Plasma Physics

questions based on a Wikipedia article

 Question: Maybe a poor source, but Wikipedia seems to indicate that it is a theory that is losing adherents rather than gaining them. If so is this because the evidence truly does point elsewhere, or is it due to bias in the field and an unwillingness to surrender long held dogma.

Setterfield: There is indeed bias against this field of study and an unwillingness to give up dogma. However, many of the proponents of plasma physics have created their own problems due to their approach to cosmology. This is where the primary criticism of the article is focused, not the actual physics.

 I quote a portion of the article below. From:

"Proponents of plasma cosmology claim electrodynamics is as important as gravity in explaining the structure of the universe, and speculate that it provides an alternative explanation for the evolution of galaxies[31] and the initial collapse of interstellar clouds.[19] In particular plasma cosmology is claimed to provide an alternative explanation for the flat rotation curves of spiral galaxies and to do away with the need for dark matter in galaxies and with the need for supermassive black holes in galaxy centres to power quasars and active galactic nuclei.[30][31] "

Setterfield: The basics of plasma physics have shown that these things are so by experiments in the lab which can be reproduced and up-scaled to the dimensions of galaxies and beyond. These experiments do indeed demonstrate the validity of the concepts claimed in this paragraph.

"However, theoretical analysis (Setterfield: notice it is a theoretical analysis as distinct from the lab experiments) shows that "many scenarios for the generation of seed magnetic fields, which rely on the survival and sustainability of currents at early times [of the universe are disfavored]",[20] i.e. Birkeland currents of the magnitude needed (1018 amps over scales of megaparsecs) for galaxy formation do not exist.[34] "

Setterfield: On this matter there are two responses. First, the Dutch radio astronomer Gerrit Verschuur demonstrated that electric currents of 10,000 billion amperes were flowing in plasma clouds in the spiral arms of our Milky Way. That is 10^13 amps within our galaxy quite apart from the galaxy as a whole. The 1018 amps is an easily sustainable concept for a whole galaxy as a result.

Second, most astronomical equipment can only measure magnetic fields; they are not equipped to measure electric currents. The result is that some erroneously claim that the currents do not exist. However, there is no known way of producing a magnetic field without an electric current, and the magnetic fields measured as pervading the disks of galaxies like M51 are so high that the currents that must sustain them are of the magnitude needed. The magnetic fields are there and have been measured, so the currents must be there also.

The error that most astronomers make is that they assume the magnetic fields to be primordial without any currents to generate them. This approach misses the primary physics behind the formation of those fields. The problem has been to get astronomers to admit their error in assuming the magnetic fields exist on their own without electric currents. This problem has sent cosmologists off looking for magnetic monopoles or mechanisms to form them so that the magnetic fields can exist on their own. Magnetic monopoles have never been found, despite an extensive search.

"Additionally, many of the issues that were mysterious in the 1980s and 1990s, including discrepancies relating to the cosmic microwave background and the nature of quasars, have been solved with more evidence that, in detail, provides a distance and time scale for the universe. Plasma cosmology supporters therefore dispute the interpretations of evidence for the Big Bang, the time evolution of the cosmos, and even the expanding universe; their proposals are essentially outside anything considered even plausible in mainstream astrophysics and cosmology."

Setterfield: It is here that there is a degree of truth. Many plasma cosmologists reject the Big Bang and the time-evolution of the cosmos and also an expanding universe. The reason can be found in their philosophical approach and the conclusions which come from that. I do not hold with their philosophy, nor do I hold with their erroneous conclusions which come from this approach. Nor do I dismiss the data they do because of their bias. The ZPE-Plasma model we have presented takes into account all the lab results from plasma physics and the data from astronomy and brings the two together in a synthesis which is remaining true to observational evidence.

The problem is that plasma physicists are nearly all atheists and will have nothing to do with the Bible. They see the Big Bang as being too close to the Biblical scenario of creation of something out of nothing and an expansion of the cosmos (mentioned 12 times in the Bible) to be acceptable. Therefore, they have a model of an eternal universe, and in accepting that model they must deny data that points to the contrary. This forces them to form quasars by expulsion of material from nearby galaxies instead of being the cores of very distant galaxies. They must also deny the evidence for universal expansion provided by the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR). And so the list goes on.

