by Wal Thornhill
20 May 2008
“The conformist propensity
of social institutions is not the only reason that
erroneous theories persevere. However, once embedded
within a culture, ideas exhibit an uncanny inertia, as
if obeying Newton’s law to keep on going forever until
acted upon by an external force.”
"One fact that strikes everyone is the spiral shape of
some nebulae; it is encountered much too often for us to
believe that it is due to chance. It is easy to
understand how incomplete any theory of cosmogony which
ignores this fact must be. None of the theories accounts
for it satisfactorily, and the explanation I myself once
gave, in a kind of toy theory, is no better than the
others. Consequently, we come up against a big question
at the conclusion of the
preface to his book, Hypothèses Cosmogoniques
"Space is filled with a network of currents which
transfer energy and momentum over large or very large
distances. The currents often pinch to filamentary or
surface currents. The latter are likely to give space,
as also interstellar and intergalactic space, a cellular
Electric Universe, X-ray and radio astronomies are very
X-ray because it reveals discharge
activity that produces x-rays
Radio because it traces the
cosmic power transmission lines in deep space through the
polarization of radio waves from electrons spiraling in a magnetic
field - known as ‘synchrotron radiation’
The Very Large
Array (VLA) of radio antennae in its most compact configuration
The VLA is 50 miles
west of Socorro, New Mexico on U.S. Highway 60.
Image courtesy of
NRAO/AUI and Kristal Armendariz, Photographer.
recent report from the National
Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) highlights the usefulness of
radio astronomy in discovering some of the electrical secrets of
However, it also demonstrates the
“uncanny inertia” of “erroneous theories.”
New VLA Images
Unlocking Galactic Mysteries
Astronomers have produced a scientific gold mine of detailed,
high-quality images of nearby galaxies that is yielding important
new insights into many aspects of galaxies, including their complex
structures, how they form stars, the motions of gas in the galaxies,
the relationship of "normal" matter to unseen "dark matter," and
An international team of scientists used
more than 500 hours of observations with the National Science
Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope to produce
detailed sets of images of 34 galaxies at distances from 6 to 50
million light-years from Earth.
Their project, called The HI Nearby
Galaxy Survey, or THINGS *, required two years to produce nearly
one TeraByte of data.
THINGS project is a large
international collaboration led by Fabian Walter of the Max-Planck
Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany, and includes
research teams led by Brinks, de Blok, Michele Thornley of the
Bucknell University in the U.S. and Rob Kennicutt of the Cambridge
University in the UK. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a
facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under
cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.
HI ("H-one") is an astronomical term for
atomic hydrogen gas.
"Studying the radio waves emitted by
atomic hydrogen gas in galaxies is an extremely powerful way to
learn what's going on in nearby galaxies.”
The reference to “dark matter” in the
outline of the THINGS project should be of concern to all taxpayers.
The invention of undetectable “dark”
matter in a gravitational model of galaxies should be ringing alarm
bells and flashing warning lights for anyone with commonsense. It is
saying that there may be something we don’t know about gravity or
that simple Newtonian mechanics does not apply to galaxies. Perhaps
both are true. Clearly, we need a better explanation than “an
invisible tooth fairy did it.”
To be confident we understand galaxies
we need a working model that can be demonstrated in the laboratory.
Is there such a model?
The scandalous truth is that there is a model of spiral galaxy
formation that has long been demonstrated by laboratory experiment
and "particle in cell” (PIC) simulations on a supercomputer.
But instead of using stars, gas and dust
as the particles, subject to Newton’s laws, the particles are
charged and respond to the laws of electromagnetism.
This seems like an obvious approach when
we know that more than 99.9 percent of the visible universe is
in the form of plasma. Plasma is a gas influenced by the
presence of charged atoms and electrons. Plasma responds to
electromagnetic forces that exceed the strength of gravity to the
extent that gravity can usually be safely ignored.
This simple fact alone suggests why
gravitational models of galaxies must fail.
The plasma universe
may be eternal and infinite, directly contradicting the
Big Bang model.
In this picture,
swirling streams of electrons and ions form filaments
that span vast regions of space. Where pairs of these
filaments interact the particles gain energy and at
narrow “pinch” regions produce the entire range of
galaxy types as well as the full spectrum of cosmic
Thus galaxies must
lie along filaments, as they are observed to do on a
large scale. The bulk of the filaments are optically
invisible from a distance, much like the related
Birkeland currents that reach from the Sun and cause
auroras on Earth.
Credit: A. Peratt,
Plasma Cosmology, 1992.
