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Plasma cosmology

  1. Dec 20, 2007 #1
    I found a video called "how the sun really works" on youtube.
    Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihVaL-FHUyk

    Well. This did not make much sense for me. Is there something to be debunked?
     
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  3. Dec 21, 2007 #2
    This an emerging area of cosmology. There is a rich history of alternative plasma based ideas in the cosmos as opposed to current gravitationally driven models. It started with the work of kristian birkeland and his famous terella experiments, where he was able to replicate many aspects of the sun by using an electriclaly charged anode. He replicated the plasma torus, sunspots, solar flares and many other things. This creasted a problem for astronomers who thought the sun is largely neutral, but the correlation between his experiments and the sun are hard to deny. Most scientists dismiss his findings to this day. http://www.plasma-universe.com/inde...ectric_Phenomena_in_Solar_Systems_and_Nebulae

    There is a brilliant site on electrical activity on the sun at; http://www.plasma-universe.com/index.php/Electric_Stars , with plenty of refernces to science papers.

    They cite well over twenty peer reviewed papers in support for an electrical model of stars. One of the most fascinating aspects of it is that Z-pinch fusion, in plasma similar to what the sun is made of, has been achieved in tests on earth, whereas continual nuclear fusion has still never been achieved. Talk of electricity and plasma in space are widespread in astronomy at the moment, but there has been no complete electrical circuit of stars yet put forward. Nobel laureate Hannes alfven proposed a model using a heliospheric current circuit, but i think that particular theory was sidelined for more mainstream ideologies.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2007
  4. Dec 21, 2007 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    It is not an emerging area of cosmology, but it is nonsense and an emerging area of crackpottery.

    Note that this has now been added to the list of topics banned at PF.
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=5929
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2007
  5. Dec 30, 2007 #4
    Edit by Ivan: The posts below were merged into this thread from the forum feedback sticky at the top of the page.

    • Yes, it makes sense that peer-reviewed journal do the "debunking". Can you provide some citations that criticize or debunk Plasma Cosmology?
      .
    • You mentioned Science, or Nature as benchmarks. Hannes Alfvén, one of the fathers of Plasma Cosmology (later incorporated into the Plasma Universe), had over twenty articles published in Nature, and about a dozen in Science, as well as articles in Astrophysics and Space Science (ref), including articles specifically on Plasma Cosmology. ie. It seems that their peer-review was not unfavourable.
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    • August 2007 saw the publications of 7th Special Issue on Space and Cosmic Plasma, in the IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, which included peer-reviewed articles on Plasma Cosmology / Plasma Universe.
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    • The IEEE is the world's largest technical professional organization with more than 360,000 members in around 175 countries. Their IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society who publishes the Transactions on Plasma Science, has about 3000 professional engineers and scientist, which is hardly an obscure number in comparison to, say, the American Astronomical Society has about 6,500 members that includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers.
    __________
    Ian Tresman
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2008
  6. Dec 30, 2007 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    As I said, if a paper has been published in a mainstream journal that is applicable to the subject, then it may be referenced here at PF.

    The last time that I checked, the IEEE was not in the Cosmology business. So unless they are venturing into areas that they are not qualified to address, I must assume that the papers published do not promote the theories that we have seen posted here. Plasma in and of itself is a subject for the IEEE; Cosmology is not.

    What's more, the source most often referenced here wrt Plasma Cosmology is YouTube.

    Finally, journals do their debunking by not publishing a theory. This is elementary, so I have to wonder about your demand for a debunking reference.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2007
  7. Dec 30, 2007 #6
    It is the referees of a journal that decide whether an article's area of investigation is relevant. The argument would imply that a cosmology journal is not qualified to discuss plasma. I recall that Hannes Alfvén was but an electrical engineer, had to publish in many obscure journals, and he won the Nobel Prize for his discoveries of magnetohydrodynamics that included their application space plasmas.

    That is called "ignoring"; To presuppose that by not presenting any evidence whatsoever, is "debunking", is not science. However, we could assume that an ignored theory is not an accepted theory, which is not the same thing.

