant, but mostly only in active objects. Regarding the run-of-the-mill objects in the universe its influence is small compared to gravitational sources. (exactly like Lawrence B. Crowell has said above and ND.)”

    Then you then replied in the very next post said;

    “But you’ve already admitted the reason ethical considerations are no matter: Plasma Universe theory is a “direct threat” to the staus quo of the gravity “only” model.
    Can’t have that can we?
    Your motives are quite clear in this matter.”

    What is going on with you?
    I’m in part agreeing with you!! Can’t you see that?

    So calm down, please. Your general frustration is just making you lose your overall perspective.

  53. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    Neutron stars exist for much the same reason that white dwarf stars exit. Under sufficient gravitational pressure electrons in the material are in a sort of plasma similar to band structure in ordinary solids, and where the Pauli exclusion principle prevents fermions from occupying the same quantum state. This then counters the gravitational pressure and the object is stable. The calculations for this are somewhat complicated, but there is a mass limit, called the Chandreshankar limit (I always have to think when spelling the name), so that a white dwarf which accumulates a mass 1.2M_{sun} collapses. This is the source for SN1 supernovae. The electrons fuse into nuclei to form neutrons and the next stable structure up to 1.4M_{sun} is a neutron star. The fermionic statistics again keep the object stable.

    That is the “astrophy-101” perspective on this. Of course it is much more complex, with onion skin layers of matter in different states. The surface of a neutron star may actually be iron in a degenerate state similar to a white dwarf. Large magnetic fields (10^{13} Gauss) can force this iron shell of super dense material into stalagmite pillars, and there may be a super dense atmosphere of plasma which swirls around magnetic field lines. I don’t know how any of these ideas can ever be tested.

    Beyond neutron stars are possible quark stars, which if given enough further mass may collapse into what we might call “string stars.” These are strings on a stretched horizon, which from a distant perspective are what we call a black hole.

    Nuclear shell physics and islands of stability involve nuclei which are hundreds of nucleons in mass. A neutron stars has ~10^{50} nucleons and gravity plays a crucial role.

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  54. Anaconda says

    @ Lawrence B. Crowell:

    I was impressed with your facility with the theoretical variables you cited. I can find no fault with that (admittedly, I couldn’t tell if there was fault).

    But as I pondered your erudite recitation of the mathematical relationships involved finding a solution, it occured to me that while complicated, yet logically laid out, the varibles were not based on observation & measurement per se, but on mathematical constructs formulated by prior mathematicians.

    In essence, these complicated and rigorous assumptions — but no more than assumptions.

    That seems to be the greatest weakness with theoretical astronomy. No matter how elegant the equation appear, they are no more accurate than the assumptions that went into formulating them.

    This gets us back to the General Semantics premise: The map is not the territory. In this case, the map, rather than being based on observation & measurement of the territory at a multiplicity of spots and their relationships — surveying, if you will, then combining those various surveyed measurements into the larger whole, the map (and even this process is fraught with possible error as the map is not the territory) theoretical astronomy has taken a grainy picture from far away of the territory and constructed the map.

    In other words, what dictates refinements to explain particulars of the map? In theoretical astronomy, a starting point, a priori, set of equations, derived from the all-encompassing theory is the basis of those later variables assumed by mathematicians.

    Theoretical astronomy hypothesizes objects and phenomenon, not by a survey of the territory, but by reaching back to a reference map that may or may not reflect the territory at all.

    Mathematics is valuable quantifying relationships of closely observed & measured and, most important, verified points on the territory — this makes a valuable predictive map.

    But when mathematical equations substitute for observation & measurement, to give the appearance of certainty, it only breeds a dangerous illusion of knowledge where none really exists.

  55. Mr. Obvious says

    SolaciousB
    You are the epitome of the saying, “It is better to remain silent, so people wonder if you may be stupid, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

    BTW…
    I do occaisionally answer questions on subjects I am educated in. I don’t have your need to appear intelligent when I’m not. I do have a good enough background in physics and astronomy to know when someone is BSing their way around.

    I’m sure you’ve noticed, nobody who is educated jumps into your guys’ debates anymore… why bother? Its hard to debate people who don’t come armed with intelligence about the subject. Doing a quick 30 minute “google” reading on subjects hardly makes you an expert, and your attitude ensures nobody will help you understand it.

  56. Anaconda says

    @ Lawrence B. Crowell:

    Your desrcription can’t be based on “observation” when in reference to “neutron” stars.

    There is no observation & measurment that confirms that gravity or elements behave as you describe in a “neutron” star, it is all assumption based theoretical wishful thinking given the patina of legitamacy by clothing it in mathematical formula.

    If nuclear physicists can’t create “neutronium” in a laboratory, then only theoretical assumptions exist about it’s creation out in deep space. By definition the proceeding is true, unless you’ve been to deep space recently.

    The study of uclear physics doesn’t recognize the existence of “neutronim” because of the physical law of the ‘island of stability”, and that postulate is based on actual laboratory experiments. To suggest that your description is based on observation is incorrect. It is based on theory.

    No laboratory has ever created “neutronium”.

    Likewise, your description of “gravity waves” is not based on observation because “gravity waves” have never been detected. To suggest otherwise is to be incorrect. It’s based on mathematical theory.

    Something that has never been observed & measured can not be described and then claimed to be based on observation. Again, it’s based on mathematical theory.

    To claim otherwise is to be disingenuous.

    I see you address Plasma Universe, again, without reference to the specific NASA confirmation of electromagnetic phenomenon or the Birkeland currents NASA has confirmed that exist between the Sun and the Earth after “modern” astronomy rejected the idea.

    Apparently, you can’t bring yourself to discuss that factual specific. Larry, you would put on airs that it is beneath your station to discuss Birkeland currents, but really it’s because the existence of Birkeland currents between the Sun and the Earth proves you wrong.

    You attempt to dismiss Plasma Universe theory, but you ignore the reality.

    Dr. Anthony Peratt at the Los Alamos National Laboratory has published peer reviewed scientific papers on the subject and not back in the ’60s as you inaccurately claimed in an earlier comment, but just in the last 5 years and through the ’90s. There are a number of recognized scientists at mainstream institutions that subscribe to and do research in Plasma Universe theory.

    The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, IEEE, is the world’s leading professional association with the largest membership for the advancement of technology.

    The IEEE supports and recognizes Plasma Universe theory.

    So clearly your characterization is nothing, but an attempted smear. The facts don’t support your version and comparisons.

    But your attempt does say something about you.

    You confirmed I was right to challenge your comparison of Plasma Universe theory to “cold fusion” because by your further comments it’s clear I was right about your attempted link between Plasma Universe theory and “cold fusion”, a widely believed fraudulent scientific work.

    While you attempt to come across as reasonable as possible, upon scrutiny and challenge your reasonableness starts to look like only a thin veneer that can’t be sustained in the face of specific challenges.

    I also note Hannes Alfven, though now deceased, won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1970 for his laboratory work in plasma physics.

    Larry, you are best to acknowledge what is fact, such as NASA’s confirmations of electromagnetism in near space or your credibility is decreased.

  57. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    The mathematics describes observables. Symmetries in the mathematical sense define conservation principles for certain observables. This is Noether’s theorem, and something which forms a backbone for modern physics. The empirical aspect of physics then seeks to measure these observables and determine their constants of motion.

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  58. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    The fact you can see the sun is evidence of EM radiation in space. Charged particles from the sun are trapped by the geomagnetic field and spiral around emitting a range of radio frequency EM radiation. Radiation in space says little or nothing about plasma cosmology.

    You are taking a certain positivistic-like stance which is not possbile to uphold. We have never pulled anything from the Earth’s core, but from various indirect signatures it is known to be of iron and nickel, a liquic core surrounding a solid core and so forth. And yet nobody has pulled a nanogram from it. Same story for the material in neutron stars.

    As we push the limits on what can be observed data used to support our theories becomes more oblique. In high energy physics what are measured are secondary pion/muon/hadron particles of lower energy. These are the decay products from higher energy processes. But from understanding channel production rates the much higher energy processes are deduced, even if not directly observed.

    You have put yourself into some sort of intellectual straightjacket, reminding me of a couple of people I knew who were strict followers of Ayn Rand. On top of it I am getting a sense you have a number of things terribly confused and are making leaps of judgment based on little real information.

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  59. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Anaconda said;
    “The above comment is your best comment addressed to me and is, indeed, written with a spirit of compromise.
    And in that spirit of compromise I close.”

    Sorry, that “I close” is a just little bit too easy. .

    Do you have problem here. You still haven’t addressed the neutron star issue you have created here all by yourself. You said (after this); “The study of nuclear physics doesn’t recognize that “neutronium” exists.”

    You again said; “The study of uclear physics doesn’t recognize the existence of “neutronim” because of the physical law of the ‘island of stability”, and that postulate is based on actual laboratory experiments.”

    I said;
    “Sorry, This is absolutely plain crazy. The “island of stability” has absolutely nothing to neutron stars. I’m a qualified applied chemist, and as far as I know, the elements controlled by the weak force determine stability of elements. What has this got to do with isotopic abundance at all? Also the “island of stability” is not actually any law its is just a theoretical hypothesis, which is to do directly with the number of bosons in the atomic nucleus
    Do you really mean to say that “neutronium” doesn’t exist because it is not on the periodic table?”

    So what exactly is this hypothetical “neutronium”, because it seems to me you think it is sort of a chemical element?

    I’d certainly be very interested in what you have to say.

    As for neutron stars, where are they mostly created? Ever heard of the Crab Nebula in Taurus – supernova remnant of a star that exploded in 1054 AD? It has its heart a pulsar and is a neutron star. What do you think the generated magnetic field is so strong? Surely it is something to do with rapid rotation of the pulsar. Also, how do you get something twice the mass of the sun squeezed into an object just about kilometres across.
    We are not talking about any theoretical mathematics or theoretical physics here, we are talking about actual known observational evidence.

    Please feel totally free to enlighten us.

    You might like to consider;
    Q. Do you think the little graphic in the article “Ancient Pulsar Still Pulsing” showing the PSR J0108-1431 ‘s neutron star is probably pretty close to how they theoretically should appear?

  60. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    The evidence is somewhat indirect. But a neutron crystal held by huge gravitational pressure is the only thing which could hold 10^{13}gauss magnetic field.

    Science involves all sorts of indirect data. Fossils dated by relative layering of rock are used to construct evolutionary histories of life, supernova type-I are used as standard candles to calibrate the expansion of the unvierse, priodic Doppler shifts of stellar light were used to deduce extrasolar planets, and on it goes.

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  61. ND says

    Anaconda,

    For all your complaining about mathematics, the positron and neutron were postulated *before* they were confirmed in the lab.

    Are you still adamant that antimatter is theory only like you did on Bad Astronomy?

