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Thread: Electric Universe Model.,

  1. #181
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    However, a closed field does not imply that current exists, leaving the source of
    magnetism and returning as the electric universe model seems to indicate.

    blueshift

  2. #182
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    Hi Blueshift,

    However, a closed field does not imply that current exists,
    Actually it does, closed circuits imply currents as a cause and magnetic fields as an effect. The EU model makes sense because it doesn't leave the "flapping" magnetic field lines, but closes the circuit. In the standard model the Sun generates the magnetic fields and that's where the question of the "flapping" lines arises from.

    Cheers.

  3. #183
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    Originally posted by VanderL@Aug 21 2004, 08:04 PM
    Early in this thread I asked Tim Thompson about the solar wind and what happens to it near the boundary or heliosphere. Here is a similar question by a plasma engineer that nicely describes where the problem with the standard view lies.

    Cheers.
    Ah, my name arises like a pheonix from the ashes once again. I am guessing that my earlier brilliancies referenced by VanderL are Post 14313 and Post 14512, where I talk about the structure of the heliosphere & the composition of the solar wind.

    I do wish that Frank May had been more informative about who the mystery astrophysicist he argued with is, and what the argument was about. Personally, I do not subscribe to the "field lines flapping in the breeze" reasoning, and I know other space physicists who don't either. The problem is that, in the presence of the outflowing plasma of the solar wind, it is simply not possible for the field lines of the solar magnetic field to return to the sun. They obviously go somewhere, and where that is is not known. I see no problem with the complex topology of field lines extending with the solar wind to the heliopause, where they would connect eventually to the galactic field lines through the solar magnetotail.

    I cannot see any aspect of the electric universe (or electric solar system) hypothesis which improves on what we already know. Observation does not reveal the alleged inflowing plasma, nor does it reveal the field lines coming back in (and the crowds of spacecraft that have poked around for several decades should certainly have seen something if the alleged currents & field lines were there.

    One of the major failings of the electric universe is that it holds magnetohydrodynamics to be false. But since it is in fact strongly verified by laboratory experience, and by observation of solar & astrophysical plasmas, that seems an eccentric route to travel, at best.

    The reality is that there are lots of things we don't know, as just about any scientist will happily explain. But just because we don't know the answer to some questions, does not imply that we don't know the answers to any questions. Some things we know, some things we don't. Surely that's no surprise to anybody. But one of the things we know is that a flowing plasma takes its magnetic field along for the ride, so any hypothesis which suggests otherwise has a lot of hurdles to jump over..

  4. #184
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    Originally posted by VanderL@Aug 23 2004, 08:45 AM
    Hi Blueshift,

    However, a closed field does not imply that current exists,
    Actually it does, closed circuits imply currents as a cause and magnetic fields as an effect.
    Hi VanderL,

    If closed field lines imply current exists, then how do you explain a permanent
    magnet. You are not inferring that current flows through it, are you?

    blueshift

  5. #185
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    Hi VanderL,

    If closed field lines imply current exists, then how do you explain a permanent
    magnet. You are not inferring that current flows through it, are you?

    blueshift
    Blueshift, as a matter of fact I do, in a bar magnet tiny currents flow that generate the magnetic field, maybe this link helps. Of course if we consider space currents, scales and material are vastly different.

    Hi Tim,

    Thanks for the reply, never were one for modesty, right?
    Ah, my name arises like a pheonix from the ashes once again
    Reminds me a bit of Lurch, YOU RANG???

    Anyways

    The problem is that, in the presence of the outflowing plasma of the solar wind, it is simply not possible for the field lines of the solar magnetic field to return to the sun. They obviously go somewhere, and where that is is not known.
    That's apparently exactly where the EU model comes up with an explanation (p.s. I'm writing this in the middle of a giant thunderstorm! Electric&#33, and as far as I know, their predictions pan out, see for instance the Stardust topic where the observed "bright spots" seen on the surface of comet Wild 2 were expected and are associated with the jets.

    But one of the things we know is that a flowing plasma takes its magnetic field along for the ride,
    Now that is a point which the EU model strongly rejects. No magnetic fields are taken along for a ride, the same thing applies to the "freezing" of magnetic fields in a plasma, it was rejected by Alfvén; after his initial contributions to the field of MHD he realised that plasma is a good conductor but not a perfect conductor. He even mentioned this misconception (which is in the textbooks nowadays) in his speech when he received his Nobel award, way back.

    And the magneto-hydrodynamics theory is not without use, it's just that if the basic assumptions are incorrect, you can still create beautiful, consistent models. But just like epicycling; it worked but it was still incorrect.

    Cheers.

  6. #186
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    VanderL: That's apparently exactly where the EU model comes up with an explanation (p.s. I'm writing this in the middle of a giant thunderstorm! Electric&#33, and as far as I know, their predictions pan out, see for instance the Stardust topic where the observed "bright spots" seen on the surface of comet Wild 2 were expected and are associated with the jets.
    Oh, you mean the "bright spots" that are featured on this webpage? Ony tiny little dot that could be bad pixels as well as anything else? Don't you think maybe those spots are a tad over interpreted? Their predictions pan out?? You mean predictions like the one on this webpage, where we find this prediction:

    EU webpage: In the electrical hypothesis, a rock moving rapidly through the electric field of the Sun will develop a plasma sheath that stretches into a coma thousands of kilometers across and a filamentary tail that remains coherent over millions of kilometers.
    A rock? Really? Take a look at the NSSDC image catalog of asteroid pictures. Those are rocks, and there are a lot more where they come from. They travel through the electric field of the sun (such as it is) just as fast as comets do (actually faster most of the time), but where are the predicted tails? I would call that a failed prediction.

    Tim T: But one of the things we know is that a flowing plasma takes its magnetic field along for the ride, so any hypothesis which suggests otherwise has a lot of hurdles to jump over.
    VanderL: Now that is a point which the EU model strongly rejects. No magnetic fields are taken along for a ride, the same thing applies to the "freezing" of magnetic fields in a plasma, it was rejected by Alfvén; after his initial contributions to the field of MHD he realised that plasma is a good conductor but not a perfect conductor. He even mentioned this misconception (which is in the textbooks nowadays) in his speech when he received his Nobel award, way back.
    This is like saying we should accept an hypothesis that strongly rejects the notion that 2+2=4, and I am not being sarcastic, it is a literal analogy. Evidently you missed where I said ...

