Cosmic Plasma (Book)

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By Hannes Alfvén

Cosmic Plasma by Hannes Alfvén.
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Cosmic Plasma by Hannes Alfvén.
Publ. 1981. Astrophysics and Space Science Library, Vol. 82 (1981) Springer Verlag. ISBN 90-277-1151-8. Buy

Extract:

The aims of the present monograph may be summarized as follows:

  • (1) Attention will be given to the question of how much knowledge can be gained by a systematic comparison of different regions of plasma. We will consider plasmas with linear dimensions which vary from laboratory size up to the Hubble distance.
  • (2) The traditional magnetic field description of plasmas will be supplemented by an electric current description. It is demonstrated that many problems are easier to understand with a dualistic approach.
  • (3) A rather strict distinction will be made between plasma regions which are accessible to in situ diagnostics and those regions which are not. In the former, we can expect to understand the plasma phenomena reasonably well, and to be able to discriminate between different interpretations, whereas in the latter regions, conclusions must necessarily remain largely speculative.
  • (4) It is claimed in this monograph that in the speculative domain, those theories, which are based on what we know from laboratory experiments and from regions accessible to spacecraft measurements, deserve higher credibility than those which are based on theories which we know to be misleading when applied to regions that have been subject to high-quality diagnostics.
As it is impossible to treat an extensive and complicated field like cosmic plasma physics in a rigorous way in a monograph of the present size, we have followed the policy that – as Kadomtsev (1965) puts it – "when rigour appears to conflict with simplicity, simplicity is given preference".

