How black holes change gear

Jun 07, 2012
Artist's impression of a black hole in one gear... Credit: P. Jonker / Rob Hynes

(Phys.org) -- Black holes are extremely powerful and efficient engines that not only swallow up matter, but also return a lot of energy to the Universe in exchange for the mass they eat. When black holes attract mass they also trigger the release of intense X-ray radiation and power strong jets. But not all black holes do this the same way. This has long baffled astronomers. By studying two active black holes researchers at the SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research have now gathered evidence that suggests that each black hole can change between two different regimes, like changing the gears of an engine. The team's findings will be published in two papers in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Black hole jets - lighthouse-like beams of material that race outwards at close to the - can have a major impact on the evolution of their environment. For example, jets from the super-massive black holes found at the centre of galaxies can blow huge bubbles in and heat the gas found in clusters of galaxies.

Another stunning example of what black hole jets can do is known as Hanny's Voorwerp, a cloud of gas where stars started forming after it was hit by the jet-beam of a black hole in a neighbouring galaxy. These phenomena demonstrate the importance of research into the way black holes produce and distribute energy, but until recently, much of this has remained uncertain.

...and in its other gear. Credit: P. Jonker / Rob Hynes

In 2003 it became clear from that there is a connection between the X-ray emission from a black hole and its jet outflow. This connection needs to be explained if we want to understand how the black hole engine works. In the first years after this connection was discovered, it seemed that it was the same for all feeding black holes, but soon oddballs were found. These unusual examples still have a clear connection between the energy released in the X-ray emission and that put in the jet ejection. But the proportion differs from that in the "standard" black holes. As the number of oddballs grew, it started to appear that there were two groups of black hole engines working in a slightly different way, as if one were running on petrol and the other on diesel.

For years struggled to justify this difference based on the properties of the two groups of black holes, but to no avail. Recently a step forward was made: a team of astronomers led by Michael Coriat (now at University of Southampton) found a black hole that seemed to switch between the two flavours of X-ray/jet connection, depending on its brightness changed. This suggested that black holes do not necessarily come with two different engines, but that each black hole can run in two different regimes, like two gears of the same engine.

Now Peter Jonker and PhD-student Eva Ratti, two researchers from the SRON Netherlands Institute for - have taken an important step forward in the attempts to solve this puzzle. Using X-ray observations from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and radio observations from the Expanded Very Large Array in New Mexico they watched two black hole systems until their feeding frenzies ended.

Eva Ratti comments: "We found that these two black holes could also 'change gear', demonstrating that this is not an exceptional property of one peculiar black hole. Our work suggests that changing gear might be common among black holes. We also found that the switch between gears happens at a similar X-ray luminosity for all the three ."

These discoveries provide a new and important input to theoretical models that aim to explain both the functioning of the black hole engine itself and its impact on the surrounding environment.

Explore further: New mass map of a distant galaxy cluster is the most precise yet

More information: The results appear in the following two papers in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society:

The black hole candidate MAXI J1659–152 in and towards quiescence in X-ray and radio, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10… 012.21116.x/abstract. A preprint of the paper can be seen at arxiv.org/abs/1204.4832

The black hole candidate XTE J1752−223 towards and in quiescence: optical and simultaneous X-ray–radio observations, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10… 66.2012.21071.x/full. A preprint of the paper can be seen at arxiv.org/abs/1204.2735

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HannesAlfven
2.1 / 5 (16) Jun 07, 2012
Is it really possible to argue with ad hoc modeling? Not only are black holes completely unfalsifiable (and thus, technically speaking, unscientific), but the models for those unfalsifiable entities are simply adjusted to reflect whatever it is that is seen. If one goes back far enough, prior to Hawking, black holes were theorized to suck everything in -- including light itself. But, when it was observed that they could emit jets, then it was proposed that black holes could have jets.

And since black holes can basically do whatever it is that we observe them to do, there is no apparent mystery for mainstreamers in explaining how it is that these jets can span enormous cosmic distances. After all, if a black hole needs a magnetic field to keep the jet together, then who is anybody to say that the black hole cannot do it? After all, they are whatever we see them to be.

It's really quite difficult, in such situations, to ascertain the difference between science and religion.
RMJ
3.9 / 5 (7) Jun 07, 2012
Or in other words, the Scientific Method.
Parsec
5 / 5 (12) Jun 07, 2012
...prior to Hawking, black holes were theorized to suck everything in -- including light itself. But, when it was observed that they could emit jets, then it was proposed that black holes could have jets

This statement is quite puzzling. No one has ever proposed that matter that passes through the event horizon somehow makes jets. The math behind the mechanism for jets isn't very difficult. In fact, jets have been observed in systems that have neutron stars, so a black hole isn't a requirement. The immense gravity causes the orbiting matter to spin very fast and as it it gets close to the source the friction causes a small part of the orbiting material to be ejected at the poles. I am puzzled which part of the theory surrounding black holes you disagree with, or is it just that scientific theories get more detailed with additional observations? Are you thinking that science is too wishy-washy for your taste?
RMJ
5 / 5 (4) Jun 07, 2012
Apparently having the theoretical models reworked to fit the observations is what he's having trouble with. As I (clumsily) noted earlier.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (2) Jun 07, 2012
The jets combines with the the absence of other data to test black holes.

"Reworked models" means some theory with a specific data set was rejected. Presumably that is what is meant by injecting the just-so-philosophic term "falsifiable".
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (6) Jun 07, 2012
I should add that the real test of a theory is not surviving meeting observations, as black hole theory has, but being fruitful. (And ultimately the sole remaining.) The press release here demonstrates that it is so.

And it happens to be *much, much more* fruitful than the idea that BH doesn't exist and that we don't know what caused these observations.
eachus
5 / 5 (1) Jun 07, 2012
No one has ever proposed that matter that passes through the event horizon somehow makes jets. The math behind the mechanism for jets isn't very difficult. In fact, jets have been observed in systems that have neutron stars, so a black hole isn't a requirement. The immense gravity causes the orbiting matter to spin very fast and as it it gets close to the source the friction causes a small part of the orbiting material to be ejected at the poles.


Actuallly... Think of the innermost part of the accretion disk as a brilliant X-ray source. (The rest of the accretion disk is also a light source but at lower frequencies and intensities.) As long as a particle is in the disk, it receives no net thrust from the X-rays. But the top and bottom surfaces of the disk are illuminated from one side only, and get a tremendous kick normal to the disk.

Technically this could lift a particle from just inside the event horizon. (It is getting external thrust.)
Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (2) Jun 07, 2012
The title asks the question how. The body does not provide an answer.
encoded
1 / 5 (1) Jun 07, 2012
after a particle passes the event horizon it is lost and becomes dark matter or reaches some sort of ground state in the 4th dimension or something else... at present we don't know.
The jets come from high speed(temperature) charged particles(gas) rubbing against each other trying to follow magnetic field lines... releasing a last gasp of energy into the universe.
Parsec
5 / 5 (6) Jun 08, 2012
Apparently having the theoretical models reworked to fit the observations is what he's having trouble with. As I (clumsily) noted earlier.

