Plasma Physics and Infinite Universe Theory

Peter asks:

“How does (or doesn't) your understanding of an infinite universe differ from the various plasma/electrical hypotheses being put forward that are also understood to be infinite?”

It’s been said that the universe is 99% plasma, the fourth phase of matter in addition to solids, liquids, and gases. The sun and all the other stars consist of plasma, a kind of ionized gas that even contains a considerable proportion of free electrons. In Infinite Universe Theory, plasma might be considered the transition phase between gas and the much maligned ether. The Eighth Assumption of Science, INFINITY (The universe is infinite, both in the microcosmic and macrocosmic directions) implies that, in addition to being infinitely extensive, matter is infinitely subdividable; there are no partless parts. The discovery of plasmas, even in intergalactic space, has helped to undermine Einstein’s view that space is perfectly empty. According to “The Scientific Worldview,” completely empty space, like completely solid matter, is only an idea—the reality is always something in between. Like the ether concept, the plasma concept also gives credence to the Tenth Assumption of Science, INTERCONNECTION (All things are interconnected, that is, between any two objects exist other objects that transmit matter and motion).

Following the acceptance of his plasma theory, Nobelist Hannes Alfven and, later, one of his followers, Eric Lerner, proposed an alternative to the Big Bang Theory (BBT) known as plasma cosmology (see Lerner’s “The Big Bang Never Happened”). They assumed that the universe is infinite and eternal and that cosmogonies (cosmological theories that assume that the universe had a beginning) such as the BBT were an outgrowth of religious tradition rather than sound science. I agree entirely, despite the critique of conventional cosmogonists, such as Victor Stenger (“Big Bang a Bust?”), who support the BBT even though they claim to be ardent atheists (see "God: The failed hypothesis"). For my review of the critique see: http://scientificphilosophy.com/Reviews%20of%20Regressive%20Science.htm. On the other hand, I don’t agree with Lerner that the universe is becoming more ordered. As you can see in my paper given at the 2008 convention of the Natural Philosophy Alliance “Resolution of the SLT-Order Paradox” (http://scientificphilosophy.com/Downloads/SLTOrder.pdf), in Infinite Universe Theory the increase in apparent order (through convergence) in any one place is equivalent to the decrease in apparent order (through divergence) in any other place. In addition, I don’t believe that matter and antimatter are equivalent. The whole concept of antimatter seems suspect to me. This just shows that otherwise excellent, really sharp scientists, such as Lerner, can have difficulty with theoretical details, particularly when they must play with the cards dealt them by indeterminists.

No comments: