Possible Evidence against the Anode Sun Model
MM mentioned Tim Thompson's old 2001 website article, called On the "Electric Sun" Hypothesis at http://www.tim-thompson.com/electric-sun.html#neutrino. I know the EU team has responded to some of these arguments. Anyone is welcome to share links to such responses, or to briefly restate them.
I gleaned the best info I could find from the article. It's interesting that these data do seem to greatly undermine the anode model, but not the cathode model. Thompson, like many standard model supporters, uses somewhat derogatory language against EU scientists, which is a very unscientific practice, but I think I've removed all such abusive language.
A response to Don Scott's " The Electric Sun" webpage
... it is my intent to show that the arguments of Scott et al. against the standard interpretations of stellar physics are devoid of merit.
... Also see my other web-page, "Thompson Responds to Thornhill", which dates from 1998 and addresses a number of weaknesses in the electric star hypothesis.
... I also have a relevant page on Solar Fusion and Neutrinos which addresses the solar neutrino problem in more detail, and also the basic physics of the fusion reactions inside the sun.
New Sudbury Neutrino Results (June 2001)
Convection in the Sun
Temperature Minimum Below the Corona
Acceleration of the Solar Wind Ions
Periodic Fluctuations in the Sun's Output and Size
The Electric Sun Hypothesis
What Powers the Sun?
Prominences, Flares and CME's
Where Do We Stand?
1. Missing Neutrinos
... We now know that the expected flux of p-p neutrinos is observed, consistent with solar models. However, the flux of neutrinos from Boron & Beryllium reactions remains low compared to theoretical expectations.
... the neutrinos also have a skewed energy spectrum. That's a clue that indicates an energy dependent process is at work, which leaves the p-p neutrinos essentially alone, and affects differentlty the Boron & Beryllium neutrinos.
... Having determined with satisfaction that the solar models were valid, ... the next step [was] to see if the neutrino models were valid. That was done, and they were found to be invalid.
... the properties [of neutrinos] are far from "magical", unless you consider all of quantum mechanics to be "magical".
... fusion must happen for any neutrinos to exist at all. So, even if it were true that the sun consistently produced only one half of the expected neutrino flux, it would still constitute positive evidence that at least that much fusion must be happening somewhere in or on the sun. Thornhill has argued that the neutrinos seen actually come from a small fusion rate at the surface, an idea that Scott doee not mention. At least Thornhill had the sense to recognize the connection between neutrinos and fusion, even if his version is still pretty lame. It's lame because fusion requires temperature & density both. We know the temperature at the solar photosphere, about 6000 Kelvins. And, we know the temperature in the corona, 1,000,000 to perhaps 5,000,000 Kelvins. But the photosphere is too cold, and the corona far too sparsely populated, to promote enough fusion reactions to cover the one half expected neutrino flux. So, fusion inside the sun, where temperature & density are both high enough, would still be a necessary option.
... the solar neutrino problem [has] been about 85% to 90% solved, but there are still issues. Standard neutrino physics says that the neutrino should be a massless particle, but recent results indicate that neutrinos actually do have a non-zero rest mass. If that is the case, then it is also possible for the neutrino to exist as a superposition of states, such that when the neutrino is actually detected, it has a certain probability of being either an electron neutrino or a tau neutrino. Detailed observations of reactor neutrinos, atmospheric neutrinos, earth crossing neutrinos and solar neutrinos, show clear evidence of a phenomenon known as "neutrino oscillation", which is the act of a neutrino changing from one kind to another. This can happen spontaneously (a "vacuum oscillation") or it can happen in the presence of matter ("matter induced oscillation", also called the "MSW effect"). This provides both theoretical and experimental evidence that electron neutrinos produced in the sun can, by virtue of the MSW effect, change from electron neutrinos to tau neutrinos. ... It is simply a matter of building detectors to find tau neutrinos, and we will know.
... In ... 2001, the Canadian Sudbury Neutrino Observatory ...
... The nuclear reactions inside the sun produce only electron neutrinos, but Sudbury has shown that the solar neutrino flux detected at Earth includes non-electron neutrinos.