Isn't this the way it usually works? As more and more data is acquired, theoretical models are continuously refined. Its seldom that a theoretical model is used to predict observations, although it does happen (for example the prediction that the sun causes shifting of the measured positions of stars near it).

Everyone does this inside and outside of the scientific realm. When a guy meets a pretty girl, he forms an internal model of her that is almost certain to change as more and more observational data is added. That's the reason why the divorce rate is so high. Why on earth would anyone complain of this happening in the scientific arena?
frajo
5 / 5 (3) Jun 08, 2012
Not only are black holes completely unfalsifiable (and thus, technically speaking, unscientific), but the models for those unfalsifiable entities are simply adjusted to reflect whatever it is that is seen.
The concept of falsifiability is not applicable to physical objects (like black holes). It is applicable to statements instead. So, if you want to use the buzzword "falsifiable" in order to express your doubts about the existence of black holes you first have to construct a statement which you can condemn as being "unfalsifiable". As e.g. in
"I think the existence of black holes is unfalsifiable".

Fortunately, the statement "black holes exist" is perfectly falsifiable.
You just have to come up with an alternative model to explain the relevant observations and provide some observable prediction that will tell your model and the black hole model apart.
Origin
1 / 5 (3) Jun 08, 2012
It's really quite difficult, in such situations, to ascertain the difference between science and religion.
The proving of formal models with numerical models based on these models is really tautologous in the same way, like the various theological deductions about properties of God. Both approaches are even using predicate logics in their deductions. Summa Theologiae of St. Thomas Aquinas is full of reasonable sounding logical deductions, these deductions are just based on circular reasoning in the similar way, like the deductions of modern astronomers based on simulation of their deductions.
Origin
1 / 5 (3) Jun 08, 2012
..these two black holes could also 'change gear', demonstrating that this is not an exceptional property ..
The recent observations of jets around Milky Way illustrate, that the central black holes don't differ from common dense stellar objects so much and they even exhibit the periods of "black hole activity", which is partially driven with phenomena inside of black hole, not only outside of it. Such a black holes exhibit for example jets like the pulsars, which aren't parallel with their axis of rotation, which wouldn't be possible if they would be formed with truly structureless objects, as the general relativity considers. We just cannot observe these phenomena directly due the scattering of light in the dense vacuum around black holes (the density of black holes is comparable to the density of particles, which are forming human observers).
HannesAlfven
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 08, 2012
Here is a question for the bandwagon:

Is there any potential observation of black holes which would disconfirm the theory, and cause people to look for alternative inferences?

If the answer to that is "no" -- as I believe it is glaringly clear, by now -- then how is this a scientific process at all?

Another question: To what degree do people take seriously claims that the underlying mathematics for black holes might be in error? After all, we are talking about an entity here whose existence is propped up by incredibly complicated math. If very few people can even understand this math, and of those who do, they don't actively seek out criticisms, then from where does all of this confidence arise? Stephen Crothers has attempted to engage a conversation on this subject, but few actually seem interested in having the conversation.

Yet another question: Does anybody know what the plasma physics replacement for this inference would be? If you don't, then that's another problem.
HannesAlfven
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 08, 2012
Re: "Isn't this the way it usually works? As more and more data is acquired, theoretical models are continuously refined. ITS SELDOM THAT A THEORETICAL MODEL IS USED TO PREDICT OBSERVATIONS, although it does happen (for example the prediction that the sun causes shifting of the measured positions of stars near it)."

Actually, many of the most enigmatic observations of our cosmos are naturally predicted by the behavior of laboratory plasmas. And several very important observations of the cosmos were in fact preceded by predictions grounded in plasma-based cosmology -- including the universe's large-scale structure, as well as the existence of galactic magnetic fields (which to this day continue to be treated in ways which defy laboratory observations). It's simply not popularly realized, since people tend not to realize the behavior of laboratory plasmas, nor that cosmic plasmas dominate the cosmos (rather than gases).
HannesAlfven
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 08, 2012
Re: "Fortunately, the statement "black holes exist" is perfectly falsifiable. You just have to come up with an alternative model to explain the relevant observations and provide some observable prediction that will tell your model and the black hole model apart."

This is so simplistic as to be idealistic. What happens in practice -- in the real world -- is that competing scientific frameworks are judged on the basis of their differentness to the existing framework. Furthermore, theorists tend not to actively seek out the elaboration of scientific frameworks which might undermine their existing investment in the conventional theories. After all, this dictates that they -- and all of their colleagues -- would no longer be the experts, and opens them to attack from outsiders.

Any attempt to discuss the scientific method without any mention of the behavior of humans essentially treats the process of theory-making as though it is above the mistakes and prejudices of humans.
HannesAlfven
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 08, 2012
Re: "This statement is quite puzzling. No one has ever proposed that matter that passes through the event horizon somehow makes jets."

This is not what was said, btw.

Re: "The math behind the mechanism for jets isn't very difficult. In fact, jets have been observed in systems that have neutron stars, so a black hole isn't a requirement. The immense gravity causes the orbiting matter to spin very fast and as it it gets close to the source the friction causes a small part of the orbiting material to be ejected at the poles."

The problem with this is the inference that gravity is causing this rotation. As you likely know, rotation is a fundamental characteristic of electromagnetism. And jets are a fundamental morphology for laboratory plasmas conducting electrical currents. Gravity is extraordinarily weak. Even if the math behind the mechanism "isn't very difficult," it's the simplicity of the underlying physical cause which we are evaluating -- not the simplicity of the math.
HannesAlfven
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 08, 2012
Re: "I should add that the real test of a theory is not surviving meeting observations, as black hole theory has, but being fruitful. (And ultimately the sole remaining.) The press release here demonstrates that it is so."

You guys just can't take "not sure" for an answer, can you? You clearly feel compelled to believe *something*. And since you lack an interest in pursuing competing inferences in a diligent manner, this first inference which you've permitted yourself to learn will do, to the exclusion of any others which you might refuse to look into.

Re: "And it happens to be *much, much more* fruitful than the idea that BH doesn't exist and that we don't know what caused these observations."

Actually, laboratory observations of plasmas conducting electrical currents can be used to explain these same entities, without the need to infer an invisible object. You simply choose to not learn about or elaborate that framework. And then you claim that it therefore does not exist.
HannesAlfven
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 08, 2012
Re: "as black hole theory has, but being fruitful. (And ultimately the sole remaining.)"

