Ball Lightning and Bead Lightning: Extreme Forms of by James Barry

By James Barry

The objective of this monograph is to check the identified actual points of 2 strange sorts of atmospheric luminous phenomena, to infer their features and houses, and to advertise efforts to enhance their knowing. those kinds, known as ball lightning and bead lightning, have visible photographs that vary from the linear photograph linked to normallightning. The phrases "balliightning" and "bead lightning" are used to indicate atmospheric luminous kinds that are sometimes saw and feature the geometrie form instructed by way of their identify. Vet, it truly is attainable that neither phenomenon may possibly actually be a sort of lightning within the feel of a continual electric discharge. Bead lightning has been defined because the residue of a cloud-to­ cloud or cloud-to-ground lightning stroke and has the looks of aseries of luminous balls separated by way of darkish areas, hence similar to astring of pearls, and is still obvious for roughly one moment. Ball lightning has been defined as a unmarried luminous globe showing ne ar the floor after a lightning stroke and in addition closing obