The Birth of a New Galaxy
Clarifying Vision and Measurement: Continued from Atoms to Galaxies)
At this point in our progress of understanding, we shall embark upon a most ambitious journey. We are going out into space. Into the remotest depths of inter galactic space, so that we may observe, at close range, the birth processes of a new star cluster or 'Galaxy.' We will take along our consciousness, our ability to observe, and our understanding. We must, of course, leave our bodies behind, since they would not fare well in space, and also because their mass would create a gravitational field which would tend to alter the natural conditions at our point of observation. We will seek a spot which is at least a few million light years distant from any other galaxy or accumulation of matter; for it is only within these remote areas that we may observe the birth process of a new galaxy.
In the first part of this book, we discussed the almost inconceivably large number of particles which are found in each cubic inch of our atmosphere at sea level. As we move outward from the earth's surface we find that the number of particles diminishes rapidly, but still remains surprisingly large. When we have reached a height of one hundred miles we find that there are only about one millionth as many particles per cubic inch as we found at the surface, this is a density of matter so minute that we require very sensitive instruments, even to detect its existence. Yet, if we count the individual particles, we will find that there are still about 400 million, million particles in each cubic inch of space. At a few hundred miles elevation the density has diminished another million times, and we say that we have entered 'space', yet there are still many millions of particles per cubic inch.
We come to the startling realization that there simply is no such thing as 'empty space.' Astronomers have estimated that even in the remotest depths of intergalactic space, (which is our destination on this trip) there will still be found from twenty five to seventy five or more nuclear or atomic particles per cubic inch. Most of these particles are protons, or simple atoms which have attained escape velocity from the surfaces of some star, and which may have been wandering aimlessly about, perhaps for billions of years, coming into occasional collision with ocher particles, but usually with sufficient relative velocity so that mutual capture could not take place.
In the vicinity of existing galaxies, the gravitational fields created by the innumerable stars within those galaxies, tend to draw in the random particles, many of which eventually fall into one or another of the stars, and thereby assist somewhat in replenishing the mass which each star is constantly converting into energy. We must, therefore, seek a spot which is remote from any of the existing galaxies, and approximately equidistant from the nearer ones. Even in this remote area of space we will find countless numbers of particles of matter, anti-units of charge; electrons, protons or simple atoms, which have achieved escape velocity from some star, or which have been formed in space by random approach and capture. In short, we have all of the building blocks of nature, present in an exceedingly tenuous and diffuse state.
Since each of the particles of matter has mass, each has a force of attraction existing between it and every other particle of matter in the area. If we accept the concept of the non-linearity of natural law as previously outlined in this text, we find that each of these particles is also being repelled slightly by the surrounding galaxies or galactic clusters
These forces are almost inconceivably small, yet the net result of their action is to create a tendency upon the part of each randomly moving particle to move ever closer to the center of the area of attraction, which is also approximately but not exactly the center or 'null balance' point of the repulsion of the surrounding galaxies.
We will assume that we have now reached the point from which we will observe the birth of our new galaxy. This point is at the center of a sphere of space, perhaps thirty thousand light years in diameter, within which the final concentration of matter will take place.
We must be prepared to exercise a great deal of patience, because the forces involved, and the resulting accelerations are so minute that many millions of years will probably elapse before we can detect any significant increase in the number of particles per unit of volume. Nevertheless, all of the particles within several hundreds of thousands of light years are slowly but surely acquiring a velocity in our direction.
As the concentration of matter at the center of our system increases, the intensity of its field will also increase and will add, not only to the velocity, but also to the acceleration of the inward moving particles. We are observing the condensation of a tremendously large volume of exceedingly ratified gas into a relatively small volume.
Let us assume that one hundred million years have passed since we first occupied our point of observation at the center of the newly forming galaxy. All of the particles within some thousands of light years have now acquired a very respectable velocity in our direction, and the density of the gas surrounding us is increasing with comparative rapidity. We observe however, that the particles are not falling directly toward the central point of the condensation.
We can understand this if we realize that the center or null point of the force of repulsion is determined only by the distribution and the distance of the surrounding galaxies, while the center of the force of attraction is determined by the distribution of matter within the area of condensation. Since the center of 'push' is not at the same point as the center of 'pull', there is a tendency toward the creation of an angular velocity. That is, the particles, instead of falling directly toward the center, will tend to spiral inward. Eventually this rotational motion will become general throughout the mass.
