Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771

ENGINEERING COLLOQUIUM

Monday, March 16, 2009 / 3:30 PM, Building 3 Auditorium

Donald E. Scott

"Plasma Physics' Answer to the New Cosmological Questions"

ABSTRACT -- It is becoming evident that the experimentally verifiable results of the last century of study of the plasma state of matter are applicable in the clarification of certain anomalous astronomical observations. The work of pioneers such as Birkeland, Langmuir, and Alfvén are briefly reviewed as examples of this. Some basics of the characteristics of both laboratory and cosmic plasma are included - such as the properties of double layers, plasma operating modes, and the causes of filamentation. Rotation profiles of spiral galaxies, pulsar emissions, magnetic reconnection, and the stability of neutron stars are discussed from the point of view of the known properties of plasmas and electromagnetic fields. The presentation attempts to motivate the realization that 'new science' should not be invoked unless and until all aspects of what we already know, including plasma physics and basic electromagnetism, have been exhaustively applied in the investigation of what appear to be astronomical anomalies.

SPEAKER -- Donald E. Scott earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Electrical Engineering at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT. Following graduation he worked for General Electric in Schenectady, NY (large steam turbine generators), and Pittsfield, MA. (lightning arresters). He earned a Doctorate in Electrical Engineering at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts, and was a member of the faculty of the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst from 1959 until his retirement in 1998. During that time he was the recipient of several good-teaching awards. He was, at various times, Assistant Department Head, Director of the undergraduate program, Graduate admissions coordinator, and Director of the College of Engineering’s Video Instructional Program. In 1987, the McGraw-Hill Book Company published his 730-page textbook, An Introduction To Circuit Analysis - A Systems Approach. He has authored numerous scientific papers and chapters including two that will be published by the IEEE shortly. He is a lifelong amateur astronomer.



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