At home in the universe
Introducing electromagnetic fields and plasma into the cosmological model has implications beyond the realms of pure science, even impacting our sense of place in the universe.
If invisible electric streams extend across great reaches of what we have though of as empty space, then not only is the space not empty, but is has a moving energy, in effect linking some "here" to some "there." And the streams move not in isolation but in relation to other cosmic streams.
With plasma processes being so remarkably similar from the microscopic to the mesoscopic, our minds, once trained to recognize local phenomena, can readily project similar phenomena to the greater scale. For example, if Earth and the Sun are both surrounded by teardrop-shaped plasma sheaths, then we might reasonably expect someday to discover a similar sheath enclosing our galaxy.
Finally, the great magnetic fields are a source of wonder and deep questions. If the streaming plasma is the source of magnetic fields manifest at smaller levels, then what is the source of the magnetic fields that are guiding the plasma flows at the highest levels yet detected?
With the the research tools and new telescopes available as we enter the twenty-first century, and the plasma model a serious contender in the world of cosmology, we can look forward to finding ourselves ever more at home in the universe.
Evolution of a galaxy at 20 megayears (radio galaxy), 100 megayears (quasar), 120 megayears (Peculiar or Seyfert Galaxy) and 500 megayears (early spiral).
Note that while the energy to produce a galaxy is delivered via a current-conducting plasma filament that may stretch for hundreds or thousands of gigaparsecs, the actual size of the two pinch regions forming the galaxy are each 35 kiloparsecs in diameter, 10 kiloparsecs thick, spaced 80 kiloparsecs apart. That is, the initial plasma shapes undergoing an interaction are disks.
HOM Copyright © 1998-2000 UC