Static discharge from the cylindrical stage imply the existence of contact electrification within the object. Jennison, of the Electronics Laboratory at the University of Kent, described his own observation of ball lightning in an article published in Nature in 1969: I was seated near the front of the passenger cabin of an all-metal airliner (Eastern Airlines Flight EA 539) on a late night flight from New York to Washington. A third man was killed by contact with the third ball. On 15 December 2014 flight BE-6780 (Saab 2000) in the UK experienced ball lightning in the forward cabin just before lightning struck the aircraft nose. The crew watched one ball descend, killing a man on deck and setting the main mast on fire. [needs update]. He describes it as slow-moving balls of fire or explosive gas that sometimes fall to the earth or run along the ground during a thunderstorm. A vacuum exists between the core and the electron layer containing an intense electromagnetic (EM) field, which is reflected and guided by the electron layer. The theory could explain many of the strange characteristics of ball lightning. … October 2001. It travelled down the bar for a bit, then fell to the ground and exploded into sparks. . If the vortex's expansion is obstructed, and symmetry is broken, the vortex breaks into cyclical form. A ball lightning effect that occurred during an electrical storm would be termed 'ball lightning'. A free ball of ionized[further explanation needed] air can amplify the ambient field this much by its own conductivity. photons quasiparticle... is a collective excitation phenomena between white and black spectrum photons transition at microscopically, unperturbed in free space . They frequently appear almost simultaneously with cloud-to-ground lightning discharge, They are generally spherical or pear-shaped with fuzzy edges, Their diameters range from 1–100 cm (0.4–40 inches), most commonly 10–20 cm (4–8 inches), Their brightness corresponds to roughly that of a domestic lamp, so they can be seen clearly in daylight, A wide range of colors has been observed, red, orange, and yellow being the most common, The lifetime of each event is from one second to over a minute with the brightness remaining fairly constant during that time, They tend to move at a few meters per second, most often in a horizontal direction, but may also move vertically, remain stationary, or wander erratically, Many are described as having rotational motion, It is rare that observers report the sensation of heat, although in some cases the disappearance of the ball is accompanied by the liberation of heat, Some display an affinity for metal objects and may move along conductors such as wires or metal fences, Some appear within buildings passing through closed doors and windows, Some have appeared within metal aircraft and have entered and left without causing damage, The disappearance of a ball is generally rapid and may be either silent or explosive. The lightning balls can dramatically explode as the structure destabilizes. Physicist Domokos Tar suggested the following theory for ball lightning formation based on his ball lightning observation. The microwave EM field applies a ponderomotive force (radiation pressure) to the electrons preventing them from falling into the core. One popular theory is that ball lightning is caused when lightning striking the ground vaporizes some of the silicate minerals in soil. While the experiment was under way, ball lightning appeared, travelled down the string, struck Richmann's forehead and killed him. Chen, C., Pakter, R., Seward, D. C. "Equilibrium and Stability Properties of Self-Organized Electron Spiral Toroids." An experimental investigation of this effect, published in 2007, reported producing "luminous balls with lifetime in the order of seconds" by evaporating pure silicon with an electric arc.  The theorized forms of silicon storage in soil include nanoparticles of Si, SiO, and SiC. These plasmas appear to originate due to more than one set of weather and electrically charged conditions, the scientific rationale for which is incomplete or not fully understood. Sign up to receive weekly email alerts from Physics. There was probably a visiting delegation from the clouds, to the captives of the dynamos on last Monday night, and they certainly had a fine visit and a roystering game of romp. Electronic oscillations are also possible as stationary waves in a plasma ball or thick plasma membrane. The spectrum of a cloud-to-ground lightning strike and of the ball lightning it generated.  