A coherent theory of how galaxies and stars are created only exists in the Electric Plasma Universe Dr Mae-Wan Ho
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A rose made of galaxies, NASA
There is no real theory of how galaxies form within Big Bang Universe
It is quite difficult to get a coherent account of how galaxies are formed within Big Bang theory.
One states : “Galaxy formation is hypothesized to occur…. as a result of tiny quantum fluctuations in the aftermath of the Big Bang. The simplest model for this that is in general agreement with observed phenomena is the Λ-Cold Dark Matter cosmology; that is to say that clustering and merging is how galaxies gain in mass, and can also determine their shape and structure.”
Another version tells us : “There are two leading theories to explain how the first galaxies formed. The truth may involve a bit of both ideas. One says that galaxies were born when vast clouds of gas and dust collapsed under their own gravitational pull, allowing stars to form. The other, which has gained strength in recent years, says the young universe contained many small “lumps” of matter, which clumped together to form galaxies.”
A third says : “After the Big Bang, the Universe was composed of radiation and subatomic particles. What happened next is up for debate – did small particles slowly team up and gradually form stars, star clusters, and eventually galaxies? Or did the Universe first organize as immense clumps of matter that later subdivided into galaxies?”
Galaxies created from galactic-scale field-aligned Birkeland currents
In contrast, there is a coherent theory of how galaxies are created in the Electric Plasma Universe, thanks largely to American plasma and nuclear physicist Anthony Peratt at Los Alamos National Laboratory Santa Fe in New Mexico, who carried out laboratory experiments and computer simulations beginning in the late 1980s [4, 5]. By then, field-aligned filamentary Birkeland currents (see  Electric Plasma Universe Arrives, SiS 68) have been found everywhere in space, from Earth’s aurora, to coronal ‘streamers in the Sun, ‘flux ropes’ in the ionosphere of Venus, in interstellar medium and interstellar clouds, and in astrophysical jets shooting out from double radio galaxies. These same filamentary structures are observed in energetic plasmas in the laboratory, where fine-detail resolution of current filaments shows similar vortex patterns at least over 14 orders of magnitude, from microampere to mega amperes electron beams . The basic properties of plasmas are self-similar and scalable, from microns to cosmic distances (1028 cm), i.e., fractal, although Peratt himself did not use the term.
With the newly developed multidimensional particle-in-cell computer software which follows the evolution of hundreds of thousands to millions of particles and photons (see Box), Peratt was able to demonstrate that galaxies, or groups of galaxies, are created when two or more galactic-scale field-aligned Birkeland currents interact. Currents moving in the same direction attract one another with an attractive force proportional to the inverse of their separation distance, (take note: it is much stronger than the usual inverse square of separation distance of gravitational attraction). The two Birkeland currents are detected as radio lobes due to synchrotron radiation (electromagnetic radiation emitted by relativistic or ultra-relativistic accelerated electrons gyrating in a magnetic field). A good summary of the simulations (and beyond) is given by Tom Wilson from the Electric Universe perspective , which is reproduced below.
“As the two pinched Birkeland filaments come close to each other, intergalactic plasma is trapped, forming an elliptical core at the geometric center between the two filaments, which later becomes the nucleus of the galaxy. Magnetic fields between the filaments condense and aggregate the intervening plasma, raising its internal energies. The elliptical core at this point is analogous to a radio quasar.
“The two Birkeland filaments (also concentrating matter within their magnetically pinched volume) torque around each other, changing the morphology of the core plasma (flattening the ellipse) and eventually evolving into trailing arms as electric current, axial to the arms, flows into the core of the galaxy. At that point the two Birkeland filaments merge with the core. So the core of a galaxy derives from whatever intergalactic plasma was trapped between the two (or more) Birkeland filaments and the arms of the spiral derive mostly from the pinched Birkeland filaments themselves.
“The rotating Birkeland filaments impart the initial rotational momentum to the galaxy-sized plasma structure. As the charged plasma structure rotates, there arises a concomitant magnetic field with a typical “dynamo” signature.
