Monday, March 26, 2012

Lasers Shine Light on the Electric Universe

All roads lead to one inevitable conclusion: As electric currents produce magnetic fields, any magnetic fields we observe must be produced by electric currents. New research using lasers shows that even where shock waves and magnetic fields correlate, it is an electric current loop that generates the magnetic field.

Science marches blindly onward. The time has come to remove the blinders and explore our Electric Universe.

Galactic magnetic fields have been a thorn in the side of gravitational cosmology for the better part of a century. Where do they come from? How did they get there? Why do they persist? Why didn't gravitational cosmology predict them? Why are Hannes Alfvén's predictions almost always prescient? (Okay. Ambiplasma may have been a garden path. We can accept that. Nobody's perfect.)

Simply put, those who espouse gravitational models of the universe seems to willingly put on blinders to the efficacy of the electromagnetic field in explaining the workings of the universe. Hopefully this blog serves to peel back the veil ever so slightly.

The current leading contender for 'how galactic magnetic fields got there' in the gravitational universe are so-called magnetic 'seed fields,' unexplained small-scale fields that somehow get whipped up and amplified into bigger fields through 'dynamo action.'
"Scientists believe that galactic magnetic fields are generated from weaker seed fields. These seeds are then amplified via a dynamo mechanism, in which the rotation and turbulence of the galaxy’s interstellar medium – the gas and dust between stars – acts to reinforce the original magnetic field."

But, how did the 'seed fields' get there? Magic? God put them there when He created everything from nothing? Man put them there when he mathematically created everything from nothing (the Big Bang)?
"However, this mechanism doesn’t explain how the seed fields themselves come into being."

Since electric currents are not generally permissible in a gravitational universe (they either don't exist at all, don't exist on the largest scales or don't do anything of consequence, depending who you ask), some other method of creating magnetic fields must come into play. Seemingly, the only other way of generating high-energy events is collisions (banging things together).
"One of the proposed methods for creating seeds is via shock waves..."
So, when all else fails, it seems 'shock waves' are invoked to get things going. Though, why 'shock waves' should be expected to generate magnetic fields isn't entirely clear, other than the fact that something has to do it.

I wonder, does a bullet flying through air produce a magnetic field? It certainly generates a shock wave. I suppose it might be an interesting experiment... Though, it's outside the scope of this blog.

To test the hypothesis, scientists have created a shockwave in the lab using a high-power laser.
"[A] pulsed laser was directed at a small carbon rod inside a chamber filled with helium gas [to mimic an explosion] ... This explosion created a shock wave ahead of the expanding material. As the shock wave moved through the plasma in the chamber, a current loop was created, which in turn generated a magnetic field."
As expected, the shockwave generated a magnetic field. Indirectly. The shockwave generated a current loop (an electric current), which in turn generated the magnetic field. This process is known as the 'Biermann battery.' Now, the Biermann battery effect was what they were looking for. So, kudos for that... But the worry is that now science will put its blinders back on and ignore the middle man (electric currents), claiming that 'shock waves generate magnetic fields, enough said.' Too often this kind of pseudo-pedagogical oversimplification is what creeps in.

We should be cautious to always remember the causal chain of events. Yes, a shock wave can lead to a magnetic field, but only through the generation of an intermediary electric current and not through any other action. In the end it is the electric current that produces the observed magnetic field.

So, really what they have confirmed, once again, is that electric currents are the sole source of magnetic fields in the universe (as was pointed out in the initial post of this blog). A shock wave is merely one method of producing an electric current.

It is, thus, still the contention of this blog that where magnetic fields are observed in the universe, we must work backward and ask what electric current systems are driving them.
"Electric current can be directly measured with a galvanometer, but this method involves breaking the electrical circuit, which is sometimes inconvenient. Current can also be measured without breaking the circuit by detecting the magnetic field associated with the current."
Magnetic fields are diagnostic for electric currents. By observing magnetic fields we can infer that a current is present and determine characteristics of that current. This holds just as true in space as it does here on Earth in the lab. For instance, astronomers recently announced the strongest electric current observed thus far in the universe flowing in the jet of galaxy 3C303.

The scientists testing the shockwave hypothesis, however, caution that shock waves are not the only method that has been proposed for generating magnetic 'seed fields.' Other hypotheses includes stars or other objects 'casting off' their magnetic fields into interstellar space. Such a 'casting off' is nonsense, since magnetic fields cannot be 'frozen in' to plasma as has been repeatedly claimed by astronomers (Don Scott).

Unmentioned is the assertion decades ago by Hannes Alfvén that galaxies should be expected to possess magnetic fields owing to the fact that they are electrical structures not dissimilar to a unipolar inductor. If this is so, then so-called 'seed fields' would be an unnecessary artifice, as the electric currents flowing in and around a galaxy analogous to a unipolar inductor would be the only source required to account for the observed magnetic fields.

Perhaps some day soon, we can dispense with the need for 'seed fields' altogether and move to a fully electromagnetic explanation of the ubiquitously observed magnetic fields throughout the universe. So ubiquitous are they, in fact, that a number of mainstream publications have alluded to the fact that we live in a "Magnetic Universe."

But, what is a "Magnetic Universe" if not a second order "Electric Universe" wherein the cart has been placed before the horse?
"Underpinning all this is a serious problem: we simply don't know what created this cosmic magnetism, or how it has maintained its strength over billions of years ... We don't [know] when or how the first magnetic fields were generated, or how they have stayed so strong and ordered over billions of years. "
If we can agree that "electric currents are the sole source of magnetic fields in the universe," as was also put forth in the initial post of this blog, then we should also agree that any such "Magnetic Universe" must more fundamentally be an "Electric Universe." Steady magnetic fields arise from steady electric currents. Changing magnetic fields arise from changes to the underlying currents. Thus, if we see that magnetic fields in the universe persist and remain stable, we must also assume that the feeder currents also persist and remain stable.

That currents exist and do things of interest, must at this point become relatively non-controversial. It's time to acknowledge that obvious fact and move forward with our newer and more complete tool set. Where we see magnetic fields, we should seek to determine the underlying current structures.

Perhaps our universe is more readily knowable than we had heretofore dreamed? Galactic unipolar inductors, filamentary nebulae compressed by electromagnetic forces, high energy impulsive events driven by exploding circuits, and so on. All knowable, all testable hypotheses given a more complete understanding.

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