There have been two major areas of science which underwent dramatic development in the last decades of the 20th century. The first of these had its origin with Max Planck who, in 1901, had derived a mathematical expression that fitted the most recent experimental curves for black body radiation. He overcame problems with existing theories by suggesting that energy states came in discrete units rather than being continuous. These discrete bundles of energy were described by the product of a new constant, ‘h’, and the frequency, ‘f’. Because this was a purely theoretical abstraction without any physical basis, Planck was skeptical about its validity and the status of his constant ‘h’ for over a decade.

Because of his dissatisfaction, Planck formulated his second theory which was published in 1911. There, the same black-body radiation formula was derived, but in such a way that the constant ‘h’ actually had a physical meaning. In this new approach, ‘h’ was a measure of the strength of radiant energy of all wavelengths which was inherent in the vacuum. Because it should be present even at absolute zero, it was called the Zero Point Energy (ZPE).  Einstein and Stern in 1913 and Nernst in 1916 developed the concept and pointed out that the ZPE required an intrinsic cosmological origin. In 1925 Mulliken obtained experimental proof that the ZPE existed. Then, in the period 1925-1927, four major papers were published on the basis of Planck’s theoretical abstraction of 1901. Unfortunately, these papers sent physical investigation along the track that led to quantum theory and Quantum Electro-Dynamics (QED) as we have it today.

Many years later, in 1962, Louis de Broglie, who wrote one of those four papers, published a book which indicated that physics had missed an opportunity in the 1920's with its failure to follow through with Planck's 1911 paper. De Broglie stated that the existence of the ZPE gave an actual physical reason why quantum phenomena occurred. The book started an ongoing investigation which has published many important papers. This branch of physics became known as Stochastic Electro-Dynamics (SED) as distinct from QED physics.

SED physics accounts for quantum phenomena on the basis of classical physics plus a vacuum Zero Point Energy. Consider the so-called quantum “uncertainty” in the position or momentum of a charged point particle, like an electron. It is not due to some strange characteristic inherent in matter as QED physics might imply. Rather, it is due to the impacting waves of the ZPE battering the electron and causing it to “jitter” to and fro some 1020 times per second. This “jitter motion,” now called the “Zitterbewegung,” makes it physically impossible to establish the precise location or momentum of the electron at any given instant.

The SED approach not only explains other quantum phenomena but also the origin of mass in a logically consistent way. Thus mass originates from the ‘jitter motion” of massless charged point particles, such as makes up the basic electron. The kinetic energy imparted by the “jitter motion” has been demonstrated to appear as mass from the well-known E = mc2 relationship.

The ZPE is the primary factor determining the properties of the vacuum. The reason for this stems from the energy in the ZPE’s electromagnetic waves. Because this energy pervades everything, including our bodies and measuring instruments, it usually goes undetected. These waves behave in a similar way to ocean waves which peak and crest and form ‘white-caps’ when they intersect. At these points where the ZPE waves meet and reinforce, a huge concentration of energy occurs. Because energy and mass are inter-convertible, virtual particle pairs form for a brief instant, then annihilate and return to energy. There is a whole zoo of these virtual particles which may be electron-positron pairs, proton-antiproton pairs or positive and negative pions and so on. It has been estimated that in a human body there may be 1020 virtual particle pairs flashing into and out of existence at any instant. For this reason space is sometimes called “the seething vacuum.”  

The presence of these virtual particle pairs determines how “thick” the vacuum really is, and hence its electric, magnetic, and optical properties. It affects things like the speed of light. Consider a photon of light from an emitter. As it traverses the vacuum, the photon does not get far before it encounters a virtual particle and is absorbed by it. The particle annihilates a fraction of a second later. The photon is re-emitted and goes on its way, only to encounter another virtual particle a moment later. The process then repeats. The speed of light is thereby determined by the “thickness” of the vacuum.

The origin of the ZPE arises from the physical conditions at the inception of the cosmos. Just as a stretched rubber band has energy imparted to its fabric, so, too, the stretching of the heavens has imparted the ZPE to the fabric of space. Thus, as universal expansion continued, more energy came to be invested in the vacuum. Indeed, on the basis of known physical interactions, there are consistent reasons why the ZPE should increase with time, even if the initial expansion has ceased as some cosmologies suggest.

This increase in the strength of the ZPE will affect a number of physical constants, including Planck's constant, sub-atomic masses, the speed of light and the rate of ticking of atomic clocks. Part of the reason for this is that the “thickness” of space increases as the ZPE strength increases since there are more virtual particles per unit volume. This obviously has important implications in a Creation scenario. But to fully assess those implications, a second area of recent development in science must be simultaneously considered, namely plasma physics.

