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Fraser
2004-May-03, 05:05 PM
SUMMARY: Scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory have come up with a new theory to help explain how giant radio galaxies could create cosmic rays; through a process called magnetic field reconnection. According to this theory, the magnetic field lines of the supermassive black holes at the heart of these galaxies connect and vanish, converting the energy of the field into a spray of particles. Cosmic rays are a mystery to astronomers because they have so much energy, there doesn't seem to be anything in the Universe that could propel them.

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

om@umr.edu
2004-May-03, 05:29 PM
This is an interesting development.

Large magnetic fields (Earth, Sun, Neutron Stars, etc.) may contain a wealth of information about other poorly understood processes in the universe.

Los Alamos astrophysicist Philipp Kronberg correctly notes that this theory is "a paradigm shift in current thinking about the nature of GRGs and cosmic rays."

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

VanderL
2004-May-03, 07:16 PM
Ok, I posted this same news article in the Other Stories section, and I want to add that there is always talk of magnetic fields, but there are electric fields necessary to create magnetic fields. And what is called "magnetic field reconnection" can also be seen as a breakdown of an electric field, or discharge. In other words giant lightning bolts.


Cheers.

om@umr.edu
2004-May-03, 07:30 PM
Interesting, VanderL.

When diverse opinions exist, there is often some element of truth in each.

I suspect that will also turn out to be true for the process called "magnetic field reconnection."

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu