View Full Version here: : Peratt - Plasma Models

03-10-2010, 12:09 PM
Following on from the "Primordial Magnetic Fields" thread, I have started investigating Peratt's view of Plasma Models and Scaling.

Alex forwarded us a list of reading material and it would seem that the following paper is one of the seminal EU reference papers, upon which they build their views.

The paper is called:

"Advance in Numerical Modelling of Astrophysical and Space Plasmas"
it is fairly old, dated 1997, and is the first in a series of three papers.

As the version Alex(EU) forwarded us is in read-only PDF format, I unfortunately cannot cut and paste text here for comment. It is 3.3 MB so I can't upload it, either.

So, I have uploaded the first 3 pages with the Abstract and Intro included.

It does not start out well. Peratt seems to rule out the possibility that Space Plasmas can, or ever will, be able to be detected and proceeds from there. This basis would seem to be an extremely limiting way to start out any research reporting paper.

I have an open mind on this, and I may acquire further perspectives as I read on. There is a section on Synchrotron radiation which I look forward to reading.

Comments welcome.


03-10-2010, 12:46 PM
What journal was it in....I'll download it

03-10-2010, 12:47 PM
Just reading what you posted there is giving me an idea of where the article is going.

The abstract was enough to tell me that Perrat has a limited understanding of both astrophysics and the methods/applications used to study plasma phenomena in space. In any case, this article is so far behind current technology in both its scale and application it's not funny. As for some of his contentions about the inability of not being able to observe the condition in the magnetospheres of the planets from Earth (or at least from satellites in orbit about the Earth or close by)....what a load of twaddle. Having spacecraft actually out there orbiting the planets is even better. Can't get more in situ than that. And, so far as the conditions are concerned at a distance from us (as he mentions, beyond a few parsecs), what are the bevvy of satellites (and even ground based instruments) doing up there?? What he conveniently forgets is that you don't have to go to the mountain in order to see what's there...the mountain comes to us (in the form of EM energy). If it was so hard to deduce what was happening (not saying it's easy, but it's not impossible), then we'd be no more the wiser than what we where 50 or more years ago.

He should stick to what he was trained for and knows best....industrial plasma physics.

Leave the space physics to those that know something about it.

03-10-2010, 12:49 PM
Link is:


03-10-2010, 01:04 PM

03-10-2010, 01:18 PM
He seems to quote space based plasma field strengths without providing any references as to the source of the information.

His intergalactic strengths seem to be overstated (strength-wise) compared with the more modern info we found in the Intergalactic Magnetic Fields thread .

Its a marathon paper this one ..


03-10-2010, 01:55 PM
4.1 Synchrotron Radiation:

".. the question of cosmic synchrotron radiation is closely connected with the physics and origin of cosmic rays and with gamma- and X ray astronomy."

Hmmm .

03-10-2010, 01:59 PM
4.2 Transition Radiation

"Even in the absence of a magnetic field, astrophysical plasmas are capable of producing polarized radiation and large scale radiation patterns having diffraction-like patterns. At cellular interfaces delineating astrophysical plasmas of differeing constituency, the passge of electrical currents can produce transition radiation, … produced by the propagation of charged particles through the interface between media with differing dielectric constants."

"Long a topic of theoretical interest, transition radiation has been experimentally verified in the far infrared…

Thus coherent transition radiation may give information about large scale cellular astrophysical transition regions…"

Hmm ..

03-10-2010, 02:00 PM
There's a lot of misinformation in that paper...example..."No rotating object in the universe that is devoid of a magnetic fields is known" Wrong. What about Venus. It has no magnetic field, yet it rotates (very slowly). Mars is another. It doesn't have a planetary dynamo. It only has areas of weak magnetic fields which are mostly confined to cratered highlands and some basins in the southern hemisphere. They're relict fields from the time when the planet did have a dynamo (before 3.9Ga). And here's something to throw a spanner into the works...Ganymede is tidally locked with Jupiter. Yet it produces a magnetic field. On the basis of Perrat's contentions, go figure:P

The Sun's magnetic field is 1G (gauss), most stars over F4 have bugger all magnetic fields, if any at all. Only sunspots and the M class stars have fields anywhere near 3-4T in strength (and not all M class stars have fields that strong, only the flare stars).

His other field strengths, especially the IGMF are off by several orders of magnitude, as are his galactic fields.

Space is not a vacuum (he wants to go and learn the definition of the term).

And that is just the start!!!.

03-10-2010, 02:05 PM
Cosmic rays can be generated in a number of ways, but aren't necessarily tied to the origin of synchrotron radiation. Same with gamma and x ray sources. Yes, the are related in some instances, but not necessarily with every case.

03-10-2010, 02:13 PM
Yep. I agree with everything you say here.
Further on, he gets back into his area of expertise. Seems whenever he drops back into Astrophysical phenomena, things get wobbly and there are no references to real measurements. (Remember this is an old paper, so I assume most of the numbers are guesses)..



03-10-2010, 02:18 PM
But even back then, most astrophysicists knew the numbers (or most of them) that he was referring to, in so far as their actual values and such were concerned. They even knew much of the observational evidence. It wouldn't have taken too much to read up on it and quote it without making too many mistakes.

03-10-2010, 02:37 PM
Another mistake....Titan doesn't have a magnetosphere. The only moon in the solar system that does is Ganymede, and it's very weak.

His "astrophysical" sections are rather weak, barely any information at all that is really of any relevance to anything else he talks about later on with regard to plasmas, which is mostly coming from his background in experimental and industrial plasma physics.

03-10-2010, 02:51 PM
Here's another furphy...

"The nuclear core of the Sun is a plasma at a temperature of about 1.5KeV (true...that equates to around 15.5 Million K, which is just a little short of the true value, 15.7MK)."

