Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Sad State of the Electric Sun(s) - Not So Bright

One of the cool things about science is that because many physical principles are well-defined by mathematics and mathematics has well defined objective manipulations, often researchers can investigate or extend a prior presented theory based on the description.  This is the ideal goal of publication of a scientific theory, so OTHERS can use it.

A well-constructed theory can link together multiple parameters at different locations and times.  For example, knowing temperature at pressure at one point in time in a system can tell you the temperature and pressure at another point, and perhaps another time.

Not so with pseudo-science. 

I've repeatedly tried to build Electric Sun models using established physics and electromagnetism based on the descriptions from Electric Sun supporters and found that you just can't make them consistent with the observations.  This is why promoters of pseudo-science focus on the problem areas in real science at the limits of our technological capability, to keep the focus off the more severe problems of their own theories in areas where we have good measurements!

Just How Many Electric Sun Models are There? 

I've explored four - and they're all radically different, even contradictory!
Thornhill's "Solar Resistor" model: Application of Ampere's law (wikipedia) for a basic wire current, you can compute the magnetic field of this configuration for any given amount of power. Not only is the magnetic field of this model HUGE compared to what we measure, but it is easy to show that any conductor (such as the metallic components of satellites) moving through this magnetic field would generate a pretty hefty voltage, more than enough to kill satellites built to present-day standards. Did Thornhill's physics degree not cover electromagnetic induction (wikipedia)?  See Death by Electric Universe. IV. The Z-Pinch (Solar Resistor) Model
Scott's "Solar Capacitor" model: Similar to original Juergen's model. Now claiming a 'solar transistor' model that is really more like a 'solar DeForest triode' (wikipedia). Dr. Scott still does not specify where any of these voltages come from, or how they are maintained. See Death by Electric Universe. II. The Solar Capacitor Model
Johnson's "Ball Lightning" model: Recognizing that space-based measurements do not support ANY of the models requiring the Sun be actively powered from an external source, Johnson tries to save ES models by apparently claiming the Sun was 'charged up' like ball-lightning from a cosmic lightning bolt in the past and is shining from that stored energy. His model provides very little description of the 'lightning-bolts' - the power and current in them, the power source that drives them, etc. And there's still the 'Peratt problem', that such current streams should be strong emitters of microwaves which we should detect in our large sky-surveys. I've collected lots of notes on this model and will post more about it in the future.
Mozina's "Birkeland" model: As I read more of Birkeland's work, it's becoming clear this model is more Mozina than Birkeland. The biggest flaw applicable to space weather is claim of 600 million volt potential between the Sun and the orbit of the Earth, the heliopause or somewhere ill-specified. The electric potential is reversed with respect to the Scott model. While Mr. Mozina claims this potential is not the source of the Sun's energy, he clearly has not computed the amount of power in a solar wind density plasma within a potential difference of this magnitude, and the impact it would have on the radiation environment around the Sun.

There are also various other little odds-and-ends models from others wanting to play in the Electric Universe sandbox.

Note the radical differences between all these models! They're mutually contradictory! This is worse than the story of three blind men examining an elephant (wikipedia) made worse by the fact that EU supporters are describing the SAME part!

What this mish-mash of contradictory models tells you is that there is not now, nor has there ever been, a WORKING electric sun model that can be compared to real data or useful for planning missions around the solar system! 

Clearly Electric Sun models are driven more by ego than science.

STILL Unanswered Questions 

And there's other unanswered questions that Electric Universe supporters don't want their supporters to ask and don't want to answer themselves.
  • Where is the return circuit?
  • What powers the EMF - the battery or generator needed to provide the voltages claimed? For all intents and purposes, Electric Universe supporters assume these electric fields are created by magic, or perhaps some electrical diety (see Electric Universe: Making Electric Fields).
Some EU supporters will evade these questions by claiming it is an 'origins' problem and beyond science.  Like creationists, they want to rely on a cosmic electrical diety (perhaps Thor?) to build their universe.

Basic Electromagnetism - for Electric Sun Advocates...

Consider a real electromagnetism question relevant to Electric Sun claims…

Consider the system in the graphic above, with the Sun and a spherical surface around it called the heliopause or whatever surface you want to be the other electrode.  Establish an electric potential between the Sun and the heliopause, say one billion volts.  Choose your anode & cathode carefully.

Place an electron (green) and proton (red) just outside the photosphere.  If you need a distance, choose a variable, say epsilon, above the photosphere.  If need be, consider them one at a time so you don't need to consider the forces between the electron and proton.
  1. What are the forces on the electron?  the proton? What is the acceleration of each?
  2. Which way does each particle go?  How fast is it traveling at a distance, r, from the Sun?
Next, place an electron and proton just inside the heliopause.  Again, consider them one at a time so you don't need to consider the forces between the electron and proton.  If you need a distance, again choose the variable epsilon from the heliopause boundary. 
  1. Again, what are the forces and acceleration on each particle?
  2. Which way does each particle go? How far?  How fast?
What is energy of the particles at various distances from the Sun?  What charge needs to be on the Sun or the heliopause to maintain the electric potential?

Now expand the problem to multiple charged particles.  In the simple case, you just multiply the energies by N, the number of particles, which will give you an idea.  But at some point, the particle density will be sufficiently high that you have to consider interactions between the particles.
  1. At what point will the particles begin to significantly influence each others motion? 
  2. What happens when the particle flows begin altering their motion?
While a more advanced analysis, it has been examined many times experimentally and theoretically, going back to the 1920s and Irving Langmuir! (ADS: Currents Limited by Space Charge between Concentric Spheres)

Reverse the above potential and set its magnitude to 600 million volts.  Repeat the above analysis.  I'll be publishing my version of this analysis in 2014.