The plane in which this spin begins is determined by the location of the existing galaxies and the relative density of particles in different parts of the condensing mass, but once begun, the motion tends constantly to increase as the condensation proceeds. The particles which are upon either side of the central plane of spin tend to fall toward the plane as well as toward the center, while those particles which are nearly perpendicular to the center of the plane of spin rend to fall inward more rapidly because of their smaller rotational velocities.
Our gas cloud now begins to take on the shape of a disk with a somewhat oblate sphere at the center. The galaxy has begun to assume its final shape, though as yet, there are no stars within it nor does it emit any light. If we were to direct a large telescope on earth towards this gas cloud, we would not be able to see it at all. Since all of the light coming from the galaxies behind it is now being absorbed, we would see only that there was an unusually large dark area in space. We would probably refer to it as a 'dark nebula,' a tremendous body of gas, still somewhat rarefied according to our usual concept of gas; which emits no light, but which does absorb, and convert to lower frequencies, almost all of the light, and other forms of radiant energy which reach it from the countless radiating stars throughout the universe.
As the nebula continues to contract, areas of comparatively high density will develop in many parts of the mass. Each of these points will become a local center of gravity, and accelerated condensation will occur towards these points. The gas cloud now becomes broken up into a multitude of individual spheres, each of which continues to condense upon its own center, just as a cloud condenses into myriads of tiny water droplets.
Let us now direct our attention to one of these 'droplets' which is eventually to become a star in our new galaxy. It is still several millions of miles in diameter, but shrinking rapidly. As the gas cloud condenses, the energy which it contains, becomes concentrated. The particles which while they were drifting about in space, had almost infinitely long 'mean free paths, now come into more and more frequent and more and more violent collisions.
The temperature of the mass constantly rises. The kinetic energy which the particles have been building up during the millions of years while they were accelerating toward the common center, is now being converted into thermal energy. Eventually the mass begins to emit photons having frequencies in the visible portion of the spectrum. We can now say that the star has been 'born', although it may still have more resemblance to a nebula, than to a star. A great deal more contraction will take place before the internal pressure of the gas begins to balance the gravitational force.
The star which we have chosen for observation is one of the millions which are forming within the central portion of the nebula. Since the nebula was created by the gradual inward movement of particles from an immense volume of space, it is apparent that it is within the spherical area at the center that the gas will first achieve a density sufficient for the process of condensation into separate stars to begin.
By this time the entire nebula has acquired a fairly uniform rotation about its center of mass. The individual stars, during their condensation, will of course retain this rotation but will also develop a rotational motion about their own center of gravity. As the gas at the core of the new star becomes denser, the gravitational field becomes more and more intense, and the surrounding matter falls, with ever increasing rapidity toward the center. Most of the gas which, even during the dark nebula stage, occupied dozens of cubic light years, of space, now is compressed into a sphere only a few million miles in diameter.
Earlier in this text we observed that the temperature of a given gas will be inversely proportionate to the volume which that gas occupies, so long as the total thermal energy contained remains the same. The gas which we are observing is now billions of times more densely packed than it was when the condensation began, and the temperature has risen from a fraction of a degree absolute, to several millions of degrees. This temperature continues to rise as the high kinetic energy which the incoming particles have acquired during their long fall, is converted into thermal energy as those particles impact the randomly moving particles at the surface of the star.
The condensation of the star, from the dark nebula to its present state of development has been comparatively rapid, only a few million years being required for the process. Most of the matter available to the star has now formed into a fairly compact spheroid, and comparatively little new matter is arriving at the surface.
As the mass continues to contract, the temperature within the body of the star continues to rise, but because of the tremendous amount of radiant energy which is now escaping from the surface, its temperature will remain far below that of the interior.
The star is now a member of the class which Walter Baade, then a member of the Mount Wilson Observatory staff, named Population I, a blue white star with a surface temperature of the order of 30,000 degrees absolute, and an internal temperature of several millions of degrees. It is emitting light and heat energy at a rate much greater than can be replaced by the comparatively small amount of material which is still falling into it from the nebular cloud.
If the life process of the star ended here, its period of luminescence would be very short. Within a few thousands of years, the surface temperature would begin to fall below the point of incandescence and the star would appear as a dull red body. The continuing contraction of its mass might maintain the star in this condition for a few thousands of years more, but eventually the surface would become almost entirely dark, and a liquid or solid crust would probably begin to form.
We know, however, even from our relatively short history of astronomical observations, that the active period of a star is much greater than this. Let us, therefore, return to our nuclear scale of observation to determine the source from which the star receives its continuing supply of energy.