    But I digress, and am pleased of your clarification.

    Ian Tresman
     
  8. Dec 30, 2007 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    Let me add that I am not the expert here. Any further discussion about this should be done by private message with the moderators of the Cosmology forum. But, I can say that we do not accept the argument that viable theories cannot get published. Personally, I suspect that your EE tried to extend his theories too far, and those ideas are the ones that have been rejected by the Cosmology community. On the other hand, if his theories are correct, then eventually they will be published and recognized by Cosmologists. But we can't be the ones to sort this out. That is beyond the scope of this or any forum at PF.

    If a theory has not been rejected by the Cosmology community, then you can certainly post a reference to the published paper. AFAIK, no one on the staff has ever over-ruled a respected Cosmology journal.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2007
  9. Dec 30, 2007 #8
    All sounds quite reasonable.Thanks for your comments.
     
  10. Dec 30, 2007 #9
    That is true, but there are a fair share of plasma cosmology papers from the main cosmology journals. I would very much to hear scientific reasons as to why they are not correct. I will start a thread elsewhere about them to see what the astronomy experts make of them, as i'm not sure this section is the place for debunking papers from established cosmology journals.

    There are a few more recent papers than many of Alfvens, that take a plasma cosmology viewpoint of the cosmos, as opposed to an exclusively gravity driven picture, published in Astrophysics and Space Science. Some of Anthony Peratts work on the effects of electricity in the cosmos, and general EM forces, springs to mind;

    Electric space: Evolution of the plasma universe
    Plasma and the Universe: Large Scale Dynamics, Filamentation, and Radiation

    Also his successful plasma galaxy formation simulation at Los Alamos National Laboratory supercomputer was also published in Astrophysics and Space Science. surprising really, as it contradicted a lot of the previous gravitationally driven models published in that journal, and it didn't use any 'dark matter' that scientists seem so fond of nowadays.

    Rotation Velocity and Neutral Hydrogen Distribution Dependency on Magnetic Field Strength in Spiral Galaxies

    I agree with that, a lot of people read plasma cosmology material and come up with their own individual interpretation of it, a lot of what you see on video sites about it are greatly exaggerated to make it more easier for the general public to understand some of the advanced plasma concepts

    And most of the video's are more on the speculative 'electric universe' side of plasma cosmology, and i feel that a distinction needs to be made between the two. While they share more similarities than differences, it should be noted that E.U. ideas tend to go a step further than the generally more cautious approach of Plasma Cosmology. While both viewpoints permit many ideas previously excluded by Big Bang Cosmology, The Electric Universe looks at the bigger picture, and promotes more radical ideas about the role of electricity in the universe.

    Plasma cosmology is more conservative in its approach and thus has recieved more approvement from various science journals over the years, partly due to the fact that they include areas of cosmology that the more unorthodox E.U. proponents have since disregarded.

    Seems fine to me, i just want to know why this is not a viable theory. This section is probably not the place for this then, i'll see what they make of it elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2007
  11. Dec 30, 2007 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    I have posted in the staff forum for review. Perhaps these papers were refuted later - they are ten years old. Either way, if we are in error on this then the ban on this topic will be lifted.
     
  12. Dec 31, 2007 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    We are going to temporarily lift the ban on Plasma Cosmology pending further review.

    Note that only papers published by refereed Cosmology journals are allowed to be referenced. Also note that this is not a subject for discussion in S&D: Please limit posts to the Cosmology forum.

    Just a reminder: We do not explore or debunk fringe theories in S&D. We explore claims of phenomena.
     
  13. Dec 31, 2007 #12
    I don't want to rock the boat, but why would you exclude papers on Plasma Cosmology that are published in a peer-reviewed plasma journal? We surely wouldn't suggest that cosmology scientists are better or worst than plasma scientists?
     
