Laboratory experiments probe the formation of stars and planets

November 5, 2018, American Physical Society
Still of superimposed videos of the mass/spring experiment. In the videos, the untethered sphere moves farthest from the center post and closest to the edge. However, the weakly-tethered mass gains angular momentum while the untethered one does not. Credit: Derek M. H. Hung

The cosmos is a void dotted with stars and an ever-increasing number of newly-observed planets beyond our solar system. Yet, how these stars and planets formed out of clouds of interstellar dust and gas remains mysterious.

The study of black holes provides clues that could help solve this mystery. Black holes are typically depicted as vacuum cleaners sucking up all the nearby matter and light. But in reality, clouds of dust and gas called accretion disks swirl around black holes, gradually moving closer and closer until they fall into the .

Researchers at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory helped verify one of the proposed models for how this process works. Their work, supported by NASA, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Simons Foundation, the Institute for Advance Study and the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, will be presented at the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics meeting in Portland, Ore.

Typical objects orbiting a star, such as the planets going around our sun, continue orbiting for billions of years because their angular remains unchanged, preventing them from falling inward. Such a system's angular momentum is a conserved quantity—it remains constant unless acted on by another force. If for some reason, the angular momentum of an orbiting object decreases, it can fall inward towards the star.

Unlike isolated planets, orbiting matter in a denser, more crowded accretion disk can experience forces, such as friction, that cause it to lose angular momentum. Such collisions, however, are not enough to explain how quickly matter must fall inward to form planets in a reasonable time. But the magnetorotational instability, in which take the place of collisions, can provide an explanation.

Researchers did an experiment simulating this process using a unique rotating water-filled device. Video is recorded of a water-filled red plastic ball as it moves away from the center of the device. A spring in the experiment connects the ball to a post to simulate magnetic forces. Position measurements of the ball indicate that the behavior of its is consistent with what is expected of the magnetorotational instability.

Researchers are now conducting experiments using spinning liquid metals to study what happens in accretion disks with actual magnetic forces present. The experiments confirm how strongly the magnetic field affects the metal and pave the way toward a clear understanding of the role the fields play in . The combined results mark a significant step toward a more complete explanation of the development of heavenly bodies.

Explore further: Researchers Test the Physics of Star Formation in the Lab

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26 comments

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gculpex
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2018
But the magnetorotational instability, in which magnetic forces take the place of collisions, can provide an explanation.

Read more at: https://phys.org/...html#jCp
theredpill
4.4 / 5 (7) Nov 05, 2018
And the dinosaur has nothing to say to gculpex but "1" star...it's about time. Although I would have loved another explanation of how this doesn't mean anything and is just "woo".

"Nobody is even looking at this"!!! he screams so sure of himself and his *ahem* Physics.
"If they were we'd have read about it, now take your woo to a forum and talk to a real physicist!!!"
The problem with supporting Dogma is that you have no idea what people who know it is dogma are doing because you don't care...then you say dumb things like the above quotes and get made fun of for yet another thing ...among many things.

Yes this totally trolling Jones. The thing is, this is just the beginning of these types of articles as we have been seeing for a few months now. Obviously there is a lot of work to do before this can be proven accurate, but that is why science relies on the physics, not the math when endeavouring to disprove a hypothesis.
gculpex
5 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2018
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. - Hamlet (1.5.167-8)
jonesdave
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 05, 2018
And the dinosaur has nothing to say to gculpex but "1" star...it's about time. Although I would have loved another explanation of how this doesn't mean anything and is just "woo".


WTF are you talking about, sh!tforbrains? I gave it one star because all it did was quote a line from the bloody article, which we are quite capable of reading ourselves. None of this is anything to do with idiotic EU woo. It is happening around a BH. EU wooists don't believe in BHs.

jonesdave
2.3 / 5 (6) Nov 05, 2018
THE STABILITY OF NON-DISSIPATIVE COUETTE FLOW IN HYDROMAGNETICS (1960)
Chandrasekhar, S.
http://www.pnas.o...46/2/253

Ancient stuff.
theredpill
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 05, 2018
LMAO...vicsous non-compressable flow between co-axial cylinders??? You goof.

" It is happening around a BH. EU wooists don't believe in BHs."
LMAO...AGAIN!!!!
From the article "Unlike isolated planets, orbiting matter in a denser, more crowded accretion disk can experience forces, such as friction, that cause it to lose angular momentum. Such collisions, however, are not enough to explain how quickly matter must fall inward to form planets in a reasonable time..."

