Saturday, August 7, 2010

Electric Universe: Real Plasma Physicists Use Mathematical Models!

One of the problems with Electric Universe (EU) claims is they seem incapable of producing mathematical models that can be used by other researchers to compare the predictions of their theories to other observations and experiments.  The common EU excuse is that plasma behavior is too complex to be modeled mathematically.  But that excuse reveals an almost schizophrenic mindset of the EU community.

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
Many of these other winners are for achievements which EU claims are not valid science.  So what makes Alfven's claims about plasma cosmology more valid when he was given the award for the development of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), NOT his work on plasma cosmology?

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.

21 comments:

Siggy_G said...

I think you are mixing the cards a bit, regarding Electric Universe supporter's critic towards mathematical models. They are critical to such astrophysical models and entities that really have their foundation as mathematical fudge factors, turned into physical objects, in order to compensate for observational discrepancies. The observed dynamics and force don't match what's calculated according to the observed "known" mass - and while assuming "empty space" and electric neutrality. So, additional unknown entities with repulsive or attractive properties have been added and intriguingly named. However, plasma cosmology and the electric universe attempt to see dynamics in recognition of space being plasma in various densities (inhomogenous), meaning that relative motions occur. Non-equilibrium plasma often consists of current-conducting filaments, that can pinch into condensed states. (I will not elaborate on the models here – this should be studied separately).

There is also the critic that a simulator is restricted to the amount of parameters and known dynamics that one operates with, whereas natural dynamics may surprise us (not unheard of in cosmology). This is why EU emphasizes experimental basis and verification, as once underlined by noble people like Tesla, Birkeland and Alfven. I would like to ask; why don't astrophysicists attempt to try out mathematical modeling of plasmas and electric currents (discharge configurations) in relation to galactic scenarios? I'm sure EU supporters would welcome such attempts, at least as 3d illustrations of the dynamics. However, the main problem will still be recognizing which values to operate with in such simulations. I guess this is where Alfven and Peratt's attempts are the only few that tries to e.g. see measured magnetic fields as a co-product of electric currents in space, and strong synchrotron or x-ray radiation as an effect of Bennet pinched electric currents. This is experimentally verified and could be extrapolated to galactic scenarios. On the contrary, current models assume gravity, mostly by hypothetical entities, to be the only possible kinetic parameter at play. In other words, a funny way of mathematical modeling.

As a closing comment, I think it's a pity that there haven't been developed new computer models (since Peratt's of 1986) taking into account all the assembled dynamics in an electric universe. I think however this is being looked into at the moment...

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

Pointing attention to the mote in my eye while ignoring the board in your own?

Instead of a simple particle that doesn't interact strongly with our current technology, EU invokes:

* invisible EMF generators around the cosmos to supply particles and energy to gigantic Birkeland currents that must contain far more energy than a galaxy. Where are these? What powers them? All the Birkeland currents we've identified in magnetospheric physics have a clearly defined particle energy source.

* In the reference you mention in the earlier comment thread, you invoke the synchrotron emission as evidence for the Peratt model. Yet then you turn around and try to hide synchrotron emission via Debye screening. What is the difference between these two configurations that in one case they will have detectable emission and the other they will not? I have yet to find any evidence, experimental or theoretical, that Debye screening can inhibit synchrotron radiation, and I have strong physical reasons to think that it cannot. Unless you can provide evidence to the contrary, I highly suspect you made this process up to get yourself out of a corner.

* To salvage the solar resistor model, which Thornhill calls a z-pinch, one must explicitly violate Ampere's circuital Law and/or conservation of energy to keep the heliospheric magnetic field from becoming larger than measured by factors of thousands.

EU's 'experimental basis and verification' is very weak since it appears to be based only on what 'looks like an electric discharge'. All of EU's mathematical models presented to date 'explain' one or two parameters, then fail on many others.

I've often suspected that the appeal of EU to creationists is EU's repeated invocation of a cosmic electrical engineer, even if it looks like the engineer must be Rube Goldberg.