In plasma physics, the foundation was also laid early in the 20th century. The plasma experimental pioneers were Birkland and Langmiur. Later, Alfvén experimented with plasma in the laboratory and established a theoretical base for the results starting in the mid 1940’s. However, most scientists ignored all this early work due to the influence of the acclaimed British physicist, Sydney Chapman who strongly opposed these pioneers. In contrast to them, Chapman developed his own theories without an experimental basis. Generally, Chapman’s theories were accepted, while the theories of the plasma pioneers were side-lined.

It was not until Chapman died in 1970 that Alfvén received a Nobel prize. It was only later that space-craft were developed which could probe interplanetary space and prove the pioneers were right and Chapman was wrong. At that point, plasma physics underwent a growth spurt. This was aided by the work of Anthony Peratt, whose book published in 1991 was a catalyst in the development of plasma physics. An impetus was also given that same year by the discovery that the large-scale structure of the cosmos was filamentary. Alfvén had predicted this in 1963 as an outcome of his plasma research and experiments, but the result shocked many astronomers.

Plasma has been called the fourth state of matter. There are solids, liquids and gases, then plasma. When gases are heated to high temperatures the atoms are ionized since the electrons are stripped off. This means there are negatively charged electrons and positively charged ions or atomic nuclei moving independently of each other. This state is called plasma, which usually exists in one of three modes. Neon lights or aurorae are plasma in glow mode. Lightning or an arc-welding torch is plasma in arc mode. The earth’s ionosphere is the bottom of our planet’s plasma-sphere which extends many earth-diameters out into space. Space probes reveal that most planets are surrounded by plasma-spheres, but we cannot see them because, at the moment, they are all in dark current mode.

Because of the ionization, one of the important properties of plasmas is that they are better conductors of electricity than any metal. Their conductivity and response to electric and magnetic influences show they are distinctly different from a gas. Even weakly ionized plasma has a strong reaction to electric and magnetic fields. In fact, the electric and magnetic forces acting in plasma can exceed the gravitational force by a factor of 1039. This means that plasma forces can act much more rapidly over vaster distances than any gravitational force can.

Plasmas form two typical structures. The first is filaments and voids, such as the universe on a large scale. The second is sheets, such as the Heliospheric Current Sheet from the Sun that pervades our solar system. The reason why filaments occur is that a movement of electrons or ions in plasma constitutes a direct electric current. Every such current has its own circumferential magnetic field. This magnetic field constricts the plasma into the filamentary shapes seen in both the laboratory and space. Radio astronomer Verschuur discovered some 2000 clouds of so-called ‘neutral hydrogen’ in our galaxy which were actually plasma filaments that twisted like helices over enormous distances. He found that these interstellar filaments carried electric currents as high as ten-thousand-billion amperes.  

When two neighboring filaments carry currents that move in the same direction, they are attracted to each other by their magnetic fields.  If the currents are traveling in opposite directions, they repel. Peratt, in the Los Alamos Laboratories, demonstrated plasma filament interactions in experiments and simulations with up to 12 filaments. These interactions formed in miniature all the galaxy types and other astronomical objects we observe. The interaction sequence and timing has been documented, and the physics fully worked out. Since the arrangement of galaxies and galaxy clusters is along filaments that exist on a gigantic scale, it becomes apparent that plasma physics is the key to understanding how the universe was formed.

Unfortunately, the prevailing paradigm in astronomy is gravitational physics. Most astronomers thus view the plasma approach with some irritation. Nevertheless, it is admitted that the gravitational approach cannot answer some key problems including the formation time of galaxies. Since these problems are totally resolved by the plasma approach, there is much to recommend it. Indeed, plasma cosmology is strongly supported by IEEE members.

Plasma cosmology and the ZPE now must be put together. An increasing ZPE means that the electric and magnetic properties of space were different in the early universe. Analysis shows that all plasma interactions proceeded more swiftly when the ZPE strength was lower. When the numbers from the astronomical data are inserted into the relevant equations, it is easily possible to form a fully functioning universe within 144 hours, and get light back from the most distant galaxies in 8000 years. Furthermore, it is possible to convert the ZPE dependent atomic clock dates to orbital dates since orbital phenomena are unaffected by changes in the strength of the ZPE. The final outcome is that these two developments in physics now allow us to account for the 6 days of Creation, the astronomical observations back to the frontiers of the cosmos, and the geological column. This research is thereby commended for consideration.