Electromagnetism news

Birkeland Currents

We are used to reading about Birkeland Currents at Thunderbolts and the various plasma based web sites but they are now part of mainstream - go to http://phys.org/print331816447.html

Palaeomagnetism

At http://palaeomagnetism.geologist-1011.net/ ... there is an interesting debate on magnetic reversals in Earth history. He concludes by saying the causes of magnetic reversals remian unclear and suggests it is as a result of an external magnetic force or flux.

Forbush Decreases

At www.spaceweather.com September 18th .... on the 12th a CME hit Earth's magnetic field igniting an intense geomagnetic storm - and providing England with a week of summer temperatures. Students launched a helium Balloon into the stratosphere, expecting to measure lots more radiation than normal. Instead, them measured less - a lot less. Why?

Well, it seems that when the CME swept past the Earth it gathered up a lot of cosmic rays that normally occupy the upper atmosphere - sweeping them away. This process was first discovered in the 20th century by Scott Forbush.

Russian mission to study the high atmosphere

At http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2014/08/16/satellite-mission-on-high-atmo... ... is due to launch in 2015 and a web site in English is scheduled to record what it finds. The satellite is named after Lomonosov. He lived between 1711 and 1765 and helped establish the Moscow University in 1755. The idea is to study cosmic rays (the solar wind), gamma rays bursts, transient luminous phenomena in the upper atmosphere, and magnetospheric particles. It's all getting very exciting - are we on the verge of a paradigm shift?

Alfred de Grazia

Anne Marie has sent news that Alfred de Grazia has died. He was in his nineties.

comets, asteroids, and the solar wind

Comet Pan-STARRS is still out there. It flared up in May and has since gone rather quiet - see latest update http://phys.org/print323672928.html ... so we have something else in August, when it is due to go round the Sun, that might prove interesting from an EU point of view. Mind you, Thunderbolts are getting excited already as they have posted us details of a new model developed by NASA with a view in mind of protecting astronauts - visiting asteroids. The link is at www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/new-nasa-model-gives-glimpse-into-the-invis...

Palaeolithic Plasma Images

Rens Van Der Sluijs has two posts at Thunderbolts this week. At www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2014/06/19/plasma-in-the-ice-age/ ... he refers to two engraved pendants fashioned out of reindeer bone which were discovered at a prehistoric site in France. The Magdalenian culture people followed and lived off reindeer herds much like the Lapps of northern Scandinavia in the modern world.

Electromagnetism and the Earth

Go to http://malagabay.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/the-carnegie-curve/ ... it seems scientists were looking at electricity in the atmosphere and on the Earth a hundred years ago - and an electric field between negative Earth and the net positive charge in the air. Experiments showed the intensity of the electric field is greater in the middle of the day than it is at night or in the morning - but conversely, is greater during the winter than it is in the summer.

Magnetic pulses

Very low frequency magnetic pulses have been observed in the run-up to earthquakes since the 1960s. Now, geophysicists claim they have discovered how rocks produce magnetic pulses - go to https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/geophysicists-reveal-how-earth... ... the new model, it is hoped, will target regions of the crust at immanent risk. However, it is acknowledged it is not entirely certain if rocks produce magnetic pulses when there is no earthquake. It is a developing theory.

Magnetic fields and black holes

This story is at http://phys.org/print321105310.html ... a new study of supermassive black holes has found magnetic fields play a prominent role in proceedings. This was actually predicted and amounts to a confirmation of theory. It goes on to say that in the dozens of black holes so far surveyed (what are thought to be black holes to be more correct) the magnetic field strength matched the force produced by the black hole gravitational pull.