Plasma Universe

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The Plasma Universe issue of Physics Today (Sep 1986) featuring Hannes Alfvén's popular introductory article on the subject
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The Plasma Universe issue of Physics Today (Sep 1986) featuring Hannes Alfvén's popular introductory article on the subject

The Plasma Universe is a model of the Universe in which plasma and its known laboratory properties, plays a more significant role in the Universe than is generally accepted. [1] [2]

The Plasma Universe includes the applications of well-known plasma phenomena to many astrophysical fields, such as the acceleration of ions through electric fields in double layers, astrophysical jets as particle beams, cosmic electric currents (Birkeland currents) that may constrict and pinch plasma in characteristic filaments, and the cellular nature of plasma.

Based on the work of pioneers extending back to at least the 19th century (see Plasma Universe Timeline), the phrase Plasma Universe was coined by Hannes Alfvén in 1986 in Physics Today magazine,[3] and detailed together with other plasma physicists in a number of articles appearing in the Dec 1986 issue of the IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science.[4]

Contents

Plasma Universe application

The Plasma Universe is applied to diverse areas of astronomy, [5], including the origin of the Universe (Plasma cosmology)[6], the formation of galaxies, [7], stars[8], planetary rings, to areas such jets [9], quantized redshift[10], and the Titius-Bode law[11], and the origin of synchrotron radiation[12], cosmic rays[13], the cellular nature of space[14], and electric currents in cosmic plasmas [15], and the evolution of the Solar System (hetegony)[16].


History

Hannes Alfvén derived his model of the Plasma Universe based on his experience in the field. He has been called "the father of the modern discipline of classical physics known as hydromagnetism or magnetohydrodynamics"[17], a discipline he developed in the 1940s, and leading to his awarding of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1970 for "for fundamental work and discoveries in magneto-hydrodynamics with fruitful applications in different parts of plasma physics"[18].

Inspired by the earlier work of Kristian Birkeland credit with producing one of the first laboratory models of the Earth's aurora in the early 1900s, Nobel prize-winning physicist Irving Langmuir who did significant work on plasma, Alfvén postulated in 1937, that if plasma pervaded the universe, then it could carry electric currents that could generate a galactic magnetic field[19]

In 1950, Alfvén published the first edition of his book Cosmical Electrodynamics in which he highlights:

"Physics is mainly based on experience gained in the laboratory. When we try to apply to cosmic phenomenon the laws in which this experience is condensed, we make an enormous extrapolation, the legitimacy of which can be checked only by comparing the theoretical results with observations. [..]
It seems very probably that electromagnetic phenomenon will prove to be of great importance in cosmic physics. [..] No definite reasons are known why it should not be possible to extrapolate the laboratory results in this field to cosmic physics."[20]

Physicist Winston H. Bostick recalled that

"However, the concept of the plasma universe is not the sole domain of Hannes Alfvén; there have been a number of experimentalists and theoreticians in plasma physics who have also made relevant and significant contributions"[21]
"Much of the modern-day foundations of the plasma universe can be traced to the International Astronomical Union Symposium number 6 held in August 1956, in Stockholm. Sweden and attended by "Olympians" such as Alfvén. Artsimovich, the Babcocks, Baños, Bennett, Biermann, Hanhury Brown, Buneman, Burbidge, Chandrasekhar, Cowling, Dungey, Ferraro, Fowler, Gold, Hoyle, Lehnert, Parker, Pease, Piddington, Pikelner, Schafranow, Shklovsky, Schlüter, Spitzer, Swann, Sweet, van de Hulst, and many other notables."[22][23]

The first International Conference on Plasma Cosmology was held in La Jolla, California between 20-22 February 1989,[24]. Those contributing papers included Hannes Alfvén, Carl-Gunne Fälthammar, Timothy E. Eastman, Anthony L. Peratt, Rainer Beck, Mauri J. Valtonen and Gene G. Byrd, Eric J. Lerner, William Peter, Paul Marmet, John Kierein, Jean-Pierre Vigier, Daniel R. Wells, and Halton Arp.

