How I know "plasma cosmology" is wrong

In my previous post, I showed direct statistical evidence that the Arp notion of non-cosmological redshifts for quasars is wrong. That was just the tip of the iceberg, though. Non-cosmological redshifts are a crank theory in astronomy that a scary fringe element keeps whinging on about. However, there's this other crank theory that no actual respectable astronomer subscribes to, yet that seems to keep sucking in interested members of the public. That is so-called plasma cosmology (which also has an even more extreme (!!) version known as the "electric universe"). The non-cosmological redshifts for quasars model may have been a respectable alternate model in the first years or first decade after Maarten Schmidt's identification of the then-amazingly high redshift of quasar 3C273 (that paper was in Nature, so you won't actually get to see it, sigh). In contrast, the whole plasma cosmology paradigm was never reasonable, and is certainly not reasonable now.

The basic idea of plasma cosmology is that electromagnetic forces in the bulk motions of astronomical objects are far more important than mainstream astronomy admits. Now, to be sure, mainstream astronomy places tremendous importance on electromagnetic forces. There's all kind of crazy stuff going on on the Earth's magnetosphere, as a result of the plasma from the Sun interacting with the magnetic fields of the Earth. Magnetic fields are responsible for initially collimating jets in active galactic nuclei that are observed shooting out over hundreds of thousands of light-years. So, the assertion you sometimes see that astronomers don't train their grad students about electromagnetic forces and that astronomers don't take into account those forces is an assertion that's wildly wrong. However, plasma cosmology also asserts that electromagnetic forces between plasma flowing through the solar system and through the Universe and the magnetic fields of objects (or even the objects themselves, as they'll often decide, for instance, that comets must have a substantial electric charge) make significant contributions to the motion of objects that mainstream astronomy is able to explain entirely through gravity.

Unfortunately, rhetoric being what it is, it's very easy to find sites on the web (and books) that promote the notion of plasma cosmology, and after reading them it's easy for the interested but uninformed layman to be convinced. It helps that it feeds into the whole "few brave pioneers fighting the oppression of the mainstream dogma" story that seems to be so popular in (at least) American culture. How do you know whether to believe my assertion in the first paragraph above that plasma cosmology is all bunk, or a much more elegant assertion that people like me are just part of the entrenched mainstream refusing to listen to somebody with a new idea that challenges the underpinning of our whole careers? The problem is that when actual real astronomers such as myself are confronted with plasma cosmology, we have a hard time doing anything other than shaking our heads sadly, because it's so amazingly wrong, so patently silly if you know anything, that it's difficult even to know how to begin saying that it's wrong.

I'm going to try to take down plasma cosmology on two points. The first is a general point, the second is a specific point. As far as I can tell, plasma cosmology is motivated by people who just want to be different, or by people who have aesthetic or conceptual problems with things such as dark matter and cosmological distances. However, let's go ahead and give it the benefit of the doubt (way too much benefit, but bear with me) of saying that it's an idea inspired by trying to explain something that may not be satisfactorily explained by mainstream science. An example of something like this is MOND, or "MOdified Newtonian Dynamics". Standard Newtonian gravity can't explain the observed rotation speeds of galaxies. The right answer is that there is dark matter in those galaxies; we know this is the right answer because there is a whole lot of other evidence for dark matter. However, MOND was introduced as a way of modifying Newtonian gravity, rather than by introducing a new component to galaxies, to explain the flaw.

Here's the thing, though. Even if the "standard" explanation has a flaw, when you introduce an alternate explanation to address that flaw, your alternate explanation must explain everything the standard explanation already explains. (Strictly speaking, it doesn't have to initially explain everything. For instance, Copernicus' model of the heliocentric Solar System initially didn't produce as accurate predictions for planet positions as the old Ptolemaic geocentric model did. However, your new model must at least get close, and there must be ways to improve your model to explain what the old model explained.) Given the wide range of observations that standard gravity-based expanding-Universe cosmology explains, there's really no need for a gigantic rethink of all of it such as plasma cosmology offers. If we are to do that gigantic rethink, there has got to be a compelling observational reason beyond somebody's aesthetic sensibilities. (For instance, Quantum Mechanics was a gigantic rethink of our understanding of the fundamental nature of reality. However, not only did it explain some troubling problems about the light emitted by hot objects, it went on to propose a whole bunch of other experiments that couldn't have been explained without it. That's how successful paradigm-changing theories work.)

Given that we're able to explain all the orbits in the solar system with a straightforward application of gravity, where's the problem that plasma cosmology is supposed to solve? Likewise, with the whole Universe, we explain a wide range of observations with Big Bang cosmology. If we are to even bother spending ten minutes thinking about plasma cosmology, we must first know: does it even show promise to explain everything, and what does it offer that the Big Bang does not?

In other words, plasma cosmology is a waste of time.

However, let me also take down one of the specific pieces of the model that underpins plasma cosmology. That's actually very difficult to do— not because the model is robust, but because it's so ill-defined! If you go to plasmacosmology.net and follow the "technical" links, you get a bunch of text about various different "core concepts". If you don't know a lot about physics and astronomy, I can see where it looks like they've put together a well thought-out framework here, and that it's criminal for mainstream astronomers not to address this. The problem is, if you're a mainstream astronomer like me, and you try to figure out exactly what it is that their model here is doing, often you can't. What you've got, really, is a lot of nice sounding technical jargon that ultimately doesn't make clear what it is that they're really saying. In short, where's the math? If you're going to make quantitative predictions about where things are going, we need to know the equations that go along with your nice words.

Here's one of the things they say about the Solar System that's at odds with what mainstream science knows:

Because the sun is seen to emit roughly equal quantities of ions and electrons, the solar wind is considered electrically neutral in mainstream circles. This is wrong. In reality it is a huge bipolar electric current, and the terms solar wind and solar radiation result from the fact that the mainstream refuses to acknowledge electricity in space.

OK.... First of all, the mainstream does acknowledge electricity in space. But, never mind that. The term "solar radiation" results from the fact that the Sun is radiating. We see light coming off of the Sun. We also, via satellites, observe a stream of charged particles (of both signs, mixed together) coming off of the Sun. It seems exceedingly bizarre to assert that the term "solar radiation" comes out of some sort of global willful blindness, when it's just a very straightforward identification of the fact that the Sun is not completely dark, and is thus, er, radiating.