  62. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Lawrence B. Crowell said;
    “The evidence is somewhat indirect.”
    Actually, with respect, there is many cases of real direct evidence of neutron stars and their composition, from several different lines of study. Stating that, just gives Anaconda just another wedge to again avoid the questions .
    There is a perception that Anaconda is a troll. His is probably not. We think he actually believes what he is saying (or what things he’s saying.)
    In a way, Anaconda is claiming the gravitational explanation of astronomical phenomena is fundamentally wrong. I.e. He believes neutron stars are physically impossible – both structurally and gravitationally – and that pulsars we see are solely plasma phenomena.
    This just allows him to profess his incorrect views on plasma astrophysical, plasma universe, plasma (whatever) ideas.
    For all the critics and jostling against Anaconda, he is partially right when he says ‘theoretical’ cosmology is just a game of theoretical mathematical manipulation – dispelling one concept then just replacing it to another. It is. On the other side of the coin, observational evidence is crucial – because any theory has to be a practical and testable or predictable outcome.
    Of course, the reality is somewhere in between. Observation tests theory, theory tests observations.
    Our knowledge on neutron stars and white dwarfs, for example is based on actual observation. We can, for example, measure the surface gravity of a white dwarf, via stellar spectra. We can determine white dwarf or neutron star’s mass by gravitational (and relativistic) motion in binary systems, etc.
    The nature of the composition of neutron stars were worked out by observational theory, and shown in both astronomical observation and atomic colliders on Earth.
    Organised structure within neutron stars, for example, are on theoretical grounds.
    As for Anaconda, our little game here is simple. We are trying to find why he believes what he says. Our only way of finding out seems to be from what little information he gives us. I.e. Like the “neutronium” I thinks he believes is like some chemical element. Really giving him the answers directly against our open questions, just makes this far more difficult to find out.

    A rhetorical question to you, Why did I state, for instance;
    “You might like to consider;
    Q. Do you think the little graphic in the article “Ancient Pulsar Still Pulsing” showing the PSR J0108-1431 ‘s neutron star is probably pretty close to how they theoretically should appear?

  63. Anaconda says

    @ Salacious B. Crumb:

    Your more recent comments are harder to respond to because there are reasonable statements and in my opinion unreasonable statements, the two must be teased apart. Scientific discussion means acknowledging the correct and pointing out the incorrect.

    That’s the difference between science and politics. There is a duty to objective reality.

    But first I will respond to Mr. Crowell:

    Yes, there are indirect observations & measurements. Perhaps, the best example is the existence of electrons, themselves. Science can’t “see” electrons, but the indirect observations & measurements are so numerous and so little removed from being direct and the measurements can be cross-ckecked, and those results can be cross-checked by other observations & measurements, that electron theory can be said to be solidly rooted in observation & measurement, although, at the strictest and most concrete level, it must be acknowledged that our knowledge of electrons is indirect.

    But indirect measurement must be closely scrutinized because all indirect measurement only derives an inference, it is circumstantial in nature, a chain of circumstances — which in this case science observes, measures, and quantifies.

    The more “distant” the circumstances from direct observation & measurement the more problematic.

    So, in analyzing the verifying power of indirect measurements one must grasp the difference between the thing, itself, and the measurment and the amount of cross checking available to other known variables.

    Crowell: “Radiation in space says little or nothing about plasma cosmology.”

    Completely false. Synchrotron radiation is only known to be caused by electrons spiralling around a magnetic field. So, synchrotron radiation detection is solid evidence of electric currents. Plasma Universe theory (I use this iteration of the name because in my judgment Dr. Anthony Peratt and his colleagues at Los Alamos National Laboratory have done the most to quantify electromagnetic physics in space) is based on laboratory plasma physics and has been confirmed by NASA.

    Notice Crowell uses the fuzziest and vaguest description he can use and still plausibly claim to have delt with known electromagnetic phenomenon in space.

    Crowell, do Birkeland currents exist in space?
    More specifically, do Birkeland currents exist between the Sun and the Earth? Yes, or no?

    Why is a direct answer to the existence of the specific phenomenon of Birkeland currents important?

    Because Birkeland currents have a specific detailed structure. One part of Birkeland currents composition is the ‘double layer’.

    The existence of Birkeland [electric] currents and their component ‘double layers’ is the foundation of Plasma Universe theory.

    See, Crowell is being specific about his views (when he lays out mathematical equations which is fine), but either fails to answer direct questions to specific contentions of Plasma Universe theory, or, now, as admittedly, he has been dragooned into making some kind of answer, yet he still won’t acknowledge NASA confirming the existence of Birkeland currents between the Sun and the Earth.

    So, I ask again, has NASA confirmed the existence of Birkeland currents between the Sun and the Earth, Mr. Crowell?

    Failure to answer shows you aren’t being forthright and acting in good faith in this discussion.

    Actually, Mr. Crowell, your refusal to engage on the specific evidences of electromagnetic phenomenon in space is evidence it is YOU who wear the intellectual straight-jacket.

    Because it suggests that for you to come to grips with the actual evidence will somehow weaken your postion that electromagnetism plays no meaningful role in cosmic dynamics.

    So far it’s apparent that you are determined to maintain the dogma of the gravity “only” model.

    One other direct question for you, Mr. Crowell: Is Dr. Anthony Peratt of Los Alamos National Laboratory a legitimate scientist in your view? Yes, or no?

    I hope you prove me wrong, but so far the hand writing is on the wall. (You are the dogmatist wearing an intellectual straight jacket .)

    Much as you might deny.

  64. Anaconda says

    @ Salacious B. Crumb:

    Ah, didn’t want to be accused of turning soft, did we now, eh?

    I see you keep coming back to the “neutron” star, which at first, you wouldn’t give a direct answer on.

    I take that to mean you didn’t know squat about “neutron” stars, but now that you’ve had time to read up on them, you’re willing to spout off.

    Yes, Mr. Obvious, was right about you.

