Saturday, July 22, 2023

Fast magnetic reconnections finally understood?

There was an interesting article in Quanta Magazine about the reconnections of the magnetic fields for astrophysical objects (see this). Two kinds of reconnections have been observed. The slow ones for which the Maxwellian electrodynamics provides a satisfactory description and the fast ones, which are not understood.

Fast reconnections liberate magnetic energy powering solar flares and solar wind, high-energy particles ejected by exploding stars, and the glow of jets from black holes. The popular article told about a theory of Yi-Shin Liu et al (this) claimed to allow the understanding of the fast reconnections in the Maxwellian framework. The model assumes that reconnection is induced by a generation of electric fields for instance by different velocities of protons and electrons moving along the flux lines.

Personally I am a little bit skeptical. There are many other enigmas related to magnetic fields in cosmic scales. Particular, the existence and stability of magnetic fields in astrophysical scales is a mystery in the Maxwellian framework. Also these problems should be solved.

In the TGD Universe, the flux lines are replaced with flux tubes which can be seen as bundles of flux lines assignable to 3-D surfaces in M4×CP2 having 4-D space-time surfaces as orbits. Reconnection of flux lines is replaced with a reconnection of flux tubes. Change for the topology of field lines is replaced with that for the 3-space as 3-surface so that topological reactions for 3-surfaces are in question: this conforms with "Topological GeometroDynamics". When flux tubes are idealized as strings, this is locally nothing but basic vertex for closed strings in string theories.

Intriguingly, TGD allows two kinds of flux tubes.

  1. Flux tubes with a disk as cross section and having a boundary correspond to the Maxwellian situation. Cross section can be also closed but if the flux vanishes, the flux tube is not stable against splitting.

    The Maxwellian flux tubes with open cross section require currents to create the magnetic field. Currents tend however to dissipate so that the Maxwellian flux tubes and corresponding magnetic fields are not stable. This leads to a problem in understanding why magnetic fields in astrophysical scales are so stable.

  2. The monopole flux tubes which have closed 2-surface (say) spheres as a cross section are not possible in Minkowski space and carry conserved monopole fluxes.
Monopole flux tube have several properties which make them very attractive, not only astrophysically and biologically but in all scales, for instance from the perspective of particle physics.
  1. Monopole flux tubes are stable against splitting. U-shaped monopole flux tubes can however split by reconnection which means emission of a closed flux tube. This occurs for instance in solar wind at the night-side of the Earth.
  2. Monopole flux tubes form tube networks having physical objects in various scales as nodes. They occur in all scales, including astrophysical and biological scales.
  3. The tell-tale signature of the monopole flux fields is that no current is needed to create them. Monopole flux tubes explain the existence of magnetic fields in cosmic scales which would not have been even created since the currents needed to create them are random.

    For instance, Earth's magnetic field is the sum of these two contributions and monopole flux is estimated to be 2/5 of the entire flux. Monopole contribution would be stable and explain why the Earth's magnetic field has not decayed long ago. The monopole part of the Earth's magnetic field plays a key role in TGD inspired quantum biology based on the notion of dark matter as phases of ordinary matter with an effective Planck constant residing at the magnetic body of the system.

  4. Monopole flux tubes are the key building bricks of all astrophysical structures in the TGD Universe, in particular solar magnetic fields, and are actually directly visible. Dark matter and energy would be associated with cosmic strings (not those of gauge theories), which have 2-D string world sheet as cross section and 2-D complex manifold of CP2, say sphere, as a CP2 projection. They create a transversal gravitational field explaining the flat velocity spectrum of stars around galaxies which can be interpreted as a local tangle of cosmic strings for which the cosmic string has thickened to a flux tube and generated galactic matter in the reduction of string tension.
The reconnections of the monopole flux tubes would be natural candidates for a fast reconnection for which the Maxwellian model was proposed. Do the TGD view and the Maxwellian view exclude each other or could they be parts of the same story?

The reconnection of a U-shaped flux tube for which parallel portions carry opposite currents requires a pinch of the flux tube so that flux tube portions can touch each other. Ampere's law states that current wires carrying parallel currents attract each other. Could it explain the pinch? One can imagine two mechanisms.

  1. The current along the U-shaped flux tube is conserved unless there is a temporary accumulation of electric charge. The absence of charge accumulation implies that the net currents along parallel portions are opposite and repel each other. However, if charge accumulation takes place, the currents can become locally parallel and this could cause the attraction and pinch. The interesting question is what could cause the local charge accumulation.
  2. One can also consider a geometric mechanism in which the second portion of the U-shaped flux tubes turns temporarily backwards and the portion in which current runs parallel to the current in the unaffected portion comes near to it so that an attractive force causing the pinch is generated and U-shaped flux tube pair emits a closed flux tube. In the TGD framework, quantum tunneling in macroscopic length scales as a pair of "big" state function reductions reversing the arrow of time temporarily is suggestive.
  3. In the TGD framework, quantum tunneling in macroscopic length scales as a pair of "big" state function reductions (BSFRs) reversing the arrow of time temporarily is suggestive. Suppose that in the initial  situation there are two U-shaped flux tubes associated with the two molecules and currents are steady and conserved except during the  reconnection period.

    Reconnection of the two   U-shaped flux loops  would  give rise to a pair of monopole flux tubes  of opposite magnetic fluxes connecting the two objects, say biomolecules. In this conformation  parallel  currents   flow  along the flux tubes. It is assume that the charges  at the different flux tubes form Cooper pairs.  

    Supra current induces an  accumulation of net charges of opposite sign at the ends of the flux tube pair.  Supra current cannot however flow forever. Charge saturation occurs and the supra current goes to zero. In this situation reconnection back to U-shaped flux loops can take place.    This  state is  not superconducting since individual charges at the flux tubes flow in opposite directions  and  cannot form Cooper pairs.  Therefore the splitting of Cooper pairs  and reconnection would occur simultaneously.  BSFR would correspond to a phase transition between super-conducting and non-superconducting states.  This phase transition would be a basic mechanism of biocatalysis.

See the article Magnetic bubbles in TGD Universe: part II or the chapter with the same title.

For a summary of earlier postings see Latest progress in TGD.

For the lists of articles (most of them published in journals founded by Huping Hu) and books about TGD see this.

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