HOW TO CUT STARS IN HALF…
Every now and then the people who regularly submit articles to this website for consideration submit things that dovetail with each other so neatly that it's spooky, and that's certainly the case with these two submissions by P.S.J. and K.M. Indeed, according to the following article that P.S.J. spotted and shared, someone "out there" is apparently writing papers on how to cut stars in half, presumably with all the resulting stellar-sized chaos that such an act would entail:
And here's the gist (with its accompanying picture, and caption just for good measue):
(Image credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)Stars could be sliced in half by "relativistic blades," or ultra-powerful outflows of plasma shaped by extremely strong magnetic fields, a wild new study suggests. And these star-splitting blades could explain some of the brightest explosions in the universe.
The study authors, based at the Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics at New York University, outlined their results in a paper published in September to the preprint database arXiv. The study has not yet been peer-reviewed.
Now, as usual, there's an explanation for why such a paper was even being proferred: scientists are trying to explain the mechanism behind gamma ray bursts, and they come up with this:
But the authors of the new study realized that the magnetar's magnetic fields can also beam intense bursts of radiation along the magnetar's equator. Shaped by the extreme centrifugal forces of the rotating star, these beams of radiation form a blade that moves outward through the star at nearly the speed of light, carrying more energy than a supernova explosion.
This "relativistic blade" can perfectly bisect the star, slicing it in half on its way out, the study authors found.
The blade then travels for a distance well over several times the radius of the original star before it finally loses steam, potentially explaining some longer-lasting GRBs.
The star's fate is sealed. During the blade's travel, it picks up more and more material that eventually joins the blade in its outward journey. The blade also causes instabilities within the star itself that lead, eventually, to its demise.
Voila! Just get enough of that plasma rotating at the equator of a star and it can act as a blade slicing the star in two, and ka-boom.... you get a RRRrrrrreeeeeaaaalllllyyyy big explosion.
Regular readers of my books and of this website will recall my "Farrell Corollaries" to the Kardashev Scale of Civilization Types. Kardashev was the Russian astrophysicist who proposed a scheme of classification of potential extra-terrestrial civilization types based on the amount of energy those civilizations required to sustain them. A Class I civilization type required the energy of an entire planet; a Class II that of an entire star, and a Class III the mind-boggling energy of an entire galaxy. On this scheme, our human civilization is not yet even a class I civilization. This is where my "Farrell Corollaries" come in: suppose, for a hypothetical scenario, humanity suspects it might be in contact with or dealing with a civilization of a class I or II type. How would it convince such civilizations to leave us well-enough alone? One way would be to demonstrate a capability of engineering systems of planetary or stellar scales. Such an ability implies, in turn, the ability to weaponize systems of those scales, to manipulate them for that purpose. This is a different thing than requiring the energy of Kardashev's original scheme, for it implies an ability to leverage systems of those scales.
From that perspective, what this paper suggests is that it is less an explanation of a phenomenon, and more of a "how to do it" manual: "here's the general concept, now you engineers go out there and figure out a way to make it happen."
Uh huh... much easier said than done. We'd still need gobs of energy, gobs of relativistic particles in plasma states, and ways to get all of that to some star, and the only one close to hand and conveniently in our own neighborhood is our very own Sun, and just between you and me, I think that slicing it in half would be a Very Bad Idea.
But in addition to being a Very Bad Idea, I thought, we can all breathe a sigh of relief because we're nowhere close to even being able to think of any practical sort of engineering of that principle resembling that Very Bad Idea...
... and then I opened my email box, and found the following paper that was spotted and sent along by K.M.:
Well, I am not even going to bother rehearsing what was going through my mind when I read that one... Ball lightning...?!? You don't say! "Toroidal moments!?! Gravimagnetic rotors in local zones?!?!?!
I'd better just stop there, and let you read it for yourself and draw your own conclusions.
That's all, have a nice day...
...See you on the flip side...
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