Light Sabres and Magnetic Reconnection

The Star War movie series introduced the “Light-Sabre”, a Jedi’s weapon but it seems to have a wee problem according to an article in the SMH (Fairfax Press), in that if two combatents fought with their light-sabres, then when the sabres touch magnetic reconnection occurs releasing an enormous of energy which would vaporise both.

The astonishing thing is the belief that magnetic reconnection, a fundamental plasma physics process when plasmas with different magnetic fields collide, isn’t due to magnetic field lines reconnecting, but plasma double layers exploding when the two plasma collide.

Magnetic field lines are like topographic contour lines – imaginary lines drawn to represent the magnetic field graphically in modelling. You cannot cut topographic contour lines, nor can you cut magnetic field lines.

The belief arises from the observations of ‘magnetic tubes’ rising up from the solar photosphere to often plunge back, and frequently to reverse direction and return to their starting locations. This plasma behaviour puzzled me until I realised that the tube rising out of the photosphere was simply a Birkeland current carrying a high energy pulse along its pre-existing current that was in dark current mode but which would transform into more energetic glow or arc mode as the current density increased.

Magnetic flux-tubes are simply Birkeland currents, and it’s the apparent connecting and reconnecting of these electric currents from tripping into dark to glow mode that is the cause of this misunderstanding. Of course magnetohydrodynamic theory is also at fault, as its originator Hannes Alfven stated so on the occasion of his Nobel Laureate presentation.

And as often mentioned by the mainstream astrophysicists, ‘sure there are electric currents in space, but they don’t do anything’!

You don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

About Louis Hissink

Retired diamond exploration geologist. I spent my professional life looking for mineral deposits, found some, and also located a number of kimberlites in NSW and Western Australia. Exploration geology is the closest one can get to practicing the scientific method, mineral exploration always being concerned with finding anomalous geophysical or geochemical data, framing a model and explanation for the anomaly and then testing it with drilling or excavation. All scientific theories are ultimately false since they invariably involved explaining something with incomplete extant knowledge. Since no one is omniscient or knows everything, so too scientific theories which are solely limited to existing knowledge. Because the future always yields new data, scientific theories must change to be compatible with the new data. Thus a true scientist is never in love with any particular theory, always knowing that when the facts change, so too must he/she change their minds.
This entry was posted in Electric Universe, plasma universe, Scientific Stupidities. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Light Sabres and Magnetic Reconnection

  1. Don Kress says:

    Agreed, these ‘lines’ are an imaginary construct to assist the imagination. How ‘reputable’ scientists cannot understand this is beyond comprehension …

    To quote Maxwell:

    On Faraday’s Lines of Force
    By J. Clerk Maxwell
    B.A. Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.
    Read on Dec. 10, 1855, and Feb. 11, 1856

    p. 51
    “In this outline of Faraday’s electrical theories, as they appear from a mathematical point of
    view, I can do no more than simply state the mathematical methods by which I believe that
    electrical phenomena can be best comprehended and reduced to calculation, and my aim has
    been to present the mathematical ideas to the mind in an embodied form, as systems of LINES (my emphasis) or surfaces, and not as mere symbols, which neither convey the same ideas, nor readily adapt themselves to the phenomena to be explained.”


    • Actually the reason they describe these things as magnetic flux tubes is from actually measuring “magnetic tubes” in space, or as the linear magnetic lines leaving and rejoining the surface of the Sun; so being magnetic tubes, which seem oddly terminated at one end, leads them to interpret them as magnetic field lines that are broken and reconnecting.

      It’s a metaphor they are using. Similarly Australian aboriginals observed sinuous slowly moving serpent like prodigies leaving the Earth’s surface and going up into the upper atmosphere and ionosphere. Not knowing anything about electricity or Van De Waals machines, and considering these electric discharges moved like serpents, then they called them rainbow serpents (invariably associated with rain etc).

      So magnetic reconnection is simply an admission of ignorance. This could turn into stupidity if they continue ignoring plasma physics and refuse to change their minds.


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