    Although, while he didn’t mention me by name, I’m sure I was included in his sentiments (he didn’t want to stoop to mentioning my name).

    You may be an applied chemist (what do you do? Mix cookie recipes…), but apparently that doesn’t carry very far into physics. Particularly nuclear physics.

    As is usual, you misstate things. First, of course, there is no “neutronium” on the periodic element chart, “neutronium” is wholly a creation of the astronomical “community”; second, you bring up the “spin” of so-called “neutron” stars. This is called the “lighthouse” theory. What you fail to realize is that the periodic pulses from “neutron” stars have been observed & measured that not only “come close” to ripping a star apart, but most definitely would rip it apart, over a thousand times a second.

    The “lighthouse” theory worked fine at first, but when pulses were detected that reached over a thousant times a second, problems arose, but astronomers had paddled too far down that stream to ever come back up, so even though the theory has already been falsified, they relently cling to it like Mr. Crowell.

    Poor chap, you are Crumb, you didn’t even know about all this.

    Where do you mix your cookie recipe?

    The model fails before you ever understood it.

  65. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    The picture is an artistic rendition which reflects more or less how a neutron star might appear. Of course a lot of the radiation would probably be in X-rays and being that close to it would be lethal on a number of fronts. A neutron star is a near neutral nucleus held together by maasive gravity. The nucleus in standard coordinates is about 10km in radius. The so called neutronium is farily exotic stuff. If there was a way of keeping it stable a cm^3 of the stuff would weight a billion tons or so.

    A whole lot of science is indirect. In recent times our theoretical understanding has come to involve extreme situations or ones which involve time frames which are beyond our ordinary experience. Yet these theories are tested since they are optimal explanations for observations.

    Some neutron stars have large flare ups, where apparently they are similar to solar flares, but where a planet mass equivalent of this ultradense material is hurled off the star by magnetic field knots. This mass fly off the star at about 1/2 the speed of light and is then gravitationally pulled back in a massive slap or collision. This has an expected EM signature in the optical or X-ray domain, which has been observed. This is an approximate understanding of this — I am not a neutron star ast-phy guy. So while we can’t get neutronium on a lab bench, we do observe things which at least strongly suggest neutron stars exist. With black holes we again make such inferences.

    We really can’t expect to do any better than this.

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  66. Salacious B. Crumb says

    I made a slight error on the previous post, as I left out the @ Anaconda at the very beginning – meaning it was levelled at Anaconda not you. Sorry.
    Lawrence, the given picture in the article is greatly flawed. The problem with neutron stars during the collapse of the supernova that forms them, is the angular momentum is transferred to increase rotation. The velocity of the stellar rotation is so fast, that the star is bordering on tearing itself apart. If we could get past the radiation, the star would look like a flat disk or platter. Generation of the magnetic field is from that tremendous rotation. The observed slowdown of the spin rate is controlled by the conservation of angular momentum, cause mostly by the radiation flowing out from the radiating jets of the pulsar. This spin down rate (G/G*) gives the age of the pulsar / neutron star component – correlated will with the expanding supernova remnant of those that are still visible.
    Formation of neutron star is a classical example of conservation of angular momentum and the role of gravitation in generating both the collapse of the star and the final spin of the pulsar/ neutron star.
    Here Anaconda clearly has no absolutely no notion of this.
    He has now basically running away because he probably knows his lack of “neutronium” doesn’t exist because of his completely wrong assumption I.e. It doesn’t appear in the periodic table as it is even not remotely a chemical element. His terrible ‘island of stability’ stumble at least might slow him down a bit now.
    Whilst giving these detractors the answers to his exposing the holes in his argument, sadly it is a detrimental effect, and now he will use it as more ammunition. Sadly people like Anaconda will simply dig deep and become more entrenched in their beliefs.
    Considering the interest in plasma astrophysical in recent times in on the rise. In my reading of various articles on the subject seem more rapped up in the science of magnetic fields and generation (electric universe), that they hardy talk about the gravitation sources behind it at all. Anaconda has interpreted this as meaning the old ways are dead – when in fact it is a still a marriage of the two forces. The whole debate in the end is in fact fairly non-existent.

  67. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    Would a neutron star really be that distended? I don’t know anything about the theoretical mechanical properties of the “neutronium,” a term which I think really harkens back the the old StarTrek series, are. Also neutron stars tend to spin down, as their intense magnetic fields over time transfer angular momentum to their environment. This is as you say a source for the “jets.” Since this article is about old neutron stars I wonder if it would be slowly rotating.

    When it comes to plasma physics, it is my opinion this is the most difficult area of physics. It involves the hydrodynamics of ionized gas. Hydrodynamics is tough in of itself, and the solution set for the Navier-Stokes equation is unknown. Then the fluid flow is coupled to the Maxwell equations in MHD, and things get really crazy. People usually work these problems with large grid adaptive codes.

    Indeed, nobody looking at the MHD of accretion disks and the like is proposing some plasma alternative to gravity, black holes or neutron stars.