A second conference was held in 1993,[25], and special issues of the IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science have appeared in 1986 [26], in 1989, [27], in 1990, [28] in 1992, [29] in 2000, [30] in 2004, [31] and 2007.[32]

"Plasma Universe" term

Carl-Gunne Fälthammar writes:

"The term "Plasma Universe", coined by Hannes Alfvén, emphasizes the fact that plasma phenomena discovered in the laboratory and in accessible regions of space, must be important also in the rest of the universe, which consists almost entirely of matter in the plasma state. [..]
"The term Plasma Universe was coined by Hannes Alfvén (1986) to be the symbol of a change of paradigm (Alfvén 1983), resulting from progress in plasma physics, and especially from new empirical knowledge gained by in situ measurements in space plasmas."[33][34]

Footnotes

  1. ^ Carl-Gunn Fälthammar wrote: "... emphasize the fact that plasma phenomenon discovered in the laboratory and in accessible regions of space, must be important also in the rest of the universe, which consists almost entirely of matter in the plasma state" Falthammar, C. G. "The Plasma Universe" FULL TEXT PDF Basic Plasma Processes in the Sun. Proceedings of the 142nd. Symposium of the International Astronomical Union, held in Bangalore, India, December 1-5, 1989.
  2. ^ Alfvén wrote that the Plasma Universe is a "...model based on the emissions and behavior of the most prevalent material in the universe.. plasma" Alfven, Hannes, "Model of the plasma universe" (1986) IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science (ISSN 0093-3813), vol. PS-14, Dec. 1986, p. 629-638. PEER REVIEWED
  3. ^ Hannes Alfvén, "The plasma universe" Physics Today, Sep 1986
  4. ^ IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Vol 14 No 6 (Dec 1986), Special Issue on Space and Cosmic Plasma (electrical engineering, plasma science, and the plasma universe) PEER REVIEWED
  5. ^ Peratt, A. L., "Physics of the Plasma Universe" 372 pp. 208 figs.. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York ACADEMIC BOOK
  6. ^ Hannes Alfvén, "Cosmology in the plasma universe" (1988) Laser and Particle Beams (ISSN 0263-0346), vol. 6, Aug. 1988, p. 389-398 PEER REVIEWED
  7. ^ Peratt, Anthony L., "Evolution of the plasma universe. II - The formation of systems of galaxies" (1986) IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science (ISSN 0093-3813), vol. PS-14, Dec. 1986, p. 763-778. (Full text) FULL TEXT PDF PEER REVIEWED
  8. ^ Alfven, H.; Carlqvist, P., "Interstellar clouds and the formation of stars" FULL TEXT (1978) Astrophysics and Space Science, vol. 55, no. 2, May 1978, p. 487-509 PEER REVIEWED
  9. ^ Peratt, Anthony L. "Evolution of the plasma universe. I - Double radio galaxies, quasars, and extragalactic jets" (1986) IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science (ISSN 0093-3813), vol. PS-14, Dec. 1986, p. 639-660. (full text) FULL TEXT PDF PEER REVIEWED
  10. ^ Wells, Daniel R.; Bourouis, Mohammad, "Quantization effects in the plasma universe" (1989) IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science (ISSN 0093-3813), vol. 17, April 1989, p. 270-281. PEER REVIEWED
  11. ^ Wells, Daniel R., "Was the Titius-Bode series dictated by the minimum energy states of the generic solar plasma?" (1990) IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science (ISSN 0093-3813), vol. 18, Feb. 1990, p. 73-76 PEER REVIEWED
  12. ^ Peratt, Anthony L., "The role of particle beams and electrical currents in the plasma universe" (1988) Laser and Particle Beams (ISSN 0263-0346), vol. 6, Aug. 1988, p. 471-491 PEER REVIEWED
  13. ^ Trubnikov, Boris A. "A new hypothesis of cosmic ray generation in plasma pinches" (1992) IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science (ISSN 0093-3813), vol. 20, no. 6, p. 898-904. PEER REVIEWED