The glaring problem here is this process of exclusion. Usually, exclusion applies to inferences within a given framework. But, the exclusion which you also, by necessity, refer to here also involves the exclusion of an entire framework: in particular, the plasma-based cosmology. And this is the heart of the philosophical problem: You see no problem with elaborating the Big Bang cosmology in light of contrary observations -- and yet, you have accepted the notion that the Big Bang's competing framework should be ruled out, in light of (alleged) contrary observations.

This is how bias creeps into science -- for what happens next is that papers which don't confirm this preference for a worldview basically don't get published (in the AJ). And at the point of the inferential step, only those inferences which can confirm the Big Bang are considered.

When did science abandon critical thinking?
Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (1) Jun 08, 2012
How do black holes change gear anyhow?
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) Jun 08, 2012
IMO the black hole doesn't begin or end with its even horizon. Before some time a young string theorist Samir Mathur of Ohio State University proposed the concept of so-called fuzzballs, in which the event horizon of black hole is not a smooth "hair-less" object. IMO this concept was vastly misunderstood in the same way, like many other insightful concepts of string theory, because these fuzzballs are all around us. We are living at the surface of one such an fuzzball too, which is called the Milky Way. My point is, the size of event horizon is distance dependent and the central area of Milky Way would appear effectively below event horizon of its black hole, if it would be observed from distance. The events which occur near black hole could be therefore considered as an events inside of black hole from certain perspective, which is the more relevant, the larger such a black hole is.
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) Jun 08, 2012
Another point is, the black holes can be never formed with pin-point singularity due the (extradimensions of) quantum mechanics. They're formed with less or (rather) more dense objects, which differ only qualitativelly from most dense neutrino and quark stars. Actually this difference is lower, the more dense and compact such object is. The black hole therefore share many characteristics with pulsars, like the different axis of gravitational and magnetic poles and the occasional instabilities of their surface, which are source of "eruptions". These eruptions just manifest only in gamma ray photon/neutrino spectrum, because the heavier particles cannot escape from their gravitational field. The jets of black hole can be considered as an exaggerated case of gravitational brightening and they should be considered as a native radiation of black holes during which their mass evaporates into radiation.
DarkHorse66
not rated yet Jun 09, 2012
My (general) point of confusion is this: if even the velocity of a photon (regardless of whether it is a particle or a wave)is not enough to allow it to resist the 'pull' of the event horizon, how does the plasma jet manage it? I know that the article says that it is CLOSE to the speed of light, but by inference, if it can escape, one would have thought that the escape velocity would HAVE to be higher than that of a photon. Has this been explained yet? If so, which bits of information am I missing in order to make sense of it? Thanx in advance. Best Regards, DH66. PS It will be a couple of days before I get to check for any answers, so there might be a delay if I need to ask follow-on Q's. :)
Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (2) Jun 09, 2012
I demand that all objects of import be smooth and hairless.

"Samir Mathur of Ohio State University proposed the concept of so-called fuzzballs, in which the event horizon of black hole is not a smooth "hair-less" object."

When I am king, it will be so.
dtxx
5 / 5 (1) Jun 09, 2012
Hannes, please just drop your theistic bomb already. You know what reaction the word god gets around here, but you just want to use it so badly. You absolutely reek of philosophy of science, and we all know what follows on that path...
jsdarkdestruction
5 / 5 (2) Jun 09, 2012
Hannes, please just drop your theistic bomb already. You know what reaction the word god gets around here, but you just want to use it so badly. You absolutely reek of philosophy of science, and we all know what follows on that path...

you are absolutely right except 1 thing. he's not a creationist, he's an electric universe cult follower.
A_Paradox
not rated yet Jun 09, 2012
My simplistic understanding of the jets is that:
* dust and gas of the accretion disc _spirals_ inwards, due to a/ gravity & b/ impacts between dust grains reduces their velocity [dust generally would lose orbital velocity faster than gas, I think]
* this spiralling in leads to increased temperature of dust and gas
* eventually at the inner regions of the ring gas becomes plasma leading to large electric 'currents' as vortices in the plasma cause separations of e- from [ion nuclei]
* thus very strong magnetic fields are created and stretched out because they embedded in the inward spiralling disc where going closer to BH needs angular momentum conserved by shorter orbital period [ie speeds up like ice skaters' spin up technique]
* the more energetic e- and ion will rise above the disc, following magnetic fields but also dragging those fields up with them [see next post also]
* at very close to event horizon mag fields stretch and break, opening up away from the disc
cont below ...
A_Paradox
not rated yet Jun 09, 2012
Jets, continued:
* as magnetic fields align with rotational axis of spinning disc any e- and ion will be accelerated _up_ and away from BH along the axis of rotation as the mag field lines are twisted: ever tighter close to the BH while the outer ends describe a much wider rotational sweep.

Of course, the energy which drives this is provided by the material which does _not_ escape the event horizon.

Perhaps the unspoken answer to the unspoken question may be that the magnetic whip crack effect just described requires a threshold amount of 'activated' plasma which, once jetted off, leaves the disc cooler until more in-fall of dust, etc, creates enough heat to generate good quality X-rays [:)] which can drive plasma out above the disc.

NB, I have read that our Sol loses angular momentum through a similar mechanism [magnetic fields lofting e- and ion out in a faint jet].
HannesAlfven
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 09, 2012
Re: "he's not a creationist, he's an electric universe cult follower."

It's really quite a stretch to attribute the word "cult" to the EU. The EU's fundamental allegation, for which it receives so much scorn amongst mainstreamers, is that we can look to the plasma laboratory to devise inferences for what we are seeing with telescopes.

However, the debates we are talking about here have been going on for more than half a century now. They only seem new to some because they aren't taught in the textbooks. But, many stories of great historical relevance are not taught in the textbooks today -- including Hannes Alfven's repeated warnings about the plasma models; the story of the realization that radio waves were originating from space (astronomers assumed it was a hoax or a mistake ...); the aether debates are completely absent; students aren't even taught who Immanuel Velikovsky is.
HannesAlfven
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 09, 2012
What is it about the cosmic plasma models that inspires so much confidence? The MHD models' creator recused himself from the way in which the models have been applied. Alfven used the occasion of his Nobel acceptance speech to repeat his warning that cosmology was headed down a dead-end path, based upon the assumption that cosmic plasmas could accurately be modeled as superconductors, incapable of sustaining an E-field.

The entire gravity-centric cosmology depends upon the accuracy of this single assumption. Is a person a cult member for doubting it? Alfven was adamant that the assumption would not work under all scenarios. Astrophysicists completely ignored his warning, because it did not help them to construct a gravity-centric universe.

With the observation of the CMB, it was claimed that the only possible cause was a primordial explosion which created the entire universe. And yet, plasmas conducting currents in the lab routinely emit microwaves.
HannesAlfven
3 / 5 (4) Jun 09, 2012
Einstein's followers have always exhibited far more tunnel vision than Einstein himself. Einstein and Velikovsky in fact had many talks about Velikovsky's thesis (which the Electric Universe is, to some extent, based upon) -- another fact neglected by the textbooks. When Einstein died, Worlds in Collision -- arguably the most controversial science book ever published -- was left open on his desk.

