Leif Svalgaard says:
July 28, 2011 at 3:06 pm
What you should have learned by now from the various exchanges is that if the planets generate, control, or modulate solar activity it is by tidal mechanisms [which includes W&P]. That means that all the barycentric [and solar velocity, angular momentum, etc] stuff is out, and we should [as W&P] concentrate on finding how tidal forces can do this.
Wolff and Patrone say:
“Using a classical method, we have estimated the spatial distribution of regions within a
star that contain previously-unknown potential energy per unit mass (PE) that exists solely
because the star is orbiting the inertially fixed point (barycenter) of its planetary system.”
Are you seeing the word ‘tidal’ in there Leif?
I’m seeing the word ‘barycenter’.
They go on to say:
“the only externally-caused net-force sensed by the stellar fluid
is the tidal force. It raises a tide ∼ 1 mm high at the solar surface, which is ∼ 10−11 to ∼ 10−9
times the vertical displacements of convective flows that will be involved in our mechanism.
We ignore tidal effects in the rest of this paper.”
Anyway, I’m not going to argue it with you right now, because this is a most welcome and refreshing change in your approach.
There may be subtle things going on in the interior that we don’t know about: the sun might not be symmetric on the inside, for example, in which case tidal forces may cause a torque on the sun, perturbing the sunspot generation, or other more exotic things. The usual problem is one of magnitude, so that has to be overcome for tidal mechanisms to work.
A physical asymmetry in the Sun would introduce a quadrupole moment which should be detectable. Any likely places in existing data that might be found?
Over on my blog, we’ve been discussing the physical and activity asymmetry of the Sun for the last year and a half. When I presented my finding on the link between sunspot production asymmetry and the motion of the Sun relative to the barycentre in the Z axis to you on solarcycle24.com best part of two years ago, you summarily dismissed it and had the moderator close my thread. Remember?
Maybe this will refresh your memory:
“More exotic things” might cover the Wolff-Patrone mechanism too.
There are stars with large planets in very close orbits. Those planets will certainly have a measurable tidal effect. We could look for such systems and study them over time to see if their stellar activity is synchronized with the tidal forces. So, the field is ripe for investigations, but we have to get rid of all the pseudo-scientific nonsense that right now is obscuring the issues..
Pseudo-scientific nonsense like “The Sun is in perfect freefall and feels no forces” for example. ;)
As you say, the field is ripe for investigations, we are several years ahead of you there, but you have better knowledge of and access to data, so feel free to join in the exciting voyage of discovery with us, you and your knowledge are sincerely welcome. I will happily eschew ideas proved wrong as the new theory takes shape.
Hurrah!! At last!!!