“Current continues to run through the galaxy along the equatorial plane as part of a larger intergalactic circuit. This current as it passes through the magnetic field mentioned above drives further rotational energy as the galaxy responds as a homopolar motor. This is what drives the “anomalous” rotational velocities observed in the outer parts of galaxies.
“The galaxy is also a homopolar generator, with the conductive plasma in the galactic disk sweeping through the same magnetic field. This sets up axial currents running through the galactic axis and stretching outwards to loop back along the equatorial plane. These axial currents extend to double layers over the galactic poles. These polar double layers accelerate charged particles to high energies resulting in “jets” above and below the galaxy.
“Further magnetic fields arise in the galaxy as a result of the intergalactic current running in along the equatorial plane. The currents running radially along the equatorial plane create local magnetic fields that squeeze the plasma into Birkeland filaments. This brings definition to the spiral arms. Further filamentation and higher current densities power star formation in the spiral arms.”
Supercomputer simulations of how galaxies are created
In the simulations, only short segments of the Birkeland currents are represented, each of which is very long and connected to its own electric circuit . The parameters that define a field-aligned current-carrying filament of plasma are the electron drift βz = vz/c, and plasma thermal velocity βth = vth/c, both expressed as ratio to the velocity of light c; and the thermal/magnetic pressure ratio βp = (nekTe + nikTi)/(B2/2µ0), where ne= ni is the neutral plasma density (equal numbers of electrons and ions), T is the plasma temperature, k is Boltzmann’s constant, µ0 is permeability of free space, and subscripts e and i denote electron and ion particles respectively. A plasma temperature was chosen typical for cosmic Birkeland filaments, a few keV, by setting the initial dimensionless simulation parameters to ωp dt = o.25, where ωp is the electron plasma frequency and dt the simulation time step; λp/Δ = 0.25, where λp is the Debye length (length over which charge separation can occur) in cells and Δ the cell size; and cdt/Δ = 1. A field-aligned Birkeland filament is established by means of the parameter ωc0/ωp = 1.5, where ωc0 = eBz0/me and Bz0 = B(t = 0) is the axial magnetic field, e is the electron charge and me, the electron mass. In addition, βth = 0.0625 and for Te = Ti, βp = 0.0069. Current flow within the filament is initiated by setting Ez0/Bzo = 0.01c, so 0 < βz < 1.
Because of the electromotive force induced current Iz, a galactic filament can be expected to retain its filamentous form provided the Bennett-pinch condition is satisfied, i.e., I2z > 8ρNkT/µ0, where N is the electron density per unit length.
In addition to confining the plasma in filaments the axial current flow produces another important effect, a long-range attractive force on other galactic filaments, the Biot-Savart electromagnetic force between filaments integrated over a unit volume is
F21 = ∫j2 x B21d3r (1)
where j x B is the Lorentz force. If the current path is much greater than the filament widths, the attractive force between two similarly oriented filaments is approximately given by
F21 (Iz1, Iz2) = – r (µo Iz1 Iz2)/(2ρR12) (2)
where the subscripts 1 and 2 denote filament 1 and 2 respectively and R12 their separation, r is the radius of the filaments. On account of the axial magnetic field Bz, the particles spiral as they drift, producing an azimuthal (ring) component, giving a total current I = zIz + θIθ . If the magnetic moments m1, m2 due to the azimuthal current in adjacent filaments are aligned, a repulsive force is generated between them:
F21 (Ιθ1, Ιθ2) = r m1 m2 /R412 (3)
Thus, the electromagnetic forces between filaments are long-range attractive (R-112), and short-range repulsive (R-412).
