Plasmoids on the 100th Anniversary of Winston H. Bostick’s Birth
Oct 25, 2016
Sixty years ago, Winston Harper Bostick found that an amorphous mass of high-velocity plasma has a natural ability to convert a large proportion of its kinetic energy into magnetic energy, contained in an organised toroidal structure.
He termed this structure a ‘plasmoid’. Bostick also showed that such magnetic plasma entities are capable of propagation across magnetic fields. Various strands of modern research support these findings. The characteristics of plasmoids become important for the study of plasma penetration of the earth’s magnetopause. And if the natural energy conversion mechanism exhibited by high-velocity plasmas can also be extended from laboratory scales to those of galactic jets, it may help to explain some puzzling aspects of the latter.
Bostick, dubbed “a man of great ‘physical intuition’”, was “a pioneer in particle physics, radar technology, fusion energy research, plasma and astrophysics” and “an innovative thinker and teacher who inspired many with his ability to give physical-geometrical descriptions to the abstract particles and forces that fill the theoretical world of physics and quantum mechanics” . He was born on 5 March 1916 in Freeport, Illinois, and received his bachelor’s (1938) and doctoral degrees (1941) in physics from the University of Chicago around the time of the inception of the Manhattan Project to build an atomic bomb. Bostick’s thesis on the use of cosmic rays to generate subnuclear events for particle physics experiments was written under the direction of A. H. Compton and M. Schein. Following his graduate work, Bostick joined MIT’s Radiation Laboratory to develop new pulse transformers to generate the high voltages required by the new wartime radar systems.
After the war, Bostick continued to work at MIT on a new type of bubble chamber he had invented for particle physics measurements. He then worked with J. C. Slater on the MIT microwave linear accelerator until 1948. From 1948 to 1954, he was on the faculty of the Physics Department of Tufts University. He then took a leave of absence to work at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory on the early Controlled Thermonuclear Fusion Research (CTR) programme until 1956. In the mid-1950s, he developed a ‘plasma gun’ that accelerated bursts of atomic particles at high speeds through a magnetic field. From 1956 until 1986, Bostick was the George Meade Bond Professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, serving as head of the Stevens Department of Physics for 12 of those years.
In the 1980s, Bostick’s work on superconductivity inspired the first of a series of seminars on physical and biological science sponsored by the Fusion Energy Foundation (FEF) and chaired by Lyndon H. La Rouche. The last such seminar was focused on developing the broader implications for the physical geometry of space-time conceived by Eugenio Beltrami, a collaborator of Riemann, whose work Bostick had first brought to the FEF’s attention in 1974. Bostick [2, 5] investigated Beltrami geometry as seen in force-free magnetic plasmas and suggested that this provided the context for realising forcefree models for the atom and its nucleus. Bostick also championed the application of the same principles of Beltrami plasma processes to astrophysics. He died on 19 January 1991 after a long battle with cancer.
Going back to 1956, a milestone in plasma physics was reached when Bostick  reported experimental results which showed that plasma, when created and accelerated to high velocities by a button-type pulsed source, is shaped by its own magnetic field into a compact toroidal structure [3: 292]. Terming this structure a ‘plasmoid’, Bostick was careful to distinguish his own definition of a plasmoid as “a generic term for all plasma-magnetic entities”, highly structured, from its definition as an “amorphous blob”. He subsequently clarified his definition as “a self-generating, shaped body” [4: 90] and a “force-free minimum-free-energy structure” [5: 703] taking the form of a plasma vortex.
According to Bostick, “A rather surprising result occurs when the source … is placed in vacuum (~10-5 mm Hg) in an externally applied dc magnetic field and fired across the field. The plasma apparently has no difficulty in crossing the magnetic field” [3: 292]. It “forms an ever-elongating hollow cylinder as it proceeds across the magnetic field …” [4: 90] “Subsequent investigations were to prove that the plasma crosses the magnetic field in a train of paired oppositely rotating diamagnetic vortices” [5: 703], exhibiting Beltrami geometry.
