Monday, March 30, 2009

Peratt Vs. Newton

Tom Wilson points out an Anthony Peratt paper which debunks Newtonian gravitation and the idiotic inverse square so-called "law": A New Look at Near Neighbors Part One. (Hat tip: Anaconda)

It is worth a few words here to summarize some very important seminal work in the paper by Anthony Peratt mentioned above. In his study, Peratt performed particle-in-cell computer simulations of Birkeland current interactions. The results illustrated how plasma dynamics lead to galactic structures evolving from double radio galaxies, to radio quasars, to ellipticals and then to spiral galaxies. This paper is thick with insight. There are some papers that you can read over and over and continually find new gems, this is one of those papers.

As Peratt's simulations revealed, a galaxy evolves as two (or more) Birkeland currents moving together with an attractive force proportional to the inverse of their linear distance (note it is not the inverse square law). In astronomical observations, the two Birkeland currents are detected as radio “lobes” due to synchrotron radiation.

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. ...

4) M33 has been said to lack a super-massive black hole at its core (that is to say, the rotational velocity decreases closer to the galactic core).


Jeffery Keown said...

What caused the plasma in the first place? Can you direct me to an article on the origin on this universe-sized plasma field?

OilIsMastery said...


"What caused the plasma in the first place?"

Only religion can answer that question.

What caused the Big Bang?


Anaconda said...

@ Jeffery Keown:

So good of you to join the discussion, your participation is always welcome.

Jeffery Keown asked: "What caused the plasma in the first place? Can you direct me to an article on the origin on this universe-sized plasma field?"

"What caused the plasma in the first place?" That can't be answered anymore than, what caused the "big bang", now can it?

Jeffery, care to answer what caused the so-called "big bang"?

Didn't think so (but I'd like to see you try).

Now on to your second question, "Can you direct me to an article on the origin on this universe-sized plasma field?"

Hannes Alfven, 1970 Nobel Prize winner, stated in a somewhat ironic and facetious manner, "In the beginning was the plasma."

(Yet, Alfven was also being quite serious all at the same time.)

What can be said unequivocably: Plasma is 99.999% of the visible matter in the Universe.

Don't believe me? Check out this link to authority supporting the above percentage. Scroll down to the bottom of the link, you will find no less than 20 sources. 10 of those sources are academic textbooks. Two are peer reviewed sources, one published in The Astrophysical Journal and the other in Astrophysics and Space Science.

So with plasma being ubiquitous in the Universe, the next question is what how does this plasma start the process of organizing the Universe?

And to answer that question one needs to become familiar and understand the basic dynamo, accelerator of electromagnetism: The 'double layer'.

Again, scroll down to the bottom of the webpage and review the authority. No less than 57 citations.

Not good enough? How about Wikipedia (no friend of Plasma Cosmology): Double layer (plasma).

Jeffery Keown, you'll have to do better than that, and remember people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones: What caused the "big bang"? No one knows, but it did start of in a "singularity", you know...where "modern" astronomers set aside all the known physical laws and time, itself! LoL.

Anaconda said...


At the end of a long debate with Tom Marking, here on OIM at the Electromagnetic Batteries post and which originally started at the Jupiter and Saturn Collided With Other Worlds post about Cygnus X-1 and other assorted Electric Universe issues, I asked this question:

"This is important: I asked you in a prior comment if electromagnetism was possible. At first you failed to answer the question, then on being prompted, you responded that you subscribe to Maxwell's Equations, which really doesn't say much -- it was a dodge, but as I stated, above, it would be beneficial if you would catalog what electromagnetic processes within the interplanetary medium you do subscribe to.

Please list electromagnetic phenomenon you subscribe to.

Be specific. If you won't be specific, I know you are nothing but a pseudosceptic.

I'll wait for your specific list of electromagnetic phenomenon."

I'm still waiting...

Readers might say to themselves, "well, that Anaconda pissed off Marking and he left the website. Serves Anaconda right for being such an asshole."

Well, Marking made a series of comments on this website after that debate went cold without answering my question.

Could it be, rather than Marking being pissed off and leaving in a huff, Marking didn't want to get pinned down in acknowledging any specific electromagnetic phenonomen, even the obvious electromagetic phenonenon in near-space or the interplanetary medium?

And why would that be?

Could it be that, Marking's protests not withstanding, he never intended to engage in discussion on this website with the possibility of allowing himself to be persuaded by competent scientfic evidence?