Yes genius, they are modelling planets forming around a BH....*facepalm*

They are modelling an accretion disk to figure out how planets form you tool. I see they did mention that accretion disks form around blackholes....but the "physics" they are attempting to model is planet formation in the disk...nothing to do with a BH. Now I am sure there is an aging astrophysicist who is only slightly less confused by this whole magnetism thing than you who needs some "comforting"... and you have a "job" to do.

691Boat
4 / 5 (4) Nov 05, 2018

Yes genius, they are modelling planets forming around a BH....*facepalm*

They are modelling an accretion disk to figure out how planets form you tool. I see they did mention that accretion disks form around blackholes....but the "physics" they are attempting to model is planet formation in the disk...nothing to do with a BH. Now I am sure there is an aging astrophysicist who is only slightly less confused by this whole magnetism thing than you who needs some "comforting"... and you have a "job" to do.


@redpill:
you clearly fail to comprehend what you read. They are studying matter in the accretion disk of a black hole since we know there can be large magnetic fields around black holes. They are simply studying the effect of this magnetic field on the matter in the accretion disk and how it alters the angular momentum, which could possibly be used to help explain planet formation in other systems, not in a BH accretion disk.
691Boat
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2018
In other words,
For some planet forming systems, material should simply remain in orbit around a body due to an unchanging angular momentum of that material around the body. Collisions can convert the angular momentum, but likely not at a high enough rate to create the systems we observe presently at the rate we suspect they formed. Instead, they are using physics from a black hole, mainly the use of the magnetic field and how it can alter the angular momentum, causing material to "fall in to" the black hole. This use of modeling the magnetic field can be further extrapolated to other systems that may have a star or planet with a decent magnetic field associated.
jonesdave
2 / 5 (4) Nov 05, 2018
Yes genius, they are modelling planets forming around a BH....*facepalm*


Lol. Idiot! Didn't understand the paper, did you? Don't know what a MRI is, do you?

From Wiki;

The MRI was first noticed in a non-astrophysical context by Evgeny Velikhov in 1959 when considering the stability of Couette flow of an ideal hydromagnetic fluid.[1] His result was later generalized by S. Chandrasekhar in 1960.[2] This mechanism was proposed by Acheson & Hide (1973) to perhaps play a role in the context of the Earth's geodynamo problem.[3] Although there was some follow-up work in later decades (Fricke, 1969; Acheson and Hide 1972; Acheson and Gibbons 1978), the generality and power of the instability were not fully appreciated until 1991, when Balbus & Hawley gave a relatively simple elucidation and physical explanation of this important process.[4]


Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2018
It's well known, and long researched. Wikipedia has an article on it: https://en.wikipe...tability

The magnetic field can be surprisingly weak and still exert this force.
jonesdave
2 / 5 (4) Nov 05, 2018
....but the "physics" they are attempting to model is planet formation in the disk...


Yes, you dick, I know. And there is nothing new in the hypothesis that magnetic fields must play a part in stellar and planet formation. That is why the Rosetta scientists were so keen to measure the possible MF of 67P from the Philae lander. Given that a comet is primordial, they were hoping that there would be some remnant magnetism that could help constrain the early field strength. There was zilch.
You really need to stay away from science, it isn't your thing, is it?
theredpill
5 / 5 (5) Nov 05, 2018
"you clearly fail to comprehend what you read. They are studying matter in the accretion disk of a black hole since we know there can be large magnetic fields around black holes. "

LOL...two of you....neat. They are studying accretion disks...that form planets. They mentioned black holes have accretion disks, they aren't modelling how planets could form in those disks because they don't form in those disks....you are correct regarding the magnetic effect on angular momentum, but obviously this process is occurring around a star, not a BH. Please don't do what Jones does and unintentionally ridicule yourself by saying multiple stupid things and posting links to prove that a vague association you made in your brain applies to this hypothesis.

"Didn't understand the paper, did you?"

It is about as relevant as you as far as this hypothesis is concerned. Go find a forum where they still think gravity does it, you'll be fine there.
jonesdave
2 / 5 (4) Nov 05, 2018
It is about as relevant as you as far as this hypothesis is concerned. Go find a forum where they still think gravity does it, you'll be fine there.


Too thick for words! Go away you uneducated crank. Of course grasvity is involved, you prawn. And magnetic effects have long been hypothesised. And not by EU idiots. None of them are even remotely qualified to comment on the subject. Go look at the literature, thicko.