These experiments led Bostick to conclude that “nature can take the electrical energy in the plasma gun, turn it into directed kinetic energy and momentum of the plasma, and then turn a large share of that energy into rotating energy of vortices …” [5: 703] The kinetic energy of a mass of plasma is converted into magnetic energy in a self-contained structure – a plasmoid – which then acquires the ability to cross magnetic fields.
Kubes et al.  recently demonstrated a similar conversion effect in a laboratory zpinch. The points of maximum pinch serve to accelerate plasma axially away from the zone of maximum compression. The high-velocity plasma then forms “toroidal, helical and plasmoidal structures … within the dense plasma column” [6: 1] in the lower-pressure regions further along the axis. A z-pinch is apparently an efficient way of generating the initial high velocities which result in the formation of self-contained plasmoids by the mechanism which Bostick identified.
Plasmoid formation is now thought to underlie various phenomena in interplanetary space. For example, Draper et al.  described how self-contained plasmoids arise during magnetic reconnection in the earth’s magnetotail. Similarly, Gunell and colleagues [8, 9] demonstrated that plasma with an initial high velocity relative to its surroundings may penetrate the sub-solar region of the magnetopause “by expulsion of the magnetic field from the structure …” [8: 1] We relate this finding to Bostick’s notion of an initial cylinder of high-velocity plasma transforming into a self-contained diamagnetic structure.
On a larger scale, coronal mass ejections (CMEs) may take the form of ‘magnetic clouds’  exhibiting the characteristics of flux ropes ; Eselevich & Eselevich  hypothesised that small CMEs represent plasmoids.
In the light of these discoveries, it is not inconceivable that humans may have witnessed the arrival and disintegration of large plasmoids from the sun into the upper atmosphere at times of solar-terrestrial crisis, when the strength of the earth’s magnetosphere may have been compromised and coronal mass ejections may have been more ‘geoeffective’. One such episode may have been the terminal stage of the last glacial period, when the earth is known to have experienced considerable geomagnetic instability and the essential themes of a global body of ‘creation myths’ seem to have emerged.
Meanwhile, extending the laboratory results to intergalactic scales may help to resolve some outstanding problems in the formation and spectral emissions from jets emitted by radio galaxies of Fanaroff-Riley type I (FR-I). Table I in the discussion of the properties of the X-ray jets in FR-I radio galaxies by Harwood & Hardcastle  indicates that the jets from many galaxies, including Centaurus A and Messier 87, contain small-scale features known as ‘knots’. There are a number of puzzling aspects of these knots and the spectral emissions from the jets.
Firstly, the origin of the knots in the jets is uncertain; see, e. g., [14, 15]. Kraft et al.  presented data from the Chandra mission which showed that the major knots in Centaurus A known from Einstein and ROSATobservations are in fact groups of smaller knots located at places of “shocks in the flow where the magnetic fields are compressed and the particles accelerated”. Apparently, these are aligned along a helical path within the main jet delineated by the diffuse X-ray and radio intensity contours.
We suggest that the knots may arise spontaneously from conversion of part of the kinetic energy of the main jet according to Bostick’s principles of plasmoid formation, reinforced by the work of Kubes et al. Alternatively, the trigger for the formation of a knot may be the development of a kink instability in the inner jet which leads to the pinching off of a self-contained entity – or plasmoid; see, e. g., [17: 204 Fig. 1] and [18: 1409 Fig. 5]. Within the small knots, the particles would necessarily still have high rotational velocities in order to conserve both the angular momentum present in the original helical jet  and the magnetic helicity , assuming that the field is frozen into the plasma in accordance with the usual magnetohydrodynamic assumptions. Therefore, the plasmoidal knots may mirror the well-known behaviour of spherical tokomak plasma confinement devices, in which high plasma temperatures are generated and particles occasionally escape from the confinement, thus allowing energy extraction from the devices.