    Tim T: One of the major failings of the electric universe is that it holds magnetohydrodynamics to be false. But since it is in fact strongly verified by laboratory experience, and by observation of solar & astrophysical plasmas, that seems an eccentric route to travel, at best.
    The fact that magnetic fields will be carried by a plasma is exactly that, a fact. It is not a guess or a theory, but an observed fact. It happens in plasma physics labs the world over. And it's not too surprising. All you have to do is create a ratio ...

    (magnetic field energy density) / (plasma particle kinetic energy density)

    If the ratio is >> 1, then the magnetic field will dominate over the motion of the plasma. No big surprise there, it has more energy. If the ratio is << 1, then the plasma will drag the magnetic field along with it. No big surprise there either, it has more energy. Whichever one has the higher energy density controls the flow. In the case of the solar wind, the particle kinetic energy density is much higher and it controls the flow, it takes the magnetic field along for a ride (see, for instance, Space Physics, An Introduction to Plasmas and Particles in the Heliosphere and Magnetospheres, May-Britt Kallenrode, Springer, 2001, section 3.2, "Basic Equations of MHD").

    I see no advantage in hypotheses which claim that observed facts are impossible.

    As for the freezing of magnetic fields in a plasma, you should read those textbooks it&#39;s in more carefully. Try, for instance, The Physics of Plasmas, T.J.M. Boyd & J.J. Sanderson, Cambridge University Press, 2003. See chapter 4, "Ideal magnetohydrodynamcs", and chapter 5, "Resistive magnetohydrodynamics". Magnetic fields freeze into plasmas only when the plasma has no resistivity ("ideal MHD"). But few real plasmas do that. Most real plasmas, like the solar wind plasma, have a non-zero resistivity, and the magnetic field drifts with respect to the plasma ("diffusion"). There is no "misconception that is still in the textbooks". It&#39;s pretty clearly stated where it works & where it doesn&#39;t.

  7. #187
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    Oh, you mean the "bright spots" that are featured on this webpage? Ony tiny little dot that could be bad pixels as well as anything else? Don&#39;t you think maybe those spots are a tad over interpreted?
    No they are interpreted, as opposed to not interpreted at all (bad pixels? Come on&#33, there are several of these spots and they are associated with the jets (as NASA/JPL said). Then tell me what they are in your opinion, and I don&#39;t want to hear about bad pixels (just take a good look at those pictures).



    They travel through the electric field of the sun (such as it is) just as fast as comets do (actually faster most of the time), but where are the predicted tails? I would call that a failed prediction.
    It is not just about moving through the Sun&#39;s magnetic field, it is the trajectory that is important. Comets are on a long trajectory, most of the time very far away from the Sun, meaning in the part where charge difference is larger (see here and here), when they get closer to the Sun only then will the tail appear. Asteroids are basically no different from comets (in the EU view) other than their orbits; their charge difference has dissipated, or never formed.

    There is no "misconception that is still in the textbooks". It&#39;s pretty clearly stated where it works & where it doesn&#39;t.
    Well obviously that is exactly the claim here, if the textbooks (which of course have been verified as stating only facts) contain errors it would be wise to check the claim. You can quote the whole textbook for me but apparently Alfvén himself was the one who claimed this first and unfortunately is is difficult to ask him, but there should be more people who could verify his claim. Just let me try to find an expert who is willing to explain why Alfvén was so distressed about this "false" assumption.

    Cheers.

  8. #188
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    Originally posted by VanderL@Aug 25 2004, 11:23 AM
    Asteroids are basically no different from comets (in the EU view) other than their orbits; their charge difference has dissipated, or never formed.
    If I could point you to tail-less asteroids with more elliptical orbits than the least elliptically orbiting comets, would that be proof against this claim that they are essentially the same thing?
    Forming opinions as we speak

  9. #189
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    Hi Antoniseb,

    good point, but it should be a comparable orbit to known comets. I think the time a comet spends in "deep space" is the important factor (recharging?). It would be interesting to see if there are some of those tail-less comets around, maybe there is something to learn there.

    Cheers.

  10. #190
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    Ok VanderL, but how do you explain short-period comets that are continually outgassing? Halley&#39;s would be a prime example.

  11. #191
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    Originally posted by Duane@Aug 25 2004, 04:15 PM
    Halley&#39;s would be a prime example.
    Encke&#39;s Comet would be even better. It has a period of 3.3 years. There are definitely scores of asteroids that both have more distant aphelions and smaller perihelions than THAT comet.
    Forming opinions as we speak

  12. #192
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    Hi Duane, thanks Antoniseb,

    Encke is indeed the ultimate example of a short-period comet, it only gets halfway to Jupiter if I read the info correctly. It also is one of the comets with an almost invisible tail, apparently it is a comet that is almost worn out (standard view) or it just doesn&#39;t build enough charge for a more spectacular display. It would be nice to see if there are asteroids with orbits that are close to comet Encke and look for specific comet signs, only much weaker. I guess that if the EU model is correct there is a continuum of comet aspects that are dependent on size and orbit of the body in question.

    Cheers.

  13. #193
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    Hello VanderL,

    Seems like a good exchange. An amateur like myself finds out a lot from such exchanges..

    However, I am a bit puzzled by some methods that alternative theorists use in
    presenting their proposals that they feel are going to "shake the foundation of science"..

    If I had a new invention or theory that I felt some bureaucracy was too thick headed to allow its acceptance or mass production, I wouldn&#39;t bother pitching an
    overused sales routine that wastes time trying to &#39;&#39;convince" people that the old
    Brand X needs to be tossed in favor of the new.

    That method has always failed in the past and will fail in the future.

    What does work is to simpy allow failure to occur and to let the standard model
    run into a wall that it cannot break through reaching an impasse. People who
    are dead certain about their hypothesis being accepted spend most of their time
    pondering the loss of their privacy that will accompany success.