Contents

  • PREFACE
  • CHAPTER I / SURVEY
  • I.1. Experimental and Theoretical Approach to Plasma Physics
  • I.2. Plasma Phenomena in Laboratory and Space
  • I.2.1. Scaling Procedures
  • I.2.2. Simulation Experiments
  • I.2.3. Comparison Between Laboratory and Space Investigations
  • I.3. Field and Particle Aspects of Plasmas
  • I.4. Present State of the Classical Theory
  • I.5. Boundary Conditions. Circuit Dependence
  • I.6. Cosmology and the Origin of the Solar System
  • 1.7. Aims of the Monograph
  • CHAPTER II / ELECTRIC CURRENTS IN SPACE PLASMAS 11
  • II.1. Dualism in Physics 11
  • II.2. Particle-Related Phenomena in Plasma Physics 12
  • II.3. Magnetic Field Lines 12
  • II.3.1. Magnetic Field and Electric Current Description of the Magnetosphere 13
  • II.3.2. Particle Motion in the Magnetosphere 15
  • II.3.3. Conclusions About `Field Line Reconnection' and 'Merging' in the Stationary Magnetosphere 16
  • II.4.1. Observations of Filaments 16
  • II.4.2. Constriction of a Discharge 21
  • II.4.3. Pinch Effect. The Bennett Relation 22
  • II.4.4. Filamentary Currents in Force-Free Magnetic Fields 23
  • II.4.5. Theory of Magnetic Ropes 25
  • II.4.6. Ion Pumps 26
  • II.4.7. Flux Ropes in the Ionosphere of Venus 26
  • II.5. Local Plasma Properties and the Circuit 26
  • II.5.1. Boundary Conditions 28
  • II.5.2. 'Invisible' Transfer of Energy 28
  • II.5.3. 'Magnetic Merging' Theories 29
  • II.6.1. General Properties of Double Layers 29
  • II.6.2. Double Layers in the Magnetosphere 32
  • II.6.3. Energy Release in Double Layers 33
  • II.6.4. Exploding Double Layers 33
  • II.6.5. A Circuit with a Double Layer 34
  • II.7. Field-Aligned Currents as `Cables' 36
  • II.8. An Expanding Circuit 37
  • II.9. Different Types of Plasma Regions 37
  • II.9.1. 'Passive' Plasma Regions
  • II.9.2. 'Active' Plasma Regions 37
  • II.9.3. Plasma Cables 37
  • II.9.4. Ionospheric Projection of Active and Passive Plasma Regions 38
  • II.9.5. Boundary Current Sheets 39
  • II.10. Cellular Structure of Space 40
  • II.11. Fine Structure of Active Plasma Regions 40
  • CHAPTER III / CIRCUITS 42
  • III.1. Importance of Electric Current Models 42
  • III.1.1. Particle Description 42
  • III.1.2. Different Types of Electric Currents 43
  • III.1.3. Transfer of Energy Between a Circuit and a Moving Plasma 44
  • III.2. The Auroral Circuits 48
  • III.3. Rotating Magnetized Body Surrounded by a Plasma 51
  • III.4. The Heliospheric Current System 53
  • III.4.1. The .Sector Structure' and the Equatorial Current Layer 53
  • III.4.2. Construction of the Heliospheric Current Model 54
  • III.4.3. Properties of the Heliospheric Circuit 56
  • III.4.4. Extrapolation to Galactic Dimensions: Double Radio Sources 56
  • III.5. Circuits of Magnetospheric Tail, Comets, and Venus 59
  • III.5.1. Tail Circuit and Magnetic Substorms 59
  • III.5.2. Current System in Comets 60
  • III.5.3. Current System in the Magnetosphere of Venus 60
  • III.6. Magnetospheric Circuit 62
  • III.6.1. Zero Order Approximation : One-Particle Problem 62
  • III.6.2. First Order Approximation : Plasma Flux Small 62
  • 1II.6.3. The Three First-Approximation Circuits 65
  • III.6.4. Phenomena Produced by First Approximation Currents 67
  • III.6.5. Second Order Approximation. Realistic Plasma Flow 68
  • III.6.6. Magnetic Field Changes 68
  • III.6.7. Front (Shock Front) Circuit 68
  • III.6.8. Magnetopause Circuit 69
  • III.6.9. Solar Wind — Auroral Circuit 69
  • III.6.10. The Tail Circuit 70
  • III.6.11. Third Approximation and Comparison with Observation 70
  • III.6.12. The Three-Ring Model 71
  • III.7. Other Magnetospheres 73
  • III.8. Solar Prominence Circuit and Solar Flares 73
  • III.9. Solar Wind Acceleration 74
  • III.10. Transfer of Energy from the Solar Core to the Aurora 77
  • CHAPTER IV / THEORY OF COSMIC PLASMAS 78
  • IV.1. Classical Theory and Its Difficulties 78
  • IV.1.1. The Reverse Deflection 79
  • IV.2. Ionization 79
  • IV.2.1. Ionization by Light, by Particle Radiation, and by Electric Currents 79
  • IV.2.2. Transition Between a Plasma and a Neutral Gas 82
  • IV.3. Cosmic Abundances and Differentiation 82
  • IV.3.1. Cosmic Abundances 82
  • IV.3.2. Observations of Chemical Differentiation 83
  • IV.3 3. Separation Due to Different Ionization Potentials 84
  • IV.3.4. Separation Due to Mass Differences 84
  • IV.3.5. Separation Due to Different Vapor Pressures 84
  • IV.4. Turbulence 84
  • IV.5. Flux Amplification 86
  • IV.5.1. Production of Cosmic Magnetic Fields 86
  • IV.5.2. Self-Exciting Dynamos 87
  • IV.5.3. Theories of Self-Exciting Dynamos 87