But, OK, what I really wanted to object to was "a huge bipolar electric current". What exactly does this mean? To me, if it's bipolar, it would mean that on the North pole (say) the particles flowing off of the Sun are mostly positive, and on the South pole they're mostly negative. This would, indeed, be a bipolar current. The problem is, if it's really bipolar like this, then the particles flowing along the equator— you know, the plane where most of the planets and comets are all orbiting, so where you'd need things happening to have an effect— would be neutral in bulk. (That is, there is an even mix of positive and negative particles.) Thus, you're not going to get any net interactions of that current with the magnetic fields of planets or anything else that will produce bulk motions. (You will get all the fun stuff like the Van Allen belts and aurora... but, of course, mainstream astronomy already describes all of that!)

So what are you guys really trying to say here?

I do have one guess, based on something written further down:

This behaviour derives from Ampére's Law or the Biot-Savart force law which states that currents in the same direction attract while currents in the opposite direction repel. They do so inversely in relation to the distance between them. This results in a far larger ranging force of interaction than the gravitational force between two masses. Gravitational force is only attractive and varies inversely with the square of the distance.

Except for one crucial omission, this statement is correct. It is true that if you calculate the attractive force between two long parallel currents, it only goes as 1/r, whereas gravity goes as 1/r2. This means that the strength of gravity drops off faster with distance than the magnetic attraction of the two currents, so even if gravity dominates, eventually you will reach a point where the strength of gravity drops below the magnetic strength. So, it seems, you really ought to be taking all this current stuff seriously.

Here's the problem though. The result that the magnetic attraction between two parallel currents drops off as 1/r only applies to infinitely long parallel currents. Practically speaking, that means that the length of each current (the length of the wire carrying the current, for example) must be a substantially bigger than the distance between the two currents. In other words, for this 1/r law to be relevant in the Solar System, there would have to be some current associated with (say) the Earth, perpendicular to the plane of the Solar System, whose length is at least several times the distance between the Earth and the Sun. The Sun would likewise have to have a current that long associated with it.

And that's just batty.

The mistake here is a common mistake, actually. It involves taking a legitimate result from legitimate equations, and applying it where it does not apply. This is why, in physics, you shouldn't just do algebra blindly. You should understand what you're doing. Even if you understand the vector algebra that leads to the derivation of the 1/r force law, you need to understand why you used the equations you did, and why you made the simplifying assumptions that you did, in deriving that law. And, in understanding that you need to understand the limitations on when you can apply your result.

If you (somehow) manage to have two short parallel lengths of current all going in one direction, then the strength of the force between them drops off as 1/r2, just like gravity, once the distance between the two currents is large compared to their length. But, you can't have this, as all the charge from that current has to go somewhere. So, in practice, if you have a small bit of current, you have to have a loop. The force between two loops of current drops off faster than 1/r2. In other words, even if it's significant at smallish distances, eventually it will become insignificant compared to gravity.

That's why you can trivially make an electromagnet and pick up paper clips with it, easily overcoming Earth's gravity. However, once you move that electromagnet (say) a meter away from the paperclip (unless you've really gone nuts with your current), the Earth's gravity overcomes it and you no longer pick up the paperclip.

As far as I can tell, the plasma cosmology people are basing all of their objections on a (probably unconscious) desire to be the Justified Iconoclast, latching on with their friends to a Truth that the mainstream refuses to see. And, indeed, this is a very attractive notion, and I think this is part of why intelligent and interested members of the public get sucked in by it. The problem is, their justifications fall apart under even a little bit of scrutiny. Please, please, pay no attention to plasma cosmology. It's a persistent but extremely off-base crackpottery that plagues astronomy.

24 responses so far

  • Siggy_G says:

    Even with your apparent solid astrophysical knowledge, you seem to have spent some ten minuttes understanding Plasma Cosmology. Even if you think it's not worth the bother to read more into it, how can you know it's wrong and plead readers not to look into it, based on this apparent glimpse on the subject? And how can you side-line it with young-earth creationism?

    To mentioned a few of the main Plasma Cosmology advocates, that would be Hannes Alfvén, Per Carlquist and Anthony Peratt – all of which have published several peer reviewed papers and who clearly are highly competent within their fields (mainly plasma physics). Not saying that alone validates Plasma Cosmology, but you can't pretend it came from egocentric people that didn't have an understanding of astro-/plasma phyics. Also, don't bother reading the highly cencored article on Wikipedia, but rather look into the original papers on Plasma Cosmology. I can provide links if the comment field and yourself allow for it. A Norwegian professor of plasma and space physics, Alv Egeland, stated in a fairly recent article on "Kristian Birkeland: the first space scientist", that: "Today, plasma physicists strongly believe that many significant cosmic phenomena result from streams of Birkeland currents." In other words, this "outrageous" notion isn't entirely unsupported, as you portray.

    You're using the well-known example of small magnetic objects and comparing it with the gravitational force from the entire planet... Why don't you look at the magnetic versus gravitational interaction solely between these small objects (as if Earth wasn't there)?

    I wouldn't claim that astronomers or standard model cosmologists don't know anything about plasma physics, or as expressed within (most of) their papers, but they surely are extremely bad at communicating this knowledge to the public – even in scenarios where such processes clearly are at play. As if the terms "plasma" and "electricity" are more conceptually difficult to the layman to grasp, than the amazing "black hole", "dark matter", "worm hole", "Xth dimension" and so on. Just look at any cosmology related Picture of the Day or article, and you'll see my point. The termonology is related to gravity (towards any given extreme range) and thermodynamics (gases).

    Of course, I would need more space to comment on all your points, but this was my main response.

  • rknop says:

    And how can you side-line it with young-earth creationism?

    Because both are ideas that have been known to be wrong for decades, and that are not taken seriously by any working astronomer or physicist (at least within statistical noise-- you can find a few, but you can find a few people with any given credential who will say just about anything). (Indeed, I suspect if anything there are far more YECs among physicists than plasma cosmologists.) Both are ideas that are supported by the non-scientist supporters (who nonetheless show up in public science related forums like this one to push them) for reasons that don't have anything to do with the weight of scientific evidence. Also, both ideas are unambiguously rejected by the scientific community. However, instead of using that as a hint that there might be something wrong with their ideas, their supporters use that as evidence that there are serious sociological problems in the scientific community. The parallels between YEC and plasma cosmology are many.

    To be fair, plasma cosmology is probably more like intelligent design creationism. ID types try to claim that what they're doing is based in science, whereas at least YEC types admit that they're antiscience, by and large.

    Hannes Alfvén, Per Carlquist and Anthony Peratt – all of which have published several peer reviewed papers and who clearly are highly competent within their fields

    Ah, yes, some people published papers decades ago with ideas that didn't work out, at least not in the context you're using them, and somehow that's supposed to be a defense of the idea. It's not. Back in the early 20th century, you can find the notion that the atomic nucleus was protons held together by electrons. Today, we know that's wrong, but you can excuse people for holding to that model before the discovery of the neutron. However, claiming that they said that back then is a reason to think today that the atomic nucleus is a mix of protons and electrons would just be batty. That's essentially, however, what you're arguing here.