Synchrotron radiation from pinched Birkeland currents
One of the most important processes that limit the energies attainable in particle accelerators is loss by accelerated electrons via synchrotron radiation in a continuous spectrum of frequencies appreciably higher than the cyclotron frequency of the electrons and strongly polarized. (This process is also important for stabilizing the currents.) Charged particle beams held together by mutual attraction or pinched by their self-magnetic fields accelerate charged particles, causing strong synchrotron radiation. This shows up in the laboratory as a rapid burst of radiation from high current discharges (current densities of the order of 1011A/cm2) in a broad spectral range from microwaves to hard X-rays. The microwaves belong to synchrotron radiation of electrons in the magnetic field of the proper current, while the hard X-rays are synchrotron radiation from electrons at transition between excited energy levels and the ground state, or from higher to lower energy levels.
In laboratory experiments also reproduced in computer simulations, the radiation yield is proportional to the number of Bennett–pinched plasma filaments (Figure 1). The experimental data are obtained from 30 mm long 15 µ diameter wires strung between the cathode and anode of a terawatt (1012 W) pulse-power generator. The pulse is ~50 ns while the radiation burst lasts ~5 ns. As shown in Fig. 1 top graph, an X-ray energy enhancement of 6 is obtained when two filaments interact; and enhancements of ~12 (up to 30) are recorded when up to 12 filaments symmetrically placed about a common centre interact. The morphology of the radiating plasma when the radiation burst occurs is both helical and filamentary (Fig. 1 bottom), as captured by pinhole camera on X-ray film plates.
Figure 1 Radiated energy versus number of filaments (top) and X-ray pinhole image of plasma trapped in the magnetic sump (low point) between the wires
Whenever the attractive force between simulation columns reduces their separation to a distance such that the repulsive force starts to become comparable to the attractive force (see Eqs (2) and (3)), a burst of synchrotron radiation occurs. For the parameters used in the simulations, this distance is of the order of several pinch radii. The radiation from the keV particles is polarized in the transverse plane. The burst lasts until the induced axial magnetostatic energy due to the azimuthal current is depleted, and the counter parallel azimuthal current force slows the azimuthal electron flow in both filaments. For some simulation parameter, the z magnetic radiation energy can build up and discharge again in additional bursts of synchrotron radiation.
Synchrotron radiation is also emitted by double-radio lobes galaxies with jets shooting out of the galactic centre ending in gigantic radio-loud lobes, most likely magnetic cocoons formed around the jets (see  ‘Cosmic Web’ or Cosmic Electricity Grid, SiS 68).
Results of simulations
When the attraction between adjacent Bennett-pinched Birkeland filaments reduces their mutual separation to a few filament radii, the R-4 repulsion produces a redistribution of the synchrotron-emitting relativistic electron currents within the filaments . The result is an ‘edge-brightening’, an increased current density in the form of rings at the outer edges of the filaments, as well as a diametrical displacement of current density caused by the tendency of Birkeland currents to twist about each other at late times. The cr0ss-sectional regions of dense synchrotron-emitting electron currents are called “hotspots” in analogy to their double radio galaxy counterparts (see ). At simulation time T~90, the synchrotron burst reaches maximum value. The total energy emitted in synchrotron radiation is 14.91 x 1050 J in 1.28 x 1014 s or 1.16 x 1037 W over the period. This is comparable to the radio luminosity of Cygnus A of 1.6-4.4 x 1037 W.
The converging magnetic fields in the two Birkeland currents produce an axially directed induction field Ez ≅ 6.9 V/m, thereby increasing the azimuthal magnetic fields. As the axial currents and concomitant azimuthal magnetic fields about each filament increase, a magnetic pressure builds up to peak on either side of a central sump (low trough) with elliptic cross section between the two parallel currents (Figure 2). The converging magnetic field lines compress intergalactic plasma into narrow channels formed on either side of the elliptic sump. At T~90 (last frame Fig. 2) the azimuthal magnetic field on either side of the central sump is 5.92 x 10-5 G, the induced pressure defining the boundary of the sump is 1.4 x 10-11 Pa (Pascal is the SI unit of pressure of one newton per m2 ~ 9.9 × 10−6 atmospheres).
