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The True State of the Universe

“… almost the entire body of astronomers can go wrong in a way that, in later years, seems absurd. To hear scientists talk today, you would think the first moment in human history in which nonsensical views are not widely held is now.”
– Fred Hoyle,  Home is Where the Wind Blows.

Those who profess to understand it do not know the true state of the universe.

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In recent months two of the most popular science magazines have produced special supplements. Scientific American published ‘The Secret Lives of Stars.’ New Scientist published ‘State of the Universe.’ Like most publications on astronomy they are predominantly speculative fantasy. The reason is simple: the unquestioned belief in the big bang theory. In the big bang theory cosmologists discard such basic principles of physics as ”no creation from nothing” and ”every effect must have an antecedent cause.” These principles of physics are inviolate rules. Any contradiction is tantamount to magic, a miracle, or the supernatural. So belief in the big bang theory is no more scientific than the religious belief in a creation event. The obscurantism of mathematicians merely supplants that of high-priests.

There is a musty smell of Ptolemaic epicycles about modern astronomy. New discoveries are explained by adding new epicycles to an already complicated model of the universe. New forces and exotic, unseen forms of matter are dreamt up almost weekly and applied where necessary to patch up the model. The patches, or epicycles, obscure the real state of the universe. Big bang cosmology is not predictive. It is not scientific.

For decades empirical evidence has been mounting that removes the foundation of the big bang:’ the redshift-distance equation. It seems that the visible universe is not expanding and it is not as big as we think.

Then, on October 2, 2003, the big bang was proved wrong. Again!

The Big Bang is Dead
The active galaxy NGC 7319 has a jet pointing to a highly redshifted quasar sitting in front of the low redshift galaxy! Credit: Jane C. Charlton (Penn State) et al., HST, ESA, NASA

This milestone paper was presented by Margaret Burbidge at the January 2004 AAS meeting in Atlanta. The response, according to Halton Arp, was “overwhelming silence.'”

The paper has been submitted to astronomical journals. The referees recommended extensive editing. Now it sits awaiting an editorial decision on whether it should be published.

And it sits, and sits…

Arp has placed the article in the astro/ph archive where those who may be interested can read it, whether or not it is accepted for publication.

The major significance of this paper is that there can be no evasion about connections between galaxies and a nearby redshifted quasar. In this paper a highly redshifted quasar is shown to sit in front of an opaque low redshift active galaxy, NGC 7319. It means that the redshift of the quasar cannot be a measure of its distance. The redshift of the quasar must be largely an intrinsic property.

In an attempt to sustain the myth of the big bang it has been suggested that the meaning of this discovery for cosmological models remains uncertain until a mechanism for the generation of quasars from active galaxies and the quasar’s intrinsic redshift is understood. That is nonsense. We accept many things as being true and self-evident without understanding the mechanism behind them.

It seems a delaying and self-serving tactic because it is the plasma gun (or plasma focus) effect that explains quasar ejections from the cores of active galaxies, not imaginary black holes. We can turn to the much closer and equally imaginary ‘neutron star remnants’ of supernova outbursts for a look at the cosmic plasma gun in action.

The Vela Pulsa
The Vela Pulsar Credit: NASA/PSU/G.Pavlov et al.

The official report describes this image as:

“..striking, almost unbelievable, structures consisting of bright rings and jets of matter. Such structures indicate that mighty ordering forces must be at work amidst the chaos of the aftermath of a supernova explosion. Forces can harness the energy of thousands of Suns and transform that energy into a tornado of high-energy particles that is called a ‘pulsar wind nebula.'”

Astronomers know nothing about the surprising phenomena associated with the plasma focus or plasma gun. That is why the image above is ‘unbelievable.’ However, the stacked plasmoid rings structure is familiar to those experimenting with high-energy electric discharges. It requires electrical energy to be supplied to the star, not vice-versa. The star at the focus of the plasma discharge is not the prime source of the prodigious power output. And the star is not rotating impossibly several times a second. The pulsed power from Vela is typical of a relaxation oscillator circuit, where electrical energy is stored for a time then released suddenly, in bursts. In this case, electrical energy pouring toward the star is stored in an equatorial plasmoid ring until it is suddenly switched into polar jets. Plasma instabilities in the axial discharge may form stacked polar plasmoids and bright knots of matter in the jet. The corkscrew shape of the jet is diagnostic of a polar electric discharge.

