Article 14:
Critical Distances of Small Particles - Effects on the Weather

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Using Equation 25, from Article 12, and again assuming a “flatness factor” of 2,500, we can calculate the critical distance of various small particles, and look at some of the implications of these values. Hydrogen molecules would have a critical distance of only about 3 x 10-12 of a meter, which means that in all usual situations they would repel each other. Just after the Big Bang, though, while matter was still very compressed and the actual separation of hydrogen atoms was less than this, they may have begun to accumulate into clumps that would have had a large enough critical distance to attract more hydrogen atoms even as the Universe expanded. For instance, an accumulation of matter weighing just 1 mg would have a critical distance of about 5.7 cm, and since the molecular clouds that stars are formed from contain about 100 particles of matter per cm³ (mainly hydrogen molecules and helium atoms), even a 1 mg “seed” would easily enable larger accumulations of matter to form. As particles move into this 5.7 cm radius, they would be attracted to the “seed” matter and make way for more particles to move into this area because of repulsion from particles around them and from the “gas pressure” of their kinetic energy. The bigger the mass accumulation becomes, the greater its critical distance, and the more surrounding molecules it would be able to attract. It could well be that a part of what is considered to be “gas pressure” in the molecular clouds from which stars form could be gravitational repulsion of individual atoms and molecules, rather than “gas pressure” arising from their kinetic energy. This means the temperature of these interstellar gas clouds could be lower than previously believed.

In our atmosphere, at standard temperature and pressure (STP), gas molecules are an average of about three nanometers (nm) apart. In liquid water the molecules are about 0.3 nm apart. Both of these distances are much greater than the critical distance of a water molecule which is about 0.01 nm, at f = 2,500, the flatness figure we have been working with. This would mean that water molecules would, according to this theory, gravitationally repel each other rather than attract each other! In liquid water, of course, the surface tension is far greater than the tiny gravitational repulsion, and ensures water stays together in drops. In the atmosphere, though, water vapor molecules would certainly repel each other at the average 3 nm distance they are apart. An accumulation of water approaching 100 nm in radius would be needed to actually attract further water molecules. A 100 nm radius water droplet would have a critical distance of 117 nm, so water molecules approaching it would be attracted rather than repelled.

For cloud droplets to begin to form, according to this theory, somehow a decent sized nucleus would have to form, or already be present, with a critical distance large enough to attract more water molecules. One possibility is that when there is a sufficient concentration of water molecules present collisions could occasionally bring enough water molecules into simultaneous contact so that surface tension between the molecules could hold them together. As further collisions added to the size of this droplet it would reach the 100 nm radius needed to gravitationally attract more water molecules to the droplet, then would grow faster.

It is known that cloud droplets actually form around tiny particles of matter, such as dust, called cloud condensation nuclei or CCNs, and can form with their aid at only about one fourth the concentration of water molecules in the air that would be needed without them. Typically these particles are about 200 nm in diameter, but can be as small as 100 nm in diameter or 50 nm in radius. It turns out that a 50 nm radius dust particle with a density twice that of water would have a mass of 1.047 x 10-18 kg, and a critical distance of about 58 nm, slightly larger than its own radius, so it would be able to gravitationally attract water molecules to its surface to begin forming a cloud droplet without the need for high concentrations of water vapor to be present so a nucleus could be formed through the simultaneous collision of multiple molecules. A 100 nm radius CCN twice as dense as water, a more typical size for CCNs, would have a critical distance of 167 nm, considerably larger than its radius, so would easily be able to attract water molecules. This theory suggests that particles much smaller than 1 x 10-18 kg, which have critical distances less than their radii, would, as they get smaller, become increasingly ineffective as CCNs.

The fact that the critical distance of water molecules dovetails in so well with the properties of water at a flatness of f = 2,500 seems to confirm that this is a good estimate of the flatness of the “flat spot swirl” our supercluster of galaxies resides in. It is interesting to speculate that, according to this theory, water could have significantly different properties in another ‘flat spot swirl” that had a significantly different flatness. At a lower flatness, water would condense less easily into clouds and rain drops, and be more likely to stay in the vapor state.

I don’t know enough about cloud formation physics to know whether the gravitational critical distances of Stationary Energy Theory could help explain the process of cloud formation, but it does seem from the above discussion that there is the possibility that they could.

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