  14. Dec 31, 2007 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    I think we have to be careful when we cross disciplines. Plasma journals would be fine in the physics forum and as it pertains to plasmas. Cosmology journals are appropriate for the Cosmology forum. And since we can assume that no Cosmologist would be introducing new ideas about plasmas, there is no reason to blur the lines. Any good Cosmology journal would require that references to plasma science be properly sourced.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2007
  15. Dec 31, 2007 #14
    I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on the rational.

    To disregard citations to peer reviewed plasma journals because the science is applied to Cosmology, would mean we would have to disregard the plasma journal's application to other areas of astrophysics for exactly the same reason. This does seem a little prejudicial (in the literal sense of the word), and a little odd since 99.999% of the visible universe is plasma.

    And presumably we also exclude mathematical aspects of cosmology published only in mathematics journals for the same reason... and the physics of cosmology published in physics journals...
     
  16. Dec 31, 2007 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    As I said earlier, you should really take this up with the Cosmology moderators; in particular I suggest that you PM SpaceTiger as he is our resident expert. He can help to sort out the nuances of this issue. Note however that his time at PF is limited right now, so he may take a bit to respond.
     
  17. Dec 31, 2007 #16
    Thanks for that, I wasn't sure who was responsible.
     
  18. Jan 1, 2008 #17

    Astronuc

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    Not at all, we are being cautious. I was a member of IEEE for about 20 years, and particularly in the Plasma Sciences section. The papers are not necessarily peer-reviewed, and just because a paper is published in a peer-reviewed journal doesn't necessarily mean the particular paper received a rigorous review - based on personal experience with various journals.

    That said - we're looking at Plasma Cosmology.

    Cosmologists with a background in plasma physics are certainly qualified to talk about plasmas. Folks working on terrestrial plasmas who know nothing about astrophysics are not qualified to make definitive statements about the plasma behavior in space.

    Plasma Cosmology is already described as non-standard cosmology, which sets off alarm bells of skepticism for me.

    BTW -
    Electric space: Evolution of the plasma universe
    Plasma and the Universe: Large Scale Dynamics, Filamentation, and Radiation

    are essentially the same material.
     
  19. Jan 1, 2008 #18

    Gokul43201

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    Why? Has ST approved this?

    Not only is Plasma Cosmology not a mainstream cosmological model, it specifically refutes mainstream ideas. That, by the Forum Guidelines, makes it inadmissible here.

    Okay so maybe there are dozens of Plasma Cosmology papers in IEEE-Plasma. Probably the only reason for that, however, is that Perratt (a Plasma Cosmology proponent) is/was the Editor for IEEE - Plasma. And moreover, there will always be a small number of non-mainstream articles published by mainstream journals - but that doesn't make their discussion admissible here, by the forum guidelines. There have also been many cases of complete nonsense and crankery published in mainstream journals.

    I STRONGLY object to lifting this ban, and it is my opinion that the topic ought to remain banned at least until SpaceTiger approves lifting it.
     
  20. Jan 1, 2008 #19

    Astronuc

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    Current Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science is Steven J. Gitomer, LANL.

    http://plasmascience.net/ieeetps/SeniorEditors.html#Peratt
    Explains why his papers were readily published.
     
  21. Jan 1, 2008 #20
    Indeed. But fortunately the History of the Founding of the Transactions on Plasma Science "insisted on having peer reviewed manuscripts".

    As for whether papers "received a rigorous review", I think we could make that criticism of any publication, especially where controversial material is involved.

    This sounds rather presumptuous... that cosmologists who have a background in plasma physics necessarily have sufficient knowledge about cosmic plasmas, but terrestrial-plasma physicists are to be doubted. Again, I'll defer to referees.

    Good, skepticism makes for a good scientist (no insult or patronizing intended). But I would note that this description sounds like to comes from Wikipedia, which is hardly the most reliable source. The description should describe Plasma Cosmology as not the Standard Cosmology (proper noun, capital letters), rather than non-standard (low-case) which is not necessarily the opposite, and what I would call mischief-making, and a non-biased adjective.

    But I generally agree with you, that caution should be the correct approach, and these forums should not be the place to promote Plasma Cosmology.
     
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