" Beyond this, our knowledge about the Sun's interior is highly uncertain. Processes which govern the abundance of elements, nuclear reactions, and the generation of and the strength of the interior magnetic fields, are incompletely known." Whilst they're not fully understood, we understand and know a lot more about it than what he is claiming. Far more. How do we know this....from observations and mathematical modeling of the characteristics of the behaviour of gases (plasmas) under the conditions that are present within stars. We know what elements are there and how abundant they are, their proportions cf. to the major constituents of the stars, the nuclear reaction rates for the various nuclear processes that occur within stars, the EOS for the regions present within the stars and how these relate to the gas laws and the laws of thermodynamics, MHD and how these tie in with the generation of the magnetic fields of stars.

What Perrat should do is instead of quoting figures and getting theory mangled with respect to astrophysics, is actually go and do some courses or read the relevant literature and learn something about what he's talking about. Either that, or just stick with his field of speciality...industrial plasmas.

03-10-2010, 03:11 PM
As he goes thru the modelling he outlines:

"5.4 Issues in Simulating Cosmic Phenomena:
- boundary conditions;
- relativity;
- compression of time scales;
- collisions."

then he goes on to:

- Scaling Laws - the scaling of plasma physics on cosmical and laboratory scales generally involves estimates of diffusion in plasma, inertia forces acting on the currents, the Coriolis force, the gravitational force, the centrifugal force, and the j x B electromagnetic force …"

Then he goes on about needed tera-flop computers to run the simulations, distributed computing, modular code design, numerical modelling platforms, then he dives off into computer designs vs power, etc.

There seems to be six references in the "References" section to Astrophys, Space Sci, some Soviet Phys publications, heaps of iEEE Plasma Science references, Journal of Phys, etc.

A total of about 38 references in all.

And that's it.

Hmm .. he's trying to build a computer based model of plasmas in space.
Err…. yes … there are heaps of computer based models in the Astro Physics world. Nothing new ..

The conclusion is probably more intersting than this one.

Might skip to the end of paper #3.


03-10-2010, 04:27 PM
Ok so now I'll move onto what seems to be the follow up paper ...
(WARNING: This paper is 8.3 MB mainly because it has colour photos in it .. not because it is long):

"Advances in Numerical Modelling of AstroPhysical and Space Plasmas" (http://public.lanl.gov/alp/plasma/downloads/AdvancesII.annotated.pdf)

'Part II Astrophysical Force Laws on the Large Scale'.
Published: APSS, 1998.

I realise Carl's too busy to read thru all this and provide his input (why expect him to anyway?). But this paper seems to talk about the results/outputs of the model discussed in the paper in my original post. He also gives the simulation results of a random assortment of double radio galaxies and quasars. Eg: he gives simulation derived parameters on the radiation properties of Cygnus A; Rotation velocity predictions of adjacent birkeland filaments and gets onto Spiral galaxy rotation velocities.

Hey Bojan I found a circuit diagram on Page 60:

"Generic circuit description of a space plasma problem (in this case, the flow of Birkeland currents in the Earth's magnetosphere/ionosphere."

He goes on and assigns values in the subsequent text.


More bed-time reading.
(Yawn !).


03-10-2010, 05:22 PM
Oh Alex, just to preempt you....I don't have the time at present to look this paper over properly, so don't think what I wrote is some definitive critique. It's not...it's just some of the mistakes I caught from a quick glance at the thing. You're going to have to wait till I have the time to be bothered looking it over before you get a proper response to it (it is 71 pages long!!!).

04-10-2010, 01:27 PM
On the question of 'Dark Mode' currents, it would seem that Donald Scott (PhD, Electrical Engineering) is the one proposing it.

Scott - "Red and Brown Dwarfs" (http://www.electric-cosmos.org/hrdiagr.htm).

I can't seem to find Peratt doing the same (from the papers). I'll keep looking.


04-10-2010, 02:13 PM
I wouldn't even bother with Scott's "analysis" of the evolution of stars considering he proposes that they're formed and powered by electrical currents "winding" through the galaxy!!!!:screwy::P

He should stick to electrical circuitry and microprocessors (which is his field).

He has little knowledge of astrophysics. Other than what he reads of the basics.

04-10-2010, 10:34 PM
Apart from the discrepancies raised by Carl and Craig, the definition of plasma is "nebulous" to say the least

Here is a quote from Peratt's article.

The degree of ionization ordinarily relates to a gas not plasma.
As Peratt states in the last sentence the degree of ionization for HI regions is 10^-4. This means there is approximately 99% atomic hydrogen and 1% plasma. Yet he refers to the degree of ionization of plasmas. By definition a plasma is a gas that has been 100% ionized so referring to degrees of ionization of plasma seems to be illogical.

Peratt gets out of this logical bind by claiming that neutral hydrogen (HI) with it's 99% atomic hydrogen and 1% plasma is classified as a plasma!

Now here is the discrepancy. Plasma physicists study the reaction kinetics or collision cross-sections of plasmas and claim gases that have a degree of ionization as low as 10^-3 exhibit collision properties which a more plasma like.

Apart from the fact that HI regions fall below this value and are therefore not considered plasmas in terms of it's collision properties, Peratt seems to assume "the non plasma components" of the plasma are going to behave in the same way as plasma with regards to structure formation.

Would we expect a HI region composed of 99% neutral hydrogen to participate in the formation of Birkeland currents, magnetic fields, and be contrained in Z pinches?

It appears simply calling HI regions plasmas seems to get around the question.:)



05-10-2010, 07:41 AM

Yes. Its certainly confusing from the outset. Very tiny amounts of plasma mixed in with ionised gas is a pretty weak argument for the claim that 99%, (by volume), of the universe is made from plasma (a claim made early on).

So, can the presence of this 1% of plasma be detected ?

Carl mentioned to me that: 'the 21 cm line line is not due to some plasma state of the gas, it's caused by the spin flip of the electron in the hydrogen atom'.

So, it seems that even Peratt's method of detecting plasma is not one for detecting plasma properties at all.

