61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
Don Scott puts forth some very interesting observations and explanations on the topic of electrical interactions in space.
While this topic is currently taboo in "standard" cosmology, it is quite a necessary step in the right direction if we are to understand many of the most puzzling discoveries in space during the current technological revolution in the sciences.
We see "magnetic fields" everywhere in space (around stars, black holes, nebulae, etc.), yet standard astronomers tend to ignore or sideline or outright DENY the existence of the electric fields that MUST give rise to or co-exist with the magnetic fields.
Have they forgotten that James Clerk Maxwell integrated our understanding of magnetism with our understanding of electricity? Where one exists, so too by nature exists the other. Turn a magnet in a coil of conductive wires to produce an electric current. Run an electric current through a coil of wires to produce a magnetic field. This understanding MUST make its way into space sciences, or all is for naught. Even if the truth ends up being painful or embarrassing to the "standard model."
This book is a must-read for astronomers, cosmologists, skeptics, and the open-minded public at large. If you like this book, you may also be interested in the following titles: Seeing Red: Redshifts, Cosmology and Academic Science,The Big Bang Never Happened: A Startling Refutation of the Dominant Theory of the Origin of the Universe,Thunderbolts of the Gods and The Electric Universe.
There has occasionally been controversy over this topic (despite a solid sensible point to be made).
Notably Tim Thompson has offered a rebuttal, to which Don Scott has responded:
(Tim Thompson's rebuttal of Don Scott's work)
(Don Scott's rejoinder to Tim Thompson's criticisms with additional detail and commentary.)
I suggest that, for fairness, readers read both sides with an open mind, read the book (more detailed and comprehensive), then make up their own minds as to what makes more sense (as opposed to blindly accepting what one side or the other says).
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2008
I hear time and time again that people should attend an introduction physics class and throw this book into the trash. I hear it far too often from people who have only given a brief skim of the book and who are not well versed in electromagnetism. Don Scott is a respectable professor who has taught electrical engineering classes for decades. To state the man has no education within science is pure slander and is a poor argument. I am an electrical engineer myself and everything Dr. Scott has written upon electricity is accurate and correct. His theory on the nature of electricity in space is up for debate, and if, like me, you come from a foundation in the traditional it would be difficult to grasp. Give it a sincere read and double check with both sides of the argument. You might just find something that expands your intrigue into doubting all that is feed to you, both inside and out of academia.
Dr. Scott is not just whistling Dixie when he makes his observations. The interactions that occur in space are very, and having noticed them myself, very similar to electrical systems. Plasma is a fairly new concept within physics and it is just recently that much of its behavior has been recorded in labs. Having talked to plasma researchers they describe much of what Dr. Scott does but without the knowledge of his theories. I am confident that these researchers are not off their rockers.
One issue I have noticed over the years is the tendency for people in different fields of science to segregate themselves. It is not done to be rude or elite, it just happens to be how the nature of the field goes. Most research does not require such collaboration, and so respective specialties keep to themselves. However, when it comes to the vastness of space and the theory defying observations made every day, perhaps it is time to start looking into more areas of science than what is a person's professional specialty. Please, save the evil "educated person" bit, especially since the author has profuse education credentials. If you doubt his merits, page VII of the book has his biography.
49 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2007
While Scott presents a scathing critique of the Big Bang model, the focus of this book is the exposition of an elegant new model of the universe; a model that comprehends and predicts observed phenomena in terms of electrical interactions in space. Eminently readable to any reasonably intelligent person, written in plain but scientific English, without the condescending analogies so common in popular science books. Scott, an avid astronomer and a professor of electrical engineering, takes the perspective of an outsider to theoretical physics looking, not in at the established theory, but up at the actual sky.
The Electric Sky was a revelation. It's like being the first kid to discover that there is no Santa Claus. I will never watch a science program on TV with the same eyes again. I hear buzzwords like "spacetime", "magnetic reconnection", "black holes", "dark matter", "dark energy" and can't help scoffing. I know now that these are simply names given to vast gaps in cosmologists' understanding. I look at the emperor and see that he is nude.
