Fermi Finds a New Class of Super Particle Accelerator Galaxies

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The Fermi Gamma-ray Telescope has found a new class of active galaxies with some of the fastest particles jets ever detected, accelerating particles near the speed of light. Using Fermi’s Large Area Telescope (LAT), astronomers detected gamma rays from a Seyfert 1 galaxy cataloged as PMN J0948+0022, which lies 5.5 billion light-years away in the constellation Sextans. Previously, it was know that two classes of active galaxies emitted gamma rays – blazars and radio galaxies. “With Fermi, we’ve found a third — and opened a new window in the field, “said Luigi Foschini at Brera Observatory of the National Institute for Astrophysics in Merate, Italy.

Active galaxies are those with unusually bright centers that show evidence of particle acceleration to speeds approaching that of light itself. In 1943, astronomer Carl Seyfert described the first two types of active galaxy based on the width of spectral lines, a tell-tale sign of rapid gas motion in their cores. Today, astronomers recognize many additional classes, but they now believe these types represent the same essential phenomenon seen at different viewing angles.

At the center of each active galaxy sits a feeding black hole weighing upwards of a million times the sun’s mass. Through processes not yet understood, some of the matter headed for the black hole blasts outward in fast, oppositely directed particle jets. For the most luminous active-galaxy classes — blazars — astronomers are looking right down the particle beam.

Gamma rays from the narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy PMN J0948+0022 (center) show that its central black hole drives a fast-moving particle beam.  Credit: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration
Gamma rays from the narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy PMN J0948+0022 (center) show that its central black hole drives a fast-moving particle beam. Credit: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration

Foschini and his team split the light from PMN J0948 into its component colors, showing a spectrum with narrow lines, which indicated slower gas motions, arguing against the presence of particle jet.

“But, unlike ninety percent of narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxies, PMN J0948 also produces strong and variable radio emission,” said Gino Tosti, who leads the Fermi LAT science group studying active galaxies at the University and National Institute of Nuclear Physics in Perugia, Italy. “This suggested the galaxy was indeed producing such a jet.”

“The gamma rays seen by Fermi’s LAT seal the deal,” said team member Gabriele Ghisellini, a theorist at Brera Observatory. “They confirm the existence of particle acceleration near the speed of light in these types of galaxies.” The findings will appear in the July 10 issue of The Astrophysical Journal.

“We are sifting through Fermi LAT data for gamma rays from more sources of this type,” Foschini said. “And we’ve begun a multiwavelength campaign to monitor PMN J0948 across the spectrum, from radio to gamma rays.”

Souce: NASA

118 Replies to “Fermi Finds a New Class of Super Particle Accelerator Galaxies”

  1. “Through processes not yet understood, some of the matter headed for the black hole blasts outward in fast, oppositely directed particle jets.”

    Some scientists understand the process for forming opposing particle jets.

    http://focusfusion.org/index.php/gallery/image_med/20/

    All ya need is plasma and a strong electric current. That’ll get the job done in a pinch. 😉

    Or is there some other KNOWN, PROVEN way to accelerate charged particles to near light speed?

  2. I clicked on the link solrey, and all I found was an image with the following caption:

    An electric field creates a beam of fast ions (nuclei) that carry most of the fusion energy (shown in blue).
    An electron beam (shown in red) goes in the opposite direction.

    What does your comment have to do with PMN J0948+0022, Seyfert 1 galaxies, or AGNs in general?

    I mean, apart from ‘word salad science’.

    And may I ask this bluntly: doesn’t your inclusion of that link make your comment a near-perfect example of marketing spam?

    @general readers: if you’ve been hanging out here for a while, you’ll have noticed that solrey (and others) have a habit of suggesting that some sort of dense plasma focus (DPF) process may be responsible for the twin jets observed in (many) quasars, Seyferts, AGNs, … (among other things). AFAIK, solrey has never cited any primary scientific material in support of this suggestion, and certainly none which aims to show, quantitatively, that such processes are consistent with all relevant astronomical observations of AGNs (etc) … but I may be wrong.

    There are many reasons for thinking that such a process cannot be responsible for the observed jets, not least the approximate symmetry of the double-lobed radio lobes associated with many AGNs (and the near complete absence of highly asymmetric radio lobes). Why? Because the DPF process, per the image in solrey’s link, itself is highly asymmetric; one jet is composed of electrons, the other of (positive) ions; the double radio lobes of AGNs (DRAGNs!) are the result of jet interactions with the IGM (inter-galactic medium), and electrons, being far less massive than ions, would produce much different lobes than ions.

    Now it may, of course, be possible to construct a model, based on DPF processes, and known galactic nucleus and IGM conditions, that can match observations of DRAGNs, quantitatively. However, until such a model is developed, a paper or two written up, submitted, and published in a relevant peer-reviewed journal, solrey’s suggestion has exactly the same scientific merit as ‘AGN jets are caused by mischievous invisible pink fairies’.

  3. Great story, Nancy, on a potentially new class of radio-loud narrow-line quasars (NLQs). The preprint mentions that PMN J0948+0022 is the first NLQ detected in gamma-rays (within Fermi’s spectral range). This discovery could open up many new lines of research in the study of AGNs and quasars. Wrt solrey’s illustration, I must defer to Nereid’s response, how specifically does it relate to PMN J0948+0022, Seyfert 1 galaxies, AGNs, or, astrophysical concerns in general? A preprint version of this paper can be found here: http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0905/0905.4558v1.pdf . Also mentioned in the NASA press release was the first gamma-ray detection (within the spectral range of Fermi) of the nearby active galaxy NGC 1275 = Per A. The press release notes that the source now detected by Fermi should have easily been visible to the Compton EGRET detectors, thus establishing the gamma ray variability (within its spectral range) of this well-studied object. The press release notes that the GR variability coincides with a source less than 2 light-years in diameter, thus confirming this variability is closely related to the nucleus of NGC 1275. How would PU-EU account for these specific observations (or those of PMN J0948+0022)?

  4. @Jon Hanford: in your time here at UT, and specifically in your reading of comments on UT stories, do you know of *any* answers from the (enthusiastic) proponents of EU cult ideas, or PC pseudo-science ones (Anaconda, solrey, GMirkin, …)?

    And if there were any, that you can remember, were any of them quantitative?

    How would PU-EU account for these specific observations (or those of PMN J0948+0022)?

    If there have been none, then how – in your opinion – do their comments differ from marketing spam?

  5. @ Nereid, although I’ve only been posting comments here at UT for less than a year, I’ve yet to see any strictly quantitative answers for a multitude of questions. While other regulars posting here may have additional info, most of the topics discussed (Sgr A*, Taylor-Hulse pulsar, neutrinos from the Sun or SN 1987A, the CMB [still waiting on that pre-COBE CMB prediction], or even predictions of sunspot numbers) seem to fall into 3 categories: ‘science by pictures’, word-salad, or the ‘peer review bias’ argument. And absolutely no quantitative predictions that can be tested or verified. Perhaps as IVAN3MAN has pointed out elsewhere, the answer lies in sophistry. Perhaps willful ignorance does come in to play. As far as comparisons to marketing spam, most of my spam has better pictures and/or makes more sense 🙂

  6. I find myself asking the question on how this mechanism is significantly different from known BH driven jet processes. A rotating black hole will by frame dragging induce charge separation in a gas and generate a magneto-plamsa that winds up the field lines. The energy stored in the “rubber bands” of the wound up B field is converted into the MHD process of driving the jets.

    Plasmas are of course involved, but the driver is a BH. Solrey and the rest are using pseudo-physics if they invoke Z-pinch. Further, you need an exterior power source to generate the Z-pinch. It is not a source of energy in itself.

    Too bad another UT thread bandwidth is being chewed by by EU/PC rubbish.

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  7. LBC;
    Any actual proof that anything but electric currents produce magnetic fields?
    Nope.
    The magnetic “dynamo” is pure conjecture. A wad of BS imo.
    Plasmoids have been created in the lab and have demonstrated a similar, scalable morphology, as is found in the cosmos.
    Truth hurts, but dogma seems to placate most folks somehow.

    Back to my original question:
    “Or is there some other KNOWN, PROVEN way to accelerate charged particles to near light speed?”

    Oh, the sound of crickets chirping can be so pleasant at times.

  8. solrey, where do you think a paper whose abstract is below would be published?

    Or would you say that such a paper could not be published at all, at least not in any mainstream physics or astronomy journal?

    We present self-similar models of resistive viscous Keplerian disks driving nonrelativistic MHD jets and becoming super-fast-magnetosonic. We show that in order to obtain such solutions, the thermal pressure must be a sizeable fraction of the poloidal magnetic pressure at the Alfvén surface. These steady solutions that undergo a recollimation shock causally disconnected from the driving engine account for structures with a high-temperature plasma in the sub-Alfvénic region. We suggest that only unsteady outflows with typical timescales of several disk dynamical timescales can be produced if the suitable pressure conditions are not fulfilled.

    (answer later …)

    @general readers: once again, it would seem solrey has chosen the comments section of UT stories to promote pseudo-science … well, perhaps; let’s see how familiar he is with the extent to which MHD is used in contemporary astrophysics to explain various AGN phenomena (to take just one example).

  9. Wow!

    It took Solrey 21 minutes to write that reply!

    It must have … or else Solrey would have seen Lawrence B’s post and would not have put his foot so deeply into his mouth in his attempt to distract us with another obvious strawman arguement.

    Oh, and just for fun, because its something that Solrey, Anaconda, and their friends will never be able to do to help prove any of their ideas:

    Here’s a paper from a peer reviewed journal that supports the theory of a magnetic field being generated by the frame dragging effect around objects such as black holes.

    … rather than recite dogma as Solrey accuses, the author of the paper did the math as you will see:

    http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/0004-637X/528/2/972/40034.text.html

    There you go … a black hole, neutron star, etc as a power source (Solrey can’t even say what power’s his plasmoids), a plasma from the hot infalling material, a magnetic field to accelerate the particles out the poles.

    And not one plasmoid required.

  10. Very interesting. It could lead to some tricking up of the unified model of AGN, but it’s early days yet of course. Always good to be moving forward though!

  11. # secondguess Says:
    June 3rd, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    “how do these jets work? a BH that size, would it not just “eat” every thing?”

    It is a common misconception that anything that strays even remotely close to a BH will get inexorably sucked in. In fact, black holes are simply massive objects – stable orbits are possible around them, as are semi-stable orbits, as are decaying orbits, as are hyperbolic escape trajectories. It is only if you get quite close to the event horizon that your fate is essentially decided…

    Anyway, yes – black holes not only can, but are expected to, produce collimated relativistic jets. The mechanism that generates this effect is a topic of contentious debate – the basic mechanisms proposed are simple enough to grasp intuitively yet oversimplified – the devil is in the details with many different scenarios possible. The two leading causes are the so called “Blandford-Znajek process”; a decent brief introduction to the main idea can be found here: http://everything2.com/title/Blandford%2520Znajek%2520process

    …with the other main contender being the “Penrose Process”, which has a decent Wikipedia article about it.

    Both of these mechanisms for producing astrophysical jets can then be taken into much greater detail depending on the specific environment assumed to exist around the black hole, the specifics of the hole itself and other complicated non-linear physics that enters in. Hence, it is not a simple problem to solve mathematically even if the system is stripped down to bare basics. As such, it is the focus of much debate, and will remain so for some time. However, observations are getting ever better at zooming in on these enigmatic regions, and the power of computing available today is allowing ever more complex and accurate calculations to be carried out. I think we will be converging on detailed answers to these complex questions in the near-ish to middling future…

  12. Solrey says..

    Back to my original question:
    “Or is there some other KNOWN, PROVEN way to accelerate charged particles to near light speed?”

    Particles – charged or otherwise can be accelerated using a force known as ‘gravity’.

  13. @solrey: I’m pretty sure there’s a comment by you on this somewhere, but I can’t find it, so would you mind saying what level of math, physics, and astronomy you studied, formally? And beyond what you studied formally, what would you say your degree of familiarity with each of theseis?

    Also, your comments (like the one below) suggest, to me at least, that you, like Anaconda, have a rather different view of the nature of science (or at least astrophysics) than most scientists I know. I’m interested to find out more about that view, with the aim of being able to have a meaningful discussion.

    is there some other KNOWN, PROVEN way to accelerate charged particles to near light speed?

    Let’s start with “PROVEN; what, for you, constitutes “proof” in physics?

    Oh, and the answer to your question is “lots” (of “KNOWN, PROVEN way to accelerate charged particles to near light speed”; one of the most interesting – though not relevant in this case – is the mechanism that accelerates galactic cosmic rays “to near light speed”; would you like to know more about it?

  14. Unfortunately this was one of those times that the paper discussion was much more brief and illuminative than the article.

    So the “new class” of jet sources is in context a smaller BH than earlier observed managing to gorge itself?! Good news for the accretion model, I assume.

  15. “Any actual proof that anything but electric currents produce magnetic fields?”

    Of course. “Magnetic fields” are, by special relativity, an interesting example of a low velocity effect of the EM field. So you can have magnetic fields by moving the observer as well as moving the observed particle.

    In fact, though the hunt for, by the above means possible by way of invariance, magnetic monopoles analogous to electric charges have turned up empty, I believe there is a formal magnetic monopole in any renormalization (i.e scaling) theory of QFT, around which they have to scale. (I’m not quantum field theory conversant.)

    I see “frame dragging” has already been used as a one term falsification of your hypothesis, but one could also mention “neutrons” and charged rotating black holes (and there the formal magnetic monopoles is also used, I see), depending on how _you_ define “electric currents”, “quantum effects”, and “singularity”.

    “Plasmoids”

    So mentioning a phenomena analogous to an accretion disc, having a “scalable morphology”, would be the same as pointing out what drives these discs? Think again.

    @ Jon:

    “most of the topics discussed … seem to fall into 3 categories: ’science by pictures’, word-salad, or the ‘peer review bias’ argument.”

    Actually denialists, while being for ever stuck in a state of incompetency, are humans as you and me, hard as it is to envision. [They mostly reminds me of hive ‘mind’ ants mindlessly scurrying about ones feet in their set tracks, and occasionally irritatingly ones legs. :-/]

    So they may occasionally learn things (even though application is somewhat … incompetent). One can often see that denialists mirrors the argumentation after a couple of years, here when _solrey_ mentions “dogma” in the sentence after showcasing unsupported EU dogma as an ‘explanation’.

    Over at Panda’s Thumb there is a theory formed that organized anti-science denialists like creationists are forming mob squads, that are trolling the web for discussions where they can learn how the scientific evidence and its exposure is raised against them. (Not the science and observable facts themselves obviously, since the universe is most of all a word game for them.) By those means unthinkingly mirroring arguments as exemplified above is a natural consequence.

    The object of those exercises is to garner naive adherents and so status or (in the case of creationists), economical and political power. They couldn’t care less for actual science.

    Another example of trial-and-error learning of sophistry is the Gish gallop. I can’t really remember because the mess that denialists calls “argument” isn’t memorable, but I think that is the sole technique of EU fundamentalist Anaconda?

  16. D’oh! Excuse several format errors. Besides the obvious one, I meant to present “charged rotating black holes” as a term.

  17. Torbjorn,

    The Gish gallop is an excellent description of Anaconda’s tactics. I read the section titled Debates on the Duane Gish wiki page and I see the same tactics. Lot’s of rapid fire arguments being thrown in to the debate, ignore uncomfortable and extreme accusations towards his debaters like being a gatekeeper and not acknowledging that there is electromagnetism in space.

  18. The abstract (above) is from “Stationary Accretion Disks Launching Super-fast-magnetosonic Magnetohydrodynamic Jets”, by Ferriera and Casse, and was published in ApJ in 2004 (here is a link to the abstract on astro-ph: http://fr.arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0312157).

    This is but one of hundreds, possibly thousands, of papers on (the astrophysics of) accretion discs.

    To the extent I understand it at all (there is a not insignificant doubt), in most of these papers Anaconda’s ‘electromagnetism’ plays a key role … and many, perhaps most or even all, models described in those hundreds of papers include “KNOWN, PROVEN way[s] to accelerate charged particles to near light speed” (I trust that this answers the question in your first comment on this UT story, solrey).

  19. Solrey: Elecric currents do produce magnetic fields. That is not the issue at hand. Faraday’s law curl H = kJ, k = const, is well known, and predicts a constant magnetic field for a constant current. The question is what generates the electric current?

    Ok, I have posted this before — here goes with the 101 physics again. An accretion disk around a black hole experience considerable frame dragging near the hole. This induces charge separation between ions and electrons in the plasma. This charge separation manifests itself as currents that generates enormous currents. The mass difference beteen ions and electrons means that ions are less subject to other forces, such as drag etc, and the two species separate into different currents. The massive ions generate far larger currents since they are less subject to these forces, while electrons easily scatter around.