    If there is a returning current to the sun, the failure to recognize this should cause
    a major failure in the space program in some place. A failure to take this into account should produce some miscalculations in space flights and in solar observations that should have major impact on satellite communications. Major money losses should occur casting them in doubt..

    Further, I would produce better flying equipment than NASA does to demonstrate
    to the remaining public that there is some mustard that backs you up..I don&#39;t wish to discourage you from taking issue with Tim but at the moment I do see evidence
    at his website that he does work for an outfit with a lot of machines flying around
    outerspace, between the rings of Saturn and out to Mars plus a few that are at the
    edge of our solar system..

    Where&#39;s the beef? What backs you up that should appear stronger to the inexperienced? Should we go with someone pointing a finger or with someone who
    gives us results we see right on television?

    We see commercials every day that spend their time trying to tell me what&#39;s wrong with the competitor&#39;s product...I never buy that one..When I go to Chevy
    to test ride a vehicle I always tell the salesman to shut up or I&#39;ll walk right out..
    Just give me the keys and let me drive it..

    You really might have something going...But the sites you point to use the same language right out of the X Files...It&#39;s a turn off...just like the politicians are.

    blueshift

  14. #194
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    Hi Blueshift

    I have great admiration for the people that give us all this wonderful stuff. Without their effort we wouldn&#39;t be discussing anything. It is great fun to discuss and compare and at the moment I have the feeling that the EU model has something really interesting to offer.
    I can&#39;t change the way the authors of the websites present their ideas, if the ideas seem to come right out of the X-files and the presentation is a turn-off I&#39;m sorry for that, because I know that these people are serious and mean what they say.
    I can understand why they say "mainstream" is ignoring evidence, because people are impatient (me too), that doesn&#39;t change the fact that the "mainstream" (which is in constant change an what was fringe earlier could be gospel today) doesn&#39;t like being told they ignore evidence or use false assumptions, it isn&#39;t very productiev. Otoh, science is all about finding truths, solving problems, so admitting to mistakes is part of the process. And if the reasoning is correct the scientific way is to follow that idea/reasoning to it&#39;s end and see what comes out (Sherlock Holmes springs to mind).
    What I do is question and discuss and see what comes out, the Universe will not
    change it&#39;s "ways" because of what we think. Science is a human undertaking and can give us a sense of understanding.

    Cheers.

  15. #195
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    VanderL,

    Thank you for a thoughtful reply..I personally think that a great deal of mistrust
    of the science establishment comes from the failures in the field of medicine...
    Just too many people have become victims and lost all confidence..

    That would be straying way off of topic...in a sense..

    I do have another questiion for you..I have been taught that the reason that things like people are not round is because the electrical forces are too strong in their relationship to the gravitational force..Gravity minimizes surface area to create spheres while the electrical forces don&#39;t do that at all times although things like water drops do exist..

    I picture in my head that the electric model of the universe probably has some explanation to describe this that is a bit different since , I gather,that you might tend to see gravity being the result of electrical behavior..?

    So, why are things round from the electric point of view?

    blueshift

  16. #196
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    Hi Blueshift,

    I didn&#39;t come up with the EU model and I don&#39;t assume I understand everything that is proposed, but in the EU model gravity exists as well (ha, no surprise there&#33. The first thing that happens (when we assume their ideas to be correct) is that matter accretes by the so-called "Z-pinch" effect, basically the Birkeland currents form long spiral where matter is "pinched off" like beads on a string along the Birkeland current after that gravity can take over. Depending on the strength of the current and the amount of matter available, stars form and where plasmas are concerned everything with different charge will be pushed toward a stable conformation. That way matter will be surrounded buy "double-layers" (this is all a bit more complicated to explain, but I suggest www.electric-cosmos.com where the plasma behaviour is explained better) where the charge difference is concentrated into layers. That way you get vast amounts of quasi-neutral plasma and small highly "compressed" layers where the complete strength of the charge differential is visible (corona, chromosphere, heliosphere to name a few). Comparable to the anodes and cathodes
    I&#39;m not sure if it answers your question, but this is what I gather thus far.


    Cheers.

  17. #197
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    VanderL: ... And if the reasoning is correct the scientific way is to follow that idea/reasoning to it&#39;s end and see what comes out (Sherlock Holmes springs to mind).
    Hey, I&#39;ll buy that. Let us reason together. Consider, for instance, the EU Jets of Hale Bopp page that you linked to earlier. On that page we find this ...

    EU webpage: The comet spends most of its time far from the Sun, where the plasma charge density is low. The comet moves slowly and its charge easily comes into balance with that region. On the other hand, as the comet approaches the Sun, the nucleus moves at a furious speed through regions of increasing charge density and varying electrical characteristics. The comet&#39;s surface charge and internal polarization, developed in deep space, responds to the new environment by forming cathode jets and a visible plasma sheath, or coma.
    Cool. What&#39;s a cathode? Its the thing at a negative potential (excess negative charge). What&#39;s a "cathode jet"? It&#39;s a jet of current flowing from the cathode (negative), usually towards the anode (positive). It&#39;s what happens when the cathode is overly negtively charged, and has to discharge.

    But the comet got its negative charge where the plasma density was low. So, when it comes into the inner solar system, where the plasma density is higher, the comet must be undercharged, not over charged, so how does it discharge? Why doesn&#39;t it charge up in the inner solar system, where there&#39;s lots of charge, and discharge in the outer solar system, where the charge density is low?

    If comets were as the EU suggests, they would form tales only when they were discharging, far from the sun, not when they were charging, close to the sun.

    And how about their comet X-rays webpage. On that one we find this ...

    EU webpage: The Sun&#39;s radial electric field is weak but constant with distance in interplanetary space.
    How can the sun have a radial electric field, when it has a radial magnetic field? When are electric & magnetic field lines ever parallel? And exactly how strong is this alleged radial electric field? How many Volts/meter as a function of distance from the sun? How is it that this as yet unobserved electric field is strong enough to whip comets into a frenzy, and yet gentle enough to leave the charge neutral solar wind unpolarized?

