Friday, December 26, 2008

Electric Cosmos: Predictions

Hope everyone had a good holiday.

I'll make a few general comments here about the Electric Universe issue before getting back to my regular creationism topics. I apologize for the 'shotgun' scatter of the topics. I do reserve the right to return to this topic in the future, should something pique my interest or if something interesting happens with my “To Do” topics listed at the end of this post.

Of late, I have examined some of the posts and blogs on Thunderbolts forum. There are loads of flashy claims, but nothing of sufficient rigor that could really be called a 'prediction' in the scientific sense. The EU community seems to think that every astronomical image is something you make up a story to explain. For the EU community, 'you'll get a bright flash' seems to qualify as a 'prediction'. Their research does not consist of collecting data from the huge numbers of public archives and actually analyzing it, but of 'spinning' the latest astronomy press releases to their liking. They naturally hype the small scale stuff since the large scale predictions implied by their models fail so miserably.

Astronomy has long past the stage of taking pictures for aesthetic reasons. Modern CCD imagers record photon counts in specific spectral bands and coordinates that tie back to fluxes emitted by distant objects. Modern theories actually compute those fluxes to match to these observations. In modern astronomy, a rigorous prediction would be: expect a flux between x and y photons/cm^2/s between wavelengths of 300-400 nanometers when the object is at a distance of 2 kiloparsecs. Where are the equivalent predictions from the EU community, with the analysis of how they got the numbers?

The Thunderbolts forum allegedly hosts the 'brains' of the EU community - yet few of them seem be able to handle anything beyond the simplest analyses, most of which are below the level of high-school physics, and even then they are woefully incomplete. Many of the problems in the EU model could be examined at a level of high-school math and physics, yet these Ph.D. electrical engineers can't seem to figure it out!

Consider this video from the EU crowd on YouTube.

Most of their 'predictions' seem to come from misrepresenting well-established science, much like the creationists. Here's a summary of the predictions (bold) mentioned in this video, followed by some of my observations:
  1. Electric flash precedes explosion and more energetic than anticipated. I suspect this event has not been confirmed as an 'electric' event.
  2. No increase in water production in coma. Comets in the inner solar system (short-period comets), because they are more regularly heated by the Sun, may have lost much more of their water than long-period comets which receive much less solar heating.
  3. Surface with craters not expected for 'dirty snowball' model. Where is this claimed in standard model for comets?,
  4. Both of Saturn's poles are 'hot'. Not one hot, the other cold. Hot spot created by flow of electric current along magnetic field lines. A similar process happens on the Earth, just apparently not as persistent as on Saturn.
  5. Io volcanic plumes are actually electric arcs and would be hotter than lava. Claims the flows are too hot to be measured by Galileo's instruments? Moving volcanic plumes? Volcanic plumes move on the Earth but much slower. This is how the island chain of Hawaii was built. Volcanism on Io was predicted before discovery based on the tidal flexing by Jupiter. The temperatures and colors of the lava are consistent with the various forms of sulfur, spectroscopically confirmed on Io.
  6. Martian dust storms from dust devils? Frankly, this prediction makes no sense to me and I suspect it is probably a 'problem' manufactured by the EU community.
There is also a 'predictions' list on the Thunderbolts forum website: Some of these claims overlap the list above, but the one I am already the most familiar with is in regards to supernova SN 1987A.

Here's two predictions from the standard supernova model that are unexplainable in the electric star model:

- Spectral lines of Cobalt & Nickel in ejecta as predicted by SN nucleosynthesis models. Here's some links to the references and original papers.
- neutrino burst from SN 1987A, as predicted in core-collapse nucleosynthesis models
How do 'electric stars' produce cobalt and neutrinos?

Next, I'll summarize the failures of EU model predictions covered in the previous entries in this series:

An "Electric Sky" Response?

