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Need school advice for specific area of study.

  1. Jul 26, 2010 #1
    Hi Physics Forums! I'm brand new here, My name is Randy. I recently decided not to re-up in the army and instead attend collage full time. I'm currently a student at Devry, But i've decided that physics is more than a lifelong hobby, it's something I could do everyday and be a happy and intillectually fulfilled man.

    I want to study the relationship of electrical currents carried on plasma streams and electromagnetic fields found in the cosmos. I believe the massive current carried on these "rivers of plasma" and the EM fields they create play a significant role in space. Not that i'm fully on board with the plasma model, but I definately believe these forces are significant in the true structure of "THE Cosmic Model. We have but scratched the surface of true cosmic mechanics no matter what model of it, you choose advocate. Personnally, I'm betting on a strange dynamic relationship of both forces, Gravity and Plasma driven EM fields, but i'm a 3 collage class, high school drop out, what do I know haha?

    Anyway, these currents and the physics behind them are specifically what I want to study. Plasma Physics seems to describe this best, but (And I ask because I do not know..) does an elecrtical degree prepare me to study these electrical currents just as well? My goal is research along the lines of Tesla's, high energy plasma discharges, how the stream of plasma from the sun to earth could be tapped for elecrtical energy uses, or plasma converted to useable electricity. I know Plasma scales over 14 known orders of magnitude and i've read there could even be 28 more. To me that is astonishing and I feel there is clearly a study gap or oversight in the electrical systems of the universe, and that is the gap I want to bridge with research and study. I'm a horrible mathmatician, and am currently struggling through basic algebra. I'm aware of how this hinders me in traditional physics, but my field of choice is an electrical dynamic, electrons seperated from their atoms and or hopping from atom to atom.

    So there it is, a huge piece of my mind. Can anyone help me decide what schools would best suit my desired study? Maybe a good math school for undergrad studies, basic physics or up to your BA/BS are "generally" the same from school to school right?

    *****But then what? Is Plasma physics or elecrical eng. or something a better path for my desired research field as a part of graduate studies?*****

    Also, since I pay for school, for now anyway, with my G.I. Bill, "yellow ribbon program" schools are preferred, as they will match the Veterens Affairs (VA=50%) to cover what the G.I. Bill does not pay. So if the GI Bill pays out $20,000 per year, and tuition is $80,000, the VA will pay out $30,000 and "Yellow Ribbon Program" schools will match that $30,000 totaling 100% covered. A list of these schools can be found here:
    But I wouldn't know anything about the physics departments or really what school was even right for what I want to study.

    Any help provided would be of great value to me and i'm happy to be a new memeber of the Physics Formums Community.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 26, 2010 #2
    Hi SgtB. If I'm not mistaken, the Plasma Cosmology is the idea of Hans Alfvén, but was discredited and never taken too seriously. So I don't know if there's any research being done in this field anymore. But hey, I could be mistaken.
  4. Jul 26, 2010 #3


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    Yes, the whole plasma cosmology idea isn't widely accepted. But there are many active research areas in plasma physics and magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) as applied to astrophysical objects. I know there's a group at UA Huntsville doing that, and I'm sure there are many more as well. Any undergrad school would be good, but you really need to get out of DeVry - it is not a respected school and chances are it's much more expensive than non-profits. Try your local state university where you can get in-state tuition; many have excellent physics programs. But you're going to need a lot of math for this - MHD calculations are very intensive mathematically and computationally. You'll need a physics major and a lot of classes in astronomy, math, and computer science to get into these fields.
  5. Jul 26, 2010 #4
    I wouldn't say it was discredited, but definatly not widely accepted. however a few google searches tell me there is a pretty large community of physicist from assoiates to Phd's still actively researching this model, and with some progress. Guys like Stephen J. Crothers make a pretty solid and Mathmatically / Scientifically solid argument against the gravity model.

    But again, i'm not really on board with the entire model of plasma or gravity to be honest. But I know that electrodynamics have not been well researched in the cosmos either, due to the un-popularity of the plasma model, research funds are difficult to obtain im sure. But there are flaws in gravity theory as well, black hole math, dark matter, neither model seems to explain everything without abstract math, new physics, unfalsifiable claims or outright unproven/tested theory, in my very humble opinion. But thats exactly why I want to do this.

    All I know is, there are in fact, massive rivers of plasma out there, carrying mind boggling currents, in the voids of previously thought more or less empty space. Electrical currents and magnetic fields are 2 sides the exact same coin, where you find one, you find the other. These massive currents of plasma driven electrical charges cannot be written off so casually as, "They don't do nothing much."
    And thats why i'm interested in studying these currents specifically.

    Devry has no physics department at all. But gaming studios hire from devry alot for programers and grapic artists. That was my orginal intention for collage. This is WAY more interesting =)
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
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