    You’re using the well-known example of small magnetic objects and comparing it with the gravitational force from the entire planet… Why don’t you look at the magnetic versus gravitational interaction solely between these small objects (as if Earth wasn’t there)?

    You completely missed my point. My point was that the magnetic attraction between small objects can overcome the gravity of the entire Earth. The point there was to show that intrinsically the electromagnetic interaction is stronger than the gravitational attraction. If I compared the magnetic force between the small objects to their gravitational force, I'd come to the same conclusion, but the example is made so much stronger by the fact that I bring in this gigantic gravitational body to give gravity a huge edge, and yet in that case magnetism still wins.

    However, I know where you're going with this: you're going to say that electromagnetic forces dominate over gravitational forces on these small objects of comparable mass, and yet we then go and ignore electromagnetic fields between planets. However, that's based on an argument that bulk observations on one scale apply to bulk observations on another scale. It's similar to saying, hey, look, gravity from the Sun is by far the dominant thing holding the Solar System together. Therefore, how can you justify completely ignoring gravity when you calculate the structure of an atom???

    The simple fact is that Earth's magnetic field is very weak. You can easily overcome it with a bar magnet, or with an electromagnet that you can make with cheap parts from a hardware store. This is observational truth. The observational truth is that when it comes to bulk motions of objects in the solar system and in the universe as a whole, gravity completely dominates the same way electromagnetic forces completely dominate in an atom. (With a few exceptions, such as the jets in microquasars and AGN.)

    Finally, I wasn't looking at Wikipedia. I was looking at plasmacosmology.net, which claims to be a plasma cosmology supporting site. Do you consider that site disreputable and to be ignored? If so, please give me the references to the real papers in reputable journals that support the ideas. The observation I made is that plasmacosmology.net doesn't even really say what their model is in a way that can be answered, it just makes vague arguments about the strength of electromagnetic fields and then says that us mainstream astronomers are foo-foo heads for ignoring them.

  • Siggy_G says:

    Thanks for your swift response.

    Since you are using analogies and parallels, I could also use a blunt argument of Big Bang having analogies to a creation event - or all the math based standard model cosmology having parallels to an intelligent design behind it all. Now, I won't bother - I know there are mainly scientific reasonings for the road cosmology are at (and the same goes for Plasma Cosmology and Electric Universe), but the basis for the work is also restrained to existing models and the assumption that electricity and magnetism don't do much of significance at large scales.

    The general argument of old knowledge (and papers) being replaced by new one, is somewhat true, but it doesn't automatically dissolve all "decades ago" papers. Most of today's physics, although developed, rely on relatively old ideas and formulas. The same goes for knowledge of plasma and electric currents as applied to astrophysics, and it was in fact several principles worked out by Kristian Birkeland and later Hannes Alfven that made much of the foundation for this.

    Plasma Cosmology (or the Electric Universe) isn't refuting gravity as the dominating force in solid systems like our solar system. However, the bulk motion of an initial galactic dusty plasma is dominated by electromagnetism, and matter is later condensed into stars, where the orbital motion is preserved, whilst gravity takes over (briefly explained – see Anthony Peratt's papers).

    Another point I made was just that the otherwize common choice of looking at Wikipedia wasn't recommended. Plasmacosmology.net is a site by a proponent and gives a brief visual introduction, but for such purposes I would rather point to these two sites:

    http://www.plasma-universe.com/Plasma-Universe.com
    http://www.plasmaresources.com/

    Here are a list of papers by Anthony Peratt related to Plasma Cosmology:

    http://plasmauniverse.info/papers.html

    Here are a couple of central papers by Hannes Alfven, related to Plasma Cosmology:

    http://plasmauniverse.info/downloads/CosmologyAlfven.pdf
    http://www.plasmauniverse.info/downloads/ModelOfTPU_Alfven.pdf

    And finally, a few by Donald E Scott related to an Electric Sun:

    http://members.cox.net/dascott3/IEEE-TransPlasmaSci-Scott-Aug2007.pdf
    http://members.cox.net/dascott3/SDLIEEE.pdf

  • rknop says:

    I'm having trouble with those sites you linked-- not technical trouble, but content trouble. Front page is a whole lot of marketing and frothing about "modern cosmology ignores us and is all caught up in their ideas and therefore they're wrong", without any hard information or any clear ways to figure out where the hard information is.

    plasmaresources.com claims to want to be a resource for scientists and non-scientists alike, but honestly from the front page I couldn't figure out where one was supposed to go if one was looking for any particular information. Is it deliberately vague? I suspect so, because if it was clear about its claims it would be too easy to tear apart.

    On plasma-universe.com, I found a link of "articles", which was basically a giant alphabetic index. I clicked on "plasma cosmology", and was quickly turned off by yet another completely wrong assertion about how mainstream science works. The assertion is that we assume a creation event (the big bang) and then derive what must have happened after that. That is scientifically and historically incorrect about how the Big Bang model came about, and why it's understood. The Big Bang model originated with the observation TODAY that the Universe is expanding. The Big Bang model became the dominant model when one of its predictions, the cosmic microwave background, was observed. And, interestingly, the Big Bang model says NOTHING about the moment of creation, other than that our physics is unable to understand what happened when the Unvierse was to hot and dense. If you're going to tell me that you're tearing down how modern science works, then don't start by saying that it's all based on "prophetic authority", because it's not. Instead of "waah, waaah, I don't like how you guys work because you're not giving my crazy pet ideas credit", show me the evidence-- and show me the evidence without the paranoid raving in front of it, because I won't make it through the paranoid raving.

    On both of these sites, there is also a long of wrong stuff collected together with right stuff. For instance, astronomy knows that most of the baryonic matter is in the plasma state. Otherwise how the hell is it that we can use X-ray telescopes to find galaxy clusters. What's emitting the x-rays? Intergalactic plasma! And yet, the sometimes-direct, sometimes-implied assertion is that modern astronomy denies that understanding plasmas is important. If you're going to start with that, then you've already made it pretty clear that this is an exercise in out-of-touch paranoia, not an exercise in science.

    This may be great for convincing the non-scientist who might like the narrative of the lone outsider fighting the closed-minded mainstream. But if you want these things to actually take weight, you need to start with the actual observations and experiments that are NOT explained by the mainstream view, and that ARE explained by yours... and THEN make sure that your model that explains that one thing doesn't utterly fail to explain a whole bunch of other stuff that the mainstream model explains. For instance, I could get rid of disturbing seeming superluminal communication implied by quantum entanglement by saying that there are hidden variables. But, that explanation wouldn't properly explain Bell's inequality, so it's not after all a good explanation.

