Discoveries from the IBEX satellite show we still don't know quite a few things about the heliosphere and solar system

Voyagers 1 and 2 reached the termination shock in 2005 and 2007, respectively, taking point measurements as they left the solar system. Before IBEX, there was only data from these two points at the edge of the solar system. While exciting and valuable, the data they provided about this region raised more questions than they resolved. IBEX has filled in the entire interaction region, revealing surprising details completely unpredicted by any theories. IBEX completes one all-sky map every six months. IBEX completed the first map of the complex interactions occurring at the edge of the solar system (shown) this summer. (Credit: SwRI via Science Daily)

From the University of Chicago

Satellite reveals surprising cosmic ‘weather’ at edge of solar system

IMAGE: Image from one of the IBEX papers published in the Oct. 16, 2009, issue of Science showing a map of the ribbon of energetic neutral atoms (in green and yellow)…

The first solar system energetic particle maps show an unexpected landmark occurring at the outer edge of the solar wind bubble surrounding the solar system. Scientists published these maps, based mostly on data collected from NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer satellite, in the Oct. 15 issue of Science Express, the advance online version of the journal Science.

“Nature is full of surprises, and IBEX has been lucky to discover one of those surprises,” said Priscilla Frisch, a senior scientist in astronomy & astrophysics at the University of Chicago. “The sky maps are dominated by a giant ribbon of energetic neutral atoms extending throughout the sky in an arc that is 300 degrees long.” Energetic neutral atoms form when hot solar wind ions (charged particles) steal electrons from cool interstellar neutral atoms.

IBEX was launched Oct. 19, 2008, to produce the first all-sky maps of the heliosphere, which reaches far beyond the solar system’s most distant planets. Extending more than 100 times farther than the distance from Earth to the sun, the heliosphere marks the region of outer space subjected to the sun’s particle emissions.

The new maps show how high-speed cosmic particle streams collide and mix at the edge of the heliosphere, said Frisch, who co-authored three of a set of IBEX articles appearing in this week’s Science Express. The outgoing solar wind blows at 900,000 miles an hour, crashing into a 60,000-mile-an-hour “breeze” of incoming interstellar gas.

Revealed in the IBEX data, but not predicted in the theoretical heliosphere simulations of three different research groups, was the ribbon itself, formed where the direction of the interstellar magnetic field draping over the heliosphere is perpendicular to the viewpoint of the sun.

IMAGE: Priscilla Frisch, Senior Scientist in Astronomy & Astrophysics, and member of the science team, Interstellar Boundary Explorer. Collaborating with former UChicago astronomer Thomas F. Adams, she made the first spectrum…

Energetic protons create forces as they move through the magnetic field, and when the protons are bathed in interstellar neutrals, they produce energetic neutral atoms. “We’re still trying to understand this unexpected structure, and we believe that the interstellar magnetic forces are associated with the enhanced ENA production at the ribbon,” Frisch said.

IBEX shows that energetic neutral atoms are produced toward the north pole of the ecliptic (the plane traced by the orbit of the planets around the sun), as well as toward the heliosphere tail pointed toward the constellations of Taurus and Orion. “The particle energies change between the poles and tail, but surprisingly not in the ribbon compared to adjacent locations,” Frisch said.

###

IBEX is the latest in NASA’s series of low-cost, rapidly developed Small Explorers space missions. Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, leads and developed the mission with a team of national and international partners. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the Explorers Program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

Citations: N. A. Schwadron, M. Bzowski, G. B. Crew, M. Gruntman, H. Fahr, H. Fichtner, P. C. Frisch, H. O. Funsten, S. Fuselier, J. Heerikhuisen, V. Izmodenov, H. Kucharek, M. Lee, G. Livadiotis, D. J. McComas, E. Moebius, T. Moore, J. Mukherjee, N.V. Pogorelov, C. Prested, D. Reisenfeld, E. Roelof, G.P. Zank, “Comparison of Interstellar Boundary Explorer Observations with 3-D Global Heliospheric Models,” Science Express, Oct. 15, 2009.

H.O. Funsten, F. Allegrini, G.B. Crew, R. DeMajistre, P.C. Frisch, S.A. Fuselier, M. Gruntman, P. Janzen, D.J. McComas, E. Möbius, B. Randol, D.B. Reisenfeld, E.C. Roelof, N.A. Schwadron, “Structures and Spectral Variations of the Outer Heliosphere in IBEX Energetic Neutral Atom Maps,” Science Express, Oct. 15, 2009.

D.J. McComas, F. Allegrini1, P. Bochsler, M. Bzowski, E.R. Christian, G.B.Crew, R. DeMajistre, H. Fahr, H. Fichtner, P.C. Frisch, H.O. Funsten, S. A. Fuselier, G. Gloeckler, M. Gruntman, J. Heerikhuisen, V. Izmodenov, P.J anzen, P. Knappenberger, S. Krimigis, H. Kucharek, M. Lee, G. Livadiotis, S. Livi, R.J. MacDowall, D. Mitchell, E. Möbius, T. Moore, N.V. Pogorelov, D. Reisenfeld, E. Roelof, L. Saul, N.A. Schwadron, P.W. Valek, R. Vanderspek, P. Wurz, G.P. Zank, “Global Observations of the Interstellar Interaction from the Interstellar Boundary Explorer-IBEX”, Science Express, Oct. 15, 2009.

Related links:

Animation shows how energetic neutral atoms are made in the heliosheath when hot solar wind protons grab an electron from a cold interstellar gas atom. The ENAs can then easily travel back into the solar system, where some are collected by IBEX. Credit: NASA/GSFC http://www.swri.org/temp/ibexscience/DM/SP_draft1.mov

Solar Journey: The Significant of Our Galactic Environment for the Heliosphere and Earth, Priscilla C. Frisch, editor. http://www.springer.com/astronomy/practical+astronomy/book/978-1-4020-4397-0

IBEX Web page at Southwest Research Institute http://ibex.swri.edu/

NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer mission http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/ibex/index.html

To view a video related to this research, please visit http://astro.uchicago.edu/%7Efrisch/soljourn/Hanson/AstroBioScene7Sound.mov


Here is another press release on IBEX from Boston University:

IBEX discovers that galactic magnetic fields may control the boundaries of our solar system

NASA mission reveals impact of galaxy’s magnetic fields

(Boston) – The first all-sky maps developed by NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft, the initial mission to examine the global interactions occurring at the edge of the solar system, suggest that the galactic magnetic fields had a far greater impact on Earth’s history than previously conceived, and the future of our planet and others may depend, in part, on how the galactic magnetic fields change with time.

“The IBEX results are truly remarkable, with emissions not resembling any of the current theories or models of this never-before-seen region,” says Dr. David J. McComas, IBEX principal investigator and assistant vice president of the Space Science and Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute. “We expected to see small, gradual spatial variations at the interstellar boundary, some 10 billion miles away. However, IBEX is showing us a very narrow ribbon that is two to three times brighter than anything else in the sky.”

A “solar wind” of charged particles continuously travels at supersonic speeds away from the Sun in all directions. This solar wind inflates a giant bubble in interstellar space called the heliosphere — the region of space dominated by the Sun’s influence in which the Earth and other planets reside. As the solar wind travels outward, it sweeps up newly formed “pickup ions,” which arise from the ionization of neutral particles drifting in from interstellar space. IBEX measures energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) traveling at speeds of roughly half a million to two and a half million miles per hour. These ENAs are produced from the solar wind and pick-up ions in the boundary region between the heliosphere and the local interstellar medium.

The IBEX mission just completed the first global maps of these protective layers called the heliosphere through a new technique that uses neutral atoms like light to image the interactions between electrically charged and neutral atoms at the distant reaches of our Sun’s influence, far beyond the most distant planets. It is here that the solar wind, which continually emanates from the Sun at millions of miles per hour, slams into the magnetized medium of charged particles, atoms and dust that pervades the galaxy and is diverted around the system. The interaction between the solar wind and the medium of our galaxy creates a complex host of interactions, which has long fascinated scientists, and is thought to shield the majority of harmful galactic radiation that reaches Earth and fills the solar system.

“The magnetic fields of our galaxy may change the protective layers of our solar system that regulate the entry of galactic radiation, which affects Earth and poses hazards to astronauts,” says Nathan Schwadron of Boston University’s Center for Space Physics and the lead for the IBEX Science Operations Center at BU.

Each six months, the IBEX mission, which was launched on October 18, 2008, completes its global maps of the heliosphere. The first IBEX maps are strikingly different than any of the predictions, which are now forcing scientists to reconsider their basic assumptions of how the heliosphere is created.

“The most striking feature is the ribbon that appears to be controlled by the magnetic field of our galaxy,” says Schwadron.

Although scientists knew that their models would be tested by the IBEX measurements, the existence of the ribbon is “remarkable” says Geoffrey Crew, a Research Scientist at MIT and the Software Design Lead for IBEX. “It suggests that the galactic magnetic fields are much stronger and exert far greater stresses on the heliosphere than we previously believed.”

The discovery has scientists thinking carefully about how different the heliosphere could be than they expected.

“It was really surprising that the models did not generate features at all like the ribbon we observed,” says Christina Prested, a BU graduate student working on IBEX. “Understanding the ribbon in detail will require new insights into the inner workings of the interactions at the edge of our Sun’s influence in the galaxy.”

Adds Schwadron,”Any changes to our understanding of the heliosphere will also affect how we understand the astrospheres that surround other stars. The harmful radiation that leaks into the solar system from the heliosphere is present throughout the galaxy and the existence of astrospheres may be important for understanding the habitability of planets surrounding other stars.”

###

IBEX is the latest in NASA’s series of low-cost, rapidly developed Small Explorers space missions. Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, leads and developed the mission with a team of national and international partners. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the Explorers Program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

The Center for Space Physics at Boston University carries out a wide variety of research in space physics including: space plasma physics, magnetospheric physics, ionospheric physics, atmospheric physics, and planetary and cometary atmospheric studies.

221 thoughts on “Discoveries from the IBEX satellite show we still don't know quite a few things about the heliosphere and solar system

  1. GO boldly! I thought that what exploration was all about.Instead we are afraid of
    our own breath:… “Why don’t you fellows solve your little problems and light this candle!”-Alan Shepard-Astronaut…
    Great post…

  2. The ribbon doesn’t strike me as so mysterious. Charged particles in the presence of magnetic fields travel by spiraling along magnetic field lines, which means that they are mostly traveling in a circle about the field lines and have only a small component of velocity along the field lines. When charged particles spiraling along the galactic field lines outside the heliosphere encounter the edge of the heliosphere, oppositely charged particles coming from the sun neutralize them, creating neutral particles no longer affected by magnetic fields. These newly neutral particles start traveling in a straight line with whatever velocity they had just before being neutralized. In effect the magnetic field lines emit a 360 degree spray of neutral particles in a plane perpendicular to the field lines, and the extent to which these particles are not emitted exactly perpendicular to the field lines is determined by the relatively small component of velocity they had along the field lines while spiraling. Some of these particles end up traveling toward the IBEX spacecraft. From the viewpoint of the spacecraft, then, the particles seem to be mostly emitted from a ribbon of sky perpendicular to the galactic field lines, and the width of this ribbon is related to the relatively small component of velocity along the galactic field lines. In retrospect this phenomenon should have been expected before any data was collected…

  3. I just see a bunch of large pixels. I therefore conclude the galaxy must be running at 640×480 and 16 colors. It must need a pair of those HD sunglasses I see advertised on TV.

  4. “Equally puzzling are observations of the same boundary region with an instrument on the Cassini spacecraft, which recorded the density of atoms at higher energies, above 6,000 electron volts. From its vantage point at Saturn, Cassini sees a belt rather than a ribbonlike structure, a team led by Krimigis also reports in Science. The belt is substantially broader than the ribbon seen by IBEX but is in the same general area.”
    quote from:
    http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/48456/title/Solar_systems_edge_surprises_astronomers

  5. Quote>>>IBEX discovers that galactic magnetic fields may control the boundaries of our solar system
    NASA mission reveals impact of galaxy’s magnetic fields
    (Boston) – The first all-sky maps developed by NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft, the initial mission to examine the global interactions occurring at the edge of the solar system, suggest that the galactic magnetic fields had a far greater impact on Earth’s history than previously conceived, and the future of our planet and others may depend, in part, on how the galactic magnetic fields change with time.<<<
    IMHO this is sounding more and more like the "reconnection" process all over again. Something the sun seems to be lacking these days.
    Might have something to do with our entry into the neighboring G cloud.
    See…Linksy & Readfield
    Cloud Tripping Through the Milky Ways
    http://jilawww.colorado.edu/research/highlights_archive/2009_summer/cloudTripping.html
    <

  6. Just another exciting example of the many surprises in store for humanity as we progress in our understanding of the universe. We should resist the temptation of thinking that we currently understand a lot when there is still so much we don’t know.
    Perhaps the field of climatology could benefit by remembering how much we don’t know – so much yet to learn.

  7. This is something which really tests my political philosophy. This was funded via US taxpayer dollars which I believe is unconstitutional; but I will be a hypocrite I think it is way cool what we have gotten for our money and won’t squawk about spending more.

  8. I have found an interesting publication about our sun via http://tbirdnow.mee.nu
    “Our sun: An Electro-Magnetic Plasma Diffuser that controls Earth’s climate.
    Under this title at: http://omatumr.com/ you can download a pdf file by Oliver Manuel, professor of nuclear chemistry at the University of Missouri-Columbia, arguing that neutron decay and not hydrogen fusion is the primary energy source of the sun.
    In fact, Dr. Manuel argues that the sun is a neutron star wrapped in an plasma “shell” He calls this a “clothed neutron star”.
    Why is this important? Well, for starters, it resolves the matter of missing neutrinos; the Sun puts out far fewer neutrinos than theory suggests, and that is because 65% of solar energy is not the result of fusion, but of neutron decay, according to Manuel`s theory. This also explains why the oxygen to carbon ratio is 2 to 1 inside the Sun”.
    Download the PDF “An Electro-Magnetic Plasma Diffuser that controls Earth’s climate” from this web site: http://omatumr.com/

  9. Charged particles in motion are otherwise known as “electricity”.
    These “surprises” are not surprising to those of us involved with the physics of the Plasma Universe.

  10. The National Geographic article of this story @ http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/10/091015-edge-solar-system-ribbon-ibex.html has a portion that gives me pause when thinking that these scientists are any more scientific than Warmist ‘Scientists.’ I think the analogy may be found as humorous (yet sad) for obvious reasons.
    “IBEX team member Eric Christian, of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, compared the Voyager spacecraft to weather stations on Earth.
    “Can you imagine trying to determine the weather of the entire Earth from two weather stations? You can’t do it,” Christian told reporters at a press conference this afternoon.
    “IBEX is like our first weather satellite, and it gives us the full picture [of the heliosphere].””

  11. In the context of the discussions of access to data (or lack of it) I find the following comment by the IBEX team encouraging:
    http://ibexwtst.space.swri.edu/researchers/publicdata.shtml
    “Public Data
    Every six months, IBEX makes a full map of ENAs from the heliosphere. The IBEX Science Team will release data related to these new maps twice a year. The data and documentation for them can be found on links on this page.
    (….)
    The IBEX team is delighted to work with outside scientists who want to work with IBEX data; ”
    It seems there are *some* guys out there who remember what science is supposed to be about.

  12. Richard Patton (13:17:08) : “This is something which really tests my political philosophy. This was funded via US taxpayer dollars which I believe is unconstitutional”
    Probably OK, c.f. Thomas Jefferson funding the Lewis and Clark Expedition for both scientific and commercial purposes.

  13. I just wish they would make that 2nd graphic with the solar system plane shown clearly inside of it, and a spot on it where the north pole of the sun strikes it.

  14. I wonder if a less dense lower velocity solar wind, like we are observing now, means more energetic neutral atoms are produced or less? Does anyone have information about how far energetic neutral atoms penetrate into Earth’s atmosphere?

  15. Tenuc (16:43:23) :
    I wonder if a less dense lower velocity solar wind, like we are observing now, means more energetic neutral atoms are produced or less? Does anyone have information about how far energetic neutral atoms penetrate into Earth’s atmosphere?
    To, 1AU Earth orbits a density field that varies with solar radation pressure. (solar cycle intensity variable)

  16. I am definitly glad to see the info coming in. I have been waiting for this data for quite some time now. The next thing that will be interesting will be to see how it changes over time and solar cycles (whenever they start ramping up again anyway)

  17. Lucky the IBEX modelers weren’t like the Mann-O-Matic hockey team, otherwise they would have inverted the data to get rid of the ribbon and called the results, a robust fit with their models…. :-0

  18. The intriguing “ribbon” or “belt” at the interstellar boundary is the outer edge of the Solar System in the equatorial plane.
    An axial supernova explosion of the Sun gave birth to the solar system [Transactions Missouri Academy Sciences 9, 104-122 (1975); Nature 262, 28-32 (1976); Science 195, 208-209 (1977); Robert Welch Foundation Conference on Chemical Research XII. Cosmochemistry, pp 263-272 (1978); Nature 277, 615-620 (1979); Meteoritics 15, 117-138 (1980)] – just like the axial explosion of SN1987A.
    That is why the ribbon or belt exists only be in the equatorial plane, not in the polar region where material was ejected much further from the Sun.
    That is also why comets from the supernova explosion have elongated elliptical orbits in the equatorial plane about the Sun but are not in polar orbits.
    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  19. J.Hansford (19:47:59) :
    Lucky the IBEX modelers weren’t like the Mann-O-Matic hockey team, otherwise they would have inverted the data to get rid of the ribbon and called the results, a robust fit with their models…. :-0
    10-4, roger

  20. As some else here said :
    Charged particles in motion are otherwise known as “electricity”.
    I`m not a proponent of many of the trippy Plasma Universe/Electric Universe theories (like interplanetary lightning, moving planets etc), BUT, quite obviously the basic part of their theory is spot on. Elecricity/Plasma/Magnetism is a major force in the universe, and it is certainly greatly underestimated by regular astrophysicists.
    The asto-physics community should be ashamed of themselves for they way they have treated the Plasma Universe theories. Once again we science being corrupted. Then again, given some their wacky theories, part of that blame lies with them too ?

  21. Carla (17:20:58) :
    If someone even gave something as simple as a map with RA and Dec, I could tell what I was looking at. There is no way on Earth someone looking at this can tell the different axis, if they didn’t already know.
    Am I getting through yet?
    Reference point, reference point, reference point.
    I appreciate your efforts, truly. But without prior knowledge, there is nothing to relate to.

  22. Paul Linsay (15:17:24) :
    ****
    Richard Patton (13:17:08) : “This is something which really tests my political philosophy. This was funded via US taxpayer dollars which I believe is unconstitutional”
    Probably OK, c.f. Thomas Jefferson funding the Lewis and Clark Expedition for both scientific and commercial purposes.
    *****
    Ah, yes. I had forgotten about that. I guess that it would be wise to see what the writers of the Constitution thought it meant than to open my mouth and insert foot.

  23. So…models aren’t alway right….hmmm….who knew?
    [REPLY – On the other hand, it’s so nice to know they’re never unusable. #B^1 ~ Evan]

  24. “unexpected” “surprising” “surprisingly”
    “[…] than previously conceived”
    “It was really surprising that the models did not generate features at all like […] observed”
    Another great laugh.

  25. Louis Hissink (14:18:57) :
    Hissink wrote: “Charged particles in motion are otherwise known as “electricity”.
    These ‘surprises’ are not surprising to those of us involved with the physics of the Plasma Universe.”
    From the instant post:
    “…[T]he existence of the ribbon is ‘remarkable’ says Geoffrey Crew, a Research Scientist at MIT and the Software Design Lead for IBEX. ‘It suggests that the galactic magnetic fields are much stronger and exert far greater stresses on the heliosphere than we previously believed.’ ”
    Yes, electric currents cause magnetic fields.
    Welcome to the Plasma Universe.

  26. It would be interesting and useful to see Dr. Svalgaard’s view on the subject.
    Also: what the HCS role might be if any regarding the ribbon shape, considering that in the area concerned, HCS may be flattened and field aligned ?

  27. rbateman (16:09:05) :
    “I just wish they would make that 2nd graphic with the solar system plane shown clearly inside of it, and a spot on it where the north pole of the sun strikes it.”
    Robert, this graphic may help, I had it posted in my thread elsewhere a year ago (it has been brutally dealt with without any consideration to the many contributors ), but you can find it here:
    http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/255884main_STEREO_ENAs_HI.jpg
    Dark brown area is approximate ‘ribbon’ location, and the observer is looking into the North pole. Carla might have a better idea of the Earth’s current location, I think it is not far out from the one shown in the graphic.
    Article related to it is about a year old, but still very relevant.
    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/stereo/news/invisible_frontier.html

  28. vukcevic (06:27:17) :
    Thank you for that graphic.
    It really is the originators of the report (IBEX in this case) that need to do this.

  29. Ron de Haan (14:12:59) :
    Why is this important? Well, for starters, it resolves the matter of missing neutrinos; the Sun puts out far fewer neutrinos than theory suggests
    Manuel’s ‘theory’ is pure nonsense. And there is no neutrino problem. The Sun puts out precisely what theory predicts. With detectors that were only sensitive to electron neutrinos we only saw 1/3 the neutrinos expected. With modern detectors we see all three types and the flux is just as expected. The resolution of the ‘problem’ is that neutrinos change their ‘flavor’ [of which there are there – hence the 1/3] in flight. There is no problem.
    vukcevic (05:26:30) :
    Also: what the HCS role might be if any regarding the ribbon shape, considering that in the area concerned, HCS may be flattened and field aligned ?
    For the zillionth time: Magnetic changes cannot travel upstream in the solar wind. The IBEX data gives us information about the outer heliosphere, not the inner.
    James F. Evans (01:11:13) :

    Welcome to the Plasma Universe.

    Another piece of nonsense. The galactic magnetic field interacts with the plasma of the heliopause and the resulting electric currents deforms the heliosphere, just like for the Earth’s magnetosphere.

  30. Leif Svalgaard (11:54:25) :
    “For the zillionth ” (10E3n where n tends to infinity?) “time: Magnetic changes cannot travel upstream in the solar wind. The IBEX data gives us information about the outer heliosphere, not the inner.”
    I accept you point about upstream, it isn’t what I had in mind, perhaps my question was not properly phrased.
    Quote:” At the boundary of our Solar System, the interactions between solar wind particles and interstellar medium particles create Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENAs), particles with no charge that move very fast”
    http://www.ibex.swri.edu/
    Dave McComas, IBEX Principal Investigator states “interactions between solar wind particles and interstellar medium particles. ”
    According to McComas, the ribbon seems to be full of charged particles, which seem to have been concentrated along its length – but how they got there is a mystery…. The ribbon appears to be produced by the alignment of magnetic fields outside our heliosphere.
    I was enquiring if HCS might have role (if any) in forming ‘the ribbon’ along the line of interaction. Considering HCS may be flattened and field aligned, of much reduced strength (due to the radial dispersal), possibly partialy diffused into the stronger galactic magnetic field, giving it the observed alignment.

  31. Dr. Salgaard wrote: “Another piece of nonsense. The galactic magnetic field interacts with the plasma of the heliopause and the resulting electric currents deforms the heliosphere, just like for the Earth’s magnetosphere.”
    It’s becoming increasing clear Dr. Svalgaard’s ideas are nonsense.
    At least the NASA researchers have the good sense to acknowledge their models were wrong — apparently Dr. Svalgaard doesn’t.
    NASA: “Moreover, electric current causes magnetic fields (see Electromagnetism)…”
    http://stargazers.gsfc.nasa.gov/resources/electricity.htm
    Galactic magnetic fields are caused by galactic electric currents.
    Dr. Svalgaard stands up as an old bull of outdated dogma.
    The science is passing you by…
    Time and additional discoveries will only make that more evident.

  32. The remotest inhabited place on Earth is the tiny island of Rapa Nui also known as Easter Island. When the Polynesians first settled it around 500 AD it was a lush island filled with gigantic trees. At its heyday there were about 10,000 inhabitants on the island. This was unsustainable and wars and ecological desecration decimated the population. When the Europeans (Dutch) visited them in 1722 there just a few hundred and not a tree grew there.
    In 1200 years of isolation the Islanders forgot that they came from somewhere else and thought they were the only people on Earth.
    Rapa Nui is a microcosm of the Earth.
    We have similarly forgotten, among other things, that our Earth is in fact a tiny island floating in the great ocean of space.
    As we float along we encounter space debris, storms and dust from far beyond the frontiers of our island that effect us, sometimes greatly.

  33. Quotation from Physics World:
    “According to McComas [IBEX principal investigator], the ribbon seems to be full of charged particles, which seem to have been concentrated along its length –- but how they got there is a mystery.
    IBEX data suggest the alignment of the ribbon is related to the local interstellar magnetic field, which could mean that its origins lie outside of the solar system. The ribbon also appears to have a fine structure, suggesting that the ion concentrations vary along its length.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/40676

  34. Leif Svalgaard (11:54:25) :
    Welcome to the Plasma Universe.
    Another piece of nonsense. The galactic magnetic field interacts with the plasma of the heliopause and the resulting electric currents deforms the heliosphere, just like for the Earth’s magnetosphere.

    Mr. Svalgaard might want to consider these further details obtained in cooperation with Cassini, describing a spherical heliosphere, not an elongated “teardrop”.
    http://www.physorg.com/news174908954.html

    “These images have revolutionized what we thought we knew for the past 50 years; the sun travels through the galaxy not like a comet but more like a big, round bubble,” said Stamatios Krimigis of the Applied Physics Lab, in Laurel, Md., principal investigator for Cassini’s Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument which carries the Ion and Neutral Camera. “It’s amazing how a single new observation can change an entire concept that most scientists had taken as true for nearly fifty years.”

    The Ion and Neutral Camera images suggest that the solar wind’s interaction with the interstellar medium is instead more significantly controlled by particle pressure and magnetic field energy density.
    “The map we’ve created from the images suggests that pressure from a hot population of charged particles and interaction with the interstellar medium’s magnetic field strongly influence the shape of the heliosphere,” says Don Mitchell, Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument/Ion and Neutral Camera co-investigator at the Applied Physics Lab.

    Taken as a whole, this information about the belt and accompanying stringy ribbon structure, spherical heliosphere, etc., suggests a toroidal ring current surrounding a spherical double layer (heliosheath) within a galactic “Bennett pinch” (indicated by the surrounding charged particle’s high temperature and pressure, and apparently strong magnetic field).
    Pretty much expected in Plasma Cosmology/Electric Universe.

  35. There are discrepancies between the reports from the University of Chicago and from Boston University.
    1. Chicago – “The outgoing solar wind blows at 900,000 miles an hour, crashing into a 60,000-mile-an-hour “breeze” of incoming interstellar gas.”
    Boston – “..the solar wind, which continually emanates from the Sun at millions of miles per hour, slams into the magnetized medium of charged particles, atoms and dust that pervades the galaxy and is diverted around the system.”
    Big difference between the speeds given by the two reports. Also Chicago suggests that the incoming interstellar gas also has a speed of 60,000 mph (relative to what? I wonder)
    2. Chicago – “Energetic protons create forces as they move through the [interstellar] magnetic field, and when the protons are bathed in interstellar neutrals, they produce energetic neutral atoms.”
    This doesnt sound right. If protons crash against “interstellar neutrals”, whatever they maybe, (Neutrons?), how could they produce neutral atoms? That should only be possible with interactions with electrons or negative ions.
    Boston – “As the solar wind travels outward, it sweeps up newly formed “pickup ions,” which arise from the ionization of neutral particles drifting in from interstellar space. IBEX measures energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) traveling at speeds of roughly half a million to two and a half million miles per hour. These ENAs are produced from the solar wind and pick-up ions in the boundary region between the heliosphere and the local interstellar medium.”
    That sounds more correct.
    As for solrey (18:25:10) quoting ““It’s amazing how a single new observation can change an entire concept that most scientists had taken as true for nearly fifty years.” – One could only be “amazed” if a) one had an original concept, b) one understood the new concept and c) one understood the difference. (Old concept like a comet, New concept like a bubble? hmmm… pretty amazing I guess)

  36. vukcevic (13:42:07) :
    Quote:” At the boundary of our Solar System, the interactions between solar wind particles and interstellar medium particles create Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENAs), particles with no charge that move very fast”
    Why the ENAs when it is about magnetic fields?
    I was enquiring if HCS might have role (if any) in forming ‘the ribbon’ along the line of interaction. Considering HCS may be flattened and field aligned, of much reduced strength (due to the radial dispersal), possibly partialy diffused into the stronger galactic magnetic field, giving it the observed alignment.
    The HCS does nothing in itself. The fields on either side are involved in the interaction. The HCS begins to dissove at the heliopause as the field is shocked and tangled.
    James F. Evans (14:45:04) :
    NASA: “Moreover, electric current causes magnetic fields (see Electromagnetism)…”
    Galactic magnetic fields are caused by galactic electric currents.

    In general, it takes an electric current to create a magnetic field is ordinary life [and that was what NASA’s piece was about].
    In cosmic plasmas the magnetic field is the cause of the currents in material moving relative to the magnetic field.
    solrey (18:25:10) :
    The Ion and Neutral Camera images suggest that the solar wind’s interaction with the interstellar medium is instead more significantly controlled by particle pressure and magnetic field energy density.
    Precisely, the magnetic field is responsible for the interaction.
    toroidal ring current surrounding a spherical double layer (heliosheath) within a galactic “Bennett pinch” (indicated by the surrounding charged particle’s high temperature and pressure, and apparently strong magnetic field).
    As you say, the ring current is generated by the strong magnetic field.

  37. Leif Svalgaard (00:42:06) :
    The HCS does nothing in itself. The fields on either side are involved in the interaction. The HCS begins to dissolve at the heliopause as the field is shocked and tangled.
    Ok, but that may not be certainty, since all predictions about this area are not coming to fruition.
    Let’s consider following scenario: magnetic field is carried by charged particles creating a field aligned current, so it can be assumed the same applies to the galactic charged particles flow (very distant from the source). Two ‘field aligned currents’ flowing in the same direction (in this case skirting along boundary of heliosphere, solar from within, galactic from without) will attract each other. This would allow mixing and neutralising of particles, as well as the abundance of leftover (non-neutralised) particles, but only in the areas where remaining parts of solar wind skirt the boundary, hence ribbon appearance.
    This would explain :” the ribbon seems to be full of charged particles, which seem to have been concentrated along its length – but how they got there is a mystery…”
    I am inclined to believe that interaction is from the HCS, since it is a ‘ribbon shaped’ rather than due to faster polar solar wind, in which case it would be a much wider spread. If so, as one of discoverers of the HCS, your contribution to science might be further enhanced (just trying to swing around your judgment).