Or maybe Marking was afraid some of his buddies from Bad Astronomy would see he admitted to electromagnetic phenomenon and his "street cred" at Bad Astronomy would take a hit.

In any event, what does that say about Marking's overall intentions and attitude?

Did Marking ever have an open-mind with regards to the scientific evidence?

If Marking didn't have an open-mind what does that say about Marking's respect for the scientfic process?

Maybe, he'll prove me wrong and go ahead and answer my question.

I'm still waiting...

Jeffery Keown said...

I never said anything about the Big Bang in relation to this thread. Quit being so defensive.

I just figured there had to be something to disturb the plasma to start the clumping/Birkland/star formation process.

In BBT, you have quantum black holes ruining the otherwise perfect homogeneity (sp?), and galactic start ups by way of supermassives (the result of already observed 1000+Solar Mass stars back during the first 500 million years after the Big Bang).

That said, I'm not here to argue EU. (You know I'm all about attacking EE)

This time it was genuine curiousity made me post. Should I develop tags to delineate such things?


Like that?

OilIsMastery said...


What makes you think I was offended?

What makes you think I was being defensive?

I simply made an observation and asked two serious questions.

Jeffery Keown said...

It wasn't OiM that was being defensive... Anaconda seemed to try and live up to his namesake, however... :)

For the record, I do think one day we'll get back to the Big Bang itself, or to discover the origin of the Primordial Plasma. In fact, the two could be related.

What's to suggest the Big Bang's output wasn't the forerunner state of plasma... I bet there's some evidence...somewhere.

Louis Hissink said...


What cause the plasma in the first place?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

In the EU model we assume the plasma always existed and don't waste anymore time thinking about it.

Louis Hissink said...

In addition we might also pose the question - which came first the electric current or the magnetic field?

But why this need to have a start to something? Maybe its been clumping and disaggregating forever.

Heck, we can't even figure out the Earth's weather and we need to spend time on the unthinkable?

Jeffery Keown said...

The egg. But that depends on how you define "Chicken" doesn't it?

Pleroma said...


"Only religion can answer that question."

I would say only speculative fiction can answer that question, but I agree with you in principle.

Louis Hissink said...


But it takes a chicken to lay the egg in the first place.

Jeffery Keown said...


As I said... depends on how you define "Chicken"

There is one last mutation from Not Chicken to Chicken. At one point something Not Chicken laid an egg that broke open to reveal a Chicken. This happened over thousands of years, and was very subtle, we may have missed it entirely in their transition from Junglefowl to Chicken... but the Junglefowl was first.

Therefore: Egg.

OilIsMastery said...


"What caused the plasma in the first place?"

What caused the egg in the first place?

So far you've managed to avoid my questions...:P

Jeffery Keown said...

The Big Bang's pre-Bang state is dependant on gravity, so you wouldn't dig it. Besides, it's one of those sciency things I'm still working up a good hypothesis for, so I don't tend to dwell on it publically.

My finance and son have a full tirade of mine that they could probably quote.

As for God causing it... that's going to remain unprovable for a good long time, methinks.

Tom Marking said...

@Anaconda "Please list electromagnetic phenomenon you subscribe to. Be specific. If you won't be specific, I know you are nothing but a pseudosceptic.
I'll wait for your specific list of electromagnetic phenomenon."

1.) Visible light, infrared radiation, ultraviolet radiation, and other wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation emanating from a variety of astrophysical objects such as stars, etc.

2.) Lightning in the atmosphere of earth and other planets (e.g., Jupiter).

3.) Charged particles trapped in the magnetosphere of Earth (i.e., the Van Allen radiation belts) spiralling around magnetic field lines back and forth between "mirror points". Some of them interact with the earth's atmosphere causing aurorae. Other planets also contain these trapped charged particles (e.g., Jupiter).

4.) The solar wind and stellar winds on other stars. Using the general definition of Birkeland currents the solar wind qualifies as a Birkeland current. There are also Birkeland currents flowing between Jupiter and its moon Io.

5.) The Zeeman effect - strong magnetic fields on the sun's surface (also other stars) cause the splitting of spectral lines. The Stark effect - same as the Zeeman effect accept it's the electric field that causes the splitting.

6.) Synchrotron radiation produced by accelerating charged particles in a variety of magnetospheres (e.g., planets, the sun, pulsars).