It is one thing to invoke a phenonmenon below our current detection thershold. That is an engineering limitation which might be resolved with time & effort. It is another to invoke magical behavior in processes we understand well. Researchers who start pulling that stunt soon have a difficult time finding funding.

Dave Smith said...

Due to the high number of misconceptions/errors to be addressed in Tom Bridgman's post, and the limitations on comment length, my refutation is given in four parts.

Refuting pseudoskepticism, Part 1

WTB:
"One of the problems with Electric Universe (EU) claims is they seem incapable of producing mathematical models that can be used by other researchers to compare the predictions of their theories to other observations and experiments. ..."

DS:
Not true. The mathematics is all there, in the appropriate books and papers to which EU theorists frequently refer. Physics of a Plasma Universe by Anthony L. Peratt. Cosmical Electrodynamics and Cosmic Plasma by Hannes Alfven, and many more besides. Are you proposing their math is wrong?
_____

WTB:
"... The common EU excuse is that plasma behavior is too complex to be modeled mathematically. ..."

DS:
Not true. EU theorists have never said that plasma behavior is too complex to be modeled mathematically. It is difficult, but certainly not impossible. EU theorists are not alone in this opinion:

Hannes Alfven:
"Most theoretical physicists looked down on this field [electrical discharges in gases] which was complicated and awkward . The plasma exhibited striations, double layers, and an assortment of oscillations and instabilities . The electron temperature was often found to be one or two orders of magnitude larger than the gas temperature, with the ion temperature intermediate . In short, it was a field which was not well suited for mathematically elegant theories.

[...]

The theories [kinetic theory of ordinary gases] were mathematically elegant and claimed to derive all of the properties of a plasma from first principles . In reality, this was not true . Because of the complexity of the problem, a number of approximations were necessary which were not always appropriate . The theories had very little contact with experimental plasma physics; all awkward and complicated phenomena which had been observed in the study of discharges in gases were simply neglected.

[...]

The development of the theories [as opposed to laboratory experimentation] continued because they largely dealt with phenomena in regions of space where no real check was possible . The fact that the basis of several of the theories had been proved to be false in the laboratory had very little effect . One said that this did not necessarily prove that they must also be false in the cosmos! Much work was done in developing these theories, leading to a gigantic structure of speculative theories which had no empirical support.

[...]

... The plasma in space turned out to be just as complicated as laboratory plasmas and to follow the same basic laws. ..."

Hannes Alfven, Cosmic Plasma (1981)
_____

WTB:
"But that excuse reveals an almost schizophrenic mindset of the EU community."

DS:
I'll treat that comment with the contempt it deserves. Such statements are totally out of place within scientific discourse, a fact of which you should already be aware.
_____
Submitted approx: Friday, 13 August 2010 at 00:05 UTC

Dave Smith said...

Refuting pseudoskepticism, Part 2

WTB:
"One of the heroes of the EU supporters is Hannes Alfven ..."

DS:
Again, this is not appropriate in scientific discourse. Supporters are just that, supporters. Your use of the word "hero" three times indicates an emotional stance, not a scientific one.

Alfven's work is important to EU, as is that of Kristian Birkeland, Irving Langmuir, Anthony Peratt (a student of Alfven), Halton Arp (research assistant to Edwin Hubble), and many others besides. I don't know of any EU theorists who describe any of these as their "hero".
_____

WTB:
"... They rarely mention Alfven without mentioning that he was a winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1970 and that this gives him more credibility than other researchers. ..."

DS:
Acknowledging a Nobel prize is a matter of professional courtesy and respect when citing the contributions of a Laureate in support of your work. No EU theorist I know of has EVER stated that that gives him more credibility than other researchers.

His credibility is established by many other accolades;

Professor of Theoretical Electrodynamics at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm (1940 - 1945); Professor of Electronics (1945 - 1964); Professor of Plasma Physics (1964 - 1973); Professor at the University of California, San Diego, since 1967.

Author of Cosmical Electrodynamics (Oxford, 1950); Cosmical Electrodynamics (2nd ed.) (with C.-G. Falthammer, oxford, 1963; Evolution of the Solar System (with G. Arrhenius; NASA, 1976); Cosmic Plasma (Riedel, 1981) and several popular science books.

Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Akademia NAUK (USSR), the Yugoslavian Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society and Life Fellow of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE).

Awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1967), the Nobel Prize in Physics (1970), the Gold Medal of the Franklin Institute (1971), the Lomonosov Medal of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1971), and the Bowie Medal of the American Geophysical Union (1988).

Editorial note on:
Hannes Alfven, Cosmology in the Plasma Universe: An Introductory Exposition.
IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Vol. 18, No. 1, February 1990.

- and his hundreds of peer-reviewed papers;

http://public.lanl.gov/alp/plasma/downloads/Hannes%20Alfven%20Papers%20%20Containe

One of his books, Cosmic Plasma, was also essentially peer-reviewed. It was published in the Astrophysics and Space Science Library Volume 82. "A series of books on the recent developments of space science and of general geophysics and astrophysics published in connection to the journal Space Science Reviews" (with an editorial board of 11 scientists from 10 world-wide institutions) and was supported by NASA and the NSF, among others.
_____
Submitted approx: Saturday, 14 August 2010 at 11:20 UTC

Dave Smith said...

Refuting pseudoskepticism, Part 3

WTB:
"... So what makes Alfven's claims about plasma cosmology more valid when he was given the award for the development of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), NOT his work on plasma cosmology?"

DS:
Apart from the many accolades already mentioned above, MHD IS plasma physics, usually relating to the dense plasma of the Sun etc. Our solar system being part of the cosmos, MHD IS plasma cosmology. The distinction between MHD and the intergalactic currents which Alfven also wrote about, is mostly a matter of DENSITY of the plasma concerned. Sparse (or less-dense) plasma requires different equations than does dense plasma. Considering that MHD IS about space plasmas, your own misunderstanding invalidates your comment.

Helpful hint:
Some Wikipedia editors (you link to Wikipedia a lot, something I've not seen from other scientists) seem to have a certain level of contempt for plasma cosmology. Wikipedia is not considered a scholarly source in any educational institution of which I am aware, and you would do well to procure your science knowledge from more reliable sources.
_____

WTB:
"The chronic EU claim that Alfven was ignored by the astrophysical community doesn't hold up to the facts. ..."

DS:
Yet another display of a lack of understanding of what EU theorists actually claim. Alfven was not ignored outright by the astrophysical community. However, his Nobel lecture was essentially a plea for astrophysicists not to allow theoretical physics to override empirical evidence, which in part equates to not using MHD calculations with regard to the less-dense plasmas of the broader cosmos. It is this which has fallen on deaf ears.

Hannes Alfven:
"The cosmical plasma physics of today [1970] 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."

Plasma physics, space research and the origin of the solar system.
Nobel Lecture (1970)

DS:
Table 1 in that paper, includes the following observations:

- "Frozen-in picture [of magnetic field lines in plasma] often completely misleading."
- "It is equally important to draw the current lines [in addition to magnetic field lines] and discuss the electric circuit."
- "Electrostatic double layers are of decisive importance in low density plasmas."
_____
Submitted approx: Saturday, 14 August 2010 at 11:20 UTC

Dave Smith said...

Refuting pseudoskepticism, Part 4

WTB:
"... 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. ..."

DS:
Considering the plethora of work mentioned above, much of which is peer-reviewed and involved plasma in the cosmos, this opinion is clearly at odds with the evidence.
_____

WTB:
"... 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."

DS:
I thought quantification was the demand of the mathematician by which all 'legitimate research' should be judged. The quantification given by Alfven is exactly the same quantification which EU pseudoskeptics, and yourself, allege doesn't exist within EU theory.

Please give references to where Alfven's papers (plural) were focussed on the total current in a system. My reading of his work indicates that he had no such narrow focus, but rather had both a broad and exemplary understanding of the behavior of plasmas both in the laboratory and in the cosmos.
_____

WTB:
"... 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 ..."

DS:
"All the evidence" in this case, consists of dark matter, dark energy, dark flow, black holes ... none of these invokations has been observed nor replicated in any form in laboratory experiments. There is NO empirical evidence that these things have anything to do with reality, hence nature.