2. Convection in the Sun
... Juergens made two big mistakes .... First, ... convection [is] controlled [not] by the Reynolds number, [but] the Rayleigh number .... Second, while the Reynolds number does have a "critical value", its function is to separate laminar flow (low Reynolds number) from turbulent flow (high Reynolds number). So, in reality, the high Reynolds number of a stellar photosphere guarantees that any convective motion will be turbulent, a result that is consistent with the observation of turbulent convection in the solar photosphere.
- [Recent findings show the Sun's convection is weak. - LK]
3. Temperature Minimum below the Corona
... Helioseismological data pins dow[n] the interior temperature quite nicely, as high as about 15,000,000 Kelvins in the deep solar core ....
... Even though the temperature of the corona is about 1,000,000 Kelvins, much hotter than the photospheric temperature of about 6000 Kelvins, the energy density in the lower corona is only about 0.1 erg/cm3, whereas the energy density in the photosphere is about 300,000 erg/cm3. ... it is the energy and not the temperature which is fundamental, and we see that the energy does as we would expect, it falls off rapidly in the corona. Furthermore, the fact that the temperature increases with height should not present any fundamental problem once we remember that temperature inversions are a dime-a-dozen in the Earth's own atmosphere, and are standard fare in any atmosphere. And finally, we note that there is a fundamental problem if and only if energy transport from the photosphere to the corona is limited to thermal transport. Any non-thermal transport mechanism can easily overcome any complaint based on the fabled second law of thermodynamics. Non thermal heating of the corona is no more of an insult to fundamental physics than is a refrigerator, which pumps heat from the cold interior to the hot exterior of the refrigerator.
... The problem ... is ... that there are too many potential explanations to choose from! Does the corona heat by virtue of magnetohydrodynamic waves in the plasma? What about heat input due to collapsing magnetic flux tubes at convective cell boundaries? Both of these are observed to happen, and both are capable of heating the corona.
4. Acceleration of the Solar Wind Ions
... The solar wind is not made of "positive ions" [as per Scott's model]. It is made of "positive ions" (mostly protons), and negative ions (mostly electrons). The electric sun model not only fails to explain why there are negative electrons in the solar wind, it actually predicts that the positively charged sun should attract electrons, not repel them. Far from being a "prediction" of the electric sun model, the solar wind in fact is a contradiction of the electric sun model and serves to falsify the hypothesis.
- It is also worth noting that, according to Maxwell's equations, a time variable magnetic field will generate an electric field, which will accelerate a charged particle. This is a point which the proponents of the electric sun have totally overlooked, never mentioned, and essentially denied, by insisting that only static electric fields will do.
5. Periodic Fluctuations in the Sun's Output and Size
... Observations of solar pulsations - A.B. Severny, V.A. Kotov & T.T. Tsap - Nature 259(5539): 87-89 (15 January 1976)
- Abstract: We have modified our solar magnetograph to measure velocities at the solar surface, rather than magnetic fields. Using this apparatus, we have observed fluctuations of period 2h 40m, which are remarkably stable. The interpretation of this phenomenon seems to cause much theoretical difficulty.
- OK, theoretical difficulty. Now we are getting somewhere. The theoretical difficulty that Severny et al. are talking about is that their measured period of 2h 40m plus or minus a half minute (160±0.5 minutes) is very near the period of 2h 47m (167 minutes) that one would expect for a homogenous sphere with a low core temperature (but not isothermal). They note that for inhomogenous models the period would be shorter, which their measured period is, and so infer from their observation a "nearly homogenous" sphere. This leads them to a pair of alternatives. The first is that normal proton-proton fusion may not be the prime source of energy for the sun, an idea that they admit is "rather extravagant", but also in keeping with recent [1976 or before ] solar neutrino data ....
... However, this interpretation relies on the assumption that the oscillations they see are p-mode, or strictly radial oscillations. If they are not, then the interpretation is out the window. And that leads to the second of their alternatives, that the oscillations they see are g-mode ("gravity wave") oscillations, that are not radial. While they speculate that it would be unusual for such a high order g-mode to be dominant, they also point out that their own apparatus is unable to distinguish between p-mode and g-mode oscillations.
