Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Plasma, a glimpse of reality's origins?

There is more to plasmas than I thought in the beginning. The reports from researchers writhe with a vocabulary that if it doesn't bring into mind, chaos, then it should be the most unheard off, sheer coincidence ever, anyone has come across.

It reminds me of Juliann Jaynes, as he mentions about the overly use of metaphors of physical reality when describing the contents of consciousness. The human mind in order to define its conscious part, employ words borrowed from words used to define physical space. A connection between mind space and physical space. An uncanny resemblance. Likewise by elucidating the attributes of plasma the vocabulary used bears an uncanny resemblance with properties attributed to chaos.

On the abstract for the book "New Vistas in Dusty Plasmas", I read:

"The 4th ICPDP conference was dedicated to the physics of dusty or complex plasmas. It focused on the phenomena related to the interaction of these particles with plasmas, such as transport processes, Coulomb crystal and liquid formation, void formation, self excited instabilities, wave propagation, nonlinear phenomena and also the nucleation and growth of dust particles in these plasmas."

The interaction of dust particles, (reminds someone of the role of dust particles on the onset of rain in clouds), that bring about plasma transformations to the Coulomb crystal, liquid, void; rearrangements of entities from the plasma phase to other formations, the high motility of the plasma entities halted to be frozen into solid, liquid or void(?)(annihilation?). The instantiation of stable objects? And the reference to dust, minute particles that interfere in a chaotic manner with simple processes within the plasma. Connected with the self-excited instabilities, wave propagation, nonlinear phenomena? And again the nucleation and growth of dust particles another route for objects to exist? Taking in account that the plasma state precedes the formation of stars, planets, and other heavenly bodies, would that nucleation and growth be the way these celestial bodies formed?

"We have experimentally characterized the breathing mode oscillation of a strongly-coupled, dusty plasma disk. Steady-state oscillations are excited by sinusoidally modulating the plasma density, creating a single-frequency, in-plane driving force. Resonance curves agree well with damped harmonic oscillator theory. A response at the second harmonic is observed and found to increase with the square of the driving force, indicating a quadratic nonlinearity."

A much needed clarification of resonance and harmonics concepts found in the "Physics classroom tutorials".

"A standing wave pattern is a vibrational pattern created within a medium when the vibrational frequency of the source causes reflected waves from one end of the medium to interfere with incident waves from the source. This interference occurs in such a manner that specific points along the medium appear to be standing still. Because the observed wave pattern is characterized by points which appear to be standing still, the pattern is often called a standing wave pattern. Such patterns are only created within the medium at specific frequencies of vibration. These frequencies are known as harmonic frequencies, or merely harmonics. At any frequency other than a harmonic frequency, the interference of reflected and incident waves leads to a resulting disturbance of the medium which is irregular and non-repeating."

So the harmonic frequencies are specific frequencies of vibration emanating by a source that produce a standing wave pattern within a medium. A vibrational pattern within the medium where waves reflected at one end interfere with continually incoming waves induced by the source, in such a manner that specific points along the medium appear to be standing still. At any frequency other than a harmonic frequency the interference leads to an irregular and non-repeating wave pattern.

Would that have any relevance to chaotic parts of a system, the irregular and non-repeating? Which would entail interference and waves in analogy to the reflected and incident waves described above. And what are the ends on which the waves reflect? Constraining points? A system's boundaries? Most chaotic systems are driven by recursive processes, continuously repeated. Are the ends of each recursive step, the ends that bounce and reflect back the first batch of waves to then interfere with the second batch of waves, the waves induced by the next step in the recursive process? The recursive process being the source of the waves induced? And depending on whether the emanating source inducing the waves vibrate at the specific frequencies, the harmonic frequencies, then produce standing waves? Points along the medium that appear to stand still. Order? Whereas, if not in harmonic frequencies, then the irregular pattern in the vibrations. Chaos?

Does that imply packets? Chaotically developed processes, the recursive steps, the packets? Quanta? Quantisation of chaotic phenomena? Quantisation of processes?