    I'm a busy guy. I don't have a lot of time to waste on a lot of this vague "mainstream science is stuck thinking inside the box" assertions. If you really, honestly want me to do any more than what I did in the blog post above to point out why plasma cosmology is a waste of time, tell me which is the real one or two things I should be looking at.

  • Siggy_G says:

    Rob,

    Perhaps I provided too many and scattered sources. Though, I did provide you the references to "real papers in reputable journals that support" Plasma Cosmology, yet you choose only to comment on the website phrases you found offensive. As I said earlier "for such purposes (i.e. a brief visual introduction) I'd rather refer to these sites: [wiki-like site]".

    The issues many scientists have personally experienced with mainstream science or certain institutions are not unheard of, but it's not what I'd like to highlight here either. Same goes for the assumptions that led to the Big Bang theory, where we are in some disagreement (and a lengthy discussion to follow).

    If you want a few of papers/articles that pinpoints what Plasma Cosmology is about, you may browse through these when you have the time:

    http://plasmauniverse.info/downloads/PerattPlasmaCosmology1W&I.pdf
    http://plasmauniverse.info/downloads/PerattPlasmaCosmology2W&I.pdf
    http://plasmauniverse.info/downloads/CosmologyPeratt.pdf

    (From the list: http://plasmauniverse.info/papers-cosmology.html )

    Cheers!

  • Siggy_G says:

    And as a summary, the key points of the Plasma Cosmology:

    - the universe is a sea of electrically charged particles; plasma in various densities
    - vast electric currents (Birkeland currents) occur due to the plasma volumes' movement relative to eachother and due to charge differences
    - such currents and their magnetic fields can separate dusty plasma into columns of heavier elements
    - where magnetic fields are stronger, they will pinch the currents into denser volumes
    - electromagnetic forces rule entirely within dusty plasmas and have a slower fall-off (1/r) than gravity (1/r^2)
    - where volumes of matter are condense enough, gravity takes over
    - plasma cosmology can explain why stars and galaxies seem to form along like condensation beads on a spiderweb string, and generally the cellular and filamentary structure of the universe
    - the galaxy formation model of PC, as a cross section of vast currents, can explain the "flat" velocity curve within galaxies, without the need for a massive halo of dark matter around them
    - electric double layers should be considered important astrophysical bodies, being a part of the dynamics and processes seen around e.g. the Sun and stars
    - in an infinite universe of filamentary plasma (large scale structure) the cosmic microwave background from synchrotron sources would necessarily be very smooth
    - since the plasma model assumes that the properties of plasma are the same throughout the ranges of sizes from the lab to cosmos, it is testable on lab scales and cross-verifiable through observations at various scales

  • rknop says:

    I'm partway into the first article you linked. It has a nice history of the conflict between the Big Bang and Steady State universes, as long as you ignore the occasional foreshadowing swipe that it's all hooey.

    However, when we finally get to the meat-- "Problems and their Solution"-- it's already starting to fall apart. What are the problems he cites with redshifts? First, that distances are not measured preciesly. I suspect this article is from the 80's, so some of that can be excused. However, we've got few-percent (or better) measurements to the nearest stars, which is directly at odds with what the article says. What's more, the traditional achilles heel of cosmology ("you guys can't even measure the expansion rate of the Unvierse [the Hubble Constant] to better than a factor of two") is gone now as well-- as of about the year 2000, we've got a 5% or better measurement of H0 that fits everything. So, the notion that things are on shaky ground and only getting shakier is wrong. The big bang and cosmological redshift model is stronger than it was back in the 1980's, by quite a lot.

    What else does he list as a problem? Arp and his assertion that objects of different redshifts are correlated. The article seems to claim that evidence is mounting for that. It's not, and it hasn't been, so that's also a misrepresentation. For more about the whole Arp nonsense, see this: http://scientopia.org/blogs/galacticinteractions/2011/01/14/one-of-astronomys-pet-crackpot-theories-non-cosmological-quasar-redshifts/

    Regarding the CMB, he asserts (without citation-- look, this is bad scholarship here, if this is supposed to be a *paper*) that there is an observation of part of that spectrum that doesn't fit the blackbody. If he's talking about what I think he is, those results were eventually shown not to be correct when the COBE satellite went up in the 1980's or 1990's, and failed to reproduce the observations. The Big Bang explanation is in extremely good agreement with the actual observations of the CMB.

    The article also asserts that the Big Bang can't explain large scale structure. In fact, if you look at simulations based on dark matter, and compare them to the best modern large-scale structure surveys, the agreement is remarkable. (Where structure formation problems come in with the simulation is on smaller scales, sub-galaxy scales!) Take a look at Figure 1 of this paper: http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0604561

    So... I'll stop there. So far all of the "problems" that this article is pointing out are in fact not problems at all. The motivation that there is something wrong with Big Bang cosmology is based on incorrect assertions or, at best, out of date uncertainties that have been more than solidly answered in the last thirty years. So where is the problem needing solution?

  • Siggy_G says:

    Appreciating your feedback. Yes, the links were a two-part article (not papers) published in The World & I magazine. The papers and references backing it up (mostly 1988-1996) are found in the list I provided in my previous comment.

    As to what Plasma Cosmology explains differently or better:

    It seems to explain galaxies' rotation curves without the need for dark matter. It can explain CBR and the cosmic filamentary structure just as well, based on processes that are known and can be tested (plasma physics) – which I'll coin "better". The more astrophysical in situ data we collect, the more of the processes already expected by Plasma Cosmology seems to be verified.

    As a general comment: if found to be plausible, wouldn't you (as an astronomer) find it more scientifically satisfactory to see astrophysical principles that don't require place-holder matter, unknown particles and hypothetical entities (dark matter/black holes/dark energy)? And physically known processes and principles that can be tested at lab scale and extrapolated to larger scales, as opposed to the forementioned elements that we just need to assume is out there for gravity-only formulas to work? As for astronomical equipment, tech, observation and collecting data, there would be little difference, but the interpretation and models used would be different.

    I don't mind simulations – I quite like them, and it is quite close to my profession anyway. However, say if we didn't yet had an metrological understanding of what caused winds. I imagine there could have been a consensus that there were repulsive and attractive entities within the atmosphere, caused by some form of matter and particles that we couldn't yet detect. Simulations could surely have shown how this could be plausible. Yet, as we know, it would not be the correct explanation of what is truly going on, nor would it be based on known or testable physical processes. I think a similar thing is going on within the Big Bang model today, which is why I find Plasma Cosmology more intriguing.