He then goes on to mix up the presence of magnetic fields with it all. The implication being that magnetic fields are caused by either; large moving plasmas or; by moving intrinsic magnetic fields interacting with the 'weakly' ionised gases (having 1% plasma). I find it very difficult to work out whether he's using the presence magnetic fields as evidence for the volumes of plasma, or not.


05-10-2010, 08:40 AM
Yes in the form of synchroton radiation. But there lies the weakness in the Peratt's galaxy forming model through Birkeland currents.
Synchroton radiation extends into the radio wave spectrum. Therefore galaxies formed through this mechanism should be able to emit radio waves.

Radio wave emissions however are an exclusive property of elliptical galaxies.



05-10-2010, 09:50 AM
On synchrotron radiation (Section 4.1, page 123) he says:

So, it would seem from this that not all plasmas exhibit synchroton radiation .. only 'highly relativistic electron emissions' ? (I'm not using his arguments to defend rather, I'm questioning what he's said here).

Seems to be another dissection of Plasma types ..


05-10-2010, 10:40 AM
True but in the context of what our EU friends claim about plasma double layers, large potential drops and layer separation occuring on a cosmic scale, charged particles are accelerated to near the speed of light and should therefore exhibit synchroton radiation.

The issue here is that elliptical galaxies and spiral galaxies are formed under the Peratt mechanism, so why is it that Ellipticals only exhibit synchroton radiation and spirals do not?

If the Birkeland currents carry charged particles at random energies then the formation of ellipticals and spirals via Birkeland currents should result in the random distribution of synchroton radiation in both ellipticals and spirals.



05-10-2010, 10:41 AM
That's not correct in the way it's worded but I know what you mean here. The degree to which the very powerful, nuclear region, radio wave emissions occur are mostly seen in elliptical galaxies, as the centres of these galaxies are, in many cases, highly active areas. However, we also have quite a few spirals which show very similar activity....Seyfert Galaxies, for instance (but most of these are not radio loud, unlike the ellipticals).

However, you are right about the weakness of Perrat's thesis. If the galaxies were the result of galactic scale Birkeland currents and strong confining magnetic fields, there'd be synchrotron radiation everywhere. Every galaxy would be radio bright and their centres would be quasar like. There's no evidence for this at all. Then you have the implications of all this radiation and its impact on life bearing planets. Not only that, all that radiation would, in fact, prevent the formation of stars, as it would heat the gas and dust to such a degree that the clouds of dust and gas would find it very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve their Jeans mass and undergo collapse. The magnetic fields themselves would act to prevent it, especially fields as strong as proposed by Perrat and Scott.

05-10-2010, 10:52 AM
And here's another furphy of the EU crowd....all these galaxies and such are lined up along these extragalactic current filaments that string along and form all the large scale structures in the universe. That being the case, all galaxies should have a preferred orientation to their rotational axes...they should all face the same direction or at least the direction in which the current is flowing. There's absolutely no evidence for this whatsoever. A cursory look at any population of galaxies, anywhere in the universe and you will find random orientations of the galaxies. They point in every direction. The most obvious example being our own Local Group. If you follow the EU thesis, the centre of our galaxy should be in line with M31, M33 and all the others, and these in turn should be lined up with the galaxies of the Virgo Cluster and Supercluster. At least to those that belonged on the same filament (which would be the majority of them), along which our common motion through space was directing us.

05-10-2010, 11:04 AM
I stand corrected here. Yes Seyfert galaxies do emit synchroton radiation from the relativistic jet.



05-10-2010, 11:18 AM
I'm not sure I understand how anyone (let alone EU), can claim this either. That's one of the things driving me in all of this, I guess.

I'm also not convinced that Peratt has generalised relativistic plasmas everywhere. He does make effort to separate the different types of 'plasmas' which may be hypothesised to exist in different places at different densities, at different energies. He says their characteristics are different and thus, so too, should be the detection methods.

The second paper (not yet discussed herein) shows the outputs of his simulations and he appears to have created double spirals in his simulations. How he's done this, I haven't read up on yet.

It is difficult reading as he jumps into and out of high relativistic plasmas very frequently. This could have lead to confusion and may have given rise to the entire EU camp. Sloppy science writing, creates a problem for mainstream science .. (perhaps). If this is the case, you get to be right again, Carl, as you have already said this .. many times over.


05-10-2010, 11:36 AM
You mean the claim of the Birkeland currents etc.

He makes an effort to separate the different types of plasma but then makes generalisations about what a plasma is...he is including "dusty" plasmas, neutral HI regions etc. Even the free electrons in a conductor, he is calling a plasma. Where do you stop?? Do you call superconductors a plasma??

Double spiral systems can be simulated and created in many different types of systems and situations...you can create one just by pulling the plug out of your sink after washing up. That doesn't mean that particular version is applicable to the formation of spiral galaxies. Neither does his simulations of plasma double spirals. The mathematics describing each system may have much in common and produce the same results, but the causative mechanisms do not.

05-10-2010, 01:10 PM
Ok Carl .. you've completely spoiled my fun .. and I expect a complete apology for that.


I've skipped forward to the second paper: "Advances … Part II AstrophysicalForce Laws on the Large Scale".

Here we find the answers to it all ..

Section 2 Large Scale Structure of the Plasma Universe:

{I've left out the pre-amble to avoid a monster post} ..

.. a circuit diagram follows, which is kinda interesting but … preceded by the underlined sentence above … kind of removes the interest in one fell swoop.


Figure 7: “Generic circuit description of a space plasma problem (in this case the flow of Birkeland currents in the Earth’s magnetosphere/ionosphere”


Well … ?? … I'm waiting !!



