Recently discovered space ribbon: a solar wind reflection

From NASA Science News January 15, 2010: Last year, when NASA’s IBEX (Interstellar Boundary Explorer) spacecraft discovered a giant ribbon at the edge of the solar system, researchers were mystified. They called it a “shocking result” and puzzled over its origin.

Now the mystery may have been solved.

An artist's concept of the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX).

“We believe the ribbon is a reflection,” says Jacob Heerikhuisen, a NASA Heliophysics Guest Investigator from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. “It is where solar wind particles heading out into interstellar space are reflected back into the solar system by a galactic magnetic field.”

Heerikhuisen is the lead author of a paper reporting the results in the Jan. 10th edition of the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

“This is an important finding,” says Arik Posner, IBEX program scientist at NASA Headquarters. “Interstellar space just beyond the edge of the solar system is mostly unexplored territory. Now we know, there could be a strong, well-organized magnetic field sitting right on our doorstep.”

The IBEX data fit in nicely with recent results from Voyager. Voyager 1 and 2 are near the edge of the solar system and they also have sensed strong* magnetism nearby. Voyager measurements are relatively local to the spacecraft, however. IBEX is filling in the “big picture.” The ribbon it sees is vast and stretches almost all the way across the sky, suggesting that the magnetic field behind it must be equally vast.

Although maps of the ribbon (see below) seem to show a luminous body, the ribbon emits no light. Instead, it makes itself known via particles called “energetic neutral atoms” (ENAs)–mainly garden-variety hydrogen atoms. The ribbon emits these particles, which are picked up by IBEX in Earth orbit.

see caption

Above: A comparison of IBEX observations (left) with a 3D magnetic reflection model (right). More images: data, model.

The reflection process posited by Heerikhuisen et al. is a bit complicated, involving multiple “charge exchange” reactions between protons and hydrogen atoms. The upshot, however, is simple. Particles from the solar wind that escape the solar system are met ~100 astronomical units (~15 billion kilometers) away by an interstellar magnetic field. Magnetic forces intercept the escaping particles and sling them right back where they came from.

“If this mechanism is correct–and not everyone agrees–then the shape of the ribbon is telling us a lot about the orientation of the magnetic field in our corner of the Milky Way galaxy,” notes Heerikhuisen.

And upon this field, the future may hinge.

The solar system is passing through a region of the Milky Way filled with cosmic rays and interstellar clouds. The magnetic field of our own sun, inflated by the solar wind into a bubble called the “heliosphere,” substantially protects us from these things. However, the bubble itself is vulnerable to external fields. A strong magnetic field just outside the solar system could press against the heliosphere and interact with it in unknown ways. Will this strengthen our natural shielding—or weaken it? No one can say.

Right: An artist’s concept of interstellar clouds in the galactic neighborhood of the sun. [more]

“IBEX will monitor the ribbon closely in the months and years ahead,” says Posner. “We could see the shape of the ribbon change—and that would show us how we are interacting with the galaxy beyond.”

It seems we can learn a lot by looking in the mirror. Stay tuned to Science@NASA for updates.

h/t to Leif Svalgaard

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291 thoughts on “Recently discovered space ribbon: a solar wind reflection

  1. Great post: Perhaps it raises more questions than answers.
    If so, the challenge to Science is to find the answers to those questions.

  2. Which begs the question> how much do we really know about the underlying basis for Earth’s Climate?
    We are just at the doorstep of understanding the interactions between local and distant systems, be they Magnetic or other (yet to be discovered) forces.

  3. Now I’m HAPPY that solar activity is on the increase, or seems to be anyway.
    A little extra solar energy is greatly preferrable to being zapped from outer space.

  4. The reflection process posited by Heerikhuisen et al. is a bit complicated, involving multiple “charge exchange” reactions between protons and hydrogen atoms. The upshot, however, is simple. Particles from the solar wind that escape the solar system are met ~100 astronomical units (~15 billion kilometers) away by an interstellar magnetic field. Magnetic forces intercept the escaping particles and sling them right back where they came from.

    However, the bubble itself is vulnerable to external fields. A strong magnetic field just outside the solar system could press against the heliosphere and interact with it in unknown ways.

    I wonder where they came up with the distance of 100 AU beyond the heliosphere for this interstellar magnetic field. I think a ring current could be located there, generating a toroidal magnetic field. It’s known that ring currents will produce energetic neutral atoms, like the ring currents around Earth. Although due to the sparse particle density in the ISM, I suspect the double layer in the heliosheath might be an additional source of ENA’s, or may even be the sole source. The ring current’s magnetic field out in the ISM would attract more charge carriers where it would “impinge” (or press against) the heliosheath’s DL. Some ions and electrons could get trapped in the electric field between the two charge sheaths of the DL, producing a bundle of Birkeland filaments with charged particles spiraling around their linear flow, like a belt, around the heliosheath. As the particles collide some are neutralized and their trajectories carry them to IBEX.
    Either way, it all starts with the ring current surrounding the heliosphere in the ISM.
    From a physicsworld article:

    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.
    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.

    Even though everyone knows they’re dealing with plasma, They’re just treating it as a hot gas and only using MHD, however MHD and hot gas is an over-simplification of true plasma behavior. It makes the maths easier, but isn’t necessarily an accurate representation of actual plasma behavior. We should consider treating the heliosheath as a plasma double layer. The electric field between the charge sheaths in a double layer is a very important aspect of plasma dynamics. Such as acceleration of charged particles thereby maintaining “supersonic” velocities beyond the heliosphere or why the ACR flux didn’t peak at the boundary, likely due to a DL being a lot more organized than a turbulent termination shock.
    I think considering a ring current in the ISM, and the heliosheath as a double layer will provide better answers.

  5. Svensmark’s concept of cloud particle nucleation via GCR could well be getting its big test, if a second feature moderating the sun’s magnetic field has been identified.
    I wonder if the various parties predicting generalized cooling over the next two decades or so have factored in any of this? How could they? Anyway, not everyone agrees with the GCR theory.
    As I understand it, about 71 of the 342 w/m2 incoming solar radiation is reflected by clouds and aerosols. http://home.iprimus.com.au/nielsens/solrad.html
    Therefore, a small change in cloudiness could have a major impact on global temperatures.

  6. About the strength of the field:
    Footnote from the original article at
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2010/15jan_ibex2.htm
    Footnote: * The strong interstellar fields mentioned in this story measure about ~5 microgauss. A microgauss is one millionth of a gauss, a unit of magnetic field strength popular among astronomers and geophysicists. Earth’s magnetic field is about 0.5 gauss or 500,000 microgauss. Magnetic fields pervading interstellar space tend to be much less intense than planetary magnetic fields.

  7. That is simply an electric current, which it is perpendicular to magnetic field:
    The ribbon runs perpendicular to the direction of the galactic magnetic field just outside the heliosphere
    A Birkeland current.
    Stop talking please about phantoms “reflections”

  8. They called it a “shocking result” and puzzled over its origin.
    Didn’t they expect to find anything new?

  9. I believe that as soon as any human crewed ship passes through that ribbon, one of them will begin to exhibit rapidly progressing mental and telekinetic skills, and the crew will have to act rapidly to kill him or he will attempt to return and rule the world.

  10. Somewhere in their book The Chilling Stars, Calder and Svensmark say something like: “Meteoroligists think the third planet of this tiny yellow star at the outskirts of Milky Way is so grand that the rest of the Universe can be ignored”
    Now we begin to have a clue of our position, what we might be exposed to and what might mitigate the effects of what’s happening around us.
    It is fascinating, but scarry. We are not in charge of the climate and do not determine our fate.

  11. “Philip T. Downman (09:51:55) :
    […]
    It is fascinating, but scarry. We are not in charge of the climate and do not determine our fate.”
    I prefer very much to be in the hand of natural forces than to be in the hands of an idiocracy. So i don’t see that as negative.

  12. A strong well-organized magnetic field is sitting right on our doorstep? By implication we then deduce there must be a strong electric current creating it. Where does all this power come from? The galactic core? Intriguing.

  13. Of course what it is, Exactly, is not going to be absolutely known until we get out there. Having said that, I have to wonder if it plays any role in the way stars take their paths as they circle the galactic core?

  14. “The moving plasma, i.e., charged particles flows, are currents that produce self-magnetic fields, however weak.” — A. L. Peratt
    “An electromotive force [mathematical equation] giving rise to electrical currents in conducting media is produced wherever a relative perpendicular motion of plasma and magnetic fields exists.” — Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory

  15. “If this mechanism is correct–and not everyone agrees–then the shape of the ribbon is telling us a lot about the orientation of the magnetic field in our corner of the Milky Way galaxy,” notes Heerikhuisen.
    The ribbon shows to be relatively well focused, which is unlikely to be so ordered by GM field, carried by cosmic rays impacting from many directions.
    My original suggestions, some months ago, that it was shaped by the heliospheric current sheet, was shot down by Dr. L.S. Now it is even clearer, noting position of the nose of helioshere, that so may be the case.
    Perhahs Heerikhuisen should look closer at this old NASA sketch.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/HCS.gif

  16. From: “Cosmic Rays and Climate. Part V: Cosmoclimatology”

    “Because cosmic rays affect cloud cover and cloud cover affects temperature, cosmic rays are a natural “forcing” in climate model terms.
    A change in cloud cover of 3% is equal to 1.5 watts per meter squared, which is about equal to all the forcing of CO2 as assigned by the IPCC in its climate model.
    Svensmark: “The bottom line seems to be that instead of thinking of clouds being a result of climate, it actually is sort of upside down. It is that the climate is a result of changes in the clouds.”


  17. James F. Evans (10:13:46) :
    “The moving plasma, i.e., charged particles flows, are currents that produce self-magnetic fields, however weak.” — A. L. Peratt

    Bring it home: Witness how a (now old) CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) computer monitor or old “TV screen” works:
    Electrons emitted by a cathode are deflected across the breadth of a CRT’s face (impinging on light-producing phosphors) by a magnetic field from a ‘yoke’ positioned at the base of the CRT where the glass CRT ‘necks’ down to only an inch (2.54 cm) or so …
    Replace the Electron(s) with ions or ‘plasma’ and the idea is still applicable.
    .
    .

  18. “In order to understand the phenomena in a certain plasma region, it is necessary to map not only the magnetic but also the electric field and the electric currents.”

    – Hannes Alfven

    The cosmical plasma physics of today is far less advanced than the thermonuclear research physics. It is to some extent the playground of theoreticians
    who have never seen a plasma in a laboratory. Many of them still believe in
    formulae which we know from laboratory experiments to be wrong. The
    astrophysical correspondence to the thermonuclear crisis has not yet come.
    I think it is evident now that in certain respects the first approach to the
    physics of cosmical plasmas has been a failure. It turns out that in several
    important cases this approach has not given even a first approximation to
    truth but led into dead-end streets from which we now have to turn back.
    The reason for this is that several of the basic concepts on which the theories
    are founded, are not applicable to the condition prevailing in cosmos. They
    are « generally accepted » by most theoreticians, they are developed with the
    most sophisticated mathematical methods and it is only the plasma itself
    which does not « understand », how beautiful the theories are and absolutely
    refuses to obey them. It is now obvious that we have to start a second approach
    from widely different starting points.

    – From Alfven’s Nobel acceptance speech, 1970
    Still true 40 years later regarding the differences between Plasma Cosmology and how standard cosmology incorporates plasma.
    peace,
    Tim

  19. In what manner does this new information affect the calculations for the total matter in the Universe? Does this reduce the requirement for dark matter/dark energy?
    And, what is this going to look like on 12/21/12 … just kidding.

  20. A new breakthrough in empirical science, envisioned by men like Birkeland, Hans Alfvén and others, literally breaks and shines through the oppresive dark clouds of settled science, of politicized science, which like in the dark ages only aim at power, neglecting the majority of people the human right of enlightment , knowledge and reason, whose fate the “pious” elites always considered to be that of the servants, only to serve their masters and holy patrons.
    Tell them just to believe, teach them not to doubt in the words of we, their masters, say and proclaim that there are things not to be known by men, these are the “mysteries”, the dogmas, tell them a tale of an unreachable universe, a confusion, a chaos of strings, of unfathomable and scaring “black holes”, of curve and foldable space, of many dimensions where they will lose reason and being, of things they are not supposed to understand, that they are forbidden to grasp..

  21. Mike Ramsey (08:50:50) :
    Leif’s universe?
    I know some of you Americans adore him but don’t you think that’s too much?

  22. So we are seeing “border control.” The magnetism of the Sun deflects the charged particles of cosmic radiation, while the magnetism of the galaxy rejects the charged particles of the solar wind. A somewhat porous border, but still interesting.
    In our measurements of incoming cosmic radiation, will we now have to take into account that a portion of that could be this reflected solar wind?

  23. Richard M (11:15:46) : In “interesting times” new paradigms appear, new truths enlight the spirits of human beings, old empires fall, old churches die naturally of old age, humanity awaits to break the chains of slavery, to attain freedom, to reach new levels of humanity far for inherited preconceptions, taboos long held standing fall down, this is apocalipsis (Αποκάλυψις=Revelation).

  24. the_Butcher (12:04:53) :
    Mike Ramsey (08:50:50) :
    Leif’s universe?
    I know some of you Americans adore him but don’t you think that’s too much?
    Chuckle.  As a manner of speaking, we each have our own universe that we live in.  For some it is finance, others politics. The metaphor is perhaps more literal with Leif.
    Mike Ramsey

  25. How does a “neutral atom” acquire enough energy to become “energetic”?
    Disclaimer: I flunked solid-state physics in college.

  26. JonesII (12:19:25) :
    Sorry for my english: apocalypse (ethym.:apokalyptein=To disclose).

    Greek: -translit. apoca’lipsis, literally: the lifting of the veil

  27. solrey (09:16:52) :
    Either way, it all starts with the ring current surrounding the heliosphere in the ISM.
    And what causes the ring current? BTW there is no ring of current around the Earth.
    JonesII (09:33:42) :
    That is simply an electric current, which it is perpendicular to magnetic field:
    And what causes that current?
    Existent (10:11:35) :
    A strong well-organized magnetic field is sitting right on our doorstep? By implication we then deduce there must be a strong electric current creating it.
    First of all, the magnetic field is not strong, it is incredibly weak, 100,000 weaker than the magnetic field on your actual doorstep. And there is no strong electric current generating it. It is there because it cannot decay away, which would take a current and there you cannot sustain a current in a highly conducting plasma [it would short itself out immediately].
    James F. Evans (10:13:46) :
    “An electromotive force [mathematical equation] giving rise to electrical currents in conducting media is produced wherever a relative perpendicular motion of plasma and magnetic fields exists.” — Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Yes, the electric current is created by the neutral plasma moving through a magnetic field.
    vukcevic (10:24:15) :
    Now it is even clearer, noting position of the nose of helioshere, that so may be the case.
    The HCS is the effect of the magnetic field configuration, not the cause of it.
    solrey (11:13:51) :
    Still true 40 years later regarding the differences between Plasma Cosmology and how standard cosmology incorporates plasma.
    It was hardly true then, and even less now.
    JonesII (11:22:23) :
    where they will lose reason and being, of things they are not supposed to understand, that they are forbidden to grasp..
    For your own sake, study carefully what is known today: http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmology_faq.html
    Cosmology is an observational science and I sure men like Birkeland and Alfven [the latter I knew personally] would agree to the overwhelming evidence of the mass of modern observations that are forcing themselves upon us.
    kadaka (12:10:13) :
    In our measurements of incoming cosmic radiation, will we now have to take into account that a portion of that could be this reflected solar wind?
    The reflected solar wind hardly propagates upstream so, no we don’t need to take that into account.
    In another thread Eric Barnes (16:32:04) asked :
    Exactly what theories are pseudo-science?
    He should come over here for a great sampling.

  28. James F Evans has got it right.
    I heard a few days ago a New Zealand research scientist recalling an old hand’s advice about making discoveries: you know you’ve arrived at doing good science when you turn up more questions than answers

  29. @Leif Svalgaard – “Cosmology is an observational science..”
    This is a half truth. All too often its a mathematical one in the absence of empirical observation. For example, this very press release from NASA is based on results from a model that admittely fits the observation fairly well.

  30. @Leif Svalgaard – What are your thoughts regarding this discovery, specifically its implications for how this might affect solar output?

  31. Leif Svalgaard (13:38:39) :
    solrey (09:16:52) :
    Either way, it all starts with the ring current surrounding the heliosphere in the ISM. And what causes the ring current? BTW there is no ring of current around the Earth.

    Leif, ummmm…are you serious?
    http://pluto.space.swri.edu/IMAGE/glossary/ring_current.html

    The ring current is one of the major current systems in the Earth’s magnetosphere. It circles the Earth in the equatorial plane and is generated by the longitudinal drift of energetic (10 to 200 keV) charged particles trapped on field lines between L ~ 2 and 7.

    This image shows energetic neutral atom (ENA) emissions from the Earth’s ring current, as seen with the High Energy Neutral Atom (HENA) on NASA’s IMAGE spacecraft.
    http://pluto.space.swri.edu/IMAGE/glossary/ring_current2.html
    Yep, a persistent ring current that produces ENA’s…like I said.

  32. Magnetic forces intercept the escaping particles and sling them right back where they came from.
    Wile E. Coyote in power lines.

  33. Leif Svalgaard (13:38:39) :
    “The HCS is the effect of the magnetic field configuration, not the cause of it.”
    That may be so, but that was not point I made (another purposeful misinterpretation of a statement); the point is the so called ‘space ribon’ appears to be shaped by interaction of the heliospheric current sheet and galactic magnetic field. Of course you won’t be convinced, but that doesn’t mean you or anyone else at the moment is certain. However, for those who may whish to take a look at this link
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC3.htm
    may think otherwise.
    Image shows space ribbon and current sheet as recently depicted by Caltec.

  34. Carlo (14:28:46) :
    @Leif Svalgaard – “Cosmology is an observational science..”
    This is a half truth. All too often its a mathematical one in the absence of empirical observation.

    No, I think you might agree if you take the trouble to study http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmology_faq.html Almost every point is grounded is observations. Now, Nature speaks Mathematics, so we try to extract the math from the data. That we have a theory [General Relativity] that has passed every direct test we have submitted it too is a bonus. The theory is 90 years old, but for the first 40 years did not provide a convincing view because we did not have the data and observations, but now we have.
    For example, this very press release from NASA is based on results from a model that admittedly fits the observation fairly well.
    And is not Cosmology …
    Charles (14:34:55) :
    @Leif Svalgaard – What are your thoughts regarding this discovery, specifically its implications for how this might affect solar output?
    None

  35. Leif Svalgaard (13:38:39) :
    The reflected solar wind hardly propagates upstream so, no we don’t need to take that into account.

    That’s it? A hand-waving dismissal that the amounts are insignificant?
    I am disappointed. I had hoped to find out there was a detectable difference in signatures, likely in the energy levels, that allows solar wind, even these reflected amounts, to be decisively kept out of cosmic radiation measurements. Instead I get ‘Eh, not enough to worry about.’
    So much for “cutting edge, state-of-the-art science.”

  36. @Leif: I don’t think changing the context from the ribbon at the edge of our solar system to my doorstep falsifies Arik Posner’s evaluation. He would of course be wrong if other ribbons at the end of other solar systems are significantly stronger, but I don’t think we know this much yet.
    Let’s move back within the context of space: Since we are dealing with a concept of force (within a specific region of space) we need to identify its existent(s): What may X be? What causes magnetic fields in space?

  37. In case you haven’t noticed, mainstream astrophysicists are constantly ‘shocked’ and ‘surprised’ at what they find. iow, commonly accepted theories don’t predict such things as ‘ribbons’ at the edge of the heliopause. These days, a lot of mainstream science seems to work that way. A lot of researchers are too often ‘shocked’ and ‘surprised’ by the results of their experiments and observations. (Hint: as with AGW, if the theory didn’t predict the observation/result, something is seriously wrong with the theory.)
    Einstein was undeniably a brilliant man. However, he was not infallible and never claimed to be. Also: Today’s scientific ‘consensus’ wouldn’t give him the time of day. If he were a young clerk in the patent office, today, he’d play merry hell to get *anything* published in a peer-reviewed journal.

  38. solrey (14:57:36) :
    “BTW there is no ring of current around the Earth.”
    Leif, ummmm…are you serious?

    Yes, and read your own quote:
    “is generated by the longitudinal drift of energetic (10 to 200 keV) charged particles trapped on field lines between L ~ 2 and 7.”
    You can learn a bit more about this process here: http://www.phy6.org/Education/wtrap1.html
    To elaborate, particles are trapped in the Earth’s magnetic field and bounces back and forth between [roughly] the North and South poles. One can show mathematically that such bounce produces a drift of the whole shebang in longitude as if there actually were a thin line current [the Ring Current] in the equatorial plane [which there isn’t]. We maintain the moniker solely for historical reasons [100 years ago people thought there was such a current – responsible for an observed effect back then called the ‘post-perturbation’]
    vukcevic (15:01:33) :
    However, for those who may whish to take a look at this link
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC3.htm may think otherwise.
    Image shows space ribbon and current sheet as recently depicted by Caltec.

    They may think so only if they are ignorant of the facts. The Caltec image shows [a poor rendition] of what the HCS looks like in the inner solar system [perhaps the oval is the Earth’s orbit]. As the Sun is rotating the HCS gets wound up. Out at the Heliopause the HCS has wrapped around the Sun 30-50 times. Here is a cartoon of what it looks like out there: http://www.leif.org/research/Heliospheric%20Current%20Sheet%20Cartoon.pdf
    You can see that wrapping in this nice movie that shows the HCS out to 10 AU [5 wrap-arounds] http://www.leif.org/research/HCS-Movie-hi.gif
    And how the HCS [at Earth changes over a solar cycle]: http://www.leif.org/research/HCS2.png
    Here is another [meridional] cut through the HCS: http://www.leif.org/research/HCS3.png
    This one http://www.leif.org/research/HCS4.png
    shows how the magnetic polarity changes as the HCS sweeps past the Earth. for simplicity I move the Earth [green to red circles] instead of the HCS, but you might get the idea.

  39. Leif Svalgaard (13:38:39) :
    “First of all, the magnetic field is not strong, it is incredibly weak, 100,000 weaker than the magnetic field on your actual doorstep. And there is no strong electric current generating it. It is there because it cannot decay away, which would take a current and there you cannot sustain a current in a highly conducting plasma [it would short itself out immediately].”
    With all due respect, I think you’re ‘selling this a bit short’ Leif.
    Unless we are dealing with iron (lodestone), cobalt, or another substance with ‘magnetic memory’, an electric current is the source of a magnetic field (thus the term, ‘EM field’ (electromagnetic field)).
    For an electrically induced magnetic field, the strength of the EM field is proportional to the strength of the electrical current. So the current determines the EM field strength! However, there are opposing scenarios that determine the electrical current strength!
    You say; “It is there because it cannot decay away, which would take a current and there you cannot sustain a current in a highly conducting plasma [it would short itself out immediately].”. Well, are you suggesting that there’s a material with ‘magnetic memory’ here? I doubt it. Though, there are two scenarios that can produce this observed effect in the absence of a material with ‘magnetic memory’.
    Scenario 1 will produce a weak EM field when the electrically conducting material that spans the regions of ‘opposing potential’ (think of this as ‘voltage’) is of low electrical conductance. Here, there is little current, due to the low electrical conductivity of the connecting media, giving a weak EM field that exhibits a high level of electrostatic activity.
    Scenario 2 will produce a weak EM field when the electrically conducting material that spans the regions of opposing potential is of high electrical conductance, due to the limit of the regions of ‘opposing potential’ to supply the EMF (electromotive force, or voltage) that can sustain a greater current. Here, there is a low current, due to the high electrical conductivity of the connecting media which lacks the ‘power supply’, giving a weak EM field that exhibits a low level of electrostatic activity.
    The most obvious distinction between these two scenarios is either the absence, or presence, of ‘electrostatic’ activity. This is ‘known’ science and I present it as such.
    Best regards, suricat.

  40. kadaka (15:48:04) :
    That’s it? A hand-waving dismissal that the amounts are insignificant?
    I am disappointed. I had hoped to find out there was a detectable difference in signatures,

    Sometimes Mother Nature does not fulfill our deepest desires. It is not hand-waving, there really isn’t any effect. The Sun’s output is already a million times stronger than the energy in the solar wind and the ‘ribbon’ is way below that in turn. The ribbon consists of ordinary neutral Hydrogen atoms with a density millions of times smaller than the rarefied air in the best vacuum we can make.

  41. Existent (15:51:59) :
    @Leif: I don’t think changing the context from the ribbon at the edge of our solar system to my doorstep falsifies Arik Posner’s evaluation.
    He said: ” Now we know, there could be a strong, well-organized magnetic field sitting right on our doorstep.”
    The ‘strong’ has to taken relative to the incredibly weak magnetic field in the Heliosphere just inside the Heliopause where the magnetic field is ten times weaker than the Galactic field and a million times weaker than in the space between your ears.
    What causes magnetic fields in space?
    Magnetic fields are amplified by dynamo actions and are almost impossible to get rid off once generated because of their large extent. What created the very first [extremely weak] magnetic fields when the Universe was born is still debated. A possible mechanism is the so-called ‘battery effect’ that does not operate today. The magnetic field is not generated by electric currents cursing through the Universe [what drives them?]. To drive a current you need to separate unlike charges against their incredibly strong mutual attraction. You can, of course, do that if you have a magnetic field: just shoot the plasma across the field and you get a nice separation with positive charges going one way and negative charges going the other way. The charges will very quickly find each other again, and that is how we get all the interesting explosive phenomena like solar flares, aurorae, etc.