  38. Mr. Svalgaard, I think you forgot one important detail,

    The map we’ve created from the images suggests that pressure from a hot population of charged particles and interaction with the interstellar medium’s magnetic field strongly influence the shape of the heliosphere.

    that detail is “pressure from a hot population of charged particles…” in addition to the magnetic field influencing the spherical shape of the heliosphere.
    (it’s not just a band of ENA’s that was discovered)
    They have also described filaments of charged particles in the ribbon/belt, which are field aligned electric currents, a.k.a. Birkeland currents.
    Mr. Svalgaard, when you say,

    Precisely, the magnetic field is responsible for the interaction.

    As you say, the ring current is generated by the strong magnetic field.

    you seem to fail to consider the other half of the equation…the charged particles in the surrounding interstellar medium.
    I’m curious about your thoughts on the spherical shape of the heliosphere, which prompted the declaration, “These images have revolutionized what we thought we knew for the past 50 years.”.
    peace

  39. vukcevic (04:22:21) :
    Ok, but that may not be certainty, since all predictions about this area are not coming to fruition.
    Is an invalid argument, especially the word ‘all’.
    Let’s consider following scenario: magnetic field is carried by charged particles creating a field aligned current
    The current [in the HCS] is perpendicular to the magnetic field. So all the rest is moot.
    I am inclined to believe that interaction is from the HCS, since it is a ‘ribbon shaped’ rather than due to faster polar solar wind, in which case it would be a much wider spread.
    Perhaps clean up the sentence as it is ungrammatical to the point of not being comprehensible.
    http://www.leif.org/research/HCS3.png [b] shows a vertical cut through the HCS, and http://www.leif.org/research/HCS-Movie-hi.gif shows a movie of the speed structure [which is tied to the HCS – where the speed is low].
    solrey (05:42:18) :
    Mr. Svalgaard, I think you forgot one important detail,
    that detail is “pressure from a hot population of charged particles…”

    There is a misconception here [and an important one]. The ISM and the solar wind are both electrically neutral, as is a plasma in general. The pressure has nothing to do with the electrical properties of the medium. It comes from the gas bing hot. The same process takes place around the Earth where the pressure of the particles in the solar wind is balancing the pressure of the Earth’s magnetic field.
    I’m curious about your thoughts on the spherical shape of the heliosphere, which prompted the declaration, “These images have revolutionized what we thought we knew for the past 50 years.”.
    There is the usual NASA hype here. The shape of the heliosphere is determined by the pressure balance between the ISM and the solar wind and the solar wind moves 20 times faster than the relative speed of the Sun and the ISM, so will be the determining factor, so one would not expect a long comet-like tail. Especially not, since the interstellar magnetic field is not aligned with the direction in which the Sun is moving.

  40. vukcevic (04:22:21) :
    Let’s consider following scenario: magnetic field is carried by charged particles creating a field aligned current
    The current [in the HCS] is perpendicular to the magnetic field. So all the rest is moot.
    Let me elaborate a bit on this. The HMF is not created by the HCS, rather, the HMF maintains the HCS due to gyrations of the particles. The HCS is thus a purely local phenomenon: there is no large-scale heliospheric electric current system keeping everything neatly organized. When the magnetic field becomes weak enough that the gyro radius becomes so large compared to the irregularities in the field [termination shock], the HCS begins to break down and dissolve.

  41. Adolfo Giurfa (08:48:20) :
    It seems that there are two currents, one going out and the other coming in. Is this so?
    So, not really. The HCS is a ‘drift current’ and need not close in the same manner as a ‘battery’ current. A similar thing happens with the equatorial Ring Current in the Earth’s magnetosphere. It is caused by particles drifting in the inhomogeneous magnetic field.

  42. Adolfo Giurfa (08:48:20) :
    It seems that there are two currents, one going out and the other coming in. Is this so?
    No, not really. The current in the HCS is a ‘drift’ current due to particles drifting in opposite directions on either side of the magnetic field change. Another drift current is the Ring Current around the Earth. It also does not have a closing current in the usual sense.

  43. Leif Svalgaard (09:45:31) : What I meant it was a outward “wind” and an incoming “wind”. Though some think the Sun as being an anode and out there a cathode.

  44. Leif Svalgaard (11:54:25) :
    Ron de Haan (14:12:59) :
    Why is this important? Well, for starters, it resolves the matter of missing neutrinos; the Sun puts out far fewer neutrinos than theory suggests
    Manuel’s ‘theory’ is pure nonsense. And there is no neutrino problem. The Sun puts out precisely what theory predicts. With detectors that were only sensitive to electron neutrinos we only saw 1/3 the neutrinos expected. With modern detectors we see all three types and the flux is just as expected. The resolution of the ‘problem’ is that neutrinos change their ‘flavor’ [of which there are there – hence the 1/3] in flight. There is no problem.
    Oliver K. Manuel (20:01:38) :
    The intriguing “ribbon” or “belt” at the interstellar boundary is the outer edge of the Solar System in the equatorial plane.
    An axial supernova explosion of the Sun gave birth to the solar system [Transactions Missouri Academy Sciences 9, 104-122 (1975); Nature 262, 28-32 (1976); Science 195, 208-209 (1977); Robert Welch Foundation Conference on Chemical Research XII. Cosmochemistry, pp 263-272 (1978); Nature 277, 615-620 (1979); Meteoritics 15, 117-138 (1980)] – just like the axial explosion of SN1987A.
    That is why the ribbon or belt exists only be in the equatorial plane, not in the polar region where material was ejected much further from the Sun.
    That is also why comets from the supernova explosion have elongated elliptical orbits in the equatorial plane about the Sun but are not in polar orbits.
    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel”
    Leif, as you can see, Oliver K. Manuel is posting on this blog.
    Would it not be practical if comments are exchanged on a 1:1 basis?

  45. In same vein…
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8311000/8311373.stm
    Cosmic pattern to UK tree growth
    By Matt Walker
    Editor, Earth News
    The growth of British trees appears to follow a cosmic pattern, with trees growing faster when high levels of cosmic radiation arrive from space.
    Researchers made the discovery studying how growth rings of spruce trees have varied over the past half a century.
    As yet, they cannot explain the pattern, but variation in cosmic rays impacted tree growth more than changes in temperature or precipitation.(…)
    “The correlation between growth and cosmic rays was moderately high, but the correlation with the climatological variables was barely visible,” Ms Dengel told the BBC.
    (…)

  46. Ron de Haan (10:23:47) :
    Leif, as you can see, Oliver K. Manuel is posting on this blog.
    Would it not be practical if comments are exchanged on a 1:1 basis?

    We have been there before with Manuel. My comment was directed at you, because you were posting a false claim [that there is a neutrino problem]. So it was to set you straight. Manuel is a lost cause.

  47. Adolfo Giurfa (10:10:51) :
    What I meant it was a outward “wind” and an incoming “wind”. Though some think the Sun as being an anode and out there a cathode.
    They are wrong. There is no incoming ‘wind’.

  48. Dr. Svalgaard presents solrey’s comment: “Mr. Svalgaard, I think you forgot one important detail, that detail is “pressure from a hot population of charged particles…”
    Dr. Svalgaard responds: “There is a misconception here [and an important one]. The ISM and the solar wind are both electrically neutral, as is a plasma in general. The pressure has nothing to do with the electrical properties of the medium. It comes from the gas bing hot. The same process takes place around the Earth where the pressure of the particles in the solar wind is balancing the pressure of the Earth’s magnetic field.”
    Dr. Svalgaard’s idea has been demonstrated as false:
    The helio current sheet is part of the solar wind, the most dynamic, therefore, most important part of the solar wind.
    The reason it is referred to as the helio “current” sheet is that a stream of charged particles flows out in an electrically charged current. In astrophysics, when a “current” is referred to, the “electric” is implied. I have received specific acknowledgment of this construction from other astrophysicists.
    Dr.Svalgaard is in a minority in astrophysical circles, led by Eugene N. Parker that are stuck in the 1960’s ideas of “hot gas” and “kinetics” as the proper physical model, which current in situ satellite probe observations & measurements have invalidated as outdated, except for a minority dedicated to an “electric neutral” view of space dynamics.
    The ISM, interstellar magnetic field, is not simply constituted of “hot gas” and “kinetics”, but rather charged particles in motion, it’s the charged particles in motion which cause the magnetic fields. Magnetic fields are dissipated by “hot gas” and random “kinetics”, the same way that a bar magnet loses it’s magnetic attractive force if heated to high temperatures. So, reliance on “hot gas” and random “kinetics” (“hot gas” is in essence in radom “kinetic motion) is antithetical to magnetic fields and certainly isn’t the cause of magnetic fields, rather, ordered motion, consistent with electric current, explains interstellar magnetic fields.
    Dr. Svalgaard presents the statement: “NASA: ‘Moreover, electric current causes magnetic fields (see Electromagnetism)…’ Galactic magnetic fields are caused by galactic electric currents.”
    Dr. Svalgaard responds: “In general, it takes an electric current to create a magnetic field is ordinary life [and that was what NASA’s piece was about].
    In cosmic plasmas the magnetic field is the cause of the currents in material moving relative to the magnetic field.”
    No, NASA’s piece was not limited to “ordinary life” (as if special, “new” physics applies only to space), it was foundational explanation of how electromagnetism works, both on the Earth’s surface and in space (there was no distinction made in the NASA webpage) — afterall, the whole website is dedicated to explaining space dynamics (a little detail that Dr. Svalgaard ignores).
    This is an inconvenient truth that Dr. Svalgaard can not get around. Per Maxwell’s equations for electromagnetism electric current and magnetic fields are two sides of the same coin, except that charged particles not in motion will still have an electric field, but will NOT have a magnetic field. It is the motion of the charged particles that generates the magnetic fields.
    Dr. Svalgaard presents solrey’s question: “I’m curious about your thoughts on the spherical shape of the heliosphere, which prompted the declaration, ‘These images have revolutionized what we thought we knew for the past 50 years.’.”
    To which Dr. Svalgaard responds: “There is the usual NASA hype here. The shape of the heliosphere is determined by the pressure balance between the ISM and the solar wind and the solar wind moves 20 times faster than the relative speed of the Sun and the ISM, so will be the determining factor, so one would not expect a long comet-like tail.”
    This statement ignores and contradicts Dr. Svalgaard’s own prior statement in this thread where he presented a comment: “Welcome to the Plasma Universe.”
    And Dr. Svalgaard responded: “Another piece of nonsense. The galactic magnetic field interacts with the plasma of the heliopause and the resulting electric currents deforms the heliosphere, just like for the Earth’s magnetosphere.”
    To highlight: “…just like for the Earth’s magnetosphere.”
    Readers of this website know that the Earth’s magnetosphere is shaped like a “tear drop” or a “comet”, in other words, a very elongated cone with a long “tail”, it is even referred to as the magnetotail.
    So when Dr. Svalgaard states, “…just like for the Earth’s magnetosphere,” the reader knows what he meant. Of course, this parrotted the researchers on the Cassini and IBEX in situ satellite probe projects, who stated the “comet” model is what they expected to find, but the model was wrong, and instead they observed & measured a “spherical shape of the heliosphere,” which “revolutionized what we thought we knew for the past 50 years”.
    Again, of course, Dr. Svalgaard made his comment, “just like for the Earth’s magnetosphere” before he knew that the researchers were reporting the “spherical shape of the heliosphere”.
    Once this fact was pointed out to him, and he became aware of this fact, Dr. Svalgaard tailored his subsequent comment, in perfect 20/20 hindsight, to match the “revolutionary” observations and measurements to suggest he knew it all along, when in fact his prior statement makes it quite clear that he didn’t.
    And, it was not NASA “hype”. All the researchers from the projects were saying the same thing and being consistent about the significance of the observation & measurement.
    Rather, Dr. Svalgaard’s personal revisionism is in line with his general posture on this website: Namely, that the science hasn’t changed and that the astrophysical fraternity knows all the dynamics of the Sun and the solar system, and by implication, deep-space as well.
    It’s clear they do not and Dr. Svalgaard should acknowledge this.

  49. Svalgaard writes:
    “The resolution of the ‘problem’ is that neutrinos change their ‘flavor’ [of which there are there – hence the 1/3] in flight. There is no problem.”
    MGmirkin responds:
    Groovy, any proof for your conjecture? Has anyone set up a neutrino observatory at the sun to measure neutrino flux there and shown that emissions at the source are different flavors than the flavors at the receiver? Until you do that, it’s merest conjecture and the problem still remains. Fanciful imaginings aside.
    You can’t tell in Portland, Oregon what boxcars were attached to a train or what those boxcars may have contained in New York, New York when it started simply by inspecting them in Portland. For all you know, the train may have stopped in multiple cities (Chicago, Boise), changing boxcars or emptying and reloading with different contents. Or, it may have made a non-stop trip with no changes whatsoever. The only way to know the original distribution of boxcars and contents is to sample them at each stop along the way.
    Simply hand-wavingly claiming to KNOW that neutrinos changed flavor en route is a bit of a cop-out and really needs to be backed up with confirmatory observations. Or admit that it’s merely a working hypothesis and not set-in-stone fact.
    Svalgaard writes:
    “In cosmic plasmas the magnetic field is the cause of the currents in material moving relative to the magnetic field.”
    And how do we know that this only works in one direction in space? That is to say, why cannot an electric potential generate a current which generates the observed magnetic fields? IE, why is space “special”? Should not laws that work on Earth also work in space? And things shown to be true in the lab also be true in space? Just saying.
    For instance, the fact that discharges in low density gases (AKA, plasma) are not “ideal.” That is to say plasma is not an ideal conductor (AKA, a super-conductor), it has non-zero valued resistance. As such, unbalanced charges do not instantly neutralize, electric fields can and do exist within a plasma and magnetic fields cannot be “frozen-in” to plasma.
    This is quite easy to deduce from the Voltage versus Current graphs of plasma discharge regimes available from glow-discharge.com -> Physical Background -> Glow Discharges -> Discharge Regimes.
    At no place on the graphs is V ever 0 valued (other than at origin where no current flows). It is always positive when current does flow. Ergo V / I (Voltage over Current; that is to say: the Resistance R [in the form R = (V/I)]) is never zero-valued.
    As such, magnetic fields are not “frozen-in” to plasma, or “carried along with it.” They require currents and those currents, I assume generally require a voltage potential (that is to say, an electric field; implying charges can be non-trivially separated between differing regions of a plasma).
    So, I guess I’ll repeat the question: does the relation only work one way (magnetic fields induce electric currents), or can both processes coexist in space plasma as they do in the lab (including electric fields / potential drops inducing electric currents, which in turn generate the magnetic fields we often see in space)? Seems sensible enough to me.
    Svalgaard writes:
    “The ISM and the solar wind are both electrically neutral, as is a plasma in general.”
    Ehh, I think that’s incorrect, actually. It’s only ‘quasi-neutral’ “as is plasma in general.” That is to say that it contains approximately equal proportions of ions and dissociated electrons.
    It is not composed entirely of ‘neutral’ atoms (bound nuclei with a corresponding number of bound electrons), however. Seems like a moot point, but methinks not. Unlike many TRULY neutral materials, plasma is a quite good conductor of ye olde electric currents due to the mobility of its charge carriers protons, +ions and electrons. Granted it’s low-density so charge and current density would also be low. But still. Again, just saying, it’s ‘quasi-neutral,’ not completely ‘neutral’ (AKA, solid / gas phase bound atoms).
    And due to critical velocity effects, plasma will sometime ionize previously neutral materials turning them into … plasma. Go figure.
    And, again, quasi-neutrality does not mean non-conductive.
    As, in a glow discharge, the “positive column” tends to be ‘quasi-neutral’ (appx equal +ions and electrons), however the weak electric field in that region does cause a drift of charged particles, superimposed on their random thermal motions.
    May not be 100% germane to the discussion (slightly tangential), but some useful tidbits nonetheless.
    Svalgaard writes:
    “one would not expect a long comet-like tail.”
    Umm, then why was every EXPECTING the heliosphere to be comet shaped? And why is everyone thus so flustered that Cassini seems to have also shown this NOT to be the case? See the Science Daily article entitled: Cassini Helps Redraw Shape Of Solar System. From the article: “It’s amazing how a single new observation can change an entire concept that most scientists had taken as true for nearly fifty years.” Their statements seem to belie your contention that one would not expect a comet shaped heliosphere. Apparently they DID, and their surprised exclamations confirm it.
    Svalgaard writes:
    “The HCS is thus a purely local phenomenon: there is no large-scale heliospheric electric current system keeping everything neatly organized.” & “They are wrong. There is no incoming ‘wind’.”
    And yet…
    Wikipedia writes:
    “The electric current in the heliospheric current sheet is directed radially inward, the circuit being closed by outward currents aligned with the Sun’s magnetic field in the solar polar regions.”
    So, which way floweth the wind(s), and/or currents? Outward (“solar wind”)? Inward (heliospheric current sheet)? Are the WPedians following the motions of protons (conventional current) or electrons (electron current) when specifying the “direction” of the HCS (convention says the motion of protons should be considered, though I seem to recall Alfvén may have followed the motion of electrons in a few of his diagrams)? Keeping in mind that in an electric field, opposite charges will feel an accelerating force in opposite directions. That is to say one species of charges will feel an accelerating force applied in the direction of the anode and the opposite species in the direction of the cathode. Which species actually converts that accelerating force to motion depends perhaps on the materials (metal, electrolyte, plasma, etc.)
    And it does seem they say that the HCS “closes,” that is to say, there’s a current equatorially and polarly, and one assumes they do close with one another, not unlike Afvén’s diagram (from “Double Layers in Astrophysics”) describing a unipolar inductor analogy for galaxies (and, considering the similarity in structure, potentially for the solar system as well).
    plasma-universe.com/index.php/Image:Galactic-inductor.jpg
    Best,
    ~MG

  50. James F. Evans (14:03:36) :
    It’s clear they do not and Dr. Svalgaard should acknowledge this.
    Almost everything in your post is wrong, so it is hard to comment specifically [and won’t have any effect anyway]. Perhaps, on small thing: “The reason it is referred to as the helio “current” sheet is that a stream of charged particles flows out in an electrically charged current.”
    I was one of the discoverers of the HCS, so may be permitted to comment on it. The direction of the current changes every 11 years. This happens because the current is generated by solar wind particles gyrating about the magnetic field, and since the magnetic field in the heliosphere switches polarity every 11 years [at solar maximum], the drift current switches direction too. Near solar maximum, the HCS looks like (c) in http://www.leif.org/research/HCS3.png which is a North-South cut through the heliosphere.
    But, your whole post is so far off that one can only lament the state of scientific literacy among some segments of the public.

  51. Dr. Leif Svalgaard:
    No.
    My post is right on the mark — you are part of a minority view point in solar astrophysics that maintains “hot gasses” and “kinetics” and “pressure gradients” drive solar system dynamics.
    In the 1960’s and 1970’s, this “hot gas” and “kinetics” model was overwhelmingly dominate in solar system astrophysics, but as in situ satellite probes were launched and observations & meaurements were made, evidence began to build that revealed the “hot gas”, “kinetics” model was inadequate to explain the forces in the solar system. The model was not a accurate representation of the physical reality.
    This process has only accelerated to the point that nearly every additional in situ satellite probe discovery confirms the dynamic presence of electromagnetic forces within the solar system, several have been reported this year alone, the reports highlighted in the instant post are only the latest.
    This is why NASA has devoted a whole series connected resource webpages where electromagnetism is a highlighted process in the solar system:
    http://stargazers.gsfc.nasa.gov/resources/sun_earth_background.htm
    So, while there are die-hards that maintain 1960’s model, you being one of them, that “hot gas”, “kinetic” model has slipped from the dominate majority view (perhaps “monolithic” view is more an accurate term) to being primarily a rear-guard action of a set rump ideas that are no longer actively demonstrated in the in situ satellite probe’s observations & measurements.
    Astrophysicists are openly acknowledging a solar system where electromagnetic processes are significant and meaningful to understanding the dynamics of the solar system.
    The “surprise” is that it’s growing to be less of a surprise when in situ satellite probes record observations & measurements that reflect electromagnetic processes of one kind or another.
    This change over is the triumph of observation & measurement over theory.
    I will add your personal revisionism speaks for itself and readers can inspect on their own and draw the appropriate conclusions.

  52. Michael Gmirkin (14:40:48) :
    Groovy, any proof for your conjecture? Has anyone set up a neutrino observatory at the sun to measure neutrino flux there and shown that emissions at the source are different flavors than the flavors at the receiver? Until you do that, it’s merest conjecture and the problem still remains. Fanciful imaginings aside.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_neutrino_problem has more on this. We also have observations of neutrino oscillations from nuclear power stations, so we are near to the sources. This is not conjecture.
    And how do we know that this only works in one direction in space? That is to say, why cannot an electric potential generate a current which generates the observed magnetic fields
    Of course it can, and it does. It is just that there are no electric fields in the rest frame of a highly conducting plasma, as they are immediately shorted out.
    And, again, quasi-neutrality does not mean non-conductive.
    Cosmical plasmas are to a good approximation just protons and electrons in equal numbers and are thus neutral, but are very good conductors.
    Their statements seem to belie your contention that one would not expect a comet shaped heliosphere. Apparently they DID, and their surprised exclamations confirm it.
    The shape of the heliosphere depends on the balance of two forces: the outward pressure of the solar wind and the inward pressure of the interstellar medium and the ram-pressure of the ISM as we move through it. The solar wind flows at 400 km/s, the ISM at 30 km/s, so much less and its pressure is thus much smaller than the solar wind pressure. What’s new is that the ISM is hotter than we thought, so its inward pressure is larger. This tends to render the contribution from the sun’s movement through the ISM much smaller, and thus not conducive for a ‘comet’-tail configuration.
    Wikipedia writes:
    “The electric current in the heliospheric current sheet is directed radially inward, the circuit being closed by outward currents aligned with the Sun’s magnetic field in the solar polar regions.”

    Well, Wikipedia is just wrong on this. The current reverses direction every 11 years and there is no polar current. Even if one believes [wrongly] that the magnetic field in the heliosphere is caused by the HCS, then since the HMF reserves sign at every solar maximum, the current in the HCS would have to reverse as well.

  53. James F. Evans (18:22:28) :
    Astrophysicists are openly acknowledging a solar system where electromagnetic processes are significant and meaningful to understanding the dynamics of the solar system.
    show me a single one…
    Now, you have carefully used the weasel word ‘electromagnetic’ which covers both situations. What we have learned is that the magnetic field as moved around by the neutral plasma is the shaper of things and drives the electric currents [e.g. in flares and magnetic storms] that are responsible for the various effects we see. Also, the word ‘dynamics’ is misused. The dynamics of the solar system has to do with the orbits and electromagnetism has [almost] nothing to do with that.
    The plasma/electric universe cult has things precisely backwards. But humor me and the folks and find for us some astrophysicists that are cult members, e.g. from IBEX team.

  54. Leif Svalgaard (14:47:33) :
    I was one of the discoverers of the HCS, so may be permitted to comment on it.

    Oh Leify…you gotta lotta ‘splainin’ to do.
    From Wiki:

    “The heliospheric current sheet was discovered by John M. Wilcox and Norman F. Ness, who published their finding in 1965

    Nowhere in the Wiki entry does it mention the name “Svalgaard” or “Leif. Also, the list of published papers on Leif’s own website begins with:
    First published paper:

    Svalgaard, L., Sector Structure of the Interplanetary Magnetic field and Daily Variation of the Geomagnetic Field at High Latitudes, Geofysiske Meddelelser, R-6, Danish Meteorological Institute, 1968.

    Post graduate work, I presume.
    Three years after the published discovery of the HCS from 1965.
    Second published paper:

    Svalgaard, L., Interplanetary Sector Structure during 4 Solar Cycles,
    Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, vol. 4, p.393, 1972.

    Do any of those first two papers even mention the HCS?
    Care to give a citation, backing the voracity of your announcement of being a pioneer in the discovery of the HCS?
    BTW, the same Wiki entry correlates magnetic fields with electric current.

    Near the surface of the Sun, the magnetic field produced by the radial electric current in the sheet is of the order of 5×10^−6 T.

    On the same entry, we discover the inward directed electric current of the HCS:

    The electric current in the heliospheric current sheet is directed radially inward, the circuit being closed by outward currents aligned with the Sun’s magnetic field in the solar polar regions. The total current in the circuit is on the order of 3×10^9 amperes. As a comparison with other astrophysical electric currents, the Birkeland currents that supply the Earth’s aurora are about a thousand times weaker at a million amperes. The maximum current density in the sheet is on the order of 10-10 A/m² (10-4 A/km²).

    Ever hear of “counter-flowing electrons”?
    You also stated that the heliosphere was analogous to the Earth’s magnetosphere, which is elongated/teardrop shaped, yet the data indicate that the heliosphere is in fact spherical. You invoked mechanical gas dynamics to explain the spherical form, yet that is the basis of the same theory that has been proven incorrect, in regards to the elongated/teardrop shape, and the “belt/ribbon”…at least.
    I now believe you are beyond disingenuous and view your credibility as less than nil, unless you can prove the voracity of your claim regarding the discovery of the Heliospheric Current Sheet.
    The proof is in the puddin’, “Doctor” Svalgaard.
    peace

  55. Amused, but becoming more confused.
    Michael Gmirkin (14:40:48) :
    And how do we know that this only works in one direction in space? That is to say, why cannot an electric potential generate a current which generates the observed magnetic fields
    Leif Svalgaard (19:12:59) :
    Of course it can, and it does. It is just that there are no electric fields in the rest frame of a highly conducting plasma, as they are immediately shorted out.
    Shorted out Leif???
    Have you seen/read the Cassini aticles? Or have you seen the little animation of the heliosphere and overlaid galactic magnetic field? They depict a field flow and was wondering if the direction was accurate in its relation to the heliospheres direction?
    Animation link.
    http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA12310

  56. Regarding the spherical heliosphere:

    Leif Svalgaard (08:34:21) :
    There is the usual NASA hype here.

    “Cassini-Huygens is a joint NASA/ESA/ASI mission”
    Cassini is the probe that collected the data indicating a spherical heliosphere.

    “The IBEX results are truly remarkable, with emissions not resembling any of the current theories or models of this never-before-seen region,” said David McComas of the Southwest Research Institute and IBEX principal investigator.

    Is the Southwest Research Institute a department within NASA, or is it an independent organization in cooperation with? I’m sure ESA is independent of NASA.
    Is NASA coordinating the “hype” among the various space organizations?
    What say you, Mr. Svalgaard?

  57. Never mind. My bad.
    🙂
    REPLY: Long comments (such as yours) often end up in the spam filter due to the likelihood that some word or phrase combination will trigger it. As I say to readers, if your post disappears, don’t immediately assume a nefarious motive. Patience works best. – Anthony

  58. Thanks, Anthony. That’s why I phrased it as a question, rather than an accusation. I don’t sense any nefarious intentions from you at all.
    peace

  59. solrey (19:31:40) :
    “The heliospheric current sheet was discovered by John M. Wilcox and Norman F. Ness, who published their finding in 1965
    Wilcox and Ness discovered what was called the ‘sector structure’ back in 1965. They did not know at that time that there was a HCS. Today we know [see e.g. http://www.leif.org/research/A%20View%20of%20Solar%20Magnetic%20Fields,%20the%20Solar%20Corona,%20and%20the%20Solar%20Wind%20in%20Three%20Dimensions.pdf ] that there is only ‘one’ sector boundary, namely the HCS. Wilcox and I produced the first sketch of what the HCS looked like [Figure 6 in paper above] in our paper in Nature in 1976. The HCS was only realized from then on.
    In http://www.oma.be/BIRA-IASB/Scientific/Topics/SpacePhysics/Outreach.html you can read: “The solar magnetic sector structure and associated warped heliospheric current sheet discovered by Wilcox and Svalgaard are first described.”.
    The whole concept of the HCS become generally accepted around 1976.
    On the same entry, we discover the inward directed electric current of the HCS:
    Well, as I said, the wiki is wrong. The current reverses direction every 11 years.
    Carla (19:53:38) :
    Shorted out Leif???
    Yes. Imagine you have a bunch of protons in one place and a bunch of electrons in another place. There would be a strong electric field between the two places and the protons and the electrons would attract each other with a force 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times greater than gravity. In a dilute cosmic plasma there would be virtually no resistance to the flow of the particles [which is a current] and they would VERY quickly find each other and short out the current flow.

  60. solrey (20:02:45) :
    NASA’s Cassini is the probe that collected the data indicating a spherical heliosphere.
    The Cassini press release actually said:
    “As the solar wind flows from the sun, it carves out a bubble in the interstellar medium. Models of the boundary region between the heliosphere and interstellar medium have been based on the assumption that the relative flow of the interstellar medium and its collision with the solar wind dominate the interaction. This would create a foreshortened “nose” in the direction of the solar system’s motion, and an elongated “tail” in the opposite direction.
    The Ion and Neutral Camera images suggest that the solar wind’s interaction with the interstellar medium is instead more significantly controlled by particle pressure and magnetic field energy density.
    “The map we’ve created from the images suggests that pressure from a hot population of charged particles and interaction with the interstellar medium’s magnetic field strongly influence the shape of the heliosphere,” says Don Mitchell, Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument/Ion and Neutral Camera co-investigator at the Applied Physics Lab. ”
    In interpreting this you have to look at the pressure balance. There is the solar wind outward pressure. That alone would create a spherical bubble. If there is a strong interstellar ‘wind’ that would deform the bubble into a ‘comet’, but the solar wind moves at 400 km/s and the interstellar ‘cross wind’ only at 30 km/s, so the deformation is slight. Now, there is a third element of the pressure balance: if there is a hot gas surrounding the bubble that hot gas would exert inwards pressure on the bubble from all sided tended to make it more round. And this is what we have discovered. That does not mean that everything we thought was wrong. People could and did theorize as above 30 years ago. What we didn’t know was how hot the medium was, but with that knowledge, the spherical bubble is no surprise.
    Whenever NASA or anybody else uses words like ‘breakthrough’, ‘revolutionize’, ‘overthrow’, etc, it is hype in my book. What we really have is yet another piece of the puzzle.