    Reasoning & a touch of plain old seat-of-the-pants physics suggests that (1) the EU explanation of comets would be expected to produce results that are the opposite of what are actually observed, rendering the explanation falsified, and (2) the alleged electric field does not exist.

    So why is that all wrong?

  18. #198
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    Hi Tim,

    In the EU model the Sun is the most positively charged body in the solar system (anode) and everything else in the solar system can thus be considered a cathode (relative to the Sun).
    A cathode jet is formed when an electric discharge is initiated on a cathode surface.

    The exact strength of the radial electric field is unknown to me, but a diagram of how the electric field can be compared to plasmas in the laboratory is shown on this webpage, if you scroll halfway down you can see the diagram.

    How can the sun have a radial electric field, when it has a radial magnetic field? When are electric & magnetic field lines ever parallel? And exactly how strong is this alleged radial electric field? How many Volts/meter as a function of distance from the sun? How is it that this as yet unobserved electric field is strong enough to whip comets into a frenzy, and yet gentle enough to leave the charge neutral solar wind unpolarized?
    Plasmas are quasi-neutral (meaning that locally the charge can be neutral) but the real charge differences are concentrated in the double layers (see also the diagram). This means that the radial field shows strong changes in the very small regions of the double layers and very little change in the quasi-neutral part. Apparently there is enough of a field to generate the electric effects on comets.

    Btw did you find any plausible explanation for the bright spots on comet Wild 2 yet?

    Cheers.

  19. #199
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    But why does a cathode discharge? Certainly not just because there is a positive thing around. It discharges because there is an electric field at the surface of the cathode that accelerates electrons off the cathode

    One way for this to happen is if there is so much charge on the cathode, that it creates its own surface field. But we already know that&#39;s not the case, becasue the surface charge density on the comet must be less than the charge density of the surrounding space, so any electric field would charge the comet, not discharge it.

    The other way for this to happen is if the electric field of the big positive thing is strong enough, at the comet surface, to do the job. But we know that&#39;s also not true. One reason is that the solar wind is charge neutral, meaning that it is a fair mix of positive & negative charge carriers (the distinction of "quasi neutrality" is irrelevant). Any electric field imposed on that plasma would rapidly polarize it, meaning that the positive & negative charge carriers would separate and go their own way. The fact that we do not observe this behavior, despite doing so with instruments designed specifically to see that behavior, is trong evidence that the field is not there. And another strong indication that the field is not there is that those same instruments are designed specifically to measure the field directly, and they don&#39;t see it either.

    Comets can only be cathode dischargers if there is an electric field at the surface, strong enough to initiate discharge. We know that there is no such electric field. Therefore, we know that comets cannot be discharging cathodes. It&#39;s all really very simple, and somewhat embarrassing for the EU folks that they actually make very trivial & obvious mistakes, not obscure mistakes.

    As for the bright spots on Wild 2, I have no idea what they are. To what extent is that relevant? Is that because the EU theory predicted bright spots? Aside from the fact that the EU rarely predicts anything before it happens, what&#39;s so big about predicting bright spots? How is it that after more than 10 years, the EU folks have yet to predict a singlt number? A field strength? A charge? Anything? Isn&#39;t is just a tad curious that the "scientific" EU hypothesis is incapable of "predicting" the numerical value of anything?

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    Hi Tim,

    I have the feeling that I&#39;m getting you all worked up again, that&#39;s not what I&#39;m after. I&#39;m simply trying to understand how things work and what it is about the EU model that makes me think it is a very interesting and plausible idea while others think it is bunk.

    But why does a cathode discharge? Certainly not just because there is a positive thing around. It discharges because there is an electric field at the surface of the cathode that accelerates electrons off the cathode
    As I understand it the charge differential builds and is concentrated into double layers; when the difference is greater than the double layer can handle a discharge will appear. Before that happens with low stress the plasma can remain in the "dark mode", a little more stress will make the plasma cross the threshold into the "glow mode" and if it gets too high a discharge will occur. Depending on density and size of the plasma and the nature of the charge differential the discharge can be short or quite long.


    As for the bright spots on Wild 2, I have no idea what they are. To what extent is that relevant? Is that because the EU theory predicted bright spots? Aside from the fact that the EU rarely predicts anything before it happens, what&#39;s so big about predicting bright spots? How is it that after more than 10 years, the EU folks have yet to predict a singlt number? A field strength? A charge? Anything? Isn&#39;t is just a tad curious that the "scientific" EU hypothesis is incapable of "predicting" the numerical value of anything?
    The bright spots are unexplained, but they are real. When we look at the 3-D image on the Stardust website you can even see a shadow to the right of the bright spot. Add to that the fact that they are connected to the jets and it makes the bright spot the origin of a jet.
    We now know that the Stardust craft endured surprisingly strong, short, repeated blasts and the question of how the jets are generated could possibly be different from the outgassing by solar heat model.

    Why are you asking for calculations when those calculations can only be done with too little data.
    How do you measure the field strength when the probe becomes part of the "circuit" itself?

    The EU model is testable and does make predictions, one of them is the way cometary jets are produced. When evidence becomes available that supports the predictions, we need to get into the details of how much charge is where and how did it get there. Then we can start building a more detailed model, I think this would be best described as "observational science". The other way is that mathematical models are constructed and compared to actual observations. Both approaches are possible but if I have a choice I would prefer the observational route.

    So why are those bright spots important? It could mean that if the EU model is correct about comets, maybe it is correct about other phenomena as well. Maybe this way we could learn more about electric and magnetic fields in the solar system and that&#39;s all, or maybe it could go much further and start a paradigm shift. Who knows where it might lead us to.
    At this point I&#39;m very interested in comet jets and bright spots, so any explanation on how comets work should include these observations. Again, who knows where we end up, but isn&#39;t it true that exactly these questions are what makes science so exciting?

    Cheers.