Figure 2 Simulations of magnetic field contours at early time step of T = 9, 12, 20 and 86 (rearranged from )
The condensation of plasma from the cosmic plasma medium thus involves two mechanisms, the pinching of plasma within the current-conducting filaments and the capture and compressing of plasma between the filaments. Within a filament, plasma is convected radially inwards, so at simulation time T~100, the convection velocity is ~ 3 000 km/s, three times the Biot-Savart attraction between filaments. At the same time the velocity of magnetic compression in the region of the sump is 8 990 km/s, 9 times the Biot-Savart attraction. Notably, the incoming plasma looks very much like two giant cymbals closing in the simulations, often the case for ‘peculiar’ galaxies such as NGC 5128 and CygA located between the giant radio lobes that possess ‘dust lanes’ at their midsection. While the convection velocity decreases with time, the maximum being at the onset of convection, the compression velocity increases until pressure equilibrium is reached in the sump.
At T~100, the elliptic sump defined by the boundary of the 1.4 x 10-11 Pa isobar (isobar is a line connecting points having the same pressure) extends ~50 kpc and can balance the thermokinetic pressure of a 104 m-3 of 6 keV plasma. At a much later time T= 255, the spatial extent of this isobar has been reduced to ~20 kpc; the magnetic field gradient at the sump is 4.4 x 10-26 G/m, so that nearly all of the intergalactic plasma original present in a volume V ~ 3 x 1062 m3 has been compressed into the elliptic sump. For the 2-2.5 x 10-4 G contours, the pressure is 2.5 x 10-9 Pa, which can confine a 109m-3 2 eV plasma.
The time frame based on scaling simulation parameters to galactic dimensions spanned 108-109 years, during which the cosmic plasma evolved from a filamentous state to structures resembling double radio sources and quasars, and even jets emanating from galactic centres . The evolution for the next 1-5 x 109 years is described in a second paper  published in the same issue of the journal immediately following the first.
Existing galaxies and their characteristics
To relate the simulations to observations, Peratt reviewed the characteristics and morphologies of actual galaxies, then showed that the different morphologies and synchrotron emissions are reproduced in the simulations at successive time steps and with different parameters .
The radio power L of known galaxies integrated from 10 MHz to 100 GHz ranges from about 1030 to 1038 W, and relative to their optical luminosity from < 10-6 to 1. The distribution of power is described by the radio luminosity function (RLF), which represents the number of radio-emitting galaxies per unit volume as a function of the monochromatic power at a certain frequency, say 1.4 GHz. The RLF at 1.4 GHz appears to distinguish between morphological types of radio-emitting galaxies. Above 1026 W/Hz, the main contribution comes from quasars and classical double radio galaxies. In the region 1023-1026W/Hz, the elliptical galaxies dominate, while below 1023 W/Hz (about an order of magnitude greater than the power of our Galaxy), are the spiral galaxies. The properties of synchrotron emitting radio galaxy sources are summarised in Table 1.
The bulk of the classical double radio galaxies possessing an elliptical galaxy have a spatial extent between a few tens of kpc to many hundreds of kpc, with radio luminosities L ~ 1035 -1039 W. Some transitional radio galaxies (elliptical galaxies) 8-80 kpc, L ~1034 W are also present. Radio quasars come in two distinct populations, extended sources with dimensions of several kpc to several hundreds of kpc, L ~1037-1039W, and compact sources ~ 2-8pc, L ~1037-1039 W. Most spiral galaxies are clustered according to a size –luminosity of 10-80 kpc, L ~1031-1032.5 W. Finally, unlike the other properties, the radio spectra of the spiral galaxies are similar to those of the radio galaxies.
Table 1 Properties of synchrotron emitting sources
Simulations reproduce all types of galaxies and their emission characteristics
The transition of two interacting Birkeland currents of galactic dimensions into the morphology of a spiral galaxy happens quickly once the interacting plasmas are close to the order of a filament radius. The plasma filaments ~35 kpc diameter are initially separated by ~80 kpc. The axial extent is determined either by the length of the micropinch within the filament or to the width of the double layer formed in the Birkeland current; these are typically comparable to the filament width. A critical parameter is ωc/ωp (see Box) which determines the axial magnetic field strength.
