Double Down

Supernova 1987a from various instruments. Credit: Alec Ray.

Nov 11, 2019

Stars explode. But how?

A recent press release asks, “What happens when a star explodes?” The answer, not surprisingly, is, “…the same thing that happens when gas explodes here on Earth.”

The Electric Universe agrees with modern physics: a supernova is an exploding star. However, there is much more to the story that involves plasma. Electricity flowing through plasma creates regions of charge separation isolated by double layers. Could charge separation be the foundation for supernovae?

Plasma should be thought of as a condition of matter and not a “substance”. It is an emergent phenomenon out of complex electrical activity. “Emergent” means: “arising as an effect of complex causes and not analyzable simply as the sum of their effects.” As previously written, properties like filamentation, long-range attraction and short-range repulsion, cell-like differentiation, and characteristic instabilities indicate a system of interaction.

Plasma stars are powered by external electric charge flowing through vast circuits in space. Rather than “core rebound”, supernovae are the result of a stored electromagnetic energy release, something like a capacitor when its dielectric medium is overcome. Electrical energy in the circuit is suddenly concentrated at one point, initiating a double layer detonation.

When a star’s double layer explodes, its stellar circuit shorts out, blasting out radiation across the entire electromagnetic spectrum from radio to gamma rays. This accelerates the double layer’s expansion, along with the charged particles composing it. Acceleration can continue out to many stellar diameters, giving off a burst of high-energy “light” like that from a lightning bolt—rapid onset and exponential decline.

The Electric Universe sees a supernova as an exploding electric star: a power-consuming “pinch” in a galactic circuit of Birkeland currents. The circuit drives the pinch, just as circuits in a house drive the electric lights. Since power comes from the circuit, the interior of an electric star could exist in any number of ways. It could be a “balloon” of thin (or dense) plasma with constant density throughout. (The oscillations of the Sun’s surface are consistent with this model.) It could contain a solid body acting as an electrode for the “anode tufting” that makes up the visible surface, or photosphere.

Because the power comes from the circuit, the radiation and “wind” of an electric star are the effects of the arc discharges that make up the corona, chromosphere and photosphere. Fluctuations in these discharges generate “double layers”, which can become unstable and explode into flares and coronal mass ejections.

One characteristic of an exploding double layer is that the energy of the entire circuit, not just the energy contained locally, can flow into the explosion. The energy increase accelerates the expansion of the double layer and the particles composing it. This acceleration continues out to many stellar diameters. At the same time, radiation from the double layer emits bursts of high-energy “light” resembling lightning, with a sudden onset and an exponential decline.

So a supernova is a star that is engulfed by an exploding double layer. Since a circuit drives the double layer, energy released by a supernova does not come from any internal sources. Shock waves and heat are by-products of a phenomenon that is primarily electrical. Expanding, turbulent gases have little or nothing to do with supernovae.

Stephen Smith

The Thunderbolts Picture of the Day is generously supported by the Mainwaring Archive Foundation.

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