We must remember that much of the matter which forms our new star, consists of atoms which, eons ago, escaped from the surface of some other star. Since the atom of normal hydrogen (1H1) is the lightest of the atom family, it will acquire, at a given energy level, a greater velocity than any other atom, and since velocity is the principal factor in the escape of atoms from the gravitational field of a star, we would assume that most of the particles to be found in open space would be hydrogen atoms.
The new, star, which is simply a condensation of these particles, would also be assumed to consist principally of hydrogen. This fact, which we can predict from our simple study of the behavior of atomic particles, has been verified many times by spectrographic analysis of the newer stars in presently existing galaxies.
Let us examine the interior of the star, to see if we can discover the source of its great energy supply. (Since we left our bodies at home when we embarked upon this extra-galactic tour, we will not be unduly inconvenienced by the high temperatures and pressures which exist in the regions in which we must conduct our observations.)
As we approach the star, we first pass through a region which, in the case of our sun, we call the corona. It is the area about a star where the incoming particles first meet resistance in their long fall. The corona is a belt of exceedingly tenuous gas whose particles have random motions. This layer of gas is much like the upper layers of the earth's atmosphere except that its temperature is very much higher. We must remember that the tremendous gravitational field of the star is attracting particles from all parts of the space surrounding it, and that they acquire very high velocities. As they fall through the star's outer layer of gas, sooner or later, each falling particle comes into direct collision with a particle of the corona gas. The linear kinetic energy is converted to radiant energy of high intensity. We observe temperatures of one trillion degrees Fahrenheit and more. The gas is, however, so ratified that the total amount of heat created per unit volume of space is small compared to the much greater quantities of energy which are being radiated from lower levels.
After we have descended through the corona, we encounter another layer of gas, much denser than the gas of the corona. This layer we will call the photosphere, because it is within this layer that most of the visible light which the star radiates, is created. Here the temperature, as measured by the activity of the particles, is much lower, only about 11,000 degrees F, yet the gas is so much denser that the energy contained per unit volume, is many times greater than that of the corona.
The photosphere is essentially the receiving and shipping department of the star, receiving great quantities of energy from deeper levels, and radiating that energy into space in a never ending stream.
As we descend deeper into the body of the star, we find that the temperature and the pressure constantly increase. This means, of course, that as the gas becomes denser, the mean free path of the particles is becoming shorter, and their velocity is ever increasing. The frequency and violence with which the particles impact each other becomes almost impossible to describe or imagine.
As we approach the central core of the star, we find temperatures upward of twenty millions of degrees, and pressures in the billions of pounds per square inch. Although the material is still technically a gas, because all of the particles have velocities greater than their escape velocity from each other, its density is now about ten times that of solid steel.
If we remember that in our atmosphere at 32°F and only 14.7 lbs. per square inch, the average particle has a velocity of 1760 feet per second, and undergoes five billion collisions per second, it may give us some faint comprehension of the number and violence of the collisions which take place between the particles deep within the body of a star.
We see that the shell of force which the planetary electrons create about the nucleus, is not sufficient to withstand impacts of this order, and the nucleus is soon stripped of its planetary electrons. When the bare nuclei impact other bare nuclei at this energy level we see that fusion of the two may, and frequently does take place.
The fusion of two nuclei results in the formation of a single nucleus which has a mass slightly smaller than that of the two parts from which it was created. The mass which is lost, appears as a tremendous burst of radiant energy, most of which subsequently is converted to heat. We note that this fusion or joining together of nuclear particles may occur in a number of ways, but in every case where the resultant nucleus has a mass smaller than the mass of the atom of silver, large quantities of heat will be released as a result of the combination.
We also observe that when the mass of the resultant nucleus is greater than the mass of an atom of silver, a large quantity of energy is absorbed rather than radiated, but this event occurs so infrequently that only an insignificant amount of energy is thus subtracted from the total. It is this energy of fusion which constantly replaces that which is being radiated into space from the surface of the star.
The process of fusion also gradually builds up heavier elements from the hydrogen building blocks which were the principal material of the new star. Consequently we would assume that the life expectancy of a given star is determined largely by the amount of hydrogen which it has available for fusion.
If the principal subject of our study were astronomy rather than the larger field of cosmology, we might devote several chapters to the examination of the inherent stabilities and instabilities which affect the process of fusion within a star. If we had a few billion years to spare, we might watch the infant as it changed slowly from a medium sized blue white star, to a somewhat smaller and denser white, until the ever increasing instabilities of the nuclear reactions within it finally overcame the stabilizing factors, and the entire star suddenly erupted in the tremendous blast of inconceivable energy which we call a nova.