    This current then is associated with a huge magnetic field, which is carried along by the plasma. Magnetic fields in a plasma can wind up like rubber bands and store energy. Much the same happens with magnetic field in the sun. If these have enough energy they can break free of the photosphere and carry lots of plasma with them. Hence the appearance of arcs which pop out from the sun. Now take that arc, in your mind of course, consider it at much higher energy with relativistic considerations. The arc is forced to the N-S poles and instead of an arc you get two jets. The jets are due to an enormous amount of energy being pumped into the accretion disk plasma by the rotating black hole. That rotational energy is first converted to currents, which generate magnetic fields, which in a plasma wind up with energy that gets released in jets.

    Now this is horribly simplifiied. People spend careers modelling, observing and understanding this stuff. I only know a few basics. Yet it is clear that there must be enough energy to push away up to galaxy equivalents of mass away from the active galactic nucleus. A black hole is the only known object which can do this.

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  20. I must say that there is one tiny benefit to having Cranks like solrey and anaconda around.

    We get the chance to learn more details of the theories from people like Lawrence, Nereid, and Torbjorn and others.

    In this case, learning far more than what the original story gave.

    I do hope the cranks take a moment to actually learn too.

  21. @Torbjorn Larsson OM, ND: it seems pretty clear to me, now, that Anaconda’s primary interest in commenting here is to promote EU/PC ideas.

    He has made it clear that he does not understand even classical electromagnetism (i.e. Maxwell’s equations), much less plasma physics, and has no interest in learning either.

    Nor is he interested in learning astronomy or even superficial details of the astrophysics of various classes of objects (stars, say, or AGNs).

    I’m not as sure about solrey yet, as I’ve not engaged in discussion with him long enough. However, he seems to be following in Anaconda’s footsteps, in the sense that he does not want to engage in a discussion, even with the objective of reaching a mutual understanding of how and why at least he and I talk past each other (e.g. “PROVEN”).

  22. One more comment on the essence of Anaconda and (to a lesser extent) solrey, as I see it.

    Suppose you do have formal training in some combo of math, physics, and astronomy, to at least the Honours BSc (UK system) or Masters (US system) level, so you are sufficiently familiar with, and can work with, classical electromagnetism, plasma physics, quantum mechanics, special relativity, and classical gravitation (General Relativity would be a bonus).

    Suppose you are intrigued by the message you read in Anaconda’s and solrey’s comments.

    What do you do with your new-found interest? What *can* you do?

    Well, a good starting point might be to ask these guys what they’d recommend wrt testing any of their EU/PC ideas; what, for example, should the newly refurbished Hubble Space Telescope be pointed at?

    As I have found, that approach doesn’t work, because repeated, polite, requests are met with silence.

    OK, then another starting point might be to ask these guys what they’d recommend wrt papers that explain EU/PC ideas in detail; for example, showing that SgrA* could be a ‘plasmoid’.

    As I have found, that approach doesn’t work either, because repeated, polite, requests are met with silence.

    Fine, then another starting point might be to read the published work of these guys’ heroes, Birkeland, Alfvén, Lerner, and so on, and make your own assessment of scientific merits of the ideas presented therein, wrt astronomy and cosmology.

    As I have found, that approach doesn’t work either, because none of this material seems to be consistent with whole swathes of astronomical observations, mostly published in the last decade or so (reflecting the enormous advances in astronomy this century). Oh, and pointing out these shortcoming to Anaconda and solrey, repeatedly, is like talking to a brick wall.

    Of course, I could be quite wrong; if so, I welcome inputs from Anaconda and/or solrey to set me straight.

    So, do these guys acknowledge the practical, what-do-you-do-first-thing-on-Monday poverty of their oft vehemently proclaimed stance?

    No.

    Do they even recognise just how far from being science their ideas are? Anaconda, I think so (his view of science is, apparently, radically different from that of contemporary scientists); solrey, I don’t know (yet).

  23. @Surak: I think Torbjorn Larsson OM is onto something when he suggested similarities between Anaconda et al.’s comment style and the Gish gallop.

    Curiously, though, if this is a conscious tactic, to win converts or to sow FUD, I think it has failed, and failed spectacularly.

    You see, as you point out, at least some of the people participating in the internet blogs/forums/discussions take the time and trouble to seriously investigate the wall of words and venom Anaconda et al. post.

    And they find, as I have found, that it is, very likely, nothing more than marketing spam.

    And, unlike venues where the Gish gallop can be successfully deployed, in these channels knowledge, credibility, etc is cumulative, and the discussions can go on for a long time. The longer the exposure, the more clearly the lack of scientific merit in these guys’ ideas can be seen … and the more effective attempts to counter the anti-science and pseudo-science becomes (Critical Thinking 1, Pseudo-science 0).

    And, as you have found, general, disinterested readers may often learn quite a lot.

    Here’s something really curious though: long-time EU/PC proponents surely know that their marketing efforts have been unsuccessful, even counter-productive^, so why do they keep on?

    ^ one exception: no doubt authors of EU cult books, like Snott, are delighted … the unpaid work of their minions generates nice fat royalty cheques for them, and not a penny need be shared with said minions!

  24. Interesting, I make no comments (until now) and my screen moniker gets kicked around no end.

    (The “community”: “We can’t have ANY of Anaconda’s or solrey’s criticism taken seriously — so let’s pound away.”)

    This type of reaction is carried out by those feeling threatened and fearful.

    Nereid states: “AFAIK, solrey has never cited any primary scientific material in support of this suggestion, and certainly none which aims to show, quantitatively, that such processes are consistent with all relevant astronomical observations of AGNs (etc) … but I may be wrong.”

    First, this is false, solrey has presented primary scientific material. Obviously, you haven’t agreed with it, but to say he hasn’t is not an accurate reflection of the record on this website.

    Why the disingenuousness?

    Second, you mention the word “quantitatively”.

    But in truth both sides of this discussion have “gaps” in quantitative data.

    Nereid, you have never successfully rebutted the “infinity” argument I’ve presented here with regards to the theoretical foundations of a “black hole” (which is all “modern” astronomy has because a “black hole” or “event horizon” have never been directly observed).

    So, your vigorous protests notwithstanding, both side’s descriptions/explanations are “word salads” as you like to say.

    Let’s take an example, Crowell states: “An accretion disk around a black hole experience considerable frame dragging near the hole.”

    There is no quantification of Crowell’s statement, it’s complete “word sald”

    The authors of the paper profiled in this post make this statement: “Although the origin of relativistic jets is presently still
    not understood…”

    Not “well understood, but “NOT understood”, period.

    There is a clear contradiction between Crowell’s “word salad” and the author’s published statement.

    Nereid states: “He [Anaconda] has made it clear that he does not understand even classical electromagnetism (i.e. Maxwell’s equations), much less plasma physics, and has no interest in learning either.”

    Sorry, Nereid, it is YOU who have consistently refused to acknowledge the requirement of Maxwell’s Equations: Magnetic fields are generated by electric currents.

    Even Crowell, who consistently engages in “word salads” while pretending there is quantification to back him up (like his above quote, states:

    “Elecric currents do produce magnetic fields. That is not the issue at hand. Faraday’s law curl H = kJ, k = const, is well known, and predicts a constant magnetic field for a constant current. The question is what generates the electric current?”

    But, you, Nereid consistently obfiscate, rather than acknowledge: It is a failure of scientific discipline to consitently fail to mention electric currents when noting magnetic fields in space. Perhaps, “modern” astronomy should even consider measuring and calculating the strength of electric current, which generates the magnetic fields that are observed in deep-space.

    Like calculating the amperes and voltage…hmm?

    Maybe the reason is because it is difficult to do and traditionally “modern” astronomy has denied there are electric currents in space.

    The difference beween Plasma Cosmology and “modern” astronomy is that Plasma Cosmology has laboratory experiments to back up it’s qualitative explanation or “word salads” in your parlance, and “modern” astronomy doesn’t have that.

    So-called “modern” astronomy foundation rests on “thought” experiements.

    Nereid states: “Nor is he interested in learning astronomy or even superficial details of the astrophysics of various classes of objects (stars, say, or AGNs).”

    Again, this is false.

    Where I clearly stand, is that I reject “modern” astonomy’s dogma (“big bang”, “black holes”) about these objects.

    When you get right down to it, your problem with me is that I DO reject “modern” astonomy’s dogma and offer evidence and reasons for my doing so.

    And most important: I offer an alternative hypothesis that has scientific evidence to back it up.

    That you just can’t stomach.

    Nereid talks about wanting to have discussion and claims myself and others do, “not want to engage in a discussion, even with the objective of reaching a mutual understanding of how and why at least he and I talk past each other (e.g. “PROVEN”).

    This is only so much camouflage.

    You have expressed contempt and derision too many times to be taken seriously (only people content to drink your Kool-Aid believe that).

    Your only objective, here, is to be a “defender of the faith.”

    You’ve proved that with your detailed disingenuous failure to acknowledge Kristian Birkeland’s contribution to astronomy of concluding that electomagnetic particles were streaming from the Sun to the Earth to cause the aurora and your refusal to acknowledge that Maxwell’s Equations require an electric current to generate a magnetic field.

    And your often repeated tactic of dismissing even the most obvious logical constructions I have presented (when astronomers state “the models didn’t predict ‘X’ and were ‘surprised’, then maybe the model is wrong and alternatives need to be considered”).

    Nereid states: “Well, a good starting point might be to ask these guys what they’d recommend wrt testing any of their EU/PC ideas; what, for example, should the newly refurbished Hubble Space Telescope be pointed at?”

    I have no problem with “where the telescopes are pointed”. I do have a problem with the scientific foundations for the analysis and conclusions drawn.

    But as I stated, above, the start for “modern” astronomy to be taken seriously would be to discuss and calculate the strength of the electric currents that support the magnetic fields observed in deep-space, then I would think astronomy was serious about “getting it right” and not “protecting its turf”.

    Start mapping the electric current flow in deep-space and I’ll know astonomers are serious about “getting it right”.

    Nereid states: “OK, then another starting point might be to ask these guys what they’d recommend wrt papers that explain EU/PC ideas in detail; for example, showing that SgrA* could be a ‘plasmoid’.”

    There are detailed papers on plasmoids as I stated at the top of this comment, but I will acknowledge that detailed Plasma Cosmology papers are needed on SgrA*).

    Nereid will you guarantee those papers will be published?

    Nereid states: “Fine, then another starting point might be to read the published work of these guys’ heroes, Birkeland, Alfvén, Lerner, and so on, and make your own assessment of scientific merits of the ideas presented therein, wrt astronomy and cosmology.”

    I agree.

    Look at Charles Bruce, and early proponent of electric discharge in space and see how many of his ideas have been confirmed.

    Here is a link to various papers by the some of the pioneers of Plasma Cosmology.

    Nereid states: “As I have found, that approach doesn’t work either, because none of this material seems to be consistent with whole swathes of astronomical observations, mostly published in the last decade or so (reflecting the enormous advances in astronomy this century).”

    Complete rubbish.

    But is to be expected from a “defender of the faith”.

    Nereid states: “…and the more effective attempts to counter the anti-science and pseudo-science becomes (Critical Thinking 1, Pseudo-science 0)…one exception: no doubt authors of EU cult books, like Snott, are delighted…”

    See what I mean, Nereid isn’t serious, peel away her passive/aggressive style and tactics, which are supposed to come off as academic and reasonable and you have pure raw contempt.

    It’s hard to have a meaningful discussion that has pure raw contempt for your views.

    Why does Nereid carry on so much?

    As I stated at the top, because her world view is threatened and at base is a “defender of the faith”.

  25. Welcome back Anaconda, there is still an open question for you on the sunspot thread. You started a conversation by insinuating that there could be another hypothesis to explain the sunspot count. I assume you meant some sort of EU/PC hypothesis. The open question is does EU/PC have a model that does a better sunspot prediction than the models we have right now? Note that there is dedicated and ongoing solar observations against which these models can be compared to. Do you know of a better model?

  26. You’re joking, aren’t you Anaconda?

    solrey has presented primary scientific material

    Please state the date and time of the solrey comment, on this UT story, in which he provided that.

    For avoidance of doubt, the only reference I found was a link to a diagram (which I commented on, and quoted).

    Nereid, you have never successfully rebutted the “infinity” argument I’ve presented here with regards to the theoretical foundations of a “black hole” (which is all “modern” astronomy has because a “black hole” or “event horizon” have never been directly observed).

    That, Anaconda, is a bald-faced lie (sorry to be so blunt).

    I addressed your comments on “infinity” many times, in many comments.

    Your responses, spread across many UT stories, amounts to “I, Anaconda, have so little understanding of mathematics that I cannot understand even the epsilon-delta approach to limits, much less Lawrence B. Crowell’s characterisation of ‘singularity’ within the framework of the mathematics that underpins GR.”

    Further, you have spurned every offer I have made to explain this to you, all the while continuing to show your extreme ignorance of even undergrad university math (Math 101, shall we say).

    Nereid states: “He [Anaconda] has made it clear that he does not understand even classical electromagnetism (i.e. Maxwell’s equations), much less plasma physics, and has no interest in learning either.”

    Sorry, Nereid, it is YOU who have consistently refused to acknowledge the requirement of Maxwell’s Equations: Magnetic fields are generated by electric currents.

    Dude, my comments can be read by anyone, at any time, as can yours.

    Shall I refer to the one in which I asked you, point blank, about an application of Maxwell’s equations, wrt one phase of the ISM? The one you were completely silent on?

    (to be continued)

  27. Man, it’s pretty apparent from the above posts those serious about science and the search for truth & those with an agenda 🙂 . (Where is that EU/PU sunspot # prediction, again?)

  28. You did? I seem to have suffered a memory loss; I cannot recall that you did this; would you be kind enough to quote the date, time, and UT story in which you offered such a wonderful thing?

    And most important: I offer an alternative hypothesis that has scientific evidence to back it up.

    This next isn’t quite as bald-faced a lie as your earlier comment, Anaconda, but it comes close.

    You’ve proved that with your detailed disingenuous failure to acknowledge Kristian Birkeland’s contribution to astronomy of concluding that electomagnetic particles were streaming from the Sun to the Earth to cause the aurora and your refusal to acknowledge that Maxwell’s Equations require an electric current to generate a magnetic field.

    The first part: I strongly disagreed with your claim about Birkeland’s prediction of the solar wind being a plasma, and offered to go through, in as much detail as necessary, all 914 pages of the primary material you yourself cited to demonstrate how both the historical and physics aspects of your claim are wrong.

    You didn’t respond, remember?

    Do you now wish to have that discussion?

    The second part: I wrote a comment about the use of B and E in plasma physics (and v and j), and why two approaches are identical (given Maxwell’s equations) and why one is usually preferred.

    Again, you didn’t respond, remember?

    As I now realise, you didn’t respond because you do not understand even classical electromagnetism, and have been silent on every occasion I have offered to help you understand it.

    (to be continued)

  29. OK so where should the telescopes be pointed?

    And how – in detail – should the data be analysed?

    I have no problem with “where the telescopes are pointed”. I do have a problem with the scientific foundations for the analysis and conclusions drawn.

    I asked you about this before (more than once, IIRC), but you were silent.

  30. Now here’s where it gets surreal, Anaconda … (bold added)

    But as I stated, above, the start for “modern” astronomy to be taken seriously would be to discuss and calculate the strength of the electric currents that support the magnetic fields observed in deep-space, then I would think astronomy was serious about “getting it right” and not “protecting its turf”.

    Dude, that is precisely the opportunity I offered you!

    I gave you a thumbnail summary of the observables of a phase of the ISM, including an estimate of the magnetic field strength, and asked you:

    a) to calculate the electric current

    b) if further inputs were required to do this, to specify what they are

    Shall I repeat this for you?

  31. I think, at this point, someone else’s earlier suggestion seems to be well-grounded; Anaconda, I think you should seek professional help

    Nereid will you guarantee those papers will be published?

    Are you so ill-informed about the process of getting a paper published in a journal such as ApJ?

    Dude, even if I were the editor of any such journal (and I am not), I would not publish anything sight unseen!!!! And I would certainly wait until I had the reviewers’ comments to hand before making any decisions.

    But let me ask you this, Anaconda: in your alternative world, do scientific papers get published without the journal editor(s) having even read them?!? or even *received* them?!?!?

    Are you serious?

  32. @ Nereid:

    Nereid presents my [Anaconda’s] statement: “solrey has presented primary scientific material”

    And Nereid responds: “You’re joking, aren’t you Anaconda?”

    I was inartful, I was referring to prior posts on this website, not this particular thread.