How do any of the numbers above correspond to their counterparts in the real solar wind?  Need some data?  You can start with the daily published values in the left sidebar at

Many of these questions could be answered by good high-school physics student, or at least a college physics undergraduate, but they seem to be unanswerable by EU theorists and their advocates who claim to be experts on electromagnetism.  Pointing this fact out often generates whines and cries of 'personal attack' from EU supporters!  I guess that's all they have to hide behind if they can't actually answer the scientific questions.  This behavior by EU is not that different than that reported by Robert Schadewald (see Reading: "Worlds of their Own" by Robert Schadewald) in dealing with the Velikovskians (EUs philosophical predecessors).  The arrogance with which EU supporters criticize the standard models and solar physicists while presenting NO comparable capability is indistinguishable from the Dunning-Kruger effect (wikipedia).

Hints for the Problem: Under the potential, the electron and proton will NOT go in the same direction, or at the same acceleration.   Because they have different velocities all along the distance between the photosphere and the other electrode, the protons and electrons will have different densities, and notions of 'quasi-neutrality' will not apply.  For those who've been following this closely, they might be reminded of a similar analysis here: The Solar Capacitor Model. I. II. III.

Can Electric Sun Models Live up to the Successes of the Standard Models?

All of the models described above suggest a radically different radiation and field environment around the solar system.  Do any of these models provide a mechanism for calculating the solar wind environment, which is vital for protecting satellites and astronauts?

No such results have been presented by Electric Universe advocates.

Well, with established physics, they actually they do provide a means of calculating them, by the recipes similar to that described above, but the results don't agree with actual measurements worth squat and so are useless from a practical perspective (see various model analyses presented under Challenges for Electric Universe 'Theorists').

Space weather forecasters at NOAA/SWPC routinely generate forecasts of space weather conditions 24/7 without use of ANY of these 'Electric Sun' models.

Here's the link to the run of the Enlil model for Earth space-weather forecasting, updated regularly.  It is used for estimating when coronal mass ejections (CMEs) launched from the Sun, will impact the Earth.

Do we see any such capability from the Electric Universe supporters?

No.  Just excuses.

Why should the space physics community use ANY Electric Sun model when Electric Universe supporters can't even produce results better than the existing models?  Heck, EU supporters produce NO USABLE RESULTS AT ALL!


Anonymous said...

This seems no different to the contradictory dark matter theories. We have (a) Cold dark matter (b) Warm dark matter (c) Hot dark matter (d) Mixed dark matter.

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

To Anonymous.

So? We do know that the Peratt galaxy model does not work since we do not see the microwave emission from the current filaments predicted by Peratt (Electric Universe: These are not the filaments you're looking for...). Yet Electric Universe supporters still push this model in spite of this fundamental failure and they're doing NOTHING to fix those problems but whine.

How many different atomic models existed from the 1800s to 1932 when we finally found all the 'standard' components of an atom and the modern model that made possible to semiconductor electronics in your computer? There were even people in the 1900s arguing that atoms did not exist! Yet even today there are crackpots advocating their 'cartoon' models of the atom which can't be used to design modern semiconductors.

It took over 200 years to prove the Newton's Cannon demonstration (Wikipedia).


Unknown said...

About Mozina's "Birkeland" model: He constantly refers to this as the "Birkeland solar cathode model". This seems based wholly on one newspaper report about a lecture that Birkeland gave in 1913 in London.
Prof. Birkeland of Norway Holds That Suns and Stars Are Charged Negatively.
This is the source of the 600 million volt claim.

Birkeland is reported as stating his opinion that stars give off positive particles and so are negatively charged. That is not a scientific model and Birkeland was wrong as the solar wind is neutral.

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

To Unknown,

I've not been able to view the entire NYT article, but I have found more details about this model in "The Norwegian Aurora Polaris Expedition. 1902-1903".

I have also found a number of papers from the 1900-1920s time frame where other astronomers examined Birkeland's models. A LOT of material which will probably occupy multiple posts. I'm still in the early stages of getting it organized.

Stay tuned!

Unknown said...

It would be interesting to find out just what Birkeland's model of the Sun actually was.
As far as I can see, Michael Mozina's Birkeland "solar cathode" model is based only on that newspaper report and maybe on Birkeland's 1908 book about his polar expedition and terrella experiments.
N.B. It is possible that this "solar cathode" model has nothing to do with powering the Sun. It may just be the idea that the Sun emits positive particles (like the spluttering debris and soot in his experiments) and that these coalesced to form the planets.

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

To Unknown,

In "The Norwegian Aurora Polaris Expedition. 1902-1903", Birkeland clearly recognized the idea of high voltage between the stars had problems in Maxwell's electromagnetism.

Pg 720, start of section 139:
According to our manner of looking at the matter, every star in the universe would be the seat and field of activity of electric forces of a strength that no one could imagine.
We have no certain opinion as to how the assumed enormous electric currents with enormous tension are produced, but it is certainly not in accordance with the principles we employ in technics on the earth at the present time. One may well believe, however, that a knowledge in the future of electrotechnics of the heavens would be of great practical value to our electrical engineers.

He probably did the same analyses I have done, and recognized the problems, as I have.

Quantum mechanics and nuclear physics did not solve this problem for Birkeland.

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

I've been participating in an Electric Sun thread over at CosmoQuest.

Electric Sun verified Don E Scott claims