Originally Posted by Michael Mozina
First, allow me to reference my own previous comments on this point:
Originally Posted by Tim Thompson
's post 1441, linked above, where we find tusenfem quoting you quoting Peratt: "An electric discharge is a sudden release of electric or magnetic stored energy. This generally occurs when the electromagnetic stress exceeds some threshold for breakdown that is usually determined by small scale properties of the energy transmission medium
" and tusenfem comments, "I note the MM just highlights magnetic energy, whereas, as usual, he forgets about the rest of the text.
Now, to answer your question, I do not think that the definition you present is Peratt's definition, I think it is your own definition; certainly a variation on Peratt's, but sufficiently restricted to count as your own interpretation and therefore your own definition. I would not use that definition on the grounds that it is overly general, and I reject it. I require a breakdown of a potential barrier to qualify as an electrical discharge
. Therefore I continue to maintain that, by my definition, "electrical discharges" are impossible in a plasma. However, I am cognizant of the fact that by your specific definition of "electrical discharge" ("An electric discharge is a sudden release of electric or magnetic stored energy.
") then "electrical discharges" do occur in a plasma. But I maintain that, whether or not I (or anyone else) "accepts" your definition of "electrical discharge" is in fact not relevant. What is relevant is whether or not you use your own chosen definition in a physically reasonable and self consistent manner. That said I will further maintain that you do not use your own definition in a physically reasonable or self consistent manner, and therefore it is fair to say that you yourself reject what you have come to call "Peratt's definition" (which is in fact your own definition).
You fail to use your own definition in a self consistent manner because, as you say, the release of "magnetic stored energy" counts as an "electrical discharge". While there is a unified science of electromagnetism, this should not be construed to imply that "electrical" and "magnetic" are indistinguishable. The release of magnetic stored energy simply is not electrical so it is not self consistent to call it "electrical". And you do not use your own definition in a physically reasonable way because you want flares to be generated by exploding double layers in a physical environment that is not conducive to the generation of plasma double layers (although I defer to the expertise of tusenfem
who's PhD research is on the specific topic of plasma double layers). You also reject magnetic reconnection, which definitely happens in real laboratory plasmas, and which definitely counts as the release of stored magnetic energy, and is therefore an "electrical discharge" by your definition (though not by mine).
It all really boils down to what I said before and quoted above, that it does not really matter how one wishes to define the words "electrical discharge"; as long as we talk about that we simply avoid the real issue altogether. The real issue is simply this: What is (are) the physical process(es) of energy release that trigger flares & CME's? You (Mozina) say magnetic induction & exploding double layers. Physics, on the other hand, says mostly magnetic reconnection, with some magnetic induction, magnetic buoyancy and rarely (if ever) exploding double layers. As long as this difference lasts, we are at an impasse between Mozina & physics. It's just that simple.