Solar Resistor Model:
Electric Cosmos: The Solar Resistor Model
  • predicts magnetic fields 1000-1,000,000 times larger than measured.
  • ignores that current streams of ions and electrons are subject to numerous instabilities which make them break up in short timescales.
Solar Capacitor Model:
Electric Cosmos: The Solar Capacitor Model. I.
Electric Cosmos: The Solar Capacitor Model. II.
  • predicts a solar proton wind 200 times faster than observed.
  • predicts energetic particle fluxes far in excess of what we observe. (protons a billion times larger). They are also far higher than the most deadly regions of the Earth radiation belts, meaning that interplanetary travel would be sure death for astronauts.
  • in situ measurements do not show a high-energy stream of electrons heading towards the Sun.
  • Without an external EMF maintaining the potential between the photosphere and heliopause, the Electric Sun will shut down due to charge neutralization in a very tiny fraction of a second.
So the big problem for the EU advocates is where is the 'battery' or AC generator that drives the Sun and other stars? Their response seems to be “Pay no attention to the EMF behind the curtain!”

Some final comments on the original Thunderbolts thread.

M5k says: “he raises a number of interesting points, especially in the “General Complaints“ section.” M5k is referring to my original document: “The Electric Sky: Short-Circuited”. I can find no followup to any of the issues I raise in this section, such as:
- Where are the robust numerical predictions from the EU community that others can test?
- Can the Electric Sun model reproduce the far-side imagery from helioseismology data that the Standard Solar model has achieved? I have seen no demonstration of this from them. These models are utilized to monitor solar activity for the protection of astronauts and satellites.
- and many others...

Heftruck says: “I never liked deducing “facts” from theory ..”
This statement ignores the fact that these facts are then tested against observations. This process works very well in areas where the science is well understood and even in many cases where the science is not well understood. It is this prediction capability that makes engineering possible. It was this process that helped discover the neutrino before it was detected experimentally, and was even contributed to the development of the atomic bomb - consider that the major players in the U.S. nuclear program, such as Hans Bethe and Edward Teller, were applying nuclear physics to understand the power source of the stars before they participated in the development of nuclear weapons.

So what was actually accomplished by the EU community in discussing my analysis?
  • They have failed to demonstrate any real errors in my analysis.
  • They have failed to demonstrate rigorously that the any revisions they suggest in my analysis will in any way solve the problems I point out in their model.
Finally, here's my current (sic) Electric Universe “To Do List”, subject to change:
  • Complete the Solar Capacitor problem, integrating the Maxwell field equations for the spherically symmetric steady-state case and the spherically-symmetric time-dependent case. Consider asymmetric models if time permits.
  • Read some of the papers by C.E.R. Bruce & H. Zanstra, referenced in the EU page on supernovae. Many of these papers are available freely online through the ADS.
We now return you to our regularly scheduled creationism topics...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Electric Cosmos: The Solar Capacitor Model. II

Now we continue an examination of the Solar Capacitor model, concentrating on the particle fluxes implied by the model.

One of the most fundamental principles in this question is the continuity equation. We assume that electrons and protons make the complete trip between the solar photosphere and the heliopause. Any losses due to impacts with planets are small enough to be ignored in the total solar budget (though the impact on the planets themselves could be substantial) due to their small size. Therefore, it is simple to show that the flux of electrons, j_e, and of protons, j_p, at any radial position, r, other than the origin of the particles, can be found by:

We also know that from the current density, j, and the mean particle speed, v, we can determine the charge density for electrons and protons by the fact that

From these relations, and the input parameters we've defined in the previous post, i.e.

Electron flux density at heliopause = 1e+9 electrons/m^2/s
Proton flux density at solar photosphere = 4.6e17 protons/m^2/s

Note that integrated over the area of their respective source surfaces, the total current will be the same for electrons and protons, a constraint that Dr. Scott claims will maintain charge neutrality.

From these boundary conditions and the physical relationships defined above, we can determine a number of characteristics of the particle fluxes at Earth orbit. They are summarized in the table below.