  61. solrey (20:02:45) :
    NASA’s Cassini is the probe that collected the data indicating a spherical heliosphere.
    Just to point out that the spherical heliosphere was one of the models under consideration a decade ago [and was in fact first proposed by Leverett Davis in 1955]:
    The Outer Heliosphere
    Authors: Axford, W. I.; Suess, S. T.
    From the Sun: Auroras Magnetic Storms, Solar Flares, Cosmic Rays, p. 143, Publication Date: 01/1998
    Abstract
    In explaining and describing the forces that shape the bubble of solar wind surrounding the Sun, there is a dearth of information. But observations from space are alleviating this situation. Three spacecraft moving away from the Sun-Pioneer 10 and Voyagers 1 and 2-are expected to penetrate the boundaries of the heliosphere within the next few years. All three spacecraft first passed close to Jupiter, and now their extended missions have become explorations of the outer heliosphere. The boundaries of the heliosphere are a standing “termination shock” in the solar wind surrounding the Sun and the “heliopause,” dividing the solar wind from the local interstellar medium. Uncertainties about the size and shape of these boundaries make it difficult to estimate exactly the time when the spacecraft will pass them. The termination shock may be nearly spherical or highly elongated, depending on how fast the local interstellar medium is flowing past the heliosphere. Pioneer 10, traveling downstream from the oncoming interstellar wind, may reach the termination shock first if, in fact, the shock is spherical. If the shock is elongated, having a larger dimension in the downstream direction, then Voyagers 1 and 2, traveling upstream, will encounter the shock first. Once these two spacecraft reach the termination shock, they will then pass through a region of solar wind plasma that has been heated by the shock. After a few years, they will pass the heliopause and go into the interstellar medium.
    —–
    We now know.

  62. solrey (19:31:40) :
    Here is our Nature article:
    Nature 262, 766-768 (26 August 1976) | doi:10.1038/262766a0;
    Structure of the extended solar magnetic field and the sunspot cycle variation in cosmic ray intensity
    LEIF SVALGAARD & JOHN M. WILCOX
    Abstract
    The interplanetary magnetic field within several astronomical units of the Sun appears to have one polarity in most of the hemisphere north of the solar equatorial plane and the opposite polarity in most of the hemisphere south of the equatorial plane1–7. The two hemispheres are separated by a curved current sheet that typically crosses the solar equatorial plane in either two or four places, thus dividing the equatorial region into either two or four sectors. Near sunspot minimum, at 1 AU the curved current sheet has a spread in latitude of typically 15°, so that the sector boundary (the current sheet separating the two hemispheres of opposed field polarity) is almost parallel to the solar equatorial plane. In the photosphere, on the other hand, the sector boundary makes an angle of 90° with the equatorial plane8. At 1.5 R, in 1972 and 1973, the angle between the sector boundary and the equatorial plane was 45° (ref. 9), and at 3–10 R the angle between boundary and plane was 25° (ref. 10). A schematic diagram of this structure for the case of four sectors is shown in Fig. 1. We here propose that a connection exists between the extent of these magnetic fields and the observed variations in cosmic ray intensity at the Earth.
    —-
    Figure 1 from that paper was ‘beautified’ by artist Werner Heil at Ames Research Center and is the well-known: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Heliospheric-current-sheet_edit.jpg image, I’m sure you have seen. It is on wiki.

  63. Leif Svalgaard,
    It is wonderful how consensus can make one so sure of themselves.
    ” And there is no neutrino problem. The Sun puts out precisely what theory predicts. With detectors that were only sensitive to electron neutrinos we only saw 1/3 the neutrinos expected. With modern detectors we see all three types and the flux is just as expected. The resolution of the ‘problem’ is that neutrinos change their ‘flavor’ [of which there are there – hence the 1/3] in flight. There is no problem.”
    You told us that there were experiments which “proved” neutrinos could change flavor. I looked up those experiments. Let’s just say low probability at best, wishful thinking or confirmation bias at worst. But, very expensive!!
    The other issue is the claim that neutrinos of 3 flavors and the right amount are measured at the earth to satisfy theory.
    There is a problem there. You, and I, do not KNOW what is actually leaving the sun because it has not been measured. Hopefully one of these expensive space missions will get close enough to settle that little issue. The detector should be quite innovative when they design it.
    Color me still sceptical.

  64. kuhnkat (22:45:28) :
    The other issue is the claim that neutrinos of 3 flavors and the right amount are measured at the earth to satisfy theory.
    That neutrinos oscillate is well established. All your hand-wringing about that we do not KNOW this or that is mooted by the K2K experiment, where a man-made neutrino beam is aimed at the detector 250 km away. So we know what is produced at the source and what we measure at the detector. Let me repeat: there is no neutrino problem.

  65. kuhnkat (22:45:28) :
    The other issue is the claim that neutrinos of 3 flavors and the right amount are measured at the earth to satisfy theory.
    The Sudbury detector is sensitive to and measures all three flavors and they add up to the expected electron neutrino flux that the Sun produces according to theory. One more time: there is no neutrino problem.

  66. Dr. Leif Svalgaard wrote: “The current reverses direction every 11 years.”
    Yes, but it still is an electric current, nevertheless.
    Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but they aren’t entitled to make up their own facts — there is an electric current in the helio current sheet.
    I appreciate your pioneering papers from the 1970’s, but this is the 21st century.
    So, “electromagnetic” is a weasel word. How so?
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “It is just that there are no electric fields in the rest frame of a highly conducting plasma, as they are immediately shorted out.”
    Any in situ satellite probe observation & measurement to confirm that statement or is it just speculation or conjecture?
    As i stated above, NASA has devoted a whole series of connected resource webpages where electromagnetism is a highlighted process in the solar system:
    http://stargazers.gsfc.nasa.gov/resources/sun_earth_background.htm
    Apparently, you are quick to ignore points you don’t like, but nave no effective response to and you are quick to dump on NASA…when it serves your purpose. It seems rather obvious that NASA considers electromagnetism important to understanding the solar system, not just the letters NASA but the organization, its astrophysicists, and those astrophysicists that advise NASA, as well.
    And as I stated before charged particles can have an electric field even when NOT in motion, but more important, as Langmuir noted when he named charged particles, “Plasma”, he did so because of its ability to self-organize in a fashion similar to living tissue, as Langmuir noted, like blood plasma.
    When you have no in situ observation & measurement to support your claims and laboratory plasma physics experiments show plasma will self-organize without shorting out, and maintain charge seperation, you should temper your comments because we see researchers making comments like these:
    “These images have revolutionized what we thought we knew for the past 50 years.”
    Well, I stand corrected…at least some astrophysicists are willing to admit they don’t know it all…

  67. James F. Evans (00:29:31) :
    Yes, but it still is an electric current, nevertheless.
    Of course it is a current, generated by the particles gyrating in the magnetic field, as all currents in plasmas in the Magnetic Universe.
    So, “electromagnetic” is a weasel word. How so?
    electromagnetic in physics is usually used about electromagnetic waves, i.e. light of various wave lengths. There is no ‘electromagnetic field’ for example. You can have an electric field or a magnetic field. In plasmas there is no electric field because the conductivity is so high that charge imbalances are shorted out immediately.
    As i stated above, NASA has devoted a whole series of connected resource webpages where electromagnetism is a highlighted process in the solar system
    From one of their webpages:
    “The dynamic interaction of the plasma and magnetic field produces electrical fields and currents in the North and South polar regions.”
    “These images have revolutionized what we thought we knew for the past 50 years.”
    Is hype [and incorrect], as I have pointed out.
    The spherical heliosphere was one of the models under consideration a decade ago [and was in fact first proposed by Leverett Davis in 1955]:
    The Outer Heliosphere
    Authors: Axford, W. I.; Suess, S. T.
    From the Sun: Auroras Magnetic Storms, Solar Flares, Cosmic Rays, p. 143, Publication Date: 01/1998
    Abstract
    In explaining and describing the forces that shape the bubble of solar wind surrounding the Sun, there is a dearth of information. But observations from space are alleviating this situation. Three spacecraft moving away from the Sun-Pioneer 10 and Voyagers 1 and 2-are expected to penetrate the boundaries of the heliosphere within the next few years. All three spacecraft first passed close to Jupiter, and now their extended missions have become explorations of the outer heliosphere. The boundaries of the heliosphere are a standing “termination shock” in the solar wind surrounding the Sun and the “heliopause,” dividing the solar wind from the local interstellar medium. Uncertainties about the size and shape of these boundaries make it difficult to estimate exactly the time when the spacecraft will pass them. The termination shock may be nearly spherical or highly elongated, depending on how fast the local interstellar medium is flowing past the heliosphere. Pioneer 10, traveling downstream from the oncoming interstellar wind, may reach the termination shock first if, in fact, the shock is spherical. If the shock is elongated, having a larger dimension in the downstream direction, then Voyagers 1 and 2, traveling upstream, will encounter the shock first. Once these two spacecraft reach the termination shock, they will then pass through a region of solar wind plasma that has been heated by the shock. After a few years, they will pass the heliopause and go into the interstellar medium.
    —–
    We now know as observations have shown us what the situation is like. In the past we had several options open because we didn’t know which one it would be, but our ideas have not been overturned, just refined.
    And you have still not provided us with a list of astrophysicists believing in the Electric Plasma Universe. Everybody I know in this field agree that we live in a Magnetic Plasma Universe.

  68. James F. Evans (00:29:31) :
    In the solar wind plasma there is no electric field. Now, the solar wind plasma blows with velocity V past the magnetic field B of the Earth, so in the frame of the Earth there will be an electric field E = – V x B. This electric field drives a current across the magnetosphere eventually giving rise to aurorae etc. This is an example of a current produced by a plasma moving in a magnetic field. The current also generates a magnetic field of its own that we can measure on the ground as a magnetic [sub]storm. Changes in that magnetic field can induce electrical currents in power lines and damage those. These electrical currents have their own magnetic field, etc, etc, etc. This chain also goes in the other direction, where the magnetic field of the Earth is the result of electric currents generated by the dynamo inside the core, by circulating conducting fluid iron moving across the magnetic field there, which originally came from the magnetic field in the solar system planetary disk, which eventually came from etc, etc, etc. All of these things hang together in a inseparable web going back to the primordial magnetic field created by who knows.

  69. I came across this old NASA’s sketch of heliosphere
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NASAheliosphere.jpg
    which clearly shows that the author believed the solar magnetic field lines as well as HCS form closed loops.
    If so, it would enable existence of electro-magnetic feedback not only from planetary magnetospheres but also from the interactions with galactic currents and magnetic fields, as I have suggested some time ago in my hypothesis related to solar cycle periodicity. The hypothesis is persistently rejected on grounds that neither of the above (SMF & HCS) form a closed circuit, hence feedback is not possible.

  70. The “ribbon,” is and should be of much interest to us in this particular epoch.
    The “ribbon,” is shown to pass vertically thru the heliosphere, with high energies at between 40-60 deg. N. Imaging from the interior of the heliosphere correspond with exterior imaging.
    Exterior image.
    http://www.ibex.swri.edu/multimedia/img/datamap2.8-5.6.jpg
    Interior.
    Direct Observations of Interstellar H, He, and O by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer
    …Previously, only neutral He had been observed, first by Ulysses outside 1.5 AU (8, 9) and then by IMAGE at 1 AU (10). Here, we present Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) observations of the interstellar neutral H, He, and O flow from January through April 2009. With the IBEX
    sensors pointing radially outward on a spacecraft whose spin axis points Sunward (11), the LISM flow is in the IBEX-Lo sensor field of view (FOV) in the spring, when Earth (and IBEX) move into the flow, and in the fall, when Earth recedes from the flow (7) (Fig. 1A).The LISM flow dominates the IBEX-Lo all-sky maps at 15 and 110 eV with rates that exceed those of the diffuse energetic neutral atom (ENA) distributions (12–14) by up to four orders of magnitude (Fig. 1, B and C). The intense flow started with orbit 9 (mid December 2008), peaked in orbit 16 about –135o ecliptic longitude), and was seen through orbit 26 (April 2009) at 15 eV (Fig. 1B), but only through orbit 22
    at 110 eV (Fig. 1C). A much narrower peak, maximized in orbit 16, showed up in the O maps for 280 eV and 600 eV (600 eV shown in Fig. 1D), with a tail extending from this peak towards higher latitude (up to about 20o) and smaller longitude (about –165o). The peak flux in all three maps arrives from slightly above the ecliptic plane. Based on the
    expected interstellar bulk flow energies at 1 AU for an observer that moves into flow with Earth’s velocity, the distribution observed at 280 and 600 eV is largely interstellar O (529 eV bulk flow energy in the observer frame), the distribution seen up to 110 eV stems from interstellar He (132 eV), while the extended distribution seen into April at 15 eV is interstellar H (16 eV if radiation pressure cancels
    gravitational attraction).
    24 August 2009; accepted 2 October 2009
    Published online 15 October 2009; 10.1126/science.1180971
    Instead of just seeing this ribbon as draping over the heliosphere, I think we need to look at it’s 3 dimensional attributes and ask, what are its consequences to the planetary system and solar cycle?
    Good exercise preceeding this post. Thanks guys, esp Leif for keeping us grounded.
    Leif is probably the most knowledgeable of most of us on electric currents and magnetic fields and how they interact. He’s closer to this than most people give him credit for. Thanks Leif!

  71. vukcevic (02:57:56) :
    If so, it would enable existence of electro-magnetic feedback
    There is no such thing. There can be an electric feedback or a magnetic feedback. However the HMF is carried by a supersonic solar wind and any changes cannot travel upstream. This has nothing to do with field lines being ‘open’ or not.

  72. vukcevic (02:57:56) :
    If so, it would enable existence of electro-magnetic feedback
    for completeness, it should be noted that electromagnetic waves from the planets of course can travel upstream. Thus Jupiter shine on the Sun [be it visually or by radio waves] or the Earth for that matter is not only possible, but actually happening [we can see Jupiter]. The same can be said for any other object [stars, galaxies, cosmic microwave background] that shines upon us. But only the astrologers among us would consider that to be of relevance.

  73. I agree with Carla (05:27:05) , it is important to have an idea of the intensity/concentration vs. time function of the events in order to make more definitive conclusion. At the moment we are in realm of pure speculation. However ENA (neutrals) are unlikely to affect solar magnetic/electric activity. If there is an influence, than it has to be due to the “abundance of charged particles” in the ‘belt’ area, possibly through feedback on the solar magnetic field and heliospheric current [vukcevic (02:57:56)]
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NASAheliosphere.jpg

  74. It’s a full vertical mostly N. hemisphere cut thru the whole heliosphere. Passing the solar disk at 1AU. Wondering how much it has increased in density since 2003. Motion and pressure points defining the interior as well as exterior of the heliosphere.
    late

  75. “One of the five IBEX papers appearing in Science this week, LANL’s lead contribution is “Structures and Spectral Variations of the Outer Heliosphere in IBEX Energetic Neutral Atom Maps.” In the paper, author Herbert Funsten notes “We have discovered an arc-shaped ribbon of high-pressure material that looks to be piled-up material from the Sun.”
    Let us not forget that the ‘ribbon’ probably comes from the Sun and not from the galaxy of the interstellar medium.

  76. Leif Svalgaard (06:06:05) :
    [vukcevic (02:57:56) :If so, it would enable existence of electro-magnetic feedback]
    There is no such thing. There can be an electric feedback or a magnetic feedback.
    Any feedback involving variable electric current related to a magnetic event, is therefore in essence electro-magnetic. There is a fundamental difference between two terms electro-magnetic and electromagnetic.
    Perhaps you could explain what happens to all of the charged particles leaving the Sun. If heliospheric current is not closed circuit, and there is no return leg of the current, the particles, you say, do not accumulate in the newly discovered ribbon and now we know that the “bubble – called the heliosphere – which is created by the solar wind” is enclosed by the galactic MF so no escape for the ‘non-neutralised’ charged particles.
    “…the ribbon seems to be full of charged particles, which seem to have been concentrated along its length – but how they got there is a mystery”
    You also say that, at the edge of heliopause, solar magnetic field gets tangled up and HCS dissolves itself. That is totally unconvincing explanation.
    Additionally, streams of electrons and protons move with different speeds and accelerations, which in itself creates another current within SW originating from polar regions, as it was discovered by Ulysses space probe

  77. Leif Svalgaard (08:34:28) :
    Let us not forget that the ‘ribbon’ probably comes from the Sun and not from the galaxy or the interstellar medium.
    Let’s think a bit about this. The solar wind blows all the time, so material from the Sun after passage through the termination shock must be continuously removed by processes in the heliosheath. That there is a ribbon there must mean that the removal process is less efficient in the region where the ribbon is, allowing solar material to pile up. Eventually, the material must be removed anyway, perhaps after the gas has expanded and/or moved elsewhere by the flow. One can see that many possibilities exist. At the upcoming AGU meeting in San Francisco, a second map will have been made, and we can see if there has been a time evolution of the ribbon.

  78. Latest from dr. Svalgaard:
    Leif Svalgaard (08:34:28) :
    “One of the five IBEX papers appearing in Science this week, LANL’s lead contribution is “Structures and Spectral Variations of the Outer Heliosphere in IBEX Energetic Neutral Atom Maps.” In the paper, author Herbert Funsten notes “We have discovered an arc-shaped ribbon of high-pressure material that looks to be piled-up material from the Sun.”
    Let us not forget that the ‘ribbon’ probably comes from the Sun and not from the galaxy of the interstellar medium.
    Hurray!
    vukcevic (04:22:21) :
    “Two ‘field aligned currents’ flowing in the same direction (in this case skirting along boundary of heliosphere, solar from within, galactic from without) will attract each other. This would allow mixing and neutralising of particles, as well as the abundance of leftover (non-neutralised) particles, but only in the areas where remaining parts of solar wind skirt the boundary, hence ribbon appearance.
    This would explain :” the ribbon seems to be full of charged particles, which seem to have been concentrated along its length – but how they got there is a mystery…”
    I also said: “I am inclined to believe that interaction is from the HCS, since it is a ‘ribbon shaped’, rather than due to faster polar solar wind, in which case it would be a much wider spread.”
    Leif Svalgaard (08:34:21) responded:
    “The current [in the HCS] is perpendicular to the magnetic field. So all the rest is moot. Perhaps clean up the sentence as it is ungrammatical to the point of not being comprehensible.”
    No need to clean up anything, it is clear, ribbon’s particles come from the Sun, as I pointed out in my post quoted above. It is only particles associated with the HCS that can create ribbon shape, and further more its strength appears to vary with time (see Carla’s post [Carla (05:27:05)]

  79. vukcevic (09:47:31) :
    “Two ‘field aligned currents’ flowing in the same direction (in this case skirting along boundary of heliosphere, solar from within, galactic from without) will attract each other.
    The currents are perpendicular to the magnetic field, so everything you surmise is not happening [as so much of the other stuff you peddle]. Drift currents do not attract each other. Please, can we return to science a bit.

  80. vukcevic (09:47:31) :
    It is only particles associated with the HCS that can create ribbon shape
    The ribbon is aligned with the galactic field, not the HCS.
    “The ribbon follows a circular arc of high pressure that we believe is centered on the direction of the magnetic field of the interstellar cloud through which we are moving,” Funsten said. “This magnetic field seems to fundamentally organize the interaction region.”
    —-
    In the outer heliosphere, the HCS is not a thin ‘plane’, but a sequence of ‘walls’ of highly compressed solar wind, extending up to perhaps 20 degrees on either side of the equatorial plane. When hitting the shock all these walls merge. As I speculated, the ribbon might have to do with the removal process of shocked solar wind, something that very likely is ordered in the interstellar magnetic field system [tilted 45 degrees wrt to the sun’s equator], and not in the solar-equator system.

  81. Leif Svalgaard (10:03:41) :
    [vukcevic (09:47:31) :It is only particles associated with the HCS that can create ribbon shape]
    “The ribbon is aligned with the galactic field, not the HCS.”
    Not always. There is such thing as a field aligned current in plasma
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/7/79/Magnetic_rope.png/300px-Magnetic_rope.png.
    e.g. Birkeland current
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birkeland_current
    “Peratt (1992) notes that “Regardless of scale, the motion of charged particles produces a self-magnetic field that can act on other collections of charged particles, internally or externally. Plasmas in relative motion are coupled via currents that they drive through each other”.
    Hannes Alfvén promoted Birkeland’s ideas in a paper published on the generation of the current from the Solar Wind. One of Alfvén’s colleagues, Rolf Boström, also used field-aligned currents in a new model of auroral electrojets (1964).”
    Field aligned currents are integral part of a magnetosphere, if so why not heliosphere, since there are many analogies between two. Field aligned currents are are common in solar flares.
    Two such field aligned currents attract each other, allowing mixing of the particles. At heliopause solar magnetic field and galactic MF are in balance. Once particles are puled into realm of the galactic MF it is obvious they would be aligned with it. It would not be unexpected to find that two fields solar and galactic are aligned along the heliopause anyway, as two ‘common garden fridge magnets’ would.

  82. Correction:
    Leif Svalgaard (10:03:41) :………..
    “The currents are perpendicular to the magnetic field…………
    The ribbon is aligned with the galactic field, not the HCS.”

  83. vukcevic (10:36:57) :
    Not always. There is such thing as a field aligned current in plasma
    No. Only when the plasma is under conditions where the free movement of the plasma is hindered by conditions external to the plasma that results in finite resistivity.
    At heliopause solar magnetic field and galactic MF are in balance.
    No, they are not. The gas pressure and the directed dynamic pressure are in balance, not the magnetic fields.
    it would not be unexpected to find that two fields solar and galactic are aligned along the heliopause anyway, as two ‘common garden fridge magnets’ would.
    Your standard problem with how cosmic plasmas and magnetic field interact. Their speeds exceed the local Alfven speeds so are supersonic. And observations show that the fields are at an angle of some 45 degrees. The HCS has nothing to do with the IBEX data or their interpretation.

  84. “The Z-pinch model offers a simple explanation for the “giant ribbon” found wrapped around the heliosphere. The Z-pinch is naturally aligned with the interstellar magnetic field. Solar “wind” ions are scattered and neutralized by electrons from the Birkeland current filaments to form ENA’s coming from the Z-pinch ring, a giant ring about the solar system and orthogonal to the interstellar magnetic field.

    Given the detail in this model we should expect, as more data comes in, that researchers may find in the ENA “ribbon,” bright spots, filamentary structures, and movement of the bright spots consistent with rotation of Birkeland current filament pairs and their possible coalescence.”

    “Electric Sun Verified”
    http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=74fgmwne

  85. In example, Tim Thompson, an astrophysicist recently retired from the JPL, and an objector of some note to the ‘Plasma Universe’ hypothesis had this to say about ‘Electric Currents in Space’:
    Tim Thompson, astrophysicist, was challenged by an interlocutor:”…somehow you’ve managed to convince yourself that electricity does not play a vital role in events in space.”
    And Tim Thompson, astrophysicist, responded:”Wrong. I believe no such thing and neither does anyone else I know. Electric currents certainly do play a vital role in events in space, on every spatial scale from the smallest to the largest. They are incorporated into standard physical models of the solar system and cosmology. There are whole books and reams of papers on the topic. Electric currents do play a vital role in events in space without question.”
    So, even someone who has serious disagreements with aspects of Plasma Universe ideas, acknowledges the significance of electric currents in space, not just in the solar system, but beyond into deep-space large structures.
    I like Thompson’s comment: “:”Wrong. I believe no such thing and neither does anyone else I know. Electric currents certainly do play a vital role in events in space, on every spatial scale from the smallest to the largest.”
    To highlight: “…and neither does anyone else I know.”
    And: “Electric currents do play a vital role in events in space without question.”
    It’s getting lonely for you and Eugene Parker…maybe you need a space heater…

  86. Dr. Leif Svalgaard wrote: “In plasmas there is no electric field because the conductivity is so high that charge imbalances are shorted out immediately.”
    This is the second time in this comment thread you have made that unsupported assertion.
    After the first time you made that naked assertion I presented your statement.
    “Dr. Svalgaard wrote: ‘It is just that there are no electric fields in the rest frame of a highly conducting plasma, as they are immediately shorted out.'”
    And asked this question: “Any in situ satellite probe observation & measurement to confirm that statement or is it just speculation or conjecture?”
    It is a direct question, which in scientific discourse requires a direct answer.
    Either a direct answer of yes, here is the report of the in situ satellite probe observations & measurements; or no, there is no in situ observation of that kind to report.
    Instead, you repeat your naked assertion.
    This is a disingenuous response.
    You are passing off your unsupported speculation as opposed to responding forthrightly to the question.
    You can do better than that Dr. Svalgaard.

  87. vukcevic (10:36:57) :
    Not always. There is such thing as a field aligned current in plasma
    Let me elaborate a bit on this [for the zillionth time, it seems]. In an undisturbed cosmic plasma [e.g. the free flowing solar wind] there is no electric field in the rest frame of the plasma, and thus no acceleration of charged particles. If you impede the flow in some way [e.g. by placing the Earth’s magnetic field in the way, or the shocked material in the termination shock, or reconnection in solar flares] the changing magnetic field induces a [short-lived] electric field that can accelerate charged particles near it. These particles now move at a different [usually much higher] speed than the bulk flow of the plasma, and will speed away from the acceleration location. Because it is easier to propagate along the magnetic field than across it, you get a short-lived spurt of field-aligned current, Particles from solar flares will for example follow the HMF’s spiral from the Sun to the Earth. The Heliospheric current is not such a field aligned current, but is a ‘drift’ current. The Ring Current in the Van Allen belts is another example of such a drift current.

  88. Leif Svalgaard (10:55:32) :
    No. Only when the plasma is under conditions where the free movement of the plasma is hindered by conditions external to the plasma that results in finite resistivity.
    I would suggest that is precisely case here:the plasma is hindered by conditions external to the plasma.
    There are two points here to be made:
    a) I am a ‘free agent’ speculating a possibility.
    b) You are experienced and knowledgeable scientist assuming you knowledge of the far reaches of heliosphere is to you ‘known certainty’.
    I can accept that my speculations more offten than not, are way of the mark or even wrong, but occasionally if not on the target, at least somewhere in the vicinity.
    You also should be prepared to accept that many things about heliosphere (and even our own magnetosphere) are still within realm of speculation, based on known science granted, but still highly unpredictable.
    Personally, what matters here is not prevailing in the debate (probably not possible), but logically testing the intuition led ideas.
    Thank you for your very valuable contributions.
    I shall call it a day,

  89. Dr.Svalgaard wrote: “Let me elaborate a bit on this [for the zillionth time, it seems]. In an undisturbed cosmic plasma [e.g. the free flowing solar wind] there is no electric field in the rest frame of the plasma, and thus no acceleration of charged particles.”
    For the zillionth time, please provide in situ satellite probe observations & measurements which support this assertion.
    Or acknowledge there are no in situ satellite probe observations to provide.
    Failure to do so leads to only one conclusion:
    There are NO in situ observations & measurements to support your assertion, but you can’t bring yourself to admit that; and you keep repeating an unsuported assertion because it is YOUR DOGMA, and you’re sticking to it no matter what.
    That kind of opinion deserves no credence whatsoever.
    (Every time I see you present this, so far, unsupported assertion, I will ask for in situ satellite probe reports of observation & measurement that supports the assertion.)
    I urge readers to give the weight an opinion deserves when a scientist refuses to backup his opinion with scientiftic evidence.
    It is a sad state of affairs when dogma collides with reality.

  90. Zeke the Sneak (11:36:40) :
    “Electric Sun Verified”M
    The [fatal] problem with this is how the z-pinch knows where the Sun is.
    James F. Evans (11:42:37) :
    <Electric currents certainly do play a vital role in events in space
    Of course they do. Everything interesting is done by currents. That is not the issue, which is that the currents are created by plasmas moving in magnetic fields.
    James F. Evans (11:58:51) :
    “In plasmas there is no electric field because the conductivity is so high that charge imbalances are shorted out immediately.”
    This follows directly from Maxwell’s equations [for which there is ample experimental support]. It can also be seen from simpler considerations. The important point is the large charge to mass ratio of the electron [e/m = 5×10^17 cgs]. One volt of potential difference [that is electric field] accelerates an electron to 600 km/sec, so it is evident that even a very small electric field would produce an immense current [flow of electrons]. So the electric field is limited to extremely small values by the highly mobile electrons. Consider the case of a plasma dense enough that Ohm’s law applies, i.e. j = s E, where E is the electric field in the frame of reference moving with the local plasma. For ionized hydrogen, the electrical conductivity, s, is 2×10^7 T^(3/2)/sec [Spitzer, 1956], where T is the temperature. Ampere’s law 4pi j = c curl B says then that 4pi j ~ cB/l [order of magnitude] where l is the typical length scale of variation of the magnetic field B. With E=j/s, you get that E/B = c/(4pi s l) = 10^(-4)/l * (10^4/T)^(3/2), where l is measured in centimeters. For ionized hydrogen T is in excess of 10,000 K. So even with l being as small as 1 km, it follows that E/B less than 10^(-9). On the larger scales of the solar wind, stars, and galaxies, E/B becomes completely negligible. It is then evident that the electric stresses [measured by E^2] are completely insignificant in comparison to the magnetic stresses [measured by B^2]. The ratio of the stresses being (E/B)^2. So, in short, the extremely lightness of the electron ensures that it will very quickly find the positive charges and short out any imbalance. In fact, even if you create an imbalance, it will disappear in a time comparable to the Landau damping time of a plasma oscillation.

  91. vukcevic (12:26:50) :
    I would suggest that is precisely case here:the plasma is hindered by conditions external to the plasma.
    The resulting field-aligned ‘currents’ are the result of acceleration e.g. by the shock and do not drive anything. They are just a way of getting rid of the garbage to let the plasma adjust to the changed conditions. The fundamental issue is that you still after all this time cannot understand that movements of the plasma in the presence of a magnetic field is the mechanism by which things happen and not electrical currents [driven by what emf?] which are only side effects.
    I can accept that my speculations more often than not, are way of the mark or even wrong, but occasionally if not on the target, at least somewhere in the vicinity.
    As long as they make physically sense. All too often you cling to speculations long after their ‘sell-by date’ and they are ‘not even wrong’. Things have to make sense to be wrong.
    You also should be prepared to accept that many things about heliosphere (and even our own magnetosphere) are still within realm of speculation, based on known science granted, but still highly unpredictable.
    We speculate a lot, but always tempered by actual knowledge. And do not succumb to the Al Gore maxim: ‘if you don’t know anything, everything is possible’.
    testing the intuition led ideas.
    must fall at once, when they have been shown to be untenable. For example, it serves no purpose to continue to harp on field-aligned currents month after month after month after the concept and their applicability/inapplicability have been explained. Same thing with magnetic influences travelling upstreams in the supersonic solar wind.

