Monday, April 19, 2010

Plasma Flows Between the Stars

***THIS ARTICLE WAS CREATED BY XENUS from GLP - XENUS Deserves Much, Much Credit!!!***

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FOR DISTRIBUTION FROM THE 2000 Electric-Plasma Universe Workshop, Beaverton, OR.


BEAVERTON, OR.--A plasma scientist and a radio astronomer announced the discovery of charged particle flows in interstellar space at the 1999 International Conference on Plasma Science in Monterey, California. The discovery culminated decades of speculation and debate whether or not electricity existed on the scale of hundreds of thousands of light years in the interstellar space between the stars.

According to Anthony Peratt, Scientific Advisor to the United States Department of Energy and a plasma researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the discovery was made by computer analyzing large amounts of data gathered by radio telescopes from regions in space known to be occupied by 'neutral clouds of hydrogen.' The data was processed and the results obtained by radio astronomer Gerrit Verschuur, Physics Department, University of Memphis. Verschuur found that the 'neutral hydrogen clouds' were not completely a neutral gas of hydrogen and other elements, but rather consisted of charged particles of electrons and ions, called 'plasma.'

The name plasma as applied to charged particles was borrowed from blood-plasma by Nobel laureate Irving Langmuir in 1923 because the particles interacted collectively in a lifelike manner in his laboratory experiments. "Verschuur analyzed nearly two thousand clouds, principally from the Aericibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, but also from other radio telescopes scattered around the globe," said Peratt. Verschuur had previously found, under high resolution computer processing, that the 'clouds' were not clouds at all but were instead filaments of material which twisted and wound like helices over enormous distances between the stars. 

Peratt said that the filaments between the stars are not visible themselves but are observable with radio telescopes that can observe space at much longer wavelengths than are visible to the human eye. Prof. Per Carlqvist, a researcher at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, estimated that the interstellar filaments found by Verschuur conducted electricity with currents as high as ten-thousand billion amperes. 

"The individual filaments in space are often called Z-pinches. These Z-pinches occur when current-carrying plasma 'pinches' itself into a filament by a magnetic field the current produces around the plasma. Z-pinches, such as those produced on the Sandia National Laboratories 'Z' machine, are among the most prolific producers of X-rays known,Ó cited Peratt.

The United States Department of Energy funded Z-machine at Sandia has surprised the scientific community during the last few years by breaking all records in the production of high intensity X-rays from wire filaments converted into plasmas by million-volt pulses. Such filaments have already been discovered in our own solar system. For example, the aurora on Earth is known to be caused by million ampere currents flowing down the Earth's magnetic field lines at the northern and southern poles while similar were found by planetary explorer spacecraft to connect the planet Jupiter with its closest satellite Io. 
That such currents existed on a much larger scale outside the solar system and beyond the reach of spacecraft has been a topic of conjecture among astronomers and space plasma scientists. According to Igor Alexeff, President of the Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society, "It's not unusual that neutral hydrogen in space should show such well organized current structures; plasma also acts in a lifelike and intelligent way in laboratory experiments and in naturally occurring plasmas such as lightning."

Plasma scientists have long known that 99.999 percent of all observable matter in the universe is matter in the plasma state, often referred to as the fourth, or fundamental, state of matter. In contrast to the first three states of matter most familiar to us on Earth: gases, liquids, and solids; plasmas generate and react strongly to electromagnetic fields. Plasmas are also prodigious producers of electromagnetic radiation. The Sun is a plasma, as are all of the stars and interstellar space, although for the latter, it was thought that the plasma was quite tenuous and spread out until the discovery of the filaments.

On Earth plasma exists in the form of lightning, fluorescent bulbs, flames, the flow of currents in conductors and semiconductors, and the aurora. The earth actually is encased in a protective shell of plasma called the ionosphere and magnetosphere, shielding life from high-energy cosmic and other electromagnetic rays from space. 

The discovery was called "Exciting," by S. T. Lai, a researcher at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Hanscom, MA. Lai, an authority on a phenomena called "critical ionization velocity," who noted that the data fell precisely where predicted by the late physics Nobel laureate Hannes Alfvén (1908-1995), who in his theory about the origin of planets in 1942, calculated that if a neutral cloud in space fell through a magnetized plasma, the neutral gas would itself become ionized at discrete velocities.