Electromagnetic forces between cosmic current streams, which obey a 1/r law and are far stronger and more far-reaching than gravity, govern the dynamics of the system. So calculations of movement of matter based on Newtonian gravitational physics will give wildly exaggerated answers about the mass of the central object.

As this example hints, plasma cosmology is firmly grounded in electrical engineering principles and has no need for unobserved black holes, neutron stars or dark matter to explain the observed universe. Plasma cosmology doesn”t need to invent new forces or new physics to save its models. But it does expose our ignorance about an origin of the universe, whatever that means.

Let me return to the highly redshifted quasars. It is my view also that none of the mechanisms proposed to date will explain intrinsic redshift because it hinges on understanding the phenomenon of mass and the real cause of quantum effects. It is obvious the two are intimately connected because quasars have been shown to increase in mass as their redshift decreases in quantized jumps. Unfortunately for physicists, their minds have been warped by Einstein’s nonsensical, geometrical view of gravity and their impossible leap of meaning for Einstein”s famous equation, E=mc^2. The ‘m’ represents mass, not matter. Matter cannot be ‘created’ from energy. The matter in the universe could not have formed from the energy of an explosion.

The real answers in cosmology will require us to return to the fundamental principles of physics. That may take a long time for it seems principles in physics are seriously out of vogue. It is the price we will continue to pay for so long as mathematicians remain the fashion leaders in physics. For mathematicians have no such principles. To them physics is an intellectual game like Lewis Carroll”s ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ And like Carroll”s famous book, the more reality is bent out of shape the better the media and the public seem to like it. And funding pours in for Mad-Hatter ideas.

A quick thumb through the topics in the magazines mentioned clearly demonstrates the sorry state of cosmology. Comments from the ELECTRIC UNIVERSE® perspective are appended:

The First Stars in the Universe by Richard B. Larson and Volker Bromm.
Exceptionally massive and bright, the earliest stars changed the course of cosmic history

The history of the universe is a concocted fiction based on the big bang model. When we look at faint, high-redshift objects we are not looking back to a time near the big bang. Also we are not looking at stars that are at the great distances inferred from their redshift. So their exceptional brightness is a miscalculation based on a falsified model. Bright stars result primarily from their electrical environment rather than their mass. The puzzling over-abundance of metals (elements heavier than hydrogen and helium) in present-day stars and x-ray emitting intergalactic gas is easy to explain in the electrical model of stars where all of the heavy elements seen in stellar spectra are formed right where we see them -‘ at the stellar surface. The notion of recycling stellar detritus to increase metallicity was always a flight of fancy, given the vast distances separating stars and the few exploding stars.

Fountains of Youth: Early Days in the Life of a Star by Thomas P. Ray
To make a star, gas and dust must fall inward. So why do astronomers see stuff streaming outward?

Stars cannot be formed by gas and dust falling inward. Rotational energy will put a stop to it. Molecular clouds, from which stars are supposed to form, show no signs of collapsing. And it has never been shown how planets can form from a dusty disk encircling a star. Instead, stars are formed by the strong electromagnetic ‘pinch effect,’ like beads on a string, along a discharge in a dusty plasma. Each string is a cosmic Birkeland current, which scavenges gas and dust at long range with its 1/r electromagnetic ‘pinch’ force. Unlike gravity, the electric force can strongly repel as well as attract. So there is no mystery about ‘stuff streaming outward’ from stars. Nor is it surprising that the streams take the form of thin jets. A thin jet is the hallmark of an electric discharge. Planets, too, are formed not by separate accretion but by electrical expulsion of core material from larger bodies.

