Solar Wind Current
Name: Ian T.
The site above tells me that "Electric current is the rate of charge flow
past a given point in an electric circuit".
So is the Solar Wind a current, even though it largely consists of
positive and negative charges moving in the SAME direction?
Yes and No!! The definition you give of "electric current" is meant to be
applied to electric circuits. When you consider a different set of
circumstances, different phenomena, frequently definitions then need to be
changed or modified to fit the new circumstances. That is the case here.
In the case of solar winds the charges are not confined to a wire
(obviously) so one modification that would have to be made is to consider
a solid angle of space and it is likely that the definition would also be
modified to take into account positive vs. negative charges. The point is
that the conventional definition is no longer convenient, or is a
"stretch" to apply, so new terms need to be defined that are applicable to
the new set of circumstances. The phenomena dictate the definitions we
use, not the other way around. Do not "force" the phenomenon to fit a
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Update: June 2012