Saturday, October 2, 2010

Electric Universe: Plasma Modeling vs. 'Mystic Plasma'

Earlier posts in this topic line:
1) Electric Universe: Real Plasma Physicists Use Mathematical Models!
2) Electric Universe: Real Plasma Physicists BUILD Mathematical Models
3) Electric Universe: Plasma Physics for Fun AND Profit!

So were does this leave us?

Building Plasma Models for EU...

Siggy_G, in comments earlier in this thread, has set himself (herself?) to the task of setting up a suitable simulation for the Peratt galaxy model to run on modern hardware.  It would be consistent with my purpose for this blog to post reports on the progress of that activity.  It would also be fair to discuss computational tricks/techniques for solving the physics of such an effort.  Siggy_G should feel free to contact me directly via e-mail if they wish to discuss the topic.  I might consider setting up a 'sticky post' in this blog on the project so others can observe the progress and problems.  I think it is valuable when others not in the scientific community get a first-hand experience of what solving these types of complex problems is really like.

APODNereid redirected me back to re-examine Peratt's “Physics of the Plasma Universe” in an attempt to determine if Peratt had actually included the effects of gravitation in his simulations that receive so much attention among EU supporters.  On examining the text, I find that Peratt uses a number of his examples (pages 62-66) where he sets up energy contributions from gravity and electromagnetism and demonstrates that gravity has a significant contribution in the larger-scale   configurations  In some of his estimates, he appears to take the upper bound for contributions from electromagnetism and the lower bound for contributions from gravity which biases the result in favor of electromagnetism.

A re-examination of Chapter 8, where Peratt outlines the requirements for simulating these configurations, suggests I had interpreted this incorrectly before.  I read this section with the impression that this was how Peratt had done these simulations.  On reexamination, I now realize Peratt is outlining how he thinks these simulations should be done.  I can find no evidence that the TRISTAN code in the text (Appendix E) includes gravity, and by Peratt's own work, the gravitational energy is NOT negligible when you get to galactic scales.  This also suggests that the scaling laws invoked so many times by EU supporters to turn laboratory experiments into cosmic scale experiments have never included gravity. Thanks to APODNereid for bringing that to my attention.

So clearly Peratt's own analyses were incomplete, and I can't find any evidence in later papers that this shortcoming was repaired.  The paper referenced by Siggy_G, Rotation Velocity and Neutral Hydrogen Distribution Dependency on Magnetic Field Strength in Spiral Galaxies by Snell & Peratt, seems to entirely justify ignoring gravity based on the EM force being 10^7 times larger than gravity for roughly neutral hydrogen (this depends very much on the mass density and temperature which determines how readily those charges will recombine to form neutral atoms so this estimate is shakey).

I should add that Peratt's energy analyses are similar and consistent with what I did in my Electric Sun analyses which EU supporters always claim are wrong.  Why is that?  

Nonetheless, I suspect EU supporters will continue to use Peratt's work as their touchstone galaxy model.

Even though EU supporters say plasma models are useless...

On page 126 of The Electric Sky, Don Scott quotes Alfven:
"From the point of view of the traditional theoretical physicist, a plasma looks immensely complicated. We may express this by saying that when, by an immense number of vectors and tensors and integral equations, theoreticians have prescribed what a plasma must do, the plasma, like a naughty child, refuses to obey, The reason is either that the plasma is so silly that it does not understand the sophisticated mathematics, or it is that the plasma is so clever that it find other ways of behaving, ways which the theoreticians were not clever enough to anticipate."  -- H. Alfven. Double layers and circuits in astrophysics. IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, 14:779–793, December 1986.
Alfven's description gives plasmas an almost mystic character, that it has a mind of its own, like a living being, beyond the ability of physics and mathematics to describe.  Attributing such mystical character to the natural world is common in many religions.  While such prose is common in popular-level science books, only someone with Alfven's level of prestige could have gotten away with making such a statement in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. 