The simplest geometry for galaxy
formation is two adjacent
Birkeland currents of width 35
separated by 80 kiloparsecs.
The interaction region, and hence the
thickness of a galaxy is 10 kpc. By scaling the current flows in
astronomical objects by size, it is determined that the average flow
in a galactic Birkeland current is approximately 1019 amperes; the Alfvén galactic current.
The synchrotron radiated power is of the
order of 1037 watts, that is, the power recorded from double radio
These images from a
supercomputer simulation trace the development of spiral
structure in two interacting plasma blobs over a span of
nearly 1 billion years. At the start of the interaction
at upper left the filaments are 260,000 light-years
apart; all 10 panels are reproduced at the same scale.
Simulations such as this can reproduce the full range of
observed spiral galaxy types using electromagnetic
processes rather than gravitational ones.
Credit: A. Peratt,
Plasma Cosmology, 1992.
And so that there can be no objection,
the computer simulations have been backed up by experiments in the
highest energy density laboratory electrical discharges - the
The experiments verify each stage in
development of the PIC simulations.
This important work demonstrates that
the beautiful spiral structure of galaxies is a natural form of
plasma instability in a universe energized by electrical power.
discharges (Lichtenberg figures) illuminate the surface
of the Z-machine during a recent shot. The most recent
advance gave an output power of about 290 trillion watts
for billionths of a second, about 80 times the entire
world's output of electricity focused onto a target the
size of a cotton reel.
production of a spiral galaxy requires the input of
prodigious electrical power!
But nowhere in
astrophysical theory will you find any mention of
electrical energy. In stark contrast, cosmologists are
content to invent “dark matter” and “dark energy” on the
basis of their universe built with the weakest force in
the universe - gravity.
fields are found throughout space, plainly signaling the
electric currents required to sustain them.
Most of the
galaxies studied in the THINGS survey also have been
observed at other wavelengths, including Spitzer space
telescope infrared images and GALEX ultraviolet images.
provides an unprecedented resource for unraveling the
mystery of how a galaxy's gaseous material influences
its overall evolution.
Analysis of THINGS data already has yielded numerous
scientific payoffs. For example, one study has shed new
light on astronomers' understanding of the gas-density
threshold required to start the process of star
"Using the data
from THINGS in combination with observations from
NASA's space telescopes has allowed us to
investigate how the processes leading to star
formation differ in big spiral galaxies like our own
and much smaller, dwarf galaxies," said Adam Leroy
and Frank Bigiel of the Max-Planck Institute for
Astronomy at the Austin AAS meeting.
hydrogen emits radio waves at a specific frequency,
astronomers can measure motions of the gas by noting the
Doppler shift in frequency caused by those motions.
THINGS images are highly detailed, we have been able
to measure both the rotational motion of the
galaxies and non-circular random motions within the
galaxies," noted Erwin de Blok of the University of
Cape Town, South Africa.
The observations of ‘motions of gas’ in
galaxies will be valuable to plasma cosmologists but will only serve
to further confuse gravity models because it is not 'gas' that is in
motion but plasma.
And as for star formation, the same
electrical plasma processes that form galaxies are involved at the
stellar scale. A later article will show that astronomers’
understanding of stars is little advanced on the aboriginal
‘campfire in the sky.’
There will be no new light on
astronomers' understanding of stars until electric light dispels the
rotational velocity with radius in a spiral galaxy
versus a supercomputer simulation of the rotation of an
equivalent mass object formed at the intersection of two
interacting plasma filaments. No dark matter need be
invented to reproduce the peculiar rotation curves of
spiral galaxies because the electromagnetic forces
acting on plasma are so much stronger than gravity.
Credit: A. Peratt.
There is an important lesson here.
The notion that gravity governs
celestial mechanics has been "embedded within our culture" for
hundreds of years and is as difficult to dislodge as was Ptolemy's
epicycles. Science is essentially a cultural activity and is not as
objective as we like to fool ourselves. It seems that the cultural
imperative remains strong enough to deny prima facie evidence and
defy logic and commonsense.
As Max Planck lamented,
“An important scientific innovation
rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting
its opponents. What does happen is that its opponents gradually
die out, and that the growing generation is familiarized with
the ideas from the beginning.”
But our growing generation is not being
familiarized with important scientific innovation, that history
shows often comes from outsiders to a discipline who have not been
imbued with the culture of that discipline.
Innovation from outside a discipline is
actively suppressed by academia and generally ignored by a
lazy media. Meanwhile there is a
blizzard of high-tech computer simulations ** presented to a growing
generation as real science.