Alfvén predicted that the signature of his plasma theory in space would be the observation of filaments and his discrete velocities. AlfvÈn calculated that the critical velocity of all the elements in the periodic table could be grouped into just four velocity bands, the first at 51 kilometers per second from hydrogen, the second at 34 kilometers per second from helium, the third centered around 14 kilometers per second from oxygen, neon, and carbon, and a fourth centered around 6 kilometers per second from calcium, sodium, and other heavy elements. ÒThe observed data show precisely these velocities,Ó remarked Peratt. ÒDiscrete velocity components are seen 51, 32, 14, and 5 kilometers per second. Moreover the lines cascade from higher velocity to lower velocity, as they must as the radiotelescope is sighted closer to a filament according to the theory,Ó he said.

M. Garcia, a physicist and electrical engineer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and C. Chan, director of the Plasma Science Laboratory at Northeastern University suggested the possibility of of using new high-power laser and generator facilities at the National Laboratories to further study the filamentation processes and critical velocity effects occurring in the interstellar medium. In any event, a consensus that space is far more electric than earlier imagined suggests a revision of our understanding physical processes in space as far ranging as the formation of planets to the sources of high energy particles and radiation.

ÒElectrical currents seem to play a significant role,Ó concluded Peratt. A full description of the discovery will appear In the September 1999 issue of the Astronomical Journal and the December 2000 issue of the IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science.
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I have a lot of information to share, but most of it is already on my other threads, I will keep things to just plasma here. The night before the Norway spiral I came across this;

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Dr. Anthony L. Perrat's paper regarding auroral events and ancient humans. Very interesting. See thread here;
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On the day of the spiral in Norway, I emailed him, not really expecting an answer. These are the replies I got.

An email reply from Dr. Perrat.

Regarding plasma/aurora phenomena over Norway.

>Hi, just a couple of days ago I came across your paper
>Characteristics for the Occurrence of a HighCurrent ZPinch Aurora as
>Recorded in Antiquity, it was fascinating and I was just wondering
>if th[at] was indeed one of the plasma phenomena as seen in the
>petroglyphs found all over the world. The timing of such an event
>could not have been any weirder, since I had only just found your
>paper. I would also like to know if you think this was natural or
>man made? I am curious to see if this "anomaly" was due to EISCAT
>research centre or if indeed it is caused by cosmic ray flux or some
>other kind of space event.

This event was natural and occurs when two Birkeland currents
interact, usually around 300 -500 km above Earth. Birkeland currents
most often occur in pairs because of the 1/r attractive force between

This is not an EISCAT heating phenomena.

Second reply.

Today we have only very weak auroras in the upper ionosphere. In the past, as NASA's THEMIS satellites have discovered, they were a million-million times more energetic and located say, 1 million km from Earth. Petroglyphs are pictures of these, we know, from thermonuclear explosion pictures underground and very high energy experiments in canyons. Also, from supercomputer modeling.

(I have to insert my question here for this to make sense)
And one last thing, given the rise in cosmic ray flux recently and the drop in strength of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field, can we expect more of these types of events in the future?

No, the cosmic flux will not change anything but dense plasma entering the solar system, as is now happening, will.

A dusty plasma is a plasma containing nanometer or micrometer-sized particles suspended in it. Dust particles may be charged and the plasma and particles behave as a plasma,[1][2] following electromagnetic laws for particles up to about 10 nm (or 100 nm if large charges are present). Dust particles may form larger particles resulting in "grain plasmas".

Dusty plasmas are encountered in:
Industrial processing plasmas
Space plasmas

Dusty plasmas are interesting because the presence of particles significantly alters the charged particle equilibrium leading to different phenomena. It is a field of current research. Electrostatic coupling between the grains can vary over a wide range so that the states of the dusty plasma can change from weakly coupled (gaseous) to crystalline. Such plasmas are of interest as a non-Hamiltonian system of interacting particles and as a means to study generic fundamental physics of self-organization, pattern formation, phase transitions, and scaling.

The temperature of dust in a plasma may be quite different from its environment.

The electric potential of dust particles is typically 1–10 V (positive or negative). The potential is usually negative because the electrons are more mobile than the ions. The physics is essentially that of a Langmuir probe that draws no net current, including formation of a Debye sheath with a thickness of a few times the Debye length. If the electrons charging the dust grains are relativistic, then the dust may charge to several kilovolts [1]. Field electron emission, which tends to reduce the negative potential, can be important due to the small size of the particles. The photoelectric effect and the impact of positive ions may actually result in a positive potential of the dust particles.

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