05-10-2010, 01:24 PM
I'll get back to you about this....I watching/listening to a broadcast on Night Skies Network:)

05-10-2010, 02:15 PM
Then there's a Section titled "Galactic Dimensioned Birkeland Currents"

.. Sounds promising might get to the bottom of how he concludes there is such a thing, in the first place:

.. a 'slam dunk' here .. if Alven hypothesised this then it must be so !.. he continues

This field strength, (1e-9 T = 1e-5 G), is four (?) orders of magnitude greater than was measured in the paper from our "Primordial Intergalactic Magnetic Fields" thread the other day which said the measured field strength was 1e-9 G (which is 1e-13 T, check me here I think that's right).

Man .. his initial assumption is out by four (?) orders of magnitude .. so the rest is also

I've almost finished with this thread


05-10-2010, 02:19 PM
Look at the size of the driving current....there'd be sychrotron radiation galor!!!

05-10-2010, 02:24 PM
Look at the size of the filament....that's the size of a large galaxy!!!. Where's the evidence for a plasma current filament of that size?? There isn't any.

05-10-2010, 02:33 PM
And that is just a scaling assumption. He's got no idea. There's even less evidence of a filament of that size than for a galactic sized one.

How does he come to the assumption that over the larger distance that it's closed....just because it must be. Just so he doesn't get leakage from the filament ends. Where's the power for the filament coming from??

05-10-2010, 02:42 PM
Answer your question?

05-10-2010, 02:54 PM
And makes about as much sense:):P

05-10-2010, 03:13 PM
Carl I recall reading that a study showed the galaxies studied did in fact line up like buttons on a string.

I have tried to find the article but no luck..had it on my old lappy but it is no more..The article was in science daily or something similar and seemed most reasonable and not a crackpot guess..

I raised it some time ago here but no one thought it curious at all .... I am not bringing it up to support EU but I think there is support for the line up thing ...there was an article and artists impressions so I doubt it was not "scientific":rolleyes:. But if the line up is as I recall and from valid observation I felt you may care to know about it I am sorry I cant provide a link.

When I read about it I was set to wondering why and asked same in a post ..

All I wonder is have you heard of such a study?


05-10-2010, 03:22 PM
Some excellent posts on this forum... much of the confusion and questions i see quite often... and at times share!

Earlier SJ touched on 'weakly ionized plasma'. This this still constitutes a plasma, yes this still constitutes current flow. ie Heliospheric current sheet 3 x 10^9 amperes.

Craig made some great comments regarding not all plasma's emit synchrotron radiation.

I think the claim here would be since the matter (weakly ionised plasma) is dominated by electromagnetic forces, behavior and function it is deemed a plasma.

This would of-course depend on the density, see Craig above. Double layers are also *not* always formed, thus are *not* expected to be seen everywhere.

I think we are kind of hitting on some of the many differences between what an electrical engineer or plasma physicist deems a 'plasma'.... and what might commonly be described as a plasma by astrophysicists... ie "hot gas only"....

Other than that i've enjoyed the many insights and questions in this thread.... this kind of discussion helps us all.


05-10-2010, 03:27 PM
It has reached the point where just about every post in this forum section is started by an adherent of pseudoscience, or is about pseudoscience, or rapidly degenerates into an argument over pseudoscience.

05-10-2010, 03:28 PM
Quite correct. Wish i could find it.

05-10-2010, 04:19 PM
Apart from the overall general arrangement of the galaxy clusters and superclusters into large filamentary structures, there is no evidence at all that individual galaxies are, in fact, lined up like "buttons on a string" . At least not in the way the EU propose.

What evidence that there are some galaxies that have been found to have some sort of orientation (quote from "Fossil Evidence for Spin Alignment of SDSS Galaxies in Filaments" dated Sept 17 2010...very new paper)

You'll see that the few galaxies they did find with any possible orientation were oriented perpendicular to the long axis of the filaments, which if it was the case as proposed by the EU would be an alignment parallel to the long axis if the filament. The spin axes of the galaxies would follow the direction of the current. Why?? Simple EM theory...the magnetic field of the galaxy has to be perpendicular to the direction of the flow of the current. In this case, with the spiral arms etc, being a product of Birkeland currents within the galaxies, the combined fields of both the filament current and the Birkeland currents (within the galaxies themselves) would forcibly align the rotational axes of the galaxies to the direction of the current.

There is no observational evidence for this. This is hardly "beads on a string" type of orientation.

The reason why the galaxies in this study are aligned perpendicular to the current is that they occur in less dense regions of the filament where interactions between galaxies is less common, so any tidally induced orientation of the galaxies, due to the mass of the filament they formed in, is better preserved. They are also smaller galaxies than the others, so they are more affected by tidally induced orientation. Go anywhere else in the filament and the orientation of the galaxies is messy and all over the place.

In any case, there hasn't been enough time for further study of this particular paper, so we will have to wait to see what responses there are to their assertions.

06-10-2010, 11:28 AM
Thanks Carl and Alex
The study I read did not offer any reason why the line up was as observed so from that study there was no axe being ground to suit any particular view.

06-10-2010, 11:37 AM
See if you can find it....even if you have to hack into your old lappy:):P

06-10-2010, 12:26 PM
Easy........a giant microwave oven in space. If you need evidence try cutting a grape into quarters, place under a glass in a microwave and press go. Instant plasma :D:P;):lol:.


06-10-2010, 12:29 PM
Yeah, but who's going to clean up the mess??:eyepop::lol::P:D:rofl:

06-10-2010, 12:43 PM
See, in my newly educated mode, (credits to Don Scott) .. :eyepop:

There is some credible, theoretical plasma physics basis behind his filament statement. (Dark mode Birkeland, filaments).

The problem is producing the evidence that one this big could ever exist, as Carl rightly points out.

How it powers itself is directly related to the density of the plasma and the power dissipation, as it travels thru space. At the moment in my 'education', it looks to me like a perpetual motion machine. It seems that once a Birkeland filament exists, it can never stop !


06-10-2010, 01:08 PM
Problem is this, Craig....anything masking the Birkeland currents will cause them to collapse. You're effectively blocking the current flow. If you hide them from view (at all wavelengths), you're stopping any emissions from the plasma in which the Birkeland currents exist. Essentially, you're neutralising the plasma. Neutralise the plasma in any way, shape or form and it becomes nothing more than a cloud of gas.