  42. Ah physics!
    Thou dost surely temp my soul.
    But not yet, not yet;
    more pressing matters
    take their toil.
    Physics, ah physics,
    should I take a stab at thee?
    Not yet, not yet,
    till we have a thing
    called liberty.

    Oh, to update my non-coward membership:
    My name is Steven Stanley Stipulkoski
    I live at 1355 Commece Drive, #306
    Auburn, AL 36830
    I live alone with no attack dogs or alarm system.
    However, the Lord is my Shepard.

  43. Leif Svaalgard
    “In another thread Eric Barnes (16:32:04) asked :
    Exactly what theories are pseudo-science?
    He should come over here for a great sampling.”
    In the 22nd century, textbooks of science will commence any discussion of the phenomenon of pseudo-science with the monumental fiasco of the late 20th century theory of CO2 AGW, which became dominant culturally and politically and predicted indefinite global warming caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions during a period which was later found to have been the beginning of the end of the Holocene interglacial.
    Universities relocated from temperate latitudes to semitropical ones will link the diagnosis of pseudo science with the epistemological laws proposed by Karl Popper, specifically the critical difference between deductive and inductive scientific reasoning. Connected with this the issue of whether a “scientific” theory is falsifiable or not. Deductive reasoning means keeping the lines between experimental observation and deduction as short and economical as possible. Deductive propositions are straightforwardly falsifiable. Inductive reasoning, which came close to destroying the edifice of scientific understanding in the early-mid 21st century, by contrast operates by adding assumption to assumption in a linear manner, constructing a complex edifice of interlinked hypotheses and assumptions. While parts of the edifice are embellished with highly complex experimental and theoretical detail and are thus easy to defend by individuals deeply conversant in the particular specific topic, the validity of the body of reasoning actually depends on the correctness of a very large number of interlinked hypotheses or assertions, and is highly unstable to any weak link in what is more a cobweb than a chain.
    For example, deductive reasoning would ask the question – if CO2 causes runaway and dangerous warming, then what evidence do we see of this in the palaeoclimatic record of the Ordovician era where CO2 levels in the atmosphere were 8-20 times higher than today. Receiving the answer that no warming followed, and that instead a severe global ice age ended the era, the deductive conclusion would be that the CO2 warming hypothesis was wrong – that CO2 is not dominant in global temperatures.
    But the inductive response to this is quite different. It is to totally ignore the Ordovician history. And to ignore with a determination close to fanaticism any record of climate variation before the 19 and 20th century. Instead to create a detailed narrative based on some physics of the properties of CO2 and applying the analogy of a greenhouse, with the assumption that the climate system is simple enough to be characterised by simple linear algebraic expressions ignoring the possibility of chaos and nonlinearity.
    In the same way that the internet is resistant to disruption by its interconnectedness, falsification of inductive hypotheses is extremely difficult and frustrating because as any weak points are found, the web-like edifice can adapt itself to avoid refutation and say “the overall theory never really depended on that individual part”.
    Inductive theories can shield themselves behind sheer complexity and volume of technical information. The assumption is made that every part of the colossal edifice needs to be disproved in order for the overall theory to be challenged.
    The nemesis of inductive reasoning is the prevalence in the real world of chaotic nonlinear and nonequilibrium pattern due to complexity and the universality of feedbacks. In the 22nd century it will be universally taught and understood that only a small fraction of natural phenomena can be meaningfully studied by linear inductive type reasoning, where one or at most two factors are dominant. Astronomical objects and gravitationally controlled movement is one such example. Mathematics is of course an abstract refuge where one can indulge in gratuitous inductivism without any rude interruption from the real world.
    So students of science in the 22nd century will be required to create their own inductive pseudo-scientific hypotheses and defend them, the more ridiculous they are and the more robustly defended, the higher the score. This in order to understand fully the workings of this corrosive epistemological pathology.
    The purpose of an inductive pseudo-scientific theory is clear and well defined:
    (1) To support a political agenda, to demonise and generate public animosity toward a selected enemy of the state, and
    (2) To make itself so complex, interlinked and flexible and simultaneously enmeshed in mountainous volumes of technical detail, so that refutation is impossible.
    Another 20th century example was the advance of the theory that ionising radiation is dangerously carcinogenic at all doses down to zero. Again the deductive approach in this field is to look at the experimental fact that radiation doses below 100 mGy cause no increase in cancer in humans or animals, and that instead such low exposures actually reduce cancer incidence, boost immunity and extend lifespan. Again, the inductive approach is to ignore the organism-level data and look only at the level of DNA and the cell, to construct elaborate theories based on DNA strand breaks, genetic and cell phenomena and extrapolate them to the level of the whole organism. Gene and cell effects can be seen down to zero dose – therefore there must be organism level effects of a similar nature, all the way down to zero dose. Again the huge complexity, connectedness and immunity to falsification. Again the direct experimental evidence is ignored. Again the blindness to the possibility of totally different chaotic nonlinear pattern dynamics in complex natural systems.
    The success of this particular pseudo-scientific theory had the effect of destroying the nuclear scientific community in North America and Europe in the early 21st century, so that now the only successful nuclear technology companies are in Russia (what is left of it), Asia and Persia. The loss of much of the world’s fossil fuel reserves due to glaciation meant that it was fortunate indeed that the ability to generate energy from nuclear reactions was not lost altogether.
    The political driving force behind these pseudo-science movements, students of science history will learn, was of an anarchic, left wing and anti-capitalistic nature, and is also “Luddite” in its opposition to industry in general, technologies such as nuclear power, genetic modification, pharmaceutical industry. This movement was a delayed reaction to the industrial revolution itself and its early abuses. It also fed on socio-economical divisions engendered by industrialisation. This political ideal shares with the Nazis of 1930’s Germany the rural peasant idyll, free of industry – although is not shy of using industrial and technical power to advance its agenda.
    However in the current 22nd century glacial world, the need to share resources to survive and the technological challenges to provide the populations needs from a much reduced habitable earth surface, have largely extinguished the sources or power and motivation for reactionary and anti-industrial pseudo science as a political weapon.

  44. phlogiston (17:13:34) :
    In the 22nd century, textbooks of science will commence any discussion of the phenomenon of pseudo-science with the monumental fiasco of the late 20th century theory of CO2 AGW
    You may well be right on this. Luckily, almost all the rest of science [and in particular Cosmology] builds directly on observations and inductive reasoning has no serious role to play.

  45. First rule of the Universe: “There must be far more that is unknown than is known, otherwise the occupants will be bored.” (Call it Dark Knowledge:-)

  46. Bowshock in space always strikes me as strange….. Where particle densities are so low, it intrigues me how you can have an interaction between particles where they do not actually touch?… So therefore it must be fields of energy that are being compressed…. Which gives rise to electrified plasma…. I find it strange that magnetic fields could exist without an electic current.
    … any thoughts?

  47. phlogiston (17:13:34) : There is a dicotomy always present everywhere: Entropy vs. negentropy, the tendency to extreme order, to stasis vs. the tendency to extreme movement, to dynamis, between both, a synthesis is what is found in the dynamic stability of a Birkeland´s current.
    We use to take sides but the just is in the middle. Trouble is that if we follow or, worse, if we are obliged to choose the entropic path unwillingly, no matter how good intentions are, we´ll find the anthill or the beehive, if we follow the other extreme path we also find death, this time by dissolution. Our hearts can stop beating in systole or in diastole, both meaning death.
    So take it cool. Interesting times bring interesting situations.

  48. JonesII (11:22:23) :
    neglecting the majority of people the human right of enlightment , knowledge and reason
    Neglecting they themselves who try to do this to others – neglecting others of these same powers and facts of human potential regarding thought – is much more like what they are actually implying as the fact about themselves. For me, that’s the only thing which explains their behavior.

  49. J.Hansford (18:36:56) :
    I find it strange that magnetic fields could exist without an electric current.
    … any thoughts?

    Or a physicist who could walk without electricity, or breath without oxidizing his hemoglobin from Fe2 to Fe3 without electrons, there is none.

  50. Pascvaks (18:43:07) :
    J.Hansford (18:36:56) :
    “… any thoughts?”
    ________________
    Gravity
    —————————————————–
    No, not on particle densities this nebulous… Gravity is a weak force, all pervasive, but weak….. Electrostatic force is 36 to the power of 10 stronger. But only within a field. According to what I have read.

  51. “They called it a “shocking result” and puzzled over its origin.”
    ———————————————————–
    LoL… They aren’t making a Pun…. are they? 😉

  52. J.Hansford (18:36:56) :
    Bow shock in space always strikes me as strange….. Where particle densities are so low, it intrigues me how you can have an interaction between particles where they do not actually touch?
    Particles ‘always’ interact without touching, because they are surrounded by fields. Gravitational fields for instance. But these are usually weak compared to electric forces, so in space it is the attraction/repulsion between electric charges and the magnetic fields that mediate the interaction. Now, one can get back to the ‘touching’ image by considering a field as consisting of virtual particles that are exchanged. In this way we can ‘understand’ the repulsion of two electrons: one electron emits a [virtual] photon. Since a photon has momentum, the emitting electron will experience a recoil. When the photon meets another electron it can be absorbed by the other electron. Because the photon carries momentum, the absorbing electron will be pushed in the direction of the photon’s movement which is the opposite direction of the recoil of the first electron. So, the two electrons seem to repulse each other [as they move in opposite directions] and momentum is conserved. If one works with particles or with fields are often a matter of convenience. It may be somewhat meaningless to ask what it ‘really’ is.
    So charged particles moving into a magnetic field will feel forces at a distance even if nothing is ‘touching’.

  53. “….So charged particles moving into a magnetic field will feel forces at a distance even if nothing is ‘touching’.”
    Thanks Leif.

  54. There is no such thing as a static magnetic field which persists simply because it cannot dissipate via a current. All magnetic fields are dynamic, the results of the motions of charge carriers. Any magnetic field at all is evidence of an existing current, even if it is merely a virtual and mathematical net current not corresponding in a simple way to what actual particles are doing.


  55. J.Hansford (18:36:56) :
    Bowshock in space always strikes me as strange….. Where particle densities are so low, it intrigues me how you can have an interaction between particles where they do not actually touch?… So therefore it must be fields of energy that are being compressed…. Which gives rise to electrified plasma…. I find it strange that magnetic fields could exist without an electic current.
    … any thoughts?

    Easy; it’s called a “radiating structure”, an antenna in it’s modern incarnation, and it can be demonstrate by an oft-repeated act performed by ham radio operators doing …. Moon bounce:
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWZntgLkQeA&hl=en_US&fs=1&]
    A good 2 1/2 seconds later (after the ‘current’ has long ceased in the transmitting antenna) one can hear one’s own voice returning back after having effectively created an EM wave that propagates to, then is reflected back by the moon.
    Nature creates propagating EM waves in the form of ‘static crashes’ (that plague (particularly) 160m and 80m bands + the AM broadcast band) long after the current ceases flowing owing to lightning discharges occurring in thunderstorms.
    The movement of charges (ions/charged physical particles) will also produce mag fields; under the right circumstances propagating waves are also a possibility from those sources …
    .
    .

  56. Paul R (20:34:28) :
    There is no such thing as a static magnetic field which persists simply because it cannot dissipate via a current.
    Magnetic fields in media [like most space plasmas] with infinite [or nearly so] conductivity behave differently from magnetic fields in vacuum or other non-conductors.

  57. Paul R (20:34:28) :
    Any magnetic field at all is evidence of an existing current
    The ‘existing’ word needs to be dealt with correctly. Take the example of the magnetic field between your ears [or just in front of your eyes]. This field is not evidence of an electric current between your ears [one might hope you have some electricity there, though 🙂 ]. It is evidence of a current somewhere else [in the Earth’s core where it is generated by conducting material moving relative to the already existing magnetic field there – a dynamo]. Similarly, the magnetic field in the solar wind is evidence of a dynamo current inside the Sun. Because of the [practically] infinite conductivity of the solar wind plasma, the field of the Sun is dragged out into interplanetary space by the expanding gas. A plasma trying to move across a magnetic field line will generate a current that immediately will be shorted out and thus cannot be sustained. The net result is that the magnetic field is stuck to the plasma and follows it where-ever the plasma goes. As the plasma twists and turns, the magnetic field can be amplified greatly. The magnetic field of galaxies and in intergalactic space is evidence of currents that flowed at the birth of the Universe [The Biermann battery effect, http://nedwww.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/March08/Subramanian/Subramanian3.html ].

  58. Shades of Immanual Velicovsky. He just might have been right again, and again to the chagrin of “conventional science”.

  59. Leif Svalgaard (21:47:44) : ……..” A plasma trying to move across a magnetic field line will generate a current that immediately will be shorted out and thus cannot be sustained.”
    ——————————————————————–
    Doesn’t a plasma isolate itself from shorting out by “organizing” into a “double layer” ?… It is why it is hard to measure the physical appects of Plasma… Hence the Langmuir probe was devised to do that job.
    I also read this…. I don’t know how correct it is… But I’ll Paste it…. and leave it to you….
    ——————————————————————
    “Now we know that there can be slight voltage differences between different points in plasmas. Plasma engineer Hannes Alfvén pointed out this fact in his acceptance speech while receiving the Nobel Prize for physics in 1970. The electrical conductivity of any material, including plasma, is determined by two factors: the density of the population of available charge carriers (the ions) in the material, and the mobility of these carriers. In any plasma, the mobility of the ions is extremely high. Electrons and ions can move around very freely in space. But the concentration (number per unit volume) of ions available to carry charge may not be at all high if the plasma is a very low pressure (diffuse) one. So, although plasmas are excellent conductors, they are not perfect conductors. Weak electric fields can exist inside plasmas. Therefore, magnetic fields are not frozen inside them. ”
    —————————————————————–

  60. J.Hansford (19:02:38) :
    Pascvaks (18:43:07) :
    Gravity is a weak force
    I’ve heard this said a lot. But I’ve always wondered if it was thought through. The most common example given is EM (electromagnetism) in a magnet can pick up metal and thus is easily defeating gravity that was pulling it down. But isn’t there a concentration, so to speak, of EM in a magnet? So if gravity was concentrated, so to speak, in a black hole could the same magnet pick up the same piece of metal in the black hole?

  61. J.Hansford (22:40:33) :
    So, although plasmas are excellent conductors, they are not perfect conductors. Weak electric fields can exist inside plasmas. Therefore, magnetic fields are not frozen inside them. ”
    Trying to generalize always gets one in trouble. The mobility of charges inside a dilute space plasma is not limited by collisions because there are none. The relevant quantity is called the ‘plasma parameter’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_parameter
    In the solar wind and galactic space conductivity is almost infinite and no electric fields occur. In other plasmas, situations may be different. The solar photosphere is often called a plasma, but its conductivity is no higher than that of sea water, so magnetic fields are only weakly frozen in. Similarly with plasmas in magnetospheres and in the laboratory [it is hard to make the hard ‘vacuum’ of interplanetary space].
    photon without a Higgs (23:14:50) :
    a magnet can pick up metal and thus is easily defeating gravity that was pulling it down.
    It is defeating the gravitational attraction of the entire Earth…

  62. Leif Svalgaard (16:12:05) :
    …..The Caltec image shows [a poor rendition]…..
    I wonder if their rendition may be more up to date than some 20-30 years old more artistic ones. Thanks for your links, already familiar with. The rest of your comments are somewhat misleading.
    – Once particles (protons & electrons) leave the sun, they travel in strait line not along a spiral, and wrapping is a relative relationship to the point of origin, but has no impact on further trajectory of the particles.
    – Current sheet may be wrapped around many times, but ‘wraps’ are spaced along the path, and further away you are from the sun, more spared out they are, due to increased velocity.
    – Only one portion of the apparent ‘spiral’ will hit the nose of the heliosphere at any time.
    – You failed to explain how ribbon happens to be such a well focused form if the heliosphere is impacted by CRs from many directions. Even if the CRs are coming from a single source, distances are so vast that the radial dispersal would be such that possibility of narrow focusing at place of impact with a distant object would be practically zero.
    – In addition you have not offered any view, however speculative, how such well formed ribbon shape could be formed and apparently acquire shape which appear to be same as the outer edge of the HCS.
    Of course for time being my observations as many others are purely speculative, but at least I offer a plausible solution to a puzzle, without contradicting any laws of physics or being in conflict with the known properties of the heliosphere or the surrounding space.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC3.htm

  63. photon without a Higgs (23:14:50) :
    “…. So if gravity was concentrated, so to speak, in a black hole could the same magnet pick up the same piece of metal in the black hole?”
    ———————————————————-
    Black holes and neutrons stars are not “real” apparently…. They are hypothetical models of observed phenomenon…… Guesses of what is happening, with mathematical justifications and fudge factors to obscure the fact it is just a guess;-)
    For it appears that a neutron star is comprised of only neutrons and their existence contradicts known physics. “Neutronium” doesn’t appear in the periodic table either and nor could it ever.
    Matter comprised solely of neutrons is unstable. A lone neutron will decay in fourteen minutes and two or more neutrons in an atomic structure will fly apart instantaneously.
    The theories are very weighty to be sure… But that is not a good thing where the principle of occam’s razor is concerned…. entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem. “entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity”…. That the simplest explanation or strategy tends to be the best one.

  64. Thanks Leif……
    “In the solar wind and galactic space conductivity is almost infinite and no electric fields occur. In other plasmas, situations may be different. The solar photosphere is often called a plasma, but its conductivity is no higher than that of sea water, so magnetic fields are only weakly frozen in. Similarly with plasmas in magnetospheres and in the laboratory [it is hard to make the hard ‘vacuum’ of interplanetary space]
    ————————————————————–
    Ah, righto. You are saying. That in deep galactic space the magnetic fields ARE frozen because the plasma IS infinite in its conductivity…. It’s the nature of very “dilute” plasma.
    But where it is hotter and denser it does conduct weakly, thus the magnetic fields are “freer” within it?…
    …. and that where the confusion arises is due to the inability to create the plasma conditions of deep intergalactic space within the laboratory….? Yes?

  65. This reminds me of a website I saw some time last year but can’t find now. Something about natural electric currents and magnetic fields operating on gigantic scale, causing the pinched middle shapes of several nebulas and gas clouds that’re the remains of supernovas. Had lots of pictures from Hubble and other telescopes.
    Natural “magnetic pinch” fusion process… squeezes the results out in two directions. Without some belt-like process to constrain those stellar explosions, the expanding leftovers ought to be darn near spherical, or at least randomly blob-ish.
    Yet there are many that aren’t, and more of those wasp-waisted clouds are being found quite often.
    (An explanation for the “Collapsing Hrung Disaster”? 😉

  66. J.Hansford (18:36:56) :
    “I find it strange that magnetic fields could exist without an electric current.
    … any thoughts.”
    Magnetic fields can become detatched from their generating source. The main example is when a star collapses into a black whole. As the star collapses it passes through white dwarf and neutron star phases where its magnetic field builds up to very high levels. But, what happens once the event horizon of the black hole forms?
    Because there cannot be any communication from within the event horizon, the magnetic field lines that are outside, are effectively cut off from their source. No longer anchored in place, they fly off by their own mutual repulsion.
    Perhaps the magnetic field lines in this article have originated from a black hole in just this way, growing increasingly weaker as they have moved further apart.

  67. Vincent (03:07:58) :
    All nonsense. Magnetic field lines DO NOT EXIST, they are only product of our imagination, NOT reality. Black holes and event horizons may prove to be same.

  68. I find it facinating… Our two intrepid voyagers spacecraft sailing out into deep space. The IBEX satellite studying our solar system’s very boundery with the galaxy…. Scientists staggering around “shocked” by what they are seeing….
    For the geeks among us, this is heady stuff!!!!

  69. vukcevic (00:30:08) :
    Leif Svalgaard (16:12:05) :
    …..The Caltec image shows [a poor rendition]…..
    I wonder if their rendition may be more up to date than some 20-30 years old more artistic ones. Thanks for your links, already familiar with. The rest of your comments are somewhat misleading.
    – Once particles (protons & electrons) leave the sun, they travel in strait line not along a spiral, and wrapping is a relative relationship to the point of origin, but has no impact on further trajectory of the particles.
    – Current sheet may be wrapped around many times, but ‘wraps’ are spaced along the path, and further away you are from the sun, more spared out they are, due to increased velocity.
    – Only one portion of the apparent ‘spiral’ will hit the nose of the heliosphere at any time.

    Yes, I was surprised to see Leif invoking the spiral as a refutation of your idea that the ribbon might be the HCS bumping into the boundary of the Heliosphere and interstellar medium too.
    A week or so ago, he went to some length to explain that the spiral was an illusion and all the particles leaving the sun traveled in straight lines.
    It’s an apocalyse. The Bashful Ballerina is lifting her veil and showing of her underskirts. Maybe she’s really a can-can dancer! WooHoo!

  70. Stubborness it is a magnetic field “reconnection” which happens inside the brains of some guys. It inmobilizes for ever their thinking.

  71. It is my understanding that you can’t have a magnetic field without moving charges.
    OTOH it all depends on your frame of reference. A point charge in a frame that is stationary with respect to the charge will exhibit what we call an electrostatic field. If the frame is moving (or the particle with respect to the frame) you get what we refer to as a magnetic field.
    In other words magnetic fields and electrostatic field are duals.
    There is more (like the electrostatic field attracts or repels a charge while a magnetic field exerts a force on a moving charge that is at right angles to the field often referred to as a cross product to indicate its vector nature).
    As you can see thinking about all this will tie your mind in knots.
    In any case what Lief says about a magnetic field being unable to decay is non-sense. All he can mean by that is that with respect to the frame the magnetic field is measured in the charges can’t stop moving.
    Magnetic fields have no independent existence without moving charges. If there is a magnetic field there are charges moving in the magnetometer frame of reference.
    BTW Feynman in The Feynman Lectures on Physics (3 Volume Set) (Set v) explains it very well.
    Also note. Feynman says the study of magnetism (and correspondingly inductance) is one of the most difficult parts of simple physics.

  72. vukcevic,
    “Vincent (03:07:58) :
    All nonsense. Magnetic field lines DO NOT EXIST, they are only product of our imagination, NOT reality. Black holes and event horizons may prove to be same.”
    Ok, let me try again. According to CONSENSUS, (which you dispute) magnetic field lines exist, but when a star collapses into a black hole (the existence of which you also dispute), the magnetic field becomes detatched and flies apart. Does this version meet your approval, or should I add even more caveats?

  73. vukcevic (00:30:08) :
    One begins to wonder if our species Homo Sapiens Sapiens is misnamed…
    – Once particles (protons & electrons) leave the sun, they travel in strait line not along a spiral
    The Heliospheric Current, HC, is not a coherent stream of particles coming straight from the Sun, but is generated locally in the HCS by ambient solar wind particles gyrating around magnetic field lines [and field lines do exist in plasmas identified by the charges stuck on them], so the HC’s shape is the spiral. Even your own Figure shows the shape [although poorly, but you can see it better here http://www.leif.org/research/HCS2.png ]
    – Current sheet may be wrapped around many times, but ‘wraps’ are spaced along the path, and further away you are from the sun, more spared out they are, due to increased velocity.
    Apart from the fact that the increase in speed is very small, so that the spacing is almost constant [~2 AU] you are missing the point, namely that at a given point on the Heliopause, e.g. on the ribbon, the HCS moves North-South typically over 60 degrees [the last few years] and at times [solar max] 180 degrees every 1 to 2 weeks. So the shape of the intersection of the HCS with the Heliopause changes wildly all the time due to solar rotation while the ribbon does not.
    – You failed to explain how ribbon happens to be such a well focused form if the heliosphere is impacted by CRs from many directions.
    The ribbon and the HCS are not influenced by CRs so what is there to explain.
    – In addition you have not offered any view, however speculative, how such well formed ribbon shape could be formed and apparently acquire shape which appear to be same as the outer edge of the HCS.
    Since the outer edge of the HCS change all the time and the ribbon does not there is nothing to speculative about.
    I think you basic error is that you think the warps stay fixed in space so that you can draw a straight line from the Sun all the way out to the Heliopause and that the shape of the HC’s intersection with the Heliopause is the same as near the Earth [for instance]. It is not. Even your own Figure could show this if interpreted correctly. Look at the HCS on the right. Now pick a fixed point on the green oval, for example on the left where the blue sheet intersects the orbit. This marks a sector boundary; to the left of that point the polarity is in one direction and to the right the polarity is in the other direction. The sector boundary sweeps past the [almost] stationary observer near the Earth. In other words the sheet moves in longitude. In fact a new boundary sweeps by every 1-2 weeks. If the ribbon were where the HCS ‘touches’ the Heliopause the ribbon would also sweep across the sky and cover a complete sweep in 25 days, and it does not.
    I fear that your misconception about this is so vast that even the above explanation does not penetrate the fog. You might surprise me by telling us that you understand what I am saying. It is really not complicated [although it at times seems that the human mind has a hard time understanding simple things – this was also evident 37 years ago when we were trying to explain the existence and shape of the HCS to even professional in the field]
    photon without a Higgs (00:46:21) :
    Leif Svalgaard (23:50:55) :
    Really?
    Yes, indeed.
    J.Hansford (00:51:03) :
    …. and that where the confusion arises is due to the inability to create the plasma conditions of deep intergalactic space within the laboratory….? Yes?
    Partly, but physicists are not confused about this. Only misinformed and learning-resistant lay persons.
    J.Hansford (03:46:42) :
    Scientists staggering around “shocked” by what they are seeing….
    This is just the usual PR-hype.
    tallbloke (05:23:06) :
    Yes, I was surprised to see Leif invoking the spiral as a refutation of your idea that the ribbon might be the HCS bumping into the boundary of the Heliosphere and interstellar medium too.
    See reply to Vuk.

