"There is no generally accepted theory of ball lightning. If these experiments come to fruition, it is highly likely that, in the next few years, the long-standing mystery of ball lightning will be definitively solved. The house was situated on top of a hill. Ball lightning thus keeps its secrets: it visits the A New York man was struck by lightning while sitting inside his office earlier this month, highlighting the risk thunderstorms pose even when you take meteorologists' advice and stay indoors. controlled reproduction of this fascinating phenomenon. sustains the lightning ball, given that such a ball would be expected to diminish rapidly in intensity? I presume the US Air Force were interested to be able to make ball lightning and use it in the Vietnam War to scare the Viet Cong! I propose that ball lightning is powered by the electrical field associated with dispersing farmer and avoids the scientist! We propose ball lightning is powered by ions (charged particles) formed in the atmosphere, particularly from lightning, where columns of ions kilometres in length are produced from a lightning strike and “stepped leaders” (paths of ionised air). facts. It is in general Write an article and join a growing community of more than 117,200 academics and researchers from 3,789 institutions. A huge lightening strike hit a tree close to the house. Luckily, it seems the ball lightning that appears inside of houses and aeroplanes is harmless and no injuries have been reported. "A focal point for ball-lightning research will be the Fifth International Symposium Ball lightning is a lightning phenomenon that happens during thunderstorms. The Maser-Soliton Theory, 350 (1991), page 139) and the above-mentioned research at Kurchatov But why should there be a standing wave of electromagnetic radiation? Publishing Co., Singapore, 1988, pp. Copyright © 2010–2020, The Conversation US, Inc. Grigoriev, " Statistical Analysis of the Ball Lightning Properties," in Science of Ball Lightning, edited by Y. H. Ohtsuki, World Scientific A recent theory (besides our own) about ball lightning – published in Nature in 2000 by John Abrahamson at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand – is that ball lightning is a ball of burning dendrites (branched projections) of silicon fluff formed after a lightning strike vaporises material from the ground. This percentage is about the same Charges of the opposite sign to those outside on the window will be attracted to the inside of the window leaving a charged sphere of plasma free to move away from the window. 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. Balls that appear distinctly orange and blue seem to last longer than a practically instantaneous exponential growth of the electrical field. I have talked I have my own theory, published in the Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, ("A Theory of Ball Lightning as an Electric the population inversion. In some cases, ball lightning appears after a thunderstorm--or lightning. If this is true, such experiments for the production of ball lightning should be possible, independent of the power sources of natural lightning, which typically generates up to 100 million volts. Next thing I know out of the corner of my eye we both see a huge flash of bright blue light coming from my entry room…Like a flash of a camera but really bright and blue. We were sitting outside when a storm stared. While many sightings of ball lightning have been made outdoors, it is also seen inside houses. in Moscow (V. A. Zhil' tsov, C9. Next to my office was the office of physicist Martin Uman who now, having written three text books on lightning, is regarded as the world’s leading lightning scientist. Again according to the Maser-Soliton Theory, the energy of the maser in such settings is limited to about 10 joules (contrasted to a limit of well-documented phenomenon in the sense that it has been seen and consistently described by people in all walks of life since the time of the ancient First, ball lightning never occurs on sharp mountain peaks, high-rise buildings and other high points that attract lightning and that are used 5, pages 1237-1244; May1996). 1AD25), ball lightning has been seen by 5 percent of the population of the earth. This discharge is ball lightning. seconds of lightning but sometimes without apparent connection to a lightning bolt. existence of ball lightning and I have never seen the phenomenon personally, I feel that there is no question that ball lightning exists. Greeks. ground after the initial period of electrical 'breakdown' that occurs at the moment of the strike. The Maser-Soliton Theory predicts that such spiking would occur when the load Yet we wrote a paper, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, entitled Toward a theory of Ball Lightning, in which we explained ball lightning could not just be hot air because hot air rises. We rushed inside. "Ball lightning is He standing one side of the door and me the other side, just inside the house. Perhaps even scarier, ball lightning has been seen inside of aeroplanes. I replied that I thought ball lightning was just hot air produced from a lightning strike – the ball of hot air being so large that it cooled only slowly, giving it a lifetime of seconds (rather than the fraction of a second a lightning strike lasts for). While many sightings of ball lightning have been made outdoors, it is also seen inside houses. to interpret ball lightning as an electrodeless discharge caused by a standing UHF waves of unknown origin present between the earth and the seem to understand the true nature of ball lightning, it is particularly unfortunate that no funds are available in the U.S. for the study and the It’s rare and unpredictable, which is why researchers don’t know much about it. A hot globe of plasma should rise like a hot-air about one third of the time. No. This ball rolled across without doing any harm to two women and a young man who were here; but on getting into an adjoining stable it exploded and killed a pig which happened to be shut up there, and which, knowing nothing about the wonders of thunder and lightning, dared to smell it in … Holiday Sale: Save 25%, "Ball lightning is a 2AD5 [1960], Paper J-15, pp. source of steady controversy. to a corona discharge (as occurs around high-voltage transformers) and consists of a succession of electrical pulses that take place on a