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  68. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Pulsars spin rates are known very accurately as well as the slowing rate, which is very consistent.
    SNII that produce these neutron stars, have rates have a maximum of about 1000 revolutions per second. If the spin exceeds this, the core doesn’t form but in tossed out with the expanding nebulosity (explaining why some SNII don’t have pulsars.) The fastest pulsar we know is spinning at 640 rev per second, whose radio period is about 1.5 milliseconds, One of the slowest is 3 or 4 seconds. However considering the object is 5 to 10 km across that is more than extraordinary. There are 1800-odd pulsars known, which are catalogued in the ATNF Pulsar Catalogue ( http://www.atnf.csiro.au/research/pulsar/psrcat/ , if your interested.)
    I have heard a number of lectures by Dr. R.N. Manchester of the Australia Telescope National Facilities number of time speaking on pulsars – and I’ll have read my notes again on a few of his lectures.
    I think the best thing with the pulsar is that particulars of the magnetic fields and ejection rates from the opposing jets is easily calculated.
    It is one of the rare opportunities to see Anaconda’s plasma in action – and instead he runs a away. For me this is the best give-away of his poor lack of knowledge.
    The ‘neutronium’ is the sci-fi name of crunched atoms, being the “zeroth” element in some 1928 book. (Why I cottoned on to Anaconda’s connect) I think the name was hijacked for neutron stars when neutron stars were postulated. The material is now
    from the mergers of the protons and electrons, where the strong force is overwhelmed by gravity crushing them into littler neutrons. This kind of degenerate matter in neutron stars is called degenerate neutron gas.
    A maximum limit on the size of neutron stars is about 2.5 solar masses, but depending on the size of the SNII and the final spin rate, this could be as large as about 2.9 solar masses. This mass limit is the Tolman-Oppenheimer-Volkoff Limit – similar to the Chandrasekhar limit of 1.4 solar masses of the white dwarf stars.
    Cheers

  69. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Anoconda;said;

    “Your more recent comments are harder to respond to because there are reasonable statements and in my opinion unreasonable statements, the two must be teased apart. Scientific discussion means acknowledging the correct and pointing out the incorrect.
    That’s the difference between science and politics. There is a duty to objective reality.”

    You condescending little bastard…nick off!!

  70. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    To Anaconda,

    Of course I know about synchrotron radiation, which is really just a relativistic form of Brehmsstralung radiation. Accelerate a charge and the change in field configuration around it results in radiation.

    I have no idea what Birkeland currents are. Solar flares powered by knots of magneto-hydrodynamic energy in the solar interior. accelerate charged particle to the KeV range of energy. So one might think of this solar wind of charged particles as a sort of current.

    What ever EM dynamics there are in the solar system they do not appreciably change the dynamics of planetary motion, and even more diffuse MDH or EM energy is not going to have much influence on galactic dynamics.
    ——————————–

    As for neutron stars, I am not much of an expert on this astrophysics. I mostly work on their dark cousins, black holes, and connections with AdS duality principles and the tunnelling of AdS_2xS^2 spacetimes from virtual black hole configurations in the vacuum. The Tolman-Oppenheimer-Volkoff Limit is of course an application of the Chandrasekhar logic applied to degenerate neutron pressure. I was unaware that these could exist to 2.9 M_sol.

    It is curious that anyone would deny the existence of neutron stars. The radiation produced is computed to come from huge magnetic fields ~10^{11}-10^{13} gauss. Something has to hold those field lines together, and no plasma is going to do that. That is unless it is a quark-gluon plasma, and the quark star (something I don’t know much about) is the quirkier-quarkier version of the neutron star. The RHIC at Brookhaven is producing nano-versions of quark-gluon plasmas, so in that limited sense we do have the strange matter “on the lab bench.”

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  71. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    A quick question: Do you or anyone know the expected life time of a neutron star? Hawking radiation will decay a black hole of 10 solar masses in 10^{68} years. I remember reading some years ago that neutron stars are expected to have an enormous lifetime of 10^{10^{700}} years! I have not been able to retrace where I got this from.

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  72. Anaconda says

    @ Salacious B. Crumb:

    Ah. So, I was right, you do mix cookie recipes.

    Well, I guess that’s how the cookie crumbles…

  73. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Anaconda your are too foolish for words.
    You said. “First, of course, there is no “neutronium” on the periodic element chart, “neutronium” is wholly a creation of the astronomical “community”; ”
    Hang on, you said before it was “nuclear physics” not astronomy. If I’m wrong, then how you still haven’t explained what the “island of stability” has to do with it.
    “What you fail to realize is that the periodic pulses from “neutron” stars have been observed & measured that not only “come close” to ripping a star apart, but most definitely would rip it apart, over a thousand times a second..”
    Why then does the fastest pulsar observed actually spins at 640 times per second (or slower)?
    Good. So you agree with astrophysics for a change.
    What!! “periodic pulses” Haaaaaaa.
    They are the most regular phenomena in the universe – just as good as the best clocks in the world.
    As for; “The “lighthouse” theory worked fine at first, but when pulses were detected that reached over a thousand times a second, problems arose,”
    What! Nonsense.
    Alright go on, name any known pulsar or neutron star that spins this fast!! You simply just can’t!
    But you know what is the absolutely hilarious part of it all is your electromagnetic (whatever) and magnetic field proves the rotation rate of pulsars / neutron stars.
    Also what are pulsar phenomena actually?
    You just haven’t said.

  74. Anaconda says

    @ Lawrence B. Crowell:

    Crowell: “I have no idea what Birkeland currents are.”

    Sir, I appreciate your willingness to acknowledge your ignorance. That takes intellectual courage in its own right. I repect your answer.

    But may I gently suggest that you should not dismiss out of hand something you apparently know nothing about.

    Birkeland currents have a specific structure, and, yes, NASA has confirmed their existence between the Sun and the Earth.

    Mr. Crowell for your edification:

    “Originally Birkeland currents referred to electric currents that contribute to the aurora, caused by the interaction of the plasma in the Solar Wind with the Earth’s magnetosphere.”