** The PIC supercomputer
simulations referred to earlier are simply based on the known
behavior of charged particles obeying Maxwell’s laws of
electromagnetism. So it is no surprise that the simulations mimic
the lab results. However, most cosmological simulations are derived
from a priori mathematical theory where there are no experiments or
direct observations to serve as a brake on speculation. The result
is continual astonishment at new data.
Science has entered the age of virtual
And our understanding of the universe
has become as contrived as a computer game.
The new survey also
showed a fundamental difference between the nearby
galaxies - part of the "current" Universe, and far more
distant galaxies, seen as they were when the Universe
was much younger.
that the gas in the galaxies in the early Universe
is much more 'stirred up,' possibly because galaxies
were colliding more frequently then and there was
more intense star formation causing material
outflows and stellar winds," explained Martin Zwaan
of the European Southern Observatory. The
information about gas in the more distant galaxies
came through non-imaging analysis. These
discoveries, the scientists predict, are only the
tip of the iceberg. "
produced a huge amount of data, and we've only analyzed
a small part of it so far.
Further work is
sure to tell us much more about galaxies and how they
evolve. We expect to be surprised," said Fabian Walter,
of the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg,
The expectation of surprise has become a
hallmark of astronomy.
It is symptomatic of the non-predictive
nature of astrophysical theory based on the big bang and
gravitational cosmology. Successful prediction is the principal test
of a good theory, not surprises.
In the Electric Universe, the lynchpin of big bang theory - the
redshift of stellar spectra with velocity of recession -
is shown empirically to be false.
The inability of astrophysicists
to accept the manifest evidence of intrinsic redshift (below image -
a high-redshift quasar in front of a low redshift galaxy should be
blatant enough) may be due to a reluctance to admit that modern
physics has no explanation for the phenomenon of mass in matter and
therefore cannot explain how subatomic particles like the proton and
electron might exhibit the lower mass required to produce lower
energy spectra (redshift).
Observations of connections between
high- and low-redshift objects requires that the redshift is
intrinsic to the matter in distant quasars and galaxies and cannot
be due to some modification of the light on its journey to Earth.
It calls into question our understanding
of quantum theory because it has been discovered that the redshift
of quasars and companion galaxies is quantized!
Quantum theory has no real explanation, it is merely a set of rules
that match some limited real world observations. On that basis it is
a very shaky pillar to support cosmology.
Quantum theory is thought
to apply exclusively to the submicroscopic realm of atoms and
subatomic particles. But that is not so.
Redshift has been observed to be
quantized across entire galaxies - no galaxy has been found in
transition from one redshift to another.
Intrinsic redshift of quasars and galaxies means an end to the big
bang. Instead of being seen “when the universe was much younger,”
highly redshifted objects are merely young, nearby and faint.
Observations show that quasars are
“born” (below image) from the nucleus of active galaxies.
They initially move very fast away from
their parent, usually roughly along the spin axis.
As they grow older they grow brighter
and seem to slow down as they gain in mass and evolve into companion
This gain in massiveness points to a
process whereby normal matter can pass through a number of small
quantized increases in mass, which gives rise to the observed
quantized decreases in redshift. This discovery points the way, at
last, to an understanding of the phenomenon of mass.
The "stirred up" gas in highly redshifted objects can be simply
understood as being due to unruly youthfulness and electrical
hyperactivity. It has nothing to do with an imaginary early epoch of
In fact, “galactic collisions” are a
recently popular catch-all to try to explain the formation of spiral
galaxies and many of their anomalous features. Collisions are as
unlikely and unnecessary as they are forbidden in
The following exceptional example clearly favors the
Electric Universe explanation.
One simple electrical model fits all
A nearly perfect
ring of hot, blue stars pinwheels about the yellow
nucleus of an unusual galaxy known as
This image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captures a
face-on view of the galaxy's ring of stars. The entire
galaxy is about 120,000 light-years wide, which is
slightly larger than our Milky Way Galaxy.
galaxies can form in several different ways. One
possible scenario is through a collision with another
galaxy. Sometimes the second galaxy speeds through the
first, leaving a ‘splash’ of star formation. But in Hoag's
Object there is no sign of the second galaxy, which
leads to the suspicion that the blue ring of stars may
be the shredded remains of a galaxy that passed nearby.
Some astronomers estimate that the encounter occurred
about 2 to 3 billion years ago.”
