Spin orbit coupling between Newton and his Grave

Posted: August 1, 2011 by tallbloke in Astrophysics, flames, solar system dynamics

tallbloke says:
August 1, 2011 at 11:29 am
Leif Svalgaard says:
August 1, 2011 at 6:50 am
Newton’s laws are universal, it doesn’t matter if the stuff is in bulk or is just an atom. To obtain the gravity from a piece [or effect] of bulk matter you just sum over the constituents.

You still don’t get it. When we consider the effects of one body exerting gravitation on another, we need to consider not only the “bulk of the constituents” in mass terms defining how much gravitational pull it exerts but also the Newtonian properties of the material. I pointed out on the Loehle and Scafetta thread That:
“Newton knew his equations of motion and kinematics applied to idealised bodies with perfect elasticity. The Sun is not a perfectly elastic body, the layer which we see has differential speeds of rotation which vary both from each other and with respect to time. There are peer reviewed papers in the literature which empirically derive a linkage between the variations in the speed of rotation of various latitudinal bands and the motion of the Sun with respect to the SSB. These observations are indicative of a spin-orbit coupling caused by planetary motion.”

You responded with this:
“The Sun is a gas and Newton’s law apply to every atom of the gas.” and this:
“BTW, I don’t think you know what ‘elastic’ means.
“In physics, elasticity is the physical property of a material that returns to its original shape after the stress (e.g. external forces) that made it deform or distort is removed.”
Since the Sun is a gas, when you remove any stress it will revert to its original spherical shape, so it is perfectly elastic.

“Newton’s laws are universal and work on gases, fluids, solid bodies, anything. The ‘elastic’ bit is just nonsense. And we should really works with Einstein’s General Relativity, except for the kind of stuff we are discussing here, Newton is good enough [if you only understood it].

To which I responded:
“Keep going Leif. Tell us how the smoke you’re blowing reacts to an impacting object. By magically reforming into the perfect sphere it was originally to demonstrate its elasticity no doubt. 🙂

Try it on a snooker table with some nice hard elastic balls and a lump of warm putty. See how well the kinetics of energy transfer are maintained as motion vectors. Clue, the putty might get a bit warmer, but it won’t magically regain its shape as it is inelastic, just as the Sun’s gases are. The only reason the Sun’s gases would reform a sphere after an impact (though with many non-reverting internal redistributions) is because they form around their own centre of gravity.”

You’ve clearly proved to me, and anyone else who understands Newtonian kinematics (hands up engineers) that you don’t understand how a spin-orbit coupling can arise in an inelastic body due to gravitational interaction. The Sun as a bulk gas does not behave with the elasticity of a molecule of it’s constituent material. An orbiting planet will set up eddy currents in the Sun which will dissipate energy, or assist in the release of potential energy in a preferential location (facing the barycentre) a la Wolff and Patrone.

The Earth Moon system exhibits spin orbit coupling due to the drag caused by the Moon’s gravitational action on the inelastic oceans. I originally said that the differential motion of the various latitudinal bands on the Sun’s observable surface were indicative of a spin orbit coupling. It remains to be discovered whether that arises through the possibility proposed by Ted L, the Wolff and Patrone mechanism, tidal action or something else not yet considered, The point is that the observations stand. Your arguments about the newtonian properties of the bulk gases of the Sun don’t.


Update: It gets better, Leif has added these comments in reply. My response is interspersed:

tallbloke says:

Leif Svalgaard says:
August 1, 2011 at 11:45 am
Newton’s laws are universal and apply to all bodies, whatsoever.
A binary star system with two gaseous stars obey Newton’s equations of motion quite well. Now, what does that say about your understanding of Newtonian mechanics?

My statement as you well know was in the context of your claim that a spin orbit coupling is not possible because the sun is in freefall and feels no forces. Binary stars will orbit their common barycentre as Newton predicts. There will however be considerable churn within the gaseous envelopes of the stars because they are inelastic bodies and the tides raised will slow them down prematurely compared to hard solid elastic bodies because of lost ‘innate motion’ due to friction generated in tides. Just as the earth has slowed and the Moon receded because of the friction of the inelastic oceans affected by Lunar tides.