691Boat
5 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2018
@redpill:
Technically they are only studying the angular momentum. The results of this study can then be applied to planet and star formation. If you honestly feel that gravity is not needed, where does the "magnetic field seeder" come from to draw all the material in to form a star or planet from a cloud of dust and gas?
jonesdave
2 / 5 (4) Nov 05, 2018
Star formation in magnetic dust clouds
Mestel, L. & Spitzer, L., Jr. (1956)
http://adsabs.har...16..503M
gculpex
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2018
^Boat, read this:
http://https://phys.org/...tml#nRlv
jonesdave
2 / 5 (4) Nov 05, 2018
^Boat, read this:
http://https://phys.org/...tml#nRlv


And what has that got to do with anything? Spell it out. Given that you appear to be an EUist then, by definition, you are scientifically illiterate, so I'm not expecting a coherent answer.
gculpex
3 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2018
^Boat, read this:
http://https://phys.org/news/2018-11-magnetic-fields-deep-space-wiggle.html#nRlv


And what has that got to do with anything? Spell it out. Given that you appear to be an EUist then, by definition, you are scientifically illiterate, so I'm not expecting a coherent answer.

Shut up!
I got better things to do than reply to you.
jonesdave
2 / 5 (4) Nov 05, 2018
^Boat, read this:
http://https://phys.org/news/2018-11-magnetic-fields-deep-space-wiggle.html#nRlv


And what has that got to do with anything? Spell it out. Given that you appear to be an EUist then, by definition, you are scientifically illiterate, so I'm not expecting a coherent answer.

Shut up!
I got better things to do than reply to you.


so I'm not expecting a coherent answer.


Prediction confirmed. Loon doesn't know any science.

jonesdave
1 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2018
Hint: MHD and dynamos. Not popular in EU non-science.
691Boat
5 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2018
^Boat, read this:
http://https://phys.org/news/2018-11-magnetic-fields-deep-space-wiggle.html#nRlv

ok, are you claiming this proves a magnetic seed source for a large cloud of mostly neutral gas that will then form a solar body?
If that is true, we should likely be running out of these clouds, no? Since EU likes to claim 99% of the universe is plasma, and a simple "wiggle" in the plasma would create a seed source for solar system or solar body formation due to a magnification of magnetic fields.....etc.....etc............. am I missing anything?
jonesdave
1 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2018
..................am I missing anything?


Nope, other than the fact that EU loons are, by definition, scientifically illiterate. You might as well debate QM with a badger.
valeriy_polulyakh
not rated yet Nov 05, 2018
Star formation is one of the least comprehended phenomenon in astrophysics. Is there a general theory of star formation? No, there is not. There is a number of models based on computer simulations which include supersonic hydrodynamics with non-ideal MHD turbulence influenced by gravity. They include the line and continuum radiative processes of the energy transfer; a number of chemical processes with dissociation, recombination and ionization, with uncertain nomenclature of atoms and molecules, unknown magnetic fields and formation and destruction of dust particles. In addition there is macrophysics that is an environment in the molecular clouds, clumps and cores; inclusion in the multiple systems, collisions among stellar systems; jets and outflows; radiation pressure.
https://www.acade...ormation
https://www.acade...rvations
cantdrive85
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2018
Isn't that cute, the plasma ignoramuses are using water balloons tied to strings to "simulate" another failed guess.
gculpex
5 / 5 (1) Nov 06, 2018
^Boat, read this:
http://https://phys.org/news/2018-11-magnetic-fields-deep-space-wiggle.html#nRlv

ok, are you claiming this proves a magnetic seed source for a large cloud of mostly neutral gas that will then form a solar body?
If that is true, we should likely be running out of these clouds, no? Since EU likes to claim 99% of the universe is plasma, and a simple "wiggle" in the plasma would create a seed source for solar system or solar body formation due to a magnification of magnetic fields.....etc.....etc............. am I missing anything?

We live in a dynamic world not static.
There is a cycle to star formation- clouds form, condense, create stars, radiate material back into space to create new clouds. This is over simplistic but basically what happens.
A small wiggle is all the difference in the world or universe, same as the COBE map.

Thanks for waiting.
jonesdave
1 / 5 (2) Nov 06, 2018
Isn't that cute, the plasma ignoramuses are using water balloons tied to strings to "simulate" another failed guess.


They know far more about plasma physics than you, or any of the EU idiots.

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