What everybody seems to ignore is that much has changed since Relativity. Relativity was devised in a time when it was thought that the universe was dominated by gases, liquids and solids. It wasn't until AFTER Relativity - around the 50's - that we came to realize that the universe's preferred state for matter is plasma. Does nobody find it intriguing that there have been no serious ramifications for our theories to this dramatic shift in our understanding of the universe? Talk about red flag.

If there is a cult to be labeled, it is more properly pinned to Einstein's rabid followers.
HannesAlfven
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 09, 2012
I will admit that David Talbott's Saturnian Hypothesis is really quite unusual: The notion that planetary orbits might have shifted in human historical times is very difficult to believe, in light of the amazing stability of today's universe. But, few seem to realize that 85 separate classes of the oldest petroglyph archetypes have been linked to high-intensity laboratory plasma discharges by Anthony Peratt.

And what is it about uniformitarianism which inspires so much confidence? Gradualism, once again, is just an assumption. To be clear, high-energy plasma events can dramatically transform the landscape over just a couple of days. We do this in the lab all the time; it's called electrical machining.

You guys can't have it both ways: If catastrophes can occur, then uniformitarianism is garbage, because there is no "upper boundary" that anybody can place on the damage which ensues. We see highly energetic plasma events in space. Why can these things not happen here on Earth?
HannesAlfven
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 09, 2012
Comparative mythology is not science. And it cannot act as the basis for any scientific theory. We are all in agreement on that.

But, these are the oldest stories told by man. And they were important enough to our ancestors to be memorized and passed on for thousands of years, before they were written down.

Anybody who spends even just a little bit of time studying these stories will quickly realize the unusual similarities which occur across cultures. The petroglyphs exhibit the same exact anomaly, guys. Both Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung struggled to formulate a sensical theory for how this could be.

These enigmas represent important clues in our attempts to answer the most complex questions man has ever asked. Sometimes, there is great value to just asking a question, and having the conversation. People talked about these things for ~5,000 years, and the Pagans were slaughtered for it. And now the subject of mythology, and attempts to explain its origins, is taboo?
HannesAlfven
3 / 5 (4) Jun 09, 2012
Re: "Hannes, please just drop your theistic bomb already."

Is that what you were expecting?

Guys, I realize that there are lots of crazies out there. People are struggling with information overload today. And nobody wants to invest time and money into an idea which might turn out to be wrong. I get it.

What I'm here to tell you is that the most perplexing problems in science will not be solved through some aversion to learning something wrong. You have to make mistakes in order to learn from them.

We won't get there by wiping science's history clean of all of the inconvenient stories.

We won't get there by ignoring 5,000 years of human-told stories, and replacing those stories with our own tenuous assumptions.

There is no path to wisdom which involves ignoring your critics.

Critical thinking only happens when there are two competing worldviews to consider.

If you don't know the alternative to black holes, then you're not fully engaging the subject.
CardacianNeverid
5 / 5 (3) Jun 11, 2012
My (general) point of confusion is this: if even the velocity of a photon (regardless of whether it is a particle or a wave)is not enough to allow it to resist the 'pull' of the event horizon, how does the plasma jet manage it? -DarkHorse

It doesn't. The jet isn't escaping from within the event horizon, but from an area outside. Not everything near a BH is doomed to be 'sucked in'. It depends on proximity, trajectory and energy.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (3) Jun 11, 2012
Here is a question for the bandwagon:

Is there any potential observation of black holes which would disconfirm the theory, and cause people to look for alternative inferences?


Sure, just find a white dwarf with a mass 100 times that of the Sun.

If the answer to that is "no" -- as I believe it is glaringly clear, by now ..


You should try learning a little astrophysics, it is glaringly clear that the model is easily falsifiable.

Another question: To what degree do people take seriously claims that the underlying mathematics for black holes might be in error?


The Schwarzschild Metric has been widely published for nearly a century. If you think you have found an error in its derivation, there will be many mathematicians ready to listen.

Yet another question: Does anybody know what the plasma physics replacement for this inference would be?


Yes, it would be fantasy based on religious belief in conjectures long since falsified.
stellar-demolitionist
5 / 5 (1) Jun 11, 2012

There is no path to wisdom which involves ignoring your critics.

Critical thinking only happens when there are two competing worldviews to consider.


No, I don't think so. Critical thinking is asking yourself: "What assumptions have I made and what are there consequences?" particularly what implied, or hidden, assumptions are made. It doesn't require an "alternative worldview". Debate requires opposing worldviews or positions, and debates frequently lack in critical thinking from all sides.

Science is not decided by debates, or authority (whether H. Alven [the real one] or A. Einstein.). Scientific issues aren't resolved by consensus either. They're "resolved" by getting better data and building better models.

EU/PU/PC/ES advocacy isn't criticism, it's lunacy. It takes a reasonable criticism (that astrophysics needs to consider more electromagnetic phenomena) and stretches it to nutty proportion: the sun is NOT powered by a current and spiral galaxies are not shaped by EM.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (1) Jun 12, 2012
Re: "Critical thinking is asking yourself: "What assumptions have I made and what are there consequences?" "

That's one component. But, how will you know the consequences of your assumptions in the absence of a discussion of the alternatives? This is not a new issue in philosophy of science. The fact is that when students learn one worldview, they memorize it. When they learn two, they compare and contrast them. That is when the brain *fully* engages the subject matter -- when there is something actually at stake. It's the difference between putting money down on a poker game and not: Without anything on the line -- without anything to compare and contrast against -- there is nothing at stake. You are comparing something with nothing, and this is as useless to our minds as comparing apples with oranges.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (1) Jun 12, 2012
Re: "EU/PU/PC/ES advocacy isn't criticism, it's lunacy. It takes a reasonable criticism (that astrophysics needs to consider more electromagnetic phenomena) and stretches it to nutty proportion: the sun is NOT powered by a current and spiral galaxies are not shaped by EM."

There's absolutely nothing nutty about disbelieving the way in which astrophysicists are applying the cosmic plasma models. In fact, papers continue to be published on this subject to this day in peer reviewed journals ...

See "Real Properties of Electromagnetic Fields and Plasma in the Cosmos" by Don Scott

"Why Space Physics Needs to Go Beyond the MHD Box" by George K. Parks

"Importance of electric fields in modeling space plasmas" by George K. Parks

From that last paper:

"Space physics has progressed by making approximations ... Ohm's law requires information on conductivity and conductivity is not precisely defined for collisionless plasmas ..." [contd]
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (1) Jun 12, 2012
[contd]

"This important issue is often ignored by arguing that electric fields in plasmas are small and thus negligible. The IDEAL MHD approximation treats plasmas as having infinite conductivity disregarding any resistive effects ... While interesting concepts result from treating plasmas as ideal, these ideal concepts do not describe the behavior of real space plasmas ... In ideal MHD theory, there is no electromotive force (EMF) and hence the total magnetic flux is conserved leading to the frozen-in-field concept ... A real understanding of space plasma must include the behavior of time-dependent fields and currents and not be limited to just the frozen-in fields and currents."

HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (1) Jun 12, 2012
From the 2nd paper:

"Serious objections have been raised from the beginning of the space era about the application of MHD theory to collisionless space plasmas ... Although it is well-known that MHD theory is applicable to only a restricted class of plasma problems of which collisionless plasmas are not a part, MHD and ideal MHD theories have been used in space without due regard to these restrictions ..."

---

The fact is that, within the laboratory, plasmas do indeed possess some minute electrical resistance. They are not superconductors. To assume it alters the very meaning of the word "plasma," and makes the notion of a "magnetic universe" (instead of an electric universe) a self-fulfilling prophecy.

To try so hard to not understand this controversy is to bury one's head in the sand, and call everybody who does try to understand it crazy. Come on, guys. Use your heads.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (1) Jun 12, 2012
Also, it's important to add that quasi-neutrality is not the same as neutrality. Many people seem to not understand this. From http://www.thunde...tral.htm ...

"Plasma is quasi-neutral, meaning it has approximately the same number of positive charges (protons or ions) in a given volume as it has unbound negative charges (electrons) in the same volume. Since its charges are free to move independently, unlike in neutral atoms, plasma is referred to as quasi-neutral to reduce confusion.

However, quasi-neutral and nonconductive are not synonymous. Neutrality has to do with the relative proportion of positive and negative charges in a given volume. Conductivity has to do with the freedom of the charge carriers in a medium and the ease with which an electric current can flow through it.

In a plasma, the charge carriers are able to move freely and thus the conductivity of plasmas can be extremely high."
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (1) Jun 12, 2012
Re: "Yet another question: Does anybody know what the plasma physics replacement for this inference would be? ... Yes, it would be fantasy based on religious belief in conjectures long since falsified."

Wrong answer.

Plasmas exhibit varying modes of operation: dark, glow and arc. See http://glow-disch...Regimes.

One very simple explanation for the different "gears" of the black hole, within the plasma cosmology view, would be to point out that the alleged black hole's "gears" are really just indications of different charge densities feeding the galaxy, which can switch the plasma between its different emission states.

Note in that diagram, btw, that nowhere in the diagram does V/I ever hit zero. Ever. Plasmas are NOT superconductors. All you guys had to do to find that out was to look up this V/I curve. But, here's the predicament: When you ridicule your adversaries, you don't know where to look.
Terriva
1 / 5 (1) Jun 12, 2012
Alfven's Plasma universe has the same taste for me like the Winfree's coupled oscillators theory, i.e. like the silly homological theory, oriented to single particular aspect of apparently much more general and richer phenomena.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (1) Jun 12, 2012
Re: "Alfven's Plasma universe has the same taste for me like the Winfree's coupled oscillators theory, i.e. like the silly homological theory, oriented to single particular aspect of apparently much more general and richer phenomena."

I will admit that it is completely human nature to fill the void of elusive, distant concepts with our own cultural, sociological and psychological preferences. If people WANT to believe in a universe that is governed by gravity, then nothing can truly stand in their way - until it does, that is. The irony is that if the double layer - which, to be clear, is plus and minus charge right next to each other which refuses to combine - was to suddenly stop behaving as a double layer, then the permission to call the plasma whatever it is you guys wish would instantly be revoked.

But, it really begs the question of why this forum even exists: Is it a place where conventional thinkers can pat each other on the back, for the fortune of thinking so similarly?
Scutulatus
not rated yet Jun 12, 2012
Schroedinger, Heisenberg and Bell all over again.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (1) Jun 12, 2012
There is a wonderful term for the conception of science and mythology we see widespread in society today: It's called hermaneutics. Hermaneutics is the notion that concepts lack intrinsic meaning until they are absorbed by a person. And that person always - to some extent - uses the existing cultural, social and psychological context to redefine them from their original intended meaning.

But, there is more to the story: The degree to which we can understand concepts is in fact a function of the degree to which the concepts can be sensed. And where concepts are particularly elusive to our senses, hermaneutic thinking takes hold.

What this means is that we should distinguish the certainty of our sciences/subjects on the basis of the concepts they cover: Topics like infinity, black holes, magnetic fields, plasmas, mythology, cosmology and quantum-scale science are prone to bias which leans towards our personal preferences and away from our prejudices, simply because they are elusive.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (1) Jun 12, 2012
The point there is that some subjects - like algebra or mechanics - are too available to our senses to permit much controversy, whereas others - like cosmology and astrophysics - demand a uniquely critical perspective, due to the subject matter alone. As a subject matter, black holes are elusive to our senses in a large'ish number of ways ...

- in terms of not only their emissions,
- but also their distance from us,
- their reliance upon complex mathematics for justification and
- as I've tried to show, their reliance upon an intentional ignorance of competing inferences ...

that to publicly express some overwhelming confidence within the inference is to lend no importance whatsoever to the role of uncertainty in society.

And yet, uncertainty inspires us to continue asking questions. If the point is to vanquish uncertainty, the resulting knowledge will surely be riddled with errors. Where we see people not caring about uncertainty, we should expect to find false knowledge.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (1) Jun 12, 2012
But, the problems with cosmology are actually much deeper than this. Not only is the physics PhD program weeding out divergent thinkers, but few people have even ever seen a peer-review study on peer review (!). Despite all of the public displays of confidence in peer review, those who express these views have generally failed to take the time to actually investigate its efficacy.

Jeff Schmidt was an editor for Physics Today for almost two decades. When he published a book labeling the physics PhD program's approach as a mental boot camp, he was sued. Before the case was over, more than 1,000 scientists had written letters expressing their support for his ability to criticize the physics establishment's methodologies.

Needless to say, Jeff won his case. And the message of that book, Disciplined Minds, stands as a stinging critique of the inherent contradiction of the physics PhD program which exists today.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (1) Jun 12, 2012
"At the University of Califomia, Irvine, it seemed like the best of my fellow physics graduate students were dropping out or being kicked out. The system seemed to favor self-centered narrowly focused students. The others were at a disadvantage not only because their attention was divided, but also because their concerns about big picture issues such as justice and the social role of the field caused them to stop, think and question. Their hesitation and contemplation slowed them down, tempered their enthusiasm and drew attention to their deviant priorities. That put them at a disadvantage relative to their unquestioning gung-ho classmates.

There's about a 50 percent dropout or kickout rate for students entering PhD programs in all fields. I found that this weeding-out is not politically neutral. To put it bluntly, the programs favor ass-kissers students with a politically subordinate attitude those who will be the best servants of the status quo."