Companions to Young Stars by Alan P. Boss
The surprising finding that even the youngest stars commonly exist in sets of two or three has revised thinking about the birth of star systems

Double star systems are common amongst mature stars. Multiple star systems were thought to be due to capture, long after the stars were formed. So it was a surprise when young stars were found to have companions. But this finding is not a surprise if all stars are born in a cosmic electric discharge. The simplest way for a star to reduce electrical stress as it grows is to increase its effective surface area by electrically fissioning. The result is a companion star or a gas giant. It explains why gas giants are found in tight orbits about nearby stars. It helps explain the large number of brown dwarf stars being discovered.

Also, the usual ideas about the ages of stars are invalid for electrically powered stars. A star can change its spectral type and luminosity overnight if it is electrically disturbed. In that sense too, it is no surprise that there is no distinction between stars characterized incorrectly as mature or young. That also means that estimates of the age of the Sun, its longevity and future behavior are invalid.

Another issue is that of ‘accretion disks’ about some stars. Accretion disks are used to explain the formation of planetary systems. The electrical model of stars suggests that they are more likely to be expulsion disks, since matter can be electrically expelled from a star equatorially or in polar jets. A similar phenomenon is seen in active galaxies where quasars are sometimes emitted from the nucleus in the plane of the galaxy, rather than along the spin axis.

The Discovery of Brown Dwarfs by Gibor Basri
Less massive than stars but more massive than planets, brown dwarfs were long assumed to be rare. New sky surveys, however, show that the objects may be as common as stars

If stars are powered electrically there is no lower limit to the mass of a star. They do not require central thermonuclear reactions to produce light and heat. So brown dwarfs do not gradually fade away as they lose internal heat. Their mass and temperature do not indicate their age. All bodies in the universe receive electrical energy to some degree. So our definition of a star will need to be revisited.

The Stellar Dynamo by Elizabeth Nesme-Ribes, Sallie L. Baliunas and Dmitry Sokoloff
Sunspot cycles–on other stars–are helping astronomers study the sun’s variations and the ways they might affect Earth

Stellar magnetic fields are not generated magically out of sight by problematic dynamos inside stars. As every schoolchild knows, magnetic fields are caused by electric currents. The same electric currents that light the star generate stellar magnetic fields and cause sunspots where the current density is high. Electric stars are cooler inside so no tricks are required to explain why sunspots, which punch a hole through the star-wide electrical storm, show a cooler interior.

Sunspot cycles are an indicator of the variability of a star”s source of electrical energy and therefore the radiant energy arriving at the Earth. Stellar discharges contrive to restrict the variability more to x-ray output. The sunspot patterns are cyclical probably because of the structure of galactic Birkeland current filaments and their movement relative to the Sun. Also, being a part of a galactic power circuit, there will be fluctuations. The important lesson for us on Earth is that there are no guarantees about our future climate. The study of sunspot cycles on other stars may teach us a great deal when we apply the electrical model.

When Stars Collide by Michael Shara
When two stars smash into each other, it can be a very pretty sight. Once considered impossible, these occurrences have turned out to be common in certain galactic neighborhoods

Star "smash"
Image: Scientific American

Stars do not smash into one another. The artist’s rendition of a white dwarf colliding with the Sun is entirely fanciful. Stars are overwhelmed by electrical interactions long before physical contact can be made. Gravity plays an insignificant role. Instead, stars will discharge cataclysmically, emitting x-rays and smaller bodies such as companion stars or gas giants. Electrical forces also mediate capture and circularization of orbits.

Cat's eye nebula
Cat's eye nebula Credit: NASA, ESA, HEIC, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Stellar plasma discharges are often very beautiful, forming bipolar filamentary and cellular patterns typical of electrified plasma but not of mechanical winds, collisions and explosions.