7.) Alfven waves - low frequency oscillations that travel through a plasma

This is not an exhaustive list, but it should be enough to give you the general idea of the EM phenomena I subscribe to. What is your definition of a "pseudoskeptic" as opposed to a skeptic?

"I'm still waiting..."

Been snowed under at work lately. So no sinister motives in play. BTW, I don't remember these questions until this post. It could be you added them to the old post after I stopped looking at it.

"Could it be, rather than Marking being pissed off and leaving in a huff, Marking didn't want to get pinned down in acknowledging any specific electromagnetic phenonomen"

You tell me. I just gave you 7 specific EM phenomena I subsribe to.

"Could it be that, Marking's protests not withstanding, he never intended to engage in discussion on this website with the possibility of allowing himself to be persuaded by competent scientfic evidence?"

Still beating the "lack of integrity" issue?

"Or maybe Marking was afraid some of his buddies from Bad Astronomy would see he admitted to electromagnetic phenomenon and his "street cred" at Bad Astronomy would take a hit."

Phil Plait can't stand me and has hinted as much. What buddies are you talking about?

"In any event, what does that say about Marking's overall intentions and attitude?"

MARKING IS UNMUTUAL (go look up the Prisoner starring Patrick McGoohan for more info :) )

"Did Marking ever have an open-mind with regards to the scientific evidence?"

Did you have an open mind? Does OIM have an open mind?

Tom Marking said...

Since this thread concerns Anaconda's hero (perhaps OIM's as well) - Dr. Peratt - I thought I would repost my comments concerning the Peratt model which I made on the BA blog:


Here are my thoughts on why the galaxy formation theory presented in

is almost certainly wrong. I do this not to sway Anaconda since his mind is already made up, but to give the rest of you a demonstration on how to argue against EU ideas.

1.) The simulation starts with two spheres of plasma 35 kiloparsecs in diameter separated by 80 kiloparsecs (center-to-center one presumes). Well, the first question you have to ask yourself is what is plasma? It’s any form of ionized matter. Let’s assume it’s some type of mixed charged plasma with equal numbers of electrons and protons (assume no other positive ion species for simplicity sake) so that the two spheres start out with zero net charge each. The main thing about plasma is that it has to be hot. If the temperature drops below a critical value (typically 2,000 to 3,000 deg Kelvin) the protons and electrons will recombine into neutral hydrogen and the plasma will be no more. So the initial matter in this model is hot. How hot? Well, Peratt doesn’t say but we can assume tens of thousands of degrees at least. This conflicts with our knowledge of the interstellar and intergalactic medium where the matter is typically cold. Also it conflicts with the Cosmic Microwave Background which resembles a 2.7 degree Kelvin blackbody.

2.) Being hot, the two plasma spheres and whatever shapes evolve afterward must be emitting copious thermal radiation. The Stefan-Boltzmann law applies here which says that the power per unit area emitted scales as the fourth power of the temperature in degrees Kelvin. Thus, the hotter the plasma the more rapidly it loses energy. Once it falls below a certain temperature the protons and electrons recombine into neutral hydrogen and you have no more plasma. The Birkeland currents and other plasma phenomena turn off and the plasma evolution stops in its tracks. I wonder if Peratt included blackbody radiation in his model. Without a source of energy to replenish the lost radiated energy (e.g., nuclear fusion) the plasma body will rapidly cool off and the model stops. I haven’t done the calculations for a 35 kiloparsec plasma sphere but I suspect the temperature falls below ~3,000 deg K well before 1.0E8 years which is the end point of the simulation.

3.) There is another problem as well and that is to do with the mass difference between the protons and the electrons. The protons are ~1,800 times more massive than the electrons are. If the protons and electrons are at the same temperature then that means that they have the same kinetic energy (i.e., 0.5 * m * v^2). So we have:

m-electron * v-electron^2 = m-proton * v-proton^2 (non-relativistic)

(m-proton/m-electron) = (v-electron/v-proton)^2 = 1,800

v-electron/v-proton = 42

The electrons should be travelling more than 40 times faster than the protons. Thus, they will be preferentially lost from the plasma sphere and the fraction of protons will accumulate as time goes on. This is bad news for the plasma body since the electrical repulsion of the protons will tend to blow it apart. Thus, in the long term the plasma body in unstable due to the preferential loss of electrons to the surrounding space.