  21. #201
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    VanderL The EU model is testable and does make predictions, one of them is the way cometary jets are produced.
    My central theme is that the EU fails the test of predictions on many levels. The spots on the comets are details that are not important; as predictions, they are quite useless (especially when they are predicted only after they are seen). What is important is fundamentals. Physics is not a random collection of guesses, but a vast cohesive collection of inter-dependent theories. At the core are the well established disciplines, like classical mechanics, thermodynamics, electromagnetism & so on. Then on the frontier there are the more speculative areas; cosmology, string theory & the like. My primary concern is to always look for the fundamentals, the things that are more important, more meaningful than anything else. That&#39;s where hypotheses live & die, and that&#39;s where I apply my own doctrine of the intolerable conflict.

    It is the intolerable conflict between observation & theory (or hypothesis) which invariably leads to discovery or failure. Neutrinos were discovered because of the intolerable conflict between the fundamental principle of conservation of energy on the one hand, and observations that appeared to violate that fundamental principle on the other. The successful solution was to assume that the fundamental principle was inviolate, and to look for the missing energy. Likewise, the discovery of neutrino oscillations came out of the appearance of an intolerable conflict between astrophysical models of a star, and the measured neutrino fluxes, both of which could not be simultaneously true. Eventually, observstion bolstered the astrophysical models, and pointed towards the neutrinos as the source of the problem. As a result of resolving this conflict, we made major new discoveries about the physics of neutrinos.

    So, to me, the spots on the comets, in the EU vs physics debate, are meaningless distractions that are not worth the effort. They have nothing to do with fundamentals, and are in no way involved in intolerable conflict. But other parts of the EU hypothesis are, and those are what I want to talk about. So, I try to force the issue that way in order to understand what the putatuve solution to the intolerable conflicts are. After all, if the EU hypothesis fails the test of fundamentals, then the relation between it and the spots is moot.

    So, there is a fundamental & intolerable conflict between the claim that the sun has a strong electric field, and the observation that the sun has a charge neutral solar wind. Either there is a huge misunderstanding in physics, as to how electric fields affect charged particles, or the hypothesis of a solar electric field is wrong. Both can&#39;t be simultaneously true, no matter how you slice it.

    But how wrong can electromagnetism be? how far off can physics be, in its treatment of the relation between electric fields & charged particles? Not far, I think because this relationship has long since found its way into precise engineering applications that are very sensitive to such a large error. The reams of spacecraft data, and our knowledge of physics & engineering simply don&#39;t make enough room for the hypothesis of a solar electric field, such as required by the EU comet model, to survive. So I take the position that there is no such electric field. Discussing its affect on comets therefore seems a great waste of time. I don&#39;t see how anyone can ignore all that physics.

    According to the EU hypothesis, the comet charges up where there&#39;s no charge, and then discharges where there is lots of charge. Not only is such a thing in intolerable conflict with physics, it&#39;s in intolerable conflict with plain old common sense.

    The list goes on, but you get the point. If I seem to be all worked up, it&#39;s because I have been in the middle of this EU business for at least 10 years. I don&#39;t like the people who put up the webpages (I mean I really don&#39;t like them),. and they don&#39;t like me either. But we scream at each other a lot less nowadays, primarily because they have learned to ignore me slightly more effectively than I have learned to ignore them.

    In any case, my own opinion of the EU business is obvious; I don&#39;t think it rises to the intellectual level required to qualify for the lofty status of "bunk". But I&#39;ll leave that at that.

    Now, about those comets. There is indeed a lot that is not known about comets, especially how the jets get going. There are two real hypohteses in the works. The old standard has the jets outgassing from the dirty snowball kind of comet. But it has been known for a long time that the dirty snowball model, which comes down from the 50&#39;s, has a lot of problems. In 1985 the Giotto spacaft snapped the first close up pictures of a comet nucleus, and revealed a darker surface than anyone expected. So maybe the comets have a harder surface, and the jets are actually more like geyers, breaking through the hard surface from pressurized voumes underneath (the "new" hypothesis). I suspect the real answer will lie in the discovery that there is more than one kind of comet, with more than one kind of jet. In any case, the Rosetta mission is on the way, and will be the first comet lander mission (we hope). But landing on a comet is a real trick, if you can do it.

    VanderL: Why are you asking for calculations when those calculations can only be done with too little data.
    Too litle data? Rather say too much data. Spacecraft have been buzzing the solar system for nigh onto 50 years now, and they have lots of data on particles & fields (which are the things most measured). But it&#39;s not the data that counts anyway. Just look at the normal progession of any scientific hypothesis.

    All hypotheses start out very general, packed with prose, flowery descriptions, and not much information. But that&#39;s just the start. The prose used to describe the hypothesis sets the limiting conditions for the hypothesis. So, consider the EU model. The electric field of a charged sphere is definitely lower division stuff, and the EU model claims that the nearly spherical sun has an electric field due to its electric charge. Any beginning university physics student, even some of the better high school physics students, can do that calculation. Make a sphere, give it a charge, calculate a field. It&#39;s a piece of cake. but after 10 years the stalwart champions of the EU haven&#39;t even been able to do what students do on test problems. This is a real confidence builder. Besides, the EU hypothesis claims that the electric field of the sun is able to cause various phenomena in the solar system. It&#39;s strictly back-of-the-envelope stuff to bash out some limitng numbers on charge & field required to do what needs to be done. But that too is not forthcoming. I would say they don&#39;t do any of that because they know, as well as I do, that the whole EU thing is just a big sham. Of course, I could be biased, but I would love to hear why such talented & insightful physicists have been unable to come up with a one-liner calculation of a little field yet.

    VanderL: How do you measure the field strength when the probe becomes part of the "circuit" itself?
    Ah, now that&#39;s a good question. All measuring devices interfere to some extent with whatever they are measuring. You can&#39;t measure water flow, for instance, without sticking something in the water, which of course affects the flow (pictures won&#39;t do, they only see the surface, and are hard to do inside a hot pipe). The trick is to be as small as you can be. Spacecraft measure electric & magnetic fields by measuring induced currents, an unavoidable side effect of any field. I am not that familiar with the instruments myself, but the technology is now quite mature, and measuring the fields is an almost routine engineering task (the instruments webpage for the Ulysses spacecraft might provide some insight). Since the spacecraft are quite small compared to the fields they measure, it should not be an issue.