This dark mode is a furphy. Essentially an engineering term for a bias current generated in a semiconductor detector or circuit without the input of an external source of energy, e.g. light, charge etc. In astrophotography parlance, it's the current that is generated in a CCD when no light is falling on the detector...hence the term "dark". It's called the bias and when taking your piccies, you have to account for it as it will increase the noise present in your piccies. This is a reasonably good explanation of what it is....Dark Current (Dark Mode) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_current_%28physics%29).

It has nothing to do with astrophysics.

There is a feedback mechanism in plasmas where a z-pinch can gain net energy from the plasma in the pinch (via elastic collisions and induction), but it still requires an input from somewhere to sustain it for any indefinite period. Otherwise, as you said, it becomes a perpetual motion machine.

06-10-2010, 01:27 PM
From my rudimentary understanding, parallel filaments seem to feed off each other, also.

Also if there is no movement of the plasma, there is no current and thus no magnetic field and thus, no more filament (?). So if something blocks the path and its big enough (Like a planet or some other disruptive source), I can see that the filament would cease. Apparently, it puts up a fight, though, once its in existence.

But what if nothing blocks the path ?

I have a feeling this 'Dark Mode' is not an electronics type of dark current. I'm pretty familiar with flows across doped junctions in semiconductors and I don't think this is what they're on about. The dark mode seems to come from a plasma voltage vs current density graph (verifiable in the lab) and is what precedes the 'Glow' phase which in turn, precedes the 'Arc' phase (as the current density increases). The plasma seems to behave differently, depending on the voltage applied and the density of the current/electric field.

What powers the transition from one phase to another seems to rely on an externally applied EMF. Presumably, this would be coming from a nearby source like a star.

Geezz .. I'm starting to sound like a plasma guy !!

Yep. This is the big question .. what is the physics of plasma over uninterrupted distances and distances separating the plasma from the driving potential difference ?



06-10-2010, 01:42 PM
It's not about something blocking the physical path of travel, it's about something blocking the flow of voltage along the mean free path of the charge, essentially neutralising the potential difference...which is what generates the voltage/current, etc, in the first place. It doesn't matter if anything is in the way or not, that has nothing to do with it. Not only this, if the plasma doesn't act like a closed circuit, you'll get leakage from the open end, loss of energy and eventual collapse of the current and the pinch. Regardless of whether they feed off one another or not.

It's precisely what it is....except it's couched in slightly different terminology to wrap it around an astrophysical context. In this case, Dark mode meaning it's not detectable via any emissions being generated through the potential difference and the current density. It doesn't matter what current density there is, the potential difference or whatever, a plasma will generate emissions of some type and wavelength/frequency. Whether that's in radio, xray, gamma rays or UV/IR. The fact that you can't see it in the visible part of the spectrum means nothing. If you stop the plasma from producing that emission, whether it's via no net acceleration or movement between its constituent ions or you block the flow of charge or ionisation in any way, you collapse the current. No current, no pinch, no plasma....then there will be no emissions (apart from the usual thermal ones), for real.

The EU/PC guys don't specify a source (not on galactic or intergalactic scales, at least), but a star could be a source of interplanetary nature, if it was powering the currents via input through its normal activity.

06-10-2010, 01:55 PM
I may have misjudged the Relaxation Oscillator thingy also.

Alex forwarded us a paper which contained a model of transmission lines.

What's that got to do with a Relaxation Oscillator ? I asked.

Apparently what they're saying is that a pulse entered into that system bounces up and down the transmission line (like what caused power blackouts in the Northern US). The pulse continues bouncing back and forth between impedance boundaries simulated by the combination of modelled elements in the transmission circuit model. This then, starts to emulate the behaviour of a Relaxation Oscillator. Mind you, each time the pulse rebounds, it loses energy and eventually dies out due to losses in the transmission line media.

I'll have to re-read the Peratt/Healy paper again on this one.

This post should also be on our 'Primordial Magnetic Fields' thread. I might copy it over there, for the record (& for Bojan to shoot me down on this .. oh you can, too :) )

.. I'm not saying that any of this makes sense, yet .. I'm just seeing that there may be a lot of miscommunication going on as the Electrical speak comes together with AstroPhysics .. not of our making .. it's up to the PC authors to have explained all this much more clearly .. and they haven't.



06-10-2010, 02:04 PM
How are they going to sort out the translation of the lingo when they don't understand the syntax behind the lingo to begin with:P

They're misusing "pigeon" plasma physics and trying to create a whole new lingo out of that which makes no sense. You only have to look at what they espouse over at Thunderbolts (and other related sites) to see where this is all going.

06-10-2010, 02:11 PM
As I said (see attached piccies)...this is no "gas" and it won't be a major scientific "coo" for them:):P

06-10-2010, 02:14 PM
Its all tied up with Maxwell's theories/equations. They are multi-variable. Need to consider all three vector fields at once.

This seems to be one of the basic tenets of Plasma Physics. Scott says that lines of magnetic fields, (which are artifacts of a model and hence aren't real), always join up. I'll have to think about this one. (Theoretically, they may be correct. Practically however, is a different matter). This is their argument. The Birkeland filament follows the magnetic flux lines.

The big thing in this aspect is the drop off in field strength as you move away from the source vs the regenerative capability of the filament at differing plasma densities/energies. Otherwise you end up with the 'perpetual motion machine'.

From Peratt's paper, there are lots of detection methods which need to be used depending on whether the plasma is in the 'Dark, Glow or Arc' phases. I tell ya .. this whole ball of wax has not been expressed clearly in their papers. It is complex, and it needs to be more clearly communicated by them.

Yep. And on huge intergalactic scales with dust, radiation, powerful objects and free space dielectrics intervening in the pathway .. I'd guess that the filaments would die off as the plasma disperses. That seems to make sense doesn't it ?


