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10 ^18 Amps, Universal Record for Current

  1. Jun 22, 2011 #1


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    A COSMIC jet 2 billion light years away is carrying the highest electric current ever seen: 10^18 amps, equivalent to a trillion bolts of lightning.

    Philipp Kronberg of the University of Toronto in Canada and colleagues measured the alignment of radio waves around a galaxy called 3C303, which has a giant jet of matter shooting from its core. They saw a sudden change in the waves' alignment coinciding with the jet. "This is an unambiguous signature of a current," says Kronberg.

    We present radio emission, polarization, and Faraday rotation maps of the radio jet of the galaxy 3C303. From this data we derive the magnetoplasma and electrodynamic parameters of this $50$ kpc long jet. For one component of this jet we obtain for the first time a direct determination of a {\it galactic}-scale electric current ($\sim 10^{18}$ A), and its direction $-$ {\it positive} away from the AGN. Our analysis strongly supports a model where the jet energy flow is mainly {\it electromagnetic}.

    Respectfully submitted,
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 22, 2011 #2
    Quick! Let's hook up a huge motor to it and solve the world's energy problems for the next billion or so years.
  4. Jun 22, 2011 #3


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    Hi Dave, thanks for your post.

    Should it be taken from your friendly humor and the obvious fact that stuff happening out in space usually lacks much significance to us here on earth, that I have posted inappropriately in the Electrical Engineering forum? Perhaps this sort of thing would have been better posted elsewhere?

    Respectfully yours,
  5. Jun 22, 2011 #4
    No, here is fine. This was just my way of saying, "HOLY !&#*!" I never pay attention to which forum something is in - it's more about the substance (and that is one whopper of an amperage!)
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