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Electric Universe: The Three Suns of Kristian Birkeland. I.

30 Aug 2015, 23:13 UTC
Electric Universe: The Three Suns of Kristian Birkeland. I.
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

In the early 1900s, electromagnetism had reached the level of a well-understood phenomenon, particularly after it was placed on a firm mathematical foundation by the work of Maxwell. Many researchers were continuing to explore the nuances and predictions of these equations, applying them to different Earth-based as well as cosmic problems to see if they yielded any insights at the level that Newton's gravitation did for celestial mechanics. Some of the more interesting experiments exploring cosmic electromagnetism were done by Kristian Birkeland in the early 1900s. Birkeland documented these experiments and his other ideas in his tome The Norwegian Aurora Polaris Expedition (which I will reference as NAPE) which was published in two sections. Section 1 was published in 1908 and deals largely with the aurora expeditions and observations as well as Birkeland's initial terella experiments. In Section 2, published in 1913, Birkeland attempts to expand the scope of the interpretation of his experiments.As a consequence of Birkeland's work with the aurora and the laboratory terella (which I will explore in a future post), Birkeland explored a number of ideas about the nature of the Sun.Birkeland speculated that sun was powered by the decay of radium (NAPE, pg 314, 670). ...

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