The transition proceeds as follows. For a field-aligned electric field E||B oriented along the +z direction, the electrons in both columns spiral downwards in counter-clockwise rotation, while the ions spiral upward in clockwise rotation. The current density is the sum of the two. The average drift velocity of electron is much greater than that of ions. For the initial separation, the Biot-Savart force is predominantly attractive, and the relative velocity of the two plasma filaments is ~1 000 km/s (T~100).
The relative velocity of the plasmas increases with increasing current and reaches a velocity of several thousand km/s near minimum separation (T~400). The simulated current ranges from about 2 x 1019 – 4 x 1020 A. Collision does not occur because the repulsive force of the counter-parallel azimuthal currents become equal to, then exceeds the attractive force at separations of the order of the plasma radii. At this time, the translational momentum is converted into angular momentum because of the torque between the filaments τ = m x B where m is the magnetic moment of a filament. Concomitant with the attraction, repulsion, and rotation, is a reconfiguration of the current/plasma cross-sectional profiles in the filaments. In particular, the initially circular cross-sections are deformed into oval shapes that then take on a jelly-bean-like profile prior to forming embryonic spiral arms. During this process, the elliptically shaped quasar formed midway between the two synchrotron-radiating plasmas is enclosed by the plasmas themselves, as they spiral inwards. The quasar dimensions narrow and the enclosed sump density increases because of the increasing isobaric pressure. The 50 kpc channel (at its widest) is reduced to 20 kpc at T~255. The trailing spiral arms then lengthens with time.
To recapitulate, the formation of a double radio galaxy and its transition to a radio quasar occurs as follows. The condensation of current-carrying plasma into the two pinched filaments at T~20-50 leads to the formation of an elliptical sump between filaments with subsequent capture and compression of intergalactic plasma and a burst of synchrotron radiation from each filament with a total luminosity L ~ 1037 W and duration T~70-110.
The evolution of radio quasar to radio quiet QSO (quasi-stellar object) is marked by a decrease in radio lobe (extended component) luminosity at T>110 and an increase in central component activity for T~ 250-350. Thus, the power in the extended component fades when the increased induction field and the increased compression of plasma in the elliptical sump intensify the synchrotron radiation from the compact component. The compact component can appear as an isolated synchrotron source during this period.
The evolution of radio quiet QSO to Seyfert spiral encompasses a transitional period involving the formation of several peculiar plasma geometries. If the ratio of the nucleus luminosity to the luminosity of a galaxy is 0.1 to 1 or more, the galaxy is of the Seyfert type. During this period the incoming plasma of the extended components has not yet coalesced with the quasar centre. The synchrotron radioactivity in the extended component has decreased markedly and the quasar core (<1 kpc) consists of highly activated strongly radiating, dense (~1010 m-3) plasma because of the continued magnetic sump compression (~ 10-8 Pa). The density decreases with isobaric gradient, being tenuous at the periphery of the sump. Time-lapse photography of the simulation shows that the inward velocities of the isobars are not quite linear in time but pulsate as they compress.
The extended components, quieted for T> 110 reappear as the peculiar or spiral plasma morphologies that form about the compact nucleus. Beyond T ~ 600, coalescence of the outer plasma components on the excited compact centre begins. In addition, the continued electromagnetic compression on plasma confined in the sump can be expected to start the gravitational collapse of the material. This shows up in two effects: the disappearance of the quasar plasma emission and the appearance of stars.
Elliptic galaxies, as distinct from peculiars, irregulars and spirals, are characterized by a very smooth texture, a bright nucleus, and a tenuous large outer envelope, which may be 20 times the diameter of the nucleus. Ellipticals are most often found midway between extended radio lobes of radio galaxies and radio quasars. Like SO galaxies with little or no evidence of star-forming activity in the disk, E (elliptical) galaxies are frequently found in regions of high galaxy density, i.e., areas most susceptible to interactions.