  14. ^ Alfven, H. "Cosmology in the plasma universe - an introductory exposition" (1990) IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science (ISSN 0093-3813), vol. 18, Feb. 1990, p. 5-10. PEER REVIEWED
  15. ^ Peratt, A. L., "Electric space: evolution of the plasma universe." FULL TEXT (1996) Astrophys. Space Sci., 244, 89-103 (1996) PEER REVIEWED
  16. ^ Hannes Alfvén and Gustaf Arrhenius, "Plasma Physics and Hetegony" in Evolution of the Solar System (1976) NASA Publication SP-345
  17. ^ See biography at the end of Alfven's paper "Cosmology in the plasma universe - an introductory exposition", ibid.
  18. ^ See NobelPrize.org
  19. ^ Alfvén, H., 1937 "Cosmic Radiation as an Intra-galactic Phenomenon", Ark. f. mat., astr. o. fys. 25B, no. 29. PEER REVIEWED
  20. ^ Alfvén, H., Cosmical Electrodynamics, Oxford Clarendon Press, 1950 (Note: this substantially different from the later 2nd edition) ACADEMIC BOOK
  21. ^ Winston H. Bostick, "A Way Out of the Quasar Redshift Shambles" 21st Century Science & Technology. July - August 1989. (Ref)
  22. ^ Winston H. Bostick, "Stockholm, August 1956, Revisited" (1989) IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science Volume: 17, Issue: 2 pp. 69-72 PEER REVIEWED
  23. ^ Proceedings from IAU Symposium no. 6. Edited by Bo Lehnert. (1958) International Astronomical Union. Symposium no. 6. Contents FULL TEXT
  24. ^ IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Special Issue on Plasma Cosmology, Vol 18 No 1 (Feb 1990), Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Plasma Cosmology, La Jolla, California, USA, 20-22 February 1989. Contents PEER REVIEWED
  25. ^ "Second IEEE International Workshop on Plasma Astrophysics and Cosmology, held from 10 to 12 May 1993 in Princeton, New Jersey. Astrophysics and Space Science, Vol. 227, No. 1/2/ May 1995, (Articles) FULL TEXT PEER REVIEWED
  26. ^ IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Vol 14 No 6 (Dec 1986), Special Issue on Space and Cosmic Plasma (electrical engineering, plasma science, and the plasma universe), Contents PEER REVIEWED
  27. ^ IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Vol 17 No 2 (Apr 1989), Special Issue on Space and Cosmic Plasma (golden anniversary of magnetic storms and the aurora, dedicated to Hannes Alfvén in recognition of his 80th birthday), Contents PEER REVIEWED
  28. ^ IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Vol 18 No 1 (Feb 1990), Special Issue on Space and Cosmic Plasma (Plasma Cosmology), Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Plasma Cosmology (First Workshop on Plasma Cosmology), La Jolla, California, USA, 20-22 February 1989. Contents PEER REVIEWED
  29. ^ IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Vol 20 No 6 (Dec 1992), Special Issue on Space and Cosmic Plasma (plasma experiments in the laboratory and in space.) Contents PEER REVIEWED
  30. ^ IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Vol 28 No 6 (Dec 2000), 5th Special Issue on Space and Cosmic Plasma (Space Weather). Contents PEER REVIEWED
  31. ^ IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, ol 31 No 6 (Dec 2004), 6th Special Issue on Space and Cosmic Plasma, Contents PEER REVIEWED
  32. ^ IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Vol 35 No 4 Part 1 (Aug 2007), 7th Special Issue on Space and Cosmic Plasma, Contents PEER REVIEWED
  33. ^ Falthammar, C. G., "The Plasma Universe", in Basic Plasma Processes in the Sun. Proceedings of the 142nd. Symposium of the International Astronomical Union, held in Bangalore, India, December 1-5, 1989. Editors, E.R. Priest, V. Krishan; Publisher, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Holland; Boston, Massachusetts, 1990. ISBN # 0-7923-0879-4. LC # QB529 .I57 P. 9, 1990 FULL TEXT
  34. ^ Hannes Alfvén, "The Plasma Universe" in Physics Today (September 1986)

References

Main resource: Plasma Universe resources

External Links

See also

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