- Jeff Schmidt in interview
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (2) Jun 12, 2012
Disciplined Minds, page 16:

"My thesis is that the criteria by which individuals are deemed qualified or unqualified to become professionals involve not just technical knowledge as is generally assumed, but also attitude -- in particular, attitude toward working within an assigned political and ideological framework ...

The qualifying attitude, I find, is an uncritical subordinate one, which allows professionals to take their ideological lead from their employers, and appropriately fine-tune the outlook that they bring to their work. The resulting professional is an obedient thinker, an intellectual property whom employers can trust to experiment, theorize, innovate and create safely within the confines of an assigned ideology. The political and intellectual timidity of today's most highly educated employees is no accident."
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (1) Jun 12, 2012
Page 41:

"Professionals generally avoid the risk inherent in real critical thinking and cannot properly be called critical thinkers. They are simply ideologically disciplined thinkers. Real critical thinking means uncovering and questioning social, political and moral assumptions; applying and refining a personally developed worldview; and calling for action that advances a personally created agenda. An approach that backs away from any of these three components lacks the critical spirit ... Ideologically disciplined thinkers, especially the more gung-ho ones, often give the appearance of being critical thinkers as they go around deftly applying the official ideology and confidently reporting their judgments. The fact that professionals are usually more well-informed than nonprofessionals contributes to the illusion that they are critical thinkers."
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (2) Jun 12, 2012
Page 64:

"The much-touted 'peer review' process does not usurp the power of the program directors to serve agency goals. Peer review is the process in which an agency asks outside scientists to give their opinions on the scientific feasibility of proposed research; the screening by outsiders leaves the agency with a long list of feasible projects from which it chooses those that best further its goals. Peer review does not reduce the program directors to nonprofessional poll takers: The program directors select the reviewers, decide whose advice to follow in light of the goals of the programs they manage, and monitor the work of the scientists they fund. The program directors are the gatekeepers at the money bin and therefore loom as important figures for researchers, who if not worried about getting a grant, are worried about renewing one ..."
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (1) Jun 12, 2012
Page 82:

"The scientific ideologies, or 'paradigms,' that scientists internalize during their training guide their thinking in every important area of their work, determining, for example, the particular abstractions or models they use, the procedures they consider valid and even their notion of what constitutes progress and understanding. But how are the paradigms chosen? As philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn observed, paradigms are incommensurable -- that is, there is no transcendent scientific framework in which one can compare paradigms and choose the best, and so such choices are made on the basis of values, or social factors."
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (2) Jun 12, 2012
Page 82:

"Because they internalize both the paradigms and their employers' priorities and values, scientists, at least in their own eyes, are completely nonpartisan in their work: They don't 'get political.' They don't think about, let alone challenge, the ideology built into their techniques. Contrary to popular images of scientists as challengers of established beliefs (like Galileo or Einstein), the vast majority of scientists never seek to test their paradigms and do not participate in paradigm disputes. They don't waste their employers' coin by getting caught up in efforts to overthrow existing worldviews or to establish new ones. Instead, they tend to treat the accepted models of reality as reality itself."
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (2) Jun 12, 2012
Page 91:

"No matter what the product is, employers divide the work into many parts and assign each employee to one type of activity. Narrowly focused individuals can work in a more machine-like way and get more work done per hour. Moreover, people who exercise fewer skills or simpler skills can be paid less. Hence, employers label the division of labor 'efficient.' But it is efficient only if one ignores the social cost of organizing production in a way in which jobs tend to be monotonous and unsatisfying. Such jobs, instead of allowing individuals to develop their mental and physical faculties by exercising them freely and fully (that is, instead of being fun), numb the mind and the body and retard the personal development of those employed to do them. A system of production that works efficiently toward the goals of employers does not necessarily work efficiently toward the goals of employees or toward the goals of society in general."
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (2) Jun 12, 2012
Page 92:

"By making employees easier to replace and by deflating their feeling of accomplishment in their work, the division of labor strips workers of their sense of power in the workplace, discouraging them from challenging management on the way the work is organized. And the division of work into narrow tasks (most of which are the same even when the product is different) denies workers a feeling for what they are producing, thereby discouraging them from challenging management on the nature or design of the product or service. Hence the division of labor, by making self-management seem impossible and by strengthening management's control over the workforce and over the content of the work, helps make the hierarchical system of production more secure."

--

Now, if I had to guess, I would say that you guys are perhaps completely ignorant of the criticisms which have been published on the physics PhD program. At least, that is how it seems to me.
Deesky
5 / 5 (1) Jun 12, 2012
HA, what is the point of your spam?
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (2) Jun 12, 2012
There's an article trending right now which I think properly demonstrates precisely what I see here on physorg every day:

From http://www.newyor...ies.html

"When people face an uncertain situation, they dont carefully evaluate the information or look up relevant statistics. Instead, their decisions depend on a long list of mental shortcuts, which often lead them to make foolish decisions. These shortcuts arent a faster way of doing the math; theyre a way of skipping the math altogether."

--

In my attempts to simply get people to learn about this new scientific framework, I foremost deal with people who refuse to read about it. They are the most vocal, of everybody. It is incredibly hard to find intelligent criticisms which actually engage the subject matter. Everybody is trying to pretend that there is no conversation to be had, but the conversation has already been going on for more than half a century now.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (2) Jun 12, 2012
We are in big trouble if this information is spam to the people here.
Deesky
5 / 5 (1) Jun 13, 2012
In my attempts to simply get people to learn about this new scientific framework, I foremost deal with people who refuse to read about it.

If you have such grandiose ideas, why don't you try engaging the people that matter - the scientific community, instead if wasting everyone's time on a public blog?
stellar-demolitionist
5 / 5 (2) Jun 13, 2012
H.A.:

Does Mr. Schmidt's description of graduate students, graduate school, and peer review match your experience? As a student? As a reviewer? Reviewee? As a scientific professional in physics or a related field?

It doesn't match mine.

----

From what I've seen, most proponents of alternative astronomical concepts show little broad or deep understanding of much of astrophysics, and often physics as well. There are 4 (four) forces important in astrophysical systems: Gravity, electromagnetism, strong, and weak. The conditions in astrophysical systems are often far beyond what is achievable in terrestrial experiments (a significant motivation for many studying astrophysically relevant processes) including the strengths of magnetic fields generated.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (2) Jun 13, 2012
Re: "If you have such grandiose ideas, why don't you try engaging the people that matter - the scientific community, instead if wasting everyone's time on a public blog?"

Is a discussion of the process by which physics gets done "wasting everyone's time"? It seems to me that the public perception of how science gets done is drastically different than what Schmidt presents in his book. In particular, he strikes at the very meaning of consensus in the scientific establishment: The public appears to imagine that consensus is something which naturally and collectively pops up, but in doing so, they appear to have ignored the top-down structure inherent to science's management. Those who read John Taylor Gatto's "Underground History of American Education" will see the same theme of scientific management, but applied to public schooling.