    “A Birkeland current generally refers to any electric current in a space plasma, but more specifically when charged particles in the current follow magnetic field lines. They are caused by the movement of a plasma perpendicular to a magnetic field. Birkeland currents often show filamentary, or twisted “rope-like” magnetic structure. They are also known as field-aligned currents, magnetic ropes and magnetic cables). ”

    The ‘double layer’ is the acceleration mechanism for electrmagnetism:
    “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. Double layers are found in a wide variety of plasmas, from discharge tubes to space plasmas to the BIRKELAND CURRENTS (emphasis added) supplying the Earth’s aurora, and are especially common in current-carrying plasmas. ”

    Apparently, you have very specialized knowledge about a particular subject, thus your comments on this post about “black holes” is reasonable. But your specialization has left you unaware of other developments in the broader field of astrophysics.

    Crowell: “Of course I know about synchrotron radiation”

    May I humbly suggest, no, you don’t know the full ramifications of synchrotron radiation.

    Crowell: “Accelerate a charge and the change in field configuration around it results in radiation.”

    You give a fair definition of synchrotron radiation, but you apparently don’t know the full ramifications; what you describe is an electric current. Synchrotron radiation is very common in deep space.

    Crowell: “EM energy is not going to have much influence on galactic dynamics.”

    Apparently, you are ignorant of Dr. Anthony Peratt’s work at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. His peer reviewed published papers provide detailed evidence and analysis that postulates electromagnetism DOES INFLUENCE galactic dynamics.

    Crowell: “The radiation produced is computed to come from huge magnetic fields ~10^{11}-10^{13} gauss. Something has to hold those field lines together, and no plasma is going to do that.”

    Sir, how can you offer that opinion when you know so little about plasma physics?

    Huge magnetic fields are ONLY known to be caused by electric currents.

    I offer my authority for my claims regarding NASA confirmation of Birkeland currents:

    //science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2007/11dec_themis.htm

    //science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/30oct_ftes.htm

    (Add http: to the above links)

    I hope the spirit of intellectual curiosity that is the life-blood of the scientific enterprise encourages you to read the NASA news releases I provided above. Keep in mind that while NASA refers to magnetic ropes, that is the same as a Birkeland current as described at the bottom of the passage defining Birkeland currents.

    I only only wish you the best in your endeavors.

    Regards,

    Anaconda

  75. ND says

    Anaconda,

    So what are you thoughts on the positron and netrenos? Two entities that were postulated first before they were confirmed in the lab. Do you still deny the existence of anti-matter?

  76. ND says

    Is it possible for an object with net positive or net negative charge, like a metal ball with net negative charge, to generate a magnetic field by simply rotating along an axis? In this case you’d have charged particles accellerating because of the object’s rotation. Would this be considered a current tho?

  77. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    I took some time to look up Birkland currents. This does not do much IMO to lend weight to any notion of plasma cosmolgy.

    As for the statement about neutron star magnetic fields, I would offer an exercise to compute the energy density involved with such field strengths. The energy density associated with magnetic fields is

    E = 1/2B^2.

    You will find this involves energy densities on the order of 10^{23}erg/cm^3, or 10^{22}j/m^3. A moment’s reflection should indicate this is an enormous amount of energy in a cubic cm or m. A megaton of TNT explosives is equal to ~ 10^{15} j. So these extreme magnetic field amount to about as much energy as would be released by a 10 million megaton bombs in a cubic meter volume. The “bottle” required to hold these field lines in this configuration must be able to exert an enormous pressure. The only known way this can be done is with a neutron star composed of a degenerate neutron gas.

    I ran these number in my head and sort of ball-parked them, so a more accurate calculation might be in order. However, I am sure you will find something of a similar order of magnitude.

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  78. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Anaconda
    Don’t think this going to save you for you blithering nonsense. You pretend to speak like an equal, when your basic knowledge is so very limited. Mistake after mistake will eventually be your undoing.
    Stating such despicable condescending comments like “May I humbly suggest, no, you don’t know the full ramifications of synchrotron radiation.” (as your previous attacks) are both insulting and basically rude.
    As for stating “Apparently, you are ignorant of Dr. Anthony Peratt’s work at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. His peer reviewed published papers provide detailed evidence and analysis that postulates electromagnetism DOES INFLUENCE galactic dynamics”
    Why the change from this same repetitive bull, eh? Really, magnetic influences on galactic dynamics was known well before the somewhat deluded wacky ideas of nit-wit Peratt.
    Really, I mean indecipherable pictographs on rocks depicting a “evolving plasma discharge” or other such bull, and the amazing cover-up when he was supporting Velikovsky even crazier ideas all alone. You forgot to mention that, didn’t you? eh?
    Peratt’s ridiculous notions were completely dismissed as wrong in the 1960’s and debunked completely in the 1990’s. I know that. You know that.
    You should have also have said that you tried this once before, when you were caught positing that bogus Los Alamos National Laboratory website, to the Plasma Cosmology” that was not recognised by them. You were shown as both fraudulent and deceiving others. Throwing it against others who might not know that, just further proves your actual intent.
    In the end, the only ignorant person here is more and more yourself.
    I promise you where ever you go – this unmitigated garbage you rabbit on about will be meet exactly the same response.

    So have a NICE day, won’t you!!!

    Note: You know of the crazy attack on that Australian Kids Encyclopaedia educational site on “plasma cosmology” and other plasma related subjects? Remember the related links to that bogus site? Well it will be removed in the next week or so. The general editors of the site were absolutely horrified by the deception when I passed on the correct information
    Sorry, as they say, the “gig’s up”!

  79. Anaconda says

    @ Salacious B. Crumb:

    I know your tactics, whatever will work or in your words, “rancid” but I’m on your side of the bread.

    Space.com: “A star found spinning more than a thousand times every second is thought to be the fastest rotating star known.”

