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Andrew*

Electric Universe / Plasma Cosmology

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Hi folks,

I'm reading a book at the moment called the Electric Sky, by Donald E. Scott (not the boxer). It outlines a theory of the universe which basically suggests that electrodynamic forces in astrophysical plasma prevail over gravitational forces. It also holds that stars are powered electrically and not by sustained fusion. The theory was proposed by Nobel prize winner Hannes Alfven in 1970, but research has been very limited.

I was skeptical at first, but it does make some excellent points, and does away with many of the major problems of the standard model (dark matter, the sun's temperature profile (coronal heating), magnetic field breaks/reconnection etc.).

The problem is, I don't have enough physics/cosmology knowledge to be able to make an informed opinion on the theory.

Has anyone studied the theory in any detail? Are there any obvious gaps?

Andrew

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I think these alternative ideas are very valid even with little research you just have to look at the indicators to think, hang on... are you sure we have this right? For me, the biggest thing is, Gravity is one of the weakest forces we know of, so why do most of our theories suggest that Gravity is playing one of the strongest parts in shaping the universe?

This make me wonder...

Edited by Karlos

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Gravity is the dominant force because it is additive over long distances, whereas electric forces, whilst stronger, have both positive and negative components which tend to cancel out on the large scale.

The electric universe theory has no real supporting evidence, and in fact has some serious flaws. For example, if electric/magnetic currents in the solar system are powerful enough to power the sun you would expect these fields to be easily detectable (they are not) and the electrically charged particles streaming away from the sun to behave very differently than they are observed to.

Furthermore, there are observations of the sun that can only be answered through our knowledge of nuclear physics, for example, solar neutrinos.

our models of the sun and of other stars are remarkable detailed and accurate and have a lot of testable, predictive power, electric universe makes no useful, testable claims that oppose the 'gravitational orthodoxy'.

I'm nearing the end of my third year of a physics and astrophysics degree, so i've encountered these problems in detail! if you have any specific queries i'd be happy to try and address them :)

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Wow Tom, that answer has cleared my mind, thanks! :)

I'm hoping to do a degree in Physics with Astrophysics in the future, although it means I'll be retaking A levels first and then another 4 years of university, but I feel compelled to do so! :grin:

I'll add you if that is okay, would love someone to ask and bounce ideas off B)

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Gravity is the dominant force because it is additive over long distances

How does this work? I know next to nothing about physics but it just seems a bit weird to me, most things get weaker over distance don't they?

Edited by scogyrd

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How does this work? I know next to nothing about physics but it just seems a bit weird to me, most things get weaker over distance don't they?

Yes it does, it goes at 1/distance^2. However, what Tom is meaning is that there are no negative gravity particles (that we know of), so the more stuff you add together, the stronger the gravity gets. For electromagnetic forces, there are negatives and positives, which cancel each other out. On the whole, as you add more stuff together, it doesn't change the total electromagnetic force (it remains neutral), but it does increase the gravitational force (because it always gets more massive, never less massive).

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Hmm Just a thought but if at the T0 "Creation" point of the universe an equal number of -ve and +ve particles were created, then why not the same for gravity, and the -ve gravity particles are now pushed back beyond the observability horizon, but it is these -ve gravity particles that are causing the observable universe to accelerate outwards, even though the local +ve (normal) gravity causes stellar formation etc ?

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why not the same for gravity

Because you cannot have negative mass/energy ... gravity is nothing more than a deformation in space/time caused by the existence of mass/energy. The strong and weak nuclear and electromagnetic forces tend to cancel out over cosmological distances, leaving the weakest "force" dominant. It's all rather straightforward & elegant ... the "electric universe" theory is about as believable as the theory that the sun is fuelled by unicorn poo and is simply unnecessary in view of the excellent fit between conventional astrophysics and actual observations on both cosmological and microscopic scales.

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