    OK, I&#39;m done for now. It&#39;s time for the weekend.

  22. #202
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    So, to me, the spots on the comets, in the EU vs physics debate, are meaningless distractions that are not worth the effort. They have nothing to do with fundamentals, and are in no way involved in intolerable conflict. But other parts of the EU hypothesis are, and those are what I want to talk about. So, I try to force the issue that way in order to understand what the putatuve solution to the intolerable conflicts are. After all, if the EU hypothesis fails the test of fundamentals, then the relation between it and the spots is moot.
    Well, I can understand your attitude towards the EU model, because if they are correct there is something wrong with some basic laws of physics. On the other hand sometimes questioning the basic laws of physics is what brings science ahead. It is always "good science" to never assume anything, not even the basic laws that are "cast in concrete" so to speak. There is always room for new insights no matter how hard you decry the opposite. Digging yourself in a trench and fighting the EU model could prove to be counterproductive.

    The bright spots on the comet are maybe important for the EU model. That means we need to find out what they are and how they came about. This is very basic science: observe and explain. If it means we need more data before we can draw any conclusions all possible explanations need to be considered. Then, after eliminating the impossible (not beforehand) what we find is the truth, however improbable. The claims made by the EU model are very diverse and concern almost every imaginable area in science. The strange thing is, that if one of the claims is confirmed it could lead to a situation that we are forced to accept that yes, some basic laws of physics were wrong after all.

    Comets are electrically active.
    The "volcanoes" on Io are electric arcs.
    Most cratering is evidence of electric "machining".
    Stars are powered electrically.
    Planets form by expulsion from the host star and not by disk accretion
    etc, etc.

    The data that are continuously being gathered by all the scientific projects everywhere will eventually give us the insights we need. While we wait for the data to be sorted and interpreted it is always useful to "never assume" and not throw away any insight if it doesn&#39;t immediately fit current standards.
    You are confident that none of the above claims can be true, so why worry? Let&#39;s just talk about all the strange new data that arrive and see what comes out. Meaning in this case: what the hell are those bright spots? If the EU model is correct they should be an electric arc.

    Cheers.

  23. #203
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    T. Thompson
    But how wrong can electromagnetism be? how far off can physics be, in its treatment of the relation between electric fields & charged particles? Not far, I think because this relationship has long since found its way into precise engineering applications that are very sensitive to such a large error. The reams of spacecraft data, and our knowledge of physics & engineering simply don&#39;t make enough room for the hypothesis of a solar electric field, such as required by the EU comet model, to survive. So I take the position that there is no such electric field. Discussing its affect on comets therefore seems a great waste of time. I don&#39;t see how anyone can ignore all that physics.
    Hi Tim,

    Maybe this snippet will clarify a little where the conventional ideas have gone astray, in search for what happens with space plasma. We&#39;re basically talking about the same phenomena, it&#39;s only the way they are interpreted that is different. So the answer to your question "how wrong can electromagnetism be", could very well be "more wrong than we think".

    Cheers.

  24. #204
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    VanderL: Maybe this snippet will clarify a little where the conventional ideas have gone astray, in search for what happens with space plasma. We&#39;re basically talking about the same phenomena, it&#39;s only the way they are interpreted that is different. So the answer to your question "how wrong can electromagnetism be", could very well be "more wrong than we think".
    Query: Do you perhaps mean "where the conventional ideas may have gone astray"? Or are you already convinvced that they have, definitely, gone astry?

    The snippet that you link to is brain-dead stupid, of questionable honesty, and an unadulterated example of propaganda & self-promotion. I shall now proceeed to rip it to shreds. All of the remaining quotes, unless specifically indicated to the contrary, are from the linked "snippet".

    From the 1st paragraph: Electrical engineers and plasma cosmologists will tell you (possibly in bitter tones and impolite language) that magnetic reconnection is one of the stupidest theoretical ideas that astronomers ever derived from the mistaken belief that there are no electric currents in space.
    Magnetic reconnection is not a theoretical idea invented by astronomers, who in fact have next to nothing to do with the whole discussion. Magnetic reconnection is part of the overall theory & practice of plasma physics, specifically the area known as magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). It is the brainchild of physicsts, and to some extent electrical engineers (at least those who study plasma electronics; the UCLA electrical engineering department offers one introductory undergraduate course in "plasma electronics", which is primarily involved in the interaction of high energy lasers on fusion targets, and has nothing to do with anything to do with magnetic reconnection).

    Considering that electrical engineers are partly responsible for magnetic reconnection, it hardly seems likely that, as a group, they would scoff so thoroughly. In fact they don&#39;t. But the electrical engineer who wrote the webpage does, and it&#39;s important to him that you know his is the superior intellect, so the very first thing he does is point out that electrical engineers know it all.

    And the "mistaken belief that there are no electric currents in space." is **, and I don&#39;t mean Bachelor of Science. Anyway, astronomer don&#39;t care about plasma. The people they should be talking about are space plasma physicists, or just plain plasma physicists, or even plasma astrophysicists. But they won&#39;t, because they think they can score points by avoiding the word "physics" (which does not appear in any form on the page), and pick on the poor astronomers.

    If you bother to look at the published literature on space plasma physics, over the last 50 years or so, you will find copious references to electrical currents in space, which are a natural part of space plasma physics. The authors of the webpage are well aware of this, but simply choose to ignore it and say something different. So much for the honest approach to science.

    From the 2nd paragraph: Now that astronomers are looking at real phenomena rather than elegant equations, they realize that their equations aren&#39;t as predictive as they had hoped. The magnetic reconnection equations called for a slow discharge of energy lasting for years, but the solar flares discharge in minutes with much more energy than expected.
    Well, of course "astronomers" is the wrong word. Plasma physicists do look at real phenomena, in real laboratories, and the equations are not so far off as the web authors would like you to believe. The claim that magnetic reconnection equations require a slow discharge over a ling time is only true for the old 2D, Sweet-Parker model with Spitzer resistivity, which is too low. The later Petschek models, or similar models incorporating the resistivity from microinstabilities in the plasma, are compatible with the short time scales observed in energy release on the sun. So their statement about time scales is flat wrong.