  • IV.5.4. A Flux Amplification Mechanism 88
  • IV.5.5. Production of Cosmic Magnetic Fields by the Kink Instability 89
  • IV.6. Critical Velocity 91
  • IV.6.1. Prediction of the Critical Velocity in the Early Solar System 91
  • IV.6.2. Experimental Discovery 91
  • IV.6.3. Theory 92
  • IV.6.4. The Critical Velocity and Space Research 92
  • IV.7. Dusty Plasma 92
  • IV.7.1. Solid Particles as Part of a Plasma 93
  • IV.7.2. Electromagnetically and Gravitationally Controlled Motion of Solid Particles 93
  • IV.8. Formation and Evolution of Interstellar Clouds 93
  • IV.8.1. Three Special Cases 95
  • IV.8.2. Force-Free Magnetic Fields and the Production of Filaments 96
  • IV.8.3. Do Magnetic Fields Aid or Counteract a Compression? 96
  • IV.8.4. Pinch Compression of Dark Interstellar Clouds 97
  • IV.9. Ambiplasma 98
  • IV.9.1. Properties of an Ambiplasma 98
  • IV.9.2. The Annihilation Reactions 98
  • IV.9.3. Radiations from an Ambiplasma 100
  • IV.9.4. Main Ambiplasma Problems 102
  • IV.9.5. Separation of Matter and Antimatter 102
  • IV.9.6. On the Co-Existence of Matter and Antimatter 104
  • IV.10. High Energy Phenomena 104
  • IV.10.1. Sources of Energy and Acceleration Processes 105
  • IV.10.1.1. Varying Magnetic Fields 105
  • IV.10.1.2. Acceleration in Double Layers 105
  • IV.10.1.3. Annihilation 106
  • IV.10.1.4. Gravitation 106
  • IV.10.2. Magnetic Pumping 107
  • IV.10.3. Regions of Cosmic Ray Acceleration 108
  • IV.10.3.1. Heliospheric and Galactic Cosmic Radiation 108
  • IV.10.3.2. Origin of Galactic Cosmic Rays 109
  • CHAPTER V / ORIGIN OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM
  • V.1. How We Can Reconstruct Earlier Epochs 110
  • V.2. Sources of Information 110
  • V.3. Impact of Magnetospheric Results III
  • V.3.1. Active and Passive Plasma Regions III
  • V.3.2. Externally Driven Currents III
  • V.4. Electromagnetic Effects Aiding the Formation and Contraction of Clouds 113
  • V.5. Chemical Differentation in the Primeval Cloud 113
  • V.6. Intrinsically Produced Currents 114
  • V.7. Band Structure and the Critical Velocity 115
  • V.8. Solar System in Formation 118
  • V.8.1. Interstellar Clouds 118
  • V.8.2. Formation of Protostars 119
  • V.8.3. Planet-Satellite Formation 120
  • V.8.4. Observation of Solar Systems in Formation 121
  • V.9. Hetegony and the `Hetegonic Principle' 122
  • CHAPTER VI / COSMOLOGY 123
  • VI.l. The State of Cosmology 123
  • VI.1.1. Historical Survey 123
  • VI.1.2. The Big Bang Hypothesis 125
  • VI.13. Homogeneous and Inhomogeneous Models 126
  • VI.l.3.1. Cellular Structure of Space 126
  • VI.1.3.2. Mass Distribution in the Universe 126
  • VI.1.3.3. Mass of the Metagalaxy and the Schwarzschild Limit 128
  • VI.1.4. The Hubble Expansion 129
  • VI.1.4.1. The Hubble Parameter 129
  • VI.1.4.2. Euclidean Model of the Evolution of the Metagalaxy 131
  • VI.2. Coexistence of Matter and Antimatter 131
  • VI.2.1. Matter-Antimatter Symmetry 131
  • VI.2.2. Matter and Antimatter Cells 132
  • VI.2.3. Size of Cells : Galactic or Smaller? 133
  • VI.2.4. Structure of a Symmetric Galaxy 134
  • VI.2.4.1. Solar System 134
  • VI.2.4.2. Cometary Reservoir 135
  • VI.2.5. Objections to the Existence of Antimatter 136
  • VI.3. Annihilation as a Source of Energy 137
  • VI.3.1. Argument for the Existence of Antimatter 137
  • VI.3.2. Similarity of Electromagnetic Radiation from the Two Kinds of Matter 138
  • VI.3 3. Radiation from Annihilation Processes 138
  • VI.3.4. Leidenfrost Layers and Annihilation at the Cell Walls 138
  • VI.3.5. Annihilation in Cosmic Clouds 139
  • VI.3.6. Bodies Falling into a Star of Opposite Kind of Matter 139
  • VI.3.7. Model of an Ambistar 141
  • VI.3.7.1. Ambistar Model I 141
  • VI.3.7.2. Stellar Collisions 143
  • VI.3.7.3. Ambistar Model II 143
  • VI.3.7.4. Observable Properties of an Ambistar 144
  • VI.3.7.5. Blueshifts 144
  • VI.3.7.6. QSO Scenario 144
  • VI.3.7.7. Continuous X-Ray Background Radiation 146
  • VI.4. Hubble Expansion in a Euclidean Space 146
  • VI.4.1. Non-Cosmological Redshifts of Some QSOs 146
  • VI.4.2. Consequences of Non-Cosmological Interpretation of QSO Redshifts 147
  • VI.5. A Model for the Evolution of the Metagalaxy 148.
  • VI.5.1. The Proto-Metagalaxy 148
  • VI.5.2. The Kinetic Energy of the Hubble Expansion 149
  • VI.5.3. Formation of the Proto-Metagalaxy 149
  • VI.5.4. Other Cosmological Problems 150
  • VI.6. Other Metagalaxies 151
  • VI.7. Discussion 151
  • VI.8. Conclusions 152
  • REFERENCES 153
  • INDEX

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