44 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2007
Don Scott's "The Electric Sky" presents a very serious challenge to mainstream cosmology. Most space science enthusiasts are unaware that traditional cosmologists believe that laboratory plasma physics do not scale to universe-sized phenomenon. In the laboratory, matter within the plasma state has electrical resistance and conducts electricity very well. But mainstream cosmologists insist that despite decades of experimentation with laboratory plasmas that space plasmas can be modeled as fluids because they allege that the plasmas instantaneously neutralize charge imbalances and have frozen-in-place magnetic fields. Few space enthusiasts or even modern-day cosmologists are aware that Hannes Alfven, the man who largely originated these concepts, warned during his Nobel Physics Prize acceptance speech in the 1970's that these concepts were in fact "pseudo-pedagogical" -- ideas that superficially appear to help, but in fact cause great harm to our understanding of the universe. His warnings were overwhelmingly ignored even as it was discovered that plasma constitutes the large majority of what we observe to be the universe. The end result has been that astrophysics has increasingly become reliant upon particles and forces that are largely divorced from common sense and laboratory experimentation in order to account for the extraordinarily strong electrical forces that plasma can exert. By properly modeling plasma in space as an electrical phenomenon, many of the mysteries of the universe bear an uncanny resemblance to phenomenon we've observed within laboratory plasma physics. Don Scott does a superb job of explaining the theory in terms that anybody can understand.
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2007
If you are a cosmologist, you probably will not like The Electric Sky. That is because the book is based on the well established Maxwell's equations and plasma science. That is a branch of physics not usually stressed in cosmology courses. If you are an electrical engineer, plasma scientist or anyone interested in a different approach to understanding cosmology that is based on well established scientific principles, then you will greatly enjoy this easy to understand presentation.
This book describes why it is important to understand electrical plasma phenomena for studying the universe and how plasma experiments and theory explain many of the so called mysteries of the universe. Mysteries such as dark matter and dark energy are merely mathematical results forced by considering mainly gravity and ignoring well established plasma effects.
I have a PhD in Plasma Physics but I recommend the book to anyone, with or without a scientific background, who is interested in a non-esoteric approach to cosmology. You do not have to make up obscure entities to understand the plasma universe. The observations fit experiment and theory.
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2007
Electric Sky is a popular science book about the approach to astrophysical phenomena based on modern plasma physics. This branch of plasma science has been pioneered by the Nobel Prize laureate Hannes Alfven and is endorsed by IEEE and many other scientific institutions (notably, the Los Alamos National Laboratory and elements of NASA) outside the academic field of astrophysics proper. Peer-reviewed articles on Plasma/Electric Universe are continuously being published in several scientific publications, foremost of which is IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, which has already devoted seven special issues on this subject exclusively, from the first one in 1986 to the latest one in 2007.
Unfortunately, this approach, coming from outside the field, has been largely ignored by most of the traditional astrophysicists in their research as well as public press releases.
This book aims to fill the void in public awareness. It draws attention to the startling fact that many theoretical astrophysicists do not have adequate knowledge of modern plasma physics (as opposed to the general courses on electromagnetism that the astrophysicists do take) and, moreover, that they treat plasma incorrectly in their published, peer-reviewed articles.
Among other things, the book demystifies the so-called "evidence" for dark matter and dark energy, showing that both concepts are consistently applied as ad-hoc props in order to support an ailing theory: an example of "it's different from what's expected, and we've got no other explanation, therefore it MUST be this" argument--a testament to the astronomers' ability to turn a negative result into a "proof."
The book could have placed a stronger emphasis on the scalability of the physical properties of plasma, which are the same everywhere regardless of size. This allows to replicate astronomical-scale events in the lab--and with remarkable success, considering that one can't use black holes in the lab, nor place some unobservable dark matter conveniently just where it is needed.
While the book does a good job showing the numerous shortcomings of the traditional gravity-dominated theories, underscoring a tight connection between the book's material on Plasma/Electric Universe theories and rigorous laboratory and space-probe experiments conducted over many years (especially, in the Los Alamos National Laboratory) may have made it harder for the opponents to build straw men (imaginary theories to argue against, seemingly alike but actually nothing like the real thing) which they could then demolish.
Rather than giving a rigorous treatment, Electric Sky offers a wide perspective on the subject, ranging from the supra-galactic to planetary scale, and does it so that it could be easily appreciated by non-specialists. The author's thoughts on what constitutes scientific method, on why science is impossible without experiment, as well as on the economics of science (money grants, peer reviews, personal careers, and the like) are particularly illuminating. For this alone, Electric Sky deserves five stars.
P.S. Real science welcomes--nay, lives by--brainstorming. It's in the very nature of scientific method. Especially in the fields where a definitive proof is often hard to come by, seeing many ideas thrown onto the table must be the order of the thing. Real science thrives on contrary opinions and does not require to "protect" itself. Experiment is protection enough. Guess why there are no ideological controversies in, say, physics of nanomaterials?