  • rknop says:

    The evidence for dark matter goes way beyond rotation curves of galaxies. Given that we have lots of other evidence that dark matter is real, AND that dark matter explains the rotation curves of galaxies, it's far more parsimonious to accept that dark matter is responsible for the latter. That doesn't mean that there can't be something else, but it's not that dark matter is just something we made up to explain rotation curves.

    There is also observational evidence for black holes. They're not hypothetical entities any more.

    And, you always have to be careful extrapolating. But, the truth is, all the processes that are taking place out in space? Pretty much they ARE tested in the lab. No, we haven't isolated dark matter, but we understand **gravity**, which is the process at work. "Testable" doesn't only mean that you can make it in the lab and do a controlled experiment on it. It also means that it predicts the results of observations of what we find in nature. Most of geology, astronomy, planetary science, physical anthropology, evolutionary biology, and a number of other sciences are based not on laboratory experiments, but on observations of nature... and yet the scientific method still applies.

    The astronomical community isn't gathering around the Big Bang model because it's our idea and we hate to let it go. We're not making up more and more stuff to prop it up. It's a model that is better and better fitting the data all the time, and that hasn't failed to explain anything that it's capable of explaining. Yet, you seem to think that that is what it is. That's fine-- you're allowed to believe what you want. However, until you come up with a more compelling argument than your personal aesthetic preference for your ideas and your ignorance about how modern astronomy really explains variuos things, nobody's going to think that the Big Bang is in as much trouble as you think it is, never mind take plasma cosmology seriously.

    The ONLY reason people like me bother talking about plasma cosmology at all is that other members of the public get sucked in by plasma cosmology's prevarications about the nature of modern astronomy, and I find that highly unfortunate. On its own merits, it's in the dustbin of history next to Lamarkian evolution or the geocentric universe.

  • rknop says:

    If you want specific objections to Birkeland currents being responsible for galaxy rotation curves, check this out:

    http://dealingwithcreationisminastronomy.blogspot.com/2009/06/scott-rebuttal-ii-peratt-galaxy-model.html

  • Nereid says:

    I've just discovered this blog, and this blogpost.

    I see that Siggy_G is continuing to tirelessly promote plasma cosmology (PC), despite the many responses given, in many fora (Tom Bridgman's, for example).

    Siggy, you gave two examples of what you consider PC explains differently or better, "It seems to explain galaxies’ rotation curves without the need for dark matter. It can explain CBR and the cosmic filamentary structure just as well, based on processes that are known and can be tested (plasma physics) – which I’ll coin “better”."

    I think you know full well, by now, that Peratt's model *might*, just, at best, explain *some* aspects of the rotation curves ... but that it fails (or, at best, is silent on) most of the total package.

    For example, his model does not incorporate stars, yet spiral galaxy rotation curves *for stars* seem to be pretty much the same as those for gas and plasma (and, because his model does not incorporate gravity - the rotation curves are due to j X B type forces alone - it's a bit of a stretch to call this 'better', don't you think?)

    Similarly with the CMB.

    At best, Peratt's papers show a match, at the few percent level, for observations of the SED of the CMB, on only one side (and say nothing about even the dipole, let alone the angular power spectrum). Worse, point sources in the CMB waveband have been detected, and when their (optical) spectra are taken, some have quite high redshifts. So if the CMB - per Peratt - is some kind of local, optically-thick, screen, how come those high-z point sources are seen? (Last time I checked, even Peratt did not buy into any Arpian 'intrinsic redshift' ideas).

    Got a third (fourth, fifth, ...) example perhaps?

  • Nereid says:

    Siggy_G, in another forum, referenced this blog (and its comments): "I wanted to respond to the comment field you linked to, but apparently it's locked. I'll paste my response here, since you brought it up and since it's relevant".

    That response is pretty, um, underwhelming.

    Not only does it include a repetition of the claims I addressed in my last comment, not only does it include yet another link to the same documents linked to in an earlier comment, but there seem to be no third examples (let alone any fourths or fifths)!

    In short, Siggy seems to be presenting nothing more than a mild form of the Gish Gallop, dressed up as an argument from false dichotomy (the Big Bang theory is wrong - for this long list of contrived reasons - THEREFORE plasma cosmology MUST be right!).

    Rob's link to Tom Bridgman's blog lead me to do some (re-)reading; how's that project coming on Siggy, the one where you said you'd be extending Peratt's model?
    (you don't need me to remind you, do you?)

  • Siggy_G says:

    Ok, since you were able to respond here, I'll give it another try, now without links (that may have caused a posting error). Why are you claiming points about my response that simply aren't true? It's little scientific and slightly annoying, because one has to rephrase and explain things that otherwise should be easily processable during the first read:

    1) The links I provided has NOT been adressed (or repeated) in any of my previous comments, as you claim. The links were to Eric Lerner's site and papers as well as Alternative Cosmology Group's site and newsletters, which both adresses problems with the Big Bang model AND corresponding points in favour of Plasma Cosmology.

    2) You're saying there didn't seem to be any thrid, forth... example? I explicitly said that I would rather refer to Lerner's papers/articles since he brings up points full-filling this exact request. Keywords: light element abundance, large-scale structure, voids, dark matter, CBR, intergalactic radio absorption, discrepancies in age interpretation and why Big Bang remains dominant in the field.

    3) How can you claim that the referenced paper called "A Comparison of Plasma Cosmology and the Big Bang" is not an explicit attempt to outline how one cosmological model explains things better or differently than the other? The "false dichotomy" is a typical and expected blunt argument. Then again, perhaps you didn't read the paper?

    As to my attempt to make 3d particle simulation work as an extention of Peratt's work and also the Electric Sun, this is still something I'm occasionally working on in my sparse sparetime. (I'm not funded nor do this for a living.)

  • Nereid says:

    Let's see now ...

    The first link (Lerner) contains just two 'new' examples ('light element abundances', and 'the large scale structure of the universe'), and a repeat of the CMB claim you made. That's on the opening page.

    In the links in this first webpage there is (in order):
    - nothing on plasma cosmology
    - nothing on plasma cosmology
    - essentially the same as on the opening page
    - nothing on plasma cosmology
    - nothing on plasma cosmology
    - nothing on plasma cosmology
    - one other 'new' example (Lerner's ideas on quasars)
    (the only other relevant part of rest of the site is Selected References)

    The second link is one of the documents in the first link

    The third link has nothing (that I could find) on plasma cosmology (certainly nothing new)

    The last link has nothing on plasma cosmology.

    A mild form of Gish Gallop seems like a pretty accurate description, wouldn't you say? I mean, instead of specifically summarising Lerner's 'light element abundances', 'the large scale structure of the universe', and 'quasars' (and pointing to the papers - if that they be - which contain the details), you chose to try to spam this blog?

