The purpose of this monograph is to review the known physical aspects of two unusual forms of atmospheric luminous phenomena, to deduce their characteristics and properties, and to promote efforts to improve their understanding. These two forms, called ball lightning and bead lightning, have visual images that differ from the linear image associated with normallightning. The terms "balliightning" and "bead lightning" are used to denote atmospheric luminous forms which are occasionally observed and have the geometrie shape suggested by their name. Vet, it is possible that neither phenomenon may in fact be a form of lightning in the sense of a continuous electrical discharge. Bead lightning has been described as the residue of a cloud-to cloud or cloud-to-ground lightning stroke and has the appearance of aseries of luminous balls separated by dark regions, thus resembling astring of pearls, and remains visible for about one second. Ball lightning has been described as a single luminous globe appearing ne ar the ground after a lightning stroke and also remaining visible for about one second. Both phenomena remain visible far longer than normal lightning flashes.
ball lightning 2
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This is the first proceedings held on scientific research on the ball lightning (fire ball). Eyewitness accounts of bars lightnings were presented and analysed by experts from USA, Germany, USSR, Hungary and Japan. The theoretical model on the ball lightning, and experimental research from various instruments were discussed. Contents:Ball Lightning — The Continuing Challenge (J D Barry & S Singer)Hungarian Ball Lightning Observations in 1987 (G Egely)Nature of Ball Lightning in Japan (Y H Ohtsuki & H Ofuruton)Phenomenological and Psychological Analysis of 150 Austrian Ball Lightning Reports (A G Keul & K Schwarzenbacher)Physical Problems and Physical Properties of Ball Lightning (G Egely)Statistical Analysis of the Ball Lightning Properties (A I Grigorjev et al)A Fluid-Dynamical Model for Ball Lightning and Bead Lightning (K E Nickel)The Lifetime of Hill's Vortex (K E Nickel)Electrical and Radiative Properties in Ball Lightning (B M Smirnov)The Candle Flame as A Model of Ball Lightning (B M Smirnov)A Model for Ball Lightning (H Yamamoto)The High-Temperature Physio-Chemical Processes in the Lightning Storm Atmosphere (G P Gladyshev)New Approach to Ball Lightning (P H Handel)A Calculation of Electric Field of Ball Lightning (T Neda et al)The Physical Explanation to the UFO over Xinjiang, Northern West China (Y Zou)Electric Reconnection, Critical Ionization Velocity, Ponderomotive Force and Their Applications to Triggered and Ball Lightning (H Kikuchi)The PLASMAKTM Configuration and Ball Lightning (P M Koloc)Experimental Research on Ball Lightning (H Ofuruton & Y H Ohtsuki)Performance of High-Voltage Test Facility Designed for Investigation of Ball Lightning (G C Dijkhuis & J Pijpelink) Readership: Applied physicists, geophysicists, chemists and electromagnetic engineers.
Ball Lightning is a natural phenomenon that is often associated with lightning. This book provides an explanation of Ball Lightning and includes the first report of an observation of Ball Lightning while it is forming. This book also describes potential clean energy technologies that will be possible based on this explanation.
Down comes a deluge of sonorous hail, Or prone-descending rain. Wide-rent, the clouds Pour a whole flood, and yet, its flame unquenched, Th’unconquerable lightning struggles through. Ragged and fierce, or in red whirling balls, And fires the mountains with redoubled rage. Black from the stroke, above, the smould’ring pine Stands a sad shattered trunk; and, stretched below, A lifeless group the blasted cattle lie. James Thompson, “The Seasons” (1727) have been investigating ball lightning for more than two decades. I published a ball lightning report in Nature in 1976 that received worldwide publicity and I consequently many people wrote to me with accounts of their own experiences. Within a very short time, I had accumulated about 200 firsthand accounts, and the file has continued to grow steadily since then. Several things impressed me. Few of those who wrote to me had any detailed foreknowledge of ball lightning at the time of their observation. Nonetheless, once reports of other phenomena such as St. Elmo’s fire had been eliminated, the remaining descriptions were remarkably consistent. Furthermore, nearly all who contacted me were keen to have an explanation of what they had seen and seemed entirely sincere.
In 1837 a comprehensive discussion of lightning appeared in the Annual of the French Bureau des Longitudes with a section on ball lightning which provided for the first time a readily available source in the scientific literature of the basic properties of this curious natural phenomenon. The author, Francois Arago, was the dominant influence in the French Academy of Sciences in the nineteenth century, having become a member of that august body at the age of twenty-three. His attention alone doubtless served at that time to establish the validity of scientific interest in the problem. In addition his discussion covered some of the major questions associated with ball lightning in a nota bly clear-sighted, effective style. Later reconsideration of the same questions often provided no significant improvement over Arago's discussion. There followed a dauntless band of varying but always small number who attempted to account for an apparently simple natural occurrence, a ball of fire usually seen in thunderstorms, with the best knowledge that advancing science could provide. All attempts to deal with this phenomenon were in variably frustrated. The characteristics of ball lightning could be readily cataloged, but they firmly resisted both experimental reproduction and theo retical explanation. One may say that to this day there is no explanation accepted by a large number of scientists. Several investigators of great ability and considerable accomplishment in different fields of science, including Faraday, Kelvin, and Arrhenius, took note of the problem.
First published in 1996. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.