Secondly, the amplification of the magnetic field necessary to explain the observed synchrotron radiation emanating from the knots requires an explanation. De Young  suggested a model of turbulent amplification driven by the kinetic energy of the jet. However, this mechanism requires c. 1,000,000 to 100,000,000 years to produce sufficient amplification of the field by equipartition with the kinetic energy in order to explain the radio lobe sources; presumably, an even longer period would be required in order to amplify the field to strengths necessary to explain the X-ray emissions. In contrast, formation of a plasmoid by the Bostick mechanism would also convert jet kinetic energy into magnetic energy in a knot, but can be expected to be almost instantaneous by comparison. The process of knot formation may also occur on scales below the observable resolution. Kraftet al.  suggested that this may explain the diffuse X-ray emission of the jet. We suggest that it may also help to account for the regular field structure on a scale of 1 kpc in the radio lobes .
Finally, second-order Fermi acceleration of particles to synchrotron-producing energies of ±10 to 100 TeV is assumed to occur at the turbulent boundary of the main jet [22 citing 21], or in multiple diffusions across shocks within the knots. Similar turbulent effects can be expected to occur at the boundary of a plasmoid forming a knot. Analogies with spheromak fusion devices suggest that highly energetic particles on field lines may also periodically escape from a plasmoid knot, thereby providing a direct source of high-energy particles without the need for Fermi acceleration in boundary turbulence or by repeated diffusion across shocks.
To summarise, in 1956 Bostick  discovered the natural ability of high-velocity plasma to convert kinetic energy into magnetic energy in a self-contained structure called a ‘plasmoid’, which allows the plasma to cross magnetic field lines. These and subsequent discoveries by Bostick have been shown to be relevant to present researches ranging from laboratory z-pinches to the solar system. Scaling up this behaviour to galactic dimensions may help to explain puzzling features in knotty jets emanating from FR-I galaxies, including the formation of knots, the localised amplification of the magnetic field and the acceleration of particles to TeV energies observed in galactic jets. The 100th anniversary of Bostick’s birth would provide an opportune moment to investigate these suggestions in greater detail.
Robert J. Johnson & Marinus Anthony van der Sluijs
a speculative inquiry into the nature of consciousness
Materialism and consciousness
At the very core of mainstream science is the assumption that the universe is entirely materialistic. Consciousness emerges as a function of the electrial activity of a brain, when a brain evolves to a sufficient level of complexity. There is no meaning or purpose to life, apart from the imaginings of humans and their religions – there is only the more or less random evolution of material configurations. Richard Dawkins is the most vocal and prolific expounder of this materialist perspective, a perspective that mainstream scientists subscribe to without ever thinking to question it.
There is another model of consciousness that says consciousness is not embodied in the brain. Rather our minds exist apart from our brains, and outside the domain of physics. The function of the brain, in this model, is to serve as a kind of interface module, enabling the mind to interact with the five senses and the body. This we can call the metaphysical model of consciousness.
Evidence for the metaphysical model comes in the form of ‘unexplainable’ experiences. An unconscious patient, registering no electrical brain activity at all during a critical operation, reports later that he observed the operation from the ceiling, and is able to describe specific things that happened during the operation. Or someone has a near-death experience, and reports certain kinds of experiences that have also been reported in other near-death cases.
Neil is an Electrical Engineering Technologist and Electric Universe Theorist from New Brunswick, Canada. He has worked with the Electric Universe Paradigm for over a dozen years. A Scholar at EU2015 accepted for writing his paper “As History has Shown” which was a primer for EU enthusiasts. he followed it up by volunteering for EU2016 and writing a second paper “The Internal Constitution of Planets” challenging Eddington’s planetary and stellar formation models where he hosted an EU Creative Arts Workshop. This was the year of the Michael Steinbacher Memorial Geology Tour which he was a tour guide for.
