Electric Universe theory

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Comet Hale-Bopp featuring its ion tail, that results from the interaction of the comet with the electrified interplanetary plasma

The Electric Universe theory argues that electricity plays a more important role in the Universe, than is generally accepted (see also "Electricity throughout the Universe").

As a theory, it offers explanations of various natural and astrophysical phenomena, some of which it claims are better understood without the need for various ad hoc explanations. As with any theory, the Electric Universe makes predictions that have been tested, and is published in both peer-reviewed papers, and popular books.

The Electric Universe theory is interdisciplinary, integrating and supporting subject as diverse as the science (astronomy, geology, physics), with the soft sciences such as ancient history and comparative mythology.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Electric Universe has also become the target of pseudo-skeptics, whose criticisms have consisted of ad hominems, misunderstanding, misrepresentation, and labeling as pseudoscience.


Key points

The plumes of Enceladus are an electrical phenomenon [1]
  • Electricity plays a more significant role in the Universe than is generally accepted
  • The Sun and stars are electrically powered by drift currents (see Electric Sun theory)
  • Planetary surface features such as some craters, dendritic structures and rilles are caused by super-lightning (see electrical scarring)
  • Certain cosmic phenomena are electrical in nature, including:

Alternative Electric Universe theories

Others have described, or had described, their theories as the "Electric Universe", and while they may share some features in common, may be wholly different too.

  • The 1883 pamphlet The Electric Universe: Flashing thoughts for consideration and facts from many sources, by 'Torpedo'[2]
  • In 1900, Ignatio Tyrrell publishes the book: The Great Electric Universe: Face to Face with God and Facts : Sun, Moon & Planets Populated : Man the Epitome of the Universe, Whither Has He Come, Whither is He Going.[3] Subject matter unknown
  • In 1903, George Woodward Warder's book, The universe a vast electric organism, included Chapter XV "The Electric Universe is Self-Sustaining and Eternal".[4]
  • In 1959, Herman Bondi and R.A. Lyttleton proposed of "The possibility of a general excess of charge in the universe"[5] which Bondi referred to as the Electric Universe.[6]
  • In the 1960s, C.E.R. Bruce:
".. proposed a theory of the evolution of the universe, which will be of interest to electrical engineers. He endeavours to show that electrical discharges have gradually condensed matter from the primordial gas and dust of a general universal atmosphere, first into galaxies, then from the condensed matter of the galaxies into stars. Discharges in the extended atmospheres of stars further condensed the matter, ultimately to allow the formation of planets and satellites"[7][8]
  • In 1966, James Patton mentioned "the thinking reader who knows that gravitation and electrostatics both involve inverse-square laws of force, but is unaware of ionization, may wonder how stars and galaxies exist in the 'electric universe'.[9]
  • In 1972, Ralph Juergens proposed an Electric Sun hypothesis which Earl R. Milton says was inspired by several others.
  • In 1978, P. C. W. Davies in an article in Nature,[10] described a paper on "The electrically polarized universe" by John Bally and E. R. Harrison in Astrophysics Journal.[11] Davies notes: ""In spite of its Velikovskian flavour, the Bally-Harrison electric universe unfortunately does not lead to any obviously important astrophysical consequences".
  • In 1998, Dr. László Körtvélyessy's book, The Electric Universe [12] also highlighted the importance of electricity in astronomy, but he does not subscribe to an electric-powered Sun, nor electrical scarring.


  1. "Electrically Charged Particles Found in Enceladus’ Plumes", Universe Today, 24 Dec, 2015
  2. "The Electric Universe: Flashing thoughts for consideration and facts from many sources", by 'Torpedo', publ. 1883 H. Brett, General Printer. Auckland: MDCCCLXXXIII. Online at the Victoria University of Wellington.
  3. Ignatio Tyrrell, The Great Electric Universe: Face to Face with God and Facts: Sun, Moon & Planets Populated: Man the Epitome of the Universe, Whither Has He Come, Whither is He Going (1900)
  4. George Woodward Warder, The universe a vast electric organism (1903) Chapter XV "The Electric Universe is Self-Sustaining and Eternal"
  5. R. A. Lyttleton, H. Bondi, "On the Physical Consequences of a General Excess of Charge" in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Vol. 252, No. 1270 (Sep. 29, 1959), pp. 313-333
  6. Bondi, H., "The Electric Universe" in Space Astrophysics, Edited by William Liller. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1961., p.179
  7. C.E.R. Bruce, "An All-Electric Universe" (1960) in Electrical Review (23 Dec 1960)
  8. C.E.R. Bruce, "All-electric theory of the universe" (1971) in Students' Quarterly Journal Volume: 40, Issue: 160 (June 1970)
  9. Paton, J., "Auroral activity during 1965", The Observatory, Vol. 86, p. 253-254 (1966)
  10. P. C. W. Davies, "Electric Universe", Nature 273, 268 - 269 (1978)
  11. Bally, J.; Harrison, E. R., "The electrically polarized universe", Astrophysical Journal, Part 1, vol. 220, Mar. 15, 1978, p. 743, 744.
  12. Dr. László Körtvélyessy, The Electric Universe, 1998, ISBN 963 8243 19 8

Articles and papers

Peer reviewed

Academic conference reports

  • Thornhill, W.W., "The Electrical Nature of Comets", IEEE 34th International Conference on Plasma Science, 2007. ICOPS 2007., Publication Date: 17-22 June 2007, On page(s): 1000-1000
  • Ransom, C. J. & Wal Thornhill, "Plasma Generated Spherules", Bulletin of the American Physical Society, Vol. 50, #2, April 2005, p. 78.


  • C.E.R. Bruce, "An All-Electric Universe". Elect. Rev., 162, pp. 1070-1075, 23 Dec. 1960.
  • C.E.R. Bruce, "An All-Electric Universe". Elect.Rev., 168, p. 20, 6 Jan. 1961.
  • C.E.R. Bruce, "An All-Electric Universe", Elect.Rev., 169, p. 104, 20 Jan. 1961.
  • C.E.R. Bruce, "An All-Electric Universe". Elect.Rev., 169, p. 332, 24 Feb. 1961
  • Thornhill, W., "The Electric Universe", SIS C&C Review v2000 No.1
  • Thornhill, W., "The Electric Universe", SIS C&C Review v2002 No.2
  • Thornhill, W., "Stars in an Electric Universe", Aeon vol.5 No.5 (Jan 2000)
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