X-ray Binaries by Edward P. J. van den Heuvel and Jan van Paradijs
When ultradense neutron stars feed on their more sedate companions, the binary systems produce outpourings of x-rays and drastically alter the evolution of both stars

The electric force is one thousand billion billion billion billion times more powerful than gravity and consequently ultradense objects are not needed to explain compact sources of energy. Furthermore we have no evidence that ultradense objects exist, much less an object made of unstable neutrons. Orbital calculations of a close electrical binary star system using the ultra-weak force of gravity will give wildly inflated gravitational masses. Stars do not ‘evolve’ by consuming themselves or transferring matter gravitationally. Their brightness and spectral type are determined largely by the electrical stress in their environment. X-ray bursts and regular pulses from binary stars are the result of electric discharges. They are a natural feature of low-pressure electrical discharges. To suggest that they are due to matter ‘falling’ from one star on to another is laughable.

Magnetars by Chryssa Kouveliotou, Robert C. Duncan and Christopher Thompson
Magnetized so intensely, some stars alter the very nature of the quantum vacuum

The quantum vacuum is a fictitious construct, like the grin of Lewis Carroll”s Cheshire cat, arising from the probabilistic and therefore, non-physical, nature of quantum theory. It is reminiscent of Zaphod Beeblebrox”s spaceship with the ‘infinite improbability drive.’ Douglas Adams was an acute observer of the nonsense in science and religion. The quantum vacuum also violates the physics principle of ‘no creation from nothing.’ The beam of radiation from a stellar plasma gun effect offers a more plausible real-world explanation for the effects attributed to a magnetar (a strongly magnetized neutron star). NASA exclaimed: ‘”When you have eliminated all other possibilities, Sherlock Holmes instructed, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the answer.”‘ As usual, NASA chose the improbable rather than looking for real possibilities from plasma cosmology.

Supersoft X-ray Stars and Supernovae by Peter Kahabka, Edward P. J. van den Heuvel and Saul A. Rappaport
Supersoft sources–which spew unusually low–energy x-rays-are now thought to be white dwarf stars that siphon matter from their stellar companions and then, in many cases, explode

X-rays are the hallmark of electric discharges. There is no more improbable way of generating x-rays than to drop matter from a great height onto a star. Nature can”t be that stupid. In the case of binary star systems that emit copious soft x-rays, it would seem that there is a steady form of plasma discharge taking place between the stars that is the source of the radiation, rather than the stars themselves. In such a circumstance, a plasma instability could lead to a stellar explosion, or supernova.

It has never been shown satisfactorily how a star can explode against the force of its strong gravity. The rebounding implosion model is as far-fetched as x-rays from falling objects. What is worse for that model, it cannot explain the exquisite bipolar filamentary and cellular planetary nebulae that often result from stellar explosions (see earlier picture). The electrical model of stars has a simple explanation for all of these features.

Binary Neutron Stars by Tsvi Piran
The inevitable collapse of these paired stellar remnants generates runaway heating that, for a few weeks, emits more light than an entire galaxy

Commonsense shrieks at us that you cannot have an object weighing more than the Sun stuffed into the size of an asteroid and spinning thousands of times a second! But that”s a neutron star. So here we have two theoretical figments in orbit and generating light as they coalesce to form a black hole in ‘a tiny fraction of a second.’

Plasma discharge features more simply and realistically explain all of the phenomena associated with so-called neutron stars. And it is the sudden release from stars of stored internal electric energy that gives rise to supernova outbursts. The release is easily triggered by an electrical instability in a binary system.

The Brightest Explosions in the Universe by Neil Gehrels, Luigi Piro and Peter J. T. Leonard
Every time a gamma-ray burst goes off, a black hole is born

The simple plasma gun concentrates electrical power to produce the most powerful beam of gamma and particle radiation known on Earth. As discussed earlier in relation to the Vela pulsar, Nature is quite able to perform that trick. It does not signify the birth of that impossible object, the black hole.

So much for Scientific American Fiction.

Let’s see how the New Scientist supplement, ‘The State of the Universe’ fares.

