Sunday, October 13, 2013

Scientific History: What Did They Know? When Did They Know It?

or
Can Kristian Birkeland be Rescued from the Electric Universe?

As part of dealing with Electric Universe claims, I'm currently reading Kristian Birkeland's (wikipedia) tome, "The Norwegian Aurora Polaris Expedition. 1902-1903" (Archive.org) as well as Carl Stormer's 1955 work, "The Polar Aurora" (Wiley).  Stormer worked with Birkeland in the early 1900s and demonstrated that Birkeland's terrella (wikipedia) experiments could be explained with the mathematical physical theories of the day.

Electric Universe supporters have distorted much of Birkeland's work in an attempt to turn some of his hypotheses derived from his experiments into undeniable facts supporting their claims.  They've done this to the point that I have actually encountered some solar researchers complaining that they cannot find reliable information on Birkeland's work because a simple online search hits so many Electric Universe distortions of his work.

Even only partway through the reading, I've already encountered many examples where Birkeland understood that applications of his work to the environment between the Sun and Earth had limitations.  He knew that there were things he explored that were, at best, guesses that might not survive future experiments or observations.

I've found several other reliable biographical sources for Birkeland so I'll have more details for a future post, most likely after the turn of the year, as other projects and responsibilities are demanding time as the year-end approaches.

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