Are you still going to stand by this statement?:

Leif svalgaard said:
Since the Sun is a gas, when you remove any stress it will revert to its original spherical shape, so it is perfectly elastic.

A simple “yes” or “no” is sufficient.

tallbloke says:

Leif Svalgaard says:
August 1, 2011 at 11:42 am
tallbloke says:
August 1, 2011 at 11:29 am
“Newton knew his equations of motion and kinematics applied to idealised bodies with perfect elasticity.

Complete nonsense. Newton’s laws are universal and apply to all bodies, whatsoever.

See my previous reply. Yes Newtons laws apply to all bodies, but they result in different outcomes for elastic and inelastic bodies. This is easily proved with the ball of putty on the pool table experiment.

A planet consisting of a gas, like Jupiter, orbits exactly the same that it would do if it consisted of steel.

Excellent, another proof you don’t understand Newtonian dynamics for my next blog post. Thanks.

Leif responds to my yes or no question:

Absolutely yes as the sun’s own gravity is the restoring force, so the Sun answers to the definition of ‘elastic’. The only issue could one of time scale, but the Sun’s gravity is strong.

[Update 11-8-2011]

tallbloke says:

Leif Svalgaard says:
August 10, 2011 at 8:20 am
Pamela Gray says:
August 10, 2011 at 7:40 am
If the “Galaxy Car” were to suddenly halt, the “ping pong ball Sun” would suddenly move forward and hit the windshield. So, while the “Galaxy Car” is still moving, is that what you mean by the ping pong ball Sun being in free fall?

How would you stop the Galaxy Car? By applying some force on it. If you apply the same force on the ping pong ball, it would also stop and not impinge on the windshield. Only if the forces are different would there be an effect.

Your understanding of Newtonian mechanics and kinetics and properties is woefully inadequate.
This is as bad as your “The Sun is perfectly elastic as it would reform a sphere after an impact” argument. In that case, you are ignoring the non-reverting internal redistribution which would take place.

In this case you are ignoring the density gradient in the Sun. Force equals mass times acceleration as Newton told us. Therefore the mass divided by the force equals the acceleration. The Sun is much denser near the core than near the surface. This means that the changes in acceleration imposed on volumes at different depths in the Sun by the changing relative positions of all the many separate gravitational masses tugging outwards on it (a completely different situation to an astronaut in freefall around a single gravitational mass – your favourite canard), have a different magnitude of effect in terms of changing the acceleration of specific volumes of matter at various levels in the Sun. This causes pressure changes within the solar body which is reacting against the resulting tendency to deformation by maintaining sphericity under its own gravitation. This in turn sets up the ‘suitable flows’ which overturn convection cells and release extra the potential energy created by enhanced rates of fusion described by Wolff and Patrone.

This is why the Wolff and Patrone mechanism is non-trivial. It’s also why the extra energy release they derive depends on the changing distance from the Solar core to the centre of mass of the solar system, (the barycentre). Although the barycentre has no mass and cannot directly affect the Sun (another of you favourite canards), mathematically it nonetheless represents the summation of all the external gravitational forces acting on the solar body.

Read and learn, though I fear this is too technical for your level of comprehension of Newtonian kinematics:

Solar Phys (2010) 266: 227–246
DOI 10.1007/s11207-010-9628-y
A New Way that Planets Can Affect the Sun
Charles L. Wolff · Paul N. Patrone
Received: 5 May 2010 / Accepted: 16 August 2010 / Published online: 18 September 2010

tallbloke says:

Leif Svalgaard says:
August 10, 2011 at 4:40 pm
Physicists often use and mix language loosely from different paradigms because they all know them and no confusion arises.


David Reese says:
August 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm
The astronaut feels nothing because the constant [magnitude] gravitational field is always aligned with the astronauts free fall direction. The same can’t be said about the sun.

The sun falls under the influence of the gravitational ‘field’ and thus freely. Nothing else there to make it change direction or speed. Definition: ‘free fall’ is movement when the only forces present are gravitational.

This would be true if the planets stayed in the same position relative to the Sun. A static cosmos. This is where le Verrier went wrong too. Leif is still making the same error 152 years later.

F=MA. The direction of the force (gravity) changes as the planets move, the mass is constant, therefore the acceleration imposed on the Sun must change. Differential inertial forces are set up within the Sun as the acceleration of the Sun changes, because the mass per unit volume of the solar material varies with the density gradient ; QED.