  92. James F. Evans (13:04:09) :
    “there is no electric field in the rest frame of the plasma, and thus no acceleration of charged particles.”
    Vytenis Vasiliunas has an elementary derivation here:
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2001GL013014.pdf
    His conclusion:
    (1) a given plasma bulk flow produces an electric field,
    (2) a given electric field does not produce a plasma bulk
    flow. The general result can also be derived as a simple
    consequence of conserving the total (plasma plus electromagnetic field) linear momentum.

  93. Dr. Svalgaard:
    The direct answer to my question is “no” there aren’t any in situ satellite probe observations & measurements to provide.
    However, I do appreciate that you explained the reasoning of your opinion by way of abstract construction. And, I appreciate the Vasylifinas paper.
    Comments in the paper are revealing and instructive:
    “…it all depends on what approach to describing plasmas one has adopted and what one’s views are in the ongoing controversy on whether the magnetic field and the plasma flow or the electric current and the electric field are to be treated as the primary variable.”
    There is a controversy on this subject.
    As opposed to your absolutist, black and white assertion, which when the curtain is pulled back, is not based on observation & measurement, the requirement of empirical science, but, rather, on abstract constructions.
    The paper is wrong on two counts. One, abstract mathematical construction divorced from observation & measurement is not physics, notwithstanding the assertion to the contrary in the paper. Two, “thought experiments” are nothing but unproven hypothesis until a series of empirical experiments are conducted that either falsify the hypothesis or validate the hypothesis.
    Nothing of the sort has been conducted as a result of your mathematical construction (hypothesis) or Vasylifinas’ mathematical construction (hypothesis).
    Vasylifinas specifically relies on “thought experiments” as he states in the paper: “…this Letter can thus be answered by means of two thought experiments…”
    To derive absolutist assertions on mere “thought experiments” is questionable scientific method.
    Dr. Svalgaard, you are entitled to an opinion, but it is only an opinion, and your couching that opinion in absolutist terms is unwarranted. The opinion is not based on compulsion by way of observation & measurement, but on theoretical constructs (I suspect driven by ideological dogma).
    Your opinion is not “the Science” in astrophysics, but only one of many voices.
    You would be wise to remember that.

  94. James F. Evans (18:19:43) :
    The direct answer to my question is “no” there aren’t any in situ satellite probe observations & measurements to provide.
    I don’t think you understand how science works. If there is solid experimental evidence for a physical law, then the deductions from that law are also valid. We don’t make expensive in situ experiments to measure something that isn’t there.
    There is a controversy on this subject.
    There are people that do not understand the issue, hence the derivation by Vasiliunas. There is no controversy; there is sloppy use of concepts, that from time to time must be pointed out and corrected.
    The paper is wrong on two counts. One, abstract mathematical construction divorced from observation & measurement is not physic […]
    To derive absolutist assertions on mere “thought experiments” is questionable scientific method.

    Here are some famous and important thought experiments: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought_experiment#Physics
    Physics is built on such thought experiments. Einstein was particularly good at it.
    Thought experiments and mathematical deductions from the laws are absolutely valid. Example: as a thought experiment, I’ll drop a stone from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Based on Newton’s laws, I can now calculate how long time it will take the stone to reach the ground. Because Newton’s laws have been verified repeatedly, the calculation based on the thought experiment will be correct, and if I actually did it, I’ll invariably find the correct result.
    Absolutist abstraction derived from experimentally derived laws is very much science; that’s why we find the laws, so that we can calculate in absolute black and white terms what will happen. If we couldn’t, there wouldn’t be any science. Now, there is a good difference with the Electric Universe cult, because the EU cannot make calculations, only hand waving, false analogies.
    Your opinion is not “the Science” in astrophysics, but only one of many voices.
    My opinion is called ‘the Scientific Method’.
    None of the voices in Astrophysics endorse the Electrical Universe.
    I can see from your posts that you have no idea about science, the scientific method, and physical laws, so consider this blog to be your chance to learn something [for free, even].

  95. NASA IBEX special report. In it, this select panel of experts on the project, explain their discoveries. Nice press release and good PR work on their part. Its 41 minutes long. Should go check it out.
    m.youtube.com/watch?v=mTnwjd8CF1c&hl=en&gl=US&client=mv-google

  96. Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “If there is solid experimental evidence for a physical law, then the deductions from that law are also valid. We don’t make expensive in situ experiments to measure something that isn’t there.”
    Your statement is nonsense.
    How do you know an electric field and an electric current isn’t there in space?
    “Well, I have these mathematical equations that tell me. There is no reason to conduct observation & measurement to confirm or falsify what we already know.”
    Following your rational, once Science had an equation we wouldn’t do any experiments.
    Of course, your rational also ignores the fact that electromagnetism is non-linear and the equations are the Heavyside reductions, which makes them more managable for differential equations (which is fine), but for the kind of theoretical extrapolation you engage in, it’s problematic.
    The idea that with mathematics Science can dispense with empirical testing is the same kind of rational relied upon by Man-made gobal warming proponents.
    That kind of reasoning spells the intellectual bankruptcy of a scientist.
    Dr. Svalgaard: “There are people that do not understand the issue…”
    In your opinion.
    What you really mean is that everybody that disagrees with your opinion is wrong.
    Thought experiments are fine for hypothesis, but the life blood of empirical science is observation & measurement. Any scientist who claims it isn’t…well, isn’t much of a scientist.
    Mathematical deductions — engineering is fine where the physical properties have been quantified and the quantification has been verified by empirical observation & measurement via the Scientific Method.
    To make a point I need to reprise a couple of prior passages:
    NASA: “Moreover, electric current causes magnetic fields…”
    Dr. Svalgaard responded: “In general, it takes an electric current to create a magnetic field in ordinary life [and that was what NASA’s piece was about]. In cosmic plasmas the magnetic field is the cause of the currents in material moving relative to the magnetic field.”
    No, NASA’s piece was not limited to “ordinary life” (as if special, “new” physics applies only to space), it was foundational explanation of how electromagnetism works, both on the Earth’s surface and in space (there was no distinction made in the NASA webpage) — afterall, the whole website is dedicated to explaining space dynamics (a little detail that Dr. Svalgaard ignores).
    That’s the point: Science knows electric current causes magnetic fields via classical physics and NASA provides this explanation for their solar system website.
    But your opinion invokes “new” physics that “only” happen in space???
    And you have the arrogance to insist no experiments are needed to validate this “new” physics hypothesis???
    Sorry, Dr. Svalgaard, but invoking a “new” physics hypothesis, and then turning around and stating it doesn’t need to be tested in situ to see if the hypothesis is valid doesn’t even come close to meeting the standards of the empirical scientific method.
    Dr. Svalgaard: wrote: “My opinion is called ‘the Scientific Method’.”
    What a bunch of malarkey!
    If you want my opinion, it’s just another variant on attempting to sell the “Big Lie”.
    The emperor has no clothes…

  97. James F. Evans (23:56:57) :
    Mathematical deductions — engineering is fine where the physical properties have been quantified and the quantification has been verified by empirical observation & measurement.
    The equations [Maxwell’s and Newton’s] have been verified by observations and therefore one can perform mathematical deductions and calculations from them. The equations are just a shorthand for the overwhelming experimental evidence behind them.
    This is the difference between real science and EU [which has no equations and therefore does not allow calculations to be experimentally tested]
    NASA provides this explanation for their solar system website.
    Their website states specifically: “The dynamic interaction of the plasma and magnetic field produces electrical fields and currents in the North and South polar regions.”
    This is the crucial point you need to understand.

  98. The one thing that stood out to Dr. McComas was the finite detail discovered around the heliopause. If I understand this correctly, there is a finite boundary defined at the heliosheath. Its that boundary between the termination and bow shock points that Dr. McComas seems most intrigued by. And from what I can gather, it was not predicted by any of the models involved from the project. You throw in a ‘ribbon’ of ENA’s and you have now more questions from the team, than answers.
    Or is it the best way to continue more funding dollars to be filtered toward NASA? This particular mission has roughly cost $130 mn dollars . I mention this because as far as I can tell, this mission only supports previous experiments and theories from the scientific community. Mind you with good pictures and graphs. But still, sound science, based upon earlier peer reviewed articles.
    The scientific articles and the teams presentation of their findings left me wondering if they know more than they are letting on and is it because of funding or fear of scrutiny. Only time will tell.

  99. david alan (12:33:08) :
    you have now more questions from the team, than answers.
    And that is just as it should be. The more we know, the more [and better] questions we can ask. Progress is answering those new questions, which in turn leads to still more questions, and so on. Questions is what it is all about.

  100. @ Dr. Leif Svalgaard:
    Dr. Svalgaard presents Evans’ statement:
    “Mathematical deductions — engineering is fine where the physical properties have been quantified and the quantification has been verified by empirical observation & measurement.”
    And:
    Dr. Svalgaard responds: “The equations [Maxwell’s and Newton’s] have been verified by observations and therefore one can perform mathematical deductions and calculations from them. The equations are just a shorthand for the overwhelming experimental evidence behind them.”
    The fallacy of Dr. Svalgaard’s response is twofold, one, “the equations have been verified by observations”, but the resulting observations demonstrate the opposite conclusion, electric current causes magnetic fields, from what Dr. Svalgaard would have have the reader believe, and, two, “the overwhelming experimental evidence” was conducted, here, on Earth’s surface, not in space.
    Therefore, Dr. Svalgaard’s hypothesis (it’s not a theory because no experiments have been conducted) contradicts the known experimental results, and, further, his hypothesis has never been tested in the conditions (space) he has postulated.
    It’s nonsense to state an opposite result from known experimental results, and to declare this as verified (or really there is no need to verify) when the hypothesis has never even been tested in the conditions claimed for the hypothesis’ validity.
    And Dr. Svalgaard makes this nonsensical statement under a cloud of controversy. Vasylifinas paper states:
    “…it all depends on what approach to describing plasmas one has adopted and what one’s views are in the ongoing controversy on whether the magnetic field and the plasma flow or the electric current and the electric field are to be treated as the primary variable.”
    Dr. Svalgaard responds: “There is no controversy…”, rather, just “sloppy use of concepts”, and, “people that do not understand the issue…”
    Funny, Vasylifinas, obviously thought there was a controversy, or he wouldn’t have mentioned it (every word and idea is considered in a paper like this), and there would be no reason for the paper in the first place.
    This puts Dr. Svalgaard in a difficult position: On the one hand, he supports the conclusion of Vaylifinas, but on the hand, dismisses Vasylifinas considered statement of the “ongoing contraversy”.
    Well, perhaps, Varylifinas was guilty of “sloppy use of concepts” in his choice of the word, “controversy”, but that doesn’t speak highly for the rest of the conclusions in the paper, now does it?
    Or more likely Dr. Svalgaard couldn’t admit there was “ongoing controversy” because that would undermine his determined effort to present a united front in the astrophysical fraternity on the subject when, in fact, none existed.
    Dr. Svalgaard states: “This is the difference between real science and EU [which has no equations and therefore does not allow calculations to be experimentally tested]”
    The above statement is misleading:
    Actually, the quantification of electromagnetism in space is proceeding apace with every additional in situ satellite probe experiment that observes & measures the electric charges, electric fields and electric current and magnetic fields. And how do we know NASA is doing that?
    Take NASA at it’s own word, that’s how:
    “Electric charges, electric fields and electric current are critical to the study of the structure of the Sun, solar wind and the magnetosphere of the Earth. Moreover, electric current causes magnetic fields (see Electromagnetism) that are important to understanding dynamic characteristics of the Sun and how the Sun interacts with the Earth.”
    http://stargazers.gsfc.nasa.gov/resources/electricity.htm
    Until advanced in situ satellite probes were regularly sent into space, it was next to impossible to detect and measure electric fields and electric currents in space plasma and a significant element in the astronomical community didn’t particularly welcome the idea of electricity in space because they espoused a mechanical model based on “hot gas”, “kinetics”, and “pressure”, much as Dr. Svalgaard has done in this thread.
    But NASA already recognizes space is electrified. Even if Dr. Svalgaard and others in a minority are determined to maintain the primacy of their mechanical model. The horse is already out the barn door, so to speak. The quantitization of electromagnetism in space and the understanding of its structures and processes will continue and mathematical equations & calculations will flow from that. Suggesting EU isn’t real science is nothing more than an ugly smear unworthy of scientists of goodwill.
    (Dr. Svalgaard’s hostile comment emanates from professional rivalry, EU proponents have been theorizing the solar system’s electromagnetism for decades, led by the eminent Hannes Alfven, 1970 Nobel Prize winner in physics, father of Plasma Cosmology, but also an outsider to the astrophysical community, which is an insular community.)
    Dr. Svalgaard presents the statement: “NASA provides this explanation for their solar system website.”
    And Dr. Svalgaard states: “Their [NASA] website states specifically: ‘The dynamic interaction of the plasma and magnetic field produces electrical fields and currents in the North and South polar regions.'”
    It’s important to place statements in proper context, so, here, is the full statement from the NASA site:
    “As the magnetosphere snaps back toward the Earth, it introduces more energetic plasma closer to the Earth. The dynamic interaction of the plasma and magnetic field produces electrical fields and currents in the North and South polar regions. The electrical fields accelerate charged particles down into the atmosphere. Movement of the charged particles of the plasma becomes very complicated near to the Earth.
    http://stargazers.gsfc.nasa.gov/resources/earth_magnetosphere.htm
    NASA isn’t making a global statement that magnetic fields cause electric currents, however, apparently Dr. Svalgaard wants to give the reader that impression. Rather, NASA is referring to a specific region of space in the Earth’s magnetosphere where the electric currents, already present in the solar wind’s plasma, in the helio current sheet, cause and direct electrical currents to flow specifically into “North and South polar regions” of the Earth’s atmosphere.
    I suggest Dr. Svalgaard presented his truncated version to promote his preferred ideas and opinion.
    But what does NASA have to say about it?
    “The interplanetary magnetic field is formed by currents of plasma within the Sun and within the solar wind.”
    http://stargazers.gsfc.nasa.gov/resources/earth_magnetosphere.htm
    “Magnetic fields are produced by electric currents. These currents are generated within the Sun by the flow of the Sun’s hot, ionized gases. We observe a variety of flows on the Sun’s surface and within its interior. Nearly all of these flows may contribute in one way or another to the production of the Sun’s magnetic field.”
    http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/dynamo.shtml
    And. of course, readers already have seen where NASA states: “Electric charges, electric fields and electric current are critical to the study of the structure of the Sun, solar wind and the magnetosphere of the Earth.”
    This seems to be inconvenient to Dr. Svalgaard’s primarily mechanical model.

  101. James F. Evans (16:18:27) :
    “Magnetic fields are produced by electric currents. These currents are generated within the Sun by the flow of the Sun’s hot, ionized gases. We observe a variety of flows on the Sun’s surface and within its interior. Nearly all of these flows may contribute in one way or another to the production of the Sun’s magnetic field.”
    You still don’t get it [that’s OK, I didn’t think you would].
    What NASA is describing here is how a dynamo works. The currents are generated by the flow of plasma in the existing magnetic field inside the Sun. Whenever you move a conductor in a magnetic field, an electrical current is generated. The magnetic field from the current generated from the existing magnetic field amplifies that magnetic field, and in this way strong magnetic fields [e.g. in sunspots] are built up. Let me re-iterate Vasiliunas’s conclusions [which are unassailable, expect by people that do not know physics]:
    (1) a given plasma bulk flow produces an electric field,
    (2) a given electric field does not produce a plasma bulk
    flow.
    This is not really difficult to grasp. Even Wikipedia has it correct: “The dynamo uses rotating coils of wire and magnetic fields to convert mechanical rotation into a pulsing direct electric current through Faraday’s law.”

  102. It doesn’t surprise me that Dr. Svalgaard would maintain his position in the face of direct and unequivocal statements from NASA that electric currents cause magnetic fields. It’s there in black and white for everybody to see.
    His arguments have been examined and shot down, every one.
    Afterall, his reputation is on the line.
    But the facts and evidence speak for themselves — facts are stubborn things.
    But let’s briefly review:
    Charged particles when not in motion do not produce a magnetic field.
    Only motion of charged paricles produces magnetic fields.
    The electromotive force, which is 39 orders of magnitude stronger than gravity will induce charged particle motion without the presence of a magnetic field, yes, once the current of charged particles starts flowing (electric current) due to that electromotive force, a magnetic field will emanate from the charged particles in motion. But the magnetic field does not “start the ball rolling”, rather, it’s the electromotive force.
    Yes, I understand Dr. Svalgaard can’t continence this…
    Afterall, his reputation is on the line…

  103. I don’t know what to think about this debate between Leif and James. I mean no disrespect to either of you, but has the scientific community drawn a concensus as to which science is more accurate. I guess my question is this: Does magnetic field lines in the heliosphere give rise to electromagnetism as a result of kinetic interactions or does kinetic interactions between interstellar and solar gases create electromagnetic field lines?
    I’m just asking because I think that is the difference (in my own understanding) between both of yours hypothesis’.
    I wonder if this NASA IBEX joint mission, in mapping the heliosphere, gives any clearer picture to this debate.
    That’s all for now.

  104. James F. Evans (17:46:42) :
    The electromotive force…
    Clearly, you do not know what the emf is.
    It is the work expended to produce a potential difference, which is generated by separating positive and negative charges. The potential difference can then drive a current if there is a conductor between the separated charges, thereby draining the difference [battery goes flat].
    Anyway, I have tried to teach you some science, but you have proven to be a slow learner [I guess not everybody is above average].

  105. david alan (18:56:18) :
    Does magnetic field lines in the heliosphere give rise to electromagnetism as a result of kinetic interactions or does kinetic interactions between interstellar and solar gases create electromagnetic field lines?
    precision of words are important. A plasma [solar wind] moving across magnetic field lines, creates an electric field [and thus current]. In the solar wind itself, the magnetic field moves with the plasma, so no ‘cross’ movement and thus no electric field. If the solar wind blows past a magnetic Earth, an electric current will be created around the Earth. The important thing is that there is a magnetic field always everywhere in the cosmos, so any movement of a plasma [or conductor] will create electric fields and associated currents. All this is well-understood by any physicist and engineer [for that matter] and is the basis for countless devices in our ordinary life, where a dynamo run in reverse becomes an electric motor.

  106. Leif Svalgaard (20:16:00): {The important thing is that there is a magnetic field always everywhere in the cosmos, so any movement of a plasma [or conductor] will create electric fields and associated currents.}
    Precision of words are important indeed. Thank you for your clarification Dr. Svalgaard. I think a light went on in my head.

  107. @ david alan:
    An important question when considering how much weight to give to one opinion or anoher in a debate is how they deal with obvious points, pieces of evidence, and facts presented by the other side. Do they grasp the issues raised when challenged or do they tend to ignore them and deflect off onto other issues? Do they rely on their “authority”…well…because they are an “authority” like the scientists on the AGW side of the Global Warming debate, or do they effectively meet the evidence presented by the other side in goodfaith and where appropriate even acknowledge points raised by the other side?
    Take for instance, here, NASA’s multiple statements that electric current causes magnetic fields. Also, the experimental results that demonstrate electric currents cause magnetic fields. And the lack of experiments to back up Dr. Svalgaard’s claims.
    Did Dr. Svalgaard directly grasp the nettle on those issues?
    Or did he tend to move on hoping something else might stick?
    Take this NASA statement I presented:
    “Magnetic fields are produced by electric currents. These currents are generated within the Sun by the flow of the Sun’s hot, ionized gases. We observe a variety of flows on the Sun’s surface and within its interior. Nearly all of these flows may contribute in one way or another to the production of the Sun’s magnetic field.”
    Again, note the explicit and direct statement at the top of the paragraph: “Magnetic fields are produced by electric currents.”
    And look at the last sentence in the passage: “Nearly all of these [plasma] flows may contribute in one way or another to the production of the Sun’s magnetic field.”
    Nothing in NASA’s statement even remotely suggests a “[pre-]existing magnetic field” that causes the plasma to flow, on the contrary NASA explicitly states the opposite, that the electric currents cause magnetic fields to form.
    Twice Dr. Svalgaard mentions an “existing magnetic field” in his explanation without any support for this proposition in direct contradiction of NASA’s statement.
    This is an example of somebody expecting you to take their “say so” simply because they “say so”, not because of any rational or supporting scientific evidence. This is right out the playbook of the AGW scientists.
    David presents the statement: ” {The important thing is that there is a magnetic field always everywhere in the cosmos, so any movement of a plasma [or conductor] will create electric fields and associated currents.}”
    Yes, there are magnetic fields all over the Universe, but they are due to the flow of charged particles, electric currents all over the Universe.
    It is the flows of plasma that generate the magnetic fields.
    Dr. Svalgaard states: “Whenever you move a conductor in a magnetic field, an electrical current is generated.”
    This is true, magnetic fields will induce electric currents, that is why I previously stated in this thread that electric current and magnetic fields are two sides of the same coin and why it’s called electro-magnetism.
    Dr. Svalgaard goes back to the Vasiliunas paper: “Let me re-iterate Vasiliunas’s conclusions [which are unassailable, except by people that do not know physics]:
    (1) a given plasma bulk flow produces an electric field,
    (2) a given electric field does not produce a plasma bulk
    flow. ”
    Vasiliunas acknowledges that plasma flows produce an electric field (electric fields cause acceleration of charged particles, motion of charged particles, so electric fields cause electric current), what Vasiliunas doesn’t address is that charged particles not in motion will have an electric field, this “potential drop” or voltage is the electromotive force that will cause an electric current without a magnetic field being present. Magnetic fields do not start the process, electric fields do. But magnetic fields will contribute to the process in that an electric current is a self-reinforcing process, also known as positive feedback loop.
    Vasiliunas is taking a plasma condition at two seperate times, so, yes, a bulk flow of plasma will produce an electric field, but it doesn’t follow that a given electric field be responsible for the ending bulk flow of plasma. That occurs through time and motion which produce the self-reinforcing build up of electric currents and magnetic fields because they are two sides of the same coin and are mutually reinforcing.
    At the end of the day, it is clear that at the start of the day, plasma motion was caused by the electromotive force due to the presence of the electric field, not the magnetic field.
    “Vasiliunas’s conclusions…are unassailable”???
    I’d say Vasiliuna’s conclusions are refuted.
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “The dynamo uses rotating coils of wire and magnetic fields to convert mechanical rotation into a pulsing direct electric current through Faraday’s law.”
    Yes, this is another example of magnetism”s ability to cause secondary electrical currents. But the primary causation is the charged particle motion of the electrons or their “spin” inside the bar magnet or in the electromagnet; this causes the magnetic field which then in turn when moved will generate a secondary electric current.
    The above is a good example of the “two sides of the same coin” idea of electromagnetism.
    Dr. Svalgaard states: “Clearly, you [Evans] do not know what the emf is.
    It is the work expended to produce a potential difference, which is generated by separating positive and negative charges.”
    99% of the visible Universe is made up of plasma, charged particles in the state of ‘charge seperation’, so, electromotive force is the force that attracts positive and negative charges together or repels same charged particles apart. But since 99% of the Universe is plasma, the majority of the physical encounters are ones of electromotive force of attaction across a voltage potential drop or repulsion, not the work to seperate neutral atoms.
    Let’s consider the word, “electro-magnet”, take a hint from word construction, but for the “electro”, an electromagnet would not be a magnet at all, take away the “electro” and it’s not a magnet.
    Such as it is true for “electro-“magnets here on Earth, so it is also true for magnetic fields in space. This fulfills the idea that physical laws are constant throughout the Universe. That is why Science refers to these physical relationships as physical laws.
    On the other hand, Dr. Svalgaard wants to invoke special laws of physics for special places without scientific evidence to support it. There is no support in Science for this kind of flawed reasoning, but Dr. Svalgaard is not approaching it from a sciencific perspective, but from faith in his own opinions inspite of the scientific evidence — This approach is more akin to religion than science.
    And men can be fervent in their desire to see that their ideas are right. This trait of Human Nature for self-justification is one that Science must always guard against.
    And we have seen this repeatedly in the AGW debate. Dr. Svalgaard, sadly, is caught in this spider’s web of self-delusion.

  108. James F. Evans (10:44:44) :
    And men can be fervent in their desire to see that their ideas are right.
    Might explain your tenacity
    And we have seen this repeatedly in the AGW debate. Dr. Svalgaard, sadly, is caught in this spider’s web of self-delusion.
    In David’s head a light-bulb went off. In yours, darkness still reigns supreme.
    99% of the visible Universe is made up of plasma, charged particles in the state of ‘charge separation’
    Another little point [as we must take small steps in order not to loses you] for you to grasp: in a cosmic plasma, the charges are not separated, but thoroughly mixed. The slightest separation will result in the very mobile electrons [1 Volt accelerates an electron to more than a million miles per hour] finding their positive partners virtually instantly. Result: there is no charge separation.

  109. @ Dr. Svalgaard:
    [D]avid has a right to his own opinion as do you, but you’re grasping at straws to use his statement as vindication for your opinion.
    Look at david’s statement: “Precision of words are important indeed. Thank you for your clarification Dr. Svalgaard. I think a light went on in my head.”
    I agree precision of words are important. Definitions are critical in physics, and, more important still is the consistent use of definitions.
    But the statement david attributes to you: “{The important thing is that there is a magnetic field always everywhere in the cosmos, so any movement of a plasma [or conductor] will create electric fields and associated currents.}”
    Is only “one side” of the two sides of the coin of electromagnetism.
    Dr. Svalgaard, you have stated by fiat (without supporting experimental results) that magnetic fields are the primary variable (magnetic fields cause electric currents) by resorting to an admitted “thought experiment” which without experimental verification is nothing but a hypothesis.
    Dr. Svalgaard states: “…in a cosmic plasma, the charges are not separated, but thoroughly mixed.”
    Actually, they are in a state of ‘quasi-neutrality’, which is a state of ‘charge seperation’.
    What do i mean by that?
    Plasma by definition is physical matter where at least one electron is seperated from the nucleus, which results in free electrons and positive ions (more than one electron can be seperated from the nucleus), or, in other words, charged particles. Yes, these can be “thoughly mixed”, but they still retain their electromagnetic properties as charged particles. The charged particles react to the electromotive force and are conducive of electric current.
    Dr. Svalgaard, you seem to forget your basic lessons: Langmuir won 1932 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work with charged particles. Langmuir is the one who coined the term “Plasma”, and the reason he named it “Plasma” is because it had qualities that were like living tissue, blood plasma, it was self-organizing. Langmuir’s work demonstrated that plasma doesn’t “short out” into neutral atoms as you claim.
    Rather, this self-organizing quality of charged particles is why space plasma, as Hannes Alfven, 1970 Nobel Prize winner in physics, noted in his later years, tends to be cellular and connected in circuits.
    Dr. Svalgaard claims: “The slightest separation will result in the very mobile electrons [1 Volt accelerates an electron to more than a million miles per hour] finding their positive partners virtually instantly. Result: there is no charge separation.”
    This claim is false.
    If such was the case, then instead of 99% of the visible matter in the Universe being plasma, only a very small percentage would be plasma, charged particles. But since the compostion of the visible Universe is 99% plasma, it stands in mute testimony against you.
    This claim is straight out of the 1960’s, and is so demonstratably false, it is unworthy of you. But such is your fervid desire to protect your ideas that you are willing to make this antquated statement.
    Your fellow physicists will look at this statement and know you have gone over the edge.

  110. Leif Svalgaard (11:20:54) :
    The slightest separation will result in the very mobile electrons [1 Volt accelerates an electron to more than a million miles per hour] finding their positive partners virtually instantly. Result: there is no charge separation.
    Now, you can get a charge separation [and hence an electric field and a current] by letting the plasma flow into a magnetic field. The magnetic field deflects positive charges one way and negative charges the other way and thus creates a charge separation and an electric current. To maintain the current, you need to keep pushing the [neutral] plasma across the magnetic field. As I have said now a zillion times, this is the fundamental physical process [verified by countless experiments] that drives energy release in the cosmos [flares, aurorae, etc].
    NASA is planning to launch a series of spacecraft [MMS Mission] in 2014 to study this process. Here is how James Burch and James Drake [American Scientist, volume 97, number 5, sept-Oct, 2009] describe the mission background: “The twisting and turning of material in the core of the Earth, near the surface of the Sun, and in galaxies across the universe, amplifies magnetic fields in a process known as the dynamo [c.f. what I said earlier about the magnetic field being present first]. […] given that magnetic fields and their associated energy exists throughout the universe, it is not surprising that this energy is occasionally released, typically in the form of magnetically driven explosions [as I have pointed out several times]. Storms in the near-Earth space environment and flares in the corona of our Sun and other stars are examples of eplosions driven by the release of magnetic energy. […] A large fraction of the magnetic energy from solar flares is released as very high-energy particles […] As the Earth’s own magnetic fields are buffeted by storms from the Sun, large numbers of energetic particles are injected into the Earth’s radiation belts [as I have pointed out]. […] We now know that the mechanism for the fast release of magnetic energy requires that oppositely pointing magnetic fields be torn apart and reattached to the neighbors in a process called magnetic reconnection. […] The past decade and a half has witnessed noteworthy advances in our understanding, but a breakthrough requires a highly sophisticated space experiment, the NASA Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission scheduled for launch in 2014. […] Dungey’s magnetic reconnection idea had moved from questionable [although confirmed by Fairfield & Arnold and Svalgaard & Mansurov] to highly controversial (owing to the inability at the time to make actual observations) to universally accepted as the main driver of space storms around the Earth. […] The question of whether reconnection triggers the storm was answered in 2008 by the five-spacecraft NASA THEMIS mission which showed conclusively that reconnection is in fact the trigger mechanism. […] Could it be that the same type of reconnection that powers the Earth’s magnetosphere is responsible for energetic phenomena throughout the universe? Of course, our Sun is stong evidence in favor of this possibility […] The study of the dynamics measured with NASA’s TRACE and Japan’s Hinode satellites has dispelled any doubt about the central role of magnetic reconnection in producing explosive phenomena in the solar corona. […] Similarly, throughout the universe explosive phenomena are observed. […] In general, astrophysicists consider reconnection as a possible mechanism for any phenomenon exhibiting plasma heating, particle acceleration, magnetic field collapse or topology changes. […] In 1984 Galleev and Sagdeev proposed that the intense layers of electric currents produced during magnetic reconnection generate turbulent electric field fluctuations. […] The swirling electric field vortices generated in reconnection are similar to the gusty vortices of wind developing during the passage of a strong weather front. […] Another confirmation that the reconnection rate is determined by ion-scale dynamics, such as the magnetic field component predicted by Hall reconnection which has now been confirmed in the laboratory as well as in space.[…]”

  111. Adolfo Giurfa (14:09:51) :
    With due respect: Any of you could run a plasma welding machine without power?
    How do you generate that power? At the center of nearly all power stations is a generator, a rotating machine that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy by creating relative motion between a magnetic field and a conductor. Just as I have been saying.