    But to put my statement in better context, I was reacting to your, Nereid’s statement: “@general readers: if you’ve been hanging out here for a while, you’ll have noticed that solrey (and others) have a habit of suggesting that some sort of dense plasma focus (DPF) process may be responsible for the twin jets observed in (many) quasars, Seyferts, AGNs, … (among other things). AFAIK, solrey has never cited any primary scientific material in support of this suggestion, and certainly none which aims to show, quantitatively, that such processes are consistent with all relevant astronomical observations of AGNs (etc) … but I may be wrong.”

    Just like you, Nereid, to take my statement out of context and jump to the erroneous conclusion I was specifically referring to this post.

    But since you made the statement, I quoted, above, in this post, I’m sure you knew that already — another example of your passive/aggressive disingenuous style.

  33. In the comments on UT story Is Everything Made of Mini Black Holes?, my comment of May 27th, 2009 at 9:55 am, includes the following (bold added):

    In the meantime, how about we do a little exercise?

    [Anaconda wrote:]
    As long as “modern” astronomy ignores the physical necessity that electric currents underlie all magnetic fields, its professions of quantification will be false.

    For the sake of showing us that you understand the physics embodied in Maxwell’s equations, suppose we start with this:

    -> a region of space which is pervaded by a magnetic field

    -> the physical size of this region is of the order of ~hundreds of pc x ~hundreds of pc x dozens of pc

    -> the region contains a partially ionised gas, in thermal equilibrium

    -> the elemental composition, by mass, is 90% H, 4% He, 1% Fe

    -> overall, the region is close to electrical neutrality

    -> the magnetic field has a strength of ~10 microgauss (~1 nanotesla)

    -> the average density is ~5 electrons/cc.

    What is the magnitude of any electric currents flowing through, or in, this region?

    If you need more inputs to calculate, or estimate, the answer(s), what further inputs do you need?

    How, in principle, do you use Maxwell’s equations to go about working out answers to the above questions?

    And your reply was … well, what was it, Anaconda?

  34. So, Anaconda, can you point to a specific comment, by solrey, in which he cites a paper (or papers) which shows that some sort of dense plasma focus (DPF) process is responsible for the twin jets observed in (many) quasars, Seyferts, AGNs, … AND which claims to show, *quantitatively*, that such processes are consistent with all relevant astronomical observations?

  35. @ Nereid:

    Nereid presents my [Anaconda’s] comment: “Nereid, you have never successfully rebutted the “infinity” argument I’ve presented here with regards to the theoretical foundations of a “black hole” (which is all “modern” astronomy has because a “black hole” or “event horizon” have never been directly observed).”

    And Nereid responds to the statement: “That, Anaconda, is a bald-faced lie (sorry to be so blunt). I addressed your comments on “infinity” many times, in many comments.”

    I said “SUCCESSFULLY” do do head.

    And, just to briefly repeat, you can’t quantifiy “infinity” no matter how hard you try or how much you squirm because the very definition of infinity is unquantifiability — in so many words.

    Nereid attempts to loosely paraphrase my general stance: “I, Anaconda, have so little understanding of mathematics that I cannot understand even the epsilon-delta approach to limits, much less Lawrence B. Crowell’s characterisation of ’singularity’ within the framework of the mathematics that underpins GR.”

    Crowell offered Wheeler’s ‘duality” substitution for ‘singularity’, which, in itself, is an unquantified, veritable “salad bowl”.

    Nice try, Nereid, your, “[Anaconda] cannot understand even the epsilon-delta approach to limits…” phrase is a clever attempt to suggest, “no, you really can quantify infinity.”

    If it can be quantified then it’s not really “infinity” is it?

    Keep squirming, Nereid, I enjoy it 🙂

    Nereid states: “Further, you have spurned every offer I have made to explain this to you, all the while continuing to show your extreme ignorance of even undergrad university math (Math 101, shall we say).”

    Yes, it’s true i refuse to drink your mind shrivelling and logic shredding Kool-Aid.

    Nereid, one thing you have to learn: I don’t respond to every irrelevant question you pose: The point was that your question was a dodge.

    But I will ask you again point blank: Do you acknowledge that Maxwell’s Equations dictate that electric current is required to generate magnetic fields?

    Or are you just going to weasel out again?

    Nereid presents my [Anaconda’s] statement: “And most important: I offer an alternative hypothesis that has scientific evidence to back it up.”

    And Nereid responds: “You did? I seem to have suffered a memory loss; I cannot recall that you did this; would you be kind enough to quote the date, time, and UT story in which you offered such a wonderful thing?”

    I have been offering an alternative hypothesis all along — it’s call Plasma Cosmology — that’s why YOU are, here, as a gate keeper and “defender of the faith”.

    Yes, I have offered various aspects of Plasma Cosmology all along depending on what was appropriate for the specific post.

    And that is why you have revealed your pure, raw, unadulterated contempt for Plasma Cosmology, my dear.

    Your ability to be disingenuous is quite remarkable.

    Nereid presents my [Anaconda’s] statement:

    “You’ve proved that with your detailed disingenuous failure to acknowledge Kristian Birkeland’s contribution to astronomy of concluding that electomagnetic particles were streaming from the Sun to the Earth to cause the aurora and your refusal to acknowledge that Maxwell’s Equations require an electric current to generate a magnetic field.”

    And Nereid responds: “This next isn’t quite as bald-faced a lie as your earlier comment, Anaconda, but it comes close.”

    And goes on:

    “The first part: I strongly disagreed with your claim about Birkeland’s prediction of the solar wind being a plasma, and offered to go through, in as much detail as necessary, all 914 pages of the primary material you yourself cited to demonstrate how both the historical and physics aspects of your claim are wrong.”

    And Nereid concludes: “You didn’t respond, remember?”

    That is false and completely disingenuous.

    We left off after I had present this quote:

    “The ideas of Fitzgerald and others were further developed by the Norwegian physicist Kristian Birkeland. His geomagnetic surveys showed that auroral activity was nearly permanent. As these displays and other geomagnetic activity were being produced by particles from the Sun, he concluded that the Earth was being continually bombarded by “rays of electric corpuscles emitted by the Sun”. In 1916, Birkeland was probably the first person to successfully predict that, “From a physical point of view it is most probable that solar rays are neither exclusively negative nor positive rays, but of both kinds”. In other words, the solar wind consists of both negative electrons and positive ions.”

    Source: Wikipedia entry, Solar Wind: History:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_wind

    And then YOU went silent and didn’t respond as I recall.

    Nereid states: “The second part: I wrote a comment about the use of B and E in plasma physics (and v and j), and why two approaches are identical (given Maxwell’s equations) and why one is usually preferred. Again, you didn’t respond, remember?”

    Again, I ask you: Do you acknowledge that Maxwell’s Equation’s dictate that magnetic fields require electric currents?

    Or are you going to dodge again, just as your, above, quoted statement was meant to be?

    Nereid states: “As I now realise, you didn’t respond because you do not understand even classical electromagnetism, and have been silent on every occasion I have offered to help you understand it.”

    No, it was irrelevant to my direct question to you, and I wasn’t interested in playing your little games of distraction.

    Your “offers of help” would be like getting help from a viper (self-deprecating humor intended).

    Readers review this series of Nereid’s questions and my responses.

    Nereid: “OK so where should the telescopes be pointed?”

    Nereid: “And how – in detail – should the data be analysed?” (new statement)

    Nereid presents my [Anaconda’s] statement: “I have no problem with ‘where the telescopes are pointed’. I do have a problem with the scientific foundations for the analysis and conclusions drawn.”

    And Nereid’s response: “I asked you about this before (more than once, IIRC), but you were silent.”

    My statement is clear, I disagree with the foundations and analysis of “modern” astronomy for the evidence and reasons I have been providing through the course of my comments on this website.

    Again, review this exchange:

    Nereid presents my [Anaconda’s] statement: “But as I stated, above, the start for “modern” astronomy to be taken seriously would be to discuss and calculate the strength of the electric currents that support the magnetic fields observed in deep-space, then I would think astronomy was serious about “getting it right” and not “protecting its turf”.”

    And Nereid responds: “Now here’s where it gets surreal, Anaconda … (bold added)…Dude, that is precisely the opportunity I offered you!

    I gave you a thumbnail summary of the observables of a phase of the ISM, including an estimate of the magnetic field strength, and asked you:”

    What a complete dodge. I’m a scientific observer, I’ve stated as much, numerous times. It’s up to “modern” astronomy to show it’s serious about “getting it right”.

    They have the telescope time and that’s their profession.

    But instead of Nereid simply saying, (words to this effect): “Yes, it’s reasonable that astronomy should calculate the electric currents underlying the magnetic fields.”

    Instead we her trying to disingenuously turn the question around.

    Again, review this exchange:

    Nereid states: “I think, at this point, someone else’s earlier suggestion seems to be well-grounded; Anaconda, I think you should seek professional help.”

    [An example of Nereid’s pure contempt and she wonders why I don’t always play her dog and pony game.]

    And Nereid presents my [Anaconda’s] statement: “Nereid will you guarantee those papers will be published?”

    [Nereid is so tone deaf that she can’t tell I was being facetious and sarcastic.]

    Nereid responds: “Are you so ill-informed about the process of getting a paper published in a journal such as ApJ?”

    [Nereid, you really are tone deaf.]

    Nereid goes on: “Dude, even if I were the editor of any such journal (and I am not), I would not publish anything sight unseen!!!! And I would certainly wait until I had the reviewers’ comments to hand before making any decisions.”

    Nereid keeps carrying on about an obviously sarcastic statement because she wants to distract.

    Nereid, you are a piece of work.

  36. Anaconda,

    we’re still waiting for you to give a satisfactory answer on the sunspot thread and the question is surprisingly on topic.

  37. Nereid,

    You’re wrestling with a pig in the mud. Anaconda loves this, he can jumble things up from all sorts of threads and rant and bash people over the head with rhetoric. That’s what he’s here for. Anyone notices the more than usual projection in this last rant of his?

  38. @Anaconda

    [quote] And Nereid responds to the statement: “That, Anaconda, is a bald-faced lie (sorry to be so blunt). I addressed your comments on “infinity” many times, in many comments.”

    I said “SUCCESSFULLY” do do head. [/quote]

    Anaconda … Remember that public relations guy that worked for Saddam Hussein … the guy who kept reporting on Hussein’s supposed great victory in repelling the US forces during the invasion?

    … Remember what a pathetic joke he was as he kept reporting on Hussein’s supposed victory, ignoring that the Iraqi military and government been utterly destroyed by the US forces?.

    … Remember how in one of his last reports, from downtown Bagdad, as he still claimed that Hussein had gloriously eliminated the invading forces … as column of US tanks rolled buy in the background unopposed?

    Anaconda … you are That guy! hahahaha

    You’re failure to acknowledge Nereid’s complete destruction of your entire thought processes in no way diminishes the fact of his absolute SUCCESS in the matter.

  39. I think Anaconda’s assertions re “infinity” wrt black holes can be succinctly addressed as follows.

    As I understand it, his assertion is that black holes cannot exist because they require the existence of an infinite mass.

    The assertion is nonsense, as stated, because the black holes predicted by General Relativity (GR) do not have infinite mass.

    If you wish to continue to claim this, Anaconda, please present a derivation of black hole solutions, from scratch, using GR, and show that there is an infinite mass in all solutions.

    In your presentation, refer only to Einstein’s published papers on GR.

    If you are unable to make such a presentation, please say so.

    For avoidance of doubt, I intend to keep a copy of this comment and repeat it every time I see you making your claims about “infinity” wrt black holes.

    However, I acknowledge that I may have mis-stated your assertion; if so, I assure you it is only because I do not understand it. In case I have mis-stated your assertion, please repeat it.

  40. This comment is directed at a general audience, specifically people who have not already encountered these aspects of relativity and classical electromagnetism.

    In classical electromagnetism, a charge at rest has no associated magnetic field, right?

    Yet a charge in motion is associated with one; the usual example is of a current in a wire being surrounded by a circular magnetic field orthogonal to the wire (directions? use the right hand rule!).

    Now in special relativity, there is no absolute frame of reference; in one form, all inertial frames of reference are equivalent.

    So suppose we have, in one frame, a stationary charge, Q, and a current in which the carriers move at speed v. An observer, A, in this frame would see no magnetic field associated with Q, and just such a field associated with the current.

    Now suppose we have another observer, B, moving at speed v wrt A in the direction which makes the charge carriers in A’s current appear stationary. Does B observe a magnetic field associated with these charge carriers?

    B will see Q as moving, and as a moving charge is a current, does that mean B will see a magnetic field associated with Q?

    Something quite amazing follows from this; can you work out what it is?

  41. @ Surak:

    Too bad you offered not a single example — your comment is “content empty” — in other words, hot air.

    Nereid states: “I think Anaconda’s assertions re ‘infinity’ wrt black holes can be succinctly addressed as follows.

    As I understand it, his assertion is that black holes cannot exist because they require the existence of an infinite mass.

    The assertion is nonsense, as stated, because the black holes predicted by General Relativity (GR) do not have infinite mass.”

    That is a corollary, but the argument is much simpler than that: A point-mass singularity (“black hole”) has infinite density in an infinitely small volume.

    The term “infinity” is an intrinsic and indispensable component of the “black hole” theoretical construct and since “infinity” can’t be quantified by definition, neither can a so-called “black hole”.

    How can “infinite” density be quantified?

    How can “infinitely” small volume be quantified?

    What do the two concepts mean when combined as they are in the, above, definition of a so-called “black hole”?

    I’ll tell you: Mathematical nonsense.

    Nereid states: “However, I acknowledge that I may have mis-stated your assertion; if so, I assure you it is only because I do not understand it.”

    It doesn’t suprise me that you would misstate my assertion because you are very rigid in your thought processes, so anything outside your frame of reference is hard for you to grasp and understand.

    In response to Nereid’s appeal to general readers, it needs to be noted that I’ve asked several times whether Nereid acknowledges the validity of Maxwell’s Equations which requires electric current to generate a magnetic field.

    Nereid has varied from outright ignoring the question to passive/aggressive dodges.

    In Nereid’s, above, appeal she does implicitly admit this is true, with her statement: “Yet a charge in motion is associated with one [magnetic field]; the usual example is of a current in a wire being surrounded by a circular magnetic field orthogonal to the wire (directions? use the right hand rule!).

    Nereid has been reluctant to admit this in a straightforward fashion because “modern” astronomy ignores electric currents while noting the presence of magnetic fields (this is changing, by the way, for the better, as more and more published papers are acknowledging the underlying electric currents which support magnetic fields in deep-space).

    Anyway, as I pointed out Nereid has now admitted Maxwell’s Equations are valid and do require electric current to generate a magnetic field.

    But what does she turn around and do?

    Attempts to wiggle out of this requirement by turning to General Relativity (often the last refuge of a mathematical scoundrel).

    Of course, Einstein, himself would correct and rebuke Nereid’s attempt to obviate the requirements of Maxwell’s Equations.

    Why?

    Because Albert Einstein was very clear on this point: His field equation require that the physical laws of the Universe are constant in all places in the Universe.

    That is why Albert Einstein specifically rejected the hypothesis that his field equations supported the so-called “black hole” mathematical construct.

    Why?

    Because the “black hole”, point-mass singularity with infinite density in an infinitely small volume, also requires that the physical laws of the Universe breakdown within the point-mass singularity.

    Albert Einstein vigorously rejected that proposition.

    So, going back to Nereid’s example: What is she trying to do?

    Nereid is attempting to offer an example where Maxwell’s Equations are not true and magnetic fields do NOT need electric currents to generate them.

    This is a typical example of Nereid’s passive/aggressive style and tactics, instead of just stating that GR allows for the obviation of Mawell’s Equations, she attempts to make an example that even the author of General Relativity, Albert Einstein, would reject.

    But as often happens with those that employ duplicitous and obscure methods, Nereid has been hoisted on her own petard.

    Why?

    Because her very example is the faulty reasoning that Einstein rejected and that proponents of so-called “black holes” rely on.

    Even Wheeler’s attempt to avoid the “singularity trap” of relying on “infinity” by employing the”duality” construct fits into this kind of gambit of talking of “reference”. There is no quantification involved and when you peel it down it is a “word salad” which Nereid so often scorns — it’s double talk to employ “multiple references” to obviate the constancy of the established physical laws of the Universe.

    In other words, Nereid wants to establish the ability to write a “blank check” for whenever the known physical laws of the Universe throw up obsticals in front of “modern” astronomy’s tendency to invent non-observable objects and physically impossible objects, like “dark” matter, “dark” energy, and “black holes” and “neutron” stars.

    This is not science, this is self-justifcation for make-believe.

    So Nereid is a hypocrit to emply “word salad” double talk to wiggle out of the necessity of the universal application and requirements of Maxwell’s Equations.