  74. vukcevic (00:30:08) :
    Thanks for your links, already familiar with.
    and this is the most amazing thing. It is as if I show you a picture of a cube and explain ‘this is a cube’ and you answer “yes I’m familiar with the pictures of that sphere:.
    The rest of your comments are somewhat misleading.
    Misleading? In this kind of exchange where the word is used figuratively, it implies deliberate deceit. Is that what you are suggesting?

  75. vukcevic (00:30:08) :
    Leif Svalgaard (16:12:05) :
    …..The Caltec image shows [a poor rendition]…..
    ..- In addition you have not offered any view, however speculative, how such well formed ribbon shape could be formed and apparently acquire shape which appear to be same as the outer edge of the HCS.
    Of course for time being my observations as many others are purely speculative, but at least I offer a plausible solution to a puzzle, without contradicting any laws of physics or being in conflict with the known properties of the heliosphere or the surrounding space.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC3.htm
    ~~
    Questions and more questions.
    Why are we only seeing one ribbon and not the spatial distribution of the ISMF. (interstellar magnetic field)
    Is the ribbon just an artifact created by the heliospheres impact leaving an imprint? That interaction creating ah..
    So, we have planetary magnetospheres embedded in the IMF and we have the IMF embedded in the ISMF.
    Double layers.
    How about a triple layer, ISMF sends a shockwave through the system.
    tallbloke (05:23:06) :
    It’s an apocalyse. The Bashful Ballerina is lifting her veil and showing of her underskirts. Maybe she’s really a can-can dancer! WooHoo!
    ~~
    The can-can dancer? Does a 3 step 180 with a jump and lands her right foot in your mouth knocking out your front teeth. The bruise she gets on landing was well worth the effort.

  76. phlogiston (17:13:34) :
    In the 22nd century, textbooks of science will commence any discussion of the phenomenon of pseudo-science with the monumental fiasco of the late 20th century theory of CO2 AGW
    Dont you think string-theory will be mentioned too ?
    http://www.thetroublewithphysics.com/
    “Superstring theory forms a vast and impressive mathematical framework and makes enormous claims. But where is the experimental evidence? What if your intuition tells you that this elaborate construction, shrouded by the sweet vagueness of quantum mechanics, cannot represent the complete truth? Lee Smolin is keeping his eyes open, asks sharp questions, and offers his delightful insights as a critical insider.”
    –Gerard ‘t Hooft, Nobel Laureate, University of Utrecht

  77. J.Hansford (00:51:03) :
    So even if black holes don’t exist people who are replying to me are missing my point.

  78. vukcevic (00:30:08) :
    The rest of your comments are somewhat misleading.
    Misleading? When used figuratively [as here], this word implies deliberate deceit. Is that what you are suggesting? [you use that word often, BTW].

  79. Question: “What causes magnetic fields in space?”
    Answer: “The moving plasma, i.e., charged particles flows, are currents that produce self-magnetic fields, however weak.” — Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Further:
    A quote from a university lecture on magnetic fields:
    “In conclusion, all magnetic fields encountered in nature are generated by circulating currents. There is no fundamental difference between the fields generated by permanent magnets and those generated by currents flowing around conventional electric circuits. In the former, case the currents which generate the fields circulate on the atomic scale, whereas, in the latter case, the currents circulate on a macroscopic scale (i.e., the scale of the circuit).” — Richard Fitzpatrick, Professor of Physics, The University of Texas at Austin
    http://farside.ph.utexas.edu/teaching/316/lectures/node77.html
    Perhaps the source of magnetic fields isn’t a mystery after all.

  80. James F. Evans (07:53:52) :
    “In conclusion, all magnetic fields encountered in nature are generated by circulating currents.”
    Perhaps the source of magnetic fields isn’t a mystery after all.

    What generates the current?
    And if you accept the Biermann battery mechanism there is no mystery.

  81. As I read I occassionaly get a picture in my mind, it is Archie and Edith and the kids; all in the family:-) You people are great!

  82. Leif Svalgaard (07:02:56)
    “You might surprise me by telling us that you understand what I am saying. It is really not complicated [although it at times seems that the human mind has a hard time understanding simple things – this was also evident 37 years ago when we were trying to explain the existence and shape of the HCS to even professional in the field]”
    Spiralling wrapping of charged particles ‘sprayed’ by the Sun is only apparent to a helio-centric observer, to a helio-stationary or helio-orbital observer it is even more complex. To an observer not locked to a helio-central/ -static/ -orbital location but moving in a line perpendicular to the curvature of the nose of heliosphere as the IBEX probe is, the charged particles will be always coming from the same direction, i.e. the Sun. If that observer has a spatial angle view of space in the direction of its trajectory and these particles are impacting an ‘invisible wall’, in this case galactic magnetic field, than the observer will see outline of the impact as seen by the Ibex and depicted in the illustration. Undulation in the ‘space ribbon’ appear to be corresponding to the undulation perceivable in HCS.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC3.htm
    If you are suggesting that galactic magnetic field spatial intensity is distributed in the shape of the ‘space ribbon’ than the rest of the astronomy science, regarding the make up of Galaxy has to be rewritten.
    On the other hand there is a remote possibility (promoted by EU) that there is an electric current flow, circling the outer limits (or just outside) of the heliosphere, I am open minded but not convinced yet.
    In order to show how open minded I am, I will suggest an even less palatable possibility. During last year or so since this ribbon was discovered, Jupiter and Saturn magnetospheres were displaced between 130 and current say 150 degrees and importantly one is below and the other above solar equatorial plane. These are huge deflecting obstacles to the propagation of solar wind and certainly do cause considerable deflection. If the solar wind particles fail to go back, but continue in the newly acquired direction, than it would explain the shape of the ‘space ribbon’ due to certain increase of particles density. But this would be only one step removed from possibility of ‘magnetospheric feedback’ but that would not do, or would it?
    http://www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/Solar?date=0&utc=2069%2F07%2F20+20%3A17%3A43&jd=2476948.34564&img=-k1&sys=-Sf&eyes=0&imgsize=600&orb=-b2&lat=50&ns=North&lon=7%B0&ew=East&hlat=90%B0&hns=North&hlon=0%B0&elements=

  83. Karl Maki (08:16:51) :
    Interesting. I wonder if this has any implications for the Pioneer Anomaly.
    I don’t think so as the Anomaly shows up even in the inner solar system and the ribbon is at the outer reaches.

  84. Vincent (06:52:43) :
    “According to CONSENSUS, (which you dispute) magnetic field lines exist.”
    First of all magnetic field is three-dimensional while line is a two-dimensional entity, so if something like that existed than it would be ‘magnetic shells’ not lines. Magnetic field lines are only an educational tool, to help understand distribution of the field intensity, due to its inseparable bipolarity . Electrostatic or gravitational field lines are not normally drawn, since it is assumed that field intensity has spherical distribution. Only if two charges are in close proximity than some lines may be drawn. Magnetic line does not exist any more than an isobar on a weather chart or isohypse on a mountain side of a field map.

  85. vukcevic: “All nonsense. Magnetic field lines DO NOT EXIST, they are only product of our imagination, NOT reality. …”
    Vincent (06:52:43) : Ok, let me try again. According to CONSENSUS, (which you dispute) magnetic field lines exist

    Perhaps the biggest misnomer there is; the lines do not exist, they are but a simple means to indicate to human minds ‘fields’ (surfaces delineating volumes or lines delineating areas) of equal amplitude or strength; an invented concept or tool of/for human thought.
    .
    .


  86. M. Simon (07:08:00) :
    So what about Electromagnetic (EM) Waves?
    Oscillating charges.
    But static fields require moving charges.

    Conflating the two (field and wave)?
    Do you mean to differentiate between a propagating EM ‘wave’ (and those conditions which lead up to it) versus a static ‘field’?
    – from an eng who has played with NEC2/MOM and is now looking at FDTD techniques for antenna/resonant structure analysis.
    .
    .

  87. vukcevic (09:13:54) :
    Undulation in the ‘space ribbon’ appear to be corresponding to the undulation perceivable in HCS.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC3.htm

    I’m utterly amazed that you don’t get it. One last time: the undulation in HCS moves in longitude and sweeps around completely in 25 days, while the ribbon stays put. Here http://www.leif.org/research/HCS%20projected%20onto%20Heliopause.png is what the projection of the HCS at Earth [or near the Sun] would look like if the HCS just moved out radially from the Sun. I assume for simplicity an idealized two-sector structure. The Figure shows in a latitude (Y-axis) and longitude (X-axis) plot where the HCS would be as it is rotating. Curves are one day apart.
    Since you don’t get this first step, the rest of your comment is moot.

  88. Leif Svalgaard (09:57:48) :
    I was talking about particles moving radialy, until they get deflected by magnetosphere, while you are ‘stuck’ in HCS spiral groove. HCS plane is a narrow plane separating particles of two different polarity, so current flow is immaterial, it is particles that are ‘reflected back’ by Galactic MF, and the current will take care of itself.
    We are obviously either accidentally or intentionally on two different frequencies, so communication is breaking down. Have a nice day !

  89. vukcevic (09:38:15) :
    Magnetic line does not exist any more than an isobar on a weather chart or isohypse on a mountain side of a field map.
    How is it possible to conduct an intelligent discourse when your concepts are so wrong-headed…
    I’ll try [although I fear that you’ll be lost again] to illustrate what is meant by ‘magnetic field lines’. Imagine for simplicity that the Earth had a simple dipolar field aligned with the rotation axis. Now ask: “does the magnetic field lines in your living room rotate with the Earth?” The answer is clearly ‘No’. To test this set up a coil and see if any current comes out of it during the 24-hour rotation.
    So in your living room, magnetic field lines have no ‘individuality’ which is a prerequisite for existence [namely that you can point to one and follow it as it moves along]. They simply show the direction [and strength] of a static unchanging magnetic field and do not exist any more than contour lines on a map.
    Now, in the polar caps of the Earth from about 100 km and up things are very different. The magnetic field of the Earth up there and beyond are connected to the solar wind and is swept into a long anti-sunward tail. The field lines in the tail have individuality, they can sometimes even be seen [as auroral streamers] and particles scuttle up and down the field lines and don’t jump to other lines. The field lines can even wiggle and wave in response to changing solar wind [and ionospheric winds too]. There is magnetic energy stored in the field lines as they are deformed by the solar wind. If you were to put a coil up there [at a fixed position e.g. 80N, 90W] a current would appear in that coil showing that the magnetic field is changing as the Earth [with the coil] is rotating with respect to the magnetosphere. The concept of ‘existence’ is subtle and often we adopt an operational definition: does an electron exist? yes, because we can capture a single one and follow it around, but in another sense it does not exist because that is just the name we give to some observed phenomenon. If two electrons exist, how come their properties [mass, charge, spin] can be be identical [to very many decimal places, e.g. mass = 9.10938188 × 10^-31 kg]. One can argue that only ONE electron exists in the Universe as a property of the Vacuum, and when we pull an electron out of the vacuum [shine enough light into a box and watch] then it is no wonder that they are all alike, because they are just manifestations of the same underlying reality.
    Anyway, it is convenient to say that electrons exist and it is convenient to say that in a space plasma magnetic field lines exit too. And that is how we manage to intuit Mother Nature. We make images and analogies and sometimes they are useful [most of the time if well made], but sometimes they lead us astray. Scientists usually know when an image is no longer any good and can switch ‘gears’ as needed. Lay persons often do not appreciate this ‘flexibility of thought’.

  90. vukcevic (10:16:14) :
    HCS plane is a narrow plane separating particles of two different polarity, so current flow is immaterial, it is particles that are ‘reflected back’ by Galactic MF, and the current will take care of itself.
    No, the HCS is a highly convoluted warped surface [no plane] that separates regions of space where the magnetic fields have different polarities [either ‘away’ from Sun along the spiral angle or ‘towards’ the Sun along the same spiral]. The magnetic field is radial near the Sun and azimuthal in the equatorial plane far from the Sun. The current in the HCS is just local particles that happen to be there and are gyrating along the field lines. The particles in the HCS are not reflected back towards the Sun [they are stuck on their field lines]. And you still don’t seem to grasp that the HCS where the ribbon is sweeps around in 25 days while the ribbon stays put: http://www.leif.org/research/HCS%20projected%20onto%20Heliopause.png
    I don’t think you have much understanding if this, you talk about ‘particles of different polarities’…
    We are obviously either accidentally or intentionally on two different frequencies, so communication is breaking down. Have a nice day !
    Why you intentionally would do this is beyond me, but, hey, one comes across all kinds of people…
    What is breaking down is your willingness to learn.

  91. Leif Svalgaard (10:35:07) :
    “How is it possible to conduct an intelligent discourse when your concepts are so wrong-headed…”
    Impossible!
    As I already mentioned : magnetic field is a three-dimensional while a line is an abstract mathematical two-dimensional entity. The second cannot represent the fundamental nature of the first.
    But if you whish to have it your way, and be scientifically more accurate, at least have magnetic tubes.
    While you are on about the E’s MF, I have added one or two more graphs (since your last download) from: http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GandF.htm
    Some of these are natures real work of art: I particularly like magnetic anomaly along the Equator,
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/Global%20Mag%20Anomaly.gif
    which I have in A3 pdf format, ready to print.
    If anyone likes a .pdf copy just send an email [vukcevicu(at)yahoo.com]

  92. Leif Svalgaard (16:18:57) :
    Sometimes Mother Nature does not fulfill our deepest desires. It is not hand-waving, there really isn’t any effect. The Sun’s output is already a million times stronger than the energy in the solar wind and the ‘ribbon’ is way below that in turn. The ribbon consists of ordinary neutral Hydrogen atoms with a density millions of times smaller than the rarefied air in the best vacuum we can make.

    Failure to communicate detected. Reformatting. Resending.
    Let us say that I, as a researcher, wanted to obtain a value for cosmic radiation, particles / (area * time). It would occur to me to exclude a main source of particles, the Sun, thus I want to leave out the solar wind from the measurements. Since the solar wind is flowing directionally from the Sun, I can take my measurements “in the shade,” have my detectors shielded and pointed away from the Sun.
    But now, with this article, I find that the solar wind is coming not just from the direction of the Sun, but is being reflected and sent back towards the Sun. Thus particles from the solar wind can enter my detectors and increase my counts. What I thought would just be cosmic radiation counts, are now (cosmic radiation + reflected solar wind) counts. How do I differentiate between the sources of particles?
    Haven’t researchers been trying to get accurate counts of cosmic radiation for a while now? With this revelation of reflected solar wind, is it possible that earlier measurements of cosmic radiation have been inflated by these particles of reflected solar wind?
    Solar wind: “It consists mostly of electrons and protons with energies usually between 10 and 100 eV.”
    Cosmic radiation: “Almost 90% of all the incoming cosmic ray particles are simple protons, with nearly 10% being helium nuclei (alpha particles), and slightly under 1% are heavier elements, electrons (beta particles), or gamma ray photons. (…) Cosmic rays can have energies of over 10^20 eV, far higher than the 10^12 to 10^13 eV that man-made particle accelerators can produce.”
    I have read of, for example, the 1912 research of Victor Hess where he looked for ionizing radiation during a balloon flight, shielding his instruments from solar radiation by taking measurements during a near-total solar eclipse. Could he have also been reading reflected solar wind? It is granted the amount of reflected solar wind would be very low compared to direct solar wind, however, without knowing how much cosmic radiation there should be, it seems the reflected solar wind could significantly distort such a cosmic radiation measurement. These days we also know the Earth’s magnetic field is shielding us from the solar wind, as in the charged particles of it. However we are now taking space-based measurements of cosmic radiation, away from that shielding.
    After reviewing this list of cosmic radiation experiments, I see some looking for larger nuclei, antimatter, and gamma rays, with the majority concentrated on high-energy cosmic radiation, thus low-energy solar wind seems excluded.
    However after reading about energetic neutral atom (ENA) imaging and IBEX, it looks like this ribbon was detected with IBEX-Lo, with the solar wind creating ENA’s.
    Can these reflected solar wind particles be accidentally counted as cosmic radiation, as may have happened in the past?
    Can we detect the difference between the low-energy solar wind and low-energy cosmic radiation, if such exits?
    If the amount of cosmic radiation was overwhelmingly large compared to solar wind, then this would not be an issue. But as it looks like the amount of cosmic radiation is small compared to solar wind, and merely being “in the shade” will not keep solar wind from being counted along with cosmic radiation when merely counting particles, it appears this reflected solar wind could be a matter of some concern.

  93. vukcevic (11:00:52) :
    Impossible!
    Indeed
    As I already mentioned : magnetic field is a three-dimensional while a line is an abstract mathematical two-dimensional entity. The second cannot represent the fundamental nature of the first.
    This is nonsense as lines can be curved in three [or any number of] dimensions. But is also irrelevant for the discussion.
    Have you now grasped that the HCS sweeps all over the sky all the time?

  94. kadaka (11:18:06) :
    How do I differentiate between the sources of particles?
    cosmic rays move almost at the speed of light, while solar wind [reflected of not] move 1000 times slower. So, on average have a million times less energy. Cosmic rays are also much rarer than solar wind particles, so even is more energetic still only adds to a total energy less than 3% of that of the solar wind.

  95. Leif Svalgaard (07:59:46) :
    Evans (07:53:52) presented Professor Fitzpatrick’s quote as part of a longer passage from Dr. Fitzpatrick’s university lecture: “In conclusion, all magnetic fields encountered in nature are generated by circulating currents.”
    Evans added in response to the Fitzpatrick quote and Dr. Peratt’s quote: “Perhaps the source of magnetic fields isn’t a mystery after all.”
    Dr. Svalgaard asked a question: “What generates the current?” and stated: “And if you accept the Biermann battery mechanism there is no mystery.”
    Answering, “what happened in the beginning,” type questions is fraught with uncertainty. In fact, somethings Man will never know with certainty.
    In regards to the “Biermann battery” hypothesis alluded to by Dr. Svalgaard, it reminds me of a hypothetical where a body of plasma is gravitationally bound and motionless in space.
    Enthropy will cause the plasma to dissipate away from the gravitationally bound body of plasma into the vacuum of space (from high pressure and temperature to low pressure and low temperature, “an equalization process”, this possibly could take the form of a toroidal outward spin away from the body of plasma.
    This outward toroidal spin will cause in effect: “The moving plasma, i.e., charged particles flows, are currents that produce self-magnetic fields, however weak.” — A. L. Peratt
    Of course, that is only a possible hypothetical and I welcome Dr. Svalgaard’s critique.

  96. James F. Evans (12:12:02) :
    Dr. Svalgaard asked a question: “What generates the current?” and stated: “And if you accept the Biermann battery mechanism there is no mystery.”
    The Battery effect is just one [albeit a favored one] possibility. Sp needs no further elaboration [anyway google it and learn more]. Of more interest is my first question: ‘what generates the currents?’ and in realistic environments, e.g in the Galaxy.

  97. Leif Svalgaard (12:01:16) :
    “This is nonsense as lines can be curved in three [or any number of] dimensions. But is also irrelevant for the discussion.”
    Yes, but that does not make them three-dimensional entities, which magnetic field is.
    Line is a mathematical abstract and has only one dimension, the length. A curve, presumably you are referring to, canot enclose a space. For an entity to be tree-dimensional it must encompass a volume without a discontinuity. These are axioms, not someone’s opinion; science does not accept opinions in a preference to axioms. An open ended spiral (as a curved line) in space, is still one-dimensional entity. Möbius strip is a surface curved in three-dimensional space but it has only two dimensions (you can have lot of fun by cutting it with scissors along the central line, and along one 1/3 away from the edge). Altogether an idea difficult to grasp for those, as you said, “often do not appreciate this ‘flexibility of thought’ ”. I stray too far, so I conclude. Good night to all.

  98. Leif Svalgaard (07:21:23) :

    vukcevic (00:30:08) :
    The rest of your comments are somewhat misleading.

    Misleading? In this kind of exchange where the word is used figuratively, it implies deliberate deceit. Is that what you are suggesting?

    “To mislead” implies deliberate deceit;
    “A misleading comment” implies one that leads the reader astray, perhaps, or even probably, inadvertently (because of incompleteness or lack of clarity);
    “Your misleading comment” falls somewhere in between the two connotations above, but it’s closer to the second than the first, IMO.
    Other words that imply wrongness without necessarily implying deceitfulness are “false” and “untrue,” but they’re also less fuzzy and thus more offensive.

  99. vukcevic (13:09:26) :
    Line is a mathematical abstract and has only one dimension, the length.
    Completely irrelevant [as that would apply to straight lines]. When we talk about magnetic field lines, we, of course, talk about curved lines.
    Now, you have gone quiet on the topic, in spite of my explicit questions. Here is a deal for you: I’ll spend some of my time educating you about the HCS and the Heliopause and the Ribbon. In order to ensure that you get each point, we’ll take small steps and each posting will be short and require a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ as to whether you understood it. If ‘no’, then we drill deeper on the point where you have difficulties. If you do not wish to do this, I must take that as resistance to learning about this. This is a rare opportunity that should not be passed up. Got a deal?

  100. Roger Knights (13:16:52) :
    “A misleading comment” implies one that leads the reader astray, perhaps, or even probably, inadvertently (because of incompleteness or lack of clarity);
    Well, Vuk never clarified what he meant, and didn’t answer my question. And I’m sure he would object to have been led astray!

  101. Leif Svalgaard (12:09:25) :
    cosmic rays move almost at the speed of light, while solar wind [reflected of not] move 1000 times slower. So, on average have a million times less energy. Cosmic rays are also much rarer than solar wind particles, so even is more energetic still only adds to a total energy less than 3% of that of the solar wind.

    I had read on ENA detection that Time Of Flight was measured for both HENA’s and MENA’s. At close to the speed of light, that must be some very quick timing.
    But for LENA’s at less than 1 keV, they are simply run through an ion spectrometer to see what they are. Thus at present, it does not look like they can distinguish between such LENA’s related to solar wind and those from cosmic radiation. Does cosmic radiation generate LENA’s with such low energy?
    Oh, I’ve been glancing through the magnetism discussion. So a magnetic field in space does not “switch off” once the underlying current that generated it ends, once established it simply remains there until something “taps into” it, disturbing the field?

  102. tallbloke (16:05:09) :
    Leif, the caltec image of the HCS shows a tilt relative to the orbital plane which your diagrams don’t. Is there a reason for that?
    Yes, it has to do with whether there at the moment of calculation were two [Caltec] or four [me] sectors present. Also with whether the ‘warps’ are of equal size. If of unequal size an spurious tilt is introduced in the inner solar system. In any case [2 or 4 sectors, equal or unequal sizes] once you move a bit further out the tilt completely disappear and the HCS is wound 30-50 times around the rotation axis. Here is a nice animation of almost 40 years of the current sheet base. Blue color is field away from the Sun, red is into the Sun. You can see how often the warps have different ‘sizes’.

  103. tallbloke (16:05:09) :
    i>Leif, the caltec image of the HCS shows a tilt relative to the orbital plane which your diagrams don’t. Is there a reason for that?
    Here is another nice movie http://www.leif.org/research/HCS-Movie-hi.gif that shows the solar wind speed in a meridional cut through the solar system out to 15 AU. To good approximation the solar wind speed contours also outline the HCS [speed is lowest there]: Shown is the case for two sectors, so near the Sun you nicely see the HCS bobbing up and down like a tilted plane rotating. But as you get away from the Sun, the tilt disappears and the volume of space occupied by the HCS [the blue area] is not tilted at all, but stays nicely symmetric around the equatorial [‘orbital’] plane.

  104. At the risk of going a little off-topic, here’s a little more why the Solar System’s journey through the interstellar cloud reminds me Poul Andersen’s book Brain Wave.

    Plot Summary
    Some time around the end of the Cretaceous period the Earth moved into an energy dampening field in space. As long as Earth was in this field all conductors became more insulating. As a result almost all of the life on Earth with neurons died off. The ones that survived passed on their genes for sufficiently capable neurons to deal with the new circumstance. Now in modern times the Earth suddenly moves out of the field. Within weeks all animal life on earth becomes about 5 times as intelligent. The novel goes though the triumphs and tribulations of various people and non-human animals and groups on earth after this event.

    Couldn’t find out from the NASA web site how long the Sol has been moving through the interstellar medium and when it will get out. Nevertheless, the discovery puts Brain Wave’s basic fictional premise on scientifically more solid ground.
    I’m surprised that nobody else mentioned this until now. It’s been weeks, y’know? Why, does no one read sci-fi classics anymore? 😉

  105. sHx (18:10:46) :
    Couldn’t find out from the NASA web site how long the Sol has been moving through the interstellar medium and when it will get out.
    Old Sol has done this throughout its life and will never get out. The medium does vary a bit in density from time to time, though. As the Earth is DEEP inside the solar system [in the innermost 1/millionth of the volume] so we are pretty much screened from the antics of the Heliospheric interaction with the interstellar medium

  106. Leif Svalgaard (18:17:44) :
    Sir, thanks for the explanation. One does often lose the sight of the scale. But it raises another question. How is it that cosmic rays can cause any antics in the atmosphere, since the Earth is so far deep in the Solar System? I can only assume that’s because the interstellar medium consist of particles whereas cosmic rays, as the name implies, is light.

