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The Solar Photosphere: Evidence for Condensed Matter

Author(s): Robitaille P. M.

Journal: Progress in Physics
ISSN 1555-5534

Volume: 2;
Start page: 17;
Date: 2006;
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Keywords: Solar physics | Photosphere | Solar spectrum | Solar radiations

The stellar equations of state treat the Sun much like an ideal gas, wherein the photosphere is viewed as a sparse gaseous plasma. The temperatures inferred in the solar interior give some credence to these models, especially since it is counterintuitive that an object with internal temperatures in excess of 1 MK could be existing in the liquid state. Nonetheless, extreme temperatures, by themselves, are insufficient evidence for the states of matter. The presence of magnetic fields and gravity also impact the expected phase. In the end, it is the physical expression of a state that is required in establishing the proper phase of an object. The photosphere does not lend itself easily to treatment as a gaseous plasma. The physical evidence can be more simply reconciled with a solar body and a photosphere in the condensed state. A discussion of each physical feature follows: (1) the thermal spectrum, (2) limb darkening, (3) solar collapse, (4) the solar density, (5) seismic activity, (6) mass displacement, (7) the chromosphere and critical opalescence, (8) shape, (9) surface activity, (10) photospheric/coronal flows, (11) photospheric imaging, (12) the solar dynamo, and (13) the presence of Sun spots. The explanation of these findings by the gaseous models often requires an improbable combination of events, such as found in the stellar opacity problem. In sharp contrast, each can be explained with simplicity by the condensed state. This work is an invitation to reconsider the phase of the Sun.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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