Image Credit: NASA
and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
A. Lucas (STScI/AURA)
In stark contrast to standard ad hoc
attempts to explain Hoag’s object in terms of a collision, the
Electric Universe can point to a simple explanation, which fits
neatly the plasma cosmology model of formation of galaxies in a
magnetic pinch at the intersection of cosmic Birkeland current
Hoag’s object shows the detailed
features of the ‘penumbra’ of a plasma focus discharge.
Penumbra of a dense
plasma focus from a discharge current of 174,000
amperes. The rotational structure of the penumbra has a
periodicity of 56 as shown by the 56-dot overlay
Credit A. Peratt.
See also the earlier image of the active
galactic nucleus of
NGC 1097 as another fine example of a dense
plasma focus penumbra. The astronomer Halton Arp has shown that NGC
1097 is one of the most compelling examples of quasar ejection from
an active nucleus.
He describes it as "a busy quasar
The plasma focus is
the simplest of devices. Two coaxial cylindrical
electrodes have a very high voltage and current applied
between them at one end. A radial discharge is initiated
(shown in blue), which moves axially along the
electrodes (1), under the influence of its
self-generated magnetic field, until it reaches the end
of the electrodes. There it balloons out in a
filamentary penumbra (2).
Image credit: E.
The Birkeland current filaments are
caused by the magnetic pinch effect and they space themselves evenly
apart in a characteristic number of 56 filaments.
With time, the 56 filaments coalesce in
two’s and sometimes threes. The result is a sequence of 56 (by far
the most common), 49, 47, 41, 39, 33, 30, followed by a large number
of 28 filaments. The convergence continues through 20, 16, 8, 7, 6,
and 4, the latter being the minimum number of Birkeland filaments
The energy of the discharge becomes focused at the center of the
inner electrode (3) where a ‘kink’ plasma instability causes the
filaments to form a ‘coiled coil’ like a coiled telephone cord.
The kink instability twists upon itself
to form a tiny donut shaped ‘plasmoid’ of extremely high
Eventually, the plasmoid breaks down and
electrons and ions are accelerated from the plasmoid in opposite
directions along the axis in intense, narrow beams (4).
left hand image
shows the kink instability at the dense plasma focus.
The right hand image shows the form of the plasmoid and
the particle jets created when the magnetic field begins
Image credit: E.
The natural formation of highly focused
jets from some stars and active galactic nuclei is now clear.
And the rapid motion of stars close to
our own galactic center may be explained by the assemblage of matter
there in the form of a dusty plasmoid constrained by powerful
Below is an image of the galactic jet of M87 with (by way of
contrast) the best explanation that gravitational theorists can
The jet blasting
out of the nucleus of M87, a giant elliptical galaxy 50
million light years away in the constellation Virgo
[false color]. At the extreme left of the image, the
bright galactic nucleus harboring a supermassive black
The jet is thought
to be produced by strong electromagnetic forces created
by matter swirling toward the supermassive black hole.
These forces pull
gas and magnetic fields away from the black hole along
its axis of rotation in a narrow jet. Inside the jet,
shock waves produce high-energy electrons that spiral
around the magnetic field and radiate by the
"synchrotron" process, creating the observed radio,
optical and X-ray knots.
The gravitational ‘explanation’ of the
galactic jet can be summarized in one word - “garbage.”
The confident assertion that the
galactic nucleus is hiding a supermassive black hole is nonsense.
Black holes are a ‘school-kid
howler’ perpetrated by top scientists. It involves taking Newton’s
gravitational equation to an absurd limit by dividing by zero to
achieve an almost infinitely powerful gravitational source. This is
done by impossibly squeezing the matter of millions of stars into
effectively a point source.
And then mysteriously available magnetic
fields are pressed into performing miracles to create something that
approximates a relativistic jet of matter from an object that is
supposed to gobble up anything that comes near.
It is very disturbing that the public accepts this blatant baloney
If scientists were forced to defend
their statements in a court of law under the rules of evidence, most
of the misbegotten ideas that make up modern science would never
have survived. Physics would have remained in the classical hands of
the experimentalists and the engineers who have to make things work.
Countless billions of dollars could have
been saved in misdirected and pointless experiments.
The experimental evidence for the electrical nature of galaxies has
been available for many decades now. But who has heard anything
about it? The lack of debate demonstrates the power of
institutionalized science to maintain the “uncanny inertia” of the
“erroneous theories” they have introduced into our culture. We have
given scientists that power by trusting them more than our
Having discovered electric power we find it indispensable. We also
find that Nature does things with exquisite economy.
So the commonsense question is simply,
“Would Nature choose the weakest
force in the universe - gravity - to form and light the
countless magnificent galaxies?”
I don’t think so!