  112. @ Dr. Svalgaard:
    Dr. Svalgaard restates his previously claim:
    “The slightest separation will result in the very mobile electrons [1 Volt accelerates an electron to more than a million miles per hour] finding their positive partners virtually instantly. Result: there is no charge separation.”
    Now, to demonstrate this antiquated claim is denied by his fellow physicists all that is needed is to point to statements by other physicists:
    For example, Tim Thompson, an astrophysicist recently retired from the JPL, and an objector of some note to the ‘Plasma Universe’ hypothesis had this to say about ‘Electric Currents in Space’:
    Tim Thompson, astrophysicist, was challenged by an interlocutor:”…somehow you’ve managed to convince yourself that electricity does not play a vital role in events in space.”
    And Tim Thompson, astrophysicist, responded:
    ”Wrong. I believe no such thing and neither does anyone else I know. Electric currents certainly do play a vital role in events in space, on every spatial scale from the smallest to the largest. They are incorporated into standard physical models of the solar system and cosmology. There are whole books and reams of papers on the topic. Electric currents do play a vital role in events in space without question.”
    And the NASA physicists also deny Dr. Svalgaard’s claim:
    “Electric charges, electric fields and electric current are critical to the study of the structure of the Sun, solar wind and the magnetosphere of the Earth. Moreover, electric current causes magnetic fields (see Electromagnetism) that are important to understanding dynamic characteristics of the Sun and how the Sun interacts with the Earth.”
    http://stargazers.gsfc.nasa.gov/resources/electricity.htm
    If “there is no charge separation” in space and charges short out “virtually instantly”, then there would be little reason for NASA to state it is critical to study “Electric charges, electric fields and electric current” in space.
    But that’s not all, you, Dr. Svalgaard, contradict your own statements:
    Dr. Svalgaard presented part of Tim Thompson’s statement: “Electric currents certainly do play a vital role in events in space.”
    And Dr. Svalgaard responded: “Of course they [electric currents] do. Everything interesting is done by currents. That is not the issue, which is that the currents are created by plasmas moving in magnetic fields.”
    Dr. Svalgaard, your denial is making you look foolish.
    If there was “no charge seperation” in space then there would be no electric fields, electric currents, or magnetic fields for that matter. Charged particles are influenced by magnetic fields, neutral atoms are not.
    Charged particles, “quasi-neutral”, and thus ‘charge seperation’ must be present in space for magnetic fields to present in space.
    Neutral matter does not generate magnetic fields.
    Dr. Svalgaard, you need to think again.
    Dr. Svalgaard: “Now, you can get a charge separation [and hence an electric field and a current] by letting the plasma flow into a magnetic field.”
    Yes, that is true, magnetic fields will induce an electric current or influence the vector direction of an electric current or outright control the vector direction of an electric current if the magnetic field is strong enough.
    But, Dr. Svalgaard, charged particles flowing in motion constitute an electric current.
    Dr. Svalgaard states: “The magnetic field deflects positive charges one way and negative charges the other way and thus creates a charge separation and an electric current. To maintain the current, you need to keep pushing the [neutral] plasma across the magnetic field.”
    Yes, this “shearing” has been observed & measured, I grant you that, but it’s not a necessary condittion or event for charged particles in motion to be considered an electric current. Rather, it is a reaction that acts to increase self-organization of the charged particles, plasma. This increased self-organization causes higher voltage “potential drops”.
    This is an example of “one side” of the coin where the interaction of electric current and magnetic fields increase the the charge density and voltage of the electric currents. Essentially, this is part of the reinforcing positive feedback loop that makes electromagnetism so dynamic in the Universe.
    Dr. Svalgaard states: “As I have said now a zillion times, this is the fundamental physical process [verified by countless experiments] that drives energy release in the cosmos [flares, aurorae, etc].”
    Yes, this is one of the dynamic physical relationships of charged particles in motion. But it is not the first physical relationship, the first physical relationship is the charge seperation of electrons and ions, the plasma.
    As Hannes Alfven said, “In the beginning was the plasma.”
    The plasma has electric fields, electromotive self-organizing dynamic, which causes electric current, which generates magnetic fields, which in turn influences and strengthens the electric curents, which in turn, again, strengthens the magnetic fields, and so on …in a fractal pattern of energy propogation.
    This is the secret of the Universe.
    I welcome the new in situ satellite probe experiments in 2014, but their focus and assumption based on magnetic fields is misplaced.
    The researchers need to do as Hannes Alfven advised: Not only observe & measure magnetic fields, but also observe & measure electric fields & electric currents.
    This is evident and is as NASA has directed: “Electric charges, electric fields and electric current are critical to the study of the structure of the Sun, solar wind and the magnetosphere of the Earth.”
    Your outdated and antiquated dogma is an impediment to scientific advancement in the understanding of the structure of the Sun, solar wind and the magnetosphere.
    I suggest you get with the program…or get left behind…Leif.

  113. James F. Evans (15:17:47) :
    .charged particles flowing in motion constitute an electric current.
    Not at all. Only if charges of one sign flows in a different direction of that of the charges of the other sign. You have not learned anything. And now you say that NASA’s focus is misplaced. And there are no electric fields in a plasma, because the electrons would immediately short it out.
    But you sound like a broken record by now. Produce a list of physicists that disagree with me and the generally accepted picture that I have shown you. Even Thomson that you refer to does not contradict what I say. So often now I have said that all energetic, explosive, interesting things are wrought by electric currents, and these currents in cosmic plasmas are generated by electrically neutral plasmas moving across or into a magnetic field.

  114. Leif Svalgaard (16:22:42) :
    James F. Evans (15:17:47) :
    charged particles flowing in motion constitute an electric current.
    Let me try one more time:
    (1) take a battery. It has two poles [+] and [-], i.e. a separation of charges.
    (2) if no conductor [wire] connects the two poles, no current will flow
    (3) connect the poles, a current flows
    (4) the current transfers charge from one pole to the other, thus draining the battery
    (5) after a while, the battery goes flat, no more separated charges, and no more electric current. This takes a certain time.
    (a) take a plasma. by some mechanism separate the charges [against their 10E39 strong mutual attraction
    (b) if you place an insulating plate in the middle of the plasma between the separated charges, no current will flow
    (c) remove the insulator, a current flows
    (d) the current transports one charge [electrons because they are so light] from the negative side of the plasma to the positive side
    (e) after a while, there are no more separated charges, and no more electric current. This is extremely rapid as as little as 1 Volt potential difference accelerates the electrons to more than a million miles an hour. Hence no more electric field.
    To maintain the current in both cases you have to keep separating the charges by doing work on them [called the emf]. For a battery you do this by connecting it to a power source [the power coming out of the socket is generally generated by the power company moving a conductor in a magnetic field] recharging the battery and the current can flow again. For a cosmic plasma you can do this by moving a magnetic field over the plasma. The changing magnetic field in the rest frame of the plasma now separates the charges and the current can flow again. This is the secret of the Magnetic Plasma Universe, and this is how things work.
    So, which one(s) of (1) to (5) and/or (a) to (e) do you disagree with?

  115. Dr. Svalgaard, considering you mostly ignore most the obvious points, pieces of evidence, and facts, and that you fail to grasp the nettle time after time. but repeat the same failed claims:
    It is you who are the broken record.
    But go ahead and cling to your primarily mechanical model. Ignore what NASA has to say and communicates to the public. Ignore what your fellow physicists have to say.
    It only makes you look bad.
    But then again, your reputation is on the line…and you’ll say anything to try and make people believe the emperor is wearing a fine robe.
    You are digging a deep hole for yourself…number one rule when you find yourself digging a hole — stop digging…

  116. James F. Evans (18:24:39) :
    Ignore what your fellow physicists have to say.
    I had a whole post about what they are saying. But back to science. Which of the ten points (1)-(5), (a)-(b) do you not agree with?

  117. The sun a clothed neutron star!! The ribbon as part of the debris ejected equatorially when the sun went supernova! Electric universe! Have those contributors never read a physics or astronomy book? Complete and utter lunacy. How many of them are 2012 supporters? Jeez!!!!!

  118. IBEX…remember IBEX?
    James F. Evans (18:24:39) :
    Ah..did you stop listening to yourself?
    Leif seemingly agreed on many points with you. But..I do have to thank you for extracting so much information from him. lol
    And Leif, your patience, very cool…thanks.
    This is now a keeper thread guys.
    On a lighter note.
    What to do with your Al Gore movie.
    Pull…..2..3…4…B A N G

  119. In an article from NatGeo: Magnetism, Not Just Gravity, Makes Black Holes Suck, Study Says, “… Via the Chandra satellite, Miller and his colleagues observed a wind of electrically charged particles emanating from GRO J1655-40.
    The team believes the wind is produced by the same magnetic field that funnels matter into the black hole.”
    This quote stands out in several ways.
    But something doesn’t seem quite right. How can a magnetic field exist around a black hole if it sucks everything into it. Also, since a black hole does not emanate electricity, energy or light, where does the magnetic field come from?
    Multi-present is a word that comes to mind. Leif had made mention to magnetic fields being continuously everywhere . If a magnetic field is multi-present, void of light and energy, how can the theory of electro-magnetic force explain how charged particles are whipped up by magnetic currents and get sucked into a black hole.
    I am not trying to invalidate anyones opinion or body of work regarding this subject. I’m just trying to make sense of it all, and the more I read and question, the more I think Leif Svalgaard might be pointed more in the right direction than you James Evans. But hell, that could all change. I can only read so much.

  120. david alan (04:55:14) :
    How can a magnetic field exist around a black hole if it sucks everything into it.
    A black hole has an accretion disk around it where stuff that is being sucked in temporarily resides. That stuff [as every blob of plasma in the Universe] has an embedded magnetic field. As the stuff is being compressed, the magnetic field is also getting amplified. Now, time near a black hole is a slippery thing. For an outside observer, time slows down and the stuff going into the black hole keeps sitting at the horizon ‘forever’. For an observer being sucked in, he simply passes through the horizon as ‘usual’ and time for her does not slow down. It will too much OT to start a black hole discussion. The important thing for the discussion here is that also in this case, the magnetic field is producing the ‘wind’ and not the other way around.

  121. Re: Leif Svalgaard (07:40:10)
    Yea, Black holes. That’s a whole other subject. Relativity happens ya know.
    Thanks again.

  122. @ Dr. Leif Svalgaard:
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “This is the secret of the Magnetic Plasma Universe, and this is how things work.”
    I do appreciate and acknowledge the statement by Dr. Svalgaard.
    I suspect there are still many and profound differences, but one must recognize positive developments.
    Positive scientific debate and discourse require searching for agreement in goodfaith — I take the above statement as a significant step in that direction.
    Now moving to the battery example:
    Dr. Svalgaard asks: “So, which one(s) of (1) to (5) and/or (a) to (e) do you disagree with?”
    (1) take a battery. It has two poles [+] and [-], i.e. a separation of charges.
    Answer: Agreed, there are positive ions and negative electrons in the solution (using a liquid battery)
    CAVEAT: “A good electrolyte has several interesting properties; for one thing it has lots of ion-pairs in it. When we put an ion-pair in an electrical field, such as in the Ni-Fe gap, the positive ion will tend to drift one way and the negative ion will tend to drift the other way. This process will continue until the electrochemical field in the interior of the gap becomes a constant, independent of position, which is the equilibrium condition. There could be some electrical potential gradient; I don’t think there is much but there could be some. And there could be some concentration gradient; again I don’t think there is much, but there could be some. In any case, when you consider the concentration gradient and the electrical gradient together, in equilibrium there is no net motion of ions. In the simplest case, there is no electrical field (hence no drift) and no concentration gradient (hence no net diffusion). In the more general case, drift due to the electrical potential gradient is counterbalanced by diffusion along the concentration gradient. The two gradients point in opposite direction, and when we add the two effects (electrical and concentration) we find that the electrochemical potential has zero gradient.
    All that applies to the interior of the gaps, in the bulk electrolyte. At the ends of each gap, there will, in general, be some accumulation of ions. This produces complicated dipole layers there. The strength of the dipole layer depends on the properties of the electrolyte, as well as on the properties of the adjacent metal, as discussed in section 1.6. The strength of the dipole layer determines how the potential in the interior of the gap is related to the potential in the interior of the adjacent metal.”
    http://www.av8n.com/physics/battery.htm
    The point, here, is that Dr. Svalgaard’s postulate is too simplified, there is electrochemical activity in the battery when it’s first activated (the parts are put together, metals and electolyte) until it reaches equilibrium over a period of time. Over this period of time there is an electric field and drift of electrons and ions to the respective poles due to electromotive force.
    (2) if no conductor [wire] connects the two poles, no current will flow
    Answer: Agreed, there will be no current across the terminals (two poles).
    CAVEAT: Same as above in answer (1).
    (3) connect the poles, a current flows
    Answer: Agreed.
    (4) the current transfers charge from one pole to the other, thus draining the battery
    Answer: Agreed.
    (5) after a while, the battery goes flat, no more separated charges, and no more electric current. This takes a certain time.
    Answer: Agreed. But I note this is a closed and isolated system.
    (a) take a plasma. by some mechanism separate the charges [against their 10E39 strong mutual attraction
    Plasma is a state of physical matter where the charges, electrons and ions, are already seperated, it may be in a state of ‘quasi-neutrality” it maybe in motion emanating an electric current. No “mechanism” needs to be applied to seperate the charges. Plasma by definition is in a state of charge seperation, although it can be in a state of ‘quasi-neutrality’, as stated above.
    (b) if you place an insulating plate in the middle of the plasma between the separated charges, no current will flow
    Answer: In a laboratory experiment one can seperate two plasma regions by an insulating plate and no current will flow between the two regions, but physical discontinuities within each region will cause self-organization (thus movement) within each region and electric fields will be present.
    Also, space plasma needs to be distinguished because insulators if present likely will not be perfect insulators, more like leaky capacitors, if enough voltage potential drop is present flow will happen through the insulator as a discharge.
    (c) remove the insulator, a current flows
    Answer: Agreed, with reference to answer above.
    (d) the current transports one charge [electrons because they are so light] from the negative side of the plasma to the positive side
    Answer: Agreed.
    e) after a while, there are no more separated charges, and no more electric current. This is extremely rapid as as little as 1 Volt potential difference accelerates the electrons to more than a million miles an hour. Hence no more electric field.
    Answer: It depends the physical discontinuities present in the plasma, double layers can form which act as insulators so in fact discharge doesn’t happen “extremely rapidly, also plasma in space is not analogous to a battery because it is not an isolated system.
    Your hypothetical is too simplified, as space plasma has all kinds of physical discontinuities and loads. As stated above the physical discontinuities result in double layers which tend to slow down the discharge. Also, there will be places where loads are present, which also slow down the discharge as they do with a battery.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_layer_(plasma)
    As Langmuir and Hannes Alfven noted, plasma tends to self-organize and to be cellular and connected in circuits.
    It worth repeating that the battery example and the plasma example are not analogous because a battery is a isolated system or closed system, whereas, plasma, space plasma, the relevant matter in discussion is not an isolated or closed system, interestingly, this where Carla’s statement comes into play, “IBEX…remember IBEX?”, the observation & measurements, as the researchers stated and as Dr. Svalgaard agreed show the interstellar magnetic field and thus an electric current impinges on and is dominate in controlling the heliospere.
    This is an example of of both celluar and circuit structure, as Hannes Alfven noted and predicted there would be in space plasma.
    Again, if Dr. Svalgaard’s hypothetical (of no charge seperation) happened, and “zap” the charges were equalized, with resultant lack of charge seperation and electric field, there would be no plasma, it would be all neutral gases, and there would be no magnetic fields present because even in Dr. Svalgaards claims there needs to be plasma, seperated charges to support a magnetic field.
    This highlights the irrational and contradictory nature of Dr. Svalgaard’s claims:
    One the one hand, Dr. Svalgaard claims seperated charges are neutralized “virtually instantly” in space. This by compulsion means as a result there would be no plasma, only neutral atoms after the elimination of charge seperation and no magnetic fields. But, on the other hand, his claims depend explicitly on the presence of plasma in space as Dr. Svalgaard allows there is plasma in space and magnetic fields cause this plasma to move, thus generating electric current.
    His two claims are mutually exclusive: There can’t be plasma in space without charge seperation, and, so, no plasma, thus, no magnetic fields; in contradistinction his claims rely on both the presence of plasma and magnetic fields.
    And, in fact, while Dr. Svalgaard claims there is no charge seperation, thus no electric fields, on the one hand, on the other hand he allows “everything interesting is done by [electric] currents. That is not the issue, which is that the currents are created by plasmas moving in magnetic fields.”
    There are electric fields with the presence of electric currents.
    So, again Dr. Salgaard’s two claims are mutually exclusive, the two can’t be true at the same time.
    Essentially, Dr. Svalgaard wants to have it both ways, depending on how it suits his arguments at any given time and place in the debate.
    But this isn’t science, it is rhetorical slight of hand, and needs to be exposed for what it is. It is pseudo-science or sociopathic science where you play both ends against the middle and hope nobody notices.
    Well, I have noticed and it needs to be pointed out so others can be aware of Dr. Svalgaards tactics and judge Dr. Svalgaard’s credibility accordingly.
    And, yes, Carla, I know exactly what I am saying and the sad part is, so does Dr. Svalgaard.

  123. Leif Svalgaard :
    “…magnetic field is everywhere”
    James F. Evans (13:48:39) :
    ……..
    “As Langmuir and Hannes Alfven noted, plasma tends to self-organize and to be cellular and connected in circuits.”
    ……………..
    I do not subscribe to theory of EU, but do have certain differences with Dr. Svalgaard’s view as well.
    Some time ago I wrote this on plasma’s self-organising properties:
    Ordinary particles without charge in Brownian motion move in random directions, charge particles do not. In one of his first major theoretical works Einstein has shown in 1905 that Brownian motion on the atomic and molecular scale is a function of the particles’ size, implying that protons and electrons move at different speeds and acceleration, resulting in rise of potential difference and electric currents on a micro scale.
    Collisions of charged particles in plasmas are quite different from normal neutral particle collisions. Neutral particles move independently along straight-line trajectories between distinct collision events, which are typically strong, inelastic events that cause the neutral particle to be scattered in an approximately random direction. In contrast, a charged particle moving through a plasma simultaneously experiences (and is deflected by) the weak Coulomb electric field forces around all the nearby charged particles as it passes by each of them. Since the electric fields around the individual charged particles are quite weak and Coulomb collisions are elastic (energy-conserving), they individually lead to typically only very small deflections in the direction of motion Thus, the trajectory of a charged particle is influenced by many simultaneous, small angle deflections in its direction of motion.
    From the above arise important consequence as far as plasma is concerned. The localised magnetic field arising from initial micro-currents, will exert certain amount of a feedback on the original particles’ Brownian motion, bringing more orderly flow to the electrical charges, in turn producing even stronger currents and magnetic fields, until eventually plasma is turned into orderly, collisionless multi layered flow. The magnetic field so created, may appear to be a frozen field carried by plasma, but in reality is a result of number of factors brought into steady orderly state by a negative feedback. Further more, it may be assumed that under such condition, an outward orderly expansion of plasma gas is imperative as it is propelled by the ‘electric charge – magnetic field’ interaction.
    Gravity force may impede on this self propulsion, but as gravitation forces weakens plasma flow will accelerate. This is one of the properties of the solar wind. The energy required for whole process comes from the thermal energy of plasma particles.
    Plasma particles would be motionless only at 0 K, but since 0 K temperature does not exist anywhere in the Universe, plasma is always in motion everywhere, hence Dr. Svalgaard’s magnetic field is everywhere throughout the Universe.

  124. James F. Evans (13:48:39) :
    Plasma is a state of physical matter where the charges, electrons and ions, are already separated
    No, this is the fatal flaw of your view. Separated means that electrons are over here and ions are over there, so that one macroscopic volume, say a cubic meter, of space has more electrons than the neighboring volume which has more ions than the first one. The electric field from the electrons, say, is the total charge [number of electrons times charge on one electron] divided by the square of the distance from the charge concentration. That of the ions is the same [if halfway, with opposite sign, but also with opposite direction]. It is this macroscopic separation that gives you the electric field that can drive a current. That the electrons and the protons are no longer bound to each other in a plasma, does not mean they are ‘separated’ by a macroscopic distance. The plasma is neutral [or quasineutral if you prefer – makes no difference] in the sense that each macroscopic volume [i.e. much bigger than an atom, but can still be tiny because atoms are tinier] contains the same number of both charges and the charges are therefore not separated with electrons in this volume here and protons in that volume over there, which is required for a macroscopic electric field to exist and for a current to flow from one place to another. That alone makes the rest of your post moot. In a battery you have this separation [your cut-n-paste with details of electrolytes is irrelevant and you don’t even understand enough it yourself to see that].
    If you move a plasma in a magnetic field, the electrons are deflected one way and the protons the other way. This is how a charge separation is created and what allows a current to flow with all the effects that currents can have. This is the crucial point you need to learn.
    You will often see the statement that electrons have been ‘separated’ from the atoms. This is sloppy terminology, but may be the reason for your confusion. What is meant is that the atom has been ionized or dissociated [e.g. by a collision with another atom or proton in the generally hot plasma environment – that is how you make a plasma] into an electron and a proton with each particle going off in random directions. With zillions of atoms, all these random directions add up to no direction at all, so we don’t get all the electrons over here and all the protons over there. Rather we get a thoroughly mixed ‘soup’.
    When the magnetic field is very inhomogeneous or changes rapidly, you can have local charge separation [within a few Debye lengths – typically millimeters to a hundred meters – thus extremely small on the scale of the cosmos). Double layers can then form with an electric field within the very thin layers, but with no electric field outside. You see, without the energy extracted from the pervasive magnetic field by the moving plasma, we get no large-scale currents.
    Your ravings do you a disservice. There is real science for you to learn, if you can.

  125. vukcevic (14:56:26) :
    Collisions of charged particles in plasmas are quite different from normal neutral particle collisions.
    Is irrelevant since cosmic plasmas, e.g. the solar wind is effectively collisionless. The average distance between collisions on the solar wind is larger than the distance between the Sun and the Earth.

  126. vukcevic (14:56:26) :
    The magnetic field so created, may appear to be a frozen field carried by plasma
    The magnetic field in the solar wind is not created en-route by ‘micro-movements’, but on and in the Sun [similar for all other large-scale magnetic fields in the cosmos].
    It is amazing [or perhaps just due to the deepening science illiteracy, sadly combined with the ready access to pseudo-science and misdirections on the Internet] how people cannot learn that cosmic plasmas are very different from laboratory plasmas. Not because of ‘new’ physics, but because of the much larger length scales and the much larger degree of dilution and the lack of walls [walls have crucial effects on laboratory plasma].

  127. Dr. Svalgaard presents Evans statement: ” Plasma is a state of physical matter where the charges, electrons and ions, are already separated”
    And Dr. Svalgaard responds: “No, this is the fatal flaw of your view. Separated means that electrons are over here and ions are over there…”
    Dr. Svalgaard stated : “‘seperated’…is sloppy terminology…” and goes on, “What is meant is that the atom has been ionized…”
    Yes, ionized into a free electron and positive ion which then are responsive to the electromotive force, which as will be discussed below is the first causation of electron and ion movement.
    Plasma “thoroughly mixed” is in a state of ‘quasi-neutrality’ but it still retains charge seperation, free electrons and positive ions. That is why it is referred to as ‘quasi-neutrality’ because it is not neutral gas nor does it behave as neutral gas, as much as Dr. Svalgaard would like to believe.
    Plasma in a ‘quasi-neutral’ state is composed of charged particles that react to the electromotive force and that is the first force that causes plasma as Langmuir so elegantly observed, is self-organizing.
    I associate myself with vukcevic’s comment: “Some time ago I wrote this on plasma’s self-organising properties…”
    Plasma does not stay “thoroughly mixed” in a state of ‘quasi-neutrality’ (if it ever is in a state of perfect ‘quasi-neutrality’ to begin with), the electromotive force (electric field) is present wherever free electrons and positive ions are in proximity. No magnetic field’s presence is required for the electromotive force to act as an attraction between free electrons and positive ions.
    The electromotive force proceeds the presence of a magnetic field in plasma, even ‘quasi-neutral’ or “thoroughly mixed” plasma.
    The battery is an example of electromotive force causing electric current without the presence of a magnetic field (of course, once the electrons and ions begin to move, a concomitant magnetic field will form around the moving charged paticles). But the first force is the electromotive force, electrons move faster than ions, then the duality or “two sides of the same coint”, of electric current and magnetic fields act in a reinforcing positive feed back loop.
    The is a basic construct of causation that physics follows in this situation:
    (Sadly, Dr. Svalgaard wants to confuse the causation principle of physics for his own purposes.)
    But for the movement of the charged particles, there would be no magnetic fields, both at the micro and macro level because electromagnetism is scale independent up to at least 14 orders of magnitude.
    That is why NASA clearly states multiple times: Electric currents cause magnetic fields, as do all physics textbooks and resource materials, this is the demonstrated result of thorough testing in multiple experimental conditions.
    Dr. Svalgaard states: “…how people cannot learn that cosmic plasmas are very different from laboratory plasmas.”
    Apparently NASA doesn’t agree with you Dr. Svalgaard and I’ve pointed this out to you several times and finally you provided a quote form NASA, but on checking the NASA website found that the quote you had used was a truncated version and you had taken the quote out of context, using it for your claims, when the full passage clearly was not addressing your claim, at all.
    There is no experimental results to support Dr. Svalgaard’s claim.
    (That is the definition of pseudo-science and Dr. Svalgaard even had the arrogance state there was no need to even test his claims.)
    I requested Dr. Svalgaard present such experimental results three times, twice he ignored the request and upon informing him I would persist in that request Dr. Svalgaard presented a theoretical mathematical paper supporting his claim.
    (One is left to wonder why Dr. Svalgaard ignored the request two times and even on the third request didn’t acknowledge there was no in situ experimantal results to back his claim.)
    The task of physics is the testing of testable theories.
    It is not physics to make unsupported claims. That is the realm of pseudo-science and even more dangerous sociopathic science.
    It is your hubris, Dr. Svalgaard that has led to this public embarrasment.

  128. James F. Evans (18:39:59) :
    It is your hubris, Dr. Svalgaard that has led to this public embarrasment.
    Gee, I don’t feel embarrassed at all. Something must be wrong with me. I just bought a book today: “Idiot America: How stupidity became a virtue in the land of the free” by Charles Pierce. I can recommend it highly to illustrate your problem.

  129. James F. Evans (18:39:59) :
    No magnetic field’s presence is required for the electromotive force to act as an attraction between free electrons and positive ions.
    You do evidently not know what emf is;
    In a cosmic plasma [Wiki]:
    “the emf is due solely to a time-varying magnetic field that generates an electrical voltage that in turn drives the current.”

  130. Leif Svalgaard (15:43:01) :
    Leif Svalgaard (16:11:34) :
    You either misunderstood or misinterpreted my statement. It was clearly explaining why plasma is collision-less, starting with a premise what would initially happen in an idealised case if plasma was devoid from any external force. Once plasma was formed would, due to the effectives of electrostatic and magnetic events described, almost ‘instantly’ reorder itself. In space, it is other forces which may act in the solar interior or surface, in planetary magnetospheres or impact of ‘galactic gas’ pressures which would affect such self organised and self maintained state.
    Micro currents: Let’s consider a case where plasma is propelled along an imaginary ‘magnetic line’ of force. Proton (or a positive ion) would spin along a spiral left-handed and electron right-handed (depending on orientation of line’s B). Thus, there are two filed aligned (with B) ‘micro currents’ (one due to proton one to electron), flowing in the opposite directions (proton’s in the direction of plasma movement , electron’s in the opposite direction). Two field aligned currents in opposite directions repel each other, so proton and electron can’t meet and neutralise, giving a collision-less plasma flow. However since two ‘micro currents flow in the opposite directions, than the total sum of two ‘micro currents’ is zero, giving an overall impression on a larger scale: no electric current present, but that does not mean that two ‘micro currents’ do not exist. These spatially displaced ‘micro currents’ generate their own B vectors, which are carried forward in the direction of movement ‘frozen field’ etc. etc.
    This of course you may, and most likely would dispute, but it is based on basic laws of physics valid equally well in a lab or space, the Sun or anywhere else in the Universe, and importantly it is nothing to do with ‘theories’ of Electric Universe.

  131. Dr. Svalgaard,
    For a long time, I have enjoyed reading your posts. And, I have always marveled at your patience in explaining and re-explaining many points. Please accept a simple vote of thanks.

  132. vukcevic (00:56:31) :
    Let’s consider a case where plasma is propelled along an imaginary ‘magnetic line’ of force.
    Why is this so hard? Field lines are not imaginary, they are very real in plasmas. And in most of the cosmos and certainly in the solar and interstellar wind, the plasma beta is such that the magnetic field is dragged along by the plasma, so the plasma is not ‘propelled’ along the lines of force, the field lines follow the plasma. The gyrations don’t ‘meet’ because the radii have different sizes for electrons and protons. The collision-less has to due with the very low density, nothing else. The ‘gyro-currents’ currents cancel out in a uniform magnetic field of one polarity. Only at a boundary between oppositely directed fields [e.g. the HCS] do the gyrations not cancel out, and in fact as we have discussed so many times, a current will be generated by charges drifting at right angles to the field [E = -V x B].This is not a ‘micro current’, but a large-scale current, generated and maintained by the magnetic field [no magnetic field = no gyrations = no current].

