The Fallacy of Magnetic Reconnection

Real Properties of Electromagnetic Fields and
Plasma in the Cosmos

Abstract—A majority of baryons in the cosmos are in the plasma state. However, fundamental disagreements about the properties and behavior of electromagnetic fields in these plasmas exist between the science of modern astronomy/astrophysics and the experimentally verified laws of electrical engineering and plasma physics. Many helioastronomers claim that magnetic fields can be open ended. Astrophysicists have claimed that galactic mag- netic fields begin and end on molecular clouds. Most electrical engineers, physicists, and pioneers in the electromagnetic field theory disagree, i.e., magnetic fields have no beginning or end. Many astrophysicists still claim that magnetic fields are “frozen into” electric plasma. The “magnetic merging” (reconnection) mechanism is also falsified by both theoretical and experimental investigations. (Donald E. Scott, IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PLASMA SCIENCE, VOL. 35, NO. 4, AUGUST 2007, PDF here).

There is a prevailing belief that magnetic fields can be “frozen” in plasma, and that magnetic field lines can “reconnect”; this is arrant physical nonsense and the paper showing this is linked at the end of the abstract above.

What Scott does show is the pseudoscientific nature of much of science in which imaginative novelties are invoked to explain the prevailing scientific model.

Science, however, proceeds to explain observations by deploying known scientific facts.

The following list of physical phenomena are imaginative absurdities because they have not been physically observed.

  1. Neutron stars (made of matter comprising 100% neutrons)
  2. Dark Matter
  3. Dark Energy
  4. Black Holes
  5. Magnetic Reconnection (physically impossible)
  6. Frozen magnetic fields (physically impossible)
  7. Biological Evolution (not observed empirically)
  8. Plate Tectonics (no physical mechanism)
  9. The Big Bang
  10. Expanding Universe
  11. Curved space
  12. Gravity waves

Update: Scott’s Introduction is copied below.

PLASMA cosmology was formally introduced more than 25 years ago by Alfvén [1]–[3]. This paper was based on his earlier experimental investigations and those of Birkeland and Langmuir. They, in turn, had been motivated by the con- cepts embodied in Maxwell’s equations. This compact set of relations codifies the results of a long series of experiments that were performed by the founders of electrical science. Thus, plasma cosmology is not based simply on deductive reasoning and mathematical formalisms, but rather on verified laboratory evidence.

For example, an indication of the dominance of the magnetic force is demonstrated by a ball bearing on a table. All of Earth’s baryonic mass exerts a gravitational pull on the bearing, pre- venting it from lifting off the table. Yet, the smallest horseshoe magnet easily snatches it away. On a cosmic scale, magnetic energy density can also exceed gravitational energy density. For example, in the local supercluster, the magnetic field energy density exceeds the gravitational energy density by at least an order of magnitude [4].

The local interstellar medium has an estimated ion–electron pair concentration in the range of 0.01–1/cm3. Thus, the vol- ume between the Sun and its nearest neighbor contains some 6 × 1054 ion–electron pairs. However, quantitative calculations based on simple electrostatic forces between such particles lead to erroneous conclusions. This is because double layers (DLs) separate cells of plasma in space (e.g., heliospheres) such that electrostatic forces between bodies that are each surrounded by such DL-bounded plasma cells are negligibly weak. Homogeneous models often are found to be misleading and should be replaced by inhomogeneous models, with the inhomogeneities being produced by filamentary currents and DLs that divide space into cells [5]. Space in general has a cellular structure.

Theoretical analyses based on the classical plasma theory often fail to correspond to real results that are obtained via direct observation. On the other hand, simulations on super- computers and actual laboratory experiments provide accurate descriptions of the behavior of such cosmic plasmas. Rotation is an inherent result of interacting electric currents in plasma. Computer models of two current filaments interacting in a plasma have accurately reproduced details of spiral galaxy rotation profiles [6]. Plasma cosmology also offers [1] a model that predicted the existence of galactic jets and the behavior of double-radio-source galaxies prior to their observation.

It is clear that a rigorous understanding of the real physical properties of magnetic fields in plasmas is crucial for astro- physicists and cosmologists. Incorrect pronouncements about the properties of magnetic fields and currents in plasma will be counterproductive if these conceptual errors are propagated into publications and then used as the basis of new investigations.

There are some popular misconceptions. (My emphsis LH)
1) Magnetic “lines of force” really exist as extant entities in 3-D space and are involved in cosmic mechanisms when they move.
2) Magnetic fields can be open ended and can release energy by “merging” or “reconnecting.”
3) Behavior of magnetic fields can be explained without any reference to the currents that produce them.
4) Cosmic plasma is infinitely conductive, so magnetic fields are “frozen into” it.

About Louis Hissink

Retired exploration geologist
This entry was posted in Science. Bookmark the permalink.