    Truly, Nereid has been hoisted on her own petard.

    Such is her desire to avoid the requirment of Maxwell’s Equations.

    Why is Nereid so desperate?

    Because she knows that “modern” astronomy has been ignoring the requirement that electric currents are required to generate magnetic fields.

    And all this was in an attempt to avoid my assertion that the first way for “modern” astronomy to be taken seriously was to map electric current flows in deep-space and calculate and measure the electric current flows strength in amperes and voltage.

    Sorry, Nereid, no “blank checks” for you or “modern” astronomy.

    You’re overdrawn at the bank and it’s time to declare bankruptcy for both you and “modern” astronomy.

    No matter how much you employ passive/aggressive tactics to squirm out of it 🙂

    On an optimistic final note, I’ll repeat what I stated, above: “This is changing, by the way, for the better, as more and more published papers are acknowledging the underlying electric currents which support magnetic fields in deep-space.

    So, Nereid is a dinosaur, a “defender of the faith”, of a dying-out breed: Those in “modern” astronomy that reject electric currents in deep-space and its large structures.

    Welcome to the future of a revitalized Astronomy.

  42. @Anaconda

    hahahaha!!!! The tanks are rolling right past you, the world is rolling on the ground laughing … and you still can’t see that you are “That Guy”!!!

    hahahahahaha

    So Anaconda

    When are you going to directly answer any of the direct questions Nereid and others have posed? You haven’t answered one yet.

    When are you going to stop dodging around the questions? You’re the only one here who thinks pages of ramble can replace one derivation.

    Yet again all we get back is silence on the questions and gibberish that gives no support to your EU psuedoscience.

    When are you going to explain the orbits of the stars at the center of our galaxy, observed to be in orbits so tight around a central point, that they can only be expained by the presence of a million+ solar mass black hole at that point?

    How does your EU crap explain that?

    Maybe you’re not “That Guy” … maybe instead you’re the Roadrunner … thinking you can float steady in the air by holding a “i didnt study gravity” sign, as the Coyote falls past.

    When are you going to stop reciting EU BS dogma and use some real numbers to support your pathetic rants? The only person of faith here is you.

  43. Yes, Anaconda, that is exactly what all your responses have been.

    Again … why have you given no response to all the direct questions? You’re only becoming a bigger and bigger fool with every non-post you make.

  44. @ Surak:

    I stand corrected. You did offer one challenge that needs answering.

    Surak states: “When are you going to explain the orbits of the stars at the center of our galaxy, observed to be in orbits so tight around a central point, that they can only be expained by the presence of a million+ solar mass black hole at that point?”

    The attractive strength of electromagnetism is 10^39 orders of magnitude stronger than gravity. In fact, gravity is a very weak force in comparison to electromagnetism and relatively static in comparison, too, because, not only is gravity exceedingly weak in comparison to electromagnetism, but also it only attracts, while electromagnetism attracts AND REPELS.

    Now addressing your specific challenge, an electromagnetic plasmoid has exceedingly more attractive power, so a plasmoid can hold, “orbits of the stars at the center of our galaxy, observed to be in orbits so tight around a central point…”, remembering that stars are 99.99 plasma, charged particles, so would easily be held by the electromagnetic attractive force of a plasmoid.

    Also, remember, the only way “modern” astronomy comes up with a “…presence of a million+ solar mass…at that point” is because that is what would be required if ONLY gravity is considered. And “million+ solar mass” is not calculated because of any observation & measurement of the Active Galactic Nucleus, but rather, is an assumption based on what “amount” of gravitational pull would be needed to hold the galaxy together (of course, even that is not truly enough, that is why the fiction of “dark” matter is also required, too, to make it all work out).

    But a deep plasma focus plasmoid needs NO “dark” matter to hold the galaxy together, and as stated, above, the attractive power, 10^39 orders of magnitude stronger than gravity, will do just fine, thank you very much.

  45. It’s important to keep in mind what Anaconda has actually written.

    Wrt “infinity” and black holes here is a recent example:

    The “black hole” concept states that an infinite amount of matter is contained in an infinitely small volume.

    (source: Is Everything Made of Mini Black Holes? UT story, comment dated May 22nd, 2009 at 4:33 pm)

    So, to repeat, in bold this time so you won’t miss it.

    Anaconda, please present a derivation of black hole solutions, from scratch, using GR, and show that there is an infinite mass in all solutions.

    In your presentation, refer only to Einstein’s published papers on GR.</b?

    If you are unable to make such a presentation, please say so.

  46. Oops, that last part should read:

    Anaconda, please present a derivation of black hole solutions, from scratch, using GR, and show that there is an infinite mass in all solutions.

    In your presentation, refer only to Einstein’s published papers on GR.

    If you are unable to make such a presentation, please say so.

  47. It seems that we continue to talk past each other Anaconda, and here is a prime example:

    Nereid presents my [Anaconda’s] statement: “And most important: I offer an alternative hypothesis that has scientific evidence to back it up.”

    And Nereid responds: “You did? I seem to have suffered a memory loss; I cannot recall that you did this; would you be kind enough to quote the date, time, and UT story in which you offered such a wonderful thing?”

    I have been offering an alternative hypothesis all along — it’s call Plasma Cosmology — that’s why YOU are, here, as a gate keeper and “defender of the faith”.

    Yes, I have offered various aspects of Plasma Cosmology all along depending on what was appropriate for the specific post.

    Leaving aside Anaconda’s idiosyncratic use of the word “hypothesis”, let’s look at the phrase “has scientific evidence to back it up”

    My comment, to which Anaconda is responding, includes “because none of this material seems to be consistent with whole swathes of astronomical observations, mostly published in the last decade or so (reflecting the enormous advances in astronomy this century).”

    Let’s assume that Anaconda is being straight here, and further assume that a key part of “scientific evidence to back it up” is material which is consistent – quantitatively – with all relevant astronomical observations.

    We already know that neither Anaconda nor solrey has presented any such material for observations of PMN J0948+0022, the topic of this UT story.

    We already know that Anaconda has acknowledged an inability to do the same wrt SgrA*:

    I will acknowledge that detailed Plasma Cosmology papers are needed on SgrA*

    We already know that no such materials exist wrt the CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background).

    Ditto, wrt the Hubble relationship. Ditto, wrt the observed large-scale structure of the universe.

    Ditto, wrt the observed abundances of isotopes and elements.

    Without boring readers to tears, allow me to repeat what I said earlier, the words which lead to Anaconda’s “scientific evidence” comment:

    another starting point might be to read the published work of these guys’ heroes, Birkeland, Alfvén, Lerner, and so on, and make your own assessment of scientific merits of the ideas presented therein, wrt astronomy and cosmology.

    As I have found, that approach doesn’t work either, because none of this material seems to be consistent with whole swathes of astronomical observations, mostly published in the last decade or so (reflecting the enormous advances in astronomy this century).

    Oh, and pointing out these shortcoming to Anaconda and solrey, repeatedly, is like talking to a brick wall.

    Of course, I could be quite wrong; if so, I welcome inputs from Anaconda and/or solrey to set me straight.

    So it would seem that there are only two logical conclusions (remember, I’m taking Anaconda at his word; assuming he’s not being a troll), namely:

    1) to Anaconda, quantitative consistency with all relevant astronomical observations is not part of “scientific evidence”

    2) to Anaconda, the scope of cosmology explicitly excludes the CMB, large-scale structure, the Hubble relationship, etc.

    How we do this, Anaconda: engage in a discussion on the basics, like what constitutes scientific evidence, what role astronomical observations play in assessing the scientific validity of hypotheses/theories/models, and what the scope of ‘cosmology’ is?

  48. As I said earlier, Anaconda, what you wrote is there for all to see.

    “The first part: I strongly disagreed with your claim about Birkeland’s prediction of the solar wind being a plasma, and offered to go through, in as much detail as necessary, all 914 pages of the primary material you yourself cited to demonstrate how both the historical and physics aspects of your claim are wrong.”

    And Nereid concludes: “You didn’t respond, remember?”

    That is false and completely disingenuous.

    We left off after I had present this quote:
    “The ideas of Fitzgerald and others were further developed by the Norwegian physicist Kristian Birkeland. His geomagnetic surveys showed that auroral activity was nearly permanent. As these displays and other geomagnetic activity were being produced by particles from the Sun, he concluded that the Earth was being continually bombarded by “rays of electric corpuscles emitted by the Sun”. In 1916, Birkeland was probably the first person to successfully predict that, “From a physical point of view it is most probable that solar rays are neither exclusively negative nor positive rays, but of both kinds”. In other words, the solar wind consists of both negative electrons and positive ions.”

    Of course, you may have simply forgotten stuff, so let me refresh your memory.

    In the New Mysteries Unveiled on Mercury UT story thread, on May 6th, 2009 at 6:31 pm, I asked you to confirm that we were reading the same Birkeland work (you didn’t respond).

    Your comment, quoted above, is dated May 14th, 2009 at 11:49 am.

    The three immediately preceding paras are:

    Nereid states: “If you insist, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that the two terms [corpuscular rays and plasma] are equivalent, I invite you to work with me and examine that evidence, starting with the Birkeland document.”

    This is an example of of what I stated above.

    Nereid, I provided definitions, quotes, links to papers and an Wikipedia entry discussing the solar wind that discusses Birkeland’s contributions.and historical context to back up my assertions, the relevant passage is below:

    (bold added)

    Btw, I repeated the offer, on May 14th, 2009 at 3:14 am, and even put the key phrase in bold.

    I will repeat the offer, and insist that we work with primary material.

    I’ll go one further: I have read Birkeland’s “The Norwegian Aurora Polaris Expedition 1902-1903”, and find no mention of “plasma”. If you, Anaconda, have done the same, and found the word used, please tell us all where it is used.

    Oh, and let’s not skip over the fact that we’re talking about plasmas here, so after establishing that Birkeland did not use the term, we should make sure we are on the same page wrt what “plasma” is.

  49. Anaconda, you keep repeating this, but given what’s actually written, for all to see, why?

    it needs to be noted that I’ve asked several times whether Nereid acknowledges the validity of Maxwell’s Equations which requires electric current to generate a magnetic field.

    I’ve answered this at least once, probably twice, and maybe more times; shall I cite my comments elsewhere, and repeat them?

    In your defence, I can appreciate that you may have such a poor grasp of maths that you do not actually understand Maxwell’s equations …

    … but then your response to my request for you to show us all how to estimate the electric current in one ISM phase, from the observations, using Maxwell’s equations, makes no sense!

    [Nereid: ” …] I gave you a thumbnail summary of the observables of a phase of the ISM, including an estimate of the magnetic field strength, and asked you:”

    What a complete dodge. I’m a scientific observer, I’ve stated as much, numerous times. It’s up to “modern” astronomy to show it’s serious about “getting it right”.

    They have the telescope time and that’s their profession.

    But instead of Nereid simply saying, (words to this effect): “Yes, it’s reasonable that astronomy should calculate the electric currents underlying the magnetic fields.”

    (June 5th, 2009 at 6:24 pm)

    Anaconda, either you understand Maxwell’s equations or you don’t.

    If you do, then you’ll have little difficulty answering my questions about the ISM.

    If you don’t, then it’s no surprise, I guess, that you did not understand my answers to your question … and in this case, about the best thing I can suggest is that you invest your time in an appropriate university course and learn both the underlying math and the basics of classical electromagnetism.

    Oh, and BTW, you still haven’t told me – or anyone – what you think “ELECTROMAGNETISM” is; specifically, how does your view of “ELECTROMAGNETISM” differ from

    a) Maxwell’s equations?

    b) QED?

    Please be as specific as you can.

  50. I didn’t see any answer to Surak’s question, Anaconda:

    @ Surak:

    I stand corrected. You did offer one challenge that needs answering.

    Surak states: “When are you going to explain the orbits of the stars at the center of our galaxy, observed to be in orbits so tight around a central point, that they can only be expained by the presence of a million+ solar mass black hole at that point?”

    Given all that Surak has written, “explain” means quantitatively.

    The observations are available (the positions of the various stars, at various times, with estimated uncertainties), so please produce a table containing the observations and the estimated positions of the stars, derived from an “electromagnetic plasmoid” model.

    That way all readers will be able to see that your idea does, indeed, “explain the orbits of the stars at the center of our galaxy”.

    I, for one, am very much looking forward to seeing this table.

  51. I think it’s worth summarising the exchanges Anaconda and I have had over “infinity”.

    Part of the reason for doing this – from my perspective anyway – is to lay the foundations for a proactive attempt to reach common ground, mutual understanding, on which to build to have a discussion that is not all-too-often talking past one another.

    Starting more or less at the end; ‘infinity’ – like 10^38, 1, and 0 – is a mathematical construct; ergo, to understand it, one needs to dive into the relevant math.

    I started to do that, introducing the epsilon-delta approach to limits, showing that ‘infinity’ can sometimes be made to disappear through transforms, etc.

    I also stated that the math which all contemporary physics is built on (including electromagnetism and plasma physics) contains ‘infinities’, and that these are pretty much an indispensable part of that physics.

    Turning to the connection between ‘infinity’ and applications in physics, I showed, by direct quotes, that both Birkeland and Alfvén (two of Anaconda’s heroes) used infinity in their papers, without, apparently, worrying about the sorts of things that seem to so upset Anaconda.

    Finally, I started to demonstrate that there is a physical state in CD players in which the temperature is infinite (both positive and negative), a state which occurs frequently.

    Now all this was part of an attempt to show Anaconda that his ideas on black holes and infinity were a combination of over-simplification, mis-understanding, and so on.

    Now, days/weeks later, he comes along with:

    Nereid, you have never successfully rebutted the “infinity” argument I’ve presented here with regards to the theoretical foundations of a “black hole”

    And this lead to my request that Anaconda show that “infinite mass” occurs in all ‘black hole’ solutions to GR equations, and that he do so by starting with what’s in the relevant published papers by Einstein.

    This points to something deeper, which I have been trying to get Anaconda to recognise for a long time now (with little apparent success); namely, that in any discussion on science, one must always be able to demonstrate consistency with the primary sources, through, preferably, valid logic chains.

    I’m having trouble getting Anaconda to even acknowledge this (he seems very keen on selectively quoting from secondary sources), much less to actually start doing so (e.g. look at how reluctant he is to actually read Birkeland’s own, published, work); his continued reliance on his own definitions and understanding of ‘infinity’ may be pointing to a deeply held conviction re the nature of science. I’ll explore this further in a later comment.

  52. I’m still puzzled as to the evasiveness both Anaconda and solrey have shown in response to relatively simple questions (and by this I mean specifically links to full peer-reviewed, journal published papers, not symposium lectures, news releases, blogs [including UT], NASA bulletins, etc) for research papers, especially written in the last 4 or 5 years. What, no recent PU/EU/PC explanation of the observed fluctuation in the sunspot count? And no sunspot/magnetic field reversal predictions for the current solar cycle? I’d have thought PU/EU/PC researchers would be all over this data, with many published papers on the topic. Where are they? And all this is not to mention the questions gathered above by Nereid: “We already know that neither Anaconda nor solrey has presented any such material for observations of PMN J0948+0022, the topic of this UT story.

    We already know that Anaconda has acknowledged an inability to do the same wrt SgrA*:

    I will acknowledge that detailed Plasma Cosmology papers are needed on SgrA*

    We already know that no such materials exist wrt the CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background).

    Ditto, wrt the Hubble relationship. Ditto, wrt the observed large-scale structure of the universe.

    Ditto, wrt the observed abundances of isotopes and elements. ” I could go on, but it is certainly evident that trying to get an honest-to-gosh link to a properly sourced paper is like trying to nail down Jello 🙂

  53. Nereid: “Turning to the connection between ‘infinity’ and applications in physics, I showed, by direct quotes, that both Birkeland and Alfvén (two of Anaconda’s heroes) used infinity in their papers, without, apparently, worrying about the sorts of things that seem to so upset Anaconda.”

    This goes to the heart of Anaconda’s dishonesty. He is obsessed about pushing EU/PC and will use any tactic to try and tear down current theories in astronomy and cosmology to make room for EU/PC. I don’t understand why because he has no scientific background and no connection to cosmology that he has admitted. He doesn’t even understand the plasma physics concepts that are thrown about in EU/PC. I wonder if Anaconda is related to anyone involved in the EU/PC sites and books if not part of it?

  54. Anaconda, solrey,

    I think it’s time for you guys to put up or shut up. On UT and other astronomy blogs you will see references to ongoing productive research that are constantly testing the latest and long standing theories in astronomy and cosmology. The research and results are open and visible to all. As you saw in the sunspot and other postings here at UT, astronomers are honest about how well the models fit observations. Please show us EU/PC models that make better predictions than current models. And these models must be testable in a quantitative manner. Not some general summary in english posted on youtube or here on UT.