    Re false dichotomy

    In the four links you provided, there is just one that is not almost entirely about 'the Big Bang Theory is rong I say, RONG!!!!' (and that's a duplicate to boot).

    That one link contains the same CMB-is-plasma-filaments idea, along with 'abundance of light elements', and 'large scale structure'. The first is long dead (and no one, certainly not Peratt or Lerner, seems to be working on it any more); the other two, well, why not have a go at presenting (and defending) them? (Oh, and there seems to be something wrong with the document; there's Sections I, II, IV, and IV. It's also undated)

    Curiously, no mention of the Hubble redshift-distance relationship.

    To repeat Rob's words, in the blog: "If we are to even bother spending ten minutes thinking about plasma cosmology, we must first know: does it even show promise to explain everything, and what does it offer that the Big Bang does not?".

    Want to tackle the 800 pound gorilla in the plasma cosmology room Siggy? The Hubble redshift-distance relationship?

    Specifically, does plasma cosmology even show promise to explain the observations (now into the millions) that are neatly summarised by the Hubble redshift-distance relationship?

  • Gordon Lamps says:

    Rob Knop wrote: "The basic idea of plasma cosmology is that electromagnetic forces in the bulk motions of astronomical objects are far more important than mainstream astronomy admits"

    No, only that electromagnetic forces plays a significant role in the dynamics of plasma.

    Rob Knop wrote: So, the assertion you sometimes see that astronomers don’t train their grad students about electromagnetic forces and that astronomers don’t take into account those forces is an assertion that’s wildly wrong.

    I'm sure you'll agree that learning about electromagnetic forces, and learning about the complex behavior of plasma, are quite different. Most courses on energy, extreme forms of matter, and electomagnetism only touch upon plasmas, and many plasmas courses only touch upon astrophysics, though, some seem to have a good balance, eg.
    http://www.kth.se/ees/omskolan/organisation/avdelningar/spp?l=en_UK

    I would be willing to bet that very few astronomers (but more astrophysicists) have taken courses specifically on plasmas (in the course title!).

  • Siggy_G says:

    Nereid,
    Your response and summary of how you read my comment doesn't make much sense, so I'll re-summarize it for you:

    First link is the main page, so that you would know where I got the following source from (second link). Though, the index page does mention "Evidence for Plasma Cosmology".

    Second link, from that page, is "A Comparison of Plasma Cosmology and the Big Bang". (I included a link to the IEEE version of the abstract, dated 2004.) As mentioned in my previous comment; several examples shown.

    Third link, is the main page of Alternative Cosmology Group, that also contain newsletters mentioning Plasma Cosmology and papers applicable to it. The index page contains a mention of Plasma Cosmology as well.

    Forth link, is an updated (2009) list of further discrepancies of surface brightness predictions of the Big Bang model versus observation – and how such observations are rather expected in a "non-expanding model", well aware of Lerner being an advocate of plasma cosmology.

    All the links were properly named, so how you could have misunderstood this or how the plasma cosmology relations slipped you by is beyond me. It seems like you obfuscate the content of my post instead of commenting on the main points made by Lerner or ACG. And Gish Gallop? By referring to sources – especially the one explicitly titled: "A Comparison of Plasma Cosmology and the Big Bang"? I've learnt by now that you always ask for further details and sources, so do you now see why I provided a few for you? Do you also see why I didn't present Lerner's stuff with my own words, when I know you will still ask for further clarifications (of what he wrote/meant/calculated), when I had the sources at hand?

  • Nereid says:

    The various papers by Lerner are certainly a refreshing change from the utterly dreadful 'Electric Universe' material!

    It seems that Lerner pretty much stopped developing his ideas around 1990, at least that's about the last date of any 'plasma cosmology' paper (containing new material) by him; after then there's only plenty of 'Big Bang theory is WRONG' stuff, and one or two on his predictions of the CMB.

    My guess as to why he stopped development is that the post-COBE CMB observations pretty much ruled out the foundation of his plasma cosmology models (i.e. giant inter-galactic (Birkeland) currents/plasma filaments); if so, then he seems more intellectually honest than you Siggy_G (something similar may be said about Peratt too - he seems to have given up on plasma cosmology by the early 1990s).

    So, with the possible exception of Lerner's ideas on quasars, can we close this chapter, and file it under 'nice idea, too bad the universe doesn't seem to work that way'? Unless, that is, you, Siggy_G, have picked up the dropped torch and have extended/developed Lerner's and Peratt's ideas?

  • Aleph Null says:

    Do you think there is eveidence for a 'Religious' gene in the human race?
    I mean all this hunger for 'CONSPIRACY' as 'PERSECUTION' based on words and their meaning. I feel like the basic problem here is that if you were truly humanly interested to 'UNDERSTAND' and make 'INTELLIGIBLE' a 'PLASMA UNIVERSE' you would be driven by passion for 'CLEAR CONCISE CONCRETE EVIDENCE'; these people seem like the journalist who confronted Lavoisier with the 'SUBSTANCE OF FIRE'....we know what his response was; just like yours; Where is your evidence? Do you have calculations to prove your hypothesis? ...& etc....(unfortunately that gentleman Lavoisier lost his head to this Lunatic!)

    You would be humbled and desire to know, grasp & EXPLAIN in great detail your understanding in scientific language. You would spend the next part of your life studying 'Plasma Physics' and mathemtics. You would not seek confrontation or the appearance of being a victim of a CONSPIRACY OF THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY (whatever that is?). I think the problem is 'LANGUAGE' and specifically 'SEMANTICS'.

  • Hannes Alfven says:

    Re: "However, plasma cosmology also asserts that electromagnetic forces between plasma flowing through the solar system and through the Universe and the magnetic fields of objects (or even the objects themselves, as they'll often decide, for instance, that comets must have a substantial electric charge) make significant contributions to the motion of objects that mainstream astronomy is able to explain entirely through gravity."

    Rob, it does appear that you are truly at the very beginning of your investigation into the Electric Universe.

    For instance, you might want to take a closer look at what all-sky surveys tell us about the interstellar plasma structures we can observe at the 21-cm wavelength (oftentimes called HI). Gerrit Verschuur has published extensively on this subject in his books "Interstellar Matters" and "The Invisible Universe", as well as numerous peer-reviewed publications. And he is quite clear that the structure of this plasma is in fact filamentary, as would be expected for a plasma conducting electrical currents ...