    Furthermore, as I said before, magnetic reconnection is observed in laboratory plasmas. That&#39;s "observed", as in seen to happen, so this notion that magnetic reconnection is just some elegant but impractical theory is hogwash. See Magnetic Reconnection - MHD Theory and Applications, Eric Priest & Terry Forbes, Cambridge University Press, 2000, specifically chapter 9, "Laboratory Applications". Priest & Forbes discuss the several experiments that have been measuring magnetic reconnection, in laboratory plasmas, for the last few decades.

    The experiments summarized by Priest & Forbes are admittedly indirect, but there are no "plasma sheaths" or "double layers" involved. What is involved is the sudden release of energy in a heavily measured magnetized plasma, where the energy release and magnetic reconnection models are quite consistent with one another.

    But even the wiggle room provided by the &#39;indirect&#39; measurements is no longer available. In 2001 the Swarthmore Spheromak Experiment (whose webpage is regretably out of date) completed a fully 3 dimensional observation of magnetic reconnection events in their plasma (a spheromak cannot contain a plasma at all, even in theory, unless there is reconnection). They did it by using a network of probes arrayed in the plasma during reconnection (Energetic particles and magnetohydrodynamic activity in the Swarthmore Spheromak Experiment, G. Qin, et al.,Physics of Plasmas 8(11): 4816-4825, November 2001; Energetic particles from three-dimensional magnetic reconnection events in the Swarthmore Spheromak Experiment, M.R. Brown, et al., Physics of Plasmas 9(5): 2077-2084, May 2002; Experimental observations of energetic ions accelerated by three-dimensional magnetic reconnection in a laboratory plasma, M.R. Brown, et al., Astrophysical Journal Letters 577: L63-L66, September 30, 2002; Three-dimensional structure of magnetic reconnection in a laboratory plasma, C.D. Cothran, et al., Geophysical Research Letters 30(5): paper no. 1213, March 2003; Spheromak merging and field reversed configuration formation at the Swarthmore Spheromak Experiment, C.D. Cothran, et al., Physics of Plasmas 10(5): 1748-1754, May 2003).

    Now, you should notice something I have pointed out before. All you ever get from any of these webpages is a lot of fancy prose. But physics is done with mathematics, not prose. Real plasma physicists can write down the equations that describe the phenomena they are talking about. Fake plasma physicsts can&#39;t. Real plasma physicists create numerical models, based on the equations, from which they then predict the outcome of experiments. Fake plasma physicists can&#39;t do that either. If the electric universe was really such a hot idea, if these folks were really on to something, they would have already done that. They would actually do physics instead of prose. The simple, single fact that all you ever get is prose, is itself a sufficient reason to look with great suspicion on the whole enterprise.

    OK, I&#39;m out of time. The bottom line point is that magnetic reconnection is not some kind of wild guess, it&#39;s an observed & measured laboratory phenomenon. That fact has to be dealt with properly. Besides, why should anyone think it&#39;s a "stupid" idea anyway? if you cross two electric field lines (currents) you get an electrical short circuit, right? So, if you cross two magnetic field lines, why is there not a magnetic short circuit?

    Au Revoir.

  25. #205
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    Tim,

    Nice work..I actually hope that VanderL keeps getting you worked up..
    All some of us have to do is keeping taking notes from your posts and one of us
    might have enough information ( which needs a little lab time added) to take
    some exit exams at a university...Not a bad price...

    On another site I visit someone kept driving a lot of us crazy with some of his
    views...Turned out it was a kid and we were doing his homework for him..

    blueshift

  26. #206
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    Hi Tim,

    You&#39;re right I, I should have said "may have gone astray" or "differ from the EU ideas".


    Your reply exactly proves the point made on the link. Textbook science is of course well documented and of course it has been proven, otherwise it wouldn&#39;t have become textbook. So your links are very important to see what reconnection is in technical terms, but the difference is not in the experiments and the data, only in the interpretation of the data.

    You&#39;re obviously convinced that the EU people are dishonest to say the least, but the statements on the website started with the realization of Alfvén ( one of the pioneers of MHD) that reconnection is a flawed concept.
    Now, my question is, how can such a knowledgeable person question something so basic, in a field where he was awarded a Nobel prize and get no response/recognition by the rest of the field. And if the "double layers" and discharges are not in the mind of the researcher interpreting the MHD data, how can these features be proven to be false? Just because data confirm one model, doesn&#39;t mean they couldn&#39;t also support a different model. Preconceptions can be confirmed, but if the experiment wasn&#39;t set up to show anything different, it shouldn&#39;t be used to discreaedit another model. Did the published data you mention consider the other model? Well, my guess would be that sice MHD is textbook science no one (except Alfvén and Carlquist) ever questioned/challenged these interpretations.

    Oh, and try to find "electric current" in the astrophysics literature database and see how little mention there is. It could prove your point that it is really unimportant, or conversely it could show that astrophysics is unaware of the electric currents in space.
    Accusing people of questionable motives is not going to resolve the issue, and if astronomers really don&#39;t care about plasma is imo exactly what is wrong, they should care about plasma because 99+ percent of the Universe is in the plasma state, and ignoring this fact cannot be correct.

    One thing, you state that mathematics is needed to describe the physics and only real plasma physicists do this. I think a qualitative description is the first step, the math is secondary.

    Cheers.

  27. #207
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    I actually hope that VanderL keeps getting you worked up..
    happy to oblige

    Cheers.

  28. #208
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    VanderL: ... but the difference is not in the experiments and the data, only in the interpretation of the data.
    OK, check out this "interpretation of data".

    Standard theory: - When lines of magnetic field cross, the reconnect.
    Alternate theory: - When lines of magnetic field cross, the do not reconnect.
    Observation: - When lines of magnetic field cross, they reconnect.

    So, what kind of "interpretation" is it, which holds the claim that observed events do not happen? That is exactly what the EU hypothesis says, in its constant position that magnetic reconnection, repeatedly observed in laboratory plasmas, is nevertheless impossible. I would call that "strained" interpretation, at the very least.