... It's clear that Scott (or his informant) meant to cite the Severny et al. paper, and not the one by Christensen-Dalsgaard & Gough.
... It is no[w] generally agreed that solar g-mode waves have not been unambiguousy observed at all. Furthermore, attempts to replicate the observations of Severny et al. and Brookes et al. have shown that at first the oscillations were seen at much lower amplitudes, and they eventually vanished altogether. See "Observational upper limits to low-degree solar g-modes" ....
- The "Electric Sun" Hypothesis
6. What Powers the Sun
... [Scott said:] "The Sun is at a more positive electrical potential (voltage) than is the space plasma surrounding it - probably in the order of 10 billion volts.
- "The Sun is powered, not from within itself, but from outside, by the electric (Birkeland) currents that flow in our arm of our galaxy as they do in all galaxies. In the Plasma Universe model these currents create the galaxies and the stars within them. It is a small additional step to propose that these currents also power those stars. Galactic currents are of low current density, but, because the size of the Sun is large, the total current (Amperage) is high. The Sun's radiated power at any instant is due to the energy imparted by incoming cosmic electrons. As the Sun moves around the galactic center it may come into regions of higher or lower total current and so its output may vary (both periodically and over time).
- "Positive ions leave the Sun and cosmic electrons enter the Sun. Both of these flows add to form a net positive current leaving the Sun. This constitutes a plasma discharge analogous in every way (except size) to those that have been observed in electrical laboratories for decades."
... I already made a link to the ACE Real Time Solar Wind Page, and that page shows plots & data for the main ingredients of the solar wind: electrons, protons, and magnetic field.
- The solar wind is a flow of protons and electrons, away from the sun, in all directions, both at the same speed. Now, if the first "major property" of the electric sun model were true, we would expect the positively charged sun to repel positively charged protons, and attract negatively charged electrons. ... but ... The observation of electrons & protons both being "repelled" by the sun immediately negates any consideration of the sun having a net electric charge that can be detected anywhere in the solar wind flow. If the sun had a net charge that was large enough, then it should repel one charge and attract the other, depending on the sign of the sun's excess charge. But we don't see that.
... If you were an electron, moving through intergalactic space towards the sun, ... The first significant indication of the sun's presence that you would encounter is the sun's gravity. A slow moving electron could get caught up by that gravity, and become part of the "halo" that includes the Oort cloud, and probably extends about 1.5 light years from the sun. But a typical interstellar electron will be moving at about 20 km/sec with respect to the sun, well in excess of escape velocity, unless the electron finds its way to the inner solar system, so it's more likely that [the electron] would just cruise by and not notice. Of course, an electric sun hypothesizer would hypothesize that you would feel an attraction from the sun's excess positive charge, but we've already shown that to be unreasonable; if an electron at the orbit of the Earth feels no such force, how could one that is a light year away?
- But if you are going in the right direction, you would encounter the sun's rather prodigious magnetic field. One of the first things [to] learn about electricity & magnetism is the "Lorentz Force", F = qE + V X B, which tells us that the vector force (F) on a charged particle is equal to the charge (Q) times the vector electric field (E) plus the vector cross product (X) of the particle's velocity (V) relative to the magnetic field (B). A vector cross product has the peculiar property that it is perpendicular to the plane that includes the two vectors, in accordance to the right hand rule (in the case of V X B, curl the fingers of your right hand in the direction from V to B, through the smaller angle; your thumb points in the direction of the resultant vector). Hence, the force felt by the electron is perpendicular to its velocity V. So if you were an electron heading towards the sun, you would feel a force pushing you away from the sun, at right angles. In fact this is observed to happen where the solar wind encounters the Earth's magnetic field, and other planetary magnetic fields.