Peratt's PIC simulations reproduced galaxy formulation accurately using the principles learned in the laboratory of plasma physics. Interacting Birkeland currents, combined with the gravitational force of only the particles within the simulation, worked admirably without the need for dark matter or any of it's cousins.

http://www.plasma-universe.com/Galaxy_formation
_____

WTB:
"Irving Langmuir, who coined the term 'plasma' ... on the plasma flow."

DS:
Langmuir is also acknowledged by EU theorists in the context of the history of the theory. What is your point?
_____

WTB:
"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."

DS:
Yet again, you display a complete lack of knowledge of EU theory. Such plasma modeling as done by Peratt and Alfven mentioned above, is exactly the material we refer people to when they ask for mathematical support for the theory. It is my advise that before criticising EU further, you would do well to acquaint yourself with what the actual theorists write, and with the behavior of plasmas both in the laboratory and in the cosmos, rather than what you find on forums or in Wikipedia.

Cheers, Dave Smith.
Submitted approx: Saturday, 14 August 2010 at 11:20 UTC

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

Your quotes from Alfven, as well as the comments and quote on pg 126 of Don Scott's "The Electric Sky", on the progress in mathematical modeling of plasmas, imply that all attempts, past, present (and future?) have failed for reasons that are basically mysterious and by implication, unsolvable. If it were otherwise, then where are the EU mathematical models? (You might want to hold off on answering that, I have two more posts on mathematical plasma modeling ;^)

What do you claim to be the EU mathematical models? Alfven & Peratt references approaching 20 years old? Got anything NEW done in THIS century? Or are you claiming that the Peratt model was 'perfect' and not subject to question or even revision? Astronomers have been collecting more measurements and revising/refining their models. Peratt has not resolved the synchrotron emission problem or the elemental abundance problem. Even Peratt expected the CMB maps to show 'spaghetti-like' streams across the sky - yet another failure for his model. Has the Peratt model been revised to compare the latest data? If so, where? Your reliance on nearly 20-year old, and older, references suggest EU research is essentially stagnant, or non-existent.

Let's summarize:

* Alfven: All mathematical models of plasmas or discharges are unreliable.

* Peratt: Claims a successful model of galaxy formation from mathematical plasma model

Both of these statements CANNOT be true!

As for the 'experimental' justification for EU, let me know when you get 2*10^30 kg of hydrogen & helium together and hook it up to electrodes to prove the Sun works the way you claim. Otherwise your theories don't meet your own standards of validation. Claiming the Sun is an electric discharge because it has some characteristics that 'look like' an electric discharge is more pareidolia than experimental validation.

In regards to my use of Wikipedia, if I know of a better source on a given scientific topic, I use it. If it is correct in the points I am trying to make, it is sufficient. I used Scholarpedia because I thought it had a better MHD page.

I distinguish between cosmic plasmas (which are well established) vs. Plasma cosmology (Peratt Model, cosmic-scale electric currents, etc.) and Electric Universe (Electric Sun, Electric comets, etc. much of which Alfven & Peratt did not subscribe to). That is more consistent with it's use in the professional community.

While partially meant as sarcasm, I used the term 'hero' as a metaphor for the classic 'always right, never wrong' persona. Your continued avoidance of the problems with the Peratt model suggest you don't even acknowledge the problems which Peratt himself recognized. That, combined with your use of old texts and the almost scriptural reproduction of quotes from Alfven suggest 'hero' is perhaps the wrong term - I should have used 'high priest'.

For my Alfven criticisms, the details can be found in "The Electric Sky, Short-Circuited", pgs 2, 24, 35, 42. The circuit analogy has limited uses in cosmic plasma for the same reasons that a pipe analogy is of limited use in describing ocean currents.

Siggy_G said...

Tom,
In response to comment #2: I already responded among the previous blog comments that I misinterpreted your original scenario as some proposed collective spiraling drift. I then pointed to why the Birkeland currents are taken to be low density overall and low emissive, but to then emit more strongly as they are pinched or interactive.