    VanderL: Now, my question is, how can such a knowledgeable person question something so basic, in a field where he was awarded a Nobel prize and get no response/recognition by the rest of the field.
    I don&#39;t understand what you mean by "no recognition". Alfven waves are not called Alfven waves for nothing. His name is plastered all over plasma physics, and it&#39;s in every plasma physics book ever written. How does that translate into "no recognition"?

    If in fact Alfven thought that magnetic reconnection does not happen (I doubt that he did), then he was wrong. Lot&#39;s of smart people & Nobel prize winners are wrong. Einstein rejected quantum mechanics, for unscientific reasons. Plasma physics was in its infancy back in Alven&#39;s day, and they knew a great deal less about it (Alfven included), than we do today.

    VanderL: And if the "double layers" and discharges are not in the mind of the researcher interpreting the MHD data, how can these features be proven to be false? Just because data confirm one model, doesn&#39;t mean they couldn&#39;t also support a different model. Preconceptions can be confirmed, but if the experiment wasn&#39;t set up to show anything different, it shouldn&#39;t be used to discreaedit another model. Did the published data you mention consider the other model? Well, my guess would be that sice MHD is textbook science no one (except Alfvén and Carlquist) ever questioned/challenged these interpretations.
    The data are magnetic field measurements made by a network of probes in the plasma, measuring the magnetic field as a function of time, amongst other things. It is of no consequence whether or not the plsma double layers were in the minds of the researchers. The reason the point is irrelevant is that plasma double layers are observable, measurable things. They are either there, or they are not, and the data will tell you loud & clear. They were not there, nor would one expect them to be there, since there is nothing to "layer" around. The experiment was designed to measure the magnetic fields in the plasma, and it did. As the magnetic field reconnected, it was observed to do so. There simply isn&#39;t any other explanation.

    And I will give you fair warning that the last sentence is very insulting. The idea that scientists ignore anything that isn&#39;t "textbook" is absurd. While scientists are people, and do bring their own preconceptions along much of the time, they are the most rigorously self-critical people you will ever find anywhere. The published papers you read are only the final product. When you go see a movie, you don&#39;t see all the junk on the cutting room floor, only the movie you are intended to see. Likewise, when you read one of those papers you only see that stuff that passed muster. You don&#39;t see all the wrong turns and bad ideas. The data from an experiment like this are beat to pieces, and force-fit to every model you can imagine, it&#39;s routine procedure. I know, I do it myself all the time.

    VanderL: Oh, and try to find "electric current" in the astrophysics literature database and see how little mention there is.
    399 references from the "title" field

    4405 references from the "abstract" field.

    In both cases I searched for "electric" AND "current". The specific phrase "electric current", while common in engineering and laboratory plasma physics, is not common in the astrophysical literature. But by searching for both words you will get a fair chunk.

    Astronomers, in the classical sense, rarely encounter the plasma state, which is usually quite invisible to them (that bit about the universe bveing 99% plasma refers to volume, but if one refers to mass, it&#39;s considerably less that 50%). Plasma physcis comes in heavily in the study of stellar atmospheres & interiors, and astronomers & astrophysicists in that discipline are well schooled in plasma physics. But the diffuse ionized medium is the playground of the space plasma physicists, and is observed commonly by radio astronomers, not by optical astronomers.

    VanderL: One thing, you state that mathematics is needed to describe the physics and only real plasma physicists do this. I think a qualitative description is the first step, the math is secondary.
    I would say exactly the opposite. If you aren&#39;t talking math, you aren&#39;t talking science. Period. Qualitative descriptions are good for pointing the way in some sense, for guiding one&#39;s thoughts. But once that&#39;s done, it&#39;s math time. Of course, the other value of qualitative descriptions is for presentation in popular & general literature, to an audience that does not have the background for the math. But those descriptions are almost always arrived at only after thorough mathematical analysis makes it clear what the right qualitative description is. Plasma physics is an area that is not at all well suited to qualitative descriptions, because the details are far more important at determining the outcome than in many other fields, and the complexities are not well described qualitatively.

  29. #209
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    To both Tim and VanderL,

    I&#39;ve acquaintanced a lot of particle physicists and visit Fermilab a lot with my
    astronomy club..That surrounding has influenced me that the importance of math deals with symmetry and its relationship to conservation laws..

    Experiments that reveal missing energy call on math to calculate that missing mass
    and to determine what known particles will add up to such a quantity or to predict
    the precise mass of a newly, undiscovered particle or associated force carrier..

    Math is not separate from observation..Its origins come from observation..The very existence of renormalization was, as Feynman described it, the making of math to fit observations..

    blueshift

  30. #210
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    Hi Tim,

    OK, check out this "interpretation of data".

    Standard theory: - When lines of magnetic field cross,the reconnect.
    Alternate theory: - When lines of magnetic field cross, the do not reconnect.
    Observation: - When lines of magnetic field cross, they reconnect.
    You misrepresent the alternate theory, magnetic lines (which are theoretical lines, used to help calculations) do not cross (not ever), when the power exceeds a certain limit (depending on plasma characteristics) a catastrophic breakdown of the currents happens, aka discharge.

    Lines of magnetic fields cannot cross, period.

    And I will give you fair warning that the last sentence is very insulting. The idea that scientists ignore anything that isn&#39;t "textbook" is absurd
    You&#39;re right. Sorry, wasn&#39;t meant to insult, but thinking "outside the box" while learning the basics is quite rare (exceptions exist of course).


    If you aren&#39;t talking math, you aren&#39;t talking science. Period.
    Oopsie, do you really mean this? I think there are lots of fields in science where math really is secundary (if even that), funnily enough there are fields where math is primary, cosmology is one of them. I&#39;m probably more an "observationist/experimentalist" type of person who wants to see things before believing them.

    But we&#39;re off on a tangent here, If I may, did you check the 3-D image of the bright spot on comet Wild 2? It really "floats" above the surface and throws a shadow. That&#39;s way cool and I&#39;d like to know what I&#39;m seeing there.

    Cheers.

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