Science: In the Beginning ...

Most modern astronomers agree that the sun and its planets condensed from a single great cloud of gas. But they disagree, sometimes sharply, about the details of how it happened—and none of the theories have ever quite fitted together to give a satisfying solution to one of science's most baffling puzzles. Now, from Professor Hannes Alfven of Stockholm's Royal Institute of Technology, comes a promising explanation. To explain the solar system, Alfven says, other scientists have used plain old hydrodynamics (the behavior of fluids, including gases); if magnetohydrodynamics (the behavior of ionized gases in a magnetic field) is used instead, many...

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