As to the emphasized irrelevance of Hannes Alfven's Nobel prize in relation to plasma cosmology, there is an interesting similarity. Should we belittle Albert Einstein's contributions as well, because he was given the award for his work on the photoelectric effect, NOT his Theory of Relativity as broadly applied to standard cosmology?

When it comes to the other mentioned Nobel prize winners, then yes, obviously their work is of relevance for models that assume stars being internally driven by nuclear reactions. When EU (as an extension of Plasma cosmology notions) describes an "environmental" process, where stars are focal points for electric currents (briefly put), nuclear furnace models would be invalid. It is a difference in approach as to how we try to describe the processes in the universe – or whether or not we acknowledge an overall role of charged particle drifts within an inhomogenous plasma universe.

Alfven's work on plasma cosmology was largely ignored, evidently, while the aspects that could coincide with established models were adopted, with the restricted empirical possibility given.

Anonymous said...

"I would like to ask; why don't astrophysicists attempt to try out mathematical modeling of plasmas and electric currents (discharge configurations) in relation to galactic scenarios? I'm sure EU supporters would welcome such attempts, at least as 3d illustrations of the dynamics." - Siggy_G.

Oh but they do, Siggy_G, and they have, by the hundreds (try entering "MHD" as a key term in the title field, in ADS, for example).

Further, details of these have been brought to the attention of EU proponents many, many times, in many fora, over many years. I think it's fair to say that the proponents' responses are, um, under-whelming (I can give you a recent example, from a 'moderator' on the TB forum, if you're interested; with several hours' work, I could compile at least a dozen pages of such, um, 'responses').

Anonymous said...

So, Dave Smith, where are the EU mathematical models? Where are they published?

I'm talking about something done in the last two decades, an update using Peratt's published code perhaps.

re Arp: in which laboratory has "intrinsic redshift" been demonstrated, of a kind applicable to an object composed of billions of stars, many million sols of gas/plasma, subtending at least an arcminute to observers here on Earth (or above it)? If there are no such results, why do EU proponents denounce this idea with the same vitriol and venom that they use to 'discuss' CDM and dark energy?

Why do EU proponents never (as far as I can see) even refer to the many MHD-based models that are used by astrophysicists, much less discuss them?

APODNereid
(sig missed on my last comment, on Siggy-G's, sorry)

Ivan3man said...

Dave Smith: "Some Wikipedia editors [...] seem to have a certain level of contempt for plasma cosmology."

As one of the many established editors on Wikipedia, I would like to point out to you that the three main fundamental principles of Wikipedia are: Neutral Point of View (NPOV); No Original Research; and Verifibility. EU/PC fails on all three accounts.

Dave Smith: "... (you link to Wikipedia a lot, something I've not seen from other scientists)..."

NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) often links keywords on certain subjects to Wikipedia, and so does Dr. Phil Plait on his blog at Bad Astronomy. If Wikipedia is good enough for them, then it's good enough for Dr. W.T."Tom" Bridgman. So there!

Dave Smith: "Wikipedia is not considered a scholarly source in any educational institution of which I am aware, and you would do well to procure your science knowledge from more reliable sources."

Since you're an apologist for EU/PC theory, the phrase "The pot calling the kettle black" is the appropriate answer to your accusation.

Dave Smith: "Yet again, you display a complete lack of knowledge of EU theory. Such plasma modeling as done by Peratt and Alfven mentioned above, is exactly the material we refer people to when they ask for mathematical support for the theory. It is my advise [sic] that before criticising EU further, you would do well to acquaint yourself with what the actual theorists write, and with the behavior of plasmas both in the laboratory and in the cosmos, rather than what you find on forums or in Wikipedia."

While we all take your "advise", maybe you would also like us to acquaint ourselves with the phlogiston theory of chemistry, too(!)?

N.B. (!) = sarcasm mark.

Anonymous said...