It begins with a foreword by England’s Astronomer Royal, Martin Rees, grandly titled “Welcome to the New Age of Enlightenment.” He writes:

“even the more cautious among us are confident that we now know some of the key cosmic numbers, and are grasping at least the outlines of how stars and galaxies emerged. Astronomers can trace the evolutionary story back long before our solar system formed 4.5 billion years ago; we can now observe galaxies that are so far away that their light set out 12 billion years ago.”

Those who, like Martin Rees, are up close to the action in astronomy are not necessarily best placed to judge whether we are in a new enlightened era. If they could be called as expert witnesses and cross-examined before a jury of engineers there are many basic questions I would like to ask. For example, “how do you create matter?” “What causes the phenomenon of mass?” “What causes the phenomenon of gravity?” Objections would be raised to any answers that violated the principles of physics, appealed to authority, or were based upon unfalsifiable assumptions. I have no doubt that the testimony would be dismissed. There is no more effective way to deal with the hubris of experts.

Of course, asking probing questions is more properly the role of investigative journalism. But as Halton Arp wrote:

“Investigative journalism so far as science is concerned is clearly dead in the water. The media generally take the easy path of handouts and opinions from authoritative sources. No hard work of checking facts and conflicts of interest.”
[Seeing Red, p. 260.]

The warning signs are huge that there is something rotten at the core of cosmology. Rees continues:

“We have extended the frontiers of our knowledge, and new mysteries have come into focus; we’re still perplexed, but at a deeper level than before. As we compiled a more complete inventory of what is out there in space, for example, something very surprising has emerged: 96 per cent of the universe is unaccounted for. Everything that shines – stars, galaxies and glowing gas – amounts to just 4 per cent of all that’s there. ‘Most of the gravitational force that holds each galaxy together comes not from the stars and gas we see, but from “dark matter” – probably a swarm of particles, whose nature remains unknown, left over from the big bang.”

That is hardly enlightenment! We are told the visible universe is composed of objects moving predominantly under the influence of gravity. That is an assumption. It follows a belief that ‘electricity doesn”t do anything in space’ and can be ignored. If that is wrong, it is a remarkable oversight. It seems prudent to question that belief before spending billions of dollars on particle experiments looking for chimera required by a theory that cannot explain the most basic observations of the heavens. Rees argues, ” ..there is a symbiosis between cosmology and physics.” There is – in the sense that wild conjectures about the big bang, dark matter and ultradense objects fuels a scandalous waste of research funds in both fields.

Rees also writes:

“When a theory breaks down, or confronts a paradox, we need a new unifying idea that transcends what went before.”

But then he continues:

“For example, Einstein’s theory and the quantum theory are both superb within limits – indeed they are the foundation of 20th-century physics – but these theories cannot be meshed together: at the deepest level they are contradictory.”

Surely, a man of his intelligence can see that those contradictions are at the heart of the problems facing cosmologists? Maybe those theories are not as superb as advertised. Unfortunately for experts like Rees, history shows that the answers are likely to come from others untrained in the field who bring to the problem a beginner”s mind. Experts have not taught them what to believe.

When Time Began by Paul Davies
‘What makes us so sure there was a big bang? Just rewind the universe and there’s only one conclusion..’

In a typically glib opening line the assumption that the universe can be ‘just rewound’ in time is stated as a fact, without question. The paper by Burbidge about the quasar in front of NGC 7319 shows it cannot be done. Davies goes on:

“Direct evidence for a cosmic origin in a big bang comes from three observations. The first, and most direct, is that the universe is still expanding today. The second is the existence of a pervasive heat radiation that is neatly explained as the fading afterglow of the primeval fire that accompanied the big bang. The third strand of evidence is the relative abundances of the chemical elements, which can be correctly accounted for in terms of nuclear processes in the hot dense phase that followed the big bang.”

Following Arp, the Burbidges and others, the evidence for universal expansion is no more. The so-called heat radiation is more neatly and accurately predicted by plasma cosmology. And the relative abundances of chemical elements was not predicted from the big bang theory. It was arrived at by working backwards from the observations and twiddling countless knobs on the model to arrive at some sort of match. In the Open Letter to the Scientific Community it was put this way:

“..the big bang theory can boast of no quantitative predictions that have subsequently been validated by observation. The successes claimed by the theory’s supporters consist of its ability to retrospectively fit observations with a steadily increasing array of adjustable parameters, just as the old Earth-centred cosmology of Ptolemy needed layer upon layer of epicycles.”