  107. sHx (20:50:17) :
    I can only assume that’s because the interstellar medium consist of particles whereas cosmic rays, as the name implies, is light.
    The name is a misnomer. They are particles as well, but they have a million or more times the energy of solar wind particles. A single really energetic cosmic ‘ray’ can have the energy of a high-power rifle bullet or more. Luckily they are rare and the Earth’s surface is large. And it is not proven that cosmic rays do much to our climate although it is so claimed.

  108. Leif, thanks for the nice animations. The solar equatorial plane is around seven degrees off the invariant (orbital) plane at the moment, but the tilt looks to be considerably more. Why is that and what pulls the sheet back into line further out? And when it get’s pulled back into line, is it pulled back into line with the ‘orbital’ plane of the planets, or into line with the solar equatorial plane? And why does the HCS only exhibit this with the two lobed HCS and not when it is four lobed? Is it something to do with relative dominance in the dipole and quadrupole magnetic fields of the Sun?
    Lot’s of questions…. sorry.

  109. Vukcevic,
    I think we have been arguing over semantics. You say magnetic field lines do not exist, but I have not yet seen you argue that magnetism does not exist. You have not yet disagreed with my statement that magnetism from a star will fly away from it if the star collapses inside an event horizon.
    Incidentally, your analogy with isobars is not a good one, since an isobar is just a line connecting points having the same pressure. There is no physical reason why we cannot plot an isobar of 1019.5 instead of 1020. This is not the case with magnetic field lines. The magnetic influences are concentrated along those lines and there is no smooth gradient between them as there is in isobars.
    I’m no physicist, but I figured that out on my own just by thinking about it.

  110. corrected version
    kadaka (14:49:28) :
    Oh, I’ve been glancing through the magnetism discussion. So a magnetic field in space does not “switch off” once the underlying current that generated it ends, once established it simply remains there until something “taps into” it, disturbing the field?
    I have been thinking on this:
    1) looking at Maxwell’s equations B=constant is a solution,( but I will check it with a theoritician.)
    2) a magnetic field carries energy . In a superconducting magnet for example, all hell breaks loose if there is a short ( recent LHC short) . This happens if there is matter around. If there is no matter around the field? Conservation of energy says the field remains until it meets some matter. I could imagine a strong magnetic field of a star remaining after the star is swallowed in a black hole, like the grin of the Cheshire cat in “Alice in wonderland”. Or is it “through the looking glass”?
    3) I can see a very long wave electromagnetic field, a standing wave in the universe, this would be independent of its source but would imply that it would have a corresponding electric field perpendicular to it .

  111. Oh well, I was hoping we’d all be five times smarter once the Solar System got out of the interstellar cloud. 😉 Good dream while it lasted.
    BTW sir I don’t understand why others find your style brusque. I’d be happy to learn from you.

  112. tallbloke (00:49:57) :
    The solar equatorial plane is around seven degrees off the invariant (orbital) plane at the moment, but the tilt looks to be considerably more. Why is that
    The invariant plane has nothing to do with the ’tilt’
    and what pulls the sheet back into line further out? And when it get’s pulled back into line, is it pulled back into line with the ‘orbital’ plane of the planets, or into line with the solar equatorial plane?
    solar rotation is responsible, so the equatorial plane is the only one that counts.
    And why does the HCS only exhibit this with the two lobed HCS and not when it is four lobed?
    It is instructive to look at the historical record of how we figured out that there was a HCS. A good place to begin is http://www.leif.org/research/Model%20Polar-Sector%20Solar%20Magnetic%20Fields.pdf then http://www.leif.org/research/Sun%20Magnetic%20Sector%20Structure.pdf and finally: http://www.leif.org/research/A%20View%20of%20Solar%20Magnetic%20Fields%2C%20the%20Solar%20Corona%2C%20and%20the%20Solar%20Wind%20in%20Three%20Dimensions.pdf
    In the last reference we put it all together and it marks the birth of our modern understanding of the HCS.
    In a certain sense, it is incorrect to talk about a tilt [although we used the word ourselves]. To get a mental image of the situation consider a Sun that was not rotating and had four sectors of equal latitudinal extent. Then it is clear that you have a wavy brim around the Sun and a ’tilt’ is a misnomer. Now slowly make one of the four sectors weaker, i.e. decrease its latitudinal extent. This has the effect of making the brim lopsided [’tilted’], but the physics has not changed. The brim is just a bit asymmetrical. Then let the sector grow again and the brim rights itself. Now, all this takes place in the corona near the Sun. The solar wind carries the shape of the brim with it radially outwards.
    Now, introduce solar rotation. First consider the four-sector case. A stationary observer near the solar equatorial plane [e.g. the Earth which can be considered almost stationary as it moves 14 times slower than the Sun rotates] would then be above the brim for a week [i.e. in a region with one magnetic polarity – that of the North Pole of the Sun], then below the brim for the next week and in the opposite polarity, then again above and finally below the last week of the four [a solar rotational period is about four weeks]. Let us assume that the latitudinal extent of the sectors were 30 degrees, then as long as we were less than 30 degrees away from the Sun’s equatorial plane we would see this alternation of polarities or sectors. If we were more than 30 degrees away from the equatorial plane we would be ‘above’ all this mess and see no sectors of changing polarities at all. This is what the Ulysses spacecraft going over the poles indeed observed, so a fine confirmation of our model. At the Earth, the rotation has only carried the warps about 60 degrees around the Sun [more correctly: the sun has rotated 60 degrees away from where it was when the solar wind we observe at Earth was emitted. If we move the observer out to six times the Earth’s distance [just a tad beyond Jupiter], the Sun would have rotated 6×60 = 360 degrees, i.e. the brim has wrapped itself once around the Sun. Out at 15 times that distance [15*6=90 AU] it would have been wound 15 times around [and for a four sector structure we would have had 4*15 = 60 crossings of the HCS moving from the Sun to the Heliopause].
    Note that no ’tilt’ is involved. Now, as before, make one of the sectors weaker. The whole structure doesn’t tilt over, all that happens is that the latitude to which the weaker sector reaches is a little lower, say to 20 degrees. So, if we were observing at 27 degrees above the equatorial plane, instead of running into the brim four times as when all four sectors extended to 30 degrees, we would be skimming above the one that only reaches to 25 degrees and we’ll only run into the brim twice rather than four times. Now make the one sector even weaker [e.g. to the point where it has gone away] and you’ll see that we still only run into the brim twice [e.g. have a two-sector structure], but no tilt is involved, so as far as the ’tilt’ is concerned, the number of sectors doesn’t make any difference. The brim [or the HCS] is really NEVER tilted in any sense of the word because the Sun rotates so we’ll see whatever structure there is appearing all the way around the Sun, and multiple times as we move farther away. This, of course, means that there can be no ‘signature’ or mark of the HCS out where the Ribbon is, because the HCS moves around the Sun every 25 days, as in http://www.leif.org/research/HCS%20projected%20onto%20Heliopause.png

  113. because the HCS moves around the Sun every 25 days, …
    Note that the Ribbon does not move, it sits around the nose in a direction given by the movement of the Sun through the interstellar medium.
    [Thanks Leif, I corrected the original for you already. RT – mod]

  114. because the HCS moves around with the Sun every 25 days…
    So if you were sitting on the Ribbon, you would see the HCS go by every week [for 4 sectors] or every two weeks [for 2 sectors]. And if the HCS is rather flat [as it is right now] you might be skimming over it and not see the HCS go by at all, just as Ulysses didn’t see any sectors [i.e. being overtaken by the HCS] when it went over the poles. Reading my long post, I see that I used the wording ‘running into the brim’. This is not the best way of expressing what happens: rather, it is the rotating brim that overtakes [or runs into] the observer. The end result is the same, of course.

  115. Hi Leif, thanks for the detailed reply. I appreciate the point about the revolution of the waviness of the HCS every 25 days, I just wondered why you cited the spiral wrapping as a disproof of Vukevic’ interpretation.
    I agree that since the ribbon curves more or less symmetrically around the nose of the heliosphere, it’s more likely something to do with the motion of the heliosphere wrt the interstellar medium. However I note Vuk’s comment about the current opposition between Jupiter and Saturn, whilst further noting that they are currently roughly in line with the nose and tail of the heliosphere, and as Vuk said, above and below the Solar equatorial plane. I don’t discount possibilities until enough data are in, so I hope the ribbon will continue to be monitored over the next few years while Jupiter does a 90 degree section of it’s orbit. Even though they unlikely to be the main cause of the waviness of the ribbon, it will be interesting to see if any modulation we can pick out coincides with their motion or not.
    Regarding the waviness of the HCS in relation to the solar equatorial plane, I completely understand what you are saying about the closeness of Earth’s orbital plane to the plane of the HCS, but I still think your earlier comment about the ‘buckling’ and ’tilt’ of the HCS in the inner part of the solar system then returning to alignment further away from the Sun merits further investigation. I think the distinction of whether this is alignment with the orbital plane or solar equatorial plane is interesting and potentially important.
    Further discussion getting underway here too for anyone interested.
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/force-orientation-in-our-part-of-the-galaxy/

  116. tallbloke (05:02:17) :
    Hi Leif, thanks for the detailed reply. I appreciate the point about the revolution of the waviness of the HCS every 25 days, I just wondered why you cited the spiral wrapping as a disproof of Vukevic’ interpretation.
    Then I lost you too 🙁 The spiral is an effect of rotation. The same effect as I have just described. Nobody has said that the solar wind or the HCS moves in a spiral shape. [Although Solar Energetic Particles does follow the spiral as any particle that is not part of the solar wind expansion will have to do, as it is frozen to a field line and field lines have the spiral shape].
    I think the distinction of whether this is alignment with the orbital plane or solar equatorial plane is interesting and potentially important.
    No, this is not important. The alignment is completely determined by the local balance between magnetic and gas pressure and is observationally tied very strongly to the equatorial plane. The Rosenberg-Coleman effect is strong proof of this. See http://www.leif.org/research/Model%20Polar-Sector%20Solar%20Magnetic%20Fields.pdf and
    http://www.leif.org/research/Asymmetric%20Rosenberg-Coleman%20Effect.pdf
    The effect arises because of the 7 degree angle between the two planes and would disappear if the brim is aligned with the orbital plane rather than with the equatorial plane.
    Wilcx and Scherrer’s analysis of this effect http://www.leif.org/EOS/JA077i028p05385.pdf shows that the phase of the effect is tied very strongly [‘to within a few days’ they said] to when the Earth crosses the solar equatorial plane.
    So, there is no doubt that the HCS is aligned with the equatorial plane. This is an observational fact. BTW, analysis of the the ~40 years of data since the Wilcox/Scherrer paper fully confirms their conclusion.

  117. tallbloke (05:02:17) :
    I just wondered why you cited the spiral wrapping as a disproof of Vukevic’ interpretation.
    Further on the spiral: if you could actually ‘see’ the HCS it would be a spiral wrapping around many times, just as in my original depiction: http://wso.stanford.edu/gifs/helio.tiff
    The disproof comes from the fact that the spiral moves outwards all the time so its intersection with the heliopause sweeps around in 25 days, while the ribbon stays put. Now, it is possible that I have overestimated people’s ability to think things through, hence the very long explanation. I fear that for Vuk, the argument is too long to follow and that we’ll have to take very small steps so not to overtax available mental capacity.

  118. Leif Svalgaard (05:43:22) :
    Wilcx and Scherrer’s analysis of this effect http://www.leif.org/EOS/JA077i028p05385.pdf shows that the phase of the effect is tied very strongly [‘to within a few days’ they said] to when the Earth crosses the solar equatorial plane.
    So, there is no doubt that the HCS is aligned with the equatorial plane. This is an observational fact.

    Or to be more precise, it’s an observational fact at Earth’s orbital distance.
    Thanks for the link, I’ll take a read. And by the way, I’ve been ploughing through the stuff you wanted me to read on Baryonic Acoustics. Fascinating.

  119. tallbloke (06:14:25) :
    Or to be more precise, it’s an observational fact at Earth’s orbital distance.
    The solar wind is radially outwards from the Earth and out, so the alignment will be preserved. We know this from Ulysses and Voyagers and from the orientation of comet ion tails. There are no forces acting on the solar wind to change the orientation in the short time [~1 year] it takes to traverse the Heliosphere.

  120. Leif Svalgaard (06:05:24) :
    I fear that for Vuk, the argument is too long to follow and that we’ll have to take very small steps so not to overtax available mental capacity.
    You were doing well up to this point. There is no need for this type of personal comment.

  121. Clive E Burkland (06:50:56) :
    You were doing well up to this point. There is no need for this type of personal comment.
    I was expressing my fear [based on his past performance] and my willingness to accommodate him. I have always said that if one really understands something, one can explain it to a six-year old.

  122. Leif Svalgaard (06:35:00) :
    The solar wind is radially outwards from the Earth and out, so the alignment will be preserved.

    Light is bent by gravity, so why not much heavier and slower particles in the solar wind?

  123. Leif Svalgaard (07:18:34) :
    Clive E Burkland (06:50:56) :
    You were doing well up to this point. There is no need for this type of personal comment.
    I was expressing my fear [based on his past performance] and my willingness to accommodate him. I have always said that if one really understands something, one can explain it to a six-year old.

    Clive, I’ve been asked by Vuk to put up a thread for this topic on my blog where he won’t have to deal with this kind of comment.
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/force-orientation-in-our-part-of-the-galaxy/

  124. tallbloke (07:21:41) :
    Light is bent by gravity, so why not much heavier and slower particles in the solar wind?
    We are now moving into pseudo-science. There is no gravity pulling a particle towards the invariant plane, because the solar wind particles [as I carefully explained] do not stay long enough in inner solar system for planetary perturbations to add up. Now, if a solar wind particle would hang around in the inner solar system for some millions of years that would be different, but as it doesn’t…

  125. Leif Svalgaard (07:29:39) :
    tallbloke (07:21:41) :
    Light is bent by gravity, so why not much heavier and slower particles in the solar wind?
    We are now moving into pseudo-science. There is no gravity pulling a particle towards the invariant plane

    Uh Huh. Small perhaps, but non-zero. So, not pseudo-science at all.
    My other question for you today is this:
    Why does the Sun’s equator rotate faster than the polar latitudes?
    In terms a six year old can understand please.

  126. tallbloke (07:21:41) :
    Light is bent by gravity, so why not much heavier and slower particles in the solar wind?
    Apart from the forces being too small [you have to get really close to, say Jupiter – and you can’t because of its large magnetosphere], one might entertain the idea that Jupiter, for example, would act as a gravitational lens and concentrate the solar wind onto the Sun-Jupiter line. That might give rise to a point of enhanced density at the Heliopause, but not a ribbon. But, more importantly, the Heliopause is so far away that Jupiter would take up such a minute portion of the sky [less than 1/6000 of what it takes up seen from the Earth] that the effect [if it were there] would be infinitesimal. But, I realize that rational arguments may not carry much weight in this discussion.

  127. tallbloke (07:39:45) :
    Uh Huh. Small perhaps, but non-zero. So, not pseudo-science at all.
    The pseudo-science comes in with precisely that argument. The gravitational effect on the Earth of a planet orbiting a star in a galaxy 10 billion light years away is also not zero, but believing that it will have any measurable effect is pseudo-science.
    Why does the Sun’s equator rotate faster than the polar latitudes?
    In terms a six year old can understand please.

    The current understanding of this can be found in section 4.3 of http://solarphysics.livingreviews.org/Articles/lrsp-2005-1/
    I quote the first few lines [where I have replaced the equations by ‘…’]
    “The angular momentum per unit mass is defined as … where … is the angular velocity of the rotating coordinate system and … is the moment arm, … . An evolution equation for … may be derived from the zonal component of the momentum equation, averaged over longitude, and the result may be written as … The right-hand-side includes contributions from the meridional circulation, Reynolds stress, Maxwell stress, mean magnetic fields, and viscous diffusion. Complete expressions for each of these flux terms are given in Appendix A.4. The first term represents the advection of angular momentum by the mean meridional circulation, having the form … . The uniform rotation component of this, … , represents the Coriolis force which redirects meridional flows into zonal flows.” etc.
    Now, this is not good enough for a six-year old [or for you or Vuk], but each term used can be explained in simpler terms and those, in turn, by yet simpler terms until it is simple enough. All that is required is immense patience on the part of both teacher and six-year old [the latter is the hard part].
    Now, I don’t think you really meant what you asked for. If you did, I’ll be glad to educate you on angular momentum, Reynolds stresses, magnetic fields, etc [I have tried in the past – with perhaps minimal success …].

  128. tallbloke (07:39:45) :
    Why does the Sun’s equator rotate faster than the polar latitudes? In terms a six year old can understand please.
    There are two possibilities, either you were being facetious [the most likely], or you genuinely want to know. If the latter this may be a bit OT, but we can hope that the moderators will et it pass. As I said, “The current understanding of this can be found in section 4.3 of http://solarphysics.livingreviews.org/Articles/lrsp-2005-1/
    Study that carefully and when you are stumped the first time, we can discuss that point, etc.

  129. Leif Svalgaard (07:50:59) :
    “Light is bent by gravity, so why not much heavier and slower particles in the solar wind?”
    one might entertain the idea that Jupiter, for example, would act as a gravitational lens and concentrate the solar wind onto the Sun-Jupiter line. That might give rise to a point of enhanced density at the Heliopause

    I might elaborate on this a bit. A point is probably not correct as there is no guarantee that the focus will be at the Heliopause. So, perhaps, we’ll get an Einstein Ring [as the gravitational field of Jupiter is not lumpy], so a good pseudo-scientist would say “Aha, the Ribbon is a gravitational Einstein Ring due to Jupiter”. Now there should then also be similar rings due to Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune [the other planets are probably too small to create enough lensing]. So we confidently predict such Rings and, there is more: predict that they will move as the planets move.

  130. tallbloke (07:27:31) :
    asked by Vuk to put up a thread for this topic on my blog
    Now, I really meant what I said about a step-by-step explanation that he could understand. Apparently he was not interested.

  131. Astonishing.
    Believe it or not Leif, other matters do occasionally call us away from the screen.
    Cheers for your information.
    And boos for your insults.
    Now, this is not good enough for a six-year old [or for you or Vuk], but each term used can be explained in simpler terms and those, in turn, by yet simpler terms until it is simple enough. All that is required is immense patience on the part of both teacher and six-year old [the latter is the hard part].
    Well, game on then, let’s hear you break it down into simpler terms.
    Why and how does the Sun’s equator rotate faster than it’s polar latitudes?

  132. tallbloke (10:06:03) asked Dr. Svalgaard: “Why and how does the Sun’s equator rotate faster than it’s polar latitudes?”
    In way of a possible answer.
    The beginning of a hypothesis: A hypothetical where a body of plasma is gravitationally bound and motionless in space.
    Enthropy will cause the plasma to dissipate away from the gravitationally bound body of plasma into the vacuum of space from high pressure and high temperature to low pressure and low temperature, “an equalization process”, this possibly could take the form of a toroidal outward spin away from the body of plasma.
    This outward toroidal spin will cause in effect: “The moving plasma, i.e., charged particles flows, are currents that produce self-magnetic fields, however weak.” — A. L. Peratt
    tallbloke, the Sun’s equator possibly spins faster than the higher latitudes because of the toroidal spin effect (which would manifest itself to Man’s observation as the Sun’s equator spinning faster than higher latitudes) .
    Mind you, it’s just the bare bones of a possible hypothesis (and there is a whole other half of the possible hypothesis).
    But considering all the contradictions between observation & measurement of the Sun’s processes and the Standard Solar Model, it might be a good place to start.

  133. tallbloke (10:06:03) :
    Cheers for your information.
    And boos for your insults.

    And where are the insults? I’m not aware of any. I carefully lay out the arguments. I patiently point out what I see as pseudo-science and why? I recognize when I get the equivalent of a blank stare, so lower the aim accordingly, etc.
    Well, game on then, let’s hear you break it down into simpler terms. Why and how does the Sun’s equator rotate faster than it’s polar latitudes?
    The ‘why’ is a bit misplaced. We can get to the ‘how’, possibly.
    The game may go on for several thousand posts depending on your ignorance. Are you [and Anthony] ready for that?
    So we start: Do you know what angular momentum is? Or perhaps let us first explore what ‘angular’ is? This is a term I might have to explain to a six-year old. How about you?
    P.S. A typical problem with pseudo-science is the lack of sense of proportions. The Heliosphere is vast. If you compare it in size to the Superdome football stadium, the Sun is like a pea somewhere in the middle and Jupiter is a grain of sand.

  134. phlogiston (17:13:34) :
    In the 22nd century, textbooks of science will commence any discussion of the phenomenon of pseudo-science with the monumental fiasco of the late 20th century theory of CO2 AGW, which became dominant culturally and politically and predicted indefinite global warming caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions during a period which was later found to have been the beginning of the end of the Holocene interglacial.

    From your mouth to God’s ears, as they say. (Enjoyed the rest of the post thoroughly, too.)
    But I would like to have a look at those future textbooks! It seems to me that there is more power input into the earth’s weather systems from space that need to be examined. And then we need to understand the paths that that power takes through the magnetosphere, the atmosphere, and down to the surface where we all live. There are some steps in that direction; but perhaps our thinking should go beyond even what Svensmark has demonstrated.
    I have wondered if the Madden-Julian oscillation is a clue that power is coming in, building up, and releasing. It’s all so interesting, and the truth about what drives climate and how could change our lives. I wish Science would get on with it!

  135. Leif Svalgaard (11:04:29) :
    The game may go on for several thousand posts depending on your ignorance. Are you [and Anthony] ready for that?
    So we start: Do you know what angular momentum is? Or perhaps let us first explore what ‘angular’ is? This is a term I might have to explain to a six-year old. How about you?

    I hold a UK qualification (Higher National Certificate) in Mechanical Science, which included a module on fluid dynamics, and another in higher level Applied Mathematics.
    I’ve read the wikipedia pages on differential stellar rotation, and they boil down to
    “We don’t know, and we don’t have enough computer power to get our hypothetical models to work.”
    The empirical results from GONG appear to have undercut some of the previous ideas about convection from below the tachocline.
    But please do enlighten me with your simple terms explanation.

  136. “So we start: Do you know what angular momentum is? ”
    Let me have a go. Angular momentum is a property of a rotating body such that it will continue to rotate until a force is applied to stop it. The size of this momentum is proportional to angular velocity and the radius of rotation, and of course its mass. Like linear momentum, angular momentum is conserved, so that if you change either radial velocity or radius, the other will change to keep the product constant.

  137. tallbloke (12:01:58) :
    I’ve read the wikipedia pages on differential stellar rotation, and they boil down to
    “We don’t know, and we don’t have enough computer power to get our hypothetical models to work.”

    But you, apparently, did not bother to read [or look at] section 4.3 of http://solarphysics.livingreviews.org/Articles/lrsp-2005-1/
    And you tried to play games in
    tallbloke (07:39:45) :
    In terms a six year old can understand please
    Now you come up with degree here and degree there. Show me a six-year old with that.
    What I suggested was that you look at the link I supplied and then tell me where you get stuck and we’ll go from there.
    But please do enlighten me with your simple terms explanation

  138. Vincent (12:10:09) :
    Let me have a go.
    And that was correct. The problem still exists how to explain that to a six-year old. Take ‘mass’ for example. A six-year old may have some idea of ‘weight’, i.e. heavy and light. If not you can show him by giving him something heavy to hold and then something light. He’ll get that ‘weight’ is something that presses down on your hand when hold hold something. But ‘mass’ as different from weight? Here is what I would do: suspend something heavy by a thread and then by another thread something much lighter [e.g. a brick and a feather]. Now ask him to put his hand underneath those two objects and have him realize that they no longer press down his hand. Now have him try to push the suspended brick and then the suspended feather and you can make him understand that they must have a property that makes it easy to push the feather, but harder to to push the brick, and that is ‘mass’. And so it goes.

  139. Maybe this will move things along and elicit an exec summary of the new theory form Leif.
    “Until the advent of helioseismology, the study of wave oscillations in the Sun, very little was known about the internal rotation of the Sun. The differential profile of the surface was thought to be extending into the solar inertia as rotating cylinders of constant angular momentum [3]. Through helioseismology this is now known not to be the case and the rotation profile of the Sun has been found. On the surface the Sun rotates slowly at the poles and quickly at the equator. This profile extends on roughly radial lines through the solar convection zone to the interior. At the tachocline the rotation abruptly changes to solid body rotation in the solar radiation zone [4].”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_rotation

  140. tallbloke (12:55:04) :
    Maybe this will move things along and elicit an exec summary of the new theory from Leif.
    What happened to the facetious ‘six-year old, please’ remark?
    I can try to give a summary but I’m [as I said] unsure of at what technical level to keep it. I don’t play games. I’m a very literal person. If I feel someone is serious, I’ll invest my time in teaching. With some people, that time is wasted: I explain the same thing many times over and the response I get is that my explanation was ‘misleading’. I offer to do it thoroughly and that is seen as an insult.
    So, again, read the link and tell me about your first stumbling block and we’ll go from there [now, how many times have I said that?]

