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Comment Dated Jul 6, 2009


The term "plasma" was coopted from biology by early researchers into electrical discharge phenomena to describe the complex structures and eerily lifelike behavior that can arise in ionized gaseous media from the interplay of electric and magnetic forces. Advances in observational astronomy over the last 50 years have revealed spectacular organizations of matter and enormously energetic events on scales ranging from stars to galaxies that find ready counterparts in experimental forms seen in plasma laboratories, and which can be explained in terms of electrical currents flowing through space and the effects they are known to produce. And yet, mainstream astronomical theory denies the existence of electrical currents in space and remains rooted in essentially mechanical concepts that go back over a hundred years and treat the universe as electrically neutral bodies moving in a vacuum under the sole influence of gravity. When what is observed cannot be accounted for by conventional gravitational models--e.g. the anomalous rotation of galaxies or the ejection of matter from galaxies in jets that can extend for light-years--rather than re-examine the theory and its underlying assumptions, the response is to invoke such unseen, exotic devices as dark matter, dark energy, and black holes, invested with whatever properties are needed to hold the theory together. Inventing unobservables to explain failed predictions is almost invariably the sign of a theory that's in trouble.

The Cat's Eye Nebula provides a striking example of the elaborate filamentary, cellular, and bipolar helical plasma structures that the electrical theory of star formation is not only able to account for in terms of familiar principles, but predicts. Click here for a close-up view of the core region surrounding the central star. The conventional model of stars resulting from the gravitational collapse and compression of gas and dust clouds has no explanation for such intricacy and complexity.

An article of mine entitled Electricity Powers the Universe was published online not long ago in the Lew Rockwell Column. For a more detailed treatment, including the dynamics of how currents in space give rise to the forces that generate such complexity, a talk that I give entitled "Cosmic Electricity," downloadable along with the illustrations as Power Point slides, can be accessed here.

Click here for a compilation of links to other items on the subject that I've posted in recent years.