May 17, 2006
Electric Wind in the Laboratory
arcing experiments continue to support a claim made by proponents of
the “Electric Universe”—that the primary features observed on solid
bodies in the solar system were produced by electric discharge.
No, the surface pictured above is not from Mars—or from any other planet or
moon. It is one of many experimental confirmations of a point we
have made more than once in these pages. Electric discharge can
create complexes of
trenches, and undulating
--patterns that are common to planetary
surfaces. They show distinctive differences from features produced
by any single known geologic mechanism.
In the electrical experiment depicted here, a single agency created
features that require planetary scientists to
speculate about many different—even mutually exclusive—agencies.
Plasma scientist C. J. Ransom conducted this experiment at Vemasat Laboratories in
Fort Worth, Texas. The test sample was a layer of magnesium silicate 5 mm thick. It was
spread on a metal plate that served also as the cathode. The anode was a copper probe,
which was placed 14 mm above the sample.
The power supply was 120 milliamps, and the power was on for five seconds with the probe at 12,000 volts. In the
span of that five seconds, the electric “wind” generated by the dark
discharge (no visible arc or glow) produced all of the features of
the observed pattern. (See larger picture of the result
here and the “before” picture
For a comparison examine the picture of the
of Mars. It is some 45 kilometers across and less than 2 kilometers
in elevation at its highest point. It shows the same radiating pattern of grooves
as does the experimental material. Planetary
scientists call this feature a “volcano”. They consider the radial gouges to be caused
by “erosion”, but the nature of this erosion is far from clear to them.
A common speculation is that the surface material is easily erodible pyroclastic ash.
Close observation, however, shows
that the channels were not caused by flowing liquid. They
are flat-floored depressions—either scooped out or collapsed. Similar shallow channels elsewhere on Mars are sometimes
attributed to wind erosion. That explanation is excluded in
this case because of the channels’ radial arrangement.
by an electrical wind, however, accounts for more than the
radial channels. It also accounts for the extensive flat valley
floors that have no apparent connection to flowing liquid of any kind.
It connects them to electrical discharge machining and to electrical
etching of the whole region.
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