    And:”It is zipping around on its axis 1,122 times every second. That smashes the previous record of 760 spins per second for a neutron star.”

    And:”There’s a limit to how fast stars can spin. Too fast and they’d break apart. But since astronomers don’t know the exact make-up of neutron stars, the speed limit is not known. ”

    Crowell overstates his case. Why? Because it is a house of cards, including his life’s work so-called “black holes”. They’re all a theoretical house of cards.

    Crowell’s credibility is damaged, not because he didn’t know anything about plasma physics, Plasma Universe — it’s that he acted like he did when he compared Plasma Universe theory to “cold fusion”.

    And Crowell overstated his case on “neutron” stars — just like I said some “spin” too fast even for a “neutron” star to hold together.

    Crumb, you are rancid.

  80. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Anaconda,
    Found an interesting site named thunderbolt.info. Really interesting stuff, which I’m assured the sceptics hear might find illuminating. I was amazed at some of the information contain here. Some of the words are exactly the same as you use here or are paraphrased. Is what you are saying here yours or someone else?
    It is interesting about some of the suggestion for ‘plasma’ sites.
    Why is it that anyone who has an alternative view, has statements like “they contain computer viruses” to stop people going there, eh?
    More interesting is the methods of gain recruits for plasma (whatever) See http://www.thunderbolts.info/aroleforyou.htm
    I absolutely love the statement;
    “Media Communications
    The editors of scientific media will certainly pay more attention as our Internet presence grows. Communications can also include the science editors of regional newspapers, particularly those who may be looking for emerging scientific controversies. More than once a reader’s simple note, directing an editor or journalist to an “alternative explanation,” has produced surprising results.”
    What is this a scientific site or some fringe religious cult?
    I mean “In your communications, please be sure that, unless you have developed specific strategies with Thunderbolts management, you not identify yourself as a member of the Thunderbolts group, but as a curious or interested observer.”
    Clearly this is not science, this is just voodoo mumbo-jumbo based on methods of psychological persuasion – mindless faith over the rigours of the scientific method.
    Your same methods used here again stand before you…

    Twilight is coming faster than you think!

    Note: I wonder. Do people like you believe in light-sabers like those used in Star Wars, just like Luke Skywalker? Or do you play just with the little action figures, dreaming of some electric future under the neon lights?

  81. Anaconda says

    It’s not hard to google Space.com.

    ND, do you think Space.com is lying?

    Crowell, I know it’s getting closer to the bone, so, the mask has fallen of your face. I’ve provided the information and the NASA cites, but you won’t touch it. Number one rule, acknowledge as little as possible and retreat into the echo chamber and academic incest in the ivory tower.

    You’re a classic academic, come off reasonable for as long as possible, but then when pushed try and smear.

    Mathematicians use infinity, as in “an infinite density”, only problem, you can’t use infinity to map the territory of a so-called “black hole”. Because you can you infinity to characterize a physical objects.

    Your gigs up, Crowell.

    @ ND, your comments roll off like water on a duck’s back. NASA has been teaching electromagnetism in space for 7 years, but you didn’t even know it. You were in absolute denial. You proved you are just a parrot and not even an informed parrot at that.

  82. Anaconda says

    @ Lawrence B. Crow:

    Sorry, couldn’t let this classic straw man pass.

    Crowell: “To argue against the existence of gravity on the basis of plasma physics is absurd.”

    I’ve never said there wasn’t gravity.

    But keep showing your true colors.

  83. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    Here is an interesting new article, if you are up to parameterized post-Newtonian analysis:

    Implications of a VLBI Distance to the Double Pulsar J0737-3039A/B
    A. T. Deller et al.
    Tests of gravity theory that use this double pulsar, now recognized as being more distant, will be more precise.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/323/5919/1327

    It is not just me, but largely the physics community works along these lines. Anaconda is a physics analogue of the anti-global warming deniers. At least with that one there is still some wiggle room for debate, though it is closing in fast. To argue against the existence of gravity on the basis of plasma physics is absurd.

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  84. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Anaconda,
    Suggest you read the original paper, because press releases to MSNBC are not astronomical research.
    The paper to read is Kaaret, P. “Evidence of 1122 Hz X-Ray Burst Oscillations from the Neutron Star X-Ray Transient XTE J1739-285” ( http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0611716 )
    “The lack of any signi?cant signal near 561Hz in the burst from XTEJ1739-285 supports this interpretation and suggests that the possible 1122 Hz oscillation would be most naturally interpreted as the spin rate of the neutron star.
    If the burst oscillation frequency of 1122 Hz is the spin rate of the neutron star, then XTEJ1739-285 contains the most rapidly rotating neutron star yet discovered. This spin rate is close to the centrifugal breakup limit for some equations of state of nuclear matter (Burgio, Schulze, & Weber 2003) and, therefore, may remove the motivation for a physical limit on neutron star spin other than the centrifugal break up limit. Furthermore, such a high spin rate would place constraints on the nuclear equation of state, particularly if combined with a measurement of the mass and/or radius of the neutron star.”
    I have doubt on several front. There were only six X-ray bursts observed, the neutron star is 10.6 pc. away, and the radius and mass are not determined at all accurately (you say it impossible, anyway). Furthermore, it is possible the more persistent emission indicate are more like 757 to 862 Hz.
    The figures I earlier quoted before were from 1800-odd objects in the ATNF Pulsar Catalogue, which are well observed and have well determined spins and spin-down rates. (I gave you the reference before)
    Also see; Haensel,P.; “Keplerian frequency of uniformly rotating neutron stars and quark stars” arxiv 0901.1268v1.pdf (Jan 2009) – paper officially published next week actually! ) This also says for this neutron stars “but this observations has yet to be confirmed or reproduced”
    This latter article Introduction is terrific in explaining general understanding of the spin rates, which is determined on the mass on the radius. The fastest theoretically before flying apart is 1040 to 1115 Hz according the Hansen and others. Considering the errors and lack of observations (merely six), there remains some doubt.