    To add to John Hanford’s list, solar neutrinos. There is a good deal of observational data on neutrinos to work from. What sort of EU/PC model predicts the number of neutrinos we see?

    Also, if a plasmoid is responsible for the tight orbits of the stars visible at the center of our galaxy, how may we detect this plasmoid? Doesn’t there need to be net charge on the stars for the plasmoid to influence their movement? What is the net charge of our Sun? Those in the know can correct me on whether this is a valid question or not.

  55. I have just overflown the thread here and found one thing that is interesting:

    solrey started the discussion – and when he was pushed he disappeared (probably he is on vaccation, just as I have been for a few days). But the recovery forces were on stand-by and with the disappearing of solrey there came Anaconda, with his usual “infinity”-things. I still say that even from an experimental point of view an electron is still a physical point – it behaves exactly as being a point (down to scales of 10^(-18)m) – so the charge- and the mass-density of an electron is infinite; but electrons exist…… probably the experiments are wrong….

    Btw: The topic of the thread is really fascinating, and since I am working in this field (more or less – I am working on analytical models of blazar spectra (synchrotron/SSC-radiation)), I will definitly read the paper (Thanks a lot, Jon Hanford!!).

  56. @Anaconda

    Your alternate explanation of the stars that have been observed to be in orbits that can only be explained by the presence of a super massive black hole has entirely failed.

    You have given no mathmatical derivation of how these orbits could be maintained by electromagnetism.

    Simply stating that electromagnetism is so much stronger than gravity is not proof.

    At what distance between objects is it supposedly that much stronger? How does that distance compare to the observed orbits of the stars and the observed magnetic field of the galaxy?

    Sure, electromagnetism is a strong force over short distances … but if what you are lying about was somehow true, the fridgemagnets in my kitchen would be gone … they would have blown a hole in my floor on their way to the center of the earth!

    And, since electromagnetism can both attract and repel, why are those stars in stable orbits around the center of the galaxy, in orbits that can be predicted by gravitational attraction alone?

    Obviously by your broken ideas, they would have to be in extremely erratic orbits, if orbits were even possible … as they move from attractive to repulsive regions of the magnetic field.

    You have failed so utterly that its just not funny anymore.

    Anaconda, it must be very difficult for you to keep from going nuts. Knowing yet resisting to believe the truth that is all around you.

    I bet every day you get closer and closer to loosing it.

    For your own safety, please make sure you are near a hospital when it happens.

  57. Time to give some examples …

    Fine, then another starting point might be to read the published work of these guys’ heroes, Birkeland, Alfvén, Lerner, and so on, and make your own assessment of scientific merits of the ideas presented therein, wrt astronomy and cosmology.

    As I have found, that approach doesn’t work either, because none of this material seems to be consistent with whole swathes of astronomical observations, mostly published in the last decade or so (reflecting the enormous advances in astronomy this century).

    I shall restrict my scope to cosmology, as that term is used today, in astrophysics.

    Birkeland: The only thing in Birkeland’s 914-page work that could be said to relate to cosmology is his ideas on nebulae. Of course, he was writing before the great debate, so the nature of spiral nebulae, as galaxies (‘island universes’) distinct from and outside the Milky Way was unknown to him, and consequently it’s no surprise that his ideas on these objects have not panned out.

    Bruce: AFAIK, he published nothing at all on cosmology (if I am mistaken, I hope that Anaconda will set me straight).

    Alfvén: There are many papers to choose from, but one idea found in several (many?) is that of a static universe comprised of equal parts of matter and anti-matter, which have become separated into regions composed almost entirely of either matter or anti-matter. AFAIK, no one has been able to develop a quantitative model based on this idea that is consistent with the relevant astronomical observations (which ones are relevant depends somewhat on the characteristic size of the regions). Apart from the usual sets of observations that all static cosmological models have difficulty with (Hubble relationship, CMB, abundance of elements and isotopes, why the night sky is dark), this version of plasma cosmology has difficulty accounting for the apparent absence of any annihilation radiation signal (such radiation would be expected from the interfaces between antimatter-matter regions).

    Of course, this is not the only cosmological model, or idea, Alfvén published; I’d be happy to show how any other is inconsistent with astronomical observations (remember that we have such a vastly richer collection of observations today than was available in Alfvén’s lifetime).

    Next: one example from Peratt, and one from Lerner.

  58. A few words on the nature of science.

    Each scientific theory (I’m using the term somewhat loosely) has a domain of applicability. The specification of a domain may come partly from the axioms, or postulates, that are an explicit (or, sometimes, implicit) part of the theory (e.g. the equivalence principle in GR), and may otherwise be partly implicit or explicit.

    The domain of the theory of comparative advantage, for example, has to do with international trade, and says nothing about plasmas; the (Darwinian) theory of evolution is about living things here on Earth, and says nothing about the origin of life (creationists’ attacks on it for failing to address the origin are thus totally misguided).

    In application, a theory’s domain of applicability may be considerably limited. For example, quantum mechanics (QM) is not limited to microscopic things (e.g. a moving car has a wavefunction, just as an electron does), but as QM ‘reduces to’ classical physics ‘in the macroscopic limit’, good ol’ Newtonian mechanics will do for studying cars. Similarly, spacecraft controllers rarely, if ever, need to use GR to model their charges’ motions (Newtonian gravity works just fine).

    (to be continued)

  59. (continued)

    Among the sciences, physics is the most basic, in the sense that it aims to explain, or account for, the fundamental properties and behaviours of things; in one sense, all other sciences are derivable from physics (at least in principle). Saying this another way, the theories in other branches of science (or, if you prefer, other sciences) are about emergent behaviours, or epiphenomena, which result from the properties and behaviours of the things which physics concerns itself with.

    The various x-physics (astrophysics, biophysics, geophysics, …) are the application of parts of physics to phenomena in x (astronomy, biology, geology, …). Saying this another way, the domain of applicability of theories in astrophysics has to do with astronomical objects and phenomena.

    What does this have to do with having a meaningful discussion with Anaconda? A great deal.

    For example, GR and QM are mutually incompatible, at a very deep level. A consequence of this incompatibility is that the domain of applicability of GR does not extend to the Planck regime. So, just as attacking the (Darwinian) theory of evolution for failing to address abiogenesis is totally misguided, so Anaconda’s attack on black holes for the ‘unquantifiable infinity’ behaviour of GR solutions at ‘the singularity’ is totally misguided … that singularity is within the Planck regime.

    Similarly, proponents of EU/PC ideas who attack the Big Bang theory (BBT) on the grounds that it says the universe was created ‘out of nothing’ or ‘from a singularity’ are equally, and totally, misguided … the various BBTs lack a quantum theory of gravity, so the origin of the universe is not in their domain of applicability.

    (to be continued)

  60. Quickly, to illustrate one of the points I just made … this, from Anaconda, in the New Mysteries Unveiled on Mercury comments (May 13th, 2009 at 12:04 pm):

    The “big bang” and “black holes” constructs rest on the abstract mathematical concept of a “singularity”.

    Such “singularities” are not within the domain of applicability of the respective theories.

    Do you now see why, Anaconda, that these kinds of comments and critiques are totally misguided?

  61. @ ND: Thanks for posting what I’m sure many others had been wanting to say, namely “Anaconda, solrey,

    I think it’s time for you guys to put up or shut up.” Show the rest of us these mysteriously missing PU/EU/PC papers on the solar sunspot cycle, its neutrino emission rate and spectrum. Or how about PU work on neutrino oscillations between the earth and sun? And what does PC have to say about the observed neutrino spectrum from SN 1987A and what are its testable predictions of the future of this object? @Dr. Flimmer, glad to be of some help in referencing some papers on topics that may interest you and other readers. You have similarly linked to papers that I find most relevant to my wide range of interests in astrophysics. I must say that after my retirement in the mid 90s, I have been free to peruse papers on a wide variety of astronomical topics and do my best to keep up with cutting edge science. To make a long story short, I, too was drawn to study BL Lac and W Comae objects even before entering college in 1976. Detailed data was scarce then and the field was wide open to speculation. How glad it is to see in the 21st century some of these parameters being constrained and a coherent theory of AGN properties and evolution is taking shape, thanks in part to dedicated students pursuing these questions with sophisticated equipment and equally sophisticated data reduction techniques.

  62. Nature of science, continued.

    Maxwell’s equations and plasma physics offer fascinating examples of domains of applicability.

    When developed, from older, separate, ‘laws’, the domain of applicability of Maxwell’s equations was much greater than it is today.

    No, the theory did not change one jot* … but our collective understanding of the universe did.

    Maxwell’s equations say nothing about limits on charges, say; in principle, an electric charge can be 1 C (coulomb), or 10^6 C, or 10^-100 C, or … But it seems that the universe doesn’t play by Maxwell’s rules, as the discovery of the electron, years after Maxwell, proves … charge comes in quanta, or units; objects can have only integer multiples of elementary charge (except inside nuclei, for example, where charge comes in integer multiples of 1/3 this).

    Enter QED (quantum electrodynamics), whose domain of applicability includes microscopic things and behaviours, and which reduces to Maxwell’s equations in the appropriate limit.

    An interesting consequence: the domain of applicability of QED is all things electrical, magnetic, and electromagnetic, so for logical consistency Anaconda’s oft invoked “ELECTROMAGNETISM” must be a subset of, or derivable from, QED!

    Plasmas, of course, have electrical, magnetic, and electromagnetic properties and behaviours, so at some level QED is the theory one needs to study them.

    But wait! The constituents of plasmas have mass! And gravity is not within the domain of applicability of QED!! So, if you want to study the behaviours and properties of plasmas in quantitative detail – i.e. through models – you need BOTH QED AND some theory of gravity!

    However, modelling the collective behaviour of 10^(large number) of electrons and ions, using QED, GR, and QCD (nuclear reactions occur too) to derive a set of observables for the Sun is … unfeasible (do I get a prize for understatement?)

    So, what to do?

    Well, the most heavily used section of the book on every physicist’s shelf, “Best Practical Guide To Actually DOING Physics”, is the one titled “Spherical Cows”.

    And plasma physics is perhaps the richest possible case study on Spherical Cows.

    (to be continued, but only if someone asks about Spherical Cows).

    *well, it did, in the sense that mathematics did not stand still, and Maxwell’s equations were subsequently capable of being re-stated in a deeper and more powerful framework.

  63. The scientific merits of Peratt’s and Lerner’s ideas wrt cosmology, per their published papers.

    But only briefly; one example each.

    Peratt: AFAIK, Peratt has two sets of cosmology papers, one on galaxies (morphology, formation, evolution, etc), and one on the CMB. As his CMB papers are similar to those of Lerner, I’ll take Peratt’s galaxy papers as my example.

    AFAIK, all his galaxy papers derive from simulations he did, using a model he presented in detail in two 1986 papers.

    The published results of these simulations are inconsistent with astronomical observations of galaxies, in quite a few respects.

    For example:
    * spiral galaxy rotation curves derived from observations of stars, neutral gas, and ionised gas are the same (within the error bars) … Peratt’s simulations suggest they should be very different
    * the spiral arms of spiral galaxies are only modest over-dense regions … Peratt’s simulations suggest the inter-arm regions should be essentially devoid of matter
    * few spirals have ‘double bulges’ … Peratt’s simulations strongly suggest that almost all should.

    Lerner: in at least one paper, Lerner presented a model in which the IGM is pervaded by huge numbers of plasma filaments; he proposed that standard electromagnetic processes associated with these filaments would produce an isotropic microwave background with an approximately blackbody SED (spectral energy distribution).

    The published results of this model are inconsistent with astronomical observations, in quite a few respects.

    For example:
    * the CMB has the most perfect blackbody SED yet observed … at the level of precision of current observations, Lerner’s predicted SED can be ruled out at the many sigma level
    * Lerner’s model does not predict the observed angular power spectrum in the CMB (which Lerner himself acknowledges)
    * distant sources should be completely opaque in the relevant part of the microwave waveband in Lerner’s model … yet many high-z objects are clearly ‘seen’ in just this region of the spectrum.

    If any reader has a fave PC-based idea that they’d like to put on the table, I’d be happy to go through, in as much detail as readers are interested, how and why the idea is inconsistent with contemporary astronomical observations. Only one caveat: only ideas already published in relevant, peer-reviewed journals please. Actually two: it should be about cosmology, as that term is commonly understood.

    Also, of course, if any reader would like more details of what I have mentioned re Birkeland’s, Alfvén’s, Peratt’s, or Lerner’s published work on cosmology, I’d be happy to provide it.

  64. I’m curious as to why 23 years has elapsed since the original simulation was run? With great improvements and advances in computing power and computational magnetohydrodynamics, why aren’t extremely high resolution, 3D simulations available for PU/EU/PC ‘scientists’ to examine and compare with observations? Twenty-three years, that’s a eternity in rapidly developing fields such as this one 🙂

  65. @ Nereid:

    Do you know how many times I told Anaconda that QM will definetly prevent us from a singularity? But since he cannot abandon his most precious statement “infinity” (most precious next to “electromagnetism”), he just rejected or forgot my comments. I even tried to explain him some quantum mechanical basics – but it was a waste of time, as you may imagine.

    Concerning the spherical cows, there is a nice joke about it:

    A mathematician, an engineer and a physicist are watching a horse race. They debate if it would be possible to find a formula that will predict every horse race in the future.
    One week later they meet again. The engineer didn’t found tables about horse races. The mathematician had a great idea but didn’t find the time to proove it. Finally, the physicist has the ultimate formula. It describes everything. The only thing is: It only works for spherical, friction-less horses in vaccum.

    @ Jon Hanford:

    How glad it is to see in the 21st century some of these parameters being constrained and a coherent theory of AGN properties and evolution is taking shape

    I hope I can be of some service 😉 . Especially with the new telescopes (HESS, Fermi, etc) it will be a fascinating work to check my analytical results almost immediately. That’s the advantage of “modern times”.
    Thanks a lot for the other paper. If I find some time I will read them….

  66. @DrFlimmer: there is a guy, Michael M, who has been the direct or indirect cause of tens of thousands of internet forum posts/comments, over dozens of sites, over many years (he developed this ‘Sun has an Iron Surface’ idea); Anaconda reminds me a bit of him.

    MichaelM was seemingly completely intransigent wrt his ideas, one of which is ‘gravity is a known force’ (much like Anaconda’s ‘electromagnetism’ or ‘electric currents’ I guess), and all attempts to engage him in meaningful discussion were fruitless …

    … until
    a) someone took the trouble to read Alfvén’s key work (at least, what MM thought was key), and was able to show, by quoting chapter and verse, that MM had grossly misunderstood Alfvén (!)
    b) ditto, wrt Birkeland’s 914-page work
    c) and – this is the killer – walked through the Casimir effect!

    Along the way it became painfully obvious that MM, despite being a software guy, couldn’t do math beyond simple calculus (and even that only with the greatest of difficulty), and based his understanding of physics entirely on pictures and images!

    But you’d not have been able to work that out by simply reading what he wrote; it was only through great persistence did the profoundly different basis for MM’s ideas become clear (and of course, the only acknowledgment he gave was to stop posting … which was a remarkable event, given how astonishingly prolific he’d been).

    In the case of Anaconda, assuming he’s not a totally cynical troll or earning a commission from the EU/Thundercraps of the Dogs people, I think the basic reason for the disconnect lies in a fundamentally different view of the relationship between science and ‘reality’, a view which is pretty much immune from falsification because, if nothing else, Anaconda doesn’t even understand simple calculus, much less how Maxwell’s equations came to be written, the relationship between maths and physics, …

    But, I could be wrong …

  67. Jon Hanford,

    The computing issues with the Peratt has been brought up before on Bad Astronomy. With desktop computing that is more powerful than the supercomputer that Peratt ran his sims on, and the easy availabitily of linux and compilers, it should not be an issue to rerun such sims.

    Tom Marking did his own analysis of the Perratt sim over at BA back in February.

    blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/01/28/the-roar-of-the-centaur/

    Nereid,

    I don’t think one needs to be paid to be posting like Anaconda and solrey do on UT and BA. Ego has a lot to do with it. For some it is very satisfying to the ego to go against the mainstream and fight and argue and point out how wrong the mainstream is. To me this is evident in Anaconda’s strong wording when talking about “modern” astronomy. I think this MM fellow you just described fits that bill too.

  68. I would like to propose another theory to explain the characters of Anaconda and Solrey.

    My evidence is purely circumstantial, the theory is conspiratorial, but it is easily falsifiable. I believe it will stand up to at least a moment of study.

    My theory is that Anaconda and Solrey are non other than the good Mr. Fraser Cain himself !!! Or if he is not literally Anaconda and Solrey, he is an intentional cultivator of said miscreants.