06-10-2010, 02:35 PM
Doesn't matter what it's tied up with. Maxewell's equations just describe the link between electricity and magnetism. Nothing more or less. If a current or whatever is being blocked/masked and can't be detected in any way, shape or form, then it collapses. You can't have a current with no potential difference....the definition of a current is the flow of electrons across a potential difference. The voltage is the potential difference drop. Negate it and it just doesn't happen.

Any ion will be influenced by a magnetic field. Even electrically neutral particles such as neutrons will follow and be deflected by an electrical field because they have an intrinsic magnetic moment. That the Birkeland currents follow the magnetic field lines is neither here nor there. They would be expected to, since they consist of ionised particles. So it's a circular argument to begin with and doesn't in any way explain their contentions of a "dark mode" undetectable current within the plasma. Nor why it exists when it's being masked (since it can't be generating any emissions, according to them).

Precisely, it all smells of perpetual motion, and remember, these are (mostly) open systems, not closed as in most lab situations.

It's a whole heap of smoke and mirrors. Not just a ball of wax and this is precisely why papers like this would never make it into the respected astronomical or physics journals (not journals for the IEEE, regardless of their respectability). The science is wishy washy and so is their evidence, plus the way they express their findings leaves a lot to be desired.

As for the detection methods...if a plasma is giving off radiant energy at any wavelength/frequency, you use the appropriate detection methods, as you would for astrophysical phenomena (and the methods are pretty much similar). If it's not generating anything, it's either neutral (but even they can be detected using polarised light) or it's not a plasma.

That's just the half of it.....

06-10-2010, 02:52 PM
You didn't misjudge anything.

For an 'oscillator' to be called an oscillator, you have to have amplifier and feedback.
The feedback must be of such a nature, that the 'open loop gain' is bigger than 1 (one), and the phase is close to 0 (or 360)
If you don't have those elements. you don't have an oscillator.
Now, gain means, there must be an input of power from somewhere (even internal power source will do) to sustain oscillations, otherwise, as you pointed out, they will stop after couple od periods, sometimes even sooner (as in case of relaxation oscillator .. which, BTW, doesn't have frequency selective circuit, like transmission line.. it has TWO amplifiers, for phase shift of 180 each).
ANY model of the pulsar must firstly explain the unusual frequency stability - as we (RF electronics engineers) know, oscillators are very unstable circuits in terms of frequency, especially when Q factor of the circuit goes low (high losses in the circuit... which is radiation of energy in any form from the system).

As I said before, and I am repeating now, in Peratt's there is NOTHING that looks like an oscillator.
It is more like very crude and simplified equivalent circuit that tries to model currents in ionised environment over large distances (up to couple of hundreds of thousands kilometres.. to explain relatively low pulse repetition rate - milliseconds to seconds).
The only thing that looks like active element is that variable resistor... but there is no feedback path.. and energy source is not determined.
I were the teacher in high school, noone with paper like this would pass the exam as far as I am concerned.

06-10-2010, 09:52 PM
Hi Steven, Thanks for your reply, as you (and craig) continually trigger me with insightful questions to consider.

See conclusions section

It appears plasma is defined by the "dominant" force, in this case electro-magnetic, over the gravitational force. These seems very logical no? We do not need to look for the percentage of ionisation, rather what is the dominant force that governs the behavior of the matter in study.

This gem of a historical reference paper is also where the "99.999% of matter by volume is in plasma state." is described

Hope this may help.


06-10-2010, 10:10 PM
Bojan dear friend you are making the relaxation oscillator far more complex than is suggested by the ES pulsar model.


As current pours into the star (or binary system), the plasma has capacitance... as this builds up.... the "discharge" will occur to facilitate the return to equilibrium of the system.

A freshman exercise is to use these above components to produce these, commonly used with spark gap devices driving tesla coils ;)

This is where Scott, qualitatively is going with the ES hypothesis.... ie... current feeds into star (A).... arcs over companion star (b)... yes it's a qualitative model.

Peratt on the other hand is doing particular modeling of emission characteristics of the plasma surrounding the star, not requiring "spinning", but leaves it open as to the 'driver' of the system.

06-10-2010, 10:14 PM
Carl this is covered in the Peratt paper i mentioned regarding Steven's neutral hydrogen regions, particularly with your "expected" radiation etc, as plasma depending on it's state "gives off" a range of radiation, some beyond our timescale.

pls see paper.

Thanks for raising insightful questions.


06-10-2010, 11:22 PM
This circuit will oscillate, yes (provided power is present) ... but the stability of frequency of oscillation is nowhere enough (to compare with pulsars - they are so accurate that can be used as frequency standards, if not for occasional and tiny glitches, cause by star-quakes).

Loong time ago, at the dawn of electronics, similar historic design was used, but not any more.. It was mentioned only briefly as a curiosity on the first year at uni where I studied 40+ years ago.

The frequency of oscillation for this circuit depends on all values of the components presented, especially power supply and threshold voltage of the neon lamp.
How can you guarantee that equivalent components (whatever they may be) are sufficiently stable in the 'real thing'?

This is only one of the reasons I disagree this "model" or, better to say, equivalent circuit could be used for pulsars.

And I am not making things complicated: i was just stating what is required for relaxation oscillator.

So, unless you can offer plausible explanation for frequency stability problem, we have nothing to discuss about.. fast rotation of compact object fits this bill naturally.

07-10-2010, 12:20 AM
Bojan, you make some good points, i'm glad we are satisfied with to general model of basic relaxation oscillators.

"loong time ago, at the dawn of electronics, similar historic design was used, but not any more.."

We are not inserting 555s into a plasmaspheres, it is this basic design that, to me, is closest to a capacitive plasmasphere discharging to a binary partner.