... Juergen's assumed an extremely unrealistic velocity of about 105 meters per second (about 0.1 km/sec), when the real velocity is more like 20 km/sec [Juergens probably said 10^5 m/s, not 105; 10^5 is 100 km/s], and he didn't consider dynamics, so he missed the escape velocity problem altogether. His assumption of 50,000 free electrons per cubic meter is not too far off from the more realistic 30,000. But his assumption of random velocity is entirely wrong, the electrons stream past the sun as the sun moves through the interstellar medium with its own peculiar relative velocity.
- So even if the total number of electrons seems like enough for an electric sun, getting them to the sun is quite a chore, since they move in excess of escape velocity, and are pushed off by the magnetic field. But even if those electrons made it past the magnetic field, and pointed right at the sun so they wouldn't zip on by, they would still have to plow through the increasingly dense flow of the solar wind on its way out. And since the solar wind is made of charged particles, the incoming electrons would be buffeted by the electric fields of the protons and electrons of the solar wind, as well as the relativistic magnetic fields caused by the relative motion between the incoming electrons and the outgoing solar wind plasma, as well as the solar magnetic field that is embedded in the solar wind plasma, and moves outward at the same velocity.
- All of these difficulties from plain physics, coupled with the fact that the alleged incoming electrons certainly appear to be not there, leave one to wonder why this is such a hot idea. Indeed, in my opinion this is the number one argument against the "electric sun" hypothesis. Electrons are not magic, and if there are interstellar electrons coming towards the sun, they cannot escape the attention of a small fleet of spacecraft which have measured electrons & protons in the solar system for the past few decades. The electrons are quite simply not there. And we know that they are not there, and that knowledge destroys the foundation of the electric sun hypothesis [i.e. the anode sun model].
7. Prominences, Flares and CME's
- In this section of his webpage, Scott shows an image from the Transition Region And Coronal Explorer (TRACE) spacecraft, of a typical magnetic loop over the photosphere. It's the kind of thing long observed on the sun, but recorded by TRACE in much finer detail than before. Alongside the image is a drawing of the circuit allegedly responsible for this loop. Right away, one sees that there is a problem.
- The circuit requires a generator to supply an electromotive force (emf) to push the current along. But the electric sun hypothesis holds that the solar interior is isothermal, and that there are no internal energy sources. So where does the energy come from? **Furthermore, the current at the base of the circuit has to flow (and therefore be pushed) horizontally. But the incoming electron flux in the electric sun model will be vertical (i.e., radial), and by simple symmetry can hardly be responsible for the large force at right angles to its own action. So the source of this energy would seem to be a problem.
- The other problem is that the hot plasma clearly shows the outline of the loop magnetic field, which forms an arcade structure of parallel lines reaching out of the sun, and then looping back into it. That magnetic field cannot be generated by the current in the diagram, because it has the wrong geometry. The diagrammed current would generate a solenoidal field that wraps around the current like a coil. There is no such field outlined by the plasma, which implies that the glow we see in the TRACE image is not from an electric current of single charge, but from a hot plasma that carries both negative & positive charge.
- The circuit diagram attempts to explain the loop magnetic field as due to diagrammed inductors, but the magnetic field will hold its shape only inside the inductor coils. Once outside, the loop structure will rapidly vanish. So what maintains the loop magnetic field? The model does not say.
- Simply put, the circuit diagram offered is a long way short of explaining the TRACE image, and is not even consistent with it. The implication, of course, is that standard theory cannot explain the phenomena we see as flares, prominences and the larger coronal mass ejections (CME's). That happens to be quite a mistake.
- The Bellan Plasma Group at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), has successfully operated a laboratory simulation of solar prominences. The simulation on the web includes still images & movies. The major results are published in Laboratory simulations of solar prominence eruptions, P.M. Bellan & J.F. Hansen, Physics of Plasmas 5(5): 1991-2000, May 1998, which also includes color images and a more detailed explanation of the relavant physics.
8. Magnetic Reconnection
... Magnetic field lines don't "break", they "merge", and their merger is not a violation of Maxwells equations, because the divergence condition is never violated (Scott simply misunderstands the jargon of the trade). Magnetic reconnection is very much a standard (observed) mechanism for transferring energy within a variable magnetic field, or transmitting energy between magnetic fields.