Point by Point: Electric Universe Theory



Here’s a little exchange I found on an online forum between an Electric Universe advocate and a critic of same. The names have been deleted to protect the guilty. The grammar, punctuation, and text is verbatim.

[1A] Instead of gravity being the main power behind the universe, Electro-magnetism is.

[1B] This would be true if it weren’t for the existence of electric dipoles. Positive and negative charges have this quality of cancelling each other out, so the overall electric force in the universe, on large scales, is very small.

[2A] It asserts that the power that drives the sun is charges plasma…

[2B] This is almost true. The Sun is a neutral plasma. The electric universe “theory”, though, claims that the power of the sun is generated on the surface, which just isn’t possible. The densities are too low, and the temperature too, to explain the Sun’s energy output.

[3A] …and that an electric current runs from star to star, through galaxy’s, and even through the universe itself.

[3B] This would be observable. Its not observed. Therefore, it’s not true. We certainly see solar and stellar winds, but they’re always in an outward direction. Spray two water hoses at each other and see how much “current” you get.

[4A] It offers a new explanation for what we call black holes. That, they don’t exist. And what we actually see is converging lines of force.

[4B] This claim doesn’t even make any sense. Electric field lines “of force” can only converge on charges. If there are charges, they’ll feel that force, and be accelerated. Accelerated charges give off radiation and therefore are no longer “black”. We’d be able to see these things. More importantly, the electric universe doesn’t account for things like gravitational red-shifting around black holes, which we’ve observed. It fails every observational test it’s ever been subjected to. The model is bunk.

[5A] Yes, the idea that space is actually filled with billions of charged plasma particles instead of actually being a vacuum.

[5B] The problem is that space is actually filled with billions of uncharged particles. We’ve mapped the Milky Way using neutral hydrogen. If space were filled with a plasma, it would eat away at neutral objects, and we wouldn’t see any neutral Hydrogen. Again, it fails the test.

[6A] Stars are powered externally by this “Universal current”, and the tails of comets are electrical discharges… It’s pretty interesting.

[6B] Unfortunately, we already have a model for how stars work, and how comets tails come into being. These models fit the observations. The Electric Universe does not. I mean, please show us this “universal current”. It should be radiating like a mo-fo.

[7A] I am accepting this cosmological model over the Big Bang Theory (BBT). It offers easy explanations for things people had to invent (Neutron Stars, Black Holes, Dark Matter and Dark Energy, and other things ) To explain what they were witnessing in space.

[7B] Easy, but fundamentally wrong explanations. I can offer you an easier explanation of gravity than General Relativity: Everything is held together by giant invisible springs! The only problem is that I’m wrong! Neutron stars have been explained. The physics behind them is very sound. It’s called Quantum Mechanics, and it’s the same theory that engineers have used to build the computer you’re using right now. Dark Matter is a blanket term for “too much gravity”. We see too much gravity. We suggest there’s unseen (“dark”) matter. People are now looking for what this matter could possibly be. Dark Energy is another blanket term. We see too much energy. We don’t know the source (i.e. it’s “dark”). There you have dark energy. Dark Matter and Dark Energy may be uncertain things, but the fact that the Electric Universe fails is not. It doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

I would be much more impressed by this ‘theory’ if it actually had real evidence in support of it, added to our understanding of astrophysics instead of denying it, made genuine testable predictions exceeding those of conventional cosmological theory, and explained the universe better than standard astrophysical theory does, and didn’t consist only of arguments attempting to refute trivial anomalies that the proponents of electric universe theory constantly claim as being in support of their idea, as if by discrediting standard astronomy and astrophysics that their doctrine wins by default, committing the false dichotomy fallacy.

As it stands, I am not at all impressed, nor amused, since EU theory proponents lack any real knowledge of the science they try to undermine. Even the physics they claim to advocate they fail to grasp, which elicits much pathos from my bleeding heart. How sad..