Then Dr. Scott tries to make the point...
The Princeton statement [Scott is referring to the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, particularly Magnetic Reconnection] that plasmas are “described very accurately with such a theory” is blatantly untrue.  Indeed, if plasma can be described very accurately with such a theory, why have all attempts to use this theory in order to obtain a sustained and controlled nuclear fusion reaction here on Earth have been so spectacularly unsuccessful for more than 50 years? [D.E. Scott, The Electric Sky, pg 126]
The details that Dr. Scott DOESN'T tell you with this statement is the topic for a future post, but the bottom line is the EU regards even attempts at plasma modeling as doomed to failure.  These statements clearly are not “plasmas models are good to precision 'x' or if they include process 'y'”.

In Summary...

As noted in comments to an earlier post, the promoted EU position on plasma modeling appears to be a two-parter:
  • 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!

Since one commenter got so upset over my choice of the term 'schizophrenic' in my earlier post describing EU's position on plasma modeling, I'll clarify with a link to a dictionary definition,

Note definition 2:
2. a state characterized by the coexistence of contradictory or incompatible elements.
I think the term is certainly applicable.


Anonymous said...

If you read the EU's most trafficed forum, you'll quickly see that members are divided on this question; some seem keen to learn some plasma physics, keen to encourage astrophysicists to develop detailed models based on Peratt or Scott, and so on. Others, however, seem very certain that no modelling of cosmic plasmas is possible, even in principle (beyond some simple cases), that the application of maths to understanding an EU is fundamentally flawed, and so on.

This may be seen in references to the work of Gerrit Verschuur: on the one hand, EU proponents are very keen to use his published papers in support of a) a flaw in understanding the CMB (one such paper claims to have found an association between CMB features and local H clouds), and b) confirmation of the existence of CIV (critical ionisation velocity) in the ISM. In both cases, at least some EU proponents use what to them is an apparent lack of follow-up to these papers as evidence of some conspiracy to suppress EU research or collective blindness to the reality of the EU (the fact that most, if not all, Verschuur's papers *have* been followed up is totally ignored, but that's another issue). These same folk seem to be very keen that Verschuur (and others) do do follow-up research, presumably in the hope that core EU ideas will be validated.

Another example: one EU proponent claims to have developed the germ of an idea re electric comets, and has presented it in outline form in several fora. In principle, it is testable, and the author seemed keen (at one point) on getting help to develop this idea in a quantitative form, so it could be tested. In essence, that's standard science; however, many other posts by this author do show (to me at least) strong models-are-bad characteristics, for example with respect to application of the same methods to other EU claims (e.g. electric Sun).

So there seems to be disagreement between EU proponents, and sometimes even within one person - is that merely inconsistency, or schizophrenia?

PS Glad that I was able to be so some assistance re Peratt and whether he'd actually included gravity in this code runs

ND said...


When you say EU proponents and forum members, are you including the the vast majority who have no science background at all? The majority of them don't, and that includes advanced math. And yet they feel confident to say math is useless in science.

These guys cannot be even taken seriously regarding the validity of EU/PC ideas. If they venture out to other forums and spout off nonsense, then they should be corrected. But the simple existence proponents who don't understand the science behind the subject they are screaming about, cannot be counted in any discussion. Unless you're doing a research paper on ignorant fanaticism.

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

If by Scott, you mean Don Scott, I have not seen any model proposed by Scott that generates numbers we can compare to actual measurements. I wouldn't put anything from Don Scott in the same category with Peratt.

As for Verschuur, I spoke with him briefly at the AAS in Miami and attended his presentation on the local HI clouds where he was proposing a different emission mechanism (ON THE APPARENT ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN INTERSTELLAR NEUTRAL HYDROGEN STRUCTURE AND (WMAP) HIGH-FREQUENCY CONTINUUM EMISSION). In his latest paper on the topic, (A Pervasive Broad Component in H I Emission Line Profiles: Temperature, Turbulence, or a Helium Signature?) he invokes CIVs again.

The only problem for CIVs is that for any element, the intensity of the CIV emission will be roughly proportional to the elemental abundance (weighted by ionization cross-section). While seeing a CIV for H or He is possible, claiming detectable CIVs for C, O and higher atomic numbers with abundances below 1% stretches credibility.

