Occasionally one comes across explanations that are so bizarre you wonder whether or not they are for real, but, alas, as I discovered, it’s for real all right.
“It seems that a Mercury-like body smashed into a young Earth and gave our planet’s core the radioactive elements necessary to generate a magnetic field”, so two Oxford geochemists reckon
Bizarre? Not really when you are grasping at straws to explain the Earth’s geomagnetic field by invoking some magical internal process inside the core.
The main part of the problem is the accretion model of planet formation, which itself is based on the creationist ‘Big Bang Theory’. In this process an initial creative event involving all the mass of the universe being contained in a single point, exploded and has been expanding outwards ever since with every particle of matter moving away from every other particle of matter.
(And how all the mass of the universe could be contained in a single point is another mind-boggling scenario because apart from a point having no volume, since it’s essentially a location in a coordinate system, a single point also cannot have any mass, since it requires two objects of matter to generate ‘mass’. What a massy mess that theory is, no? And from that mess we have this new radioactive mess to explain the geomagnetic field).
And something strange has to exist when matter moving away from all other matter then starts to reverse direction and ‘accrete’ to form lumps that over time form cosmic bodies and thus planets; how stars form are another mystery and mighty be the force of Gravity, if you are having a Yoda moment, but the big problem for the geomagnetic dynamo theory is energy, or more to the point, the lack of it to drive the internal dynamo inside the Earth.
To these researchers the only source of energy is radioactivity, (logical if one is a creationist) and hence the problem of having sufficient radioactivity in the core to cause ‘thermal churning’ and convection in the inferred iron rich core. In terms of the standard accretion model radioactive elements oxidise and tend to concentrate at the planet’s outer layers and surface, so this raises the problem of how to keep radioactive elements in the core.
The researchers discovered that under the very high pressure and temperatures inferred in the Earth’s core, experiments show that uranium “very strongly partitions into sulfur-rich metal” and would thus tend to accumulate in the core, and so, voila, we have the energy source inside the core to generate the inferred convection in the Earth’s core. Except that the standard model of planetary accretion can’t explain it, so an ad hoc variation is proposed.
Where did all those reduced sulphides come from, given that the Earth is full of oxides? Answer: It gobbled up a planet like Mercury that is rich in sulphur and poor in oxygen.
I’ve previously commented on the geomagnetic field here. Since then I’ve thought about another explanation for planet formation as the result of prolonged plasma Bennett Pinches, or Z-pinches as burnt out stars assuming Electric Universe theory. A third possibility comes to mind if we accept human history as primary evidence by which our ancestors, the Greeks and Romans and others, reckoned that the planet Venus was birthed out of Jupiter, aka the Velikovsky model; (those religiously devout may now leave to utter curses and anathemas towards the heretics).
Whatever, but if we instead assume the plasma model, that of the formation of cosmic bodies by a Z-pinch mechanism, then this mechanism would produce a body characterised by matter in an extremely compressed state with pressures exceeding anything we could construct in the laboratory. (Well, we might be able to model it experimentally but given the intense, life averse, radiation plasma Z-pinches emit, it’s not an experiment I would conduct).
Such a body would be seriously out of equilibrium with its surrounds and would start along a path of reverting to lower pressure states of matter, evolving into planets, depending on the internal chemical composition, etc.
While the surface of the Earth is somewhat radioactive, it is a mistake to assume that this feature could be extended downwards to the mantle. For example ultrabasic and ultramafic rocks, kimberlites and basalts are all fractionation products of the asthenosphere, or outer mantle, and none of these rocks are radioactive, so it’s a bit of a mystery how researchers can assume that the Earth’s internal heat source is due to radioactivity. If this were so, then mantle derived rocks would show it, especially kimberlites, but no such radioactivity has been observed.
Even the electric universe model has it’s difficulties because in both cases, the standard and electric models suffer from the diminishing quantum of energy over time. The energy has to be continuously replaced to maintain the geomagnetic field and this paper does not offer any solution to the problem since radioactive decay is a continually diminishing source of energy.
Instead I suggest that the geomagnetic field is being produced by the co-rotating Van Allen Belts.