  141. Leif Svalgaard (12:26:04) wrote: “Of more interest is my first question: ‘what generates the currents?’ and in realistic environments, e.g in the Galaxy.”
    Yes.
    Questions about “what happened in the beginning” are a distraction.
    The pertinent question: “What is happening now?”
    Hannes Alfven understood that and realized “beginning” type questions were likely to lead scientists astray and often were used to distract from the truly pertinent question: What is happening now?
    To the post: The hypothesis put forward can be tested by in situ observation & measurement. This is an exciting challenge for astrophysical science and one that can be falsified as opposed to so many astronomical hypothesis that can’t be falsified.
    But whether it is a “reflection” from the inside or an “impingement” from the outside, there is a “curtain” seperating the inside from the outside.
    Magnetic fields are inherently bound up in this “curtain” effect.
    The solar wind is a stream of charged particles and the “curtain” is a magnetic field.
    An electromotive force [mathematical equation] giving rise to electrical currents in conducting media is produced wherever a relative perpendicular motion of plasma and magnetic fields exists.” — Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Dr. Svalgaard: “Yes, the electric current is created by the neutral plasma moving through a magnetic field.”
    At the point where the solar wind moves through a magnetic field an Electrical Double Layer, aka “magnetic reconnection”, occurs resulting in electric fields and electric currents.
    So, I humbly suggest that Science, and NASA more specifically, develop and launch additional in situ satellite probes that can make observations & measurements which can test the various hypothesis and either confirm or falsify such hypothesis.
    Such is the business of science.
    Embrace the future.

  142. Leif,
    “The problem still exists how to explain that to a six-year old.”
    Have the six year old sit on the edge of a rotating disc of about 6 foot radius. Then tell him to crawl slowly towards the centre. As he does so, the rotation will speed up. On second thoughts, could be a bit dangerous.

  143. James F. Evans (13:07:10) :
    The solar wind is a stream of charged particles and the “curtain” is a magnetic field.
    A neutral stream, and there is no ‘curtain’ separating anything from anything. The solar wind is everywhere permeated by a magnetic field.
    An electromotive force [mathematical equation] giving rise to electrical currents in conducting media is produced wherever a relative perpendicular motion of plasma and magnetic fields exists.”
    In the solar wind the magnetic field moves with the plasma so there is no emf.
    So, I humbly suggest that Science, and NASA more specifically, develop and launch additional in situ satellite probes that can make observations & measurements which can test the various hypothesis and either confirm or falsify such hypothesis.
    That is wjat they have been doing the past 40+ years and the result is the picture of the solar wind that we have today, not picture Birkeland or Alfven were having.
    Such is the business of science.
    Embrace the future.

    Accept today’s [and the past many years of] observations.
    Vincent (13:19:14) :
    On second thoughts, could be a bit dangerous.
    And he would not gain any understanding. Perhaps an experience, but he would not know why things are the way they are. With the hindsight that hundreds of years of experimenting and thinking about how Nature works, we can make him understand how it works. This is the miracle of memory, culture, and science that past generations toil can be transmitted to the future.

  144. Leif Svalgaard (13:04:51) :
    So, again, read the link

    There’s sevral weeks worth there Leif. You just trying to keep me quiet? 🙂
    I’ve made a quick review of sections 4.3 and 6.3 and so far, I’m not getting the impression of a nearly sorted theory which is having it’s i’s dotted and t’s crossed.

  145. tallbloke (14:15:20) :
    There’s several weeks worth there Leif. You just trying to keep me quiet? 🙂
    No [and I did see the smiley], and it may be worth it [and I’ll help as is my wont]. After all, angular momentum is part of the story 🙂
    I’ve made a quick review of sections 4.3 and 6.3 and so far, I’m not getting the impression of a nearly sorted theory which is having it’s i’s dotted and t’s crossed.
    Of course not. The theory is very data driven [observations with SDO will help a lot] in the sense that we need to know where the flows go and what the sound speed is.
    There are very few theories that a polished. But that is not important. I think we know what goes into the theory [the equations], but we don’t know all the boundary conditions. As we learn from observations, we ‘constrain’ the theory [pruning away wrong assumptions].
    I wanted you to see that the subject is not a complete mystery and that we have good reasons for optimism. In VERY broad terms [way beyond any six-year old], the differential rotation is the result of the interaction between meridional circulation [now what drives that one? temperature differences? and how do they arise? etc], Reynolds Stresses [turbulent fluctuations as you should know], and [to a minor extent] Lorentz forces [magnetic effects]. It is very hard to give a hand-waving explanation, because these things are complicated and our common day-to-day intuition does not measure up to such phenomena that we usually do not experience in our daily lives.

  146. Nice reply, thanks Leif.
    It’s getting late here, and I’ve had a couple of glasses of very nice red wine, so I’m going to sleep on it before I give a fuller response. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your day.
    Cheers
    Rog Tallbloke

  147. @ anna v (01:33:45) :
    Number 2 can be seen in the action of a normal coil. When using direct current, the magnetic field builds logarithmically to saturation. The atoms involved will only take so much magnetization. When the current is cut the field collapses rapidly. Across the terminals of the coil there will be a high voltage pulse. This property is used in an ignition coil for a car. Without something tapping the current, the energy stored in the field (mainly in the temporarily-magnetized core) becomes heat. Atoms do not like to be magnetized, and will get rid of a magnetic charge as soon as possible. Even “permanent” magnets, where the atoms are held in a magnetism-producing orientation within a matrix, will lose their charge over time.
    But in space, if an isolated atom acquires a magnetic charge, what’s it going to do? Like the 6000 deg C atoms in that interstellar cloud, they have nothing to interact with, no way to shed the energy, so they stay magnetized. Thus these weak magnetic fields in space persist, even with nothing actively generating them. The energy is not being lost, therefore there is no need to replenish it to maintain the field.
    As to magnetic fields and black holes, well… The magnetism is arising from moving charges within the star. When the black hole consumes the star, the star becomes… something else. Thus what caused the magnetism is gone, so the field should be gone. If the star magnetized any matter around it on the way in, leaving behind any residual magnetic fields, eh, the black hole will take care of that matter in time.

  148. kadaka (15:17:28) :
    But in space, if an isolated atom acquires a magnetic charge, what’s it going to do?
    This is not quite how it works. Consider a coil in space. If the magnetic field through the coil were to change a current would be induced in the coil which would restore the field, so it cannot change. Now, if the coil is made of copper or some other normal conductor, the current will suffer some ohmic dissipation and the magnetic field would not be completely restored and over time would disappear. If the coil was made of a space plasma, there would be no resistance and no ohmic dissipation, hence the field is maintained.

  149. Leif Svalgaard (13:49:19) :
    Evans (13:07:10) wrote: “The solar wind is a stream of charged particles and the “curtain” is a magnetic field.”
    Dr. Svalgaard responded: “A neutral stream, and there is no ‘curtain’ separating anything from anything. The solar wind is everywhere permeated by a magnetic field.”
    “A neutral stream” is a stream of charged particles in a state of quasi-neutrality, plasma, and, yes, this has a magnetic field because:
    “The moving plasma, i.e., charged particles flows, are currents that produce self-magnetic fields, however weak.” — A. L. Peratt
    You are confused Dr. Svalgaard, when I referred to “curtain”, I was referring to the magnetic field perpendicular to the solar wind, also known as the heliosheath. This is where and what the image of the ribbon was observed & measured from.
    You know, that nearly spherical magnetic bubble the solar system resides in.
    “An electromotive force [mathematical equation] giving rise to electrical currents in conducting media is produced wherever a relative perpendicular motion of plasma and magnetic fields exists.” A. L. Peratt
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: ‘In the solar wind the magnetic field moves with the plasma so there is no emf.’
    Generally so, however the helio current sheet can develop Electric Double Layers, aka “magnetic reconnection”, and where this happens, Electromotive Force is present.
    Also, the helio current sheet, where and when the magnetic field changes polarity, should give rise to Electromotive Force.
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “That is what they have been doing the past 40+ years and the result is the picture of the solar wind that we have today, not picture Birkeland or Alfven were having.”
    “…the realization of the need to apply plasma physics and electromagnetic forces to the understanding of the dynamical properties, evolution, and radiation to astrophysical data was lost with the death of Kristian Birkeland (1867 – 1917) and not to be resurrected until tow decades later by Hannes Alfven (1908 – 1995).” –Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    “Hannes Alfven supported the concept of Birkeland currents and developed a theory for the generation of these currents by the solar wind. This half-century long dispute was decided in Birkeland’s favor in 1967 with the discovery of Birkeland currents by the U.S. Navy navigation satellite 1963 – 38C at ~1100 km altitude (Potemra, 1988 Laser and Particle Beams 6, 503).” — Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Birkeland currents are named in honor of Kristian Birkeland (1867 – 1917).
    (Sydney Chapman was proven wrong in the dispute.)
    Yes, there already have been many useful observations & measurements for sure, and there is room for many more useful observations & measurements in the scientific quest to understand the Universe around humanity stretching to Man’s farthest ability to makes observations & measurements of the Universe.

  150. James F. Evans (15:56:17) :
    “The moving plasma, i.e., charged particles flows, are currents that produce self-magnetic fields, however weak.” — A. L. Peratt
    This is however not what produces the magnetic field of the solar wind. That field comes out of the Sun and is generated there.
    Generally so, however the helio current sheet can develop Electric Double Layers, aka “magnetic reconnection”, and where this happens, Electromotive Force is present.
    It can, but does it rarely and only intermittently, which is why the HCS exists at all [otherwise it would reconnect away]. And magnetic reconnection is not the same as double layers.
    Also, the helio current sheet, where and when the magnetic field changes polarity, should give rise to Electromotive Force.
    No, the HCS current is a drift current. No emf there.
    Birkeland currents are named in honor of Kristian Birkeland
    (Sydney Chapman was proven wrong in the dispute.)

    And the Svalgaard vortex current system in the polar caps is named after me. Chapman argued that the currents were in the ionosphere and, of course, they were not. But that has nothing to do with our modern view of matters.

  151. James F. Evans (15:56:17) :
    Also, the helio current sheet, where and when the magnetic field changes polarity, should give rise to Electromotive Force.
    No, the HCS current is a drift current. No emf there.
    Here is a short reference to what a drift current is:
    Google (drift current magnetic heliospheric sheet kallenrode)
    and click on the first entry: Space physics: an introduction to plasmas and particles in the … – Google Books Result
    by May-Britt Kallenrode – 2004 – Science – 482 pages
    This phenomenon was discovered by Alfven and was one of the discoveries that brought him the Nobel prize. See also:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guiding_center [note the reference at the bottom]

  152. Please see additional Information that helps the discussion groups
    Star Keeps Magnetic Lock on Its Big Brother — Berardelli… – sciencemag [dot] org – Jan 17
    [Magnetic Universe, Binary state, COsmic Alignment, Cosmic Pot Universe – Sub:MAGNETIC UNIVERSE- COSMIC ALIGNMENT See:www [dot] earthportals [dot] com/Portal_Messenger/nanduri3 [dot] html Your Ref:Star Keeps Magnetic Lock on Its Big Brother Information:images of the magnetic field generated by one of Binary stars in the Algol system, located about 93 light-years away. The two stars in the system–one about three times more massive than the sun and the other a little less massive–are so close to each other that one orbit takes only 3 days. The smaller star is the source of the magnetic field, and even though that field is about 1000 times stronger than the sun’s, The resulting images show a giant magnetic loop extending from the north and south poles of the smaller star all the way to its larger partner, located about 9 million kilometers away. The loop persisted for all 6 months of observations, instead of flaring up and quieting down, like our sun’s field. It’s a mystery why the loop seems to be permanent, COMMENTS: Magnetic Fields Spread need to be understood as part of – SOURCE,FIELDS,FLOWS and REFLECTOR CONCEPTS clearly mentioned in COSMIC POT ENERGY UNIVERSE. See:scribd [dot] com/doc/21526401/Cosmic-Pot-Universe-2003 My projection links to Cosmic Alignment Vidyardhi Nanduri Cosmology Vedas Interlinks ]

  153. Leif Svalgaard (16:22:39) :
    Evans (15:56:17) wrote: “The moving plasma, i.e., charged particles flows, are currents that produce self-magnetic fields, however weak.” — A. L. Peratt
    Dr. Svalgaard responded: “This is however not what produces the magnetic field of the solar wind. That field comes out of the Sun and is generated there.”
    Does the Sun have a dipole magnetic field? If so, the solar wind’s magnetic field would be in addition to this dipole magnetic field. If the Sun does not have a dipole magnetic field, where is the magnetic field emanating from besides the solar wind’s plasma flow?
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “And magnetic reconnection is not the same as double layers.”
    Please distinguish the physical differences between “double layers” and “magnetic reconnection”.
    Dr. Svalgaard, I appreciate that “the Svalgaard vortex current system in the polar caps” is named in your honor.
    Birkeland currents are named in Kristian Birkeland’s honor.
    Each person should have his accomplishments recognized not disparaged.

  154. James F. Evans (08:20:43) :
    Leif Svalgaard (16:22:39) :
    Does the Sun have a dipole magnetic field? If so, the solar wind’s magnetic field would be in addition to this dipole magnetic field.
    No, the solar wind magnetic field IS the Sun’s dipole field dragged out into interplanetary space.
    If the Sun does not have a dipole magnetic field, where is the magnetic field emanating from besides the solar wind’s plasma flow?
    There is no magnetic field from the ‘plasma flow’. There are additional magnetic fields from decaying sunspots that are also dragged into space. It will be good for you to read a book about space physics instead of misinformation gleaned on the internet. The book I linked to is a good choice. Another [very good one] is Kenneth R. Lang “The Sun from Space” 2nd ed.ISBN 978-3-540-76952-1
    Please distinguish the physical differences between “double layers” and “magnetic reconnection”.
    Wikipedia does that well:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_layer_(plasma)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_reconnection
    As you can see from these, they don’t mention each other for the good reason that they describe different processes.
    Each person should have his accomplishments recognized not disparaged.</i?
    Indeed, so we should appropriately honor Sydney Chapman for his discovery of the Chapman-Ferraro current on the magnetopause. There is probably also one on the heliopause, caused by the same physics [a neutral plasma moving towards a stronger magnetic field].

  155. James F. Evans (08:20:43) :
    Each person should have his accomplishments recognized not disparaged.
    Indeed, so we should appropriately honor Sydney Chapman for his discovery of the Chapman-Ferraro current on the magnetopause, rather than disparage him for ‘losing the debate’. There is probably also a Chapman-current on the heliopause, caused by the same physics [a neutral plasma moving towards a stronger magnetic field].

  156. Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “No, the solar wind magnetic field IS the Sun’s dipole field dragged out into interplanetary space.”
    What does the “dragging”?
    And what happens to the magnetic field generated by the solar wind’s plasma flow?
    Or do you maintain, “The moving plasma, i.e., charged particles flows, are currents that produce self-magnetic fields, however weak.” — A. L. Peratt, does not exist in that physical circumstance?
    If so, what physical circumstance or condition would cancel the magnetic field generated by the solar wind’s plasma flow?
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: ” It will be good for you to read a book about space physics instead of misinformation gleaned on the internet.”
    Are you saying Dr. Anthony L. Peratt is wrong?
    And have you considered that your analytical approach is wrong?
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “As you can see from these, they don’t mention each other for the good reason that they describe different processes.”
    I’m interested in how YOU distinguish the physical differences, not how a Wikipedia article(s) state the differences.
    After all, there may not be any physical differences at all, but simply each article presents a difference perspective or perception of the same physical event.
    Wikipedia articles should not be taken as the final word on much of anything of controversial nature (you are bailing out and engaging in avoidance to blandly state there is no controversy).
    As I stated, please, I want YOU to distinguish the physical differences between the two. That shouldn’t be hard for you, now should it?

  157. *******
    Leif Svalgaard (13:38:39) :
    For your own sake, study carefully what is known today: http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmology_faq.html
    *******
    Thanks for your input on this thread & the above link. I try to keep up w/astronomy in general, but didn’t know that the distance to the CMB is ~42 billion light-years! (not 13.7 billion) Makes sense when one includes the expansion of the universe, but I hadn’t thought enough about it.
    Still can’t get my head around whether the universe is truly infinite. If it was “closed”, one would eventually come back to their original starting point, but apparently it’s either flat or open, not closed.

  158. beng (09:33:37) :
    Still can’t get my head around whether the universe is truly infinite. If it was “closed”, one would eventually come back to their original starting point, but apparently it’s either flat or open, not closed.
    I think that ‘flat’ is also ‘open’ [i.e. not closed]. ‘Truly infinite’ is tough. My own inclination is “what else”. But it is too early to speculate too much. Who knows what we’ll discover.

  159. James F. Evans (09:27:17) :
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “No, the solar wind magnetic field IS the Sun’s dipole field dragged out into interplanetary space.”
    What does the “dragging”?

    The magnetic field in the solar corona is frozen into the plasma because of the very high conductivity. The plasma is very hot and simply expands away from the sun because a significant part of the protons have thermal speeds exceeding the escape velocity at the altitude where the solar wind originates.
    And what happens to the magnetic field generated by the solar wind’s plasma flow?
    There isn’t any.
    Or do you maintain, “The moving plasma, i.e., charged particles flows, are currents that produce self-magnetic fields, however weak.” — A. L. Peratt, does not exist in that physical circumstance?
    There are no currents in the escaping solar wind as equal number of electrons and protons leave the Sun.
    If so, what physical circumstance or condition would cancel the magnetic field generated by the solar wind’s plasma flow?
    since there isn’t any, no need to cancel anything.
    Are you saying Dr. Anthony L. Peratt is wrong?
    I’m saying that you misunderstand/misinterpret his analytical approach.
    As I stated, please, I want YOU to distinguish the physical differences between the two. That shouldn’t be hard for you, now should it?
    Yes it should, because of your lack of knowledge. It makes it harder to explain something. E.g. how to explain ‘angular momentum to the proverbial six-year old. But I can try, and we’ll see if you get it: a double layer consists of two layers with opposite electrical charge, there doesn’t need to be a magnetic field. Reconnection happens between two regions with opposite magnetic polarity changing the topology of the fields, there doesn’t need to be a current. Turning a toy magnet in the air will cause a continuing change of topology without any sparks flying.
    Wiki does a good job. I have carefully reviewed the material and it looks good to me.

  160. James F. Evans (09:27:17) :
    Reconnection can now be studied in the laboratory
    http://mrx.pppl.gov/
    I have previously directed you to this site [no analytical stuff there, just lots of coils and magnets] but to no avail. Perhaps you didn’t understand some of stuff. Review the material and ask about specific points that give you difficulties. As is my wont, I’ll try to answer to the best of your ability.

  161. Leif,
    “I think that ‘flat’ is also ‘open’ [i.e. not closed]. ‘Truly infinite’ is tough. My own inclination is “what else”.
    The universe cannot be infinite imo. The universe began from the big bang rapidly expanding from a point, so it must have had a boundary. The boundary has expanded to where we can never observe, but it must still exist. So that would imply the universe has an edge. But having an edge violates the principal that there must not exist any special vantage point. How do you solve those two contradictory requirements?

  162. Vincent (13:35:13) :
    The universe began from the big bang rapidly expanding from a point
    We don’t think so. You often hear that statement, but it is wrong. Our OBSERVABLE Universe was once very small and centered on us, but that is not the same as the whole thing being small [and centered on us]. The current data and our understanding of them support the view that the BB and the expansion took/takes place at every point of the universe, so there is no problem with boundaries. There never was one to begin with [if ‘begin’ has any meaning in this context].

  163. Leif Svalgaard (14:13:54) :
    The current data and our understanding of them support the view that the BB and the expansion took/takes place at every point of the universe, so there is no problem with boundaries. There never was one to begin with [if ‘begin’ has any meaning in this context].

    If the luminosity/redshift of galaxies is given the alternative interpretation of being a measure of age rather than distance, this starts to look quite like a continuous creation/steady state universe theory.
    Universal expansion has always seemed a strange concept to me. Expanding into what?

  164. xe136 (14:24:53) :
    this starts to look quite like a continuous creation/steady state universe theory.
    study http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmology_faq.html
    The simplest observation to show that the redshift is not sue to age is that a supernova that takes 20 days to decay takes 40 days to decay when observed at redshift z=1, so showing the time dilation that follows from the standard interpretation [see e.g. http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmology_faq.html#XIN ]. The ‘tired light’ hypothesis [light loses energy with age, hence the redshift] is contradicted by observations http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/tiredlit.htm
    Universal expansion has always seemed a strange concept to me. Expanding into what?
    Eternity. Even the steady state universe does not have a boundary [or do think it does]. Here is something that may give you a feeling for infinity: Imagine a hotel with infinitely many rooms that are all occupied. Now comes a new guest and asks if he can have a room. The clerk days ‘yes, of course’ and asks every occupant to move into the room next door with a room number one higher. this leaves room #1 free for the new guest. Then infinitely many new guests show up and ask if they can have a room too. ‘Yes, of course’ answers the clerk and asks every guest already in the hotel to move to a room number twice the number of the room of the one they are now in. This leaves all the odd-numbered rooms free for the infinitely many new guests…

  165. Inflation is a pretty concept, but laymen are likely to ask whether it operates at all scales, and affects all bonding forces. For example is a diamond slowly expanding, too? And if everything is slowly inflating even at the subatomic level, why is it not affecting light at the same rate everywhere?
    But if it is not, should we be seeing different rates of inflation where bonding forces vary?
    What do our cosmologists say?

  166. Leif Svalgaard (10:35:07) :
    “vukcevic (09:38:15) :
    Magnetic line does not exist any more than an isobar on a weather chart or isohypse on a mountain side of a field map.
    How is it possible to conduct an intelligent discourse when your concepts are so wrong-headed”…
    “Now, in the polar caps of the Earth from about 100 km and up things are very different. The magnetic field of the Earth up there and beyond are connected to the solar wind and is swept into a long anti-sunward tail. The field lines in the tail have individuality, they can sometimes even be seen [as auroral streamers] and particles scuttle up and down the field lines and don’t jump to other lines. The field lines can even wiggle and wave in response to changing solar wind [and ionospheric winds too].”
    Perhaps I’m picking up fag-ends here, but an interesting issue arises in connection with the earlier (rather animated) discussion on this thread about magnetic field lines – are they real or just an illustrative tool? Dr Svalgaard asserts both can be true – in most places on the earth’s surface they are an abstraction but they manifest as real entities at the poles.
    I’m no specialist in astrophysics, not exactly a rocket scientist either. However expressions like “ribbon” and “auroral streamers” in the present context for me raise a flag suggesting the possible operation of a phenomenon discussed regularly on this site – chaotic nonlinear pattern formation.
    The description of auroral streamers under magnetic influence caught my attention:
    “The field lines in the tail have individuality, they can sometimes even be seen [as auroral streamers]”
    This reminded me of some well-known examples of non-linear pattern formation. For instance, consider smoke rising from a cigarette end (memories from a mis-spent youth) in still air: the smoke rises driven by the thermal heating of the smoke particles, but initially, instead of diffusing into the air, the smoke remains concentrated and forms a ribbon pattern as it rises. Another analogy – it you slowly turn on a water tap (or “faucet” if you like), first you get only drips, then a sort of laminar flow. Then you reach the laminar-turbulent boundary, and beyond it a chaotic cascade of streams and drops. But the interesting part is just before the onset of full chaos / turbulence, where the quasi-laminar flow sometimes is deflected to one side, or partially becomes turbulent only to converge to a laminar stream going off in a different direction. (This phenomenon sometimes has nuisance value for us menfolk when relieving ourselves in a standing position.)
    Both of these and examples of a strange attractor. In the case of the smoke the “phase space” is the whole volume of air that the smoke could potentially rise into and the strange attractor is the very limited ribbon-like subset of the air volume through which the smoke actually rises.
    Is there something special about the air inside the ribbon to make the smoke converge into the ribbon? No. This is simply the way nonlinear pattern formation operates – all you can say is that for some reason that is beyond traditional analysis, the rising smoke system “likes” that ribbon-shaped bit of the air more than the rest of the air.
    The same is true of all systems where chaotic-nonlinear pattern formation operates and attractors exist. They are called “strange” attractors precisely because it is beyond traditional mathematical-physical analysis to understand what is special about the phase space subset that the system is attracted to.
    [a pedantic aside – the use of the term “chaos” in a context such as climate or emergent pattern, is not precisely correct although is used as a shorthand. What we are talking about is in a far-from-equilibrium system the transition into nonlinear behaviour at the boundary of chaos, associated with spontaneous pattern formation, but not chaos itself, which is quasi-random and less interesting.]
    So you have a strong and fluctuating magnetic field at the poles, buffeted by solar wind, and auroral streamers are seen to travel in lines or ribbons along the magnetic field. Does this mean that the magnetic field itself is separating into discreet lines or ribbons? Not necessarily. All that would be required is a certain amount of resistance to the flow of the auroral particle streams (friction or damping) and all the ingredients are in place for the streamers to show non-linear pattern formation – like the rising smoke or water from the tap. The streamer seems very likely to me to be an attractor within the (locally uniform) magnetic field. But – to return to the smoke analogy – there is nothing special about the line or ribbon along which the streamer is propagating – the line represents the attractor to which the streamer is converging.
    This interpretation would argue against the existence of discreet magnetic field lines (whatever they would actually be physically) but for the separation of the auroral streamers into lines and ribbons as a normal converence into a nonlinear strange attractor. Nothing special about the line. Its just the whymsical behaviour of he system.
    Its also quite likely that the “space ribbon” that is the heading of this thread is also a spontaneous pattern structure, an attractor. Again the key ingredient of frictional damping (or “dissipation”) is present: solar wind pushing the particles beyond the solar system, magnetic field resisting the solar wind and pushing them back. Result? Ribbon. In fact, any ribbon structure you see forming in a volume is most likely a strange attractor.

