Dynamics of the solar wind: Eugene Parker's treatment and the laws of thermodynamics
In 1958, Eugene Parker advanced that the solar wind must be produced through the thermal expansion of coronal gas. At the time, he introduced a dimensionless parameter, , where G corresponds to the universal constant of gravitation, MS to the solar mass, MH to the mass of the hydrogen atom, kB to Boltzmann’s constant, T 0 to the temperature at the location of interest, and a is the distance to the effective surface, or the radial distance, to the outer solar corona, the location of interest, relative to the center of the Sun. It is straightforward to demonstrate that this equation stands in violation of the 0th and 2nd laws of thermodynamics by simply rearranging the expression in terms of temperature: . In that case, then temperature, an intensive property, is now being defined in terms of an extensive property, MS , and the radial position, a, which is neither intensive nor extensive. All other terms in this expression are constants and unable to affect the character of a thermodynamic property. As a result, temperature in this expression is not intensive. Consequently, the expression advanced by Parker is not compatible with the laws of thermodynamics. This analysis demonstrates that solar winds cannot originate from the thermal expansion of coronal gas, as is currently accepted.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 7, 2019
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