Schmidt appears to claim that consensus is manufactured. The very title of his book - Disciplined Minds - alludes to it. It's devastating.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (2) Jun 13, 2012
@stellar-demolitionist

Schmidt's point is that those who make it through the system have actually been selected as people who will not actively try to undermine it, and that the stability of consensus owes quite a bit to this system's structure.

Re: "From what I've seen, most proponents of alternative astronomical concepts show little broad or deep understanding of much of astrophysics, and often physics as well."

That's certainly true. But, this is also what one would expect when a theory is underperforming: critics will simply become more common.

The danger that you and others face, in lumping all critics together, is that the good critiques will be discarded with the bad. Critical thinking is, in part, a process of seeking out good criticisms. The ramification of ignoring *all* criticisms is that science can stall on certain difficult questions. And the point of my discussion of uncertainty was to show that some disciplines by necessity demand a more open mind than others.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (2) Jun 13, 2012
It's really quite silly that people here and elsewhere pretend that the Electric Universe is so preposterous. Plasma cosmology used to be *more* accepted than the Big Bang Theory. Big Bang was a derogatory term when it was coined by Fred Hoyle.

Plasma cosmology is still an active field of investigation, with papers published in IEEE's Transactions on Plasma Sciences. IEEE is incidentally the world's largest scientific institution.

The popular notion that the observation of the CMB somehow discounted plasma-based cosmology is complete rubbish. Plasmas conducting current routinely emit microwaves. This synchrotron is spikey, but thermalizing it into a black-body curve could be accomplished in a number of ways.

Gerrit Verschuur has correlated dozens of WMAP hotspots with knots in the interstellar filaments. There is a discussion to be had here, and more research to be done. There is enough reason by now to reconsider and elaborate the electrical cosmology.
AtlasT
5 / 5 (2) Jun 13, 2012
Electric Universe is BS (and spam without value added). Most of Universe is driven with gravitational force phenomena, not with charge force phenomena.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (1) Jun 13, 2012
Re: "Electric Universe is BS (and spam without value added)."

If we are going to get into the dangerous business of excluding cosmologies, then the Big Bang should have been excluded when it was admitted that 95% of the universe is missing. Plenty of time has been available by now to observe dark matter directly. At what point should the people start hedging their bets? Certainly, there must be an answer to this, if people are to take the process seriously.

Re: "Most of Universe is driven with gravitational force phenomena, not with charge force phenomena."

It's not clear to me that you understand what you're arguing against. The radial force of gravity is being contrasted to the electric force between two collimating Birkeland Current filaments. Not only is this electric force 10^36 times stronger than that G force, but these Birkeland Current filaments extend that force to infinite distances. This alleged E force is between the filaments; the geometry is radically different.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (1) Jun 13, 2012
"Charge force phenomena", to me at least, implies electrostatics. Plasmas are *electrodynamic* phenomena. We are talking circuit theory here. Alfven was clear on this -- 50 years ago. Pith balls will not help us. In order to dismiss something, there exists a minimum requirement that people demonstrate that they know what it is.
Deesky
5 / 5 (4) Jun 13, 2012
It's really quite silly that people here and elsewhere pretend that the Electric Universe is so preposterous.

No one pretends that it is, everyone with a scientific background knows that it is (for scientific reasons).

Plasma cosmology used to be *more* accepted than the Big Bang Theory.

I call BS. And even if that were true, the fact that the BBT is dominant today is because there is a mountain of evidence for it, unlike EU.

Plasma cosmology is still an active field of investigation...

Bullshit. Only by web-cranks.

...with papers published in IEEE's Transactions on Plasma Sciences. IEEE is incidentally the world's largest scientific institution.

Which is NOT plasma COSMOLOGY as defined by EU cranks. Plasma physics is an entirely different and valid field of physics. You are trying to hitch your crank-wagon to a legit field and hope that no one notices.
Deesky
5 / 5 (4) Jun 13, 2012
the Big Bang should have been excluded when it was admitted that 95% of the universe is missing.

Unless there was a compelling reason for sticking with it, like nucleosynthesis and with inflation explaining the flatness problem, the horizon problem, symmetry breaking and phase transitions, and the origin of structure in the universe.

As for the 'missing universe', the bulk of it, comprising dark energy, has been detected and confirmed by at least two different means and the remaining dark matter component has been detected through at least half a dozen different types of observations.

Pretty damn impressive. What has EU ever described or predicted? Zip!
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (1) Jun 14, 2012
Re: "Unless there was a compelling reason for sticking with it, like nucleosynthesis"

Note that all of the steps have never been demonstrated in a single experiment, all at once.

Re: "and with inflation explaining the flatness problem"

Note that treating inflation as evidence demands that we ignore a large body of questionable redshift inferences, such as quasars shining through galaxies, bridges connecting objects with dramatically different redshifts and claims of quantized inherent (not raw) redshift values (Arp).

Re: "the origin of structure in the universe"

You're mixing your physics with metaphysics. The origin of the universe is a metaphysical inference. Metaphysical inferences should always be a last resort, and not something which should be pointed to as some sort of convincing evidence for something. Plasmas exhibit filamentation within the laboratory when conducting currents; this is a non-metaphysical inferences for the large-scale filamentation we observe.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (1) Jun 14, 2012
Confidence in the dark energy inference is only possible by ignoring other possible redshift mechanisms. We know from the plasma laboratory that there is at least one other way to generate redshift: Critical ionization velocities (CIV's). That's not to say that CIV's can replace the dark energy inference. What it does demonstrate, however, is that there exists no philosophical basis for exploring just one explanation for the redshifts, for Nature likely has a handful of ways to do it. And I would argue that the only reason that this inference is more popular than others is for the very reason that it supports the Big Bang proposition. There is circular reasoning happening here, when mainstreamers point to this as evidence for the conventional theories.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (1) Jun 14, 2012
Re: "As for the 'missing universe', the bulk of it, comprising dark energy, has been detected and confirmed by at least two different means and the remaining dark matter component has been detected through at least half a dozen different types of observations."

You're obfuscating. Dark matter remains a highly mathematical concept which lacks a physical, actionable explanation. It remains a very shaky concept to fill your universe with, and yet that does not stop theorists from pointing to it, where mathematically necessary, in order to fill the matter gap which would otherwise preclude many gravitational lensing inferences. Many theorists treat dark matter as though it is a mathematical fudge factor. They use its invisibility as an asset for their calculations.

There is no such thing as a dark matter detector. It is inferred, based upon anomalous observations. It's your personal preference to focus upon that inference, to the exclusion of others.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (1) Jun 14, 2012
Re: "What has EU ever described or predicted? Zip!"