Davies proceeds from this opening misinformation to indulge in a mathematician”s discussion of meaningless concepts like “..gravity is a warping of space-time,” and “the speck from which space emerges is not located in anything. It is not an object surrounded by emptiness. It is the origin of space itself, infinitely compressed. Note that the speck does not sit there for an infinite duration. It appears instantaneously from nothing and immediately expands.” Douglas Adams eat your heart out!

From there it is a short step to “form a more fruitful meeting ground for science and theology,” which is the subtext for much of Davies’ work and for which he won the Templeton Prize. That prize is ‘for progress toward research or discoveries about spiritual realities,’ and it is currently valued at 795,000 pounds sterling. The title of his prize-winning address? It was “Physics and the Mind of God.”

I have news for the Templeton Prize committee (Davies was once a committee member too). Big bang cosmology and religion were never separated! The prize is meaningless as far as cosmology is concerned and the committee incestuous with past prize-winners and fellow astrophysicists as members. If cosmology is ever to become a science it must be wrested from deluded mathematicians who consider God to be one of them. By their dominance, physics has become a cuckoo’s nest.

Real ‘progress toward research or discoveries about spiritual realities’ will only be possible when the electrical nature of the universe and the recent history of the solar system are properly investigated. All creation myths are earthly “re-creation” stories following dramatic electrical events within our planetary system. They have nothing to do with the creation of the universe. ‘Fiat lux’ did not signal that our ancestors knew, or were somehow told, about the big bang. Common sense tells us that’s impossible.

Meanwhile the writing is already on the wall (pardon the pun) when a leading plasma physicist can decipher the true meaning of prehistoric petroglyphs. They demonstrate unequivocally that our ancestors witnessed catastrophic cosmic plasma discharges that involved the Earth. If anyone deserves the Templeton Prize, it is he.

Without exception, the subsequent articles in State of the Universe are no better and deserve no comment. They relish all of the fantastic possibilities of the unreal universe of the big bang, leaving no singularity unturned. This tiny part of the universe is all showbiz.

So what is the true state of the universe?

The works of the astronomers, Halton Arp and his colleagues Geoffrey and Margaret Burbidge, Sir Fred Hoyle, Jayant Narlikar, Jack Sulentic and others, show that the visible universe is small and static. That means the larger universe is of unknown age and extent.

Plasma cosmologists show that the visible universe is threaded with cosmic power lines, known as Birkeland currents. Their origin beyond the visible universe is a mystery. This electrical power source renders thermodynamic arguments about the age of the visible universe and its fate invalid. The visible universe is not a closed system.

Galaxies are the largest plasma discharge formations in the visible universe. Stars are the cosmic electric street lamps that light them.

Arp has also shown that active galaxies give birth to quasars, which in turn become companion galaxies. He has shown that the intrinsic redshift of galaxies is quantized. That strikes at the very heart of contradictory 20th century physics, with its worship of Einstein and quantum theory.

It is evident that a revolution in thinking is required before we can even begin to ask the right questions about the state of the universe. It requires humility in the face of our ignorance and a beginner”s mind. Cosmology attempts to paint the biggest picture of our existence. In my opinion it must be an interdisciplinary pursuit in an attempt to avoid the pitfalls of the present closed-shop mentality and indoctrinated belief systems.

I leave the last word to Halton Arp, who has been called the latter day Galileo, following the refusal of other astronomers to look at his discoveries that refute the big bang:

Halton Arp

“After all, to get the whole universe totally wrong in the face of clear evidence for over 75 years merits monumental embarrassment and should induce a modicum of humility.”
– Halton Arp, What has Science Come to? Journal of Scientific Exploration.

Wal Thornhill

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