One of the heroes of the EU supporters is Hannes Alfven (Wikipedia). They rarely mention Alfven without mentioning that he was a winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1970 (Nobel) and that this gives him more credibility than other researchers. However, Alfven is not the only winner of the Nobel prize. There are laureates back to 1901 (Nobel Physics Laureate List), including a number of prizes related to astrophysics:
- 1951: John Cockcroft and Ernest Walton for studies in the transmutation of the atomic nucleus. Much of this effort was driven by George Gamow's (wikipedia), theoretical work on quantum tunneling for the nuclear reactions needed to power the stars.
- 1967: Hans Bethe (wikipedia) for solving the problem of stellar nucleosynthesis, building the light elements from hydrogen by a series of fusion reactions. Bethe did this work in 1939. A few years later he would be leading the theory group at Los Alamos as part of the effort to build the first atomic bomb. He would later lead the theory group for the development of the hydrogen bomb.
- 1983: Subramanyan Chandrasekhar and William Alfred Fowler for their work in nuclear astrophysics
- 1993: Joseph Taylor and Russell Hulse for demonstrating tests of general relativity in the binary pulsar.
- 2006: John Mather and George Smoot for the COBE measurements of the Cosmic Microwave background
So how does Alfven's Nobel Prize for MHD give plasma cosmology more credibility than the Nobel Prizes received by others FOR work on the standard cosmology? Is the prize Nobel or ignoble?
But what about MHD? Just what is MHD? MHD is a set of mathematical equations (Wikipedia) which describes the behavior of certain classes of plasmas. MHD works best for dense plasmas where the mean-free-path of the charged particles (the average distance between particle collisions) is small compared to the gyro-radius (the radius of the orbit of the particle in the magnetic field) of the particles. This means the plasma behaves much more like a fluid (hence magnetoHYDROdynamics).
• Magnetohydrodynamics at Scholarpedia.
• Computational Magnetohydrodynamics at Wikipedia
• Plasma Modeling at Wikipedia
• Plasma Physics at Wikipedia
Alfven's accomplishments in astronomy did earn him the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1967 and he won the Nobel prize for MHD which is used actively in astronomy today (including cases with less than infinite conductivity). The chronic EU claim that Alfven was ignored by the astrophysical community doesn't hold up to the facts. Like all scientists, Alfven had ideas that worked and ideas that didn't. His ideas that actually worked were clearly adopted and appreciated by the astrophysical community.
Most of the negative things about Alfven seem to focus around a tendency to cling too much to ideas such as Plasma cosmology that were clearly failures. One of the greatest problems I've had with Alfven's papers was his focus on quantities such as the total current in a system. While this quantity is useful for exploring constraints such as the energy budget (matching of energy inflows to outflows), it is otherwise a quantity very difficult to tie back to what an observation or instrument might actually measure such as a flux density, etc.
Many other Electric Universe 'heroes' developed mathematical models of plasmas as well. Anthony Peratt's galaxy model, received some examination because it was presented in a form that facilitated mathematical analysis. The problem is that all the evidence is that Nature didn't see fit to actually build galaxies that way (see "Scott Rebuttal. II. The Peratt Galaxy Model vs. the Cosmic Microwave Background", "Electric Universe: More data refuting the EU galaxy model").
Irving Langmuir, who coined the term 'plasma' also pioneered the mathematical analysis of plasmas and electric discharges in gases. He was the first to explore the effect of 'space charge' (Wikipedia) in a plasma, where the changing velocities of electrons and ions in an electric field can create regions of net charge density which can have significant effects on the plasma flow.
Considering the number of 'heroes' of the EU supporters were pioneers and strong advocates of mathematical modeling of plasma, EU's denial of plasma modeling could best be described as hypocritical or schizophrenic.