Speed (v/c):0.9999400.874387
Speed (m/s):2.998e+082.621e+08
Energy (MeV):4.606995.394
Density (m^-3):3.331e+043.810e+04
Flux (m^-2 s^-1):9.986e+129.986e+12
Flux (cm^-2 s^-1):9.986e+089.986e+08

Again, note that the fluxes are equal because they were chosen to pass the same total current at their respective sources. But also note that because the two flows have different speeds at the Earth's orbit, the charge densities will be different, a consequence of the continuity relationship above. With a surplus of protons, there is an excess positive charge density at this location of +4.8e3/m^3. We can use the same techniques to plot the charge distribution from the solar surface to the heliopause. The results are plotted in the figures below. To avoid the dramatic changes in scale because the flow density increases with decreasing radius, instead we scale the charge density by the charge density times the square of the radial distance. This gives us a measure of the amount of charge in each concentric spherical shell around the Sun.

Figure 1a (top) shows the charge density distribution of electrons and protons individually in the solar capacitor model. The density is multiplied by r^2 to better illustrate the relative density of the two charge carriers.

Figure 1b(bottom) illustrates the net charge density in the solar capacitor model. Again, the value is multiplied by r^2 to better illustrate the relative contribution of positive and negative charges.

One of the first results that jumps out at you is that over a large range of the distance within the heliopause, there is a NET POSITIVE CHARGE from 0.01AU to over 10AU.This is due to the fact that the fixed potential between the two electrodes (the Sun and the heliopause) create electron and proton streams that travel at different speeds. This keeps the charge densities different all along the path and the net charge does not balance to zero!

To be fair, one could tune the current emitted at the photosphere so that it more completely balances the electron charge density over this range.However, this requires extreme fine tuning. Matching the current densities of the electrons and protons does not guarantee a net charge density of zero, in contradiction to Dr. Scott's claim.

Next, let's compare these predictions of the Solar Capacitor model with some actual observations.

Plenty of satellites patrol the region between the Earth and the Sun: SOHO, ACE, Wind, more recently, STEREO A and B. They measure solar wind speed, composition, magnetic field, even electron energies. The data are all public. You can find some of it in places like the online archives and virtual observatories

If I examine some recent ACE data (December 14, 2008), we get fluxes for protons with energies greater than 10MeV protons of about 2 protons/cm^2/s. At energies above 30MeV, the flux drops to about half this value.

The solar capacitor model requires a flux of about 1e9 protons/cm^2/s at energies of around 990 MeV, nearly a billion times larger than the measured flux at this energy!

Next, we look at the low-energy (velocity) protons, such as from Table 1 of "Space Weather: The Solar Perspective" by Rainer Schwenn
Here, we see that the low energy flux is very large, but those don't help Scott's model.

For solar wind electrons, we can check "Kinetic Physics of the Solar Corona and Solar Wind" by Eckart Marsch:
which shows that the electron velocity distribution in the solar wind at 1AU is not towards the Sun, as required in the solar capacitor model, but largely isotropic (with some enhancement along the magnetic field direction).

We can also examine the 27-day history of the solar electron flux at geostationary orbit
Here, we see that in situ measurements demonstrate there is no stream of electrons inbound towards the Sun, contrary to the predictions of the solar capacitor model!

So why aren't the EU advocates talking about it?

Next, let's compare the particle flux predicted for the Solar capacitor to the flux of particles trapped in the Earth's radiation belts

What do we find? Protons with an energy greater than 10MeV have a flux of 1e5/cm^2/s. Electrons with energies greater than 1MeV have a flux of 1e6/cm^2/s

These peak fluxes at these energies are fatal doses for astronauts! They also do a notorious amount of damage to spacecraft electronics unless the electronics are radiation hardened.

Yet the steady electron and proton fluxes of the solar wind predicted to power the solar capacitor model is 100-1000 times higher than the flux in the Earth's radiation belts!

Note that this is the STEADY flux in the solar capacitor model. What does it imply about the radiation shielding required to protect astronauts for interplanetary travel? What does it say for the prospects of humans going to other planets? Remember also, that the Moon is outside the Earth's magnetosphere, exposed to this flow, for most of its orbit. What chances do astronauts have on the Moon?

There are a number of interesting predictions by this model with the EU advocates don't talk about. Here's a couple off the top of my head.
  1. What is the total energy in the outbound proton flow?
  2. If you examine these results closely, you may find that they reveal another physical inconsistency in Scott's model. Can you identify it? Can you setup how you would solve it and show the results?

Can you think of more?