    I know this is shocking and controversial, but then again many cutting edge theories are until they have passed their trials.

    I present my evidence henceforth:

    1. Mr. Cain is constantly looking for good content for this fine website.

    – He has hired writers, is looking for a researcher, he has a strong urge to feed the eager readers of this website.

    – There probably is not a huge budget available to acquire said content

    2. There is a huge wealth of good content available in the form of the experience, skills, and research of many of this website’s readers.

    – As good scientists, these readers are eager to share their knowledge.

    3. The good Mr. Cain has publicly stated that he is very much against pseudoscience and alternative ideas which can not be substantiated by hard evidence.

    – Mr. Cain went as far as to enact the new account / login system to get a handle on the trolls

    – Mr. Cain has not wielded this new weapon despite the onslaught of the cranks.

    Weaving it all together, in a constant search for good content for this website, Mr. Cain is enabling the Cranks so that the constant taunts, and the sheer stupidity of their ignorant ideas becomes a spectacle, no, a train wreck from which the enlightened can not look away.

    But not too much of a train wreck. Maybe just a derailment. A balance must be struck. Mr. Cain is walking a tight rope … Drawing in readers through the controversy of the ignorant held in check by the educated minds that have volunteered to take on the fight against pseudoscience.

    In the process, the readers (if willing) are educated on how science actually works and are exposed to a much deeper level of science than can be attained by journalistic science writers alone.

    To keep the balance and maintain the credibility of the website, Mr. Cain has to appear as distant from the controversy as possible, yet on the side of science. So a strong contrary view was taken, enacting the Account / Login system without actually banning the ‘offending’ parties.

    The end result:

    – More good science content, freely given to the website by the highly educated volunteers who fight the cranks.
    – Interested readers, be they interested in science or crank ideas spend more time at the website.
    – The blind ignorant fool cranks who can’t understand the most basic of scientific methods get to have their say, be that as it may, in a manner that is somewhat moderated by the educated volunteers.
    – Mr. Cain maintains the credibility of the website while increasing readership, presenting more science content for less cost overall.

    – And occasionally, someone from the growing readership just might by accident click on one of those 2012 ads, thus paying for the infrastructure.

    Now I have nothing against the good Mr. Cain. I’m quite a fan of his work and sympathize with a fellow Vancouver Island boy who’s just trying to make a living.

    In fact, after enjoying this website and the great Astronomy Cast lineup, having rekindled a great interest in Astronomy that was left behind in university when i discovered that i simply can’t do Calculus and Physics, (Although I suspect I’m financially better off today for having dodged that line of work), I even bought myself a telescope, a 10″ Schmidt Newtonian LXD75, which I have enjoyed very much even while gathering obscene amounts of the Vancouver light pollution into my eager eyes.

    But the truth must come out. Science demands it.

    Mr. Cain I implore you: Admit your underhanded involvement in the empowerment of the Anaconda and Solrey characters. Reveal the charade so you can go on guilt free and we can sleep knowing that Anaconda and Solrey are not real people (how could they be!?!)

    Or, disprove my theory, and finally wield the Great Nerf Bat of Ban+3 on those who post crank pseudoscience crap, refusing to show the slightest ability to understand the scientific method.

    Mr. Cain, please act soon. Unlike the cranks, given your proof, I will admit my theory is wrong if this is truly the case.

  69. Boy, I leave the “room” for a time and others stack up the comments. Okay, but don’t expect to have every comment’s assertions answered.

    “In order to understand the phenomena in a certain plasma region, it is necessary to map not only the magnetic but also the electric field and the electric currents. Space is filled with a network of currents which transfer energy and momentum over large or very large distances. The currents often pinch to filamentary or surface currents. The latter are likely to give space, as also interstellar and intergalactic space, a cellular structure.” — Hannes Alfven, plasma physicist, 1970 Nobel Prize Winner

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannes_Alfv%C3%A9n

    Interesting, all the comments Nereid makes as a follow up to my comment, she doesn’t challenge my point about her and the rest of “modern” astronomy wanting it both ways. Acknowledging Maxwell’s Equations, but also attempting to suggest that no you don’t need to follow Maxwell’s Equations because of GR and that Albert Einstein specifically rejected that kind of interpretations of his field equations.

    Yes, Albert Einstein held that the physical laws of the Universe were constant at all places and times in the Universe.

    As I’ve provided this quote before, it’s still valid: “When the flak gets heaviest you know you are over the target.” — anonymous Air Force pilot

    I’ll answer some points, Notice Nereid doesn’t respond to the argument I offered in my comment on this post.

    As I stated on this thread “infinite” matter is a corollary, but since Nereid keeps attacking that instead of addressing the argument I presented, here, well, okay.

    The definition of a so-called “black hole” is a point-mass singularity, with infinite density and an infinitely small volume.

    The QED definition of an electron is a point-particle that is zero dimensional and no volume, even though electrons are accepted to have mass at rest.

    Notice the similarity of definition between a “black hole” and an electron according to QED.

    QED’s definition of an electron is contradictory: A particle has volume and dimension. But here QED claims a particle has zero dimensions and no volume.

    You can fit infinite numbers of electrons into the space because an electron takes up no volume. In other words, infinite mass.

    The QED definition of an electron and astronomy’s definition of a “black hole” are strikingly similar.

    What is the difference between infinite density in an infinitely small volume and zero dimensional and no volume?

    They are the same thing for all practicable purposes.

    And both definitions are fouled up.

    Neried states: “Anaconda, please present a derivation of black hole solutions, from scratch, using GR, and show that there is an infinite mass in all solutions.”

    Why?

    This is a popular website, not a mathematics website and its irrelevant to my point. my logical construction doesn’t rely on presenting a derivation using GR. My argument is more penetrating for the very reason that it is simpler, it goes to the heart of the matter by showing the definitions of the words used invalidate the mathematical foundations of a “black hole” as being a rigorously quantifiied object.

    I’ve never claimed to be a mathematician, so no I can’t provide the “derivations”, but as stated that is just another attempt on your part, Nereid, to distract.

    So-called “black holes” are held out as well quantified, when, in fact, they aren’t quantified at all.

    So when people demand quantified analysis for Plasma Cosmology, in essence, they are demanding more from the others than they are from themselves.

    Not to mention they promote “modern” astronomy as IF it was nothing but rigorous quantification when in fact it isn’t.

    Nereid makes a series of statements:

    “We already know that no such materials exist wrt the CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background). ”

    [False. There are numerous scientific criticisms of the CMB conclusion as related to the “big bang”.]

    “Ditto, wrt the Hubble relationship. Ditto, wrt the observed large-scale structure of the universe.”

    [False, again, Halton Arp has offered detailed scientific evidence why the Hubble relationship is false. Large-scale structure is much in sinc with Plasma Cosmology’s filimentary nature. It is actually “modern” astronomy that has a hard time explaining large scale structure.]

    “Ditto, wrt the observed abundances of isotopes and elements.”

    [False, Lerner has blown that out of the water.]

    It’s amazing how much woo Nereid will spread in order to protect “modern” astonomy.

    Nereid states: ” 1) to Anaconda, quantitative consistency with all relevant astronomical observations is not part of ‘scientific evidence’.”

    False, complete strawman.

    In fact, “modern” astronomy has been confronted with a plethora of quantitative scientific evidence in the last decade that did not match the models and “surprised” the scientists.

    Nereid states: “2) to Anaconda, the scope of cosmology explicitly excludes the CMB, large-scale structure, the Hubble relationship, etc. ”

    Again, completely false and tellingingly, too, I might add.

    This post isn’t about the CMB or the Hubble relationship, but, here, Nereid drags these in.

    Why?

    Because she’s standing in a pair of roller skates and she knows it.

    In fact, I have challenged the CMB and the Hubble relationship and Nereid knows that because I’ve raised the fallacy of the Hubble relationship, here, on this website with her, no less!

    Nereid asks: “How we do this, Anaconda: engage in a discussion on the basics, like what constitutes scientific evidence, what role astronomical observations play in assessing the scientific validity of hypotheses/theories/models, and what the scope of ‘cosmology’ is?”

    Simple, stick with the material in the post at hand, instead of trying to argue the entire Plasma Cosmology after losing the post.

    See, that’s something I’ve noticed: As the post in hand “goes south” for “modern” astonomy and its defenders, their tendency is to try and argue the whole “Universe”.

    No, keep on the profiled topic in the post.

    Nereid, states: “I’ll go one further: I have read Birkeland’s “The Norwegian Aurora Polaris Expedition 1902-1903?, and find no mention of “plasma”. If you, Anaconda, have done the same, and found the word used, please tell us all where it is used.”

    Nereid you are very intellectually dishonest!

    The word “plasma” hadn’t been coined as yet when Birkeland was writing, so, of course, he wouldn’t mention the word “plamsma”, but the statement I’ve quoted in this thread from Wikipedia still stands.

    Nereid states: “In your defence, I can appreciate that you may have such a poor grasp of maths that you do not actually understand Maxwell’s equations …”

    The, above, quote is a fiat statement totally unsupported by anything. All I’ve stated is that Maxwell’s Equations state that electric current is required to generate magnetic fields. And, NOW, YOU HAVE AGREED.

    Nereid states: “… but then your response to my request for you to show us all how to estimate the electric current in one ISM phase, from the observations, using Maxwell’s equations, makes no sense!”

    Nereid why are you so intellectually dishonest that you would suggest that I calculate the electric currents in space.

    She knows i can’t and somehow believes that proves something.

    That’s the job of the professionals. but Nereid seemingly ignore that.

    Nereid states: “Anaconda, either you understand Maxwell’s equations or you don’t.”

    I understand that Maxwell’s Equations require an electric current to generate a magnetic field.

    That is the relevant requirement for this discussion.

    My point has always been that instead of simply answering in the affirmative that Maxwell’s Equations do require electric current to generate a magnetic field, you have gone into an obscure answer or ignored the question.

    I’m glad you have finally acknowledged the reality.

    So, Nereid, is it reasonable to expect “modern” astronomers to map the electric currents and measure them and take them into account while discussing magnetic fields?

    As I quoted Hannes Alfven’s statement at the beginning of this comment.

    Maxwell’s Equations are a descriptive and somewhat explanatory of electromagnetism.

    In other words, they are a law of electromagnetism as there are other laws and corollaries.

    Oh, I’ll be as specific as I need to be in order to make my points, but I’m not here just to “dance to your tune”, Nereid.

    You know Nereid is getting wacked when she pedantically declares: “The observations are available (the positions of the various stars, at various times, with estimated uncertainties), so please produce a table containing the observations and the estimated positions of the stars, derived from an “electromagnetic plasmoid” model.”

    Sorry, Nereid, I’m not going to do a paper right, here.

    Nereid states: “Part of the reason for doing this – from my perspective anyway – is to lay the foundations for a proactive attempt to reach common ground, mutual understanding, on which to build to have a discussion that is not all-too-often talking past one another.”

    Please, this is intellectually dishonest garbage. Nereid holds nothing, but contempt for my ideas, and probably for me as well.

    Anything, Nereid, does is to “defend the faith” not reach common ground.

    I attempted to reach common ground regarding Kristian Birkeland — result: Impossible, Nereid refuses to be intellectually honest.

    Maxwell’s Equations. Here, we had the most basic principle, but instead of coming to quick agreement on its requirements, there was endless dodging on her part.

    Obvious situations, like scientists admitting the observed phenomena didn’t fit the model, and the scientists were surprised by “X”, which have been increasing in the last decade, suggesting an opening for considering alternative hypothesis, only generates non-probative rejoinders from Nereid.

    Nereid is a “defender of the faith” who has contempt for my positions. She has demonstrated her willingness to use any method to “defeat” the ideas she has contempt for. For Nereid, the “end justifies the means”.

    This is extremely sad.

    “Infinity” is a definition. And it is clearly defined at that.

    But, you see it does illustrate the problems “modern” astronomy and certain fields of mathematics have.

    They claim to be rigorously quantified, with consistent terms, but they are not.

    A “particle” and a “zero dimensional, no volume”, enity are mtually incompatible.

    But, here, they are treated the same.

    Why?

    Because, that allows the mathematicians to call it a particle (consistent with their philosophy) and yet treat it as a force.

    Because what is more accurate: A force that has zero dimensions and no volume or a particle that has zero dimensions and no volume.

    (Okay, they both sound scewed up, but a “force” comes closer. But QED can’t use “force” because according to it everthing is a particle.)

    So, they attempt to get away with a mutually exclusive definition, i.e., particles have zero dimension and no volume.

    Nereid states: “I also stated that the math which all contemporary physics is built on (including electromagnetism and plasma physics) contains ‘infinities’, and that these are pretty much an indispensable part of that physics.”

    No, this is a new assertion.

    But to the extent that “infinity” is used, then it is a gap in knowledge, a placeholder, that allows the mathematics to go forward, but is a confession of “we don’t know”.

    Nereid states: “Turning to the connection between ‘infinity’ and applications in physics, I showed, by direct quotes, that both Birkeland and Alfvén [used “infinity”].”

    Actually, I don’t believe you have with Birkeland, possibly you have with Alfven.

    Please show me where in either of the gentlemen’s work that “infinity” was heavily relied on.

    Please, so-called “modern” astronomy’s foundations rest on “infinity”.

    (So-called “black hole and big bang” both rest on “infinity”.)

    Nereid states: “Finally, I started to demonstrate that there is a physical state in CD players in which the temperature is infinite (both positive and negative), a state which occurs frequently.”

    This is a classic example where dividing by zero, a schoolgirl error derives this fallacy.

    The temperature on a CD player doesn’t reach ‘”infinity” indeed, Science doesn’t know what infinitiy is, other than it “goes on forever”.

    It is unquantifiable.

    I asked Nered two simple questions:

    “How can “infinite” density be quantified?

    How can “infinitely” small volume be quantified?

    Nereid: NO ANSWER — dodged the questions.

    Then a third question: “What do the two concepts mean when combined as they are in the, above, definition of a so-called “black hole”?

    Nereid: NO ASWER — dodged the question, again.

    Why did Nereid carry on so long?

    Because I hit close to the bone.

    It’s hard to take Nereid seriously because she’s so obviously such a blind, “defender of the faith”.

    It’s clear, for Nereid, the ends justify the means.

    This attitude has no place in the Scientfic Method.

    So-called “modern” astronomy is sick indeed if it continences this kind of argument.

  70. Wow, Anaconda is quite upset.

    You have some open requests regarding testable and quantitative EU/PC models regarding various astronomical phenomenon. This is the best thing you can do and it is in keeping with the spirit of scientific investigation. Keeping quite for a few days to avoid the open requests is not going to work.

  71. @ Anaconda:

    I have two things to say.

    1) There is a simple word that lingers in the halls of physics: This word is “convenience”.
    Theoretical physics (mostly) try to come up with predictions. “What will happen if I do this and what will happen if I do that?”
    These questions are written in formulae, since mathematics is the language of physics (as you have admitted yourself several times). But formulae and especially (differential) equation are useless, if you want to verify them. Probably they are the fundamental law and discribe what’s going on, but one normally needs the solution of the equations. The solution can be applied to experiments and depends on the conditions of the system one is looking at.

    So, what we have are fundamental laws (equations) and we have their solutions which discribe specific situations.

    The thing is: In most cases it is really hard to find solutions. Probably a computer can help, but analytical solutions are hard to achieve.
    What can one do? Simplify the problem! The first thing is: Take a look at the simplest situation you can think of and take a look at experiments if you get a result that matches. If you gain something alike, lucky you are!

    So let’s take a look at electromagnetism. Or, for convenience, take a look at electrostatics. The simplest thing I can think of is a point-charge at a specific location. There are to do some easy calculations, but in the end you gain a solution. For example for the force between two point-charges (Coulombs law) and you see that it depends on the distance (indeed: inverse squared -> 1/(r^2) ).
    If you do the experiment with two charges (that are normally not point-like) you can find that the solution works as long as the charges are not too close to each other – although the charges are not point-like, contrary to the model used for the equations.
    What does it tell us? Our simple model is (in some specific limits) applicable to reality.

    This was quite a long introduction. I just wanted to make sure that it’s clear why “convenience” is useful in physics.

    Now an example for the usefulness of infinity. There are many experiments that are run over large timescales. An astronomical observation is typically running quite long (depending on what you’re looking at).
    My work is an example: Spectra of blazars (and other types of AGN) are taken over several hours to several days. This is a LONG time. Those “time-integrated” spectra are called the fluence.
    I am doing a theoretical work how such a fluence should look like, depending on the model. So to gain the fluence I have to integrate my formula over time; over the time-period of the observation, to be precise. But, as I said, those observations are really long (compared to, say, a second).
    So, instead of using a specific timescale (I don’t know how long the observations really are) I say: “Well, those scales are really long, VERY long” and just for convenience I “approximate” the long time with infinity. Normally this makes the integration a lot simpler – if the results are useful is a question the future will answer, since there are not too many observations by now (HESS and Fermi will probably provide us with more and more spectra).

