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Thread: Questions about Birkeland Currents?

  1. #1 Questions about Birkeland Currents? 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    I just want to know more about how they work.
    I suppose the question is more about where I can get a modern treatment of them that goes into a bit more depth than Wikipedia does.
    So if anybody is familiar enough with Birkeland currents to give me a few decent leads would you please post them.


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  3. #2  
    Your Mama! GiantEvil's Avatar
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    http://www-ssc.igpp.ucla.edu/personn...t_currents.pdf
    I suspect that the Wiki article on Birkeland currents is actually a construct of a secret agent of woo. No, really! The above link is the only legitimate thing about Birkeland currents that I could find. So it seems that there is such a thing. Otherwise all other references to Birkeland currents are by some major slingers of woo. Here's the RationalWiki on this particular brand of Dunning-Kruger dysfunctionality; Electric Universe - RationalWiki


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  4. #3  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    The above link is the only legitimate thing about Birkeland currents that I could find. So it seems that there is such a thing.
    Um, Proof of Birkeland's theory of the aurora only came after a probe was sent into space - waffle waffle - 1967 is therefore taken as the date when Birkeland's theory was finally acknowledged to have been vindicated.

    Although it does also appear that the electric universe nutters have grabbed hard and appropriated them for their own use.
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  5. #4  
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    ^ I suspect that this is one of those rare cases where the nutcases have managed to sneak some of their woo into the Wiki for the time being.
    I'm not sure, but here is one of the links in the Wiki article on Birkeland currents and it makes my BS detector just sing; Interplanetary magnetic field - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Quote Originally Posted by Wiki?
    Since the solar wind is a plasma, it has the characteristics of a plasma, rather than a simple gas. For example, it is highly electrically conductive so that magnetic field lines from the Sun are carried along with the wind.
    And from this; Neutrino Dreaming: The Electric Universe Theory Debunked
    Quote Originally Posted by Debunking Blog
    The solar wind is caused by an electric field?

    In physics an electric field applied to charged particles cause them to accelerate. The
    Electric universe theory says that the solar wind is the result of such a field, and the Sun is electric, not fusion based.

    Maxwell’s theory of acceleration, however, talks about a time variable field, not a fixed one, and what’s more the solar wind contains both positive and negatively charged ions (protons and electrons mainly). An electric sun would be positively charged and all the negatively charged electrons would be attached to it – not be pushed out from the Sun on a solar wind. This fact proves the Sun is not electric.
    Yes, there is some factual information in the Wiki article, I just didn't make it that far before giving up.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    Thanks for the link. The Russel paper helps my understanding a bit more.

    Edit:
    I seem to be getting more promising results looking through search results using the term "field-aligned current" so I will poke through those for a while too.
    Last edited by dan hunter; April 15th, 2014 at 04:27 PM.
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  7. #6  
    Your Mama! GiantEvil's Avatar
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    I would really like to hear some confirmation or denial from one of the resident astro-cosmo geeks of whether or not there is actually such a thing as an "Interplanetary Magnetic Field"?
    Is this real?; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interp...magnetic_field
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  8. #7  
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    I am just a carpenter, but since I have been running into repeated references to the interplanetary magnetic field on NASA's pages I am assuming it actually exists.
    I also see some odd stuff about the Interstellar Boundry Explorer (IBEX) mission and the mapping of an interstellar magnetic field.

    NASA's IBEX Helps Paint Picture of the Magnetic System Beyond the Solar Wind | NASA

    The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) | NASA
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