    "Preliminary results from high resolution HI mapping of gas and, dust in an apparent HI "cloud" indicate that the neutral gas and dust within and around its boundary is itself highly filamentary" (Interstellar Neutral Hydrogen Filaments at High Galactic Lattitudes and the Bennett Pinch)

    Furthermore, Verschuur has observed critical ionization velocities (CIVs) to be associated with these interstellar filaments. When a neutral gas (so thin that collisional interactions can be ignored) meets a plasma such that the kinetic energy of their relative velocity is equal to the ionization potential of the neutral gas, then the kinetic energy is converted into ionization of the neutral gas. This was incidentally suggested by Alfvén in 1942 and later discovered in the lab in the 1970’s.

    Verschuur furthermore states in Galactic Neutral Hydrogen Emission Profile Structure:

    "Analysis of Galactic neutral hydrogen emission profiles that have been corrected for sidelobe radiation confirm the existence of three distinct component line width regimes identified by Verschuur & Magnani in 1994. In addition, a fourth becomes recognizable in the data in directions of low total column density. The line width regimes are around 50 km s~1 (component 1a), 31 km s~1 (component 1b), 13 km s~1 (component 2), and 5.2 km s~1 for the narrow lines arising from cool H I (component 3). In this paper, the new data are presented and compared with previously published results. The possible origin of the distinct line width regimes is briefly examined, and it is concluded that a new interpretation is needed, one that involves a plasma phenomenon known as the critical ionization velocity, which will be fully discussed in a subsequent paper."

    In another paper, On the Critical Ionization Velocity Effect in Interstellar Space and Possible Detection of Related Continuum Emission, he states:

    "Interstellar neutral hydrogen (HI) emission spectra manifest several families of linewidths whose numerical values (34, 13, and 6 km/s) appear to be related to the critical ionization velocities (CIVs) of the most abundant interstellar atomic species. Extended new analysis of HI emission profiles shows that the 34-km/s-wide component, which probably corresponds to the CIV for helium, is pervasive. The 34-km/s-wide linewidth family is found in low-velocity (local) HI profiles and in the so-called high-velocity clouds (HVCs). In addition, published studies of HI linewidths found in the Magellanic Stream, Very High Velocity Clouds, and Compact HVCs, all of which are believed to be intergalactic, have noted that the typical values are of the same
    order. If the CIV effect does play a role in interstellar space, it may be expected to produce locally enhanced electron densities where rapidly moving neutral gas masses interact with the surrounding plasma. Evidence that suggests that this phenomenon is occurring in interstellar space is presented. It manifests as a spatial association between peaks in HI structure offset with respect to peaks in high-frequency radio continuum data obtained with the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe."

    In his book, The Invisible Universe, he provides some background on HI and the widespread presence of these filaments:

    "The neutral hydrogen atom consists of a proton with an electron in an orbit about it. Both the proton and the electron have a property called spin, which can be in the same direction (called parallel spin) or in opposite directions (antiparallel) relative to one another. The total energy contained by the atom in these two conditions is different. When the spin state flips from the parallel condition to the antiparallel, which contains less energy, the atom gets rid of the excess energy by radiating a spectral line at a frequency of 1420.405 MHz, generally known as the 21-cm line referring to its wavelength in the radio band. The 21-cm line is the signature of HI and makes the gas observable to astronomers on earth." (The Invisible Universe: The Story of Radio Astronomy, Gerrit L. Verschuur, p52)

    "It wasn't until some 50 years after the detection of the HI signal that a comprehensive all-sky survey of the HI spectral line was completed under the guidance of W. Butler Burton at the University of Leiden … The completed project is known as the Leiden-Argentina-Bonn (LAB) survey. To give the reader some feel for the enormous scope of this project, the LAB Survey observed 400,000 directions and obtained a spectrum with 1,000 frequency channels at each location … Figure 6.1 is an all-sky HI map made from the LAB Survey data where the color is a measure of the total number of hydrogen atoms along the full line-of-sight through the Galaxy in any given direction … An intriguing feature of this map is the presence of arcs or filaments (long streamers) visible as great threads of emission, whose shapes are almost certainly controlled by magnetic fields between the stars." (The Invisible Universe: The Story of Radio Astronomy, Gerrit L. Verschuur, p52-53)

    In that same source, he also explains the predicament of the "anomalous high-velocity clouds" ...

    "Not all is understood about the distribution of HI in the Milky Way. For example, large areas of sky are found to contain HI [hydrogen] moving at velocities that are not expected if the gas is confined to the plane of the Galaxy. In particular, when a radio telescope is pointed above or below the galactic plane, only relatively local gas traveling at velocities between +-20 km/s with respect to zero, defined in terms of the average random motion of stars near the sun, should be observed. However, HI at very high negative velocities, which indicates motion toward us, is found at high galactic latitudes. These structures are known as high-velocity clouds, although detailed maps of such features show them to be filamentary instead of cloud-like. Their distance and origin continue to be the subject of controversy. The bulk of these HI structures in the northern sky follow an arc defined by a weak radio shell found in radio surveys …" (The Invisible Universe: The Story of Radio Astronomy, Gerrit L. Verschuur, p55)

    The reason this matters is that in the laboratory -- such as the z-machine or even the Tokamak -- plasmas, dusty or not, will exhibit filamentary and Faraday motor structures when they are conducting electrical currents. Here, I will direct you to the works of A.B. Kukushkin and V.A. Rantsev-Kartinov, who first identified these structures within the Tokamak. They created a probabilistic reasoning algorithm (artificial intelligence) which could automatically infer these structures from imagery. They then applied this algorithm to cosmic imagery, such as in their paper titled:

    Similarity of Skeletal Structures in Laboratory and Space and the Probable Role of Self-Assembling of a Fractal Dust in Fusion Devices

    There are in fact many other papers by these two which deploy the same technique to all sorts of cosmic imagery. The notion that plasma scaling is the cause for the universe's fractal nature is something which deserves further consideration.

    At this point, I'd like to return to Verschuur's book, The Invisible Universe, where he provides some cautionary words of advice for conventional thinkers:

    "At the Serendipity meeting, Kraus stated that meaningful accidental discovery occurs only as the result of 'being in the right place with the right equipment doing the right experiment at the right time.' Another noted astronomer, R. Hanbury Brown, added that the person should 'not know too much,' otherwise the discovery might not be made!

    This summarizes a very interesting phenomenon. Many research scientists, especially the theoretically inclined, 'know' so much that their chance of making a lucky or creative discovery may be severely curtailed. If we know too much, our vision is sometimes narrowed to the point where new opportunities are not seen." (The Invisible Universe: The Story of Radio Astronomy, Gerrit L. Verschuur, p14)

    "Jansky knew a little astronomy, but not enough for it to get in his way and cause him to reject the possibility that radio waves originating in the cosmos might be real.