A theoriesd compressed sun-mass spinning at 60,000 rpm, with 'star quakes' does not sit well with my intutition and is only implied, a spark gap seems far more plausible to me....

at this point... ok... agree to disagree... all good.

I wonder if we can pull some differentiating features from both models and explore these?...

I'll look into frequency stability problems... i must say i don't seem to share this issue... but a technical explanation is required.... of course.

best & thanks for great questions.

07-10-2010, 08:12 AM

Circuit design is an intricate and exacting process.

To get the desired effect or behaviour of a circuit requires 'fine tuning' of the various physical parameters of the interacting components which then cause the effects we observe. There is deliberate intent behind this process.

To create a circuit model and fine tune it so that it works, and then attempt to use it to explain the behaviour of an object in space, represents just a curiosity.

By suggesting that we compare mainstream and EU/PC models you are suggesting the two models have the same fundamental basis of commonality. This is not so, as mainstream models have been built from the ground up. The quantitative parameters in the mainstream models have been measured and then maintained throughout subsequent iterations of it/them. The parameter values were not deliberately set to make the mainstream models work.

That is to say, the mainstream models have been built from strong quantitative evidence, (eg: "G " constants, etc), and hundreds of years of accumulated observational evidence leading to quantitative fact.

I do not feel that a comparison would be valid, as it overlooks/negates a fundamental differentiator.

Indirectly linked with Pulsars (although separate), as an example, take a look at posts 32 to 34 on this thread. Peratt's assumed field strengths differ from measurements by four orders of magnitude. The plasma span (distance) scales are also inconsistent with the measured intergalactic field strengths. There are no observations of the indicators of such fields evident. These indicators are asserted by Peratt himself in the paper. The electromagnetic force to gravitational force ratio is not 10^7, as the electromagnetic field strength differs from measured values by four orders of magnitude. This represents a major internal inconsistency within Peratt's paper/model.

The fundamental PC assertion is that cosmic plasma can behave akin to electronic components is under question and appears flawed. The fine tuning of components in a concatenated circuit designed to Oscillate, would seem insignificant when compared with this aspect.

Perhaps we can add all this as the first item on the "Alex's Differentiating Features List (ADFL)".



07-10-2010, 09:27 AM
That is because you didn't build one ... try it and you will see what I mean.

BTW, 555 is far from being stable enough either (1% over very tight voltage power supply range as best result). Hardly a time keeping circuit.

The only simple oscillator frequency controlled element that comes closer to pulsar (in terms of frequency stability) is quartz crystal resonator.... and it is essentially a MECHANICAL device ;)

It can be used to build oscillators with =<0.01ppm accuracy/stability... still far away from pulsar's (10^-8, compared to pulsar's observed stability being better than 6 x 10^-14))

The next best thing is rubidium standard:

And so on.

However, the relaxation oscillator model we are discussing here, albeit being interesting as an alternative speculation as a first preliminary candidate, if considered in more details from astrophysical aspect, can't explain the observed behaviour of pulsars.

The first problems (not only issues..) encountered are as follows:
- power (how? from where? how the current is channelled (there are no isolated wires in space)? mind you, this is NOT a simple schematic of neon tube oscillator - it is an object the size of Earth-Moon system maximum).
- Capacitor (again.. where is it? formed from what? it must be very solid in terms of mechanical structure because the frequency of proposed circuit is linearly proportional to capacitor's value. The same applies for resistor (or current value.. it must be VERY stable over long time periods to explain fr. stability)
- discharge element ( discharge is very chaotic and hardly repeatable process... ) what is the mechanics (or physics) of it? Where is it located?
- subjectiveness to noise - any small disturbance (outside and/or inside) will be VERY detectable in frequency change or pulse phase shift.
Too many problems to account for only one single property of pulsars with this model..

Rotating compact object model, on the contrary, does fit the bill consistently, including majority of other things - but this is up to Carl and others to point out to you. I'm only RF electronics engineer and I am saying the relaxation oscillator model is totally inadequate to explain this aspect of pulsar's physics (frequency stability - 6 x 10^-14 at least over couple of months)..

07-10-2010, 03:09 PM

In addition you cannot compare mainstream science to something that masquerades itself as a science. EU and PC are nothing more than variants of creationism. In creationism science is explained by divine intervention, with EU and PC divine intervention is substituted by the sphere of human experience. If something is outside our sphere of experience we dismiss it as unrealistic or "hypothetical" and try to foolishly rationalize it in terms of familiar experiences. Needless to say the process is an excercise in faith rather than science.

We have the benefit of hindsight of how stupid we look when we go down this road. For example the human body cannot sustain the rigours of travelling at velocities greater than 30 mph so the prophets of doom claimed with the advent of locomotive travel.

Now we have ultradense bodies not being able to rotate or survive at 60,000 RPM, because human experience demands such events cannot occur.
So what do we do, we invent the Universe "in our own image" composed of relaxation oscillators, unipolar generators, gigantic currents and a host of other goodies so as to make some of us feel less intimidated about the Universe.



07-10-2010, 03:22 PM
Yep. It's becoming very much clearer that many of the motivations behind these models, are just as you say - faith based. I guess I'm coming to the same/similar conclusions, which both yourself & Carl have months ago.

Isn't that great !!
Its a bit like Alex said .. "don't believe me .. see for yourself" !

I hinted at this in my previous response, but I was trying to be polite about it



07-10-2010, 03:56 PM
No Steven it was the 'Magical' sixty miles per hour. The heart would stop as God did not allow such exuberance!

This was from medical men of science!

Could they not see it was an arbitrary unit defined by science?

Now people complain if their airline meal tastes like cardboard at 800km/hr and the temperature outside is -50C at 35,000 ft or FL 35.

I still have all my hair but sometimes I feel like pulling it all out with this sort of ignorance!


07-10-2010, 04:06 PM
Its interesting though … Scott mentions in the YouTube, which Alex forwarded to us, that he preferred to not believe in the rotation of an object in space at 60K rpm … the implication being that the undefined "Relaxation Oscillator" was preferable to him.