See my previous reply above for the effect those differential intertial forces must have.

Leif is making the classic error of thinking that because the Sun is ‘weightless in freefall’, that the mass ‘doesn’t matter’. It does.

Discuss. 🙂

  1. Bloke down the pub says:

    Play nicely now kids, and don’t go breaking anything.

  2. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Bloke down the pub: These kids went on breaking everything:



  3. adolfogiurfa says:

    Particles, planets, suns, or whatever “pebbles” we can imagine, only exist in the mind of the limited in time observer. These can be interpreted as congealed waves as seen by the relativeness of the observer.Only the music pervades the cosmos.

  4. tallbloke says:

    I think we’re making some progress

    LS: that tide is calculated for a completely non-rigid body [a perfectly deformable body]. You are still hung up on the rigid/gaseous thing. Newton’s laws are equally valid for both, and, anyway, the tides are calculated under the assumption that the matter is allowed to move freely under the gravitational tidal influence. With a perfectly rigid body [which are the only ones that obey Newton’s laws according to you] there would be no tides.

    TB: Yes, Newton’s laws are equally applicable, all of them. This means that we need to consider the extent to which bodies are elastically deformable and plasticly deformable, and realise that in the case of a gaseous body like the Sun, that plastic deformation can appear to be elastic deformation due to the centre of gravity pulling the body back to sphericity. The key point in what I’ve been saying all along is that this won’t be done without non-reverting internal redistributions of matter as a result of the action of the perturbing force.

    Perfectly elastic (not necessarily rigid but they tend towards it) bodies will perfectly transmit force as resultant motion vestors in collision with other perfectly elastic bodies (pool ball experiment), inelastic bodies won’t (ball of putty or gas). This is what I meant by elastic bodies obeying Newton’s (idealised) laws of motion. In the context of our discussion, it was clear that I was getting at the difference between that idealised perfectly elastic object and the big wobbly mass of plasma and gas called the Sun. You have deliberately mis-contextualised what I said in order to distract attention from my correct characterisation of the Sun as being composed of inelastic material and it’s about time you put that canard down because no-one else is falling for it and it just reduces my trust in you as a fair person to debate with.

    LS: the tides depends on the diameter of the region. As you go inwards, the tides shrink away to nothing [proportional to distance from the center]. And the tides are calculated for a gaseous sun, anyway.

    TB: The major difference between the gas the sun is composed of and the tidal oceans on Earth is that water is incompressible and gas isn’t. So whereas Earth’s tides are raised on both sides of the planet because of the near perfect transmission of tidal force, on the Sun they won’t be. The effect of the gravitationally perturbing body will be more localised and therefore more concentrated.

    TB: These disturbances will create the ‘suitable flows’ which release extra fusion energy from the Sun a la Wolff and Patrone.

    LS: It takes 200,000 years for the energy created by that extra fusion to randomly diffuse to the convection zone, so any 11-yr signal is completely lost. This is another flaw in the W&P paper.

    TB: Read the paper! They state that the effect will occur at various levels in the Sun from around 0.15r all the way to the top of the convection zone dependng on the barycentre-solar core radius . So yes, where the effect occurs at deeper levels (carrying fresh fuel to the nuclear furnace as they put it) it will take a long time (there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on exactly how long), for the knock on effect to surface. But it will still happen in cyclic waves. This is probably where the longer periods in solar activity arise from, the barycentric motion has strong cycles at ~172, 934, 2250, 4500 years and who knows which longer periods.

    Thanks again for sitting back and taking a while before replying, I really get a lot out of our discussions when they happen at a more leisurely and considered pace.

  5. tallbloke says:

    Thread updated with another couple of beauties from Leif and my replies.

  6. P.G. Sharrow says:

    The Sun is in “free fall” but it is not free of the fabric of space. The sun has mass/inertia and feels every tug and pull of its children. Due to its great size and varied density layering, these effects would not be uniformly felt.
    We have the argument that energy created would take 200,000 years to surface. This maybe true of thermo energies and particials but EMF energies travel at near light speed through matter, especially hydrogen.
    Much of the energy released from the photosphere is the result of micro wave excitation from the active nuclear level. 😎 pg