The Electric Universe (EU) recognizes that charged particles permeate all of space as electrically conductive plasma. Unlike the protons and electrons that make up neutral atoms, the charged particles in plasma are not bound by atomic structure. These freely moving charged particles are much more strongly affected by electric fields than by gravity. The aggregate movement of charged particles is an electric current.
The leading plasma scientist of the 20th-century was Hannes Alfvén. His experiments showed that electric currents are essential to the understanding of plasma behavior in space. An electric current will always create a magnetic field, and modern observations reveal pervasive magnetic fields across the cosmos.
Energetic events in space are the signature of electric currents and associated electric discharge. From an EU perspective, electric currents power stars and occasionally cause stars to explode as supernovae. On a larger scale, such currents are responsible for explosive jets from galactic centers. Most of the great surprises of the space age point to electrical causes, supporting the core prediction of the Electric Universe:
When we examine energetic events in space, we will always find electromagnetic intensities far beyond the ability of prior theory to explain them.
Modern telescopes can view these events across the full electromagnetic spectrum. Elaborate plasma structures spring to life in radio, infrared, ultraviolet, and X-ray wavelengths. Gravitational theorists, working forward from the hypothesized Big Bang, never anticipated the intricate structures and associated energies. And yet, several decades ago Dr. Alfvén foresaw this challenge to standard theory:
I have never thought that you could obtain the extremely clumpy, heterogeneous universe we have today, strongly affected by plasma processes, from the smooth, homogeneous one of the Big Bang, dominated by gravitation.
~quoted by Anthony Peratt in an article “Dean of the Plasma Dissidents”
Laboratory experiments for more than two centuries, coupled with recent discoveries from space, have shown the effects of electric fields and electric currents in plasma at all scales of observation. These effects have placed a spotlight on filamentary streams of charged particles and discrete plasma cells. The electric fields across cellular boundaries in space (called “double layers”) can accelerate charged particles to great speeds and powerfully alter the behavior of galaxies, stars, and even planets. It’s only in recent decades that space scientists began to discover the many ways that incoming charged particles affect Earth and its atmosphere.
An electric current in plasma, called a Birkeland current, generates a “cocoon” of magnetism around itself, pinching the current into filaments. These filaments attract each other when far apart and repel when close, producing filament pairs that spiral around each other. As pairs combine, they form cables that can transmit electrical power across vast distances, imparting spin to concentrations of matter. Traditional theories have never adequately accounted for why all bodies in space spin.
With the help of new observational tools, these filaments are seen in –
• Bridges of radiation and magnetism between galaxies
• Luminous strings of star formation along the local arm of the Milky Way
• Jets from stars and galactic cores
• Hourglass-shapes of stellar nebulae
• Luminous “hair” of nebular clouds
• Tails of comets
• Plasma tail of Venus, extending to Earth
• Planetary auroras
To understand these phenomena, the Electric Universe draws upon plasma laboratory experiments. The documented behavior of plasma challenges many contemporary ideas that were formulated prior to the discovery of electric currents in space.
By correcting Newton’s gravity-centric assumption, the Electric Universe invites us to see beyond local phenomena to their larger electrical contexts. The filamentary web of electromagnetism, now evident across the cosmos, affirms that there are no islands in space. The formation of galaxies, the birth of stars, and the evolution of planetary systems all occur under the influence of the electric force. The recognition of this electrical contribution is the distinctive feature of the Electric Universe.