    But convenience works – and our approximation of reallity becomes better every day.

    2) But I have another point to make, and this one is really important:
    As we all know: Physics wants to find fundamental laws of nature. So the theoreticians try to find those laws and the experimentalists try to varify or falsify those laws.
    A theoretical work (or a theory) is good if it passes crucial tests. And if it passes more and more stringent tests it seems quite appropriate to say it is a good theory and it really discribes what’s going on.

    (With me so far? I think we agree on this!)

    So let’s take some theories and see if they passed or failed their tests:
    GR has passed all the tests that have been done so far (and there are many!). The non-detection of gravitational waves does not necessarily mean that they do not exist – in this case one can say that the detectors were too weak!
    QED passed even more tests than GR and is probabyl the best checked theory ever.
    So, from an experimental point of view, I think it is all right to say that these theories are really good discriptions of what’s going on.

    And if experiments say: YES, we match exactly the prediction of the theory, then the theory is good and most likely right! Even if it depends on weird things as “particles with no volume”. As I said: This concept is convenient on the one hand, but on the other hand it seems to be true, because it works!

  72. A few more words. Now about black holes:

    Did you know, Anaconda, that you don’t need GR to make calculations about black holes? Just classical Newtonian physics.
    We can calculate the radius of an object of mass M where the escape velocity reaches the speed of light. We just need the law of conservation of energy.
    In this case the kinetic energy and the potential energy must be the same:

    E_kin=1/2*m*v^2
    E_pot=G*m*M/r

    G is the gravitational constant, r is the radius and m is the mass of a test-particle and v is the speed of the test-particle.
    Conservation of energy results in:

    E_kin = E_pot
    => 1/2*m*v^2 = G*m*M/r

    We can delete m on both sides and since we said that the escape velocity should be the speed of light we set v=c. Thus:

    1/2 * c^2 = G*M/r
    => r = 2*G*M/c^2

    So this the radius of an object where the escape velocity on the surface reaches the speed of light. We just derived it with classical physics. The surprise is: This is exactly the Schwartzschild-radius. This means an object of this size will be dark and will suck in everything there is, a black hole. But we never said that it must be a singularity or something like that. Just an object that is not bigger than r.
    It has finite size, finite mass and thus finite density – and still behaves as a (non-rotating) black hole.

  73. Well, Anaconda, I see multiple specific queries for references to back up your statements with no authoritative backup. So you would have us believe that you, Anaconda, with admittedly little knowledge of math or physics, have independently reviewed the state of ‘modern’ astronomy and have found it ill conceived and fallacious based entirely on your ‘knowledge’ of the subject. And let’s throw in some ill-conceived arguments by Halton Arp (which have nothing to do with PU/EC/PC itself) to make this mashup ‘cosmology’ seem to have some merit. And if you see fit to use the words ‘cosmology’ or ‘universe’ in your ‘theories’, please conform to the astronomical standard usage of these terms, not “Anaconda’s Interpretation” of these terms!

  74. “When the flak gets heaviest you know you are over the target.”

    We see a lot flak coming from you Anaconda.

    “You can fit infinite numbers of electrons into the space because an electron takes up no volume. In other words, infinite mass.”

    Yeah but you don’t have an infinite number of atoms when creating a black hole to begin with.

    Are there anyone else besides you who talks about black holes having infinite mass?

    I think your infinite mass idea is a red herring to distract from other questions in the queue for you.

    Those who did not stop doing math like I did please correct me (and this will most likely be embarrassing), but dividing by infinity is not the same as dividing by 0, right? So dividing 5 kilos by an infinitely small volume will give an infinite density but not infinite mass.

  75. @ND: Thanks for the earlier link to the Bad Astronomy blog & Tom Marking’s thrashing of Peratt’s plasma galaxy simulation. I see many familiar people posting there (Dr Flimmer, ND, IVAN3MAN, Tod W, etc.) trying to make some sense of Anaconda’s nonsense. Wow, a month’s worth of questions for Anaconda that were consistently dodged. It appears that he even disagrees with Plasma Universe founder Peratt on what constitutes Plasma Cosmology. What, no ambiplasma? And how did Arp’s work get tangled into Anaconda’s Plasma Cosmology? Doesn’t this violate the “personal theories” stipulation regarding comments?

  76. Jon Hanford,

    If you employ the Gish Gallop correctly, then you can sneak in personal theories into the mix. By the time people realize it, it’s too late. But that’s a just a hypothesis of mine.

    Apparently Arp has anti-establishment street-cred with the PC crowd.

  77. hahaha yet again no significant response from AnaCONda, just more ramble, quote mining, and arm waving. All specifics ignored. Along with his own failure to recognize that the varied attraction and repulsion of his electromagnetic field would prevent the possibility of the orbits observed of stars going around the Milky Way’s central black hole.

    All the more circumstantial evidence supporting my theory about this character.

    He isn’t real. Hey may think he’s real, but his grip on reality is becoming more and more tenuous with every ignorant word from him.

    AnaCONda will snap soon.

  78. @ DrFlimmer:

    I agree with your “convenience” argument. In other words a place holder.

    This is apparently acceptable from a mathematical descriptive sense, but it is not from an explanatory sense.

    “Convenience” in essence means, “we don’t really know the answer” for that specific placeholder, but “infinity” gets the mathematical job done.

    Okay, but the less surrounding observed and measured data, makes the “placeholder” all that more problematic.

    So in the case of the so-called “big bang” and “black holes”, infinity isn’t surrounded by lots of other data. Rather, it is the principle supposed piece of data that defines the object.

    And certainly, you are right that the “electron” definition is surrounded by lots of experiments that suggest the zero dimensional, no volume ‘fiction’ works for the mathematics (which possibly speaks to the true nature of an electron) it does not explain what an electron is.

    So-called “black holes” in comparison with an electron have almost zero confirmational evidence to support their existence beyond theory.

  79. @ Anaconda:

    “Convenience” in essence means, “we don’t really know the answer” for that specific placeholder

    That’s not true. Convenience does not mean “we don’t know”. Convenience just results in a simpler way of describing things (in mathematical terms).

    So-called “black holes” in comparison with an electron have almost zero confirmational evidence to support their existence beyond theory.

    As I said, to explain things you always need a model and a theory. And if your theory describes what you see in a way that it also predicts some things which can be observed, then I say that it is a good theory.
    And black hole theory describes a lot of things quite perfectly. Cygnus-X1, the galactic center, quasars – these are all different things, but they are perfectly described by the thoery of black holes. And a theory that describes so many different things with just one term is always something that should be taken seriously. I don’t think that there is a “plasma theory” that unifies all these different things. So: It is a convenient way to see if black holes can do the job.
    And btw: I read somewhere else that it could be only a short time until we reach the resolution to actually “see” the event horizon of the black hole in the galactic center. This will be the ultimative test!

    it does not explain what an electron is.
    Then: What is an electron?
    Before I make a statement I would be glad to see yours, if you could be so kind!

  80. @ND: I found the source; it’s in comments on The roar of the Centaur, starting around #76 (dated 1 Feb!) (just in case this goes to moderation, if I write a URL, the site is blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/ … no www)

    Tom Marking did his own analysis of the Perratt sim over at BA back in February.

    I came across a couple of interesting comments by TomM; the first shows very clearly that Anaconda either doesn’t read, or doesn’t understand simple stuff he does read (or is simply a cynical troll):

    Your statement that magnetic fields and electric currents must exist at the same point in space reveals a profound ignorance of Maxwell’s equations. May I refer you to: [URL omitted]

    (Source: The roar of the Centaur 54. Tom Marking January 31st, 2009 at 10:27 am)
    There is an alternative explanation: Anaconda doesn’t understand Maxwell’s equations, even when explained without the math.

    This is a doozie:

    Just as I expected. Whenever I make a quantitative argument against EU pseudoscience there is no rebuttal whatsoever. Instead, Snake Man goes off and hides in the broom closet until the coast is clear for him to spout his nonsense again.

    (bold added; source: The Cosmic Hand of Destruction 175. Tom Marking April 15th, 2009 at 9:28 am)

    For the sake of historical accuracy, does anyone know of any comment, or post, by Anaconda, in which he answers quantitative rebuttals (quantitatively)?

    Or any comment in which he presents something quantitative at all?

  81. Anaconda, I am away for only a day or so and you continue to blatantly ignore what I write.

    The definition of a so-called “black hole” is a point-mass singularity, with infinite density and an infinitely small volume.

    It is?

    Please provide us all with a direct reference in which black holes are so defined. Please make sure that this reference is either a paper by Einstein, or a standard textbook on GR.

    I’d also like to repeat a general question I asked you, some time ago now (a question to which you did not reply, IIRC): in science, what sorts of things count as primary sources?

    I also requested that you be prepared to back up any assertions you make with references to primary materials, together with adequate derivations and/or logic.

    BTW, how is your derivation of the infinite mass of a black hole coming along? The one where you start with a paper by Einstein …

    The QED definition of an electron is a point-particle that is zero dimensional and no volume, even though electrons are accepted to have mass at rest.

    It is?

    Please provide a reference for this definition.

    If your reference is not a primary source, please demonstrate that this definition is derivable from a primary source.

    (BTW, what do you think a primary source wrt QED would be, Anaconda?)

  82. The reason for my request, Anaconda, is that you persist in making mis-statements about the very topic you claim some deep insight into!

    Neried states: “Anaconda, please present a derivation of black hole solutions, from scratch, using GR, and show that there is an infinite mass in all solutions.”

    Why?

    This is a popular website, not a mathematics website and its irrelevant to my point. my logical construction doesn’t rely on presenting a derivation using GR. My argument is more penetrating for the very reason that it is simpler, it goes to the heart of the matter by showing the definitions of the words used invalidate the mathematical foundations of a “black hole” as being a rigorously quantifiied object.

    I’ve never claimed to be a mathematician, so no I can’t provide the “derivations”, but as stated that is just another attempt on your part, Nereid, to distract.

    (bold added)

    Indeed, your ‘argument’ is simpler.

    However, your use of the words reveals profound misunderstanding of the key concepts; in particular, your apparent ignorance of the relevant math has lead you to making statements (arguments) that are quite illogical.

    Further, your ignorance of the physics makes your ‘argument’ irrelevant anyway, even if your math were spot on (any ‘singularity’ in a black hole is outside the domain of applicability of GR).

    Now you are, of course, entitled to your ignorance; however, as I understand the rules here, you are not entitled to continue promoting your own pet ideas here …

    Oh, and thanks for the frank admission of the limits of your competence wrt math; I’ll be sure to keep it in mind when I respond to other comments of yours.

  83. Here are my original comments, followed by Anaconda’s response:

    [Nereid] because none of this [Plasma Cosmology ] material seems to be consistent with whole swathes of astronomical observations, mostly published in the last decade or so (reflecting the enormous advances in astronomy this century).

    [Nereid] Let’s assume that Anaconda is being straight here, and further assume that a key part of “scientific evidence to back it up” is material which is consistent – quantitatively – with all relevant astronomical observations.

    […]

    We already know that no such materials exist wrt the CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background).

    [Anaconda] “We already know that no such materials exist wrt the CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background). ”

    [False. There are numerous scientific criticisms of the CMB conclusion as related to the “big bang”.]

    Um, … am I alone in not seeing anything in Anaconda’s comment that relates to what I wrote?

    Straight question Anaconda: what papers are there, published in relevant peer-reviewed journals, that show detailed quantitative agreement between astronomical observations of the CMB and a published, scientific, Plasma Cosmology-based theory?

    “Ditto, wrt the Hubble relationship. Ditto, wrt the observed large-scale structure of the universe.”

    [False, again, Halton Arp has offered detailed scientific evidence why the Hubble relationship is false. Large-scale structure is much in sinc with Plasma Cosmology’s filimentary nature. It is actually “modern” astronomy that has a hard time explaining large scale structure.]

    Now, with your statement about your math capability in hand, may I ask how you went about assessing the scientific validity of Arp’s work, Anaconda?

    Oh, and let’s start with the basics, shall we? Which two or three of Arp’s hundreds of published papers would you say most effectively show “why the Hubble relationship is false”?

    Straight question Anaconda: what papers are there, published in relevant peer-reviewed journals, that show detailed quantitative agreement between astronomical observations of the universe’s large-scale structure and a published, scientific, Plasma Cosmology-based theory?

    You might like to keep in mind that I’ve actually read many of Arp’s published papers, certainly most of them on the distance-redshift relationship. On large-scale structure, I am not aware of any PC-based papers which address the observed large-scale structure of universe, and certainly none since the publication of SDSS DR5 (or even DR3).

  84. You know by now what I’m going to ask, don’t you Anaconda …

    “Ditto, wrt the observed abundances of isotopes and elements.”

    [False, Lerner has blown that out of the water.]

    Straight question Anaconda: what papers by Lerner are there, published in relevant peer-reviewed journals, that show detailed quantitative agreement between astronomical observations of the relative abundance of the elements and their isotopes and a published, scientific, Plasma Cosmology-based theory?

  85. You did? All I recall is an extreme unwillingness to actually *read* the primary source material (Birkeland’s own, published, work)

    I attempted to reach common ground regarding Kristian Birkeland — result: Impossible, Nereid refuses to be intellectually honest.

    But at least with this we are making progress (albeit slowly and painfully):

    Nereid, states: “I’ll go one further: I have read Birkeland’s “The Norwegian Aurora Polaris Expedition 1902-1903?, and find no mention of “plasma”. If you, Anaconda, have done the same, and found the word used, please tell us all where it is used.”

    Nereid you are very intellectually dishonest!

    The word “plasma” hadn’t been coined as yet when Birkeland was writing, so, of course, he wouldn’t mention the word “plamsma”, but the statement I’ve quoted in this thread from Wikipedia still stands.

    Let’s go to the next step then, shall we?

    But before we do, may I ask how you determined that what you found on that Wikipedia site was sufficiently accurate and pertinent for use in our discussion?

    Next step is to look at the modern definition of plasma, to ascertain its key characteristics, usw. We should discuss it, probably quite a bit, and reach agreement before we then return to Birkeland’s own published work to see if he could be said to have been aware of the key characteristics of plasmas (even though he didn’t use the term).

  86. Fair question, Anaconda … I’ll dig it up and repeat it, along with the UT story thread in which I posted it, and the date and time.

    Nereid states: “Turning to the connection between ‘infinity’ and applications in physics, I showed, by direct quotes, that both Birkeland and Alfvén [used “infinity”].”

    Actually, I don’t believe you have with Birkeland, possibly you have with Alfven.

    Please show me where in either of the gentlemen’s work that “infinity” was heavily relied on.

    In any case, with your frank admission of the limitations of your facility with math to hand, by far the best answer I can give is to simply say that both make extensive use of calculus (in fact their work would be close to nonsense without calculus), and that ‘infinity’ and ‘infinitesimal’ are pretty much at the heart of calculus.

    But why take my word for it? Why don’t you enrol in Physics 101, at a nearby university (or an online one)? Surely you don’t actually *enjoy* being so grossly ignorant of such key foundations of the physics your heroes were intimately familiar with, do you?

    BTW, the math in Maxwell’s equations is quite a bit more difficult than simple calculus …

  87. OK, so let’s re-start this, shall we?

    Do you recall what I wrote about the definition of temperature?

    Nereid states: “Finally, I started to demonstrate that there is a physical state in CD players in which the temperature is infinite (both positive and negative), a state which occurs frequently.”

    This is a classic example where dividing by zero, a schoolgirl error derives this fallacy.

    The temperature on a CD player doesn’t reach ‘”infinity” indeed, Science doesn’t know what infinitiy is, other than it “goes on forever”.

    Oh, before we proceed … I would appreciate it if you could pay sufficient attention to what I write that you can at least somewhat accurately refer to it … (please re-read what I *actually* wrote re a CD player and infinite temperature …

    (Fair enough, I’ll go dig up what I wrote earlier, and copy it, before proceeding with my demonstration)

  88. Previous discussion of temperature: UT story: New Mysteries Unveiled on Mercury.

    I wrote several comments on this, the key one is May 14th, 2009 at 12:41 pm, and contains the following:

    To start, we need to agree on a definition of temperature.

    Historically, temperature is defined by the zero-th law of thermodynamics; I’m going to take a definition from statistical thermodynamics, and use its central concept (an interesting historical note: this was first worked out by Ludwig Boltzmann, who committed suicide not long afterwards … any reader want to say a few words about his life, and death?). It is based on the concept of atoms (I assume you’re OK with atoms, Anaconda; if not, please say so and I’ll back up).