After a few months we would see all of the material which had not been blasted irretrievably into space, slowly settle back into a very small and exceedingly dense core which we would describe as a red dwarf.
Since we have already spent many millions of years in this observational expedition, perhaps it is time for us to consider returning to earth. After all, there are many interesting things going on there too!
Before we leave, however, there is one more pattern of development which we should observe because it is, to our own egos at least, the most important of all.
In the star which we have been observing, the condensation took place in a symmetrical manner, with the result that a single sphere was formed. If we had been able to observe all of the stellar condensations simultaneously, we would have observed that in approximately one out of four or five cases, the condensation did not proceed symmetrically. The reason for this is found in the position and size of neighboring condensations.
As in the case of the galactic nebula, the stellar gas cloud also begins to rotate as it condenses, and again a plane of spin is created. The particles outside this plane of spin tend to fall toward the plane as well as toward the center. As the rate of spin increases, the gas at some distance from the center, approaches orbital velocity with respect to that center. In simpler words, the centrifugal force tends to balance the gravitational pull of the central mass, and secondary centers of condensation are formed which are in orbit about the principal mass. These secondary condensations are usually very small in proportion to the main mass, just as the main mass is small in proportion to the galaxy.
(In extreme cases, the condensing cloud may divide into two or more roughly equal parts, each of which becomes a separate star, but which then arc in rotation about a common center of gravity. It is in the smaller condensations however, that we are particularly interested at this point.)
These smaller bodies which, in the case of our solar system, we have named 'planets,' will always be found to contain a much larger proportion of the heavier atoms, than will be found in the body of the star.
The reasons for this fact become obvious from our previous examination of atomic behavior. In the first place, we have seen that the lighter atom has a higher velocity at a given temperature, and so will reach escape velocity from a given body at a lower temperature. The condensations which result in planetary bodies, being comparatively small, do not reach the very high temperatures found in the stars, but they do reach temperatures sufficiently high to cause most of the lighter particles to reach escape velocity from the relatively small gravitational field.
Because the body is small, and the temperature low, such nuclear reactions as may occur under these circumstances do not furnish sufficient energy to replace that which is radiated, and the planet soon begins to cool.
A solid crust forms upon the surface, and the elements begin to combine in countless molecular patterns. When the surface has reached a sufficiently low temperature, the stage is set for the creation of the amino-acids which are generally conceded to be the starting point in the development of the organic forms to which we refer collectively as 'life'. The process is a delicate one, and only a small percentage of the planets may develop conditions suitable for this type of synthesis. It is also possible that the process may take place upon only a small percentage of those planets which do have suitable conditions. Yet, among the tens of billions of planets in a single galaxy, it is a virtual certainty, from a statistical standpoint, that synthesis will occur upon at least a few hundred, or perhaps a few thousand planets. (If we assume that the creation of life is directed by Divine Will, then the number might be much larger.) If we wished to follow the development of these first life forms through all of the stages of evolution required to produce a sentient being, we might have to wait for a period of time as long as that required for the formation of the galaxy, but eventually such a genus would appear. A race of beings capable of originating complex thought patterns, followed by equally complex actions.
Sooner or later, such a race would tire of its confinement upon a single planet, and would seek means to broaden the scope of its investigations, and of its movements. Having achieved space travel, the race would proceed to radiate in all directions from its point of origin, investigating many planets, and perhaps colonizing some of those which were suitable for life but upon which life had not yet developed.
We must recall at this point, that it is the central spheroid of the galaxy which is formed first. It is in the central portion, that planets would first reach conditions suitable for life, and it is upon these planets that life would first achieve a high degree of development. Intelligent life might therefore be said to radiate from the center of a galaxy outward toward the periphery. A process which might take place over a period of several millions of years after the first race had achieved space travel.
It is with this thought, and in a very humble frame of mind that we begin our return journey to our tiny planet earth; located almost on the extreme outer edge of our own galaxy.
REFINING AND BROADENING THE ELEMENTARY E=MC2 EQUATION
Radius of Curvature of all Natural Law:
- The Quantity C: Possessing a Significance Far Greater than Attributed
- Gravity – As Viewed Through the Radius (VC)
- Space as Observed through the Curve of Radius Light
- Matter and Mass - Quantum Gravity and the Holographic Mass
- Beyond A Uni-Dimensional Perception of TIME
- The Nonlinearity of Physical Law