Lightning strikes perpendicular to the ground, and thunder follows immediately at supersonic speed in the form of shock waves that form an invisible aerodynamic turbulence ring horizontal to the ground. , Chen was able to derive the physics and found that there is a class of plasma toroids that remain stable with or without an external magnetic containment, a new plasma configuration unlike anything reported elsewhere. Tsar Nicholas II, the last Emperor of Russia, reported witnessing what he called "a fiery ball" while in the company of his grandfather, Emperor Alexander II: Once my parents were away, and I was at the all-night vigil with my grandfather in the small church in Alexandria. These floating fireballs shine as brightly as a 100-watt lightbulb; can be white, yellow, orange, red or blue in color and are typically about the size of a small grapefruit, although sightings suggest they can range in size from golf ball to beach ball. Ball lightning; Media in category "Ball lightning" The following 8 files are in this category, out of 8 total. Scientists have long attempted to produce ball lightning in laboratory experiments. As I looked at it, it exploded with a sharp report quite impossible to confuse with the continuous turmoil of the lightning, thunder and hail, or that of the lashed water and smashed wood which was creating a pandemonium outside the cottage. , Many modern experiments involve using a microwave oven to produce small rising glowing balls, often referred to as plasma balls. , An English journal reported that during an 1809 storm, three "balls of fire" appeared and "attacked" the British ship HMS Warren Hastings. British occultist Aleister Crowley reported witnessing what he referred to as "globular electricity" during a thunderstorm on Lake Pasquaney in New Hampshire, United States, in 1916. To obtain a time resolved spectrum we need to add a horizontal slit to isolate just a segment of the lightning channel and then cause the film to move perpendicularly. , Ebenezer Cobham Brewer, in his 1864 US edition of A Guide to the Scientific Knowledge of Things Familiar, discusses "globular lightning". 8, No. Watch high-speed footage of the ball lightning event and the accompanying spectrum: Learn about another kind of electrical phenomenon produced not by thunderstorms, but by earthquakes . More recent research with transcranial magnetic stimulation has been shown to give the same hallucination results in the laboratory (termed magnetophosphenes), and these conditions have been shown to occur in nature near lightning strikes. , A beautiful yet strange phenomenon was seen in this city on last Monday night. , A 1753 report recounts lethal ball lightning when professor Georg Richmann of Saint Petersburg, Russia, constructed a kite-flying apparatus similar to Benjamin Franklin's proposal a year earlier. 20, No. One would also expect aluminum to be present, given its abundance in soil minerals. A Guide to the Scientific Knowledge of Things Familiar, "A view of the theories which have been proposed to explain the origin of meteoric stones", "Natural ball lightning probed for the first time", "The 'Skyrmion' May Have Solved the Mystery of Ball Lightning", "Weather Eye: Charles Darwin, the meteorologist", "Ball lightning – and the charge sheath vortex", "Byla to koule s dvoumetrovým ocasem, popisuje dispečerka kulový blesk", "Unusual Phenomea Reports: Ball Lightning", Ball Lightning and Bead Lightning: Extreme Forms of Atmospheric Electricity, "Tenth international syposium on ball lightning/ International symposium III on unconventional plasmas", "Plasma fireballs formed by microwave interference in air (Corrections)", "Fireball Generation in a Water Discharge", "How to make a Stable Plasmoid ( Ball Lightning ) with the GMR (Graphite Microwave Resonator) by Jean-Louis Naudin", "Creating the 4th state of matter with microwaves by Halina Stanley", "Pesquisadores da UFPE geram, em laboratório, fenômeno atmosférico conhecido como bolas luminosas", "Ball Lightning Mystery Solved? Powell's kinetic theory calculation found that the ball size is set by the second Townsend coefficient (the mean free path of conduction electrons) near breakdown.  The latter ionizes the local air and the radiation pressure evacuates the resulting plasma, forming a spherical plasma bubble that stably traps the radiation. One of the first known sightings dates from Ancient Greece. When this maintains the ionization, the ball is then a soliton in the flow of atmospheric electricity. The spectral analysis indicates that the radiation from soil elements is present for the entire lifetime of the BL. Ball lightning.png 1,165 × 979; 4.36 MB.  The possibility of the existence of a ball lightning with a composite core was also discussed in this model.. The ball eventually fades as the radiation held within the bubble starts to decay and microwaves are discharged from the sphere. The evolution of size, color, and light intensity is reported in detail. Ohtsuki and Ofuruton described producing "plasma fireballs" by microwave interference within an air-filled cylindrical cavity fed by a rectangular waveguide using a 2.45 GHz, 5 kW (maximum power) microwave oscillator. Although the darkness prevented the researchers from estimating the ball’s altitude, they saw it drift horizontally for about 10 meters and ascend about 3 meters. 