At EU2017 he volunteered again and presented “Fire From the Skies” a look at the nature of planetary capacitance and how it affects incoming meteors. After that he went on several geology tours with Andy Hall, Peter Mungo Jupp, Andrew Fitts, Robert Hawthorne and Bruce Leybourne exploring many hidden geologic gems of the American South West.
A Volunteer for the Thunderbolts Project and moderator of a dozen or so EU groups he was encouraged to start a podcast with his newfound friends here.
Robert lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He and his father, Robert Sr. , exhibited at EU 2017. They attribute electrical discharge between planets in a younger solar system as the primary mechanism causing craters on the moon and the other planets, including the Earth.
At the advice of a scientist from Brigham Young University, Hawthorne was guided to Dr. Eugene Shoemaker, co-discoverer of comet, Shoemaker-Levy 9, which famously affected Jupiter in 1994. Shoemaker’s curiosity was peaked so he visited Hawthorne and took a field trip to the unique stone. Shoemaker said that, “Upheaval Dome is the best example of a deep impact crater on the face the Earth” (1996). Sadly, Dr. Shoemaker died in car accident later that year.
Heather Stargazer is an author, artist, and Galaxy Class Stargazer who hales from somewhere near the 42nd parallel. Her work is the product of the inspirational spaces within which we all reside. Working with several dedicated members and organizations of the Electric Universe community, she has invited us to explore these new realms of electromagnetic possibilities and connect to a whole new understanding of what has come before us and where we are going in the future.
There are currents that flow between all facets of Science, History, Nature, and Humanity. These currents are the key to unlocking the next level of our collective understanding. Please join us on this journey as we wake up in real time to the Electric Universe.
Who knows what we’ll know tomorrow?
Edo has studied fundamental and environmental chemistry most of his life. After working in the IT sector for 10 years, he began an independent research effort. His journey of discovery led him to revise the atomic structure. He has always had a passion for the expressions in nature and a fascination for science whereby the elements have always been of special interest and attraction. At the EU2016 conference, Edo presented his re-envisioned atomic structure for the first time in the Breakout Room and at the EU2017 conference he presented SAM at the main-stage. Currently, his attention goes towards further developing SAM and the study of transmutations using the model. He and James Sorensen created Ethereal Matters, LLC, a foundation for fundamental research.
Edo resides in the Netherlands.
Richard studied math, science, and programming at Stanford, and graduated with a B.S. in math ‘with distinction’. He Spent 30 years in the Silicon Valley software industry, working for leading-edge companies, Xerox Parc, Apple Advanced Technology, and many others, including a startup of my own, which developed the first user-friendly email app for the PC, c. 1985, in pre-Internet days
It occurred to him that the climate record resembles an audio signal, like you might see displayed when listening to a music podcast. In the Electric Universe model stars and planets are connected by electric currents, conducted through the plasma that pervades space. These observations led him to the hypothesis that climate change is an electrical phenomenon. He presented that hypothesis at an annual conference of the Thunderbolts Project, the organization that brings together the researchers who are pursuing the Electric Universe model.
This brings us up to the current moment.
Buddy proposes a model of dynamics in space and time eponymously named The Dougherty Set which incorporates the Golden Ratio into a system that describes universal motion with scalar recursion. The recognition of congruence between Birkeland Currents and TDS inspired him to focus his studies on the works of EU Luminaries.
He exhibited his work on The Dougherty set at EU 2017. Buddy is currently formalizing his work on TDS, He creates Lichtenberg figures in multiple mediums especially on wood.
Buddy hosts the Sunday version of the Electric View which he occasionally decides to attend.
Rumor has it he designs at Norad and exists as a real life super-hero.
David is an electrical and computer engineer who’s interest in the Electric Universe began after reading Paul A. LaViolette’s “Beyond the Big Bang”.
Between 2007 and 2015 he served as Director of Software Engineering for the medical device company Magnetecs.