  133. Dr. Svalgaard presents Evans’ statement: “No magnetic field’s presence is required for the electromotive force to act as an attraction between free electrons and positive ions.”
    And Dr. Svalgaard responds: “You do evidently not know what emf is;
    In a cosmic plasma [Wiki]: “the emf is due solely to a time-varying magnetic field that generates an electrical voltage that in turn drives the current.”
    Well, so Dr. Svalgaard is reduced to relying on Wikipedia, now.
    But I checked Wikipedia cosmic plasma (yes, I check citations), it’s actually listed as Astrophysical plasma — but it does not state what Dr. Svalgaard has claimed for it. Rather, the closest it comes is this, “All known astrophysical plasmas are influenced by magnetic fields. Since plasmas contain equal numbers of electrons and ions, they are electrically neutral overall and thus electric fields play a lesser dynamical role.”
    (if Dr. Svalgaard thinks I’ve linked the wrong Wikipedia entry, he can link the correct entry and I’d be glad to look at it.)
    There is nothing about “the emf is due solely to a time-varying magnetic field that generates an electrical voltage that in turn drives the current.”
    There is no quote as Dr. Svalgaard has represented (see link Wiki entry below).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrophysical_plasma
    Wikipedia has no in situ experimental verification of its claim and neither does Dr. Svalgaard (of course, Dr. Svalgaard states there is no need to test this claim in contravention of the empirical scientific method).
    I’ll rely on a quote for my authority by Dr. Eugene N. Parker, astrophysicist:
    “…magnetic fields appear only in association with electric currents and in association with time varying electric fields…In the laboratory we create static magnetic fields by driving an electric current through a coil of wire. The emf [electromotive force] driving the current is the sourse of the energy that creates the magnetic field, so emf [electromotive force] and [electric] current are clearly the CAUSE (emphasis original) of the magnetic field.”
    Conversations on electric and magnetic fields in the cosmos (page 25)
    http://books.google.com/books/p/princeton?id=7gJ_i3CTcpQC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ViewAPI&hl=en#v=onepage&q=&f=false
    As Dr. Parker makes clear, “magnetic fields appear only in association with electric currents and in association with time varying electric fields”.
    So, Dr. Svalgaard has substituted “time-varying magnetic field” for Dr. Parker’s, ” time varying electric fields”, an obvious change of terms.
    It would seem like Dr. Svalgaard has engaged in a rather sophmoric and obvious attempt at misleading the reader.
    Oh, and while I’m at it, Dr. Parker’s quoted passage backs up my interpretation of the electromotive force 100%.
    Dr. Svalgaard you are getting careless in your desperation.

  134. James F. Evans (07:40:08) :
    Well, so Dr. Svalgaard is reduced to relying on Wikipedia, now.
    At your level, even that may be aiming too high.
    Parker:
    “In the laboratory we create static magnetic fields by driving an electric current through a coil of wire. The emf [electromotive force] driving the current is the source of the energy that creates the magnetic field, so emf [electromotive force] and [electric] current are clearly the cause of the magnetic field.”
    Continuation of the quote:
    “On the other hand, in the cosmos the deformation of the magnetic field embedded in the swirling plasma causes the flow of electric current […] because the energy that drives the current comes from the magnetic field […] In view of the small but non-vanishing friction between the relative motions of the electrons and ions, there is a continuing trickle of energy from the magnetic field to the current to maintain the flow of current required by Ampere’s law, from which it follows that the field is the continuing cause of the current and not vice versa.
    the curious popular notion that the electric current causes the magnetic fields in the cosmos has led to the even more curious notion that the electric current is the more fundamental dynamical variable. […] The current is dynamically passive, consisting of no more than the tiny inertia of the electron conduction velocity, while, […] the stresses in the electric field are small to second order [c.f. my theoretical derivation a while back] in v/c and are quite negligible. The dynamics of the plasma-magnetic field system is driven by the magnetic stress and the inertia and pressure of the plasma”.
    Your selective quoting [omitting the very next sentence] speaks volumes to either inability or conceit. Pick your choise.
    my interpretation of the electromotive force 100%.
    The emf has a standard meaning in physics and is not subject to your interpretation.

  135. Leif Svalgaard (07:21:38) :
    …………
    HCS is a different current to field aligned current. If “I” is an electric current vector due to a single particle, than field aligned current is Z component while HSC is tangential (made of X and Y components). Density might be low in the solar wind, but certainly is not in top layers of solar surface and perhaps in flares and CMEs. In my initial post I did provide explanation how whole process arises in plasma, including cause of acceleration of solar wind (which astrophysics ofyour interpretation does not have an explanation for). The same physical laws have to be satisfied in any circumstance, be it a laboratory, solar wind, magnetosphere, solar corona or photosphere.
    If under gyrations of a particle you have in mind its progressive spiralling, i.e. helical progression than it has to have a field aligned current component. If by gyration you mean planar circular motion of a particle (which I am sure you do not) than Z component for an individual particle’s current = 0. Plasma is always propelled along towards somewhere (no 0 K degree temp in the known Universe) and since a random movement within mass of charged particles is physical impossibility (see my initial post, than field aligned helical current of a charged particle and its associated helical magnetic field are inseparable whatever circumstances.
    It should be noted that up to now I have assumed that particles ‘linear’ progression is at the same speed, but in reality that is not always the case, as Ulysses space probe discovered, in which case a potential difference arises along the path, then Z components of two sets of currents gives a rise to ‘macro’ field aligned current. Two currents trough a particular section S are: I1= n1Sv1Q1 , I2= n2Sv2Q2, charges Q1= -Q2 = Q , number of particles n1= n2 = n v1 and v2 are different velocities, then resultant current is : I=I1+I2 = nS Q(v1-v2). In space this may result in a sort of ‘bunching’ of particles along their progression, so this would be a spatially alternative current.
    My interpretation does comply with the all known laws of physics (lab or space), so I will stick to it, since it makes sense to me, while your interpretation apparently depends on different set of rules, and since you are happy with such dichotomy of interpretation, I am not here to change your mind, but to present somewhat different alternative.

  136. Dr. Svalgaard:
    Of course, you ignore the fact that you were caught red-handed making up out of whole cloth, a fabricated quote from Wikipedia.
    As for the quote I presented and the reason it was not necessary to quote any further, it is simple enough: It was not germane to the point I was making (but yes I did cite the page number and link the material so readers could read for themselves), which was in regards to the emf, electromotive force, and its action on ionized particles, free electrons and positive ions, charge seperated particles. As Dr. Parker makes clear it is the electromotive force that is the first cause (remember the causation principle in physics) — not magnetic fields — for charged particle motion, which is electric current.
    Also, the other reason is this: Like you, Dr. Parker offers NO experimental results of any kind to back up his claims that “somehow” space plasma and electromagnetic processes act differently in space as opposed to the clear experimental results obtained, here, on Earth, which is what my original quote was memorializing. I’ll acknowledge a brief notation of Dr. Parker’s unsupported claims could have been made (although, why embarrass the old man, he’s 82 years old).
    Dr. Svalgaard what is your reason for making up a Wikipedia quote out of thin air?
    The explanation I gave for the electromotive force is the correct definition, as confirmed by Dr. Parker’s statement and countless other authorities.
    Why do you persist in attempting to mislead the reader?
    Dr. Svalgaard your conduct (making up whole cloth quotations and other transgressions) is a prime example of sociopathic science.
    Your hubris is preventing you from quitting while you are behind (but it could still get worse), or seeing how others perceive your conduct.
    It is sad when “belief” and reputation and dogma are more important than science.

  137. vukcevic (08:55:48) :
    to present somewhat different alternative
    There is only one physics. No alternatives. We have had this very discussion so many times, but please spare the folks. And BTW, of course we know why there is a solar wind [we have known this more than 50 years]: the corona is hot, very hot, and conducts heat very efficiently. The corona is simply evaporating. Interesting enough, it is by climbing out of the Sun’s gravity well that the solar wind becomes supersonic [check ‘de laval nozzle solar wind’]. There are a number of explanations for the heating. We don’t know yet which ones are the dominant of effective ones, but there is no lack of mechanisms.
    Look now again at the HCS. The magnetic field near the HCS at some distance from the Sun is mainly transverse to the direction to the sun [because the sun is rotating the foot point of the field line away from the radial – already at the Earth, there is 45 degree angle between the field and the radial; at Pluto, the angle is 89 degrees]. The solar wind flows almost radially at all distances and is thus not ‘propelled along a field line’. You have the basic physics completely wrong, as we have seen so many times. The amazing thing is your inability to learn [shared with that other poster].

  138. James F. Evans (09:33:27) :
    Of course, you ignore the fact that you were caught red-handed making up out of whole cloth, a fabricated quote from Wikipedia.
    […]
    what is your reason for making up a Wikipedia quote out of thin air?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromotive_force
    scroll down to:
    Electromotive force and voltage difference
    then down to:
    “For a circuit consisting of an electrical generator that drives current through a resistor, the emf is due solely to a time-varying magnetic field that generates an electrical voltage that in turn drives the current.”

  139. Leif Svalgaard (09:53:35) :
    “of course we know why there is a solar wind”
    That is not what I said, I said “including cause of acceleration of solar wind” which is totally different matter.
    As far as particle, current and magnetic field are concerned, should not be there any ambiguity as it has been resolved by experts in the field: Birkeland, Alfvén and Boström.
    Quote: “Regardless of scale, the motion of charged particles produces a self-magnetic field that can act on other collections of charged particles, internally or externally. Plasmas in relative motion are coupled via currents that they drive through each other” -Peratt (1992)
    I have no problem with ‘de Laval nozzle principle for solar wind’, for initial acceleration, but you also ignored a statement I made in my post:
    “Gravity force may impede on this self propulsion, but as gravitation forces weaken plasma flow will accelerate. This is one of the properties of the solar wind. The energy required for whole process comes from the thermal energy of plasma particles.”
    Nothing wrong there with my basic physics.
    “There is only one physics.”
    Absolutely agree: I assume you will not claim again that plasma in a lab is subject to one set of laws and in the space to another. The same physical laws have to be satisfied in any circumstance, be it a laboratory, solar wind, magnetosphere, solar corona or photosphere, and my view conforms with those.
    To be honest I given up reading James F. Evans’ and yours posts, I do not agree with either of you, and as far as I can see you are just going in circles, nothing new there for some time.

  140. Dr. Svalgaard presents vukcevic’s statement: “to present somewhat different alternative”
    And Dr. Svalgaard responded: “There is only one physics.”
    Yes, that is true, but what that physics is, is another question entirely.
    Good Science is constantly questioning and conducting experiments and observing & measuring to further Man’s understanding toward that “one physics”, most likely Man will never get there to absolute knowledge.
    But hopefully that will never be for lack of trying and imagination.
    Dr. Svalgaard presupposes that he is in possession of the one “true physics”.
    Good Science is constantly investigating alternatives, without alternative ideas science would stagnate into dogma and “belief”.
    Obviously, some alternatives are better than others, that’s why science is constantly testing to either falsify or verify hypothesis, a bedrock principle of the empirical scientific method.
    Good science does not rely on theoretical constructs and declare there is no reason for experiments be they insitu observation & measurement or laboratory experiment.
    It’s naked hubris that drives Dr. Svalgaard to believe he is in possession of the one “true physics”.
    Enough of philosophy.
    Dr. Svalgaard makes an offering of a Wikipedia entry on Electromotive Force, presumably to suggest that is what he really meant, above, when he cited a Wikipedia entry on cosmic plasma with a quote that was clearly not in the astrophysical plasma entry.
    To be fair and give the benefit of the doubt (what little doubt there is), allow Dr. Svalgaard a muligan.
    But the Wikipedia entry on electromotive force starts off: “In physics, electromotive force, or most commonly emf (seldom capitalized), or (occasionally) electromotance is “that which tends to cause current (actual electrons and ions) to flow.”
    And goes on: “The electric potential difference is created by separating positive and negative charges, thereby generating an electric field. The created electrical potential difference drives current flow if a circuit is attached to the source of emf.”
    And it goes on further: “Devices that can provide emf include voltaic cells, thermoelectric devices, solar cells, electrical generators, transformers, and even Van de Graaff generators.
    In the case of a battery, charge separation that gives rise to a voltage difference is accomplished by chemical reactions at the electrodes
    “For a circuit consisting of an electrical generator that drives current through a resistor, the emf is due solely to a time-varying magnetic field that generates an electrical voltage that in turn drives the current.”
    Dr. Svalgaard presents a statement from the Wikipedia entry: “For a circuit consisting of an electrical generator that drives current through a resistor, the emf is due solely to a time-varying magnetic field that generates an electrical voltage that in turn drives the current.”
    Obviously, as the quote above Dr. Svalgaard’s quote from the Wikipedia entry makes clear, an “electrical generator” is only one way to produce electrical current among many. Dr. Svalgaard has brought this up before and it has been pointed out to him that the electric current is generated by the rotation of a bar magnets past an electrically conductive material, but the magnetic field in the bar magnet is due to orderred electron motion or “spin” of the electrons.
    The first cause of the bar magnet’s magnetic field is electron motion, charged particle motion. The electric current caused by the generator is a secondary effect, which has already been discussed.
    There are various theories for the magnetic field in the bar magnet, but they always boil down to orderred electron motion in some fashion.
    So, as been stated, here, ad nauseam, electron motion, electric current causes magnetic fields.
    Dr. Svalgaard takes a valid quote and uses it out of context to serve his own ends.

  141. vukcevic (11:06:55) :
    That is not what I said, I said “including cause of acceleration of solar wind” which is totally different matter.
    No, the acceleration of the solar wind is a natural consequence of it not being in hydrostatic equilibrium as Parker showed 52 years ago and has nothing to do with electric currents or magnetic fields. His fundamental equation governing solar wind speed is dV/dr = [2a^2/r – GMo/r^2)]/[V – a^2/V] which you can find in any textbook or internet page on this. The inner solar wind is accelerated outward by about the same [coincidental] amount as gravity at the Earth’s surface.
    As far as particle, current and magnetic field are concerned, should not be there any ambiguity as it has been resolved by experts in the field: Birkeland, Alfvén and Boström.
    I’m an expert in this field, too. And BTW, have often discussed this in detail with Hannes who was a good friend of mine.
    “Gravity force may impede on this self propulsion, but as gravitation forces weaken plasma flow will accelerate.
    Gravity actually [the de Laval Nozzle effect] is a necessary ingredient in accelerating the solar wind to supersonic speeds. [same in rocket engines]
    The same physical laws have to be satisfied in any circumstance, be it a laboratory, solar wind, magnetosphere, solar corona or photosphere, and my view conforms with those.
    Where you go completely wrong is that the same laws work differently depending on the boundary conditions [mainly conductivity, density, and length scale – for example the gyroradius is cosmic plasmas is typically of the order of centimeters compared to the linear extend of the plasma – thousand or millions of kilometers]
    To be honest I given up reading James F. Evans’ and yours posts, I do not agree with either of you, and as far as I can see you are just going in circles, nothing new there for some time.
    Well, he is like you: nothing new there for some time. For you and for him, this is not a question about agreement, but of learning.

  142. Leif Svalgaard (12:00:51) :
    “the acceleration of the solar wind is a natural consequence of it not being in hydrostatic equilibrium as Parker showed 52 years ago and has nothing to do with electric currents or magnetic fields. His fundamental equation governing solar wind speed is dV/dr = [2a^2/r – GMo/r^2)]/[V – a^2/V] which you can find in any textbook or internet page on this.”
    Parker equation appears to be based on the ‘gas law’ where mass and energy are conserved. Gas expansion needs to take into account Brownian motion with thermal energy as a driver.
    You again ignored basic premise of my post, that plasma is not and does not behave as an idealised gas, or any gas unless is partially or predominantly ionised, when it is plasma. So in order not to search for it I will repeat it again.
    “Ordinary particles without charge in Brownian motion move in random directions, charge particles do not. In one of his first major theoretical works Einstein has shown in 1905 that Brownian motion on the atomic and molecular scale is a function of the particles’ size, implying that protons and electrons move at different speeds and acceleration, resulting in rise of potential difference and electric currents on a micro scale.
    Collisions of charged particles in plasmas are quite different from normal neutral particle collisions. Neutral particles move independently along straight-line trajectories between distinct collision events, which are typically strong, inelastic events that cause the neutral particle to be scattered in an approximately random direction. In contrast, a charged particle moving through a plasma simultaneously experiences (and is deflected by) the weak Coulomb electric field forces around all the nearby charged particles as it passes by each of them. Since the electric fields around the individual charged particles are quite weak and Coulomb collisions are elastic (energy-conserving), they individually lead to typically only very small deflections in the direction of motion Thus, the trajectory of a charged particle is influenced by many simultaneous, small angle deflections in its direction of motion.
    Again quote: “Regardless of scale, the motion of charged particles produces a self-magnetic field that can act on other collections of charged particles, internally or externally. Plasmas in relative motion are coupled via currents that they drive through each other”

  143. vukcevic (13:08:21) :
    You again ignored basic premise of my post, that plasma is not and does not behave as an idealized gas
    You premise is wrong and therefore the rest. To save me a long and tedious typing session, it is convenient to quote Wikipedia [also because wiki happens to be correct on this].
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_parameter
    The ideal plasma approximation:
    One of the criteria which determine whether a collection of charged particles can rigorously be termed an ideal plasma is that Λ>>1. When this is the case, collective electrostatic interactions dominate over binary collisions, and the plasma particles can be treated as if they only interact with a smooth background field, rather than through pairwise interactions (collisions) [3]. The equation of state of each species in an ideal plasma is that of an ideal gas.
    Plasma properties and Λ
    Λ<>1
    Ionospheric physics
    Magnetic fusion devices
    Space plasma physics
    Plasma ball
    I’m tired now. Hopefully this will be the last time, I’ll have to set you straight on this.
    About Birkeland, Alfven, and Bostroem:
    Birkeland was completely wrong. He thought aurorae were caused by electron jets [currents!] form the Sun. His error was pointed out the Lindeman who showed that mutual repulsion would completely disperse the jet, and that a neutral plasma was needed.
    Alfven was railing against misuse of his ideas. In the 1960s some people thought that the magnetic field lines were equipotentials, i.e. that no current could ever flow along them. This is clearly wrong as observations showed, but does not mean that ALL currents are field-aligned. In fact, most are not. What happens is that strong changes of the magnetic field can create an electric field that can accelerate electrons. Since electrons can move with ease along the magnetic field but not across, it is no wonder that we observe some come along the field. And Bostroem just suggested what the auroral current system might look like. None of this has any bearing on the subject under discussion.

  144. Dr. Svalgaard
    Thanks for that link. That is far closer to what I was having in mind than clasic ‘gas law’, apparent bases of Parkers equation.
    I agree, lets give it a rest. Your effort is not wasted, if I am a bit stubborn and not taking up your explanations readily, they are opening doors to many other readers, for which all of us thankful.

  145. Dr. Svalgaard: It is bad enough that you are willing to mislead about the science to protect your own belief system and reputation, but when you distort the record about other scientists and their achievements, you really reveal who you are.
    Below is a passage from the Wikipedia entry for the solar wind:
    “The ideas of Fitzgerald and others were further developed by the Norwegian physicist Kristian Birkeland. His geomagnetic surveys showed that auroral activity was nearly uninterrupted. 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. Three years later in 1919, Frederick Lindemann also suggested that particles of both polarities, protons as well as electrons, come from the Sun.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_wind
    There is a reason Birkeland currents are named in his honor.
    Your willingness to distort and mislead are unbounded.
    Of course, it has been pointed out to you that Sidney Chapman was wrong.
    Chapman claimed the Earth was entirely isolated from the solar wind by the Earth’s magnetosphere.
    Today, we know that the Earth is not isolated by the magnetosphere from the Sun’s solar wind.
    As NASA recounts:
    “In the 1930’s Chapman and Ferraro predicted that the plasma and magnetic fields from the Sun and the plasma and magnetic fields of the Earth would not mix. They thought that the magnetic field of the Earth could create a complete barrier to the solar wind. The boundary between the interplanetary magnetic field and the region dominated by the Earth’s magnetic field is called the Magnetopause. In the Chapman-Ferraro model, the plasma of the solar wind and the magnetic fields of the Sun slide over and around the Earth’s magnetosphere without any mixing.”
    http://stargazers.gsfc.nasa.gov/resources/earth_magnetosphere.htm
    I’ve seen you write before that Chapman was right. No he was not, but why you back him is simple, he was violently opposed to Hannes Alfven’s concepts, held that space is electrically neutral and held to the mechanical model that you cling to.
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “I’m an expert in this field, too. And BTW, have often discussed this in detail with Hannes who was a good friend of mine.”
    Please, you distort Hannes Alfven’s work, where he publically rejected “frozen in” magnetic field lines at his Nobel acceptance speech and wrote of “magnetic reconnection” as pseudo-science.
    It is offensive that you would claim to be a friend of Alfven when you distort his work. No friend would do that. Only somebody willing to stab him in the back.
    You reject Hannes Alfven’s ideas about space plasma being cellular and connected in circuits and a good number of his other ideas, as well.
    But the advancement of scientific understanding as in situ satellite probes are sent into space will vindicate many if not most of Alfven’s ideas.
    Such will not be the same for yours.
    Perhaps, that is why you are contemptuous of the need for in situ satellite probes that could either falsify or confirm your claims.

  146. vukcevic (01:13:38) :
    That is far closer to what I was having in mind than classic ‘gas law’, apparent bases of Parkers equation.
    You still miss the point. When the plasma parameter is much larger than one as it is for cosmic plasma, the plasma is an ideal classic gas.
    James F. Evans (02:03:47) :
    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”.
    Of course, Birkeland had to say that because it was pointed out to him that if all streams were negative, the sun with be left with a steadily growing positive charge, so to avoid that, he assumed that some streams were positive and some were negative. That is not what we call a plasma today. Lindemann’s contribution was to realize that the streams would have to be neutral with equal mix of electrons and ions.
    In the Chapman-Ferraro model, the plasma of the solar wind and the magnetic fields of the Sun slide over and around the Earth’s magnetosphere without any mixing.”
    The initial phase of a magnetic storm is even today described by the generally accepted Chapman-Ferraro model.
    It is offensive that you would claim to be a friend of Alfven when you distort his work. No friend would do that. Only somebody willing to stab him in the back.
    Curiously, Hannes agreed with me during our discussions about the shape of the HCS.
    But the advancement of scientific understanding as in situ satellite probes are sent into space will vindicate many if not most of Alfven’s ideas.
    Indeed, satellites and spacecraft have corroborated our joint views on the magnetic structure of the solar wind [and Parker’s as well].
    Your vitriol is wasted. I hope you have learned something about space plasmas during these exchanges.

  147. Are you through now Mr. Evans? (you burned me out too)
    Would you care to address the effects of the neutral populations that are flowing thru the interior of the heliosphere at 1 AU? ( I am referring to the neutral H, He and O that flow from an area near the nose of the heliosphere to 1 AU and thru to the ah um tail of the heliosphere.
    Direct Observations of Interstellar H, He, and O by the Interstellar Boundary
    Explorer
    Neutral gas of the local interstellar medium flows through
    the inner solar system while being deflected by solar
    gravity and depleted by ionization. The dominating
    feature in the energetic neutral atom IBEX all-sky maps
    at low energies is the H, He, and O interstellar gas flow.
    The He and O flow peaked around 8 February in
    accordance with gravitational deflection, whereas H
    dominated after 26 March, consistent with approximate
    balance of gravitational attraction by solar radiation
    pressure. The flow distributions arrive from a few degrees
    above the ecliptic plane and show the same temperature
    for He and O. An asymmetric O distribution in ecliptic
    latitude points to a secondary component from the outer
    heliosheath.
    Interstellar neutral gas flows through the inner heliosphere
    due to the Sun’s motion relative to the local interstellar
    medium (LISM), thus making interstellar gas measurements
    possible from Earth’s orbit. Ionization of neutral atoms
    approaching the Sun and the Sun’s gravitational field result in
    a characteristic flow pattern and density structure in the inner
    heliosphere with a cavity close to the Sun and gravitational
    focusing on the downwind side (Fig. 1A). For H this pattern
    is distinctly modified by radiation pressure, eliminating the
    downwind focusing. Previous LISM H and He diagnostic
    studies used UV backscatter observations (1, 2), pickup ion
    studies (3, 4), and a combination of methods for He (5).
    Making use of the Sun’s gravitational deflection, the velocity
    distributions of various species can be studied in detail using
    neutral atom imagers (6, 7) to derive interstellar gas
    parameters, filtering of the species in the outer heliosheath,
    and their deflection by interstellar magnetic field effects on
    the plasma.
    Figure 1A, 1B
    http://i886.photobucket.com/albums/ac65/csspider57/temporary/DirectObservationsofInterstellar-1.jpg
    24 August 2009; accepted 2 October 2009
    Published online 15 October 2009; 10.1126/science.1180971
    Include this information when citing this paper
    For more see also..Carla (05:27:05) :10-20-2009
    These neutrals just walk on thru and correspond with some of the other IBEX images for locations.

  148. @ Dr. Svalgaard:
    Regarding Birkeland, thank you for the pdf file, I take your point that at the time of the journal you provided he was still focussed on negative charges: “Birkeland considers that corpuscles are negative…”
    I have no problem with Birkeland subsequently considering other evidence and interpretions and revising his considered opinion, on the contrary, that is an example of good science. It is an example of scientific process you seem to have difficulty with. Also, that doesn’t change the fact that Birkeland did later correctly identify that both positive and negative “corpuscles” were present. And if Lindemann added on with his own contribution, so much the better. In science, everybody stands on the shoulders of those that came before.
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote, “…neutral with equal mix of electrons and ions.”
    No. this is a confusion of terms. Any region which has ionized electrons and ions (quasi-neutral) there will be electromotive force or an electric field present, even with one free electron and one ion there will be a voltage potential drop between the two (however small that would be).
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “The initial phase of a magnetic storm is even today described by the generally accepted Chapman-Ferraro model.”
    That does not change the fact that Chapman maintained there was no mixing between the solar wind and Earth’s magnetosphere, which, today, science knows is wrong, which was my point in the first place — typical that you wouldn’t just “man up” and acknowledge that fact.
    Dr. Svalggaard wrote: “Curiously, Hannes agreed with me during our discussions about the shape of the HCS.”
    It does not surprise me in the least that Alfven would agree with you on that point (I acknowledge your pioneering work) because Alfven was broad-minded (from what I understand Alfven was dedicated to observation & measurement) and your work there was well supported by observation & measurement.
    It is your present claims that aren’t supported by ANY observation & measurement whether in the laboratory or in situ that are problematic (more on that later).
    Dr. Svalgaard your references to scientific theories from over 50 years ago regarding the solar wind are telling.
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “And BTW, of course we know why there is a solar wind [we have known this more than 50 years]: the corona is hot, very hot, and conducts heat very efficiently. The corona is simply evaporating. Interesting enough, it is by climbing out of the Sun’s gravity well that the solar wind becomes supersonic [check ‘de laval nozzle solar wind’].”
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “No, the acceleration of the solar wind is a natural consequence of it not being in hydrostatic equilibrium as Parker showed 52 years ago and has nothing to do with electric currents or magnetic fields.”
    Vukcevic was right.
    Dr. Svalgaard’s ideas, as I pointed out above in this thread are locked into the 1960’s, “hot gas, “kinetics”, and “pressure”, mechanical model or thermodynamic model. This mechanical model is outdated and has been shown to be for at least a decade (you are clinging to your glory days of the 1970’s) and is antiquated and naive if not simply false.
    The wikipedia entry for solar wind specifically addresses this issue in the history section:
    “However, the acceleration of the fast wind is still not understood and cannot be fully explained by Parker’s theory.”
    Wikipedia goes on:
    “In the late 1990s the Ultraviolet Coronal Spectrometer (UVCS) instrument on board the SOHO spacecraft observed the acceleration region of the fast solar wind emanating from the poles of the sun, and found that the wind accelerates much faster than can be accounted for by thermodynamic expansion alone. Parker’s model predicted that the wind should make the transition to supersonic flow at an altitude of about 4 solar radii from the photosphere; but the transition (or “sonic point”) now appears to be much lower, perhaps only 1 solar radius above the photosphere, suggesting that some additional mechanism accelerates the solar wind away from the sun.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_wind
    Dr. Svalggard wrote: “But the advancement of scientific understanding as in situ satellite probes are sent into space will vindicate many if not most of Alfven’s ideas. Indeed, satellites and spacecraft have corroborated our joint views on the magnetic structure of the solar wind [and Parker’s as well].”
    Structure and morphology is one thing (and is important), but the processes that drive the structure is just as important, and that is where you naively cling to the mechanical model where NASA and others have advanced into a more sophisticated understanding and model that accounts for the electrical and magnetic properties of the solar wind, helio current sheet, and coronal mass ejections, along with their interaction with the Earth’s magnetosphere.
    The acceleration electrons and ions that is spoken of, above, is most likely a product of an electric field (always present where ionized particles are present) and this electric field is concentrated in the helio current sheet where the acceleration is most pronounced (electric fields cause charged particle acceleration).
    I realize this discussion has been going ’round and ’round.
    Carla, I suggest it is Dr. Svalgaard who wants to “burn” everybody out, principally myself, so he can cynically say to himself, “I got the last word,” and salvage is his ego, and make sure and protect the weaknesses in his claims.
    But there is one final point that needs to be made and a hypothesis/prediction regarding this ribbon that needs to be stated.
    Dr. Svalgaard claims the magnetic fields cause electric current in space. There is no experimental in situ evidence to support this claim (and blatently contradicts the known scientific results) and in fact Dr. Svalgaard has arrogantly claimed no in situ experiments are needed to verify his claims.
    In Science, the burden of scientific evidence is on the proponent making the claim. Dr. Svalgaard’s position would reverse this burden essentially because he claims his hypothesis is right without any in situ experimental evidence at all.
    At first I thought his insistence that no in situ experimental evidence was needed was because no in situ experimental results existed, which is true enough in itself, but there’s more to it than that.
    Dr. Svalgaard’s claim can’t be falsified by in situ experiment.
    It’s as if Dr. Svalgaard is claiming there are pink unicorns in space and saying no experimental evidence is needed to verify his claim.
    What would an in situ observation & measurement find and record in space plasma?
    Well, it would find an electric field in any region (even a region in ‘quasi-neutrality’) of space plasma because ionized electrons and ions which by definition cause an electric field are present in space plasma. There is no in situ experiment that would be able to record observations & measurements that could later tell you whether the electric field and electric current caused the magnetic field or vice versus.
    So the reason Dr. Svalgaard insists no experimental evidence is needed is because he knows there is no experimental evidence that could falsify or verify his claim.
    That is why he has worked so hard to claim by fiat that his hypothesis is corrent because once his claim has gained currency and been accepted there would be no possible way to falsify his claims and he could go on claiming it is right (as he has done here) and no one would be able to prove anything different.
    This is an example of sociopathic science: Proposing a hypothesis that counters known experimental results, which one knows can’t be disproved once it has gained some level of acceptance, which would preserve his functionally “electrically neutral” claims, and which he tenaciously clings to, as does a rump of opinion in the astronomical community.
    Dr. Svalgaard, if you think I got this all wrong and I’m needlessly maligning your character, please provide the in situ experiment that would either falsify or verify your claim.
    Failure to address this request for an in situ experiment to test your assertion is prima facie evidence that in fact you are claiming something that can never be falsified, or verified. A “no, no” in the empirical scientific method. And that you knew this problem existed all along, but attempted to hide it.
    Now, going on to the hypothesis/prediction.
    The IBEX has recorded the ribbon on the heliosphere and the researchers have stated it is the magnetic field that is dominating this process, and this has been observed & measured during this solar minimum. And the researchers have suggested they expect the ribbon could change its shape, intensity, composition, and other details over human scales of observation & measurement.
    So, should these changes happen (and the changes suggest an intensification of the magnetic field) and a concomitant change happens in the Sun’s solar activity, say going from solar minimum to solar maximum and there is corollation between these changes in the solar cycle and the intensity and other dynamics of the ribbon, it would suggest that the Sun is influenced by the interstellar magnetic field, may receive energy from the interstellar magnetic field and go along way to confirming Alfven’s view of a cellular Universe connected in circuits. It would show that the Sun is not an isolated body in this part of the Milky Way galaxy, but is connected to the rest of the galaxy as every star in the galaxy.
    If there was a corollation between ribbon composition and strength and the Sun’s solar cycle of minimum and maximum it would defy all current mainstream explanations of solar behavior and could even challenge the conventional “nuclear furnace” model of the Sun. Present conventional explanation does not envision the solar dynamo being effected or receiving any signal or energy from outside the solar system.
    Such corollation as described above would suggest there is in fact a dynamic and structure that connects the interstellar magnetic field to the Sun with energy from the instellar (electro)-magnetic field going to the Sun.
    I look forward to the results of the IBEX program in the years ahead.

