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Alfven's programme in solar system physics

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1 Author(s)
Brush, S.G. ; Sch. of Social Sci., Inst. of Adv. Study, Princeton, NJ, USA

Hannes Alfven's research program in solar system physics provides a valuable case study for the historians and philosophers of science. The response of the scientific community to his remarkable contributions is a severe test of widely held views about how science is or should be done. Seven of those contributions are examined, in the light of two doctrines of scientific methodology, those of Karl Popper (1959) and Imre Lakatos (1978). The seven are: application of the magnetic braking concept to the origin of the solar system; magnetohydrodynamic waves; field-aligned (`Birkeland') currents; critical ionization velocity and the existence of planetary rings; jet streams; electrostatic double layers; and partial corotation

Published in:

Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

Dec 1992

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