  167. James F. Evans (09:27:17) :
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “No, the solar wind magnetic field IS the Sun’s dipole field dragged out into interplanetary space.”
    And what happens to the magnetic field generated by the solar wind’s plasma flow?
    Or do you maintain, “The moving plasma, i.e., charged particles flows, are currents that produce self-magnetic fields, however weak.” — A. L. Peratt, does not exist in that physical circumstance?
    If so, what physical circumstance or condition would cancel the magnetic field generated by the solar wind’s plasma flow?
    ~
    Not trying to bum you out Leif, nice job providing explanations for me, joe public and the millwrights. (sounds like a band of gypsies) We thank you. Thanks Leif.
    Let’s re word this perhaps. I think Evans knows that the suns magnetic field is dipole generated and carried out on solar winds. Is he suggesting that another kphase is happening with the solar wind and plasma? calling it a double layer?
    If so, what physical circumstance or condition would cancel the magnetic field generated (chopped off the end of Evans question here)

  168. Vuks, one of your favorite topics. Have you gotten that new bigger, better wrecking ball installed yet?

  169. http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmology_faq.html#SS
    supercritical (14:46:43) :
    likely to ask whether it operates at all scales, and affects all bonding forces. For example is a diamond slowly expanding, too?
    Everything is not expanding, because the forces that hold e.g. the solar system together are gazillions times stronger than the expansion: http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmology_faq.html#SS
    Only things that are large enough will show measurable expansion.
    phlogiston (15:06:12) :
    It is simpler than that. The ‘explosions’ that create electric sparks and aurorae are very filamentary [also being a plasma likes to bunch up – even the EU has that grain of truth], so particles are not spread out [although there are diffuse aurorae too], but ‘spiked’. Once they start moving they are stuck on whatever [fictional] field line they happen to be on and ‘light’ that one up and [this is the important bit] gives it individuality and existence.
    Carla (15:21:10) :
    I think Evans knows that the suns magnetic field is dipole generated and carried out on solar winds.
    I don’t think he knows. [or knew; by now he should know – it would be nice if he would tell us that he has now learned that]

  170. Dr. Svalgaard, you stated:
    Leif Svalgaard (14:15:15) October 29, 2009: “…
    Dr. Svalgaard presented Evans statement: “Frankly, the descriptions [of “magnetic reconnection”] are consistent with a plasma ‘double layer’”
    And Dr. Svalgaard responded: “Of course, nobody doubted that for a second. These double layers are generated in currents resulting from plasma moving in a magnetic field.”
    Dr. Svalgaard, the context of the above quotes is clear, back in late October you acknowledged that the names double layers and “magnetic reconnection” describe the same process.
    Today, you have claimed otherwise:
    So, I present a scientific paper discussing magnetic reconnection:
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2009GL040228.pdf
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “…a double layer consists of two layers with opposite electrical charge, there doesn’t need to be a magnetic field. Reconnection happens between two regions with opposite magnetic polarity changing the topology of the fields, there doesn’t need to be a current.”
    It is apparent from the paper linked above the physical process is the same thing with different names.

  171. James F. Evans (17:34:49) :
    It is apparent from the paper linked above the physical process is the same thing with different names.
    What you are missing is that double layers can form during reconnection, especially in the exhaust from the reconnection site where particles can be accelerated. What is wrong with you use of the words is the ‘a.k.a’
    And the distinction is completely irrelevant for the topic. But, OK, I’m always willing to clear up your confusion. I wish I now and then would see a tangible sign of the fog lifting.

  172. Leif Svalgaard (14:13:54) :
    The current data and our understanding of them support the view
    Current data and the understanding of it will be different in the future.

  173. supercritical (14:46:43) :
    Inflation is a pretty concept, but laymen are likely to ask whether it operates at all scales, and affects all bonding forces.
    Experience tells me you are overestimating what ‘laymen’ will ask. A layman here or there may actually imagine to ask things like this. But most will be thinking about bills they have to pay and who will win American Idol.

  174. James F. Evans (17:34:49) :
    So, I present a scientific paper discussing magnetic reconnection: http://www.leif.org/EOS/2009GL040228.pdf
    which, BTW, does not a single time mention ‘double layers’. so perhaps you can show the statement or paragraph [they’re numbered for you convenience] where it is shown that double layers and reconnection are different words for the same thing.

  175. photon without a Higgs (17:49:19) :
    Current data and the understanding of it will be different in the future.
    Perhaps, but we have to go with what we have got at present. And your statement is not universally valid. I don’t think our understanding that the Earth is round will be different in the future. Or that the Solar corona is hot, or that the Earth is ~4.5 billion years old, or that the Universe is expanding, or … gazillions other things.

  176. just a general thought about this ‘debate’:
    just because you can’t understand Einstein doesn’t mean you should conclude he is wrong.
    But I know my admonition won’t mean much since some people in Einstein’s day thought he was wrong, including Neils Bohr—and it’s still true today.
    I wonder if it’s jealousy that makes some people talk about Einstein the way they do.
    btw, I won’t be debating anyone here about if light follows the curve of space, and other things Einstein said.

  177. Dr. Svalgaard:
    It’s not the name that matters, “a rose by any other name is still a rose”; it’s the physical processes and conditions that are important. “… double layers are generated in currents resulting from plasma moving in a magnetic field.”
    Yes, we agree.
    “An electromotive force [mathematical equation] giving rise to electrical currents in conducting media is produced wherever a relative perpendicular motion of plasma and magnetic fields exists.” — Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    And this dynamic where plasma flows “through a magnetic field” is a ubiquitous occurrence in space as flows of plasma and magnetic fields now have been observed & measured as far into the Universe as man can peer with his apparatus. And this post concerns one of those processes where plasma is flowing perpendicular into a magnetic field.

  178. James F. Evans (18:35:13) :
    And this dynamic where plasma flows “through a magnetic field” is a ubiquitous occurrence in space as flows of plasma and magnetic fields now have been observed & measured as far into the Universe as man can peer with his apparatus.
    Perhaps there is hope. So, you agree that electric fields and currents in space arise because electrically neutral plasma containing equal amounts of positive and negative charges is moving across existing magnetic fields.
    What took you so long? And why the acrimony?
    And perhaps you would be so kind to reply to a few of my questions, such as
    Carla (15:21:10) :
    “I think Evans knows that the suns magnetic field is dipole generated and carried out on solar winds.”
    I don’t think he knows. [or knew; by now he should know – it would be nice if he would tell us that he has now learned that]

  179. Leif Svalgaard (19:25:07) :
    It’s based on:
    …new results, which consist of a series of theoretical mathematical calculations all answer no to this question…
    not on observation. The writers of the paper based their findings on ‘theoretical’ math.
    Observations that are yet to be made could show that the math for their findings was wrong. Meaning Neils Bohr could be wrong and Einstein right.
    Instead of calling it ‘uncertainty’ why not call it what it really is: ‘unknown’. Because really, isn’t that what it is? The more we learn the less ‘uncertain’ these things are, i.e., the more we know the less that is unknown and it becomes more certain.
    Instead of calling it ‘fuzziness’ call it ‘unknown right now’.
    There is more that we don’t know than we do know. I’m ok with that. Apparently Richard Feynman was too:

  180. More from Feynman about learning what we don’t know.
    This is how I view ‘uncertainty’.

  181. Leif Svalgaard (18:27:20) :
    On Einstein saying he was wrong about the Cosmological Constant:
    He may have stumbled on to Dark Energy. But Dark Energy may have acted in a way he hadn’t considered it could. I think his instincts told him there had to be something like Dark Energy even though he couldn’t get a formula on paper like he did with Special Relativity and General Relativity. I more so thinking his instincts were right but his head couldn’t put what his instincts felt in it’s right place. So that’s why he felt he was wrong.
    But if the theories about Dark Energy are correct then he was right. The concept hadn’t matured enough in his mind, that’s all.

  182. Einstein said on more than one occasion that general relativity was wrong if Dayton Miller’s results were verified.
    Dayton Miller’s results were verified.
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/12/confirmation-of-transmissive-medium-pervading-space/
    Of course, there might be a possible reconciliation in the light of more recent discoveries. Which throws up the interesting question: What was it that Dayton Miller was actually measuring? A cosmic scale effect without a doubt, but what? The internal motion of matter in the Local Interstellar Cloud? The Aether drift? The motion of entrained dark matter around the galactic centre?
    It’s a question that shouldn’t be brushed under the carpet because it was inconvenient to Einstein and the mainstream astrophysicists desire to consolidate GR as the new paradigm at the time.

  183. photon without a Higgs,
    “But if the theories about Dark Energy are correct then he was right. The concept hadn’t matured enough in his mind, that’s all.”
    Right, but for the wrong reason. Let’s not forget that the sole reason Einstein invented the cosmological constant was to allow for a static universe – neither expanding nor contracting. At the time, that was how the universe was perceived to be. Once Hubble had demonstrated the universe was expanding, he realised the cosmological constant was no longer necessary.

  184. Vincent (02:22:27) :
    photon without a Higgs,
    “But if the theories about Dark Energy are correct then he was right. The concept hadn’t matured enough in his mind, that’s all.”
    Right, but for the wrong reason. Let’s not forget that the sole reason Einstein invented the cosmological constant was to allow for a static universe – neither expanding nor contracting.

    Isn’t it still the case with BB theory that the total mass including DM works out to balance the expansion such that a balance point is reached as the expansion comes to an end?

  185. tallbloke (00:44:44) :
    Einstein said on more than one occasion that general relativity was wrong if Dayton Miller’s results were verified.
    Dayton Miller’s results were verified.

    Oh no, not that again. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayton_Miller for a discussion. There is general agreement that Miller’s finding was spurious.
    It’s a question that shouldn’t be brushed under the carpet because it was inconvenient to Einstein and the mainstream astrophysicists desire to consolidate GR as the new paradigm at the time.
    This is just blatant nonsense. Every scientist’s dream is to prove Einstein wrong.
    photon without a Higgs (23:29:33) :
    not on observation. The writers of the paper based their findings on ‘theoretical’ math.
    Einstein’s theories about relativity were pure theory, not based on any specific observations. Special Relativity follows from the Maxwell’s equations where the speed of light appears with reference to any coordinate system, and General Relativity is just pure genius.

  186. photon without a Higgs (23:29:33) :
    Special Relativity follows from the Maxwell’s equations where the speed of light appears without reference to any coordinate system,

  187. tallbloke (03:16:41) :
    Isn’t it still the case with BB theory that the total mass including DM works out to balance the expansion such that a balance point is reached as the expansion comes to an end?
    No, the Universe is flat. The FAQ I linked to has a good section on that: http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmo_03.htm Observations show that the expansion is speeding up, not slowing down.

  188. Leif Svalgaard (03:17:29) : | Reply w/ Link

    Einstein’s theories about relativity were pure theory, not based on any specific observations. Special Relativity follows from the Maxwell’s equations where the speed of light appears with reference to any coordinate system, and General Relativity is just pure genius.

    Not that I am now awed by Einstein’s genius, but we have to admit that the mathematics of general relativity were also already there developed by Riemann, in the Riemann geometries, as the Lorenz transformations were within Maxwell’s equations.
    His genius as far as I am concerned lies in an incredible ability to think out of the box using the available mathematical tools.
    It is the difference with the plethora of all those trying to prove him wrong: they may think out of the box but cannot handle the tools, confusing thought with magical calculation.

  189. Leif Svalgaard (03:17:29) :
    tallbloke (00:44:44) :
    Einstein said on more than one occasion that general relativity was wrong if Dayton Miller’s results were verified.
    Dayton Miller’s results were verified.
    Oh no, not that again. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayton_Miller for a discussion. There is general agreement that Miller’s finding was spurious.

    Wikipedia, and you, are wrong about this. Miller’s work has been vindicated and Shankland’s bogus dismissal of his work exposed.
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/12/confirmation-of-transmissive-medium-pervading-space/

  190. Leif Svalgaard (03:31:11) :
    tallbloke (03:16:41) :
    Isn’t it still the case with BB theory that the total mass including DM works out to balance the expansion such that a balance point is reached as the expansion comes to an end?
    No, the Universe is flat. The FAQ I linked to has a good section on that: http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmo_03.htm Observations show that the expansion is speeding up, not slowing down.

    ‘Observations’ which rest on large chunks of assumption, and no physical mechanism offered for the mysterious ‘acceleration’ of the expansion. As you admitted earlier when I asked you what was the ‘repulsive force’ you postulated as driving this acceleration, you replied:
    “We’re working on it”.

  191. tallbloke (05:13:06) :
    Miller’s work has been vindicated
    Not at all: http://arxiv.org/ftp/physics/papers/0608/0608238.pdf
    tallbloke (05:16:35) :
    no physical mechanism offered for the mysterious ‘acceleration’ of the expansion.
    Dark Energy. And no quotes are needed. The acceleration is observed.
    But your argument is specious. In the steady state theory [SST] ‘no physical mechanism has been offered for the continuous creation’ hence, by your argument, SST is false.

  192. tallbloke (05:13:06) :
    Miller’s work has been vindicated
    And BTW, Miller’s work was supposed to debunk Special Relativity and has nothing to do with Cosmology or GR or BB or Expansion, etc.

  193. Leif Svalgaard (03:37:04) :
    tallbloke (00:44:44) :
    Dayton Miller’s results were verified.
    No, http://arxiv.org/ftp/physics/papers/0608/0608238.pdf

    Yes:
    THE MEASURING OF ETHER-DRIFT VELOCITY AND
    KINEMATIC ETHER VISCOSITY WITHIN OPTICAL
    WAVES BAND
    http://www.spacetime.narod.ru/0015-pdf.zip
    and:
    Nobel laureate Maurice Allais has done extensive study of Miller’s results, and has concluded in his abstract: “It is utterly impossible to consider that the regularities displayed in Miller’s interferometric observations can be explained by temperature effects. As a result the light velocity is not invariant whatever its direction and consequently the principle of invariance of light velocity on which fundamentally does rest the special theory of relativity is invalidated by the observation data.” Allais adds: “Shankland’s and et al’s conclusions on the temperature effects are based on shaky hypotheses and reasonings. They are totally unfounded” (L’origine des régularités constatés dans les observations interférométriques de Dayton C. Miller (1925-1926): variations de température ou anisotropie de l’espace,” C. R. Academy of Science, Paris, t. 1, Sèrie IV, p. 1205-1210, 2000, translated from the French, p. 1205).
    Both properly cited peer reviewed publications, unlike your arxiv link.

  194. tallbloke (05:16:35) :
    ‘Observations’ which rest on large chunks of assumption,
    What assumptions? To make the above statement you must have studied the subject carefully and understood on what each observation rests and what precise assumptions it rests on. Please provide such a list.

  195. tallbloke (06:21:54) :
    Nobel laureate Maurice Allais has done extensive study of Miller’s results, and has concluded in his abstract: “It is utterly impossible to consider that the regularities displayed in Miller’s interferometric observations can be explained by temperature effects.
    Nobody is saying it is. He might as well have ‘it is utterly impossible .. can be explained by Global Warming’
    SR stands as one of the best supported theories of all time, e. g. http://edu-observatory.org/physics-faq/Relativity/SR/experiments.html
    Your blip about peer-reviewed is silly: Most AGW papers are peer-reviewed. What counts is the experimental support.
    As I’ve said everybody and his brother is trying to prove Einstein wrong, so you can always find some papers [peer-reviewed or not] that make such claim. A mark of a pseudo-scientist is precisely the failure to consider the whole and pick out the dubious.

  196. Leif Svalgaard (06:16:56) :
    tallbloke (05:13:06) :
    Miller’s work has been vindicated
    And BTW, Miller’s work was supposed to debunk Special Relativity

    Miller didn’t set out to debunk anyone, he was just a good careful experimentalist. It was Einstein who said the jig was up with GR and SR if Millers results were verified, not Miller.
    “My opinion about Miller’s experiments is the following. … Should the positive result be confirmed, then the special theory of relativity and with it the general theory of relativity, in its current form, would be invalid. Experimentum summus judex. Only the equivalence of inertia and gravitation would remain, however, they would have to lead to a significantly different theory.”
    — Albert Einstein, in a letter to Edwin E. Slosson, July 1925
    and has nothing to do with Cosmology or GR
    The possible existence of a transmissive entity pervading space, known as the aether since ancient times has nothing to do with cosmology – nice one Leif. 🙂 As for GR, see Einsteins words above.
    or BB or Expansion, etc.
    I never said it did, I made two different comments, about two different issues, in response to two different people. You are the one trying to confuse and conflate the issues.

  197. tallbloke (03:16:41) :
    apparently no one understands ‘expansion’ well enough to know how this universe will end. so lots of theories are up in the air. i’m no where near ready to say how it will end

  198. Leif Svalgaard (07:30:06) :
    tallbloke (06:21:54) :
    Nobel laureate Maurice Allais has done extensive study of Miller’s results, and has concluded in his abstract: “It is utterly impossible to consider that the regularities displayed in Miller’s interferometric observations can be explained by temperature effects.
    Nobody is saying it is.

    That’s exactly what Shankland, cited by you and wikipedia, said it was.
    And you’re both wrong.
    Temperature effects we’re very carefully minimized by Miller, and tested for in control experiments which went so far as to place electric bar fires near one of the arms of the interferometer to try to deliberately induce an effect. He insulated the rig with glass covers with corrugated cardboard over, and set the equipment up both in the basement at Case, and up on Mt Wilson, where the hut he constructed was specifically designed to minimize temperature problems. He even built a canvas tilt over the roof to be doubly sure.

  199. Leif Svalgaard (07:30:06) :
    A mark of a pseudo-scientist is precisely the failure to consider the whole and pick out the dubious.

    Another is to ignore a result because it doesn’t fit with the grand theory.
    As I said upthread, it’s possible Miller’s result can be reconciled with GR and SR, but it shouldn’t be brushed under the carpet. Which is exactly what Shankland, the astrophysics establishment of the 50’s, wikipedia, and you are attempting to do.

  200. photon without a Higgs (07:49:41) :
    tallbloke (03:16:41) :
    apparently no one understands ‘expansion’ well enough to know how this universe will end. so lots of theories are up in the air. i’m no where near ready to say how it will end

    Me neither. I brought it up, because I found it interesting that the two values in question very nearly matched and canceled each other out. I wish I could remember what they were, but it’s something I was researching a few years ago before the major accident I was in, and my memory fails me. I dimly remember it was something to do with the ‘event horizon’, and …. something else. :o)
    At the time, it made me think, “this is a clue that there’s a deeper underlying connection that would enable us to see the links between time, space and matter in a different light which is currently eluding us”.
    Oh well, maybe it’ll come back at some point.

  201. tallbloke,
    Has Miller’s experiment been replicated by anyone else? Part of the scientific method involves reproducibiliy, so if the experiment is duplicated and confirmed, then the results must stand. If it hasn’t been replicated, then it’s just one experiment by one person.

  202. Leif Svalgaard (06:25:14) :
    tallbloke (05:16:35) :
    ‘Observations’ which rest on large chunks of assumption,
    What assumptions? To make the above statement you must have studied the subject carefully and understood on what each observation rests and what precise assumptions it rests on. Please provide such a list.

    The assumption that the speed of light is always and everywhere constant throughout the universe, and the assumption that because we can’t detect concentrations of hydrogen molecules with our telescopes and spectrometers, it isn’t there, and doesn’t have any affect on redshift. Despite the fact that we know there are an awful lot of free hydrogen ions and atoms out there, between us and the galaxies we observe, and we also know that hydrogen atoms much prefer to go around in pairs rather than as singletons, and do so by a factor of around 10:1.
    I’m absolutely ready to listen and learn about current cosmological theory. Are you ready to consider the effects on it that different or altered light speeds may have?

  203. Following on from my last post, I’ve just noticed the other tallbloke link: Russian scientist Yu.M. Galaev published a paper back in 2002 which is destined to become a seminal work.
    At the moment I am slightly less skeptical, but I don’t have the expertise to draw any further conclusions.

  204. Vincent (08:40:20) :
    tallbloke,
    Has Miller’s experiment been replicated by anyone else? Part of the scientific method involves reproducibiliy, so if the experiment is duplicated and confirmed, then the results must stand. If it hasn’t been replicated, then it’s just one experiment by one person.

    Absolutely!
    http://www.spacetime.narod.ru/0015-pdf.zip
    Spacetime &Substance, Vol. 3 (2002), No. 5 (15), pp. 207{224
    c 2002 Research and Technological Institute of Transcription, Translation and Replication, JSC
    THE MEASURING OF ETHER-DRIFT VELOCITY AND
    KINEMATIC ETHER VISCOSITY WITHIN OPTICAL
    WAVES BAND
    Yu.M. Galaev
    The Institute of Radiophysics and Electronics of NSA in Ukraine,
    12 Ac. Proskury St., Kharkov, 61085 Ukraine
    Received November 15, 2002
    The experimental hypothesis verifi cation of the ether existence in nature, i.e. the material medium, responsible
    for electromagnetic waves propagation has been performed. The optical measuring method of the ether movement
    velocity and the ether kinematic viscosity has been proposed and realized. The results of systematic measurements
    do not contradict the original hypothesis statements and can be considered as experimental con firmation
    of the ether existence in nature, as the material medium.

    ether is the material medium, responsible for electromagnetic
    waves propagation. The experimental model
    basis [4-6] was, fi rst of all, the positive results of the
    ether drift search published by D.C. Miller in 1922-1926
    [7-9]

  205. Vincent (08:40:20) :
    Has Miller’s experiment been replicated by anyone else?

    By the way Vincent, Miller spent thousands of man hours repeating the experiments at different times of year, in different locations etc to be sure there was no bias.
    This in contrast to Michaelson and Morley, who spent a total of six hours playing with their toytown sized interferometer in the basement of Case university, where the thick walls and subterranean location all but blocked out the phenomenon. Even they didn’t get a completely null result as was claimed afterwards though.

  206. Leif Svalgaard (16:11:25)
    “phlogiston (15:06:12) :
    It is simpler than that. The ‘explosions’ that create electric sparks and aurorae are very filamentary [also being a plasma likes to bunch up – even the EU has that grain of truth], so particles are not spread out [although there are diffuse aurorae too], but ’spiked’. Once they start moving they are stuck on whatever [fictional] field line they happen to be on and ‘light’ that one up and [this is the important bit] gives it individuality and existence.”
    Your version sounds much more complex than mine. OK I went on too long, but the essence is very simple: non equilibrium scenario, mix in friction, result – pattern formation, attractors; natural examples everywhere. (Thus a very good book on this subject is “Deep Simplicity”, John Gribben, Random House, NY.)
    “sparks and aurorae are very filamentary” – why??
    “plasma likes to bunch up” – hmmm – that remind me of anything??
    “particles are not spread out … but ’spiked’” – why??
    “Once they start moving they are stuck on whatever [fictional] field line they happen to be on” – for “[fictional] field line” read strange attractor.
    BTW I have zero time for EU, that is not connected with this at all.

  207. tallbloke,
    On the one hand the experiment seems to suggest that the speed of light is constant, except for a small discrepancy. Yet, if the speed of light was relative then this would show up large and clear. So the results are puzzling. It seems to be saying that the speed of light is almost absolute but not quite. It’s from these tiny anomalies that great paradigm shifts sometimes occur.

  208. Vincent, as I challenged Leif above, we could think of the difference as a variation in the speed of light, but after all, we know the speed of light changes a lot depending on the medium. Look at how much slower it moves when passing through a block of glass for example. So if it is slower coming from one cosmic direction than another, this could be for (one of) several reasons.
    1) It’s spending a longer time coming through cosmic glass (Local Insterstellar Cloud?) from one direction than another
    2) It’s coming along with some sort of flow (Or Aether) in one direction, and swimming against it in the other.
    3) Your idea in this space.
    Einstein thought it was a big stumbling block to his theory.
    Leif contends SR and GR have been verified by other means.
    It’s a puzzle.

  209. Leif Svalgaard (19:03:06) : “What took you so long? And why the acrimony?
    And perhaps you would be so kind to reply to a few of my questions, such as
    Carla (15:21:10) :
    “I think Evans knows that the suns magnetic field is dipole generated and carried out on solar winds.”
    Dr. Svalgaard: “I don’t think he knows. [or knew; by now he should know – it would be nice if he would tell us that he has now learned that].”
    Sure, the Sun has a dipole magnetic field.
    But there are other magnetic fields as well.
    Each physical dynamic has it’s own results.
    The Sun’s internal dynamics cause its dipole magnetic field.
    The plasma flow of solar wind has its own magnetic field.
    The two are not mutually exlusive even though they emanate from the same source, the Sun.
    Why?
    Because each magnetic field has distinct processes. An internal process that causes the Sun’s dipole magnetic field and the flow of plasma concentrated from the Sun’s equatorial region, the helio current sheet.
    Actually, the answer for why Electric Double Layers, aka, “magnetic reconnection”, can happen midway between the Sun and the Earth for example, such as was observed & measured and reported in the following ACE news release:
    http://www.srl.caltech.edu/ACE/ACENews/ACENews88.html
    “Field line merging at the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) and the resulting disconnection of heliospheric magnetic field (HMF) lines from the Sun, has been controversial. The SWEPAM and MAG experiments on ACE have now obtained the first direct evidence for such merging and disconnection from the Sun.”
    Let me suggest a hypothesis why this “magnetic reconnection”, aka Electric Double Layer, is intermittent and varies to location and intensity: The plasma flow of the solar wind and its self-sustaining magnetic field run into the perpendicular dipole magnetic field (the Sun’s dipole magnetic field has the same shape as the Earth’s dipole magnetic field, think a bar magnet’s magnetic field), both the solar wind’s plasma flow and the Sun’s dipole magnetic field vary in strength and intensity and at some threshold of unknown dynamics this plasma flow of the solar wind (CME’s?) cuts across the dipole magnetic field and the result is a “magnetic reconnection”, aka Electric Double Layer, is the result.
    Sure, not everybody will agree and it needs to be tested by observation & measurement and repeated observation & measurement, but Science advances because of new ideas, not because everybody said: We know it all.