Three Dimensional Magneto Hydrodynamical Simulations of Gravitational Collapse of a 15Msun Star is the title of a recent paper by T. Koruda and H. Umeda; it can be obtained from arXiv: http://arxiv.org/abs/1008.1370

MHD Simulations of Core Collapse Supernovae with Cosmos++ is the title of another paper, this time by S. Akiyama and Jay D. Salmonson; it can be obtained from arXiv: http://arxiv.org/abs/1008.1422

Neither references Alfven, Falthammer, or Peratt; which is not really surprising, since the oldest paper referenced is from 1988 ("An upwind differencing scheme for the equations of ideal magnetohydrodynamics", by M. Brio and C.C. Wu).

How do EU proponents view papers like these?

APODNereid

Ivan3man said...

APODNereid: "How do EU proponents view papers like these?"

Probably like this.

P.S. Thanks for the links to those two papers, Nereid!

Siggy_G said...

Neried: my view at least, is that these papers still assume fundamental processes that are more speculative than anything that EU proposes. These aren't new and updated views/modeling of plasma cosmology (if that was your point?) and it still bases its simulations on endless values/effects of gravitational mass and collapse till some desired result is obtained; loosly speaking. Mass is the only factor to be played around with, and whenever more of it is needed within a given volume, it is due to it being proportionally compact (to a liberal and endless degree). EU has a different approach and explanation as to what various values of emissions, magnetic fields and observed sizes of stars are the result of; which is in-line with electric flux variations and plasma processes. Then again, MHD is of interest also to EU, but none of the research is, as far as I can tell, at all daring to view magnetic fields as the result of large scale or pinching electric currents. MHD also seem to ignore the impact of recombination and decoupling.

"The traditional generalized Ohm's law in MHD do not explicitly present the relation of electric currents and electric fields in fully ionized plasma, and lead to some unexpected concepts, such as "the magnetic frozen-in plasma", magnetic reconnection etc. " Leading to another solution attempt that still assumes no electric currents.
( http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010arXiv1007.4959Y )

"(...) As a result, our understanding of solar activity processes and their consequences remains incomplete and limited by available MHD cartoons and simplified kinetic models, which are not always justified by observations and appear to be far from reality in many instances. "
( http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2008cosp...37.3332V )

Ivan3Man: regarding your funny image link, the funniest thing is that the way we view eachother is somewhat mutual :)

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

To Siggy_G:

"my view at least, is that these papers still assume fundamental processes that are more speculative than anything that EU proposes."

Speculative how? In stellar interiors densities are sufficiently high that the MHD approximations are valid. They use established nuclear physics and established gravitational physics. They do not use a bizarro EU reinterpretation of these processes that have yet to build a nuclear reactor or navigate a mission through space. The papers referenced by APODNereid spell out their assumptions, their mathematical consequences and physical consequences, run the simulations and published detailed results, far more than anything EU supporters try to pass off as science.

"Frozen-in" field lines are still mentioned because they are a useful limiting case when discussing magnetic fields in plasmas. I know of no researchers using frozen-in field lines as a point of modern research, since they started dealing with the finite conductivity of plasmas in 1962, "On the Turbulence and Hydromagnetic Turbulence in Astrophysics (Second Paper)" The Bohr atomic model is still taught in chemistry and physics as an introduction to quantum theory even though it is of no use in research.

MHD has it's limitations, so researchers generally adopt multiple approaches to getting around those limitations: 1) more accurate models of plasma conductivity to incorporate into an MHD framework (which is what the Yang paper uses), 2) kinetic models which run a very large number of individual particles (I think high-end supercomputers are near 10^9 now) in a self-consistent field (PIC=particle-in-cell), and 3) hybrid models which combine features of (1) and (2).

Since the Veselovsky reference was not to an actual paper, I checked a few other pubs by him. Again, nothing that give credibility to stars or galaxies powered by external electric currents.

So your 'rebuttal' resources are nothing but convenient quote-mines.

Anonymous said...

Siggy_G,

Thanks for your informative comment.

I was curious to know how folk like you viewed the two papers I cited because they address an astrophysical phenomenon using MHD, in part (along with standard, textbook physics which no EU proponent has ever voiced an objection to).

From your response, it would seem that EU proponents have a far deeper disconnect with contemporary astrophysics than merely saying that astrophysicists ignore, or downplay, plasma physics. Instead, the objection seems to be that certain processes and classes of models are not used.

If so, this is passing strange, if I may say. Why? Because no EU proponent has ever published anything - beyond vague, word pictures - that resembles an application of the favoured processes to building an actual model.

Yet there seem to be hundreds, if not thousands, of EU proponents! And it seems that some are well versed in computer science and IT; some also have, apparently, read quite a bit of plasma physics (and not just word picture level popular webpages). Certainly the equivalent of many person-years of effort has been put in to promoting EU ideas, across the internet, over nearly a decade. If only a tiny, tiny fraction of that effort had been devoted to developing testable models!

I also found this particularly curious: "and it still bases its simulations on endless values/effects of gravitational mass and collapse till some desired result is obtained; loosly speaking". Isn't this, loosely speaking, what modelling/simulation is all about? Didn't Peratt do precisely this in the work he did that led to his two 1986 papers (substitute electric fields etc for gravitational mass)?

The two abstracts you quoted from seem to have little or no relevance to the two preprints I cited; would you care to say more about how you think they are relevant? Specifically, how do the two preprints produce results "which are not always justified by observations and appear to be far from reality in many instances"?

In closing, I must say that Tom's comment about quote mining seems apt.

APODNereid

Steven said...

"schizophrenic mindset of the EU community"

"One of the heroes of the EU"

That's very scientific and honest way of looking at this subject. (not)

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

EU has claimed superior models while never providing any numbers we can compare to real data - THAT is unscientific and dishonest.

Every attempt by others to construct a testable EU model, which ends up demonstrating why EU theories don't agree with data, is greeted with whines from EU supporters of how the analysis was done wrong and STILL EU supporters present no testable model - THAT is unscientific and dishonest.

If EU can't present anything that actually qualifies as science, they can't complain about being the butt of jokes and sarcasm.

EU's claims imply a dramatically different radiation environment in regions of space where we routinely fly satellites, and even astronauts. EU's failure to produce a viable model for data that impacts the integrity of billions of dollars in space assets and even the lives of astronauts means the terms used to describe their character could be far worse than what I have used.

Anonymous said...

Mathematics aside, most relevant scientific discoveries are initially serendipitous and/or conceptual postulates. This appeal to show current (PC/EU) research which corroborates studies and articles over 20 years old is fallacious. The Steady State Theory and Relativistic Physics have been accepted models for over two decades themselves. Most of the salient data was collected many years ago. Just because you can quantitatively show relevance on paper or electronically, without any way to reproduce those findings in the lab, does not make the ideas of the Standard Model or "Einsteinian Mechanics" more concrete. There is a lot of merit to Alfven's Plasma Cosmology as well as some EU ideas which make more intuitive sense than any ideas of "Dark This/That." The physics community is one big circle jerk for the most part. The same can be said for biology and chemistry too. Unless someone is willing to stray from the status quo, a profession will become prone to self aggrandizing and auto-kudos. If M-Theory is all that modern theoretical physics has to offer, and it in itself is built upon the accepted physics modalities, then don't expect that mankind will be able to jump to that epic next step which will allow us to truly understand the intricacies of It All, and allow us to be successful universal wayfarers. You never stifle a brainstorming session with negativity or filtering. If you folks had an IQ above 125 you'd know this, but sadly even the so-called intellectually adept are just barely above average. Your numbers mean jack if they propose abstract absurdities.

Ivan3man said...

@Anonymous,

When Aesop wrote his fable, The Fox and the Grapes, he obviously had people like you in mind:

The Fox and the Grapes

A hungry Fox with fierce attack...
Sprang on a Vine, but tumbled back,
Nor could attain the point in view,
So near the sky the bunches grew.
As he went off, "They're scurvy stuff,"
Says he, "and not half ripe enough—
And I've more reverence for my tripes...
Than to torment them with the gripes."
For those this tale is very pat...
Who lessen what they can't come at.


Sounds like sour grapes on your part!

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

I've written a more extensive reply to 'Anonymous' above, available here:
What The Electric Universe 'Theorists' Won't Tell You...