The problem started back in the 1960’s when the old Steady State theory of the universe held sway and the Big Bang was in the minority. The Steady State idea was that the universe was eternal and looked the same at all times throughout eternity. Then the discovery of quasars came along and proved that the universe was different with time, as quasars were prominent in the early cosmos but not now. This led to the ascendency of the Big Bang and many astronomers like Arp and Hoyle worked hard to fight against it. Unfortunately, the Plasma astronomers have aligned themselves with that cause and so this automatically makes all their pronouncements suspect to Big Bang astronomers.

"Some of the places where plasma cosmology supporters are most at odds with standard explanations include the need for their models to have light element production without Big Bang nucleosynthesis, which, in the context of Alfvén-Klein cosmology, has been shown to produce excessive x-rays and gamma rays beyond that observed.[35][36] Plasma cosmology proponents have made further proposals to explain light element abundances, but the attendant issues have not been fully addressed.[37] In 1995 Eric Lerner published his alternative explanation for the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB).[38] He argued that his model explained the fidelity of the CMB spectrum to that of a black body and the low level of anisotropies found, even while the level of isotropy at 1:105 is not accounted for to that precision by any alternative models. Additionally, the sensitivity and resolution of the measurement of the CMB anisotropies was greatly advanced by WMAP and the Planck satellite and the statistics of the signal were so in line with the predictions of the Big Bang model, that the CMB has been heralded as a major confirmation of the Big Bang model to the detriment of alternatives.[39] The acoustic peaks in the early universe are fit with high accuracy by the predictions of the Big Bang model, and, to date, there has never been an attempt to explain the detailed spectrum of the anisotropies within the framework of plasma cosmology or any other alternative cosmological model."

Setterfield: This difficulty is basically a fault of the philosophical approach by the plasma cosmologists. I do not agree with that approach. Indeed, I accept the data that is mentioned in this Wikipedia passage on the CMBR. However, it can be entirely explained by plasma physics acting within an expanding universe. It is most unfortunate that the whole plasma concept has become bogged down by the intransigence of its proponents in maintaining an eternal cosmos and a denial of the Big Bang. When the plasma principles are applied to the actual data (which support a Big Bang), then a scenario opens up which supports Scripture 100%. So in this way both the Big Bang physicists and the Plasma physicists have provided us with information which points us to the complete Truth.

I did try to read some of your Responses to Critics on Plasma and Gravity and it seemed that it may be relevant to some of these points, but I lack the technical expertise to sort it all out. I really don’t need a detailed explanation, but would like to know if the challenges to plasma cosmology above are legitimate concerns or not.

 For example. Are ‘many scenarios for the generation of seed magnetic fields, which rely on the survival and sustainability of currents at early times’ disfavored because ‘currents of the magnitude needed for galaxy formation do not exist’? Have the ‘mysterious issues’ for the gravity/big bang model, ‘relating to cosmic microwave background and the nature of quasars’ been ‘solved with more evidence that, in detail, provides a distance and time scale for the universe’? Are plasma cosmology supporters proposals ‘outside anything considered even plausible in mainstream astrophysics and cosmology’? Are there criticisms of Alfven-Klein’s cosmology honest? Is Eric Lerner’s CMB model superior to any other model and were the subsequent advances by WMAP and the Planck satellite so in line with the predictions of the Big Bang model, as to be a confirmation of it to the detriment of alternatives? Is it true that there has never been an attempt to explain the detailed spectrum of the anisotropies within the framework of plasma cosmology, etc?

Setterfield: I think that I have addressed most of the basic issues above and what you have written is only a further questioning of the truth of what Wikipedia had written. I do not think that Eric Lerner’s model for the CMBR is in agreement with the data and so must be discarded. As far as the Alfven-Klein cosmology is concerned, there are more recent plasma approaches to the formation of elements. This has been outlined by Donald Scott in his book The Electric Sky and his other writings.