  210. tallbloke (14:01:47) :
    Vincent, as I challenged Leif above, we could think of the difference as a variation in the speed of light, but after all, we know the speed of light changes a lot depending on the medium. Look at how much slower it moves when passing through a block of glass for example. So if it is slower coming from one cosmic direction than another, this could be for (one of) several reasons.
    1) It’s spending a longer time coming through cosmic glass (Local Insterstellar Cloud?) from one direction than another
    2) It’s coming along with some sort of flow (Or Aether) in one direction, and swimming against it in the other.
    3) Your idea in this space.
    Einstein thought it was a big stumbling block to his theory.
    Leif contends SR and GR have been verified by other means.
    It’s a puzzle.
    ~
    Not that I’m really into all this, but here a little easy read that I stumbled upon this morning.
    Cosmic Currents May Move Faster Than Light
    posted: 19 January 2010
    07:38 am ET
    While nothing with mass can move faster than the speed of light, scientists now think some weird, faster-than-light currents may be the powerhouse for fast-spinning stars.
    The idea may sound heretical to one of most deeply held tenets in physics, which states that the speed of light is the ultimate speed limit.
    But the new proposal squeaks by on a loophole in that rule, which insists only that no mass or information exceeds the speed limit.
    Like Leif says. they are working on it.

  211. To the post:
    The heliosheath is magnetic bubble that is nearly spherical in shape.
    The heliosheath is where this “ribbon” has been observed & measured, possibly analogous to a projection screen for a movie (if it is a reflection of the heliocurrent sheet). Because this magnetic field is nearly spherical in shape, solar wind, charged particles, plasma, emanating from the Sun will tend to strike the heliosheath at right angles (the solar wind flows into the heliosheath at perpendicular angle).
    Per Dr. Anthony Peratt’s statement: An electromotive force [mathematical equation] giving rise to electrical currents in conducting media is produced wherever a relative perpendicular motion of plasma and magnetic fields exists.” — Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    And Dr. Svalgaard’s concurrence: “Yes, the electric current is created by the neutral plasma moving through a magnetic field.”
    It would seem “magnetic reconnection”, aka Electric Double Layers, would result and be continuous. There is support for a continuous process:
    Prolonged Reconnection at an Extended and Continuous X-line in the Solar Wind
    http://www.srl.caltech.edu/ACE/ACENews/ACENews105.html
    “Magnetic reconnection [Electric double Layer] is commonly invoked to explain a variety of space, solar, astrophysical and laboratory plasma phenomena. It has long been debated whether reconnection is fundamentally patchy in space and time or if, instead, it can occur in a quasi-stationary manner over an extended region in space. Direct evidence that reconnection commonly occurs in the solar wind is found in ACE observations of jetting Alfvnic plasma flows confined to magnetic field reversal regions. Multi-spacecraft measurements of such jetting plasma flows, known as reconnection exhausts, have suggested that they originate from quasi-stationary reconnection at extended reconnection sites (X-lines) in the solar wind. However, in events studied thus far one cannot conclusively rule out the possibility that reconnection was actually patchy in both space and time since in events studied to date each spacecraft typically encountered an exhaust for only a few minutes and sampled only a limited extent of the X-line.”
    What dynamics would result from a continuous process of “magnetic reconnection”, aka Electric Double Layer, at the heliosheath magnetic field?

  212. James F. Evans (18:48:53) :
    “magnetic reconnection”, aka Electric Double Layers
    It seems that you still don’t get it: the ‘aka’ is dead wrong.
    James F. Evans (14:34:36) :
    Leif Svalgaard (19:03:06) : “What took you so long? And why the acrimony?
    And perhaps you would be so kind to reply to a few of my questions, such as
    Carla (15:21:10) :
    “I think Evans knows that the suns magnetic field is dipole generated and carried out on solar winds.”
    Dr. Svalgaard: “I don’t think he knows. [or knew; by now he should know – it would be nice if he would tell us that he has now learned that].”
    The plasma flow of solar wind has its own magnetic field.
    It has not. Direct proof of this is that the polarity [and the strength] of the field in the solar wind is directly related to the magnetic field in the photosphere and this comes from there.
    tallbloke (09:33:57) :
    Vincent (08:40:20) :
    Has Miller’s experiment been replicated by anyone else?
    This is beginning to be humorous. Nobody is repeating this because it would be a waste of time. Let me try to explain.
    Eratosthenes [~250 BC] measured the circumference of the Earth by noting that at the summer solstice the Sun was overhead in Syene in Sudan [the Sun was reflected from the water in a very deep well], while in Alexandria the Sun’s rays made an angle of 1/50 of the full circle with the vertical. So if we knew the distance, D, between the two places [that were along a North-South meridian], the circumference, C, could be calculated from C = 50 * D. He estimated the distance as 5000 stadia by noting how long it took to make the journey by camel. The Egyptian stadium was 157.5 m long, so there you have a good measurement of C = 39,690 km, an error of less than 1%. Today we measure C to much greater precision [centimeters] using our modern methods, so it would make little sense to set out on camel back to replicate his result.
    It is precisely the same with Miller’s measurement. It is of historical interest to try to figure out how he got his wrong result, but special relativity is verified to many, many orders of magnitude greater precision than what would be possible with Miller’s method. So, we can with confidence put aside any discussion of Miller. What Einstein meant was that if the best measurements of ether drift would show a non-zero result, his theory would be wrong. We know today that Einstein shouldn’t worry.

  213. James F. Evans (14:34:36) :
    And perhaps you would be so kind to reply to a few of my questions, such as
    Carla (15:21:10) :
    “I think Evans knows that the suns magnetic field is dipole generated and carried out on solar winds.”
    Dr. Svalgaard: “I don’t think he knows. [or knew; by now he should know – it would be nice if he would tell us that he has now learned that].”

    I don’t see a question there, and you did not reply to any of mine…

  214. tallbloke (08:33:39) :
    Sorry to see about that accident. I hope you’re doing well now. 🙂

  215. Carla (15:45:40) :
    Apparently a scientist named Fritz-Albert Popp has found that signals in the energy field of the human body move at twice the speed of light. I’m trying to find a link. None yet.

  216. Carla (16:11:13) :
    ooops forgot (heh) link to that easy read article.
    http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/faster-than-light-pulsars-aas-100119.html

    Thanks Carla, but that’s old news. I picked it up on the sub-aether waveband three days ago. 😉
    photon without a Higgs (20:53:13) :
    tallbloke (08:33:39) :
    Sorry to see about that accident. I hope you’re doing well now. 🙂

    Thanks. There’s always something good comes out of bad, the car driver left me hanging in the tree and drove away into the night, but I’ve had the time to make a lot of new friends on the net since the accident kept me off work for a time.
    Leif Svalgaard (19:51:15) :
    we can with confidence put aside any discussion of Miller.

    “Back under the carpet you go”, sweep sweep.
    Nobody is repeating this because it would be a waste of time.
    I’ve given you the link to the 2002 replication three times now, but it seems physics done outside the HEPL labs is invisible to your eyes. Maybe it’s moving faster than light.
    It is of historical interest to try to figure out how he got his wrong result
    His result was proved correct by the replication by Galaev in 2002 you won’t acknowledge the existence of.
    Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.

  217. Leif,
    Are you saying that if Miller’s results were correct it would prove SR to be wrong? I don’t see why a tiny anomaly should falsify time dilation and the Lorentz transformation. It would just mean that there is something else going on we don’t understand.
    Nobody seems to have a problem with the fact that the rate of expansion of the universe is increasing, a fact that necessitates the invention of a new type of energy.
    Cannot both SR and Miller be right?

  218. Vincent (04:00:16) :
    Are you saying that if Miller’s results were correct it would prove SR to be wrong?
    Yes, but that would be if we had no other confirmation of SR. But we do and to a much higher precision than Miller, so if Miller were correct then all the other experiments that confirm SR must be wrong. And we know they are not. Many things in our modern society depends on and would not work if SR were wrong.
    http://edu-observatory.org/physics-faq/Relativity/SR/experiments.html
    So Miller goes under the carpet where he belongs.

  219. Leif,
    “So Miller goes under the carpet where he belongs.”
    Ok, if you say so. Did you read my whole post or just the first sentence?

  220. James F. Evans (18:48:53) :
    To the post:
    The heliosheath is magnetic bubble that is nearly spherical in shape.
    The heliosheath is where this “ribbon” has been observed & measured, possibly analogous
    ~
    Until the IBEX records movement for us, the ribbon is stationary in my head and reflects the motion of the heliosphere, leaving an imprint as it travels into an oncoming interstellar wind.
    Easy on them now, Leif. have a good day.

  221. No, Dr. Svalgaard, you are dead wrong.
    Electric Double Layers and “magnetic reconnection” are the same thing.
    As you have already stated this:
    Leif Svalgaard (14:15:15) October 29, 2009: “…
    Dr. Svalgaard presented Evans statement: “Frankly, the descriptions [of “magnetic reconnection”] are consistent with a plasma ‘double layer’”
    And Dr. Svalgaard responded: “Of course, nobody doubted that for a second. These double layers are generated in currents resulting from plasma moving in a magnetic field.”
    Dr. Svalgaard, the context of the above quotes is clear, back in late October you acknowledged that the names double layers and “magnetic reconnection” describe the same process.
    Today, you have claimed otherwise.
    I don’t want to hear anything more from you Dr. Svalgaard because you it’s obvious you will say anything when confronted with your prior statements.
    Have you no shame?

  222. tallbloke (08:33:39) :
    I brought it up, because I found it interesting that the two values in question very nearly matched and canceled each other out. I wish I could remember what they were,…
    I could be way off, but is possibly what is talked about in this video:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/programs/ht/rv/3013_05.html
    ————————————————————
    the whole series this segment came from is here:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/program.html

  223. Vincent (06:22:42) :
    Did you read my whole post or just the first sentence?
    The whole, of course. I [and Einstein] thought that it was clear they could not both be correct.
    James F. Evans (08:30:24) :
    James F. Evans (08:30:24) :
    No, Dr. Svalgaard, you are dead wrong.
    Electric Double Layers and “magnetic reconnection” are the same thing.
    As you have already stated this:
    Leif Svalgaard (14:15:15) October 29, 2009: “…
    Dr. Svalgaard, the context of the above quotes is clear, back in late October you acknowledged that the names double layers and “magnetic reconnection” describe the same process.
    I think I have made it clear that they do not. Hannes would rotate in his grave if he knew your distortion of the physics. Reconnection can lead to [but does not have to] parcels of gas with different properties, and double layers can form [but do not always] between these parcels. But if you don’t want to learn, I guess I’ll stop the educational process.
    I don’t want to hear anything more from you Dr. Svalgaard
    Fair enough, I recommend that you stay off WUWT, then. That would accomplish your wish nicely.
    tallbloke (13:03:29) :
    “So Miller goes under the carpet”
    And honest physics goes out of the window.

    Perhaps you can open up the ‘Millergate’, to expose all those dishonest physicists who have made our modern society possible.

  224. Well, no. But the vids were interesting anyway, so thanks for that.
    My general view is that it’s good that smart people who can juggle equations are working on several different theories. Most of them seem to be able to do that without telling each other that bits of their theories are to be brushed under carpets or censored out of existence. Especially solid empirical observations. They are of course free to say that certain things ‘don’t matter’ as far as their theory is concerned, but in general we “have to go where the observations lead us”.
    From a philosphical point of view, the ultimate theory of everything in which all constants have been integrated and all forces unified would have to look something like:
    Sigma (or ‘M’) (or Whatever you favourite symbol is) = Zero (or One) (or eleven)
    In fact, even the equals sign has to go, since the ultimate unified theory can’t be differentiated to separate concepts either side of a concept of equality.
    So the ultimate statement about everything is simply:
    “Everything is”
    Or as Lao Tzu put it a couple of thousand years ago:
    “The Tao that can be described is not the Tao.”
    Then at the next level down, the expansion of that would show the relations and proportions and interconvertibility between the forces and entities we differentiate in our ontology as gravity, EM, light, mass etc.
    That’s the tricky bit.

  225. Vincent (04:00:16) :
    Leif,
    Are you saying that if Miller’s results were correct it would prove SR to be wrong? I don’t see why a tiny anomaly should falsify time dilation and the Lorentz transformation. It would just mean that there is something else going on we don’t understand.
    Nobody seems to have a problem with the fact that the rate of expansion of the universe is increasing, a fact that necessitates the invention of a new type of energy.
    Cannot both SR and Miller be right?

    The answer would be “yes”, if, the order of magnitude of the effect seen is so small as not to affect the plethora of measurements that confirm special relativity.
    From what I have seen that is the assumption that sets aside these measurements as a test of SR, too small an effect.
    Now it could be that the errors are not calculated correctly, systematic etc since there is a day variation in the measurements, or it could be a real effect to be explained by one of the many theories of everything that are ready to pounce on any data.
    I have sat through a number of theoretical lectures where an ether is in effect postulated by the way people manipulate the equations. Let alone the famous vacuum sea with all those bubbling virtual pair creations from tiny black holes to electron/positron pairs that will grab those em waves and give them a handshake.
    So my take is that in the same way that Neutonian mechanics works to great precision for our everyday ( including launching satellites) life, special relativity is proven to great precision for the microcosm from transistors to elementary particles. That would not exclude a higher theory coming up within the errors with some sort of an ether after all, but not an ether that would be necessary for the propagation of electromagnetic waves,( the way that a medium is necessary for acoustic waves).

  226. anna v (04:35:45) :
    Now it could be that the errors are not calculated correctly, systematic etc since there is a day variation in the measurements

    I agree with most of your post Anna, but I’d just like to pick up on this point. There is no regular diurnal variation in Millers results. The variation is sidereal, and therefore cosmic in origin.

  227. tallbloke (13:06:34) :
    The variation is sidereal, and therefore cosmic in origin.
    If you plot noise against sidereal time and interpret the result as a signal, you will get a spurious result which you’ll interpret as cosmic. Had you plotted the same data against lunar time and interpreted the result as a signal, you would get a spurious result which you’ll interpret a lunar. etc.

  228. Please, Dr. Svalgaard, you are the last person who should be invoking Hannes Alfven. Alfven thought “magnetic reconnection” was pseudo-science, explicitly stating such. And, also, disagreed with “frozen in” magnetic fields as he stated in his 1970 Nobel Prize acceptance speech (I don’t know how much more public and explicit Alfven could be than to specifically reject the “frozen in” concept during his acceptance speech).
    And, Alfven was right to reject “magnetic reconnection” as pseudo-science when it ignores plasma flows, charge seperation, and electric fields to obsess about magnetic field lines (which are only an abstraction, lines on a map, anyway).
    But the scientific papers you kindly provided me reporting in situ data & analysis are first class Science – observation & measurement.
    The scientific papers reporting in situ observations & measurements of “magnetic reconnection” in space are another matter entirely. The papers (and I do appreciate your bringing them to my attention) are not the same as that ludicrous Stanford link about rubber bands and paperclips analogy or the Wikipedia entry that, again, obsessed on magnetic fields without hardly a reference to anything else.
    Rather:
    What the papers reported was electrons and ions lining up across from each other (an electric field), magnetic fields, plasma flows, movement of free electrons and ions, acceleration of charged particles, exhaust jets where electrons and ions were “jetted” in opposite directions (consistent with double layer behavior):
    A full picture of the physical forces, structures, and dynamics which are consistent with an electric double layer process; and as I stated before: First class Science.
    Hannes Alfven would be proud of these papers’ discussion of the physical parameters and proud of you for providing them to me (I sense he was a true teacher and a humanitarian — worthy of a Nobel Prize — wanting to spread knowledge to people interested in learning).
    What Hannes Alfven would not be proud of is inconsistent prior statements.
    The Stanford analogy and the Wikpedia entry clearly are junk science which Hannes Alfven would laugh at before dismissing as the pseudo-science they are.
    What would make Hannes Alfven turn in his grave is the obfiscation and denial that grips astronomy, today.
    Hannes Alfven would be very proud of the in situ observation & measurement and analysis & interpretation those papers represent.
    Dr. Svalgaard, providing those papers to me is a credit to you. I thank you.
    Inconsistent prior statements are not a credit to you.
    This thread has run its course, so I’ll leave it here for another time when an appropriate topic post is presented by our excellent, fair, and tolerant host.

  229. James F. Evans (15:25:22) :
    Please, Dr. Svalgaard, you are the last person who should be invoking Hannes Alfven.
    Hannes was a good personal friend of mine. And we have often discussed this. It took him some time to accept the existence of the HCS, but he eventually came around.
    Alfven thought “magnetic reconnection” was pseudo-science
    If ‘magnetic reconnection’ is the same process as ‘double layers’, then ‘double layers’ aka ‘magnetic reconnection’ is pseudo-science too. Unfortunately for Hannes, magnetic reconnection is an observed fact, both in spaces and in the laboratory: http://mrx.pppl.gov/

  230. James F. Evans (15:25:22)
    ..What the papers reported was electrons and ions lining up across from each other (an electric field), magnetic fields, plasma flows, movement of free electrons and ions, acceleration of charged particles, exhaust jets where electrons and ions were “jetted” in opposite directions (consistent with double layer behavior):
    A full picture of the physical forces, structures, and dynamics which are consistent with an electric double layer process;
    ~
    Thanks Evans.
    You too, Leif!

  231. Electric Double Layers in space are a fact.
    Magnetic reconnection that ignores plasma flows, charge seperation, and electric fields to obsess about magnetic field lines is incomplete and misleading. That’s why Hannes Alfven considered it pseudo-scientific.
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2009GL040228.pdf
    Readers will note after reading the paper above that plasma flows, charge seperation, electric fields, charged particle acceleration, and free electrons & ions being accelerated in opposite directions are all observed & measured and discussed.
    Consistent with double layer processes and behavior.
    Please, Dr. Svalgaard is does no good to distort:
    Evans wrote: “Or do you maintain, ‘The moving plasma, i.e., charged particles flows, are currents that produce self-magnetic fields, however weak.’ — A. L. Peratt, does not exist in that physical circumstance [solar wind]?”
    Dr. Svalgaard responded: “There are no currents in the escaping solar wind as equal number of electrons and protons leave the Sun.”
    Dr. Peratt was not referring to “currents” as in ‘electrical currents’, rather, moving plasma, quasi-neutral, equal numbers of electrons and ions, flowing plasma, which produce self-magnetic fields.
    This is correct way to articulate magnetic fields resulting from flowing plasma, not “frozen in” magnetic fields which is a hold-over from a formalistic MHD representation that Alfven, after developing the concept, himself, rejected in his Nobel Prize speech after repeated plasma physics laboratory experiments showed it was a misleading representation.
    Also, this flowing plasma does indeed produce magnetic fields independent from the Sun’s dipole magnetic field which is shaped like a bar magnet’s magnetic field.
    In example:
    A coronal mass ejection (CME), is an ejection of plasma as part of the solar wind and it has its own magnetic field independent from the Sun’s dipole magnetic field.
    As reported by NASA: “April 14, 2009: This just in: The Sun is blasting the solar system with croissants.”
    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2009/14apr_3dcme.htm
    “What is the orientation and strength of its [CME] internal magnetic field?”
    The above sentence strongly implies NASA subscribes to the view that a CME has its own magnetic field.
    “Coronal mass ejections are billion-ton clouds of hot magnetized [plasma] gas that explode away from the sun at speeds topping a million mph.”
    “That’s how CMEs get started—as twisted ropes of solar magnetism. When the energy in the twist reaches some threshold, there is an explosion which expels the CME away from the sun. It looks like a croissant because the twisted ropes [magnetic field] are fat in the middle and thin on the ends.”
    The CME has it’s own twisted magnetic field shaped like a “croissant” structured around the “flowing plasma” that constitutes the coronal mass ejection.
    This croissant shaped magnetic field of the CME is independent of the Sun’s dipole magnetic field. Sure, it interacts with the Sun’s dipole magnetic field, but the CME’s magnetic field is primarily dependent on the CME’s internal plasma dynamics for it shape and strength.

  232. James F. Evans (18:38:26) :
    You just don’t get it. Or do get it, but have a mental block about admitting it.
    Magnetic reconnection that ignores plasma flows, charge seperation, and electric fields to obsess about magnetic field lines is incomplete and misleading. That’s why Hannes Alfven considered it pseudo-scientific.
    You don’t seem to get that magnetic reconnection can occur when opposite polarity magnetic field lines are pressed together by the flow of the plasma in which they are embedded [frozen in]. Reconnection can also occurs without any plasma or electric fields, e.g. by simply turning a toy magnetic in air.
    […]are all observed & measured and discussed.
    Consistent with double layer processes and behavior.

    All of these things are connected with the magnetic field. Double layers have nothing to do with magnetic fields [some are even without currents].
    Dr. Peratt was not referring to “currents” as in ‘electrical currents’, rather, moving plasma, quasi-neutral, equal numbers of electrons and ions, flowing plasma, which produce self-magnetic fields.
    Moving plasma just flowing does not produce any magnetic field and in particular not the magnetic field in the solar wind.
    repeated plasma physics laboratory experiments showed it was a misleading representation.
    Modern laboratory experiments are quite nicely represented as reconnection: http://mrx.pppl.gov/
    A coronal mass ejection (CME), is an ejection of plasma as part of the solar wind and it has its own magnetic field independent from the Sun’s dipole magnetic field.
    As I have said several times, the solar wind’s magnetic field at low and medium latitudes does not come from the dipole fields, but from coronal holes and from CMEs. The magnetic field in a CME comes directly from the Sun, and is still rooted in the Sun when the CME cross the Earth. We know this from electrons streaming up and down the ‘legs’ of the magnetic ‘tongue’ extending from the Sun through the CME and back to Sun. The CMEs magnetic field is the Sun’s magnetic field frozen into the CME plasma.
    Because the Sun’s field is frozen into the plasma of the CME, when the CME ploughs into the ambient solar wind, its plasma and magnetic field are compressed. All of this has been well-known for thirty years. And now you know it too.

  233. David Stern in his http://www.phy6.org/Education/bh2_6.html
    discusses the acceleration of auroral particles, and notes:
    “An alternative acceleration process, promoted by Alfven [Brush, 1990] and by Block [1972, 1978; Goertz, 1979], centered on the existence of a “double layer,” an abrupt field-aligned voltage jump of appreciable intensity. Large impulsive electric fields were observed by electric field probes aboard S3-3 [Mozer et al., 1977] and the suggestion was made that they might be the signature of double layers. However, other possible explanations also exist, and no compelling evidence for the existence of such layers in space has surfaced since then.”
    The recent observations are evidence of reconnection [as the papers themselves note]. Nowhere in the papers do they mention ‘double layers’ as the basic mechanism. This does not mean [as I have said] that double layers cannot form here and there where conditions are favorable.
    I think I know where your reluctance to learn comes from, namely the EU cult, that strongly condemns magnetic reconnection [MC], but does embrace DLs, and by equating [with an ‘aka’] DLs and MC you can bring the recent observations under the EU umbrella without violating [much] the EU tenets.

  234. Leif Svalgaard (14:14:59) :
    tallbloke (13:06:34) :
    The variation is sidereal, and therefore cosmic in origin.
    If you plot noise against sidereal time and interpret the result as a signal, you will get a spurious result which you’ll interpret as cosmic.

    This isn’t what Miller did. He plotted light fringe readings against clock time, then found the the consistent and not noisy results matched sidereal time rather than Earth rotation time.
    You won’t look at Millers results in an unprejudiced and scientific way, and you won’t even acknowledge the existence of Galaev’s 2002 replication and confirmation of Miller’s 1926 results. Instead you seek to cast doubt on the work of a dedicated and careful experimentalist, without taking the time to acquaint yourself with the methodology.

