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Electromagnetism in the cosmos

  1. Mar 29, 2009 #1
    Is there any evidence that electromagnetism has played a role in the formation of galaxies, galactic clusters, and super cluster filaments?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 29, 2009 #2


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    You may be intrigued by the 'electric universe' model proposed by eric lerner. I do not find it particularily illuminating.
  4. Mar 30, 2009 #3


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    Well, in that the electromagnetic force is the primary source of interaction between normal matter, sure. Basically the details of the effects of the electromagnetic force currently are poorly understood, as it's just horribly difficult to calculate.

    But in a general sense, the electromagnetic force allows normal matter to experience friction, which causes it to clump up more tightly in the bottom of dark matter potentials. While there's a lot more dark matter than normal matter, the normal matter can have a significant impact because it tends to clump more due to this friction from the electromagnetic interactions.

    There's also all sorts of interesting potential phenomena such as how the massive electromagnetic fields of active galactic nuclei affect the gas within a galaxy.

    That said, what we can be sure of is the fact that as the distances get larger, the effects of the electromagnetic force die off rather rapidly. When you get to around galaxy cluster scales, the effects drop to almost nothing at all, and we can approximate the behavior of galaxy clusters and larger structures just by using gravity alone.
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