    Now we need just one result from quantum mechanics; namely, the idea that the energy of an atom is quantized (it can have only certain, discrete, values).

    In something macroscopic, like the laser in a CD player, there are a huge number of atoms (or molecules; the definition of temperature is blind to what the basic components of the system are).

    Imagine we could count the number of atoms (or molecules) in each of the allowed energy states; imagine we then plotted the number in each state against the energy of the state.

    Here comes Boltzmann’s wonderful result: such a plot will have the same shape (’functional form’), for all systems!

    Expressed as a ratio of population with energy state E divided by population with lowest energy state, that shape is

    e^-bE

    that is e (you know e, right?) to the power of minus b times E, where b is a constant.

    This is the Boltzmann distribution.

    b is related to T, the absolute temperature, like this:

    b = 1/kT

    where k is called Boltzmann’s constant.

    This is a wondrous result!

    Why?

    Well, among other things, it ties the results from classical thermodynamics to the behaviour of atoms (a lot of work, by lots of physicists, can be summed up by saying that the T in Boltzmann’s equation is exactly the same [as] absolute temperature in classical thermodynamics (and how else could temperature by defined, except through thermodynamics?)

    I’ll take a break here, to allow anyone to comment, and, specifically, to allow Anaconda to ask any questions. I do hope you’re OK with this Anaconda; if not, please say so explicitly.

    After the break: infinite temperature in the CD player …

    (bold added)

    Please say, explicitly, if you’re OK with this Anaconda … or, if not, say so explicitly too.

    There’s no point going on unless we have agreement on what ‘temperature’ is …

  89. OK, I missed the bold … this part was supposed to be in bold:

    “I do hope you’re OK with this Anaconda; if not, please say so explicitly.”

  90. As promised:

    Fair question, Anaconda … I’ll dig it up and repeat it, along with the UT story thread in which I posted it, and the date and time.

    It was in the UT story: New Mysteries Unveiled on Mercury (again!), May 6th, 2009 at 1:44 am:

    Before I begin, let me point out that neither Birkeland nor Alfvén seem to have had any problems relying upon infinity in their work.

    Start with Birkeland.

    Chapter VI of Part II of the Birkeland book Anaconda introduced is titled “On Possible Electric Phenomena in Solar Systems and Nebulae” (it starts of page 661). Starting with 132, on page 678, Birkeland presents a series of calculations; the word infinity (infinite, infinitely) appears many times in the following pages, as does the symbol ? (I’m not sure if this, a figure 8 turned on its side, will display). If you follow the calculations, you’ll see that Birkeland relies on infinity being quantitative.

    And that’s just one example, chosen at random.

    Now Alfvén.

    Magneto-hydrodynamic waves and sunspots. I, II, published in 1945 (Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 105, p.382) is a paper by H. Alfvén; it likewise contains calculations involving infinity (infinite, infinitely), and the symbol ? makes several appearances.

    And that’s just one example, chosen at random.

    Now readers with the appropriate math backgrounds will recognise that this is not at all unusual, and in fact dates back to Newton (and Leibnitz) and the introduction of calculus, to which I’ll turn next.

  91. @ND: thanks.

    It has become clear to me that much of what Anaconda writes reflects a depressingly profound ignorance of the very topic he is writing about.

    I suspect that none of the regulars (those who write comments on UT stories, and have done so for quite some time now) have much remaining doubt that one, main, source of Anaconda’s comments is a combination of his profound ignorance and his unwillingness to address it … so the more baseless flack, the greater damage he does to whatever credibility he still has.

    His own, rather obvious, disingenuousness is also hugely damaging (to him); in my reading of his comments on the BA blog I was repeatedly struck by just how often he ignores hard questions, changes the subject, selectively quotes from others’ comments, wilfully uses logical fallacies, usw (there are some particularly telling exchanges between A and TomM!)

    I am increasingly puzzled by one thing though; given how starkly Anaconda’s ignorance has been, and continues to be, revealed, and given his own, freely admitted, weak understanding of just about every topic he writes on, is he truly blind to how self-defeating his own comments are?

  92. I think there is a stubborn ego behind this.

    We ask Anaconda for a testable EU/PC model but we’re essentially asking him if does understand EU/PC as well. We’re not talking to a primary source of these ideas.

    Given his ignorance of the science, he has “picked a side” in that he believes EU/PC is better than the current consensus in astronomy. But how did he come to this decision and why does he continue? My guess is that such alternate ideas some people an area where they can feel like they’re doing scienctific exploration like the big boys, even if only as thought experiments. He has an emotional need for living in an EU/PC daydream.

    Or it’s just his way of keeping the conversation going because he likes to argue. *shrug*

  93. @ DrFlimmer:

    I don’t rightly know, Science doesn’t have an exact grip on what an electron is.

    Is it a particle?

    Is it a wave?

    it has characterstics of both.

    Perhaps, besides mathematical ‘convenience”, that is a reason QED has a mutually exclusive definition of the descriptive of an electron.

  94. @ Anaconda

    I don’t rightly know, Science doesn’t have an exact grip on what an electron is.

    This is a true statement. So, if science can’t “exactly” know, how is it possible that you claim that QED is nonsense?
    QED is quantum theory. That does mean that it deals with “particles” that behave according to quantum mechanics which leads to your next statement:

    Is it a particle?

    Is it a wave?

    it has characterstics of both.

    Yes, indeed. And that is the reason that particles in quantum mechanics are not treated in the same way as are particles in classical physics. The only way you can deal with quantum mechanical things is by their state (energy, momentum, place, etc – of course, always taking in mind Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle). Those states are described abstractly by a bra- or a ket-vector, which are connected to the wave-function of the particle’s state.
    What this means is: Even if we talk about particles, what we really mean is the state of a particle that can be described as a wave.
    So, QED has no need to talk about point-like particles. It really talks about the state of the particles for which it is quite irrelevant if it is point-like or not.

    But explain and describe this to a lay-man…. “hard” particles are easier to understand than a wave-function or a state-function (a bra- or ket-vector). The problem is in the (english or what ever language) words and not in the theory.

  95. @ Nereid:

    I asked this question, a simple direct question: “So, Nereid, is it reasonable to expect ‘modern’ astronomers to map the electric currents and measure them and take them into account while discussing magnetic fields?”

    But no answer.

    Nereid do you take the position that GR allows Maxwell’s Equations to be obviated? Yes, or no?

    Direct question, should be easy to answer.

    As I asked before:

    I asked Nered two simple questions:

    “How can “infinite” density be quantified?

    “How can “infinitely” small volume be quantified?”

    Nereid: NO ANSWER.

    Then a third question: “What do the two concepts mean when combined as they are in the, above, definition of a so-called “black hole”?

    Nereid, apparently you dispute the definition of a “black hole” that I supplied.

    So, what is your definition?

    Nereid, you assert that I have no basis for my assertions.

    So, then it should be simple to answer my direct questions since, supposedly, you do have math and physics knowledge, but it is you who dodge relevant questions that are on point AND germane to the discussion.

    Six questions should be easy to directly answer and knock them out of the park.

    Four of the questions, I’ve already asked, but you declined to answer them.

    The other two are straightforward questions.

    Why the evasion?

  96. DrFlimmer:

    The singularity definition of a “black hole” is mathematical nonsense.

    The QED definition of an electron relies on an inconsistent description. And as I’ve acknowledged, the mathematics apparently work out.

    So “nonsense” would not be the right word.

    DrFlimmer states: “So, QED has no need to talk about point-like particles. It really talks about the state of the particles for which it is quite irrelevant if it is point-like or not.

    [Then why does it? After all QED can define an electron anyway it chooses for its practitioners.]

    “But explain and describe this to a lay-man…. “hard” particles are easier to understand than a wave-function or a state-function (a bra- or ket-vector). The problem is in the (english or what ever language) words and not in the theory.”

    [Not quite, zero-dimensional and having no volume is a strong statement. It is inconsistent with an object which has location and volume.]

    Physics can be about describing “something” in motion, but physics also explains the object.

    And it is okay to say, “we don’t know”.

    What is not okay is to act as If you do “know” an object when in fact you don’t.

    That is the problem with “modern” astronomy.

  97. @ Anaconda:

    Physics can be about describing “something” in motion, but physics also explains the object.

    And it is okay to say, “we don’t know”.

    What is not okay is to act as If you do “know” an object when in fact you don’t.

    That is the problem with “modern” astronomy.

    Taking you literally would result in something like this:
    There is something that behaves like an electron, but can’t say for sure what it looks like and what it is. Similarly there is something that behaves like a black hole, but we can’t say for sure what it is.

    Would you accept these statements?

    [Not quite, zero-dimensional and having no volume is a strong statement. It is inconsistent with an object which has location and volume.]

    Agreed. The problem is, according to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, that it is literally nonsense to talk about something like “location” in quantum mechanics. There is a probability for the particle to be here or there, but we can’t be sure – it is just a probability!
    And another problem is: A fundamental particle (like an electron, of which we think that it is fundamental) does not have a “substructure” (like protons containg quarks). But: A volume would require a substructure.
    To explain this I must take a loop:
    Protons do not only contain the three valence quarks. This is easily comprehensible: The three quarks add up to a mass-energy of about 15 MeV (IIRC). However, the mass-energy of a proton is 938 MeV. This is a hugh discrepancy. This discrepancy is covered by gluons and virtual particles (a bad name, since they are obviously real/existing). And these virtual particles are the important things here.
    Any volume of whatever size will definitly contain virtual particles and as we have seen with the proton, virtual particles are part of a substructure. So a particle with volume will contain virtual particle and thus a form of a substructure – hence the particle would cease to be a fundamental particle per defintion.

    This is, indeed, a problem.
    Experiments show that the “size” of an electron is not bigger than 10^-18m. On the other hand, if an electrom would be smaller than 10^-34m (IIRC) it would become a black hole.
    But most likely the description of the electron as a particle as we think of it, is not entirely correct.
    Most likely it is something where we lack a word for.

    At this point it would be clever to have a particle physicist around. He should be able to explain this in a much better way than I can.

    But I have one last point for tonight:
    There is obviously a similarity in the description of electrons and black holes. If we find a proper description for electrons, we will definetly have a proper one for black holes, too. And as I stated earlier: Astronomers could be close to gain the resolution to actually “see” the event horizon of the SMBH in the galactic center – then we will know for sure!

  98. Anaconda, given what you yourself have written about your understanding of math, and given the exchanges you’ve had with others, both here and elsewhere, I can answer your questions directly, as follows

    Nereid do you take the position that GR allows Maxwell’s Equations to be obviated? Yes, or no?

    This question is unintelligible.

    The domain of applicability of Maxwell’s equations (no capital ‘E’) and that of GR overlap only somewhat, and where they do there is no inconsistency.

    However, as Maxwell’s equations are classical, we have known for many decades now that they do not describe reality, except as an approximation … the theory in physics which describes electromagnetism is QED.

    GR and quantum mechanics are mutually incompatible, but in the regimes we have been able to study to date, that incompatibility is well below detectability.

    So, Nereid, is it reasonable to expect ‘modern’ astronomers to map the electric currents and measure them and take them into account while discussing magnetic fields?

    You’re the expert, Anaconda, you tell me!

    From your extensive reading of Alfvén’s work, and your deep understanding of the pseudoscience called Plasma Cosmology, you surely can quote chapter and verse of how the size and direction of electric currents in space can be inferred from astronomical observations, can’t you?

    “How can “infinite” density be quantified?

    “How can “infinitely” small volume be quantified?”

    Both these questions are unintelligble.

    Take them as math questions first.

    A reasonable interpretation of your questions would be something like ‘how can {some limit} be defined?’ and the specific answer would be ‘the question is lacking in sufficient detail to be able to answer’. A general answer might involve an exploration of the epsilon-delta approach … which I already offered to you.

    As physics questions next.

    The best way to approach them would be to ask something like ‘in respect of which theory, or theories, are you asking these questions?’ If GR, then you need to define the metric, for example.

    Now I’ve already tried to explain how and why your naive approach, combined with your gross ignorance and obstinacy, is leading you to write really stupid things (and I stress they are only stupid because you continue to refuse to actually learn anything), but, like many others before me, I have had no success.

    Then a third question: “What do the two concepts mean when combined as they are in the, above, definition of a so-called “black hole”?

    Nereid, apparently you dispute the definition of a “black hole” that I supplied.

    So, what is your definition?

    You asked me this a looong time ago, remember?

    And when I didn’t answer, you reminded me that I’d promised an answer … and then I gave you one. IIRC, I pointed you to some online material on GR, by Sean Carroll, and specifically to a section on black holes. I’ll go dig it up again.

    Anaconda, there’s a marvellous phrase that Bohr (I think it was Bohr) used, in reply to Einstein’s ‘God does not play dice’; I think the reply can be adapted to apply to you: Anaconda, stop telling God what to do.

    (For those who are unfamiliar with this, it is important to keep in mind that ‘God’ in this exchange would be more like ‘the universe’ in today’s world).

  99. Open questions for Anaconda:

    1) Please provide us all with a direct reference in which black holes are defined as a point-mass singularity, with infinite density and an infinitely small volume. Please make sure that this reference is either a paper by Einstein, or a standard textbook on GR.

    2) Please provide a reference for ‘the QED definition of an electron is a point-particle that is zero dimensional and no volume, even though electrons are accepted to have mass at rest. If your reference is not a primary source, please demonstrate that this definition is derivable from a primary source.

    3) What do you think a primary source wrt QED is?

    4) What papers are there, published in relevant peer-reviewed journals, that show detailed quantitative agreement between astronomical observations of the CMB and a published, scientific, Plasma Cosmology-based theory?

    5) How did you go about assessing the scientific validity of Arp’s work, wrt the Hubble relationship?

    6) Which two or three of Arp’s hundreds of published papers would you say most effectively show “why the Hubble relationship is false“?

    7) What papers are there, published in relevant peer-reviewed journals, that show detailed quantitative agreement between astronomical observations of the universe’s large-scale structure and a published, scientific, Plasma Cosmology-based theory?

    8) What papers by Lerner are there, published in relevant peer-reviewed journals, that show detailed quantitative agreement between astronomical observations of the relative abundance of the elements and their isotopes and a published, scientific, Plasma Cosmology-based theory?

    9) Are you OK with the definition of temperature that I gave?

    10) What examples has Alfvén given of the transfer of energy and momentum by electric currents in space (beyond the solar system)?

    (FWIW, I know of no such examples; but then I doubt that I’ve read even one tenth of the works of Alfvén that Anaconda obviously has …)

  100. As promised … in reference to a definition of black holes …

    IIRC, I pointed you to some online material on GR, by Sean Carroll, and specifically to a section on black holes. I’ll go dig it up again.

    The source is, once again, in the New Mysteries Unveiled on Mercury UT story, in a comment dated May 7th, 2009 at 7:16 pm:

    But the quick response here is something like this: how well do you think you understand the theory of General Relativity (GR), Anaconda? I surmise, from reading your comments, that you have a superficial, word-level-only understanding; if so, then I cannot do any better to help you learn that a) GR provides a sound theoretical basis for the existence of black holes, and that b) GR encompasses electromagnetism in several ways (assuming I have understood the peculiar, idiosyncratic meaning you give to this term) than to recommend some university level courses for you. If not, then I apologise for my mistake, and suggest that read Sean Carroll’s “Lecture Notes on General Relativity” (available here: http://preposterousuniverse.com/grnotes/).

    Section 7 contains a lot of material on black holes, including at least one definition. I *strongly* recommend going through this section as a whole, rather than extracting a sentence or two (a definition) in isolation. Why? Because any definition must be considered in its context for it to be meaningful.

  101. Just this one post from Anaconda and the thunder**** page is hillarious.. HE, who admits to have absolutly no background, wants to teach someone 😀

    I think this is the joke of the day…

  102. DrFlimmer,

    Does he understand this? Does he realize this? I guess that’s what has me fascinated.

  103. Wow, that’s quite an eye-opener ND!

    So Anaconda commented here for just one reason: to promote his personal theory and to advertise … he had no interest in understanding the content of the UT stories, he had no intention of engaging in meaningful discussion on matter relating to that content, … all he ever intended to do was promote his pet ideas. If so, then I hope his prolonged absence is due to someone in the UT team implementing the promised crackdown.

  104. Nereid2, welcome to our world, too! You can see from Anaconda’s comments just where he stands. Ditto the sentiments for “someone in the UT team implementing the promised crackdown.” This seems in direct violation of ‘promotion of personal theories’ and certainly not censorship. We’ve all got Anaconda’s personal take on this matter, thoroughly.

Comments are closed.