The elliptical sump formed midway between two Birkeland currents results from the currents coming together. At early times, the topology of the resulting field lines is like two clashing cymbals. Examples from observations include not only irregularly shaped galaxies, but also E and some SO galaxies with ‘dust lanes’. The dust lanes are usually aligned perpendicular to the major axis between the extended components, as they must be for plasma pushed in from either filament. Elliptical galaxies are classified in a sequence from E0 to E7, according to the degree of apparent flattening; E0 are most circular and E7 the most oblong. All flatter galaxies seem to be spirals.
American astronomer Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) who pioneered extragalactic astronomy originally believed that elliptical galaxies evolve into spiral galaxies and this seems to be borne out by the simulations. However, the simulations show that another class of galaxy, the peculiars, bridge the formation of ellipticals to spirals (Figure 3). Spiral galaxies are the most abundant type known; of all classified galaxies 78 % are spirals (75 % normal spiral and 25 % barred spiral), 18 % are elliptical and 4 % irregular. Whether a normal or barred spiral galaxy forms depends primarily on the profile or cross section of the current-carrying filaments, its density distribution, and strength of the azimuthal magnetic fields. Bars form when the interacting plasma regions are sharply different in plasma density, while normal spirals tend to form when the intergalactic plasma supporting the current conducting filaments is more homogenous overall.
Figure 3 Birkeland currents to galaxies total time elapsed ~109 years (rearranged from )
A further comparison between observations and simulation results is presented in Figure 4 , which suggests that previously apparently unrelated double radio galaxies all belong to the same ‘species’ in different states of their evolution. The observations and simulations are in chronological order from 10.4-58.7 x 106 years.
Figure 4 Synchrotron isophots (contours of equal brightness) of double radio galaxies (left) and simulation analogues (right), time increases from top to bottom (rearranged from )
The data also show a nearly linear solid-body rotation for the galaxy centre (the first few arcminutes or few kpc from centre) and a nearly radially independent velocity profile in the spiral arms that appears on the so-called flat portions of the velocity curve on either side of the centre (see Fig.3). It is this ‘anomalous’ rotation observed in spiral galaxies that necessitated the ad hoc hypothesis of ‘dark energy’ to save convention Big Bang theory. But this rotation emerges as a direct result of the simulation (Figure 5).
Figure 5 Observed versus simulated variation in velocities of rotation (km/s) with radius (light years)
How do clusters of galaxies form? Birkeland currents often occur in sheets and where these have dimensions of a hundred kpc or more, filamentation of the plasma into a number of filament currents can take place. Because of the R-1 force, there is a tendency for filaments to pair up, eventually leading to neighbouring spiral galaxies. Because the Birkeland current is part of a closed-circuit element, galaxies occur periodically along the Gpc-subGpc filament where double layers form and where interactions with neighbouring filaments occur (see  Continuous Creation from Electric Plasma versus Big Bang Universe, SiS 60). The Centaurus chain of galaxies may be an example.
How stars form
In the astronomical literature, Sa, Sb, and Sc, Sd spiral galaxies are referred to as early Hubble types and late Hubble types respectively, although Hubble did not mean it to be an evolutionary sequence. Actually, the simulations show that peculiar galaxies form in the sequence Sd, Sc, Sb, and Sa, or their ‘barred’ equivalents.
Stars form first in the densely compressed elliptical core of the new galaxy, and then in the pinched plasma that make up the spiral arms. For Sd and Sc galaxies, the axial Birkeland currents are just reaching the Alfven-Carqvist threshold current of 0.1 x 10-20 A/m2 and star formation is irregular. For Sb and Sa galaxies, the current is > 10-20A/m2 and star formation follows closely the morphology of the plasma in the spiral arms that are usually fragmented because of ‘diocotron’ instability.
A detailed model of star formation is given by the Alfven and Carlqvist , who clearly demonstrated the impossibility of matter condensing by gravitational forces alone. Instead, an electro-gravitational model that involves electromagnetic condensation and compression of matter, largely in the manner described by Peratt [4, 5], followed by gravitational attraction is necessary.