About Troythulu

I seek to learn through this site and others how to better my ability as a person and my skill at using my reason and understanding to best effect. I do fractal artwork as a hobby, and I'm working to develop it to professional levels, though I've a bit to go till I reach that degree of skill! This is a crazy world we're in, but maybe I can do a little, if only that, to make it a bit more sane than it otherwise would be.

Posted on Sunday, 17:30, August 30, 2009, in Reason and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. [1B] No. The charges in a plasma do not cancel, but tend to cancel. Plasma is quasi-neutral. Whether electromagnetic forces or gravity dominates a systems depends on two factors: (1) whether the system consists of plasma (charged particles) (2) particle size: in a complex (dusty) plasma, (a) gravity dominates where particles are larger than grains (b) electromagnetism dominates where particle size is less than grains.

    Hence planets, asteroids, comets and meteors are dominated by gravity. Stars and galaxies as a whole, are dominated by gravity, but the plasma within them, is dominated by electromagnetic forces. This is illustrated by the Solar Wind, where charged particles are hardly effected by the Sun’s immense gravitation field, and **accelerate** away from the Sun’s surface.

    The interplanetary medium (a plasma), the interstellar medium (largely a plasma) and the intergalactic medium (a plasma), because the particle size is typically atomic, are all dominated by electromagnetic forces

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  2. [3B] No. The [Link To Inappropriate Website Redacted. Please See This Site's Commenting Policy Page] was discovered in 1965, and is observed to flow between the Sun and the plasmapause. It carries about 3×109 amperes.

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  3. [5B] No. (a) The interplanetary medium, derived from the Solar Wind, is 100% plasma, which charges (and may corrode) any object it comes in contact with (eg. by sputtering). The Earth is protected by its magnetic field. (b) The intergalactic medium is also 100% fully ionized plasma (here’s a reference) (c) the interstellar medium contains a mixture of plasma and, as you rightly say, neutral hydrogen. However, mixtures of ionized gas and non-ionized gas, may behave like a plasma, when the degree of ionization is less than 1%. So yes, space is filled with neutral atoms, but the visible universe is 99.999% plasma by volume and mass (stars are 100% plasma)

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  4. [6B] I previously mention the Heliospheric current sheet. It is created by the Sun’s magnetic field moving the Solar System’s plasma. It seem reasonable to assume that every star has its own heliospheric current sheet. Likewise, it would be expected that the rotation of the galaxy’s magnetic field through the galactic plasma, would also generate galactic electric currents. Nobel Prize winning scientist Hannes Alfvén and his colleague Per Carlqvist, estimate that the galactic current sheet should carry about 10^17 – 10^19 Amps. Peer reviewed papers are consistent with the theory, eg. see here and here. Many other papers supporting “universal electric currents” in space, can be found [Link To Inappropriate Website Redacted. Please See This Site's Commenting Policy Page].

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  5. Gordon, on item ‘a’ in response to 5B. I have observed first hand the external surface of more than one of the Apollo craft. …and no, I’m not talking about ‘static units’ but the actual craft. The LCMs did not show any marks of “sputtering” on their surface, or any other corrosion for that matter that hasn’t already been detailed as from other causes. True, re-entry is a traumatic place, but I would think that if this “sputtering” existed, it would have shown up in the window seals, or been observed first hand by the astronauts, particularly as the LCM crossed the terminus in/out of the lunar shadow. Further, if this electrical outflow is happening, I would thin it would have shown up in the radio signals, or more simply in the life expectancy, of the Voyager spacecraft.

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  6. @virginianopinions. (a) That the interplanetary medium is a 100% fully ionized plasma, is not generally disputed [Inapproriate Link Redacted] (b) The heliospheric current sheet is also not disputed (eg. see [Broken Link Redacted]here). (c) You may need see the results of sputtering on a spacecraft because of a couple of reasons. Firstly, the ion density is space is tiny. Secondly, as the spacecraft charges, it repels like charges. However, sputter may take place, see the references “Plasma Effects on Spacecraft” and here. (d) You make a good observation regarding radio signals from electric currents (presumably in the heliospheric current sheet), see the paper “[Inappropriate Link Redacted]“

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  7. Correction above: (c) You may not see the results of sputtering…

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