New research increases understanding of Earth's magnetic field
Date: Saturday, March 10, 2007 @ 17:24:36 MST
Research recently conducted at Delft University of Technology,
Netherlands, marks an important step forward in understanding the
origins of the Earth's magnetic field. The research findings are
published this week in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
Science attributes the creation of the Earth's magnetic field to the
movement of electricity conducting liquids in the molten core of the
Earth. Researchers have recently conducted experiments to replicate and
study this mechanism.
Experiments conducted in Riga (1999) revealed for the first time that a
cylindrical-shaped fluid flow of metal moving in a spiralling motion
can generate a slowly growing magnetic field. This was followed by the
EU research project MAGDYN (2001-2005), which aimed to show how the
generated magnetic field itself is capable of persisting.
The design of these experiments and the theoretical interpretation
of the data relied heavily on the statistical simulation models
developed by Dr. Sasa Kenjeres and Prof. Kemal Hanjalic of Delft
University of Technology's Multi Scale Physics department. Moreover,
their theoretical and statistical model was the first to explain and
predict the observable effects in Riga.
Based on the findings of Kenjeres and Hanjalic, a new generation of
experimental facilities have now been developed in the US (Los Alamos
and Maryland, among other places), Grenoble and Russia (Perm). These
facilities will allow the Earth's magnetic core to be replicated more
realistically than ever before. The new experiments are expected to
provide valuable new insights into the Earth's magnetic field.
Source: Delft University of Technology