  235. Dr. Svalgaard, you are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts…facts are stuborn things.
    And, yes, I get it and you don’t like it because it contradicts your opinion.
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “You don’t seem to get that magnetic reconnection can occur when opposite polarity magnetic field lines are pressed together by the flow of the plasma in which they are embedded [frozen in].”
    No, Dr. Svalgaard, magnetic fields are not embedded into plasma. Plasma which is motionless has no magnetic field, only plasma in motion has a magnetic field. The term “frozen in” is a misnomer.
    As Dr. Anthony Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory, an expert in plasma physics states:
    “The moving plasma, i.e., charged particles flows, are currents that produce self-magnetic fields, however weak.”
    When it come down to your opinion or Dr. Peratt’s opinion having more credibility, I’ll go with the expert that has been working at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1981 to the present with high energy plasma physics and researching astrophysical plasmas.
    Dr. Anthony L. Peratt’s biography:
    http://www.ieee.org/organizations/pubs/newsletters/npss/0306/peratt.html
    You worked in a plasma laboratory, from what 1972 to 1978 at Stanford, that’s over 30 years ago — much knowledge has been gained since then while you were working on computer programming for various companies and now on your own.
    You qualifications don’t measure up to Dr. Peratt’s.
    Dr. Svalgaard: “You don’t seem to get that magnetic reconnection can occur when opposite polarity magnetic field lines are pressed together by the flow of the plasma…”
    Yes, I’m sure Electric Double Layers can occur when opposite polarity magnetic field are pressed together by the flow of plasma which results in:
    “An electromotive force [mathematical equation] giving rise to electrical currents in conducting media is produced wherever a relative perpendicular motion of plasma and magnetic fields exists.” — Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “Reconnection can also occurs without any plasma or electric fields, e.g. by simply turning a toy magnetic in air.”
    Maybe, but I don’t see any scientific papers to that effect. Do you have a citation for that proposition? And, it wouldn’t do anything, anyway, in terms of accelerating free electrons and ions in opposite directions causing an electric current as there would be no plasma around the toy magnet.
    You’ll have to do better than that.
    Evans wrote: “[…]are all observed & measured and discussed.
    Consistent with double layer processes and behavior.”
    Dr. Svalgaard responed: “All of these things are connected with the magnetic field. Double layers have nothing to do with magnetic fields [some are even without currents].”
    “Double Layers have nothing to do with magnetic fields”???
    That’s a demonstratively false statement as double layers result from a plasma impinging perpendicularly on a magnetic field. And, the above statement contradicts your prior statement:
    Leif Svalgaard (14:15:15) October 29, 2009: “…
    Dr. Svalgaard presented Evans statement: “Frankly, the descriptions [of “magnetic reconnection”] are consistent with a plasma ‘double layer’”
    And Dr. Svalgaard responded: “Of course, nobody doubted that for a second. These double layers are generated in currents resulting from plasma moving in a magnetic field.”
    Yes, I’ve already presented that, but it bears repeating as it’s relevant to your statement’s credibility.
    Dr. Svalgaard, your a smart man, but even smart men can’t get around their own prior inconsistent statements.
    Again, if it comes down to your credibility or Dr. Anthony L. Peratt’s credibility, I’ll go with Anthony L. Peratt’s credibility on the subject:
    “An electromotive force [mathematical equation] giving rise to electrical currents in conducting media is produced wherever a relative perpendicular motion of plasma and magnetic fields exists.” — Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    And, since you already agreed with him, you should, too:
    “Yes, the electric current is created by the neutral plasma moving through a magnetic field.” — Dr. Svalgaard’s response to Dr. Peratt’s statement.
    Evans wrote: “Dr. Peratt was not referring to “currents” as in ‘electrical currents’, rather, moving plasma, quasi-neutral, equal numbers of electrons and ions, flowing plasma, which produce self-magnetic fields.”
    Dr. Svalgaard’s response: “Moving plasma just flowing does not produce any magnetic field and in particular not the magnetic field in the solar wind.”
    Again, if its your opinion’s credibility versus Dr. Peratt’s credibility — I’ll go with Dr. Peratt’s credibility:
    “The moving plasma, i.e., charged particles flows, are currents that produce self-magnetic fields, however weak.” — Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    “Dr. Peratt’s research interests have included numerical and experimental contributions to high-energy density plasmas and intense particle beams; explosively-driven pulsed power generators; lasers; intense-power-microwave sources; particles; high energy density phenomena, Z-pinches, and inertially driven fusion target designs.”
    http://www.ieee.org/organizations/pubs/newsletters/npss/0306/peratt.html
    Evans stated: “repeated plasma physics laboratory experiments showed it was a misleading representation.”
    Dr. Svalgaard responded: “Modern laboratory experiments are quite nicely represented as reconnection: http://mrx.pppl.gov/
    Dr. Svalgaard, you took my statement out of context — let me put it proper context for you:
    Evans wrote: “This is correct way to articulate magnetic fields resulting from flowing plasma, not “frozen in” magnetic fields which is a hold-over from a formalistic MHD representation that Alfven, after developing the concept, himself, rejected in his Nobel Prize speech after repeated plasma physics laboratory experiments showed it was a misleading representation.”
    Note the last sentence of the paragraph is the one you quoted and my sentence addressed why Hannes Alfven rejected “frozen in” magnetic fields and the paragraph addresses Alfven’s position on “frozen in” magnetic fields, not “reconnection”.
    Please don’t take my statements out of context for your own purposes.
    As regards the Princeton website’s statement on the physics — I find it propagates the same errors you do, no surprise, there.
    Evans wrote: “A coronal mass ejection (CME), is an ejection of plasma as part of the solar wind and it has its own magnetic field independent from the Sun’s dipole magnetic field.”
    Dr. Svalgaard responded: “As I have said several times, the solar wind’s magnetic field at low and medium latitudes does not come from the dipole fields, but from coronal holes and from CMEs.”
    I don’t recall you stating that on this thread, perhaps on another thread.
    No matter. Although, that actually sounds pretty much as I wrote: There is a dipole magnetic field and seperate magnetic fields associated with CME’s.
    From spaceweather.com:
    “The Sun is a big magnet.
    During solar minimum the Sun’s magnetic field, like Earth’s, resembles that of an iron bar magnet, with great closed loops near the equator and open field lines near the poles. Scientists call such a field a “dipole.” The Sun’s dipolar field is about as strong as a refrigerator magnet, or 50 gauss. Earth’s magnetic field is 100 times weaker.
    During the years around solar maximum (2000 and 2001 are good examples) spots pepper the face of the Sun. Sunspots are places where intense magnetic loops — hundreds of times stronger than the ambient dipole field — poke through the photosphere. Sunspot magnetic fields overwhelm the underlying dipole; as a result, the Sun’s magnetic field near the surface of the star becomes tangled and complicated.”
    http://spaceweather.com/glossary/imf.html
    I’d have to say the spaceweather.com statement is consistent with what I’ve been saying.
    It seems, Dr. Svalgaard, you just couldn’t bear to agree with me in spite of the scientific validity of what I wrote as backed up by spaceweather.com.
    As for David Stern’s statement, I don’t give it much credibility — I’ll go with Anthony L. Peratt of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    Oh, and by the way, is Dr. Anthony L. Peratt part of a cult?
    Dr. Svalgaard, give it a rest.

  236. I’m sorry, I forgot to address this statement:
    Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “The magnetic field in a CME comes directly from the Sun, and is still rooted in the Sun when the CME cross the Earth. We know this from electrons streaming up and down the ‘legs’ of the magnetic ‘tongue’ extending from the Sun through the CME and back to Sun. The CMEs magnetic field is the Sun’s magnetic field frozen into the CME plasma.”
    “The electrons streaming up and down the ‘legs’ of the magnetic ‘tongue’ extending from the Sun through the CME and back to Sun.”
    Actually, this sounds like electric current which, of course, generates magnetic fields, not a “frozen in” magnetic field at all.
    And here is support for my contention:
    Driving Currents for Flux Rope Coronal Mass Ejections
    Submitted on 23 Oct 2008
    “We present a method for measuring electrical currents enclosed by flux rope structures that are ejected within solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Such currents are responsible for providing the Lorentz self-force that propels CMEs. Our estimates for the driving current are based on measurements of the propelling force obtained using data from the LASCO coronagraphs aboard the SOHO satellite. We find that upper limits on the currents enclosed by CMEs are typically around $10^{10}$ Amperes. We estimate that the magnetic flux enclosed by the CMEs in the LASCO field of view is a few $\times 10^{21}$ Mx.”
    http://arxiv.org/abs/0810.4210
    To highlight: “We present a method for measuring electrical currents enclosed by flux rope structures that are ejected within solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs).”
    Not bad, not bad at all.

  237. tallbloke (13:06:34) : | Reply w/ Link
    There is no regular diurnal variation in Millers results. The variation is sidereal, and therefore cosmic in origin.
    I saw the plots of Galaev from your link. He has a day in August on page 30, and sidereal day is a few seconds shorter than normal day, so I do not know what you are talking about.
    There are no errors on his plots, and the word “error” appears only once in the paper in the context of criticizing metalic containers which, referring to a complicated theory, should shield the ether wind.
    In contrast there are very many repetitions of the Michelson Morley results, to tiny accuracies:
    Worth reading about the lazer age experiments.
    So ether as a medium on which electromagnetic waves depend for propagation is out, imo, and that is the crux of the matter.

  238. Miller conducted his experiments at various times of year and was rigorous in his control experiments. Wikipedia repeats the same old lies about Dayton Miller and Michelson – Morley and I don’t trust it as a knowledge source on this issue any more than it’s pages on global warming.
    Miller’s data sheets are still in the archive of Case Western University.
    Maybe it’s about time someone did a proper reassessment stateside.

  239. tallbloke (02:12:46) :
    Maybe it’s about time someone did a proper reassessment stateside.
    Tom Roberts at Fermilab has done this. I have given you several links to this. He notes: “Remarkably, the raw data of this experiment have survived (copies can be ordered from the C.W.R.U. archives). They were also re-analyzed in: T.J. Roberts, “An Explanation of Dayton Miller’s Anomalous ‘Ether Drift’ Result”, arXiv:physics/0608238. This paper explains in detail how and why Miller was fooled (using digital signal processing techniques), and performs an error analysis showing his results are not statistically significant. It also presents a new analysis that models his systematic drift and obtains a zero result with an upper bound on “æther drift” of 6 km/s (90% confidence). In short, this is every experimenter’s nightmare: Miller was unknowingly looking at statistically insignificant patterns in his systematic drift that precisely mimicked the appearance of a real signal. While Miller himself could not have known this, there is no reason to believe or accept his anomalous result today.”
    Galaev also did not perform proper error analysis.
    Roberts continue: “Miller’s anomalous result comes from averaging data—the elementary error analysis is indisputable and shows that his result is not statistically significant. Some modern authors even perform a complicated statistical analysis on plots of his run results vs. sidereal time, proclaiming there is a “significant signal”—they forgot to look at the raw data and compute the statistical significance of each run’s result: those are not significant, which destroys their house of cards.
    There is also an aspect of experimenter’s bias in Miller’s original result (and in the modern “re-interpretations” that find a “signal”). He clearly over-averaged his data, and the “signal” he (and others) found is an order of magnitude smaller than the resolution with which his raw data points were recorded. It is a fact of arithmetic that when averaging data one will obtain an answer, but an error analysis is required to determine whether or not it is statistically significant. People unfamiliar with modern experimental physics can impose their personal desires onto Miller’s plots and find a “signal” by ignoring the huge scatter of the individual runs and just looking at the averages. The quantitative error analysis shows this approach is woefully inadequate and the “signal” found this way is not significant.”
    Instead you seek to cast doubt on the work of a dedicated and careful experimentalist
    No need to cast doubt; numerous modern experiments confirm SR to a very high precision, so Miller’s claim should not be just doubted but discarded outright, which is rightfully done by the 99.99% of all physicists [all of whom you have declared dishonest]

  240. James F. Evans (23:13:04) :
    you don’t like it because it contradicts your opinion.
    It contradicts not my opinion [and scientists don’t have ‘opinions’ in the usual sense about scientific papers – instead they have ‘assessments’ of their validity] but all of modern space science. For the rest, your reply has been dealt with already with sufficient detail.
    Perhaps it is time for you to ‘give it a rest’.

  241. James F. Evans (09:27:10) :
    Dr. Svalgaard, you have forfeited your credibility.
    Coming from you, I consider this a compliment. I think it was Groucho Marx who said: “I wouldn’t want to be member of a club that would accept me as a member”.

  242. dbs, the discussion in the comment thread speaks for itself.
    Of course, fair-minded readers have to come to their own conclusion.

  243. James F. Evans (10:09:50) :
    Of course, fair-minded readers have to come to their own conclusion.
    And if they come to the conclusion accepted by modern space physics, they are not ‘fair-minded’ then?

  244. Leif Svalgaard (06:59:21) :
    tallbloke (02:12:46) :
    Maybe it’s about time someone did a proper reassessment stateside.
    Tom Roberts at Fermilab has done this. I have given you several links to this.

    You’ve given me one link to a paper on arxiv which is not published in a journal so far as I can tell.
    Reading T.J. Roberts paper, I note he doesn’t tell us what fractions of the sample of Miller’s results he used comes from the basement in Case Western University, and what fraction from Mount Wilson, where a stronger signal was detected for reasons Miller discusses, but Roberts does not recapitulate or address.
    I think for now I’ll stick with Nobel Laureate Maurice Allais who has done extensive study of Miller’s results, and has concluded in his abstract: “It is utterly impossible to consider that the regularities displayed in Miller’s interferometric observations can be explained by temperature effects. As a result the light velocity is not invariant whatever its direction and consequently the principle of invariance of light velocity on which fundamentally does rest the special theory of relativity is invalidated by the observation data.” Allais adds: “Shankland’s and et al’s conclusions on the temperature effects are based on shaky hypotheses and reasonings. They are totally unfounded” (L’origine des régularités constatés dans les observations interférométriques de Dayton C. Miller (1925-1926): variations de température ou anisotropie de l’espace,” C. R. Academy of Science, Paris, t. 1, Sèrie IV, p. 1205-1210, 2000, translated from the French, p. 1205).
    99.99% of all physicists [all of whom you have declared dishonest]
    Ah, the bad science inside the square brackets again [and outside as well in this case].

  245. tallbloke (12:52:55) :
    Ah, the bad science inside the square brackets again [and outside as well in this case].
    Ah, first you declare that honest science goes out the window if one accepts the high-precision modern tests of SR, meaning that if a scientist is honest, he shouldn’t accept such, then you call your assessment ‘bad science.

  246. tallbloke (12:52:55) :
    You’ve given me one link to a paper on arxiv which is not published in a journal so far as I can tell. […]
    I think for now I’ll stick with Nobel Laureate Maurice Allais

    Perhaps you also go with that other Nobel Laureate who is supported by peer-reviewed papers on AGW.
    No serious scientists today discards SR [as they must if Miller were correct – as Einstein said]. It is a hallmark of pseudo-science to uncritically suspend disbelief and rigorous science, and not just for one aspect but in case after case of dubious claims. You are, it seems, a prime example.

  247. tallbloke (12:52:55) :
    You’ve given me one link to a paper on arxiv which is not published in a journal so far as I can tell. […]
    Here is another arxiv for you:
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/physics/pdf/0506/0506168v1.pdf
    Note the may references to journal-published papers if you must.
    “5 Conclusion
    One hundred years after the publication of Einstein’s original paper [1] special relativity, and its fundamental postulate of Lorentz invariance (LLI) are still as ”healthy” as in their first years, in spite of theoretical work (unification theories) that hint towards a violation of LLI, and tremendous experimental efforts to find such a violation. Our experiments over the last years have provided some of the most stringent tests of LLI [6, 7, 8, 9], but have nonetheless only joined the growing number of experiments in scientific history that measure zero deviation from LLI, albeit with an ever decreasing uncertainty.”

  248. Leif Svalgaard (17:13:49) :
    first you declare that honest science goes out the window if one accepts the high-precision modern tests of SR

    I didn’t say that or anything like it. Your tendency to twist other peoples words reflects badly on you. I said that honest physics goes out of the window if valid conflicting results are swept under the carpet.
    Your argument that Miller must be wrong because special relativity appears to be correct within the set of assumptions which flow from it contains an obvious logical fallacy. It is a circular argument.
    This is why it may be possible to reconcile Einstein’s a priori reasoning and Miller’s empirical results within a better overarching theory.
    It is a hallmark of pseudo-science to uncritically suspend disbelief and rigorous science, and not just for one aspect but in case after case of dubious claims.
    It is a hallmark of propagandists that they seek to promote their own interpretation of reality by undermining other viewpoints with personal attacks and the twisting of other peoples words.
    You are, it seems, a prime example.
    Ditto.

  249. Evans (09:27:10) : “Dr. Svalgaard, you have forfeited your credibility.”
    Evans (10:09:50) : “Of course, fair-minded readers have to come to their own conclusion.”
    Dr. Svalgaard: “And if they come to the conclusion accepted by modern space physics, they are not ‘fair-minded’ then?”
    Typical from Dr. Svalgaard: Twist an opposing interlocutor’s statement.
    No, I was referring to your discussion tactics.
    tallbloke (00:24:36) :”I didn’t say that or anything like it. Your tendency to twist other peoples words reflects badly on you. I said that honest physics goes out of the window if valid conflicting results are swept under the carpet.”
    Svalgaard: “It is a hallmark of pseudo-science to uncritically suspend disbelief and rigorous science, and not just for one aspect but in case after case of dubious claims.”
    tallbloke: “It is a hallmark of propagandists that they seek to promote their own interpretation of reality by undermining other viewpoints with personal attacks and the twisting of other peoples words.”
    All too true.

  250. Tallbloke
    I do not think that there exists a physicist who would not be attracted as if by a magnet by valid data that would dispute the known laws of physics and/or show unexpected results. A demonstrated experiment of levitation for example would draw all physicists into delving deeply in the experiment and the error analysis.
    I remember when cold fusion broke out, how we all in my institute were absolutely mesmerized and read up on it and some solid state physicists tried to replicate it. For me, for example, the disillusionment came not from the repeat experiments but from the realization that the energy released was not of the order of magnitude of nuclear energy but of chemical energy: i.e. it was a property of the crystal releasing stored energy. And it was a disillusionment. I wanted it to be true as I think most physicists.
    What Leif and I are saying is that the experiments of Miller and Galaev do not have the full rigorous error propagation that is necessary for the claims made, and are noise within errors, in contrast to numerous new measurements of the lazer and atomic clock age. On top of that, SR is used and evident in all of current physics.
    It might be that at some level of significance an ether can be demonstrated, this has not been done by these experiments, and it will not be the ether that 19th century physics thought was necessary for the propagation of electromagnetic waves.

  251. tallbloke (00:24:36) :
    I said that honest physics goes out of the window if valid conflicting results are swept under the carpet.
    This is what you said:
    tallbloke (13:03:29) :
    “So Miller goes under the carpet”
    And honest physics goes out of the window.

    Nothing about ‘valid etc’. And the word ‘honest’ does not belong in the discussion. If a conclusion drawn from an experiment disagrees with dozens of later experiments, it is good science to dismiss it. You were saying that that is not honest.
    because special relativity appears to be correct within the set of assumptions which flow from it contains an obvious logical fallacy
    Nonsense, assumptions do not flow from a theory, but precede it. SR has a domain of applicability [non-accelerating frame of reference] and Miller’s experiment fall within that.
    It is a hallmark of propagandists that they seek to promote their own interpretation of reality
    This is the interpretation that underpin all of modern physics, so is hardly anybody’s ‘own’.
    James F. Evans (04:19:02) :
    Evans (09:27:10) : “Dr. Svalgaard, you have forfeited your credibility.”
    Talking about personal attacks…

  252. anna v (05:51:01) :
    It might be that at some level of significance an ether can be demonstrated, this has not been done by these experiments
    And as http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/physics/pdf/0506/0506168v1.pdf mention, “special relativity is today underpinning all of present day physics, ranging from the standard model of particle physics (including nuclear and atomic physics) to general relativity and astronomy. That fact continues to push experimentalists to search for new experiments, or improve on previous ones, in order to uncover a possible violation of special relativity, as that would most certainly lead the way to a new conception of physics and of the universe surrounding us. Additional incentive for such tests comes from unification theories (e.g. string theories, loop quantum gravity), some of which [2, 3, 4] suggest a violation of special relativity at some, a priori unknown, level.”
    So, in contrast to the notion that something is swept under the carpet and honest science thrown out of the window, experimentalists are more than ever pushing for ways to find violations of SR. To date none has been found, but the hunt is on.
    Miller et al. are not accepted as valid because of the lack of proper error analysis, simple as that.

  253. anna v (05:51:01) :
    What Leif and I are saying is that the experiments of Miller and Galaev do not have the full rigorous error propagation that is necessary for the claims made, and are noise within errors, in contrast to numerous new measurements of the lazer and atomic clock age. On top of that, SR is used and evident in all of current physics.

    Hi Anna. According to the analysis I have been reading, there is a consistent signal emerging from Millers averaged results from Mount Wilson, where he got a much stronger signal than in the basement at Case. If the Mount Wilson results are diluted with the Case results, it weakens the result, though it doesn’t eliminate the signal completely. I hear what you and Leif are saying about the way statistical methods have improved since Miller’s day though.
    Ironically, the inventor of the atomic clock, Louis Essen, also thought Einstein got it wrong. http://www.btinternet.com/~time.lord/Relativity.html
    He notes wryly that although his papers passed peer review, they never got published, and it was hinted to him that his career might be affected if he pushed the issue. Such are the pressures to conform to orthodoxy. He improved on Michelson’s estimate of the speed of light, and got it right to within 45m/s 20 years ahead of the laser interferometry result in use as today’s standard. A remarkable result.
    It might be that at some level of significance an ether can be demonstrated, this has not been done by these experiments, and it will not be the ether that 19th century physics thought was necessary for the propagation of electromagnetic waves.
    Miller himself concluded that the ether he believed he was measuring was not the rigid transmissive transverse wave propagating medium of the C19th, as it was entrained with the earth’s motion according to his interpretation of his results.
    Another possibility which has been put forward is that Miller wasn’t measuring a change in the speed of light, but a directional change in the force of gravity, acting on the arms of his interferometer.
    http://arxiv.org/ftp/physics/papers/0202/0202058.pdf
    I find all these discussions interesting, and inconclusive. The point is, even if the signal was smaller than the error, there was a consistent sidereal pattern to the results, and the likelihood of that being random noise over the number of runs he did is very low.
    By the way, it seems Henri Becquerel was working with the assumption that E=mc^2 in 1900, five years before Einstein’s much trumpeted ‘insight’. J.C. Maxwell speculated a lot about ether theories too. The history of science is much messier than the rewritten history fed to physics undergrads makes it seem.

  254. Leif Svalgaard (06:09:20) :
    If a conclusion drawn from an experiment disagrees with dozens of later experiments, it is good science to dismiss it. You were saying that that is not honest.

    Dismissing Miller’s results on the basis that they were temperature effects was not honest, as Shankland knew it to be untrue.
    assumptions do not flow from a theory, but precede it. SR has a domain of applicability [non-accelerating frame of reference] and Miller’s experiment fall within that.
    Yes, I mis-phrased. If you start with the assumption that c is constant, Millers interpretation of his own results will inevitably conflict with it. As I mentioned to Anna, thereare other possible interpretations, so we shouldn’t throw the broomstick out with the bathwater, or sweep the baby under the carpet. or something like that. 🙂
    It is a hallmark of propagandists that they seek to promote their own interpretation of reality
    This is the interpretation that underpin all of modern physics, so is hardly anybody’s ‘own’.

    This is the eternal tension between funded institutions which need to present a ‘united front with a consistent theory’ and scientists who make discoveries at odds with them. We should simply acknowledge this truism, recognise the uncertainties which underlie the assumptions, and not be sucked in by our own or any institution’s braggadacio. We must leave room for differing interpretations of data. Even thought experimentalists like Einstein and today’s string theorists.

  255. tallbloke (08:30:46) :
    We must leave room for differing interpretations of data.
    Only if the data is solid and the analysis proper, none of which applies to Miller’s. It is every scientists dream to prove Einstein wrong, so no-one is presenting a united front. And there is no tension of that sort at all in physics. If a funded institution can prove Einstein wrong, its funding far into the future would be ensured.

  256. tallbloke (08:30:46) :
    Dismissing Miller’s results on the basis that they were temperature effects was not honest, as Shankland knew it to be untrue.
    Link, please, to this assertion that Shankland was a liar, or what he ‘knew’. You are trying to cast doubt of another person’s work, by calling him dishonest.
    And, Shankland is just a straw man here, as none of the accepted tests of SR rely on him and his work.

  257. anna v (05:51:01) :
    What Leif and I are saying is that the experiments of Miller and Galaev do not have the full rigorous error propagation that is necessary for the claims made, and are noise within errors

    Galaev 2002:
    The confi dence intervals of
    the measured values were calculated with the known
    methods explained, for example, in the work [30]. The
    calculations were performed with the estimation reliability
    equal to 0.95.
    What is your objection?

  258. The confi dence intervals of
    the measured values were calculated with the known
    methods explained, for example, in the work [30].
    [30] L.Z. Rumshisky. \Mathematical processing of the experiment
    results.” Nauka, Moskow, 1971, 192 pp. (in
    Russia).
    I have to confess I’m not intimately acquainted with this work. 🙂

  259. tallbloke (09:15:03) :
    The calculations were performed with the estimation reliability
    equal to 0.95.

    First, that is a rather low reliability. We usually do not consider a result statistically significant if the level is below 0.95 [one sigma], so Galaev is just on the edge, meaning that there is a 34% chance that the result is spurious.
    Second, the reduction of the data is complicated, having to make assumptions about [as Galaev says] “the ether steady turbulent stream in the […] dielectric housing” [a cardboard box]. He asserts that “the value wpac does not differ essentially from the ether exterior stream velocity Wh”, but there is no analysis of the errorbars on either of these, so such an assertion may not be justified. There are many other approximations and assumptions throughout the paper, so no wonder that the scientific world was taken with storm when the paper was published.

  260. Evans: “Dr. Svalgaard, you have forfeited your credibility.”
    Dr. Svalgaard: “Talking about personal attacks…”
    No, it’s an assessment and conclusion based on your discussion tactics.
    REPLY: OK take a time out. I’m tired of moderating this. – Anthony

  261. anna v (11:20:22) :
    Here is a nice ppt talk of Roberts:
    I like his summary on page 43
    Amateurs look for patterns, professionals look at errorbars.

    Skeptics check under the carpet.

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