Galaxy of Plasma

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Electric Galaxy

The usual definition of what a galaxy is: 'An island universe', or 'A vast collection of stars' is not wrong, but it is misleading. Because of the vast distances that separate stars even in the most densely packed regions of most galaxies, a better definition is: A vast formation of plasma clouds that contain electrical currents and occasional, widely distributed tiny lumped points of matter called nebulae, stars and planets.


In 1937, Alfvén argued that if plasma pervaded the universe, it could then carry electric currents capable of generating a galactic magnetic field.[1] After winning the Nobel Prize for his works in magnetohydrodynamics, he emphasized that:

In order to understand the phenomena in a certain plasma region, it is necessary to map not only the magnetic but also the electric field and the electric currents. Space is filled with a network of currents which transfer energy and momentum over large or very large distances. The currents often pinch to filamentary or surface currents. The latter are likely to give space, as also interstellar and intergalactic space, a cellular structure.[2]

His theoretical work on field-aligned electric currents in the aurora (based on earlier work by Kristian Birkeland) was confirmed by satellite observations, in 1974, resulting in the discovery of Birkeland current.


Double layers and circuits in astrophysics

Harvard SAO/NASA ADS Astronomy Abstract Service

A simple circuit is applied to the energizing of auroral particles, to solar flares, and to intergalactic double radio sources. Application to the heliospheric current systems leads to the prediction of two double layers on the Sun's axis which may give radiations detectable from earth. Double layers[3] in space should be classified as a new type of celestial object. It is suggested that X-ray and gamma-ray bursts may be due to exploding double layers (although annihilation is an alternative energy source). The way the most used textbooks in astrophysics treat concepts like double layers, critical velocity, pinch effects and circuits was studied. It is found that students using these textbooks remain essentially ignorant of even the existence of these, although some of the phenomena were discovered 50 yr ago.

See also

Galactic Dynamics


Hannes Alfvén
Masters of the Electric Universe


  1. Hannes Alfvén, 1937 Cosmic Radiation as an Intra-galactic Phenomenon, Ark. f. mat., astr. o. fys. 25B, no. 29.
  2. Plasma in the Universe, Hans Alvén, Harvard SAO/NASA ADS Astronomy Abstract Service (
  3. Double layers in a plasma circuit of the galaxy and also star electric model, Equivalent circuit. (