    In the end nice try, close, but still not yet the ‘no cigar’…

    (Very impressed with your research though. Thanks to you, I have vastly improved my knowledge of neutron stars. If you dumped all the other ideological nonsense and considered a more middle-of-the-road approach, you would advance you plasma astrophysics of others. Seriously.)

  85. Salacious B. Crumb says

    @ Anaconda
    Haenel, P. main reference is; http://arxiv.org/abs/0901.1268

  86. ND says

    This is the other annoying thing about the PC promoters, they make a lot of their critiques based on press releases and articles.

    Anaconda: “Crowell’s credibility is damaged, not because he didn’t know anything about plasma physics, Plasma Universe — it’s that he acted like he did when he compared Plasma Universe theory to “cold fusion”.”

    You seem to be projecting again. You’ve done this yourself. You’ve run off to find and article to back up an assertion you made on the blogs.

    Ok so like there was this time when Anaconda tried to counter DrFlimmer on a relativity issue (or was it Ivan3man?). So he came back with a quote he found somewhere on the net that talked about issues with relativity. No references what so ever. So I googled a passage from the quote and found the only web page that was the source. The author of this page and the site it came from had another page where he said that HIV does not cause AIDS. This is Anaconda engaging in a scientific discussion.

  87. Salacious B. Crumb says

    ND said;
    “You seem to be projecting again.”
    Nah! Actually closer to astral travelling 🙂

  88. Salacious B. Crumb says

    @ Anaconda, your comments roll off like water on a duck’s back.
    NASA has been teaching gravity in space for 50 years, but you didn’t even know it. You were in absolute denial. You proved you are just a parrot and not even an informed parrot, but one who didn’t realise why he fell out of bed each morning and banging his head at that.
    Let’s see. I’ve never said there wasn’t gravity. I’ve never said there wasn’t gravity. I’ve never said there wasn’t gravity. I’ve never said there wasn’t gravity.I’ve never said there wasn’t gravity. Parrot wanna cracker!
    Please be careful when failing into absurdity, you might suddenly fall of your own perch. (then sound like Oilismastery)

    Nah! At least ND may be a parrot, but at least he is not as dead as the dodo.

  89. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    The infinity with black holes raises of course questions. The existence of this classical singularity is a big motivation for quantization of gravity. The quantization should remove the singularity in a way analogous to how Bohr’s quantization of the hydrogen atom removed an ultraviolet divergence or catastrophe. This was calculated for the inspiral of an electron into the nucleus after Rutherford demonstrated by the gold-foil experiment the structure of the atom.

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  90. ND says

    Anaconda,

    Why are you continuing with this game? When did I ever say there was no electromagnetism in space? Please back up your silly claim. *You* know you’re playing games and *I* know you’re playing games. So why keep it up?

    Anaconda, are you associated with the PC websites you link to in any way?

  91. ND says

    Anaconda,

    As for space.com, Salacious responded to it, but you could not respond back to his critique, so instead you throw in infinity once again and you try hit me over the head with the space.com article.

    Anaconda: “You’re a classic academic, come off reasonable for as long as possible, but then when pushed try and smear.”

    This is what you do when met with an actual scientist who tries to discuss space topics in reasonable discourse. You’ve done it several times. Are you aware of it?

  92. DrFlimmer says

    @ Lawrence B. Crowell

    Wasn’t the UV catastrophe solved by Planck with the “quantisation” trick? And that catastrophy was for blackbody radiation and not for hydrogen.
    Bohr “just” came up with a quantised model for hydrogen and he was able to “explain” the spectrum of hydrogen. His formula was right, but the way to reach it was wrong 😉

    @ Anaconda

    I’ve dealt with your assumption of the sun being on a 10^10 V potential. I’ve made some brief calculations and posted them on the “AAS5” thread over at BA. If you are interested, just check them out. The results are probably interesting, since I found that we should detect highly relativistic electrons according to your model.
    I can repost the claculations here, if you don’t want to visit Phil Plait’s website anymore….

  93. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    The blackbody radiation result imposed discrete energy packets and solved the dichotomy between the Wein law and the Rayleigh-Jeans law. However, at this point the quantal packets were not thought of as waves. Bohr later showed that if an electron was a standing wave on its orbit around the nucleus that the quantal packets as waves prevented the electron from “crashin” into the nucleus and emitting a UV divergence of radiation.

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  94. DrFlimmer says

    Yes, of course! My only “problem” was that I never heard the term “UV catastrophe/divergence” in the context of Bohr’s hydrogen model.
    Thanks for clearing that up!

  95. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    The divergence was due to Bremsstralung. Rutherford demonstrated that the bulk of an atom was in the nucleus and the negative charges were light particles which orbited it. Classical EM demonstrates that such charged particles in this centripetal acceleration would emit EM radiation. This would cause the energy of the electron to delcine and in prial inwards. As the frequency of the orbit increased the EM radiation emitted would have a shorter wavelength. As a reslt the electron would spiral into the 1/r potential and release an infinite amount energy in a UV divergent pulse of radiation. It was one of the classical catastrophes of the very early 20th century. The Bohr quantization borrowed from Planck helped save the day and with deBroglie eventually helped to arrive at QM we know today.

    Lawrence B. Crowell

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