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


Considering some of the errors I've seen from EU proponents who SHOULD have a better math background (see Scott Rebuttal. IV. 'Open' Magnetic Field Lines), the distinction doesn't really make a difference.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Tom, I did mean Don Scott. I know, pretty well, that neither he nor Thornhill - two of the three? four? active EU leaders (per EU proponents' comments all over the internet) - have never proposed anything that could be called a scientific model (i.e. is potentially quantifiable, potentially testable, etc); however, I do recall some EU proponents saying that mainstream astrophysicists/space scientists/etc should take Scott's work and develop models therefrom, and that they themselves would be interested in either doing (very few) or participating (more, but still few) in such developments.

So, my comment was about the EU proponents who have expressed an interest in, or desire to, develop(ing) models based on Scott's (or Thornhill's, or Peratt's, or ...) published work, and not about Scott's work itself.

ND, as Tom said, in a key sense it doesn't matter that no EU proponent has shown evidence of understanding even the basics of, say, plasma physics (despite what some may claim).

Re CIVs: if you read some of the papers which cite Verschuur on this topic, you'll see that more detailed analyses (sometimes using more recent, far better, datasets) fail to confirm his claims (I'm not sure about his latest paper; it wouldn't surprise me to learn that no one is interested in following up, given his exactly zero verified results to date). The same thing happened with his CMB paper - independent analysis, conducted quite quickly after it appeared on arXiv, failed to verify his claim (I will post links/cites, if anyone is interested). If I recall correctly, at the time this sort of thing immediately attracted a good deal of attention; witness the dozens and dozens of papers reporting CMB analyses independent of the WMAP team, some clearly bent on finding hithertofore unrecognised local signatures, or data processing errors.


Anonymous said...

I don't think that EU supporters say that plasma models are useless, only that they may be unreliable.

So, there is not necessarily an incompatibility between Alfvén's and Peratt's statements, it all depends on the regimes they are referring to.

Peratt is well aware of gravity, even though he does not include them in his early simulations. See for example:

* Section 8.7 Gravitation, on page 299 of his book, The Plasma Universe

* "Advances in Numerical Modeling of Astrophysical and Space Plasmas" (PART II) (1998) Full text (PDF)

The latter paper covers this quite extensively.

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

Beyond one reference, you basically repeated what I documented in the main post.

EU's claims that plasma models are 'unreliable' is basically saying EU is not doing science and there is no point in doing science on plasmas. How is this excuse different from the creationist excuse 'God Did It' to stop further inquiry on scientific problems lest the result be uncomfortable for them?

As I have documented in this series of posts, many plasma scientists have demonstrated the reliability of plasma models in a range of commercial products to space flight.

EU clearly has made ZERO contribution to plasma physics.

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

APODNereid: So, my comment was about the EU proponents who have expressed an interest in, or desire to, develop(ing) models based on Scott's (or Thornhill's, or Peratt's, or ...) published work, and not about Scott's work itself.

That's exactly what I've done with the solar resistor and solar capacitor models. See how well that worked out. ;^)

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

Oh, and one more thing. In practice, EU's claims that plasma modeling is unreliable just allows them to deny any result of a plasma model that they don't like.

The solar resistor model basically uses Ampere's Circuital Law (part of Maxwell's equations) and I've yet to hear how a plasma z-pinch powering the Sun can violate that!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: no one has ever said Peratt is, or was, unaware of gravity! What has been under discussion is whether he included gravity in any of his astrophysical simulations. The second reference you cite is, at best, ambiguous about whether he himself has actually done any such simulations.

What seems to be true is that none of Peratt's published papers report the results of astrophysically relevant simulations he ran which included gravity.

Tom: the fact that no EU proponent has, publicly, produced any quantitative results based on their efforts to simulate ideas published by Scott, Thornhill, etc does not mean they haven't said they're interested in doing some such! By the way, there is one possible exception: one proponent has published (in JREF) the outline of some chemical (etc) reactions that might produce the species observed in comets (molecules, ions, etc), based on some version of 'the electric comet' EU idea (based itself on Thornhill's intellectually fraudulent PDF).