You could have just Googled "electric universe predictions". It's the second link ...

http://www.thunde...ions.htm
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (1) Jun 14, 2012
Re: "It's really quite silly that people here and elsewhere pretend that the Electric Universe is so preposterous ... No one pretends that it is, everyone with a scientific background knows that it is (for scientific reasons)."

The EU is heavily based upon the work of Nobel laureate, Hannes Alfven, who received the Nobel for his creation of magnetoyhdrodynamics. Alfven originated MHD early on in his career. By the end, he realized that the way in which astrophysicists were applying it was "pseudo-pedagogical" (his word): It appears to help, but in fact drastically misleads. I've already explained the details of the controversy over the cosmic plasma models. To simply pretend that the arguments don't exist, even though I just posted references and quotes, is to disengage from the subject matter, and then pretend that it was never said.

Many scientists are indeed paying attention. Don Scott has spoken at NASA. Anthony Peratt was one of the world's leading plasma physicists.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (2) Jun 14, 2012
Re: "You are trying to hitch your crank-wagon to a legit field and hope that no one notices."

Not everybody is trying so hard to prove the textbook theories. Surely, you can see that this is a very limited approach to science. It's important that we also follow lines of evidence which defy the scientific framework, if we are to ever hope to have confidence in the numerous assumptions which support this framework.

If our expectation is that theories which don't corroborate the standard gravitational framework should not be published, then we risk creating artificial certainty about the framework itself. The framework can easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy if we express no concern over confirmation bias.

Approach in science DOES matter. IEEE's foresight on this issue benefits everybody involved. Mainstreamers would be wiser to argue over the theory, not its publication. You guys can easily lose the argument over publication. We CAN formulate alternative frameworks.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (2) Jun 14, 2012
By the way, it may surprise you to hear it, but the behavior of plasmas have been observed to scale over enormous magnitudes.

And it's not particularly difficult to generate morphologies within the plasma laboratory which very closely resemble many characteristic galactic forms. The z-pinch is a bipolar morphology -- one of the most common observable shapes we see in the universe today. When one considers that astrophysical textbooks already admit that 99% of what we see with telescopes is matter in the plasma state, there should be absolutely no controversy in exploring the electrical inferences. Furthermore, z-pinches are observed in the laboratory to act as accretors: They scavenge the material which surrounds them into spherical balls. Furthermore, laboratory z-pinches are also observed to do this along filaments -- emulating the cosmic beads on a string which we see with stellar formation.

To observe these similarities and ignore them is not science. It's bias.
Deesky
5 / 5 (1) Jun 14, 2012
HA, you're so full of crap, it isn't even funny (though I bet your chums over at thuderbolts must be reveling in the fact that a fellow crank is getting so much exposure in a real science site).

Is this meant to be a rebuttal?
Note that all of the steps have never been demonstrated in a single experiment, all at once.

What a weasel. You can't refute nucleosynthesis so you string together a strawman to argue against. That is a typical crank tactic. Fail.

Note that treating inflation as evidence demands that we ignore a large body of questionable redshift inferences

There are no 'questionable' redshift inferences. Red shifts and the causes of red shifts are solidly understood and have been for many decades. CMB measurements also prove the flatness of the universe. Strawman - fail.
Deesky
5 / 5 (2) Jun 14, 2012
Re: "the origin of structure in the universe"

You're mixing your physics with metaphysics. The origin of the universe is a metaphysical inference. Metaphysical inferences should always be a last resort

No wonder you're having trouble with real science, since you can't even understand the meaning of my comment, so you go into strawman territory again.

"the origin of structure in the universe" does not mean how the universe came into existence, but having done so, which processes led to the formation of structure. Fail again!

Confidence in the dark energy inference is only possible by ignoring other possible redshift mechanisms.

Wrong! Confidence in the dark energy comes from direct observation, crossreferenced by two independent types of observation. Nothing is ignored that could otherwise trivially provide an alternate solution. If such a (simpler) solution was tenable, cosmologists would be all over it in a flash.
Deesky
5 / 5 (2) Jun 14, 2012
You're obfuscating. Dark matter remains a highly mathematical concept which lacks a physical, actionable explanation.

DM is not a mathematical concept - it is physical. It was developed through observations. It is not an equation conjured in some theoretical framework, but a physical manifestation whose effects are clearly observable on baryonic matter through the action of gravity. Examples include sky surveys of gravitational lensing, behavior of galaxies like rotation curves and interactions like the Bullet cluster. Furthermore, without the use of DM in modelling, our universe would look nothing at all as we see it. The obfuscation is yours.

You could have just Googled "electric universe predictions". It's the second link ...

LOL, I knew it - the thunderbolts crank site. Case closed!
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (2) Jun 17, 2012
It's amazing, but in the span of just two short messages, you demonstrate my point:

"Nothing is ignored that could otherwise trivially provide an alternate solution."

And then ...

"LOL, I knew it - the thunderbolts crank site. Case closed!"

@Deesky, there exists a burden to at least pretend as though you are reading the materials which you criticize. The people here can see through that.

As usual, the most vocal critic is also the least educated. This is a natural byproduct of thinking that we can rule out an entire scientific framework: Not only does this create ignorance of literally thousands of scientific inferences, but this ignorance also gets passed on to future generations, who then take it a step further, by proposing that, of the inferences which remain, they can rely upon a process of exclusion to identify the best.

These are games that people play. We can spin our wheels for hundreds of years like this. I urge mainstreamers to vocally reject this approach.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (2) Jun 17, 2012
Re: " If such a (simpler) solution was tenable, cosmologists would be all over it in a flash."

And this is where we learn of your faith-based philosophy of science: It is not that you have personally invested your own time and thoughts into the evaluation of the arguments. What is happening here is that you are placing faith in the opinions of authorities, to have already done so for you.

The problem here is that you are passing your faith-based approach to science as if it is something which generates useful results. There are plenty of people online who are eager to talk about things which they haven't made any personal investment in.

It's not that the Internet needs fewer critics of conventional wisdom. The internet is overflowing with people who are too eager to talk about things which they've failed to seriously invest any time into, and this creates noise which both sides of the argument then have to sort through.
Deesky
5 / 5 (2) Jun 17, 2012
there exists a burden to at least pretend as though you are reading the materials which you criticize

In fact I'm well versed with your crank site. It's universally derided by the science/evidence based online communities, and has been for many years. So, I know of what I speak.

The people here can see through that.

What people? You've been peddling this nonsense a long time and no one here buys into it. The other resident cranks appear to be more interested in water ripples or aether or neutron repulsion. Your delusion is just another to be added to the list.

As usual, the most vocal critic is also the least educated

An ad-hom not supported by evidence. But, what do you care about evidence?

This is a natural byproduct of thinking that we can rule out an entire scientific framework

Except that there is no scientific framework built on plasma cosmology.

These are games that people play

No, these are the games you and your fellow EU cranks play.