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.
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From the New York Times bestselling author of the Three-Body Trilogy, Cixin Liu's Ball Lightning is the story of what happens when the beauty of scientific inquiry runs up against the drive to harness new discoveries with no consideration of their possible consequences. When Chen’s parents are incinerated before his eyes by a blast of ball lightning, he devotes his life to cracking the secret of this mysterious natural phenomenon. His search takes him to stormy mountaintops, an experimental military weapons lab, and an old Soviet science station. The more he learns, the more he comes to realize that ball lightning is just the tip of an entirely new frontier. While Chen’s quest for answers gives purpose to his lonely life, it also pits him against soldiers and scientists with motives of their own: a beautiful army major with an obsession with dangerous weaponry, and a physicist who has no place for ethical considerations in his single-minded pursuit of knowledge. "Wildly imaginative."—Barack Obama on The Three-Body Problem trilogy Tor books by Cixin Liu The Remembrance of Earth's Past #1 The Three-Body Problem #2 The Dark Forest #3 Death's End At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
In BALL LIGHTNING: Paradox of Physics, Paul Sagan lists 230 unpublished cases from Oak Ridge National Laboratories. By their mysterious propulsion, navigation, confinement and flight against winds, fireballs "defy" gravity. His novel Sagan-Hill Hypothesis explains fireball propulsion (inertialess negative gravity) and also the Flatwoods event of September 12, 1952. A witness, Sagan publishes his interviews with other witnesses and speculates that machine intelligences hide inside comet belts. Sagan explores atmospheric physics, lightning, network analysis, quantum physics, the EPR Paradox, Wolfram computation, MONDs, WIMPs, Multiverse Theory, chaoplexity, M-Theory and more. Sagan illuminates the profound changes necessary for post-modern physics to accommodate something that is foreign to our current physics. Written for the intelligent reader, this book's remarkable clarity and minimum of mathematical notation make it accessible to both the scientist and casual reader.
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.
Ball lightning is an enigma. These luminous objects that appear occasionally during thunderstorms and can reach several meters in diameter have been a mystery to science for about 200 years. Despite several thousands of reported observations, their nature is still unknown. In this book, well documented cases of ball lightning are described and used to unravel some aspects of this mysterious form of atmospheric electricity. Throughout the book, the author discusses the various facets of the problem in an accessible but rigorous style, delivering a readable and informative text that will captivate the curious reader. He finally reaches the surprising conclusion that the solution to this puzzle may have been hidden in plain sight for many years. A foreword by Earle Williams, leading lightning researcher at MIT, introduces the book.
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 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.