Some EU proponents are, explicitly, catastrophists, who explicitly cite Velikovsky; these folk seem to have had some connection with the (now defunct?) Kronia Group and Talbott. As far as I can tell, most such proponents regard quantitative analysis of any kind borderline illegitimate as a path to knowledge and understanding; instead they focus of folklore, legend, mythology, etc. The connection to EU ideas comes, in part, from Peratt's paper (if one can call it that) on atmospheric/space (high current, high field, etc) plasma phenomena recorded as rock art (I don't have the reference to hand, but I'll dig it up if anyone's interested). Indirectly this also ties in with the tone of the Alfvén quote, which Tom (correctly) said 'gives plasmas an almost mystic character'.


Anonymous said...

I believe that Ralph Juergens produced some quantitative estimates in his papers on the Electric Sun in Kronos journal, although they are 30 years old, and probably out of date.

Many EU proponents don't do quantitative analysis because (a) they are not scientists (b) they do no have access to, or are unable to acquire the necessary data. They are often interested in mythology because they have interdisciplinary interests. Although you can not do science with folklore, it does not mean there is nothing to learn.

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

EU has quite a track-record of claiming knowledge on things they know nothing about. Then they exhibit the gall of accusing others of fraud who DO know about the topic (see thunderblogs: Science in Turmoil - Are we Funding Fraud?) . It doesn't take much thought to realize that an electrical engineer might not be the best source for info about nuclear physics - yet that is the simple thing no one in EU seems capable of understanding.

As for the data being unavailable, such a claim exhibits either ignorance or laziness.
Virtual Solar Observatory
Virtual Space Physics Observatory
These are just the recent fancy interfaces for data that has been available for a decade or more.

Maybe you should actually do some research before you make such ill-informed statements. You don't really think you're helping your position, do you?

Anonymous said...

>>"EU has quite a track-record of claiming knowledge on things they know nothing about."

People do that, not subjects. I could just as easily say that astronomy has a track record of claiming things about the universe on which it knows nothing. If the visible universe is 99.999% plasma, then I'd want a plasma physicists to take a look.

We both know that is an unwarranted overgeneralization. Hannes Alfvén was an electrical engineer, and he made some very successful insights into the universe that earned him the Nobel Prize in physics.

People's background do no automatically make them right or wrong. Incidentally it seems that the person who wrote the article on fraud, is not an electrical engineer, but a qualified university astrophysicist.

>>"As for the data being unavailable, such a claim exhibits either ignorance or laziness."

Of course, no argument there. I would expect non-scientists to be ignorant of many aspects of science. My statement still stands, so it does not make me ill-informed. We both know that there is data available.

Anonymous said...

The odd thing, Anonymous, is not that EU proponents, in general, have no track record of quantitative analysis; rather, it's that not a single one has done any such analyses, for several decades!

Now there's nothing wrong with studying myths etc; however, when such study leads to claims about astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, space science, planetary science (etc), then such studies can be evaluated using scientific methods. And it's here that EU proponents have such a dismal record ... not only do few even suggest that scientific methods be used to test such claims, but, much worse, many attack those (such as Tom Bridgman, Tim Thompson, and myself) who do try to subject those claims to such tests, often (it seems) for nothing more than simply asking questions.

It is this sort of response that makes EU look like creationism, or religious dogma (of course, there are many other similarities too).

Your mention of interdisciplinary interests reminded me that there is website - indeed, a 'registered educational charity' - which makes the connection between catastrophism and EU; namely, the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies (google it). That it has spectacularly failed its "PRINCIPAL OBJECT" ("to advance the education of the public and, through the combined use of historical and contemporary evidence of all kinds, to promote a multidisciplinary approach to, and specialised research into, scientific and scholarly problems inherent in the uniformitarian theories in astronomy and history, and thus to promote active consideration by scientists, scholars and students of alternatives to those theories.", I added some bold) should have provoked an outcry from its members - there's essential no physical science in any of their material!


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

To Anonymous:
People do that, not subjects. I could just as easily say that astronomy has a track record of claiming things about the universe on which it knows nothing.

You claim it is people and then make the accusation against 'astronomy'??? Astronomers know more about the universe than EU supporters and they are ideas that are TESTABLE. Astronomy has even made numerous predictions about physics from cosmic observations that were later verified at laboratory scales (see The Cosmos In Your Pocket: Expanded & Revised. EU has no such accomplishments.

