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Galaxies “Boiling off” Electrons Due to the Photo-Electric Effect Leading to a New Model of the IGM and a Possible Mechanism for “Dark Matter”

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Document pages: 12 pages

Abstract: The Intergalactic Medium (IGM) is commonly thought to be occupied by approximately one atom of Hydrogen per cubic metre of space either as neutral Hydrogen or partially fully ionised. This cannot be true as galaxies will “boil off” electrons from their outer surfaces by the photo-electric effect and so the IGM must be filled with electrons. UV and X-ray photons, as they leave the galaxy, can remove an electron from a Hydrogen atom at the surface of the galaxy, give it sufficient energy to escape the gravitational pull of the galaxy and go on to fill the IGM. A typical galaxy emits approximately 5×1047 X-ray photons each second. All of which pass through the outer surface of the galaxy and have sufficient energy to eject an electron and send it off to the IGM. Adding to these photons in the UV and gamma, we can see that galaxies are ejecting large amounts of electrons each second that go on to fill the IGM. Data from FRB 121102 give the value for the electron number density in the IGM as ne ≈ 0.5 m-3. Under certain conditions, an electron gas will crystallise into a Wigner-Seitz crystal. Here the electrical potential energy of repulsion between the electrons dominates their kinetic energy and the electrons form on a BCC lattice structure. The electrons oscillate, performing SHM about their lattice positions. With ne ≈ 0.5 m-3 the electrons in the IGM satisfy the energy criteria for crystallisation to occur when interacting with other electrons within a sphere far less in radius than the corresponding Debye sphere. Thus, the conditions are met for the electrons to form an “electron glass.” Since the electrons in their BCC formation are spatially coherent, light will travel through the crystals in a straight line and thus objections to “Tired Light” theories are now removed since images will neither be destroyed nor “blurred.” Charges are not created but separated, if the electrons are removed from the galaxy and sent to fill the IGM; the remaining protons are left behind. These are “thermal” and will not have sufficient energy to escape but will be held gravitationally to that galaxy. Could these too form a spherical Wigner-Seitz sphere around that galaxy? Since the structure would be transparent, light would pass through in straight lines and thus we would not see it. They would however, interact gravitationally with the galaxy and have an effect on the rotation curves of single galaxies and on the motion of galactic clusters. Just as we cannot see the clear water in a fish tank when we look at the fish, the transparent, crystalline sphere of protons around galaxies would be “dark”.

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