"Consensus" is something reached only at church councils and political negotiations. Opinions of thousands can't withstand a single contrary experiment. Must not.
21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2007
Being an astronomer is becoming more challenging. Some objects in the sky are terrestial. So, a knowledge of geology is necessary. Some objects have an atmosphere. So, a knowledge of meterology is necessary. Some objects (all} are made of elements, so a knowledge of chemestry is necessary. Some objects (all) are in motion. So, a knowledge of physics is necessary. Some objects are best viewed with certain aids. So a knowledge of optics is necessary. Astronomers spend seven or eight or more years to study all of this to earn a Ph.D. degree. And, lo and behold, along come interloping claim jumpers from the Electrical Engineering Department who now claim that electricity has something to do with outer space as well. What's a poor beleagured astronomer to do? Well, they need to go back to school. At least that is what retired Professor of Electrical Engineering Donald Scott believes. It seems that the folks at the EE Department are able to do experiments in the lab and produce results that are highly suspicious for their analogy to what astronomers see in distant space. And knowing how electricity behaves, as well as what the results of its usage look like make the Electrical Engineers think that astronomers have gone on an intellectual wild goose chase. The IEEE has taken up this subject, and websites devoted to what is known as plasma cosmology exist. Try Thunderbolts.info, for example. Any reader of this book will be exposed to a considerable survey of subjects where the role of electricity in space is discussed by a retired academic who knows a lightening blister when he sees one. While astronomers talk about maganetic something or other in space, they neglect to point out that first comes electricity. Then comes the magnetic effects. And where, do you suppose, does the electricity come from? This book is a good place to get started, with lots of food for thought.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2012
It has long been obvious that there are severe shortcomings in the theory that gravitation is the main, indeed the only, motivating force within the Universe. In order to uphold this theory it has been necessary to invent an ever-growing list of imaginary constructs with which to explain away the snags and anomalies that are constantly found and which cannot be explained within the constraints of Newtonian physics; anti-matter, dark matter, black holes, and too many others to name, not a single one of which has ever been observed or measured, and never will - because they don't exist and never have except in the minds of dogmatic scientists who are so sure in their own knowledge that they see no reason to question the fundamentals, despite this being one of the main pillars of the scientific world.
In this easy-to-read and understand book, Donald Scott demonstrates that, contrary to Newtonian dogma (are we REALLY still clinging to this primitive religion?!), most of the questions we today still cannot answer without resorting to imaginary constructs are easily explained within the context of an electro-magnetically charged universe in which space is not a vaccuum but is filled with electrically-charged particles collectively known as plasma. It is now becoming clearer that knowledge acquired in electric plasma laboratories over the last century provide insights and simpler, more elegant and compelling explanations of most cosmological phenomena than those that are currently espoused in astrophysics, despite the apparent intent of astrophysicists to ignore them. The result of this ignorance is that cosmologists have charged headlong down a mind-numbing mathematical cul de sac, creating on the way a whole family of invisible entities - many of which are demonstrably false. This concise and clear introduction to the subject is a positive step in the right direction.
Note: the Kindle version appears at first to have no table of contents; I found that, once the book opens at the "start", actually at the beginning of Chapter 1, if you page up it will go to the "proper" beginning, where the contents and other bits and pieces can be found.
The Big Bang Never Happened by Eric Lerner
The Einstein Hoax by H.E.Retic
The Electric Universe by Wallace Thornhill & David Talbott
Science at the Crossroads by Herbert Dingle
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2007
A practical and readable approach to astronomy and cosmology focussing on electrodynamics. Current cosmology is in crisis, and this new approach, aka plasma cosmology, will very likely save the day.
Forget The Big Bang, Black Holes, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and all the other mathematical abstractions. Cosmical electrodynamics offers real science understandable to anyone with an interest. The High Priests of science will hate it!
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2007
Don Scott's book is an eye-opener that highlights the importance of electricity and plasmas in astronomy that are usually considered unimportant, but which if taken into account, explain certain astronomical phenomena better than existing theories.
The book reminds us that most of the visible Universe is plasma, and that its characteristics are well know from laboratory experiments. Further it stresses the importance of applying these known properties to the cosmos, in preference to ad hoc theories and hypotheses.
The book is easy to read, well-referenced, and lavishly illustrated. And you don't need to be an expert in science.