If you look at Alfven's publication history on ADS, you will see he had a significant track record in physics and had appropriate background for it, unlike many of the other 'EU theorists' such as Don Scott & Wal Thornhill. Alfven was NOT a supporter of the Electric Sun. Not all of Alfven's ideas were found to be valid, and that is something every professional scientist must deal with. It is the nature of science.

The Dunning-Davies article was probably not the best choice, but I wasn't going to itemize all the accusations I've found on the Thunderbolts Forum or in The Electric Sky. That is actually in The Electric Sky: Short-Circuited.

If you knew that data was available, why did you make such a claim?

You make a claim, I document how you are wrong, and then you claim you knew this all along? You've done that a lot. You are playing more rhetorical games, not discussing science. The issues you raise have been raised before, many of which I deal with in other articles in this blog, such as the laundry list I gave to axismundi under this topic.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said: "Incidentally it seems that the person who wrote the article on fraud, is not an electrical engineer, but a qualified university astrophysicist."

ADS lists 42 document with "Dunning-Davies, J." as author. Of those, none seem to have been published in peer-reviewed journals, at least since 1999. Of the ones which ADS cites as published in such journals, the journals are: The Observatory (2, with the same title), "Hadronic J" (also 2), European Journal of Physics (1: "Undergraduate thermodynamics and black holes"), Nuovo Cimento B (also 1), Foundations of Physics Letters (1, joint paper with B.H. Lavenda), Classical and Quantum Gravity (also 1, also with Lavenda), and Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids (1, in 1988).

He gives his affiliation as University of Hull, Department of Physics; curiously the university website does not list astrophysics as an area of research. Further, his name does not appear on the staff list (his most recent arXiv document is dated November 2009, and gives a Hull University email address).

May I ask how you arrived at the conclusion that he is "a qualified university astrophysicist"?


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said: "If the visible universe is 99.999% plasma, then I'd want a plasma physicists to take a look."

Tom hasn't yet picked up on this, but
it seems to me to be just as much a statement from ignorance as your earlier "they [EU proponents] do no have access to, or are unable to acquire the necessary data" one.

Have you done no investigation? Have you read any of the thousands of papers - published in relevant peer-reviewed journals - containing the application of plasma physics to astronomical phenomena? Did you check to see whether any of the authors of those papers got their PhD's in plasma physics? Tom has several blog entries addressing exactly this point; did you read any of them?


Anonymous said...

I wrote: "Many EU proponents don't do quantitative analysis because (a) they are not scientists (b) they do no have access to, or are unable to acquire the necessary data."

You asked: "If you knew that data was available, why did you make such a claim?"

Just because I know there is data available, does not mean that many EU supporters know that data is available, or how to get, or how to process it.

I think you are also pre-suposing that I am an EU supporter. I support things being shown to be right or wrong for the right reasons.

EU is not wrong because (a) you can find links to Velikovsky or Creationism, even though none may existing, (b) there is insufficient quantitative analysis and scientific papers, (c) EU people dare to criticize the status quo, (d) they mix science with mythology.

Conversely, with regard to the Electric Sun, I would be the first to note that EU supporters have not made their case, ie, they are not right (not the same as being wrong!).

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

Thanks to APODNereid for doing a little more research on Dunning-Davies. I finally found my notes I had accumulated on him from months ago but you took it a little further in terms of checking his claimed affiliation.

To Annoymous:
IF EU supporters don't know data exists, it is because they have been spending more time accusing the scientific community of fraud than doing actual research. I have been making this challenge to them for over two years now and they have yet to do any actual science.

(a) & (d): Since EU supporters have no science to base their claims, they focus on these topics or similar such as 'fairness', the professional scientists 'bullying' the (incompetent) amateurs, etc., as you have. It boils down to if you lack the competence to argue the science, then all you have left are the philosophical/political rhetorical games which the creationists have already mapped out pretty completely. Combined with the fact that I can use many of the same scientific tools to demonstrate EU & creationism are bad science, there is no reason to operationally distinguish them.