Scott has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Worcester University.

You'd think he'd have a little more science behind him than the average 'joe' and yet his motivation on this topic still seems to be faith-based.

I guess we're all just humans of three different types .. faith based, not faith based and those in the middle.


07-10-2010, 04:11 PM
Craigs since when was an electrical engineer capable of a dissertation on Cosmology.

I await your answer.


07-10-2010, 04:17 PM
Errr when he retrains and pops out of the education sausage as an AstroPhysicist ??

Y'know .. similar to a Geologist retraining and popping out as an AstroPhysicist


PS: What we need is an AstroPhysicist retraining and popping out as an Electrical Engineer ! .. Now that would be one interesting puppy !!


07-10-2010, 04:24 PM
Electronics or electrical?
Design/practical or just theory?

Two very different kinds of beasts..

Some of my colleagues from uni openly admitted they cant even solder.. and they became PhD eventually (I don't know how).. me, I am just Bsc (with unfinished Masters - couple of exams missing. I am talking about European education system - it is not necessarily applicable here in Oz).

My point is, those details (formal qualifications) are not that relevant ( I know what awaits me from Carl now.. but I know what I know about those things :D)
But the experience in the particular field is.

07-10-2010, 04:30 PM
And VERY rare.

07-10-2010, 04:32 PM
The guy worked for General Electric following his Bachelor's, worked on turbines and lightning arrestors. He then did his PHD and seems to have become a full time academic (on the teaching staff at various universities). Then he published a 730 page circuit analysis textbook in 1987. He took up Astronomy as hobby in his youth and began working/writing on it, following retirement in 1998, (I believe, from the Youtube).


07-10-2010, 04:39 PM
That's what I thought: he is not an electronics engineer.
He probably knows a lot about power generators, power distribution and such things, but not much about electronics.

Totally different field of expertise.

I will check on him in more detail later.

07-10-2010, 04:40 PM
Circuit analysis textbook ??

He must know something about electronics ?

07-10-2010, 04:45 PM
Amazon.com reader review says:

I can't find the index page to see what''s actually in the book, yet.

07-10-2010, 04:45 PM
Not necessarily..
And, what kind of circuits?

Also, theory is one thing, practice is sometimes totally different.

07-10-2010, 04:51 PM
Again, that review says the book is highly theoretical.

However, this does not mean it is really useful and that I would use it in my work...

07-10-2010, 05:06 PM
The real thing to notice is that he didn't start getting more seriously into Astronomy until 1998. That's only 12 years ago. And he's started giving lectures & writing books in an AstroPhysics area, after having only been a 'full-time' Amateur in the field for 12 years !

Carl was right.

PS: We're talking about Don Scott here … Peratt's a different beast ..

07-10-2010, 07:18 PM
I have a little more to add to this post about the assertion that electromagnetic force dominates over gravity in neutral hydrogen regions ..

The "dominant force point" made by Alex based on the Peratt et al paper, depends very much on the mass density and temperature of the region in question.

We cannot leave this point assuming that the generalised statement made in the paper, applies everywhere.

The "dominant force" will vary, depending on the region in question, due to recombination-of-charge-effects in the cloud/region.

Once again .. shades of grey.


15-10-2010, 06:09 PM
Well Peratt here was saying if there is 10^-4 ionization, EM is 10^7 times more dominant than gravity.

Even if there are neutral particles (in this case 99%+ neutral with only 10^-4 ionized) in the plasma they get dragged along with.

Not shades of grey, this is developed empirically from Langmuir, Bostick, Alfven and the many other pioneering contributors.

Ofcourse, you are quite correct, different densities (dusty plasmas) and differing ionization levels will affect the result. Peratt in this instance has quoted one of the lowest ionization regions, being what we call "Neutral ionization region".

As ionization moves up, all the interesting morphology begins, spirals, double helix, etc.


A good place to explore these scaling and ionization details is:

15-10-2010, 06:18 PM
Yes there are isolated wires in space, this has been known for 100 years. Birkeland Currents. As ionised particles flow, they will group (marklund convection) and form filaments. With our space probes we have detected large currents transferring between Saturn and it's moons, jupiter and it's moons, the sun and earth (auroras). The currents are there, they flow in filaments (or wires) and have been directly measured.
(that is a NASA THEMIS produced image)

The power in the ES model is delivered to the pulsar system from the galactic current sheet, this is an extension from Alven's model.

Plasma double layers store this energy, the e-field builds up then discharges through a required non-linear resistor

In this case it is hypothesized that the plasma (non-linear resistor) discharge takes place between both capacitors (double layers) of each body.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_KzR8on8Tdmw/SiMnJd104vI/AAAAAAAAEyc/6L_whV3rTlI/s400/PlasmaDischargesDiagram(GoodQuality ).jpg (http://lh5.ggpht.com/_KzR8on8Tdmw/SiMnJd104vI/AAAAAAAAEyc/6L_whV3rTlI/s400/PlasmaDischargesDiagram%28GoodQuali ty%29.jpg)

Bojan this is a direct and natural prediction of the ES and particularly the Pulsar model, although stability can be formed the pulsar is at the mercy of the electrical environment.

See Craigs ITN on pulsar variability and "magnetar outbursts". The electric model also predicts complete spectral changes in stars, as the star (lightbulb) is at the mercy of the electrical environment.

in short:
Relaxation Oscillator: Current supply (Birkeland Current) charging a capacitor (Double Layer), Double Layer arcs over non linear resistor (plasma), FLASH (arc mode discharge), repeat.

All the best,

15-10-2010, 06:56 PM
And I'm not buying any of it.
No calculation, no predictions whatsoever. Frequency stability is nowhere near observed values.
I must say again, all this is just pure fantasy, nothing else.

BTW, what is the (calculated) size of this "relaxation oscillator" of yours?
What is the power output? radiation spectrum?
I don't want to talk about those things without numbers.