He currently creates educational and exploratory simulations in VR and demonstrates a variety plasma models using SMP on the HTC Vive.
Don’t get all hyperbolic on me now.
To any doctor trained in today’s medical schools, the idea that the heart may not be a pump would, at first sight, appear to be about as logical as suggesting that the sun rises in the West or that water flows uphill. So strongly is the pump concept ingrained in the collective psyche that even trying to think otherwise is more than most people can manage. Yet Rudolf Steiner, a man not given to unscientific or slipshod thinking, was quite clear on the matter and reiterated time and again that the heart is not a pump. “The blood drives the heart, not the heart the blood.”
Ralph Marinelli* and his co-workers published a paper refuting the generally-accepted pressure-propulsion premise. For a start, they draw attention to the sheer volume of work which the heart would have to do if it were solely responsible for pumping inert blood through the vessels of the circulatory system. Blood is five times as viscous as water. According to the propulsion premise the heart would have to pump 8000 liters of blood a day in a body at rest and considerably more during activity, through millions of capillaries the diameters of which are sometimes smaller than the red blood cells themselves – a huge task for a relatively small, muscular organ weighing only 300 grams.
Once the questions start being asked, the anomalies in currently accepted dogma become apparent. For instance, if blood were pumped under pressure out of the left ventricle into the aorta during systole, the pressure pulse would cause the aortic arch to try and straighten out, as happens in any Bourdon tube pressure gauge. In practice the exact opposite happens; the curve increases, indicating that the aorta is undergoing a negative, rather than a positive, pressure.
Another paradoxical finding concerns the mechanics of fluid flow under pulsatile pressure. When a pressure pulse is applied to a viscous fluid in a closed vessel, the liquid initially resists movement through its own inertia. The pressure, therefore, peaks before the fluid velocity peaks. In the aorta, exactly the opposite happens where a peak flow markedly precedes peak pressure, a fact which was observed in 1860 by Chaveau and Lortet. So just what is going on inside the circulation?
Misleading sketch of the heart by Leonardo do Vinci (1). The left ventricle wall is shown uniform in thickness as it would he in a pressure chamber. Actually the left ventricle wall thickness varies by about 1800% as Marinelli and his group measured in bovine hearts (2). The apex wall is so soft and weak that it can be pierced with the index finger. The peculiar variability in the ventricular wall thickness is not in keeping with the heart as pressure generator. However, Leonardo’s Notebooks has been used in most biology, physiology, and medical texts during the last few hundred years as well as in most modern anatomy texts in the last decades (3). Thus, false sketches have served to bear witness to a false premise.
As Marinelli et al point out, the pressure-propulsion model of blood circulation rests on four major premises: (1) blood is naturally inert and must, therefore, be forced to circulate; (2) there is a random mix of formed particles in the blood; (3) blood cells are under pressure at all times; (4) blood is amorphous and is forced to fill its vessels and take on their form.
The term dynamic symmetry was for the first time applied by the American architecture researcher J. Hambidge to a certain principle of proportioning in architecture . Later this term independently appeared in physics where it was introduced to describe physical processes that are characterized by invariants. Finally, in the given research the term dynamic symmetry is applied to regularity of natural form-shaping that in terms of origin also appears not to be connected with Hambidge’s idea, and, moreover, appearance of this term in physics. However, all the three variants are deeply interconnected in terms of their meaning which we are going to show.
At first, we point out strategic similarity of Hambidge’s and our researches. This is a well-known historical direction which in the field of architecture and art is motivated by the search for harmony regularities and, thus, is aimed at studying the objects of nature. Usually architects take interest in the structural regularities of natural form-shaping and, particularly, in the golden section and Fibonacci numbers which are regularities standing out by their intriguing role in architectural form-shaping. It is not accidentally that architects who do researches so frequently pay attention to botanical phenomenon phyllotaxis which is characterized by these regularities.