(c) displays your ignorance of science since *leading edge* science is *always* about challenging the status quo. However, the 'status quo' EU seeks to challenge is *well established* science. Most of their 'theories' violate that. The stuff I've done so far just begins to plumb their ignorance of E&M (Scott Rebuttal. IV. 'Open' magnetic field lines) to atomic & nuclear physics (Scott Rebuttal. III. The Importance of Quantum Mechanics) to GPS (see Scott Rebuttal. I. GPS & Relativity). These sciences have implications for technologies (commercial & military) so severe that EU supporters in some technology areas could be regarded as a threat since some of their claims might direct them to violate the technical specifications of the technology.

(b) is scientifically relevant to the validity of EU claims

There are many plasma physicists doing astrophysics, testing things in the laboratory that are incorporated into the mathematical models which are tested against observations. Much of it documented in this blog.

If you are incapable of coming up with something NEW, that shows some indication of THINKING beyond rhetorical games, then you are a bore, repeating the same old garbage, like axismundi.

Have you NO imagination?

Anonymous said...

APODNereid wrote: "May I ask how you arrived at the conclusion that he is "a qualified university astrophysicist"?"

Sorry, you do not appear to be qualified to call the kettle black.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote: "Sorry, you do not appear to be qualified to call the kettle black."

Huh? I asked a simple, straight-forward question!

I did *not* make any claims.

Are you saying that it is illegitimate for someone - anyone - to ask you questions about what you have written? If so, that seems totally antithetical to the PRINCIPAL OBJECT of the SIS, as well as the stated rules and guidelines of the TB forum (as written by Dave Smith).


Siggy_G said...

Late response here as I've been really busy the last weeks, but I'd like to correct your (Tom's) statements in the last section of your post.

Alfven: All mathematical models of plasmas or discharges are unreliable. Experimental verification and in situ measurements are vital in order to quantify certain astrophysical processes. Double layer objects and Birkeland currents are examples of that.

Peratt: Claims a successful model of galaxy formation from mathematical plasma model and cross references to similarities from lab experiments. He thus shows how star forming dusty plasma can be initially distributed in accordance with Birkeland currents, before gravity takes over in the condenced areas (i.e. after Markund convection has occured). It illustrates why stars and galaxies seem to form along like drops on a spiderweb string.

Thus, the descriptions are not in contradiction.

Also, are you saying that Alfven's statement about the scalability of the EM force/effects is wrong? You can have tiny spark, a CTG lightning bolt or a red sprite in the ionosphere... the discharges are of similar nature and the voltage/distance is proportionally larger in each scenario. Same goes for a plasma light ball of small or larger scale. Adding the effect of gravity of the medium particles will affect the processes especially over long time scales, but there aren't any errors in the initial scalability of the EM force/effects as proposed by Alfvèn, as far as I know.

Regarding my simulation and visualization work, I am quite busy these days, but determined to get something up and running during the coming year. I can give updates as soon as I have an early set up running. I do of course agree that such work is first and foremost to visualize and show the possible machnisms at play, whilst any confirmation isn't done before the proper future in situ measurements are collected and further large scale lab experiments are done.

Siggy_G (himself)

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

To Siggy_G,

In addition to the fact that you completely ignore the aspects of the Peratt model which FAIL, your interpretation of Alfven just provides EU supporters with the excuse they trot out whenever any model (including my electric solar analyses) generates a result unfavorable to their claims.

Scaling laws can provide a guide, but they are far from complete but most have other assumptions attached. Constraints from energy conservation, particle conservation, etc. provide even more firm constraints due to their simplicity. Anything that fails these constraints is basically dead.

Why don't you take some time off to work on that effort. I will be happy to post info on any progress if you wish. Currently, I want to focus on some redshift quantization claims and would like to free up some time to work on that *long overdue* project.

Anonymous said...

Re Siggy_G's comment: "whilst any confirmation isn't done before the proper future in situ measurements are collected and further large scale lab experiments are done."

If I'm studying the shock fronts that develop when two rich clusters of galaxies collide, or the equilibrium properties of the intra-cluster medium, when do you expect that in situ measurements relevant to my research might become available? When do you expect large scale lab experiments relevant to my research might become available?

