31 December 2005

Electrifying scalability

Playing on the Thunderbolts site led me to look for papers by a scientist named Alexander Borisovich Kukushkin, and I found this one on electrical phenomena.

It’s... a bit mind-blowing. He treats direct scalability of phenomenon from the millimeter level to thousands of lightyears as normal, and says of events ranging from sub-microseconds to at least kiloyears that they “may be qualified as ‘status quo’ ”.

Further cerebral meltdown can be obtained by considering parallels between galaxies and clusters on the one hand, down through tornadoes and ball-lightning to molecular-scale bucky tubes. This lad is evidently not at all frightened to go wherever the evidence takes him.

Consider this soundbite [brackets mine]:

The [self-assembling cold-plasma] skeleton in tornadic thundercloud may be responsible for the fast long-range transport of electricity (e.g., with respect to electric charge acquired by the skeleton during condensation of charged water drops on it) and for accumulation of large enough electric charge in certain points determined by the geometry/morphology of the skeleton (e.g., at the skeleton’s edges).

This implies that actually the difference between tornadic and non-tornadic thunderclouds is determined by the transport properties (in particular, by the very presence) of an internal skeleton, namely by the ability of the skeleton to collect, transport and focus the electric (and magnetic) energy. In particular, skeleton as a condensation center may substantially speed up the conversion of the latent heat into gas/plasma motion.

The localization of large enough electric charge on/around the skeleton initiates a sort of electric breakdown between the thundercloud and the Earth. Thus, the initial phase of tornado may be treated as an electric breakdown process which is eye-visible in the real time. Presumably, most frequently the cathode is the thundercloud, the virtual anode is on the Earth surface. Thus, tornado’s initiation is suggested to be an electrostatic instability caused exclusively by the presence of nanodust and its special, skeletal structuring.

Tornado’s column/funnel may be interpreted as a long-lived filament of electric current which is being resulted from the process of aforementioned electric breakdown (the value of electric current may be still weak for pinching the plasma in the tornado column).

The skeleton of this filament is being formed by the restructured blocks of the skeleton in the thundercloud during a “pullout” of the parent thundercloud’s skeleton downwards by the electric force which disturbs the balance of the forces in the stable state of thundercloud. (Here, longevity implies that the lifetime largely exceeds that of the lightning).

Rotation of tornado’s column/funnel seems to be a consequence of local restructuring of the skeletal component inside the thundercloud. That’s why the rotation in the tornadic mesocyclone is actually not a source of tornado’s initiation. Therefore, the problem of tornado rotation may be decoupled from the problem of tornado’s initiation and has to be treated in terms of the behavior of the ambient gaseous and aerosol components of the thundercloud in the presence of electric (and magnetic) field provided by the skeleton in the course of its restructuring.

Thus in a few short paragraphs we dispose of a number of major mysteries which have plagued weather scientists for many decades, including the problem of charge accumulation in clouds (theoretically impossible with the previously-understood charge production and transport mechanisms) and the formation and behviour of tornados. They are well-named “twisters” since the internal structure looks like a thoroghly wound-up telephone cord.

That’s just a few of several sacred cows which get casually hamburgered, and this guy is not some random, he works for a Russian institute which builds nuclear reactors, he quotes and is quoted by many other famous and respected researchers, he publishes constantly. Read it yourself, look at the pretty pictures.

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