    Grote Reber, a professional engineer and radio ham in his spare time, was one of the few people who recognized the interesting implications of Jansky's discovery. Reber was certainly not hampered by any astronomical prejudices about whether or not the cosmic radio waves could exist. Instead, he was interested in verifying their existence and followed up on Jansky's work. To this end, Reber built the world's first steerable radio dish antenna … in his backyard and mapped the Milky Way radiation during the period 1935 – 1941 … He pointed out that the new field of radio astronomy was originally caught between two disciplines. Radio engineers didn't care where the radio waves came from, and the astronomers

    '… could not dream up any rational way by which the radio waves could be generated, and since they didn't know of a process, the whole affair was (considered by them) at best a mistake and at worst a hoax.'

    The very essence of research is that once an observation is made it requires some understanding and interpretation in order to formulate a plan for making further observations. It was initially very difficult for astronomers, entirely ignorant of radio technology, to interpret or understand the significance of Jansky's or Reber's epoch-making discoveries." (The Invisible Universe: The Story of Radio Astronomy, Gerrit L. Verschuur, p14-15)

    "If the science was to flourish, either astronomers had to learn about radio engineering or radio engineers had to learn astronomy. The new science therefore grew slowly." (The Invisible Universe: The Story of Radio Astronomy, Gerrit L. Verschuur, p16)

    "Breaking through preconceived notions is something that has frustrated many a scientist (as well as philosopher, politician, or lay person). Who, at that time, could possibly have guessed at the amazing scenario that now accounts for the cosmic radio waves. Radio signals from the Milky Way are produced by cosmic ray electrons spiraling around magnetic fields stretched out in space between the stars. In the 1930s and 1940s no one knew that interstellar space contained cosmic ray electrons or that there were magnetic fields between the stars. At the time, cosmic rays were defined as protons (but not electrons) from space that struck the earth continuously. Cosmic ray physicists didn't concern themselves too much about the origin of the cosmic rays, nor did they know what happened to the electrons. Those researchers were mainly interested in studying the composition and physical properties of the particles that did reach their detectors. The absence of electrons was noted, but who would have thought that the electrons didn't reach the earth because they had wasted their energy radiating radio signals in interstellar space." (The Invisible Universe: The Story of Radio Astronomy, Gerrit L. Verschuur, p19)

    "Jansky could hear the faint radio hiss from space in his earphones and went further to report on his quantitative measurements of the intensity of the received emissions. However, his discoveries went largely unrecognized by astronomers, either because they never got to read Jansky's technical papers, which were published in a journal aimed at radio engineers, or because the astronomers, not familiar with radio engineering, simply were not interested." (The Invisible Universe: The Story of Radio Astronomy, Gerrit L. Verschuur, p42)

    My hope is that these quotes will inspire some critical thinking in either yourself, or at least the audience you are attempting to gather. The story of radio astronomy is strikingly similar to the situation which is being alleged with plasmas' role in the cosmos. We'd all be wise to take a cautionary stance in light of the emerging research, and arguably foolish to cast aside the innovation which might accommodate a new science, in some sort of attempt to defend our existing belief system. I say, let the research continue, and let's see where it ends up!

  • brant says:

    The problems with standard cosmology is that they dont teach that magnetic fields come from current flows.

    That is basic physics.... That law holds true anywhere....

  • The Truth says:

    It's funny how the author has to spend the first 1/6th of his article hurling insults at Plasma Cosmology and Plasma Cosmologists. The author must lack confidence in his argument, or it would have stood on it's own merit. A confident presenter would have just presented his scientific argument and let people come to their own conclusions.

    It takes a real streak of immaturity to whip out the crackpot label, too.

    The author says that alternate models need to explain most/all everything that the Standard Model does, or it's wrong. But you do not hold the Standard Model to the same standard. If the Standard Model had any real chops, it wouldn't have had to be revised with Black Holes, Dark Matter, Dark Energy and Dark Flow. The inclusion of each of these unproven factors shows the Standard Model was wrong before the new factor was invented.

    Why does the Standard Model get to revise itself when wrong, but Alternate theories have to be right....RIGHT NOW. Or they are worthless?

    This is hypocrisy.

    How utterly convenient that these Standard Model dogmatists get to claim that things they can't directly prove exist are ruling the universe.

    This is much like the person who imagines a Duck. Then one day he hears a sound and claims it is the sound a Duck would make, then he sees Feathers and claims Ducks would make these also. He never sees the Duck, but he says it exists because of the indirect evidence. All the while there is a hunter out there with a bird call and a fake decoy covered in feathers...but no actual Duck.

    Sorry author, but your precious Standard Model is full of too much indirect evidence. Show me direct proof of the Black Hole, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Dark Flow.

    What's next? Dark Dark?

    LMAO

  • Nolan Bucks says:

    I think your arguments are flawed on many levels, not that this shows that Plasma Cosmology is right.

    1. You general point (paragraph 4) discusses how "plasma cosmology is motivated by people who just want to be different" and some comments on MOND. The father of Plasma Cosmology, and of Space Plasma Physics, was Hannes Alfvén. He was different in highlighting the importance of spaces plasmas, and his work on magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) which describe plasma, earned him the Nobel Prize in physics in 1970. Being different is not necessarily a bad thing. Of course this does not make Plasma Cosmology right. And MOND has nothing to do with Plasma Cosmology. How either criticism could lead you to think that this implies that Plasma Cosmology is wrong, would be described as a non sequitur (does not logically follow).

    2. Your second point (paragraph 7), surprisingly refers to someone's website, who probably isn't the most reliable source of information. Scientist generally refer to peer-reviewed papers, of which there are many by Alfvén and others. Your criticisms may show that the person's website poorly describes Plasma Cosmology. For example, the Website seems to describe the Solar System's ambipolar electric field, which is not the same the mis-described bipolar electric current (sic).

    For the nth time, this is not to support plasma cosmology, only to show that your criticisms fall far short of what they aim to show.

    Scientists do not proclaim "I know this theory is right/wrong", but provide sufficient evidence, theories and peer-reviewed papers, to allow the reader to decide for themselves.

  • Gareth John says:

    Hi Rob,

    Just watched a Horizon documentary on astronomy and super-telescopes (here in the UK). Interested in why no neutrinos had been observed when they were expected to have been (this in a deep-sea telescope array, erm, somewhere). Google led me to plasma cosmology site. Now I'm no physicist, but I know what I like and even to me this stuff sounded bogus. Checked around a bit more and this was one of the sites debunking this stuff. Just wanted to say thanks for helping to set the record straight and make sure the iconoclast in me didn't get carried away!

    Keep on ranting! Some of us 'interested members of the public' do appreciate it!

  • [...] already pointed out how utterly unphysical and batty the whole "electric universe" thing is in my previous post. The Velikovsky business makes no sense, because the physical model of the solar system it needs to [...]