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

To Anonymous & Siggy_G:

This is another EU tactic - since we can't 'know' what's going on 'out there', their claims should be admitted. Creationists use this exact same argument.

Of course, EU likes to ignore that there is the study of Laboratory Astrophysics such as

National Ignition Facility


and others that study plasmas under astrophysical conditions as best as can be currently produced in a laboratory

Siggy_G said...

Tom & Anonymous:
Proper in situ measurements: I was referring to various needed measurements of EM data around the Sun (including the missing 20 degree cone of Ulysseus data above/below the poles), EM data at various points within the solar system and at the heliosphere boundaries. These may all be mapped out in high detail one day and will give usefull data to any solar model. Probes are obviously sent out with specific measurement agendas and a following technical set up. What would be interesting for the ES theory is of course any indications of large scale sunward electron drifts, any measurements of large scale electric fields, the ratio between protons/electrons at various outflow/inflow areas, other electric interaction between the Sun and surrounding/approaching bodies etc.

EU proponents' take on the point you're getting at is that current knowledge of astrophysics aren't all facts and confirmed. Most humble scientists would agree of such a continous state, also based on history. Alternative models shouldn't be dismissed, if they even partially can explain several of the odd observations; such of that of the Sun, where a thermonuclear model have short-comings.

Making a simulation of something is never the same as confirming the true nature behind it – it may only make assumptions plausible. And: laborathory studies of plasmoids, z-pinches, jets, focus fusion etc. are surely welcomed and not ignored by EU.

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

To Siggy_G:

I am constantly amazed how many people who work with technology know so little about the science behind it.

The Ulysses data? Ah, the answer is hiding in some small gap in the data, EU's version of the Creationist 'God of the Gaps'. Ever actually taken even a BASIC course in electromagnetism? If there were a significant current through that gap in the polar coverage, the field produced would significantly alter the solar wind measurements from around that region, for the same reason as the Solar Resistor model fails.

The constraints of the existing body of data kills an Electric Sun model. If you can't get around the issues I've already outlined in the Solar Capacitor & Solar Resistor model, you're out of luck. Scaling laws can't save you from the constraints of the conservation laws.

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

Note for active comment threads. Priorities of the next few weeks will limit my time on dealing with comments. If there is any comment where I want to respond, it may be significantly delayed. I do have some regular posts queued up to release through the auto-poster.

Anonymous said...

Forgive me in advance for what will surely be rejected by one or the other side - or both- amidst this jovial little scientific slug fest - but really - creationism? What does that have to do with this? As an individual curious about the world, I read the electric universe proposals, and really that is all they are so far, with interest. Instead of claiming victory, perhaps both sides should seek the truth and keep an open mind; perhaps even collaborate for a higher goal than 'turf'. Too much to ask? Suggestion: Nail down each disputed point and pursue it until you are talking apples and apples, then together look at the facts. I just don't see/ feel the angst in something that should be intellectual, objective, engaging and -dare I say - fun.

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

To Anonymous,

EU is indistinguishable from a 'faith system' as it generates no testable predictions.
(see Challenges for Electric Universe 'Theorists')

Actually, a growing fraction of EU supporters I've interacted with are from a Young-Earth creationism perspective. Note that YEC Barry Setterfield was a speaker at their recent club meeting.

EU is not an 'equivalent system of knowing' or some other post-modern nonsense (non-science). A competent high-school physics student can demonstrate that Electric Sun models require fields and particle fluxes that would do anything from rip away the Earth's magnetosphere to bathe satellites and astronauts with hard radiation that makes a CME look tame. As a satellite engineer who read "The Electric Sky" told me, if Electric Sun currents actually existed, we'd have a lot of dead satellites and dead astronauts.

Even EU bizarre excuses such as undetectable 'drift electrons' poses a threat to multi-million dollar space assets since satellite engineers know that space plasmas are *very* detectable since no satellite is a perfect conductor.

For you to describe this as a 'turf war' suggests you should become more familiar with the real physics (that has been tested in the laboratory and space)
(see Physics, Astronomy & Other Reading Resources)
and how astronomy sometimes guides laboratory physics ("Cosmos in Your Pocket")