4.) Even if the simulation were correct the end result is a spiral shaped body of hot plasma. This is far from being a spiral galaxy since there are no stars, no interstellar dust, and no interstellar neutral hydrogen gas (observed via the 21-centimeter microwave emission line). No explanation is given for how the spiral plasma body evolves into a real galaxy. Also, there is no incompatibility shown between the plasma body and the evolution of an eventual black hole. No incompatibility is shown between a black hole and a Birkeland current either.

Just a few of my thoughts.

Tom Marking said...

The following are some excerpts from:

by Anthony L. Peratt and James C. Green
Astrophysics and Space Science 91 (1983)

and my reactions to them. Of course, we are obliged to review all of the sources that Anaconda gives us meticulously whereas he doesn’t have to even read the stuff we give him and shows no evidence of ever reading any of them (but that’s a different gripe).

“The geometry of the postulated galactic cloud model is cylindrical and contains, as the essential ingredient, and electric current whose flow is primarily in the axial direction but also having some degree of heliticity (Figure IV.8 of Alfven, 1981). Also present is a dipole magnetic field whose field lines are necessarily axial within the plasma”

So Peratt is setting up a Birkeland current artificially by aligning the current flow with a magnetic dipole field by fiat. There is no reason given why this is expected to be a naturally occurring configuration. It is completely artificial, especially the cylindrical shape.

“The galactic current is a result of an electromotive force (emf) induced by a rotating plasma in a magnetic field (Alfven, 1981). The energy of rotation thus represents the fundamental supply source. The current path is along the galactic axis of rotation, then fans out at distances greatly exceeding the extent of the denser plasma and returns back along the plane of rotation and also along the dipole field lines”

O.K. So Peratt is essentially saying that the energy source that drives the whole thing is rotational kinetic energy of the plasma object rotating about its axis. Also note, the current comes back along the midplane of the object which in the case of quasars and active galaxies would mean perpendicular to the jets. Why is it we don’t see any returning jet in this direction?

“In accordance with the basic model, an equal number of electrons and ions are arranged into a cylindrical column. The simulation is set up on SPLASH, a 3D, electromagnetic, and relativistic particle simulation code (Buneman et al., 1980). A 32 grid mesh defines the simulation spatial extent and, typically, the column extends 32 grids in length and has a diameter of 6 grids.”

For two 35-kiloparsec diameter cylinders located 80 kiloparsecs apart (center-to-center) the extent of the grid is 115 kiloparsecs. Dividing it into 32 grid spaces means each grid element is 3,600 parsecs = 11,700 light-years wide. Note, that Peratt relies on someone else’s code. He didn’t write his own electromagnetic code to do the simulation.

“With regard to computer economy, the time scale of the evolution is speeded up as fast as temporal resolution reasonably allows; the initial electron temperatures are in the 1-10 keV range and the mass ratio is mi/me = 16 (time scale compression, necessary for affordable simulation, can be achieved by decreasing the ion’s rest mass in relation the electron’s rest mass. The use of an artificial mass ratio will not significantly change the results of this study…”

Oh boy! Peratt changes the rest mass of a proton from 1,840 times the electron rest mass to just 16 times the electron rest mass (reduced by a factor of 115). He does this in order to save computer time and then he claims it doesn’t affect the result of the simulation. For the electrons we have:

T = (2/3)*K / k-Boltzmann

where T is temperature in Kelvin, K is kinetic energy in eV, and k-Boltzmann is Boltzmann’s constant = 8.617E-5 eV per Kelvin. Thus a range of 1-10 keV is a temperature range of 7.7E6 to 7.7E7 Kelvin. The temperature of the plasma is in the millions of degrees. It will have HUGE radiative thermal losses that are not accounted for in Peratt’s model.

(To Be Continued)

Tom Marking said...

Continuation of Fisking of:

by Anthony L. Peratt and James C. Green
Astrophysics and Space Science 91 (1983)

“Fig. 1. Electric and magnetic radiation energies in arbitrary energy units. The unit vector z-hat defines the direction of the column azis.”

We are presented with 3 charts showing electric radiation Ex, electric radiation Ey, and magnetic radiation Bz versus something called T which I took to mean time. The time axis goes from 0 to 1000 but I have no idea what the units are. They could be seconds, milliseconds, or millions of years. The y-axes go from 0 to 1 and they are in arbitrary units making them nearly useless in interpreting the results. All 3 curves have a sharp spike near the beginning and then a slower increase but with considerable statistical noise which is probably coming from instabilities in the numerical model. I have no idea why electric and magnetic radiation are separate since typically EM radiation has both the electric and magnetic fields together in space oriented at right angles to one another. So these charts are totally useless.