  149. James F. Evans (14:09:42) :
    Also, that doesn’t change the fact that Birkeland did later correctly identify that both positive and negative “corpuscles” were present.
    He did no such thing. Stung by the argument that the Sun would build up a strong charge indefinitely if all corpuscles were of the same sign, he tried to rescue his ideas by positing that different streams might have charges of opposite signs. Not a neutral plasma as we understand it today and as Lindemann showed it must be.
    even with one free electron and one ion there will be a voltage potential drop between the two (however small that would be).
    The electrons and ions would be randomly distributed in space [having a very high temperature] so all these small electric fields would point in random directions and there would no net large-scale electric field which is what the discussion is about.
    That does not change the fact that Chapman maintained there was no mixing between the solar wind and Earth’s magnetosphere
    The Chapman-Ferraro confinement of the the Earth’s magnetic field to a magnetosphere is the primary mechanism [also today] that maintains the magnetosphere and creates the magnetopause current. This has nothing to do with mixing of the magnetic fields. In fact, when the HMF is pointing northwards, there is basically no mixing [called ‘reconnection’] and yet the magnetosphere is still the. The size of the magnetosphere [the ‘standoff’ distance] is determined by the pressure balance of the solar wind against the Earth’s magnetic field. Magnetic reconnection can, at times of southward field, peel off more magnetic field lines from th Earth’s dipole field and add them to the magnetic field in the magnetospheric tail.
    I understand Alfven was dedicated to observation & measurement
    Alfven was a theoretical physicist [although he was educated as an engineer]. Although Alfven made many contributions to plasma physics, not everything he expounded have stood the test of time, e.g. his view that the Big Bang was a scientific myth devised to explain creation, or his various ideas about matter-antimatter cellular domains in the Universe, or even his ideas about sunspots.
    “However, the acceleration of the fast wind is still not understood and cannot be fully explained by Parker’s theory.”
    Note the ‘fast’. There are faster streams embedded in the ambient solar wind, and these require extra heating. There are plenty proposed sources of this heating. A popular one is ‘nanoflares’ caused by magnetic reconnection.
    some additional mechanism accelerates the solar wind away from the sun.
    As I said, there is additional heating in the ‘fast’ solar wind.
    NASA and others have advanced […] this electric field is concentrated in the helio current sheet where the acceleration is most pronounced (electric fields cause charged particle acceleration).
    NASA and almost every space physicist are on the same page as I. The HCS is caused by the magnetic field changing polarity across it, and there is no acceleration there.
    Dr. Svalgaard claims the magnetic fields cause electric current in space. There is no experimental in situ evidence to support this claim
    A fundamental process in the cosmos is magnetic reconnection [not recognized by Electric Universe cult], whereby oppositely magnetic fields are pressed together by movement of the neutral plasma. The changing magnetic field induces [as we have discussed so often] an electric field at the boundary between the opposite polarities, driving an interface current. If the induced field is strong enough, the magnetic field topology at the very interface [called the separatrix] can change and the MHD description breaks down right at the interface which is very thin, typically meters only. The theory of this may be found here: http://www.leif.org/EOS/97JA03528.pdf and a recent experimental in situ verification by the Cluster spacecraft fleet can be found here: http://www.leif.org/EOS/97JA03528.pdf .
    The in situ observations fully confirm the theory [as we would have expected]. Of course, NASA and I [for that matter] are not surprised by this vindication of our understanding of how magnetic fields and moving plasma shape our universe and of that magnetic reconnection is the dominant process for transfer of energy across the magnetopause.
    It would seem that the in situ measurements demolishes the ruminations of a certain Electric Universe enthusiast, Donald Scott:
    ” Magnetic reconnection was invented to ‘explain’ away the release of vast amounts of energy from magnetic fields in plasmas by people who could not bring themselves to study EM field theory. Again – gravity does not squirt out energy. Energy is released from magnetic fields when the current CAUSING the field to exist, drops in magnitude. Proponents of ‘magnetic reconnection’ demonstrate their ignorance of electro-magnetic principles by committing several fundamental errors in that regard.”
    I’m needlessly maligning your character,
    Maligning someones character is despicable in any event.
    If there was a correlation between ribbon composition and strength and the Sun’s solar cycle of minimum and maximum
    But there is, because the ribbon comes from the Sun, and does not defy anything.

  150. Leif Svalgaard (18:25:38) :
    James F. Evans (14:09:42)
    a recent experimental in situ verification by the Cluster spacecraft fleet can be found here: http://www.leif.org/EOS/angeo-27-4039-2009.pdf .
    I typed the link wrong.
    The abstract is here:
    Abstract. Using data from the four Cluster spacecraft we study the separatrix regions of magnetic reconnection sites at the dayside magnetopause under conditions when reconnection is occurring in the magnetopause current layer which separates magnetosheath plasma from the hot magnetospheric plasma sheet. We define the separatrix region as the region between the separatrix – the first field line opened by reconnection – and the reconnection jet (outflow region). We analyze eight separatrix region crossings on the magnetospheric side of the magnetopause and present detailed data for two of the events. We show that characteristic widths of the separatrix regions are of the order of ten ion inertial lengths at the magnetopause. Narrow separatrix regions with widths comparable to a few ion inertial lengths are rare. We show that inside the separatrix region there is a density cavity which sometimes has complex internal structure with multiple density dips. Strong electric fields exist inside the separatrix regions and the electric potential drop across the regions can be up to several kV. On the magnetosheath side of the region there is a density gradient with strong field aligned currents. The observed strong electric fields and currents inside
    the separatrix region can be important for a local energization of ions and electrons, particularly of ionospheric origin, as well as for magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling.
    —————
    Let me summarize the salient points: when we have magnetic fields of opposite polarity being pressed together by motions of the neutral plasma, they reconnect. The rapidly changing magnetic field induces strong electric fields in the very narrow boundary. This electric field is important in driving the various explosive phenomena observed [substorms, etc] but is created and only exists in the thin boundary region.

  151. James F. Evans (14:09:42) :
    Carla, I suggest it is Dr. Svalgaard who wants to “burn” everybody out, principally myself, so he can cynically say to himself, “I got the last word,”
    I actually want you to have the last word, along the lines of: “I see, now I finally understand the modern view of the magnetic universe, sorry it took so long”.

  152. Leif Svalgaard (19:15:35) :
    James F. Evans (14:09:42) :
    Carla, I suggest it is Dr. Svalgaard who wants to “burn” everybody out, principally myself, so he can cynically say to himself, “I got the last word,”
    I actually want you to have the last word, along the lines of: “I see, now I finally understand the modern view of the magnetic universe, sorry it took so long”.
    Well, for me it will take a lot longer to grasp this in a workable format. I don’t have 45 +- years under my belt to reference. Like maybe a year and half or so of some random reads, so it will be a while. lol That’s ok, as long as my understanding progesses forward.
    Do we know the polarity of the main galactic field?

  153. Well, let’s see if I can pare this down (it’s gone kinda global, at some fault of my own) to a tailored response.
    Dr. Svalgaard presents Evans’ statement: “even with one free electron and one ion there will be a voltage potential drop between the two (however small that would be).”
    Dr. Svalgaard responds: “The electrons and ions would be randomly distributed in space [having a very high temperature] so all these small electric fields would point in random directions and there would no net large-scale electric field which is what the discussion is about.”
    First, a perfect quasi-neutral region of plasma is not what is observed in the solar system or in the Universe at large.
    What is observed & measured is plasma flows where the free electrons and ions are moving in an ordered direction, such as the helio current sheet. That is why NASA and others refer to it as a “current”, which is shorthand for “electric current”, and thus have an ordered magnetic field.
    But let’s take Dr. Svalgaard’s hypothetical at face value. If the electrons and ions were randomly distributed due to temperature and randomly moving due to temperature, a magnetic field would not be evident because magnetic fields are dissipated by high temperature because the random movement of electrons and ions tend to cancel out an organized magnetic field.
    Essentially, the electric field and the magnetic field would suffer the same fate in the hypothetical presented by Dr. Svalgaard.
    But, again, that is not what is observed and measured, instead there is an organized magnetic field, which only results if there is an organized electric current and organized electric field.
    Also, space plasmas exhibit ordered movement even in the intense temperature of the Sun. And, there are coresponding electric currents and electric fields, and, thus, magnetic fields.
    As NASA states:
    “Magnetic fields are produced by electric currents. These currents are generated within the Sun by the flow of the Sun’s hot, ionized gases. We observe a variety of flows on the Sun’s surface and within its interior. Nearly all of these flows may contribute in one way or another to the production of the Sun’s magnetic field.”
    http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/dynamo.shtml
    So, while Dr.Svalgaard is entitled to postulate any hypothetical he wants, his hypothetical is meaningless, and, therefore, useless in deriving any understanding of space plasma because his hypothetical has no parallel example in space plasma.
    Above, it has been mentioned that the helio current sheet and the Sun both have ordered charged particle movement (plasma), and thus, electric current and electric fields. If the highest temperature objects, stars, have electric currents, and, thus, electric fields, Dr. Svalgaard has a hard time pointing to anywhere his hypothetical has real world application.
    Now, let’s go back to the statements in context:
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote, “…neutral with equal mix of electrons and ions.”
    And Evans responded:
    “No. this is a confusion of terms. Any region which has ionized electrons and ions (quasi-neutral) there will be electromotive force or an electric field present, even with one free electron and one ion there will be a voltage potential drop between the two (however small that would be).”
    And Dr. Svalgaard answered: “The electrons and ions would be randomly distributed in space [having a very high temperature] so all these small electric fields would point in random directions and there would no net large-scale electric field which is what the discussion is about.”
    Actually, not only is Dr. Svalgaard’s hypothetical irrelevant because there have been no parallel in space plasma regions observed & measured that match his hypothetical, but his answer takes my statement out of context because I was referring his “confusion of terms.”
    Dr. Svalgaard is creating a strawman argument.
    My point is still correct: “…neutral with equal mix of electrons and ions.” is a confusion of terms that leads to sloppy analysis.
    But let’s take this one step further, magnetic fields are ubiquitous in the Universe: But they have ordered form, everytime they are observed & measured. There are no disordered colonies of magnetic monopoles running around.
    We know about the helio current sheet and the Sun.
    But this also applies farther afield.
    The following link is to an image of the Magnetic fields in the Orion molecular cloud region:
    http://www.plasmaresources.com/imagestash/magnetic_fields_in_orion.jpg
    Note the “B field” in the image are the magnetic fields and note its directionality due to electric fields and electric current, flowing charged particles, electrons and ions.
    The ordered magnetic fields are perpendicular the the flows of plasma.
    And here:
    “The Orion Molecular Cloud superimposed on the Orion constellation, with the orange star Betelgeuse at the top corner and Rigel at the bottom. The inset shows the Slinky-like coils of the helical magnetic field surrounding the filamentary cloud. (Credit: Saxton, Dame, Hartmann, Thaddeus; NRAO/AUI/NSF) ” (Caption for the following linked image):
    http://www.thunderbolts.info/thunderblogs/images/OrionMagneticSlinky.jpg
    (superimposed schematics, original)
    It’s important to note that Dr. Svalgaard’s hypothetical doesn’t match up with physical observations and measurments. And in fact, the observations & measurements are in line with what I have been arguing: Flows of plasma, electric currents, generate the magnetic fields.
    Dr. Svalgaard presents Evans’ statement: “NASA and others have advanced […] this electric field is concentrated in the helio current sheet where the acceleration is most pronounced (electric fields cause charged particle acceleration).”
    First, the initial phrase in the quoted passage did not directly relate to the second quoted phrase, so, to put the initial phrase in proper context:
    “Structure and morphology is one thing (and is important), but the processes that drive the structure is just as important, and that is where you naively cling to the mechanical model where NASA and others have advanced into a more sophisticated understanding and model that accounts for the electrical and magnetic properties of the solar wind, helio current sheet, and coronal mass ejections, along with their interaction with the Earth’s magnetosphere.”
    It is clear Dr. Svalgaard takes the first phrase out of context to suggest I am claiming NASA endorses my view for the physical process that accelerates the solar wind…while that would be nice…I never made such claim.
    In the initial statement I was referring to general models: Dr. Svalgaard maintains a mechanical model of “gas”, “kinetics”, and “pressure” of solar sytem dynamics, and NASA supports a “more sophisticated understanding and model that accounts for the electrical and magnetic properties of the solar wind, helio current sheet, and coronal mass ejections, along with their interaction with the Earth’s magnetosphere.”
    Which is clearly the case if one reviews the NASA Stargazers website:
    http://stargazers.gsfc.nasa.gov/resources/sun_earth_background.htm
    And Dr. Svalgaard responds: “NASA and almost every space physicist are on the same page as I. The HCS is caused by the magnetic field changing polarity across it, and there is no acceleration there.”
    Dr. Svalgaard offers no authority in support of his statement, as typical he relies on fiat, hoping to have his “say so” be taken at face value, I suggest this particlular example casts doubt on that assumption.
    Dr. Svalgaard, now, moves to respond to my challenge for him to present in situ experimental observation that would either falsify or verify his claims regarding magnetic fields causing electric currents.
    Dr Svalgaard presents Evans’ statement: “Dr. Svalgaard claims the magnetic fields cause electric current in space. There is no experimental in situ evidence to support this claim”
    And Dr. Svalgaard responds: “A fundamental process in the cosmos is magnetic reconnection [not recognized by Electric Universe cult], whereby oppositely magnetic fields are pressed together by movement of the neutral [oxymoron] plasma.”
    How come astrophysicists like Dr. Svalgaard always seem to resort to so-called “magnetic reconnection” when they don’t have a ready explanation for a physical process in space?
    And in direct contradiction to Dr. Svalgaard’s claim, NASA scientists readily concede they don’t understand the physical processes for “magnetic reconnection”:
    “[Magnetic reconnection,] The problem is, researchers can’t explain it.”
    NASA goes on:
    “Astrophysicists see magnetic reconnection do things] But how? How does the simple act of crisscrossing magnetic field lines trigger such a ferocious explosion?”
    And the clincher from NASA:
    “Something very interesting and fundamental is going on that we don’t really understand — not from laboratory experiments or from simulations, [and not from in situ experiments]” says Melvyn Goldstein, chief of the Geospace Physics Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.”
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/31aug_mms.htm
    So, while NASA is up front about not understanding it (the collective understanding [or lack thereof] of hundreds of astrophysicists), Dr. Svalgaard claims that he alone understands all about it (sounds vaguely similar to his claim to know the “one physics” prior in this thread).
    So, here it is, Dr. Svalgaard claims a process, which NASA in their collective wisdom doesn’t understand, acts to turn around the basic physics of electromagnetism where, as NASA states, electric currents cause magnetic fields.
    Sometimes, you just got to shake your head at the guy’s hubris.
    Not even Eugene N. Parker went so far as that (he relied on theoretical constructs for his support).
    Funny, how Dr. Svalgaard initially claimed that no in situ experiments were necessary to verify his claims, but after getting hammered for such nonsense, he comes up with the tried and true, “oh, yes, good ol’ magnetic reconnection, that’ll do the trick.”
    it straines credibility.
    I will get to how Dr. Svalgaard handles the hypothesis/prediction. (Hint, the helio current sheet by the time it reaches the heliosphere has no resemblance to the shape of the ribbon, and as stated above the researchers, themselves, and Dr. Svalgaard, too, agreed, the interstellar magnetic field “dominates” the heliosphere and causes the ribbon, not the solar wind or helio current sheet. That’s what was so “revolutionary” about the observations & measurements.)
    To be cont.

  154. Leif Svalgaard (08:40:34) :
    Carla (06:41:43) :
    Do we know the polarity of the main galactic field?
    The ‘main’ field is somewhat of a misnomer, as there really isn’t any. There seems to be a structure in the local field that varies from place to place, following the spiral arms and reversing between them, e.g. Figure 1 in:
    Thanks and back at you. Mentions dark fields? 1st one
    Galactic and ExtragalacticMagnetic Fields
    Rainer Beck
    Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0810/0810.2923v4.pdf
    PULSAR ROTATION MEASURES AND THE LARGE-SCALE STRUCTURE
    OF THE GALACTIC MAGNETIC FIELD
    J. L. Han,1 R. N. Manchester,2 A. G. Lyne,3 G. J. Qiao,4 and W. van Straten5
    Received 2005 September 22; accepted 2006 January 16
    http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/0004-637X/642/2/868/63735.web.pdf?request-id=9f8d02ce-f54b-4336-a590-cd724dedf17f

  155. James F. Evans (15:30:53) :
    Well, let’s see if I can pare this down (it’s gone kinda global,
    You clearly did not bother to read or even look at the two links I provided, one to the theory of reconnection and one to in situ observations. Instead you just parrot your own words from previous posts. Read the papers and report back.

  156. Galactic and ExtragalacticMagnetic Fields
    Rainer Beck
    Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0810/0810.2923v4
    Geesh, hope you both read the above.
    Have to wonder what the time distribution of the reversals discussed above is. Reverse pan out, reverse pan out. Also, small scale reversals among so much more in the above article, fantastic!

  157. Leif, you may be able to appreciate the next article. Myself, I need to take a shovel with me so I can dig myself out, as it goes way over my head.
    Constraining models of the large scale Galactic
    magnetic eld with WMAP5 polarization data and
    extragalactic rotation measure sources
    Ronnie Jansson1, Glennys R. Farrar1, Andre H. Waelkens2,
    Torsten A. Enlin2
    1Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics, and Department of Physics
    New York University, NY, NY 10003, USA
    2Max-Planck-Institute fur Astrophysik, Karl Schwarzschild-Str. 1, 85741
    Garching, Germany
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0905/0905.2228v2.pdf
    21- June 2009

  158. Carla (20:50:04) :
    Oooops forgot to ask, (don’t have all that time under my belt) anyone have a clue on Schmidts Law?
    “The Schmidt Star Formation Law was first proposed by Maarten Schmidt in 1959 and states that star formation rate is proportional to the gas density of a cloud raised to some power. So the mass the cloud loses as it turns into stars (per unit mass) is proportional to the mass of the cloud to some power.
    More here: http://burro.cwru.edu/sjb/schmidt_main.html
    Needless to say, the article does not mention electric fields.

  159. Carla (06:53:58) :
    Leif, you may be able to appreciate the next article. Myself, I need to take a shovel with me so I can dig myself out, as it goes way over my head.
    The paper shows how difficult measurement of the Galactic Magnetic field is [because we are inside it]. And that we do not at present have a fully consistent picture. In the next few years that will likely change for the better as the article notes. Note that there is no mention of electric fields or currents.

  160. Leif Svalgaard (08:14:41) :
    The paper shows how difficult measurement of the Galactic Magnetic field is [because we are inside it]. And that we do not at present have a fully consistent picture. In the next few years that will likely change for the better as the article notes. Note that there is no mention of electric fields or currents.
    Indeed, from the inside looking out continues to present its own obstacles.
    Both papers, though have only read the earlier, are good and current mapping projects enhancing our understanding. (not unlike the IBEX project)
    Looks like this thread is kaput!

  161. Carla:
    I’ve been busy, thanks, anyhow.
    Dr. Svalgaard, you are right.
    In hind-sight I should have incorporated your links into my response. I acknowlege the responsibility to analyse & interpret papers offered in good faith in support of a proposition. I fell down in that respect.
    It is part of the scientific method.
    I am sorry and I apologize.
    But before I address the scientific papers you were good to link, I have a question:
    What is the definition of the electromotive force?

  162. James F. Evans (14:20:36) :
    What is the definition of the electromotive force?
    In cosmic plasmas, the emf is determined purely by the rate of change of the magnetic flux through the conducting plasma. It is the amount of work done per unit charge.
    It is strange that you ask, as neither of the two links make any reference to the electromotive force.

  163. Dr. Svalgaard answered: “In cosmic plasmas, the emf is determined purely by the rate of change of the magnetic flux through the conducting plasma. It is the amount of work done per unit charge.”
    No. the, above, quote is what you claim about space plasma with no supporting in situ observations & measurements.
    Anyway, I’m not asking for your definition of cosmic plasma. I’m asking about the attraction between a free electron and a positive ion, here, on Earth…you know, where we have experimental results and such.
    So, again, what is the definion of the electromotive force?

  164. James F. Evans (16:33:30) :
    So, again, what is the definion of the electromotive force?
    The emf that produces the current that flowed through your computer, when you typed that, is determined by the rate of change of the magnetic flux through a conductor at your local power plant, rotating relative to the magnetic field. It is the amount of work done per unit charge.”

  165. Why is this so hard?
    Let me ask it this way: What is the term for the attraction between a free electron and a positive ion?

  166. James F. Evans (17:16:59) :
    Let me ask it this way: What is the term for the attraction between a free electron and a positive ion?
    It is not the electromotive force. The emf is the term for the work it takes to separate the two charges.
    The term that you seem to be fishing for [with good reason, obviously] in your question is called Coulomb Attraction:
    “Coulomb attraction ( ′kü′läm ə′trakshən ) ( electricity ) The electrostatic force of attraction exerted by one charged particle on another charge.”
    To learn more about emf, you might want to consult:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=vmg1UKsTntAC&pg=PT67&lpg=PT67&dq=electromotive+force+work+separate&source=bl&ots=BqEjTA-hVU&sig=1KVjKSMpdjvoZ03pZGEwndu7dDg&hl=en&ei=XOPoSpzmNIvYtgOx1qHsCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CA8Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=electromotive%20force%20work%20separate&f=false
    or if that link does not work, google “Basic Electricity Van Valkenburgh electromotive force” which is one of the best books about electricity at an elementary level.

  167. I have reviewed the “magnetic reconnection” papers provided:
    The first paper is a simulation, which sometimes are helpful, but also can be problematic because it is no better than the data and assumptions fed into the computer.
    The second is an in situ observation & measurement.
    These papers have issues: So-called “magnetic reconnection” is assumed to happen. I suggest this is an unwarranted assumption.
    Frankly, the descriptions are consistent with a plasma ‘double layer’, as stated in the abstract: “The simulations reveal that the dissipation region develops a two-scales tructure: an inner electron region and an outer ion region.”
    This “inner electron region and an outer ion region” is an exact description of a double layer. See double layer:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_layer_(plasma)
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “A fundamental process in the cosmos is magnetic reconnection, whereby oppositely magnetic fields are pressed together by movement of the neutral plasma.”
    Again, neutral plasma is an oxymoron. Anyhow, the papers also speak of different continuities of plasma coming together (again, exactly how double layers form).
    I’ll tip my hat to Dr. Svalgaard, his mental stamina is excellent, there must be a good physical constitution to support it.
    Something Dr. Svalgaard has run across before in astrophysics: Agree to disagree, and take the discussion under advisement.
    This duel has run far enough: There are more in situ observation & measurements due to add to the observations & measurements NASA already has:
    “NASA is going to launch a mission to get to the bottom of the mystery. It’s called MMS, short for Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission, and it consists of four spacecraft which will fly through Earth’s magnetosphere to study reconnection in action. The mission passed its preliminary design review in May 2009 and was approved for implementation in June 2009. Engineers can now start building the spacecraft.”
    Further link for MMS (above quote not from the following link):
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2009/mms_magnetic.html
    Instead of going into space with a fixed agenda that could lead to confirmatory bias, it seems reasonable to compare alternative theories: So-called “magnetic reconnection” versus double layers and see where the observations & measurements take analysis & interpretation from there.

  168. James F. Evans (13:35:15) :
    The first paper is a simulation, which sometimes are helpful, but also can be problematic because it is no better than the data and assumptions fed into the computer.
    A simulation is much more than that. It is a way of predicting what our understanding says should happen. The basic idea is the calculate from established physical law what should happen, then you go out to see if that is what actually does happen, and that is what the second paper does: verifying observationally in situ that what the simulation said should happen actually does happen.
    Frankly, the descriptions are consistent with a plasma ‘double layer’
    Of course, nobody doubted that for a second. These double layers are generated in currents resulting from plasma moving in a magnetic field.

  169. @ Dr. Svalgaard:
    I read the series of papers you kindly offered.
    The simulation does provide results that suggest the parameters fed into the simulation are well related to parameters present and observed & measured by in situ spacecraft probes.
    The validity of the parameters used in the simulation are well verified by in situ confirmation of coresponding physical structures and energy processes.
    I found the interpretation & analysis of the in situ data to be a well taken description of physical forces.
    I note both the authors of the simulation and the in situ papers allowed for further refinement and resolution of “data gaps”and I associate with that sentiment, with an eye toward a high resolution physical explanation.
    These papers provide an excellent exhibition of the relevant physcial structues and processes.
    “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet” — William Shakespeare
    Those that perform the work product that defines the physical process can name the physical process.
    Fine.
    Call it magnetic reconnection.
    If I refer to magnetic reconnection as a ‘double layer’ and emphasize its electromagnetism, I suggest that be taken as a synonymous term as magnetic reconnection and not seen as some misleading term open to disparagement.
    So, well done for the researchers involved in this area of scientific investigation.
    I look forward to further sophistication of the understanding in this physical process.

  170. James F. Evans (15:55:19) :
    If I refer to magnetic reconnection as a ‘double layer’ and emphasize its electromagnetism, I suggest that be taken as a synonymous term as magnetic reconnection and not seen as some misleading term open to disparagement.
    It is not a question of ‘naming’, but of physics. All currents we observe in space plasmas are created by plasma moving relative to a magnetic field [and almost currents we have on the Earth as well – that’s how power stations work]. If the magnetic field gradient is large enough and/or the movement [i.e. the resulting change in magnetic field dB/dt] is fast enough these current can be enormous. Huge currents exert tremendous forces and the plasma is thus highly unstable [a particularly nasty instability is called the Buneman instability [incidentally, Oscar Buneman had his office across the hall from my old office at Stanford and has often lectured me on this – he was a good man].
    As a result of these instabilities, pinches, filaments, and current sheets appear naturally, and when two of the latter [with opposite charge] occurs together we call it a double layer. Reconnection drives these currents and are thus a natural cause of double layers. Currents have to be constantly ‘driven’ by something, otherwise they just either dissipate their energy or short out, and go away, unless some force is constantly regenerating them. As that is where the Electric Universe falters, because there is no explanation of what drives these large currents.
    The ‘electromagnetism’ label is dead wrong. There are electric fields and magnetic fields, but no ‘electromagnetic’ fields – although people often loosely talks about such a field or force. Maxwell’s equations http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell's_equations make no reference to any ‘electromagnetic field’, only to electric and magnetic fields. It is a common tactic to obscure matters by referring to an ‘electromagnetic’ field allowing one to be vague and imprecise about what is meant,

  171. Well, if it’s about the physics, then “magnetic reconnection” is a poor name choice for this physical process as it fails to convey the nature of the forces involved.
    How so?
    Magnetism is only one componant of the processes and elements involved in this energetic structure, but others are equally important, such as the electric field, and the electrons, and ions, themselves.
    The name “magnetic reconnection” obscures the roles of these equally important componants. It also allows astrophysicists to downplay these other components.
    Let’s be clear, without electric fields this process would not happen. Neither would it happen without the electrons and ions. Yet, “magnetic reconnection” conjures disembodied magnetic fields releasing energy in some magical fashion.
    It’s not magic, it’s a physical process with structure. All the component parts play vital roles, they are intertwined with each other.
    Not one component part is created as a result of this process: A magnetic field is present before this process commences, so, too, is the coulomb attraction (electromotive force) of the charged particles (plasma), in fact, an electric field is the aggragation of this electrical force, and, of course, so, too, are the electrons and ions, which arguably are the most important component parts of all.
    Also, “reconnection” is a misnomer, a compounding of the fallacy that magnetic field “lines” are real things, they aren’t, they are a reification, magnetic fields are undifferentiated vector force fields, which, again, obscures what is really happening, flows of plasma, electrical flows with concomtant magnetic fields go through a self-reinforcing positive feedback structure.
    The dismissal of ‘electromagnetism’ is not well taken. True, electric fields and magnetic fields are seperate enities, but they are part of the same duality. Electric fields and magnetic fields are two halves of the same coin. Their interaction and reaction with each other and the electrons and ions is what this process is about.
    The “magnetic” without the “electric” is as much an obfiscation as would be the “electric” without the “magnetic”. You can’t have one without the other.
    ‘Electric reconnection’ would be as much a misnomer as ‘magnetic reconnection’.
    Although, interestingly enough, electric fields can be present without the presence of magnetic fields where there is no motion of the charged particles. This reality can not be gotten around. Magnetic fields are a function of charged particle motion.
    When you think about it, what is going on is not “reconnection” at all, but its opposite: Seperation of the electrons and ion into a more energetic organization than before this process.
    The reprising of the now tired refrain, “it’s the magnetism”, won’t cut it.
    If it about conveying the nature of the physical process, the flavor of the fundamental forces, if you will; call it electric-magnetic reconnection, if you insist on using “reconnection”, to recognize both fields are present and equally and inseperately working together.
    If you want to dispell the mystery, drop “reconnection” altogether as a misleading term.
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “It is a common tactic to obscure matters by referring to an ‘electromagnetic’ field allowing one to be vague and imprecise about what is meant.”
    Reference to an ‘electromagnetic” field would be wrong. But reference in general to electromagnetism is a recognition of their inherent duality.
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “Currents have to be constantly ‘driven’ by something, otherwise they just either dissipate their energy or short out, and go away, unless some force is constantly regenerating them. As that is where the Electric Universe falters, because there is no explanation of what drives these large currents.”
    It is true the ultimate driver of the system has not been identified, but that is far from evidence that a driver does not exist, and at the atomic level we have identified those drivers — their names are electric and magnetic and they emanate out of charged particles.
    But if there is no driver, so, too would magnetic fields eventually dissipate their energy with plasma shorting out and turning into neutral atoms with no electric fields or magnetic fields.
    This process identified as “magnetic reconnection” does not stand for the proposition that magnetic fields cause electric currents. This process is a powerful amplifier, but the componant parts were already on the “work bench” ready to be used.
    So, while I recognize and acknowledge the physical processes identified, I don’t recognize the dictum offered as a veneer about the deeper significance of those processes.

