A theory of the Earth's magnetic field and of sunspots, based on a self-excited dynamo incorporating the Hall effect
- Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, National University of Ireland, Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
Abstract. A new viewpoint on the generation and maintenance of the Earth's magnetic field is put forward, which integrates self-exciting dynamo theory with the possibility of energy coupling along orthogonal axes provided by the Hall effect. A nonlinear third-order system is derived, with a fourth equation serving as an observer of unspecified geophysical processes which could result in field reversal. Lyapunov analysis proves that chaos is not intrinsic to this system. Relative constancy of one of the variables produces pseudo equilibrium in a second order subsystem and allows for self-excitation of the geomagnetic field. Electromagnetic analysis yields expressions for key parameters. Models for secular variations recorded at London, Palermo and at the Cape of Good Hope over the past four hundred years are offered. Offset of the Earth's magnetic axis from the geographic axis is central to time-varying declination, but its causes have not yet been established. Applicability of the model to the explanation of sunspot activity is outlined. A corroborating experiment published by Peter Barlow in 1831 is appended.