“The electrons and ions, in response to the applied electric field, are accelerated in opposite directions and current starts to flow, and we record the conversion of the field associated potential energy into kinetic, magnetostatic, and radiation energies. Early in this stage of development the total radiated energy represents less than 1% of the magnetostatic energy which itself amounts to about 1% of the particle kinetic energies.”

So the amount of radiation is miniscule at the beginning despite the charged particles being millions of degrees in temperature. Yeah, right. Apparently Peratt has never heard of the Stefan-Boltzmann law since he doesn’t mention it anywhere in his report.

“In addition to deforming the plasmas, this produces a burst of synchrotron radiation (magnetobremsstrahlung) whose high-frequency electric field is polarized in the x-y plane, as shown in Figure 1. The radiation is thus directed along a narrow beam in the direction of instantaneous electron motion and linearly polarized at right angles to the magnetic field lines…
For Cygnus A, the ‘prototype’ radio galaxy, we assume a mass M = 1.0E41 kg (while noting that all mass estimates are model dependent), volume V = 1.0E63 cubic meters, separation 2a = 2.44E21 meters (79 kpc), and length and width l = w = 1.0E21 meters (35 kpc). For a relative velocity between plasmas of 1000 km/sec (Shklovsky, 1960; Perola, 1981), we find Iz = 2.15E19 amperes and B-theta = mu-0*I/omega = 2.5E-8 teslas (2.5E-4 gauss)…Equating the relative velocity v to the computational distance/time quotient gives a Cygnus A time to development of 1.5E15 seconds (4.6E7 years). Thus, the entire epoch shown in Figure 2 corresponds to some 1.0E8 years while the radiation burst lasts 2.4E14 seconds (8.0E6 years). The concomitant magnetic energy is 2.5E53 joules (2.5E60 ergs) while the total simulation magnetostatic energy is 350 Arbitrary Energy Units (AEU). Thus, 1 AEU = 7.1E50 joules.”

Note what Peratt is doing here. It’s rather subtle and it took me a while to pick up on it. He’s running his simulation in arbitrary units. Then, after the results are in he’s scaling them to match numbers from Cygnus A. So he never actually plugged in the basic parameters for Cygnus A into his calculation such as diameter, etc. He plugged in arbitrary units and then attempts to scale the results after the fact.

“With increasing flow, the parallel Iz currents produce an attractive force between columns”

Well, it’s well established that parallel Birkeland currents will attract each other with a strength proportional to 1/r. Antiparallel Birkeland currents will repel each other with a strength proportional to 1/r. Thus, for Peratt’s simulation to have any interaction at all the two cylinders must have parallel current, not antiparallel.

“The total kinetic energy of the electrons during burst is 8.78E4 AEU = 6.26E55 joules (6.26E62 ergs), which yields an average energy per electron E-bar = 218 MeV.”

Peratt has lost me here. This new statement seems to conflict with his previous statement that the electrons have energies in the range 1-10 keV. Maybe this is the energy of only certain electrons associated with the initial synchrotron burst but I don’t know.

“The results of this research, believed to represent the largest computational study in astrophysics to date, replicate the essential features of double radio sources, peculiar, and spiral galaxies, but do not appear to be in agreement with the ‘big-bang’ creation theory of the Universe. Instead, the simulations strongly support an inhomogenous version of the Klein world model that proposes a zero-state universe consisting of magnetized plasma or ambiplasma (cf. Alfven and Klein, 1982; and the earlier references therein.”

LOL. So Peratt says his results are consistent with ambiplasma which Anaconda rejects. He claims his results are inconsistent with the Big Bang even though his model doesn’t deal with cosmology at all.

So to rehash, my findings concerning Peratt’s model are these:

1.) arbitrary and unrealistic initial conditions
2.) incorrect mass for the proton (off by 2 orders of magnitude)
3.) Stefan-Boltzmann radiative effects not taken into account
4.) use of arbitrary units and scaling of results afterward
5.) statistical jitter in results caused by poor numerical modeling
6.) inconsistent statements about electron energies

Anaconda said...

@ Tom Marking:

Thank you for your answers.