  172. James F. Evans (23:57:50) :
    Yet, “magnetic reconnection” conjures disembodied magnetic fields releasing energy in some magical fashion.
    As the papers I have linked to demonstrate, there is no magic: The process is clear, a structured magnetic field contains energy fed into it by motions of neutral plasma, reconnection releases that energy via dissipation of temporary electric currents.
    It seems obvious that you are not able to free yourselves from the bondage of some seductive websites.
    would magnetic fields eventually dissipate their energy with plasma shorting out
    magnetic fields are constantly being regenerated by dynamo processes where motion of plasma in the existing field amplifies it. The energy coming from the kinetic energy of the moving neutral plasma.

  173. It’s the coulomb attraction (electromotive force), beween the electrons and ions.
    “[T]he electrostatic force between e.g. an electron and a proton, that together make up a hydrogen atom, is about 40 orders of magnitude stronger than the gravitational force acting between them.”
    “The Greek word for amber, ήλεκτρον (electron), was the source of the word ‘electricity’.” — Wikipedia, electrostatics.
    The instant physical process is a process of increasing electric potential between electrons and ions, allowing constant physical force (acceleration), or increasing physical force (hyper-acceleration) on the electrons and ions to achieve great speed in a controlled “electric fall” of the electrons and ion toward each other by their coulomb attraction.
    Now, questions abound about these processes, how do these electrons and ions make 90 degree turns (away from “shorting out”) away from each other and achieve a “180” degree acceleration away from each other in linear opposite directions?
    The longer the “electric fall” the greater the speed of the electrons and ions, so, the larger the structure (larger double layer), the more electrons and ions are involved with greater the distance for electrons and ions to “fall”, thus, achieving a higher energy state, mass X velosity, This process cycles up until cosmic electric potential dynamics can involve huge numbers of electrons and ions at high velocity values.
    Any discussion of matter (electrons and ions) acceleration in this process begins with the coulomb attraction (electric field), 40 orders of magnitude stronger than gravity acting between the electrons and ions as charged particles.

  174. James F. Evans (09:08:55) :
    It’s the coulomb attraction (electromotive force), beween the electrons and ions.
    The Coulomb attraction is not the electromotive force.
    Now, questions abound about these processes, how do these electrons and ions make 90 degree turns (away from “shorting out”) away from each other and achieve a “180″ degree acceleration away from each other in linear opposite directions?
    There are no such questions. This matter was settled a century ago.

  175. Yes, the electric field as explained by classical physics.
    “There are no such questions. This matter was settled a century ago.”
    The the ‘electric’ scientists of the 19th century knew of this “attraction” or “force” between electrons & ions. But the 21st century is just beginning to fully appreciate the energy potential in this dynamic.
    It seems evident the specifics of this region of energy transfer will be further studied in situ. Any claim that “we know it all” is just a wee bit premature at this juncture.
    By the way, what is the magnetic field strength in comparison to the coulomb attraction’s 40 orders of magnitude stronger than gravity, field strength?
    Or is magnetic field strength proportional with the velocity of the charged particles, i.e., zero velocity charged particles, no magnetic field; Velocity at 0 + N, results in an “N” proportionally stronger magnetic field.
    Notice the coulomb force is unchanging while the magnetic force is a function of electron and ion velocity.
    What strength magnetic field would be needed to be stronger than the coulomb attraction between an electron and ion?
    Has this question been asked, and what if any answer was given?
    “There are no such questions.”
    It is silly for men of Science to state such unflinching certitude in the face of all the unknowns in Nature.
    We are at the beginning of in situ space exploration, not the end.
    It is an exciting time for Man’s investigation of Naure and the revealing of nature’s secrets to our questing, inquisitive minds.

  176. James F. Evans (10:40:00) :
    Yes, the electric field as explained by classical physics.
    “There are no such questions. This matter was settled a century ago.”

    The explanation [by Bohr] is given by quantum mechanics, not classical physics.
    By the way, what is the magnetic field strength in comparison to the coulomb attraction’s 40 orders of magnitude stronger than gravity, field strength?
    The correct way of posing this question is to ask what how the two ‘stresses’ compare. “Stress” is a technical term for force. I have already explained this:

    This follows directly from Maxwell’s equations [for which there is ample experimental support]. Consider the case of a plasma dense enough that Ohm’s law applies, i.e. j = s E, where E is the electric field in the frame of reference moving with the local plasma. For ionized hydrogen, the electrical conductivity, s, is 2×10^7 T^(3/2)/sec [Spitzer, 1956], where T is the temperature. Ampere’s law 4pi j = c curl B says then that 4pi j ~ cB/l [order of magnitude] where l is the typical length scale of variation of the magnetic field B. With E=j/s, you get that E/B = c/(4pi s l) = 10^(-4)/l * (10^4/T)^(3/2), where l is measured in centimeters. For ionized hydrogen T is in excess of 10,000 K. So even with l being as small as 1 km, it follows that E/B less than 10^(-9). On the larger scales of the solar wind, stars, and galaxies, E/B becomes completely negligible. It is then evident that the electric stresses [measured by E^2] are completely insignificant in comparison to the magnetic stresses [measured by B^2]. The ratio of the stresses being (E/B)^2. So, in short, the extremely lightness of the electron ensures that it will very quickly find the positive charges and short out any imbalance. In fact, even if you create an imbalance, it will disappear in a time comparable to the Landau damping time of a plasma oscillation.

    It is an exciting time for Man’s investigation of Naure and the revealing of nature’s secrets to our questing, inquisitive minds.
    The quest should be guided by correct reasoning and interpretation, not by wishful thinking.

  177. Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “There are no such questions. This matter was settled a century ago.”
    Evans responded: “Yes, the electric field as explained by classical physics.”
    And Dr. Svalgaard rebutted: “The explanation [by Bohr] is given by quantum mechanics, not classical physics.”
    “Coulomb’s law, sometimes called the Coulomb law [coulomb attraction], is an equation describing the electrostatic force between electric charges. It was studied and first published in the 1780s by French physicist Charles Augustin de Coulomb and was essential to the development of the theory of electromagnetism.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coulomb%27s_law
    Actually, the 18th century is when the attraction between opposite charges was first described in scientific detail.
    Evans asked: “By the way, what is the magnetic field strength in comparison to the coulomb attraction’s 40 orders of magnitude stronger than gravity, field strength?”
    Perhaps this was an inartful question, but Dr. Svalgaad’s answer, when you strip away the mathematical equations, demonstrates that the magnetic field strength is a variable dependent on the rate of charged particle flow and the density of that plasma flow.
    (Was Dr. Svalgaard obscuring this simple principle behind a facade of mathematical jargon?)
    This demonstrates the magnetic field strength is a function of charged particle flow as I have consistently argued throughout this thread, not the other way round as Dr. Svalgaard has consistently argued.
    Interestingly, Dr. Svalgaard chose to answer the first question and basically agreed with my analysis (although, I didn’t mention the plasma density).
    But this was the money question: “What strength magnetic field would be needed to be stronger than the coulomb attraction between an electron and ion? Has this question been asked, and what if any answer was given?”
    No answer to that question.
    Instead, Dr. Svalgaard jumps to his own preferred conclusion: “The ratio of the stresses being (E/B)^2. So, in short, the extremely lightness of the electron ensures that it will very quickly find the positive charges and short out any imbalance.”
    It’s a non-responsive answer and unsupported, too, as will be demonstrated.
    The following is from a summary paper offered by Dr. Svalgaard:
    “Magnetic reconnection is a phenomenon of great importance in solar system plasmas and, presumably, in astrophysical plasmas, because it converts energy stored in magnetic fields into particle kinetic energy and changes the
    magnetic field topology, allowing effective exchanges of mass, momentum and energy between differently magnetized plasma regions.”
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2008GL035297.pdf
    I suggest it’s primarily a process of electric fields in tandem with magnetic fields that converts electric potential attraction between electrons and ions into increased states of kinetic energy and electrical organization.
    “There the magnetic field lines that are flowing in from both sides become ‘cut’ and ‘reconnected’ as shown in Figure 1, forming a X-type configuration.”
    I suggest a better physical explanation is that the flow of electric plasma is redirected, by interaction of the two contacting magnetic fields and the respective regions of charged particles, thus, causing the electric and magnetic fields to assume a new configuration. There is no magical “cutting” and “reconnection”, rather a reconfiguration of the plasma flow, which dictates the configuration of the magnetic fields and electric fields (all the component parts interact: Electrons, ions, and their concomitant electric and magnetic fields).
    It is a misnomer to suggest one dominates over the others, rather, they all work together to create a synergy of structure and energy relationships.
    And because of the inherent instabilities caused by the non-linear interactions of electric and magnetic fields, with reference to the Buneman instability (there are a number of other named instabilities), this process is not limited to contacting magnetic fields, but has been observed in the solar wind, itself: “Subsequent papers [see Gosling, 2007, and references therein] have established that such reconnection events are quite common and apparent in essentially all solar wind data sets, covering distances between 0.3 and 5 AU.”
    As electric fields and magnetic fields are primarily a duality (electric fields can be present without concomitant magnetic fields), it is apparent that the term “neutral plasma” in the solar wind helio current sheet is a misnomer that only serves for sloppy analysis and obfiscation.
    The paper makes reference to the MHD approximation that was held to be always true of space plasmas (the “frozen in” magnetic field idea espoused, here, by Dr. Svalgaard), although, as early as the late 1960’s there were voices of dissent disputing this assumption (Alfven and Carlquist), as it turns out the voices were right: “Reconnection requires violation of the frozen-in condition E + (v  B) = 0 in some localized region, the diffusion region (see Figure 1).”
    This goes to demonstrate the theoretical conclusion Dr. Svalgaard wanted to impart, “So, in short…it [negative charges] will very quickly find the positive charges and short out any imbalance.”, does not necessarily follow from the actual observations & measurements, as opposed to theoretical constructs (mathematical assumptions).
    In essence, it has already been demonstrated that assumptions (like MHD “frozen in” field lines) don’t hold up under actual observation & measurement. Dr. Svalgaard’s conclusion is unwarranted from present observation & measurement.
    Now, Dr. Svalgaard’s position has been all about “magnetism”, right?
    But even in the paper he linked to, that isn’t always the case:
    First, on a scale of the ion inertial length, li = c/wp,i (where c is the speed of light and wp,i the ion plasma frequency), the ions are no longer
    magnetized, while the electrons remain tied to the magnetic field.”
    “the ions are no longer magnetized…”???
    And this is apparently true for the electrons, too:
    “Next, on the electron inertial length scale, le, which is a factor of 43 smaller than li and thus typically only a few km thick, the electrons are no longer magnetized either.”
    This seems to work against Dr. Svalgaard’s narrative of “magnetism” all the time. It seems that either these ions and electrons are motionless, or some unique dynamic is apparent, if they are moving, but demagnetized, then their coulomb attraction is still at work and if they are motionless then their coulomb attraction is still working.
    Finally, what is refreshing about the summary paper and opposed to Dr. Svalgaard’s narrative, is the frank admission that there are lots of unknowns in the process:
    “In this situation one has to resort to more qualitative signatures, such as the detection of flow reversals or the Hall-induced magnetic and electric fields.”
    No, it all can’t be reduced to rote formula.
    “In the electron diffusion region a nonzero Ek = EB must be present, but is difficult to measure.”
    It is a good thing that “data gaps” are freely acknowledged.
    And because I like the images:
    The following link is to an image of the Magnetic fields in the Orion molecular cloud region:
    http://www.plasmaresources.com/imagestash/magnetic_fields_in_orion.jpg
    Note the “B field” in the image are the magnetic fields and note its directionality due to electric fields and electric current, flowing charged particles, electrons and ions.
    The ordered magnetic fields are perpendicular the the flows of plasma.
    And here:
    “The Orion Molecular Cloud superimposed on the Orion constellation, with the orange star Betelgeuse at the top corner and Rigel at the bottom. The inset shows the Slinky-like coils of the helical magnetic field surrounding the filamentary cloud. (Credit: Saxton, Dame, Hartmann, Thaddeus; NRAO/AUI/NSF) ” (Caption for the following linked image):
    http://www.thunderbolts.info/thunderblogs/images/OrionMagneticSlinky.jpg
    (superimposed schematics, original)
    It’s important to note that Dr. Svalgaard’s hypothetical doesn’t match up with physical observations and measurments. And in fact, the observations & measurements are in line with what I have been arguing: Flows of plasma, electric currents, generate the magnetic fields.
    Dr. Svalgaard’s “shorted out” Universe doesn’t hold up under close scrutiny. Even the summary paper contradicts Dr. Svalgaard:
    “[the instant process] is a phenomenon of great importance in solar system plasmas and, presumably, in astrophysical plasmas…”
    Give credit where credit is due:
    Electrical double layers in solar flares:
    Hasan, S. S.; Ter Haar, D. “The Alfven-Carlquist double-layer theory of solar flares” (1978) Astrophysics and Space Science vol. 56, no. 1, June 1978, p. 89-107
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=1978Ap%26SS..56…89H&db_key=AST&data_type=HTML&format=&high=42ca922c9c28323
    “…it is shown that conditions in solar flares may be such that double layers can exist for which the free particles have a power-law energy distribution. These particles will be accelerated in a double layer and may in this way account for the production of high-energy particles during the impulsive phase of solar flares.”
    The “double layer” process in solar flares is now generally recognized.
    Hannes Alfven “Paradigm transition in cosmic plasma physics” (1982)
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=1982PhyS….2…10A&db_key=PHY&data_type=HTML&format=&high=42ca922c9c15283
    “New discoveries in cosmic plasma physics are described, and their applications to solar, interstellar, galactic, and cosmological problems are discussed. The new discoveries include the existence of double layers in magnetized plasmas and in the low magnetosphere, and energy transfer by electric current in the auroral circuit. It is argued that solar flares and the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction should not be interpreted in terms of magnetic merging theories, and that electric current needs to be explicitly taken account of in understanding these phenomena. The filamentary structure of cosmic plasmas may be caused by electric currents in space, and the pinch effect may have a central role to play in the evolutionary history of interstellar clouds, stars, and solar systems. Space may have a cellular structure, with the cell walls formed by thin electric current layers. Annihilation may be the source of energy for quasars and the Hubble expansion, and the big bang cosmology may well be wrong.”
    Now, I don’t necessarily subscribe to every idea in Alfven’s work, but it’s interesting that Alfven starts off with this:
    “The new discoveries include the existence of double layers in magnetized plasmas and in the low magnetosphere, and energy transfer by electric current in the auroral circuit.”
    “It is argued that solar flares and the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction should not be interpreted in terms of magnetic merging theories, and that electric current needs to be explicitly taken account of in understanding these phenomena.”
    I do not stand on ground alone, but figuratively on the shoulders of Hannes Alfven (more accurately, at his feet).
    Alfven starts of with ‘double layers’ because this dynamic is the process that links differing plasma regions, not just in the solar system, but in the Universe at large at ever increasing scales of energy and plasma flows.
    Alfven was ahead of his time, demonstrated when one reads the summary paper on so-called “magnetic reconnection”, it’s clear electric currents and electric fields are taken into account.
    But these ideas are not new, Irving Langmuir, 1932 Nobel Prize chemistry, was investigating in this area, too:
    Irving Langmuir “The Interaction of Electron and Positive Ion Space Charges in Cathode Sheaths” (1929)
    “The cathode sheath is then a double layer with an inner negative space charge and an equal outer positive charge, the field being zero at the cathode and at the sheath edge.”
    Sadly, voices in astronomy who made the wrong assumptions (or their acolytes) are still trying to enforce those erroneous assumptions on everybody else.
    It must stop.

  178. James F. Evans (12:09:11) :
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “There are no such questions. This matter was settled a century ago.”
    I give up. You win, being about 50 years behind current knowledge.

  179. James F. Evans (14:09:42) :
    “In the late 1990s the Ultraviolet Coronal Spectrometer (UVCS) instrument on board the SOHO spacecraft observed the acceleration region of the fast solar wind emanating from the poles of the sun, and found that the wind accelerates much faster than can be accounted for by thermodynamic expansion alone.”
    It is with trepidation I intrude on so lofty a discussion (albeit fascinating). However, I would be interested to know what you think of the ideas of Mills et al and his suggestion that atomic H at lower ground states plays a role in solar plasmas and the corona problem in particular (pp 16-17). This is all far beyond my limited physics education, but I include a link to a recent Central European Journal of Physics paper for comment.
    http://www.blacklightpower.com/papers/Continuum%20final%20080609%20WebS.pdf

  180. Scientists have long speculated on the source of solar winds. The Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer (EIS), on board the Japanese-UK-US Hinode satellite, is now generating unprecedented observations enabling scientists to provide a new perspective on the 50-year old question of how solar wind is driven. The collaborative study, published in this month’s issue of Astrophysical Journal, suggests that a process called slipping reconnection may drive these winds.
    Deb Baker, lead author from UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory, says: “Solar wind is an outflow of million-degree gas and magnetic field that engulfs the Earth and other planets. It fills the entire solar system and links with the magnetic fields of the Earth and other planets. Changes in the Sun’s million-mile-per-hour wind can induce disturbances within near-Earth space and our upper atmosphere and yet we still don’t know what drives these outflows.”
    “However, our latest study suggests that it is the release of energy stored in solar magnetic fields which provides the additional driver for the solar wind. This magnetic energy release is most efficient in the brightest regions of activity on the Sun’s surface, called active regions or sunspot groups, which are strong concentrations of magnetic field. We believe that this fundamental process happens everywhere on the Sun on virtually all scales.”
    Images taken in February 2007 from the EIS instrument showed that hot plasma outflows are due to a process called slipping reconnection. At the edges of active regions where this process can occur, a slow, continuous restructuring of the magnetic field leads to the release of energy and acceleration of particles in the Sun’s hot outer atmosphere, known as the corona. Slipping reconnection is the first theory to explain how observed outflows from the Sun can be located over areas of a single magnetic sign, something previously considered improbable.
    Computer models of the Sun’s magnetic field were used to identify regions where slipping reconnection could occur. The locations proposed by the computer model were compared with measurements of the speed of the gas coming from the solar corona. The comparison showed the gas was moving outward at up to 100,000 mph, 1,000 times the wind speed in a hurricane, over the possible slipping reconnection regions.

  181. Leif Svalgaard (17:07:26) :
    “Solar wind is an outflow of million-degree gas and magnetic field that engulfs the Earth” “Changes in the Sun’s million-mile-per-hour wind can induce disturbances within near-Earth space and our upper atmosphere”
    Might increased solar wind heat the upper atmosphere enough to dissipate some clouds and thus allow in more solar radiation?
    Also, possibly related that noctilucent “clouds thrive when the sun is quiet and spews less ultraviolet radiation, which can destroy water needed to form the clouds and can keep temperatures too high for ice particles to form.”?
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17234-mysterious-nightshining-clouds-may-peak-this-year.html

  182. Just The Facts (17:48:12) :
    Might increased solar wind heat the upper atmosphere enough to dissipate some clouds and thus allow in more solar radiation?
    The total energy content of the solar wind is a million times smaller than that in ordinary sunlight, so not much energy to be had there. Solar activity does heat the very upper atmosphere [where the air is a million to a trillion times less dense] but there are not enough clouds up there to make any difference.

  183. I have been re-reading this post and the comments several times over and I believe I have a greater understanding of the overall process of currents and fields (both magnetic and electric), thanks in large part to the ongoing debate taking place at the moment. Thank you gentlemen.
    I do not know if I have anything of value to add, but I do want to understand more about the findings made by IBEX mission. So please allow me a little time to share a thought analysis I have on the subject. While I am no scientist, I do believe my reasoning and logical abilities serve me well.
    As I understand it, the heliosphere is generated by solar winds from the sun. Two forces play a major role on the heliosheath, both solar winds and interstellar space, creating both a termination and bow shock. I understand that the heliosheath is a defined magnetic field surrounding our solar system and blocks the majority of CGR’s from entering our solar system. As interstellar gases, plasma, charged particles, ions, protons and the like bombard this boundary created by opposing forces, energy is being created by either interaction with magnetic field lines or direct contact with solar particles. As I understand it, there is various forms of CGRs and without goin into detail about them, I imagine that they individually interact differently along the boundry of the heliosphere.
    The IBEX mission graphically displays a energized ribbon along this plane, running perpendicular to it.
    A theory I have is that the area in question could change in direction and intensity,along magnetic field lines, depending on the output of solar flux.
    A weaking of solar flux would deflate, so to speak, the heliosphere, rearranging magnetic field lines, because of the mass and speed of interstellar medium, causing the creation of the ribbon. Whereby, if solar flux was to increase, an inflation and strengthening of the heliosphere would decrease the amount of energy being created and redirect interstellar mediums.
    To be continued…

  184. During solar minimum, it has been determined that CGRs enter Earths atomsphere more readily than during solar maximum. I imagine that at first it was thought because of the magnetosphere, but the IBEX mission might shed more light on it.
    It was assumed that we can’t predict the direction of CGRs entering Earths atmosphere, and that might be a correct assumption. But with this new evidence in science with regard to the ribbon discovered, we might be able to learn a little more about how CGRs enter our little planet.
    During Solar Max, CGRs enter with regularity from every direction, but not with any intensity from any direction.
    But during solar minimums, I think its safe to say that CGRs might enter with greater abundance more along the solar equatorial plane because of the deflation of the heliosphere from less solar flux, whereby CGRs may enter our atmosphere in more abundance at the poles, but more importantly along lower latitudes.
    If its true that CGRs can increase cloud cover, thus reducing global temperatures, than a greater proliferation of cloud cover along the equator could be created from more direct CGRs entering the atmosphere because of the weaking of the heliosphere during solar minimum.
    I imagine that the energy created in this ribbon allows magnetic field lines to diverge and allow current to fill the plane along those lines, allowing for greater amount of CGRs to enter along the solar equatorial plane, thus allowing greater amounts of CGRs to enter our atmosphere,thus creating lower clouds cover along lower latitudes. Whew!
    But like I said, I’m not a scientist, just someone that wants to learn more.
    Forgive me if I make assumptions about science that makes me sound like I’m talking more about science fiction. I just felt it nessesary to write all this out.
    At least now I now that two very adept and intellectual people are gonna read this.
    Just don’t laugh too hard ok.
    David Alan

  185. @ Dr. Svalgaard:
    I have learned from this discussion. It reminds me of a place long, long ago and far, far away where the Socratic Method was employed. Perhaps you are familiar with this method of instruction where ideas are challenged and defended and learning is accomplished in the crucible of competing Ideas.
    The arena.
    One does not simply regurgitate ideas memorized by rote, but is able to grasp the ideas firmly in hand and use them in argument.
    For that I thank you.
    I’ll close by linking the Wikipedia entry on double layers (plasma).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_layer_(plasma)
    Note the historical development of the plasma electric double layer and the footnotes supporting the text.
    Clearly, men of ‘electricty’ were the first to grasp and understand this dynamic astrophysical object first in the laboratory and then in space.
    And, now, fortunately, its understanding is spreading to a general wareness in astrophysics.
    See summary paper on “magnetic reconnection”, or plasma electric double layer:
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2008GL035297.pdf
    In this paper electric fields, magnetic fields, electric currents, electrons and ions are all taken into account.
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “I give up. You win, being about 50 years behind current knowledge.”
    It is important to remember what the investigators said about the discovery in the instant post.
    “These images have revolutionized what we thought we knew for the past 50 years; the sun travels through the galaxy not like a comet but more like a big, round bubble,” said Stamatios Krimigis of the Applied Physics Lab, in Laurel, Md., principal investigator for Cassini’s Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument which carries the Ion and Neutral Camera. “It’s amazing how a single new observation can change an entire concept that most scientists had taken as true for nearly fifty years.”
    And to remember what Hannes Alfven stated:
    “The new discoveries include the existence of double layers in magnetized plasmas and in the low magnetosphere, and energy transfer by electric current in the auroral circuit.” (1982)
    And how Alfven outlined the problem with conventional analysis:
    “It is argued that solar flares and the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction should not be interpreted in terms of magnetic merging theories, and that electric current needs to be explicitly taken account of in understanding these phenomena.” (1982)
    It would seem that Hannes Alfven had a firm grasp of the physics of electric double layers.
    I’ll stand with Alfven.

  186. @Leif Svalgaard “The ribbon has much likely nothing to do with cosmic ray access to the Earth.”
    Scientists investigating the effects of polarity dependence by numerically solving the transport equation showed that the cosmic rays would essentially enter the heliosphere along the helio-equator and exit via the poles in a (-) polarity state and visa-versa for a (+) polarity state. In addition, diffusion of cosmic particles entering the heliosphere can propogate parallel to and/or perpendicular to the IMF respectively.
    Irregardless of a A0 state, the energized ribbon in question, though not scientifically explained, does reflect the area where cosmic rays either enter or exit the heliosphere.
    Seems to me various CGRs are getting ‘knocked’ about from within and outside the heliosphere.
    More analysis on my part suggests that during a A>0 state of polarity, you would have various forms of interstellar mass perturbing the heliosphere, while at the same time outgoing cosmic particles perturbing the heliosphere, due to the transport equation. That is a lot of activity going on at the edge of our solar system. During a A<0 polarity state, I would assume that most particles of cosmic origin would only be entering along the helio-ecliptic and eventually escaping along HCS magnetic lines out and through the poles.
    I can't imagine cosmic particles either entering or exiting the heliospshere and not creating havoc while doing so.
    In the IBEX report, the ribbon comprises mostly of neutral atoms. This process strips cosmic particles. So says the report.
    It has been my understanding of cosmic spallation in geo-magnetic terms, that various cosmic particles , collide and reconnect or collide and get stripped during the spallation. Could it very well be that the same process is also happening at a helio-spallatial level as well?
    That is unless of course you disagree with the IBEX findings or you have a better explanation. Trust me, I'm listening. I feel like a sponge, sucking in everything at the moment.

  187. @ Leif Svaalgard
    Just so ya know, I’ve read almost everything from your website and numerous articles around the web regarding this particular issue. So, don’t pull any punches. I can take it. 🙂

  188. David Alan (20:23:33) :
    Scientists investigating the effects of polarity dependence by numerically solving the transport equation showed that the cosmic rays would essentially enter the heliosphere along the helio-equator and exit via the poles in a (-) polarity state and visa-versa for a (+) polarity state. In addition, diffusion of cosmic particles entering the heliosphere can propogate parallel to and/or perpendicular to the IMF respectively.
    This is only true for a small portion [a few percent] of the cosmic rays.

  189. I feel a Matrix moment coming on. Neo, makes a reply to Morphius and exclaims,’I see what your trying to do.’
    Anymore of this freeing my mind stuff and I’m gonna be flying along with the solar flux right down those open field lines. :p

  190. David Alan (23:58:45) :
    I feel a Matrix moment coming on. Neo, makes a reply to Morphius and exclaims,’I see what your trying to do.’
    Anymore of this freeing my mind stuff and I’m gonna be flying along with the solar flux right down those open field lines. :p
    >’I see what your trying to do.’Anymore of this freeing my mind stuff and I’m gonna be flying along with the solar flux right down those open field lines. :p<
    lol, been there and done this, good to see someone else in the same situation.
    You haven't been doing any skydiving in WI last Aug. have you? (AF ret)
    I have yet to breakdown into a workable understanding the different origins of cosmic rays. Solar, anomalous and galactic. We tend to focus more on the galactic GCR. There is some ongoing open discussion of them here.
    http://solarcycle24com.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=241&page=5#32167
    I agree in part with Leif's assessment of the IBEX "ribbon" being blowby from inside the heliosphere. There is also a high flux region at around 60 deg. N lat. that maybe indicating a second lesser impact zone. The first impact zone being the equatorial belt at the nose, creating the hole for incoming and outgoing flows. Is there maybe a second heliospheric hole at 60 north as well?
    Thanks to Svalgaard and Evans for their insights on plasmas, currents and magnetic fields.

  191. I am amazed by dicovery. It relates directly to me. In 2004 I created the ribbon with a little help of my friends who put chains on me. Not cool. The importance is that the ribbon is live of what I have a proof.

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