4441–4449. Its appearance has also been linked to power lines, altitudes of 300 m (1,000 feet) and higher, and during thunderstorms and calm weather. That is what Ping Yuan and co-workers from Northwest Normal University in Lanzhou, China, now report. In some observations, the ball lightning appeared to have an extremely high energy concentration but this phenomenon hasn't been adequately verified. It usually occurs near the ground during thunderstorms, in close association with cloud-to-ground lightning. The visual effect can be described as small glowing, sparkling orbs that roll around a surface. The balls have been reported to disperse in many different ways, such as suddenly vanishing, gradually dissipating, being absorbed into an object, "popping," exploding loudly, or even exploding with force, which is sometimes reported as damaging. On 10th of September 1845 a ball of lightning entered the kitchen of a house in the village of Salagnac in the valley of Correze. At the same time, the ring expands concentrically parallel to the ground at low speed. Seward, C., Chen, C., Ware, K. "Ball Lightning Explained as a Stable Plasma Toroid." The simplest case corresponds to radial oscillations in a spherical plasma membrane. Cooray and Cooray (2008) stated that the features of hallucinations experienced by patients having epileptic seizures in the occipital lobe are similar to the observed features of ball lightning. The ball of fire allegedly smashed the pews and many windows, and filled the church with a foul sulphurous odour and dark, thick smoke. Richmann was attending a meeting of the Academy of Sciences when he heard thunder and ran home with his engraver to capture the event for posterity. "Ball Lightning Explanation Leading to Clean Energy." Read More », Electromagnetic fields rotate a plasma and produce conditions that resemble the region around a newly forming star. The BL is generated by a cloud-to-ground lightning strike. June 2001. On 6 August 1944 a ball of lightning went through a closed window in, In 1954 Domokos Tar, a physicist, observed a lightning strike during a heavy thunderstorm in.  (A glass jar, however, eventually explodes rather than simply causing charred paint or melting metal, as happens to the inside of a microwave.) Later, some blamed the entire incident on two people who had been playing cards in the pew during the sermon, thereby incurring God's wrath.. A Spec.  This phenomenon, in its turn, can lead to a superconducting phase in a ball lightning. The present theory concerns only the low energy lightning ball form, with centripetal forces and surface tension. If the ball came from the channel, it would have rotated in the opposite direction. One suggestion is that meteors breaking up in the atmosphere and forming charged plasmas as opposed to burning completely or impacting as meteorites could explain some instances of the phenomena, in addition to other unknown atmospheric events.. In 2005 an incident occurred in Guernsey, where an apparent lightning-strike on an aircraft led to multiple fireball-sightings on the ground. The observed data are consistent with vaporization of soil as well as with ball lightning's sensitivity to electric fields.. , This hypothesis suggests that ball lightning consists of vaporized silicon burning through oxidation. The observed data are consistent with vaporization of soil as well as … During the hot portion, which lasts from the onset of the return stroke until about 20 s, singly ionized and 2. Seward, Clint. First spectrum of ball lightning shows it shares chemistry with soil. Ball lightning has been one of the most mysterious natural phenomena for centuries, partly because it is so rare and transient and therefore hard to investigate. Large stones from the church walls were hurled onto the ground and through large wooden beams. , Seward proposes that ball lightning is a spinning plasma toroid or ring. The aircraft encountered an electrical storm during which it was enveloped in a sudden bright and loud electrical discharge (0005 h EST, March 19, 1963). XV International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity, 15-20 June 2014, Norman, Oklahoma, U.S.A. A ball lightning (BL) has been observed with two slit-less spectrographs at a distance of 0.9 km. Ball lightning has been suggested[by whom?] Even when thunderstorms were not ascribed directly to the activity of a divine being, they were considered a disturbing premonition. They are separate and distinct phenomena.. They had set up spectrometers on the remote Qinghai Plateau of northwest China to investigate ordinary lightning, which is frequent in this region.  Such fields, which are found within close distances to a point in which multiple lightning strikes have occurred over a few seconds, can directly cause the neurons in the visual cortex to fire, resulting in magnetophosphenes (magnetically induced visual hallucinations). Products. Ball lightning.jpg 1,801 × 1,490; 378 KB. Scientific theories of ball lightning abound, with varying degrees of plausibility. In its ball form, the spooky form of lightning is said to range in size from a golf ball through to several metres across. These then recombine to form nanoparticles or filaments which, while still floating in air, react with oxygen, releasing heat and emitting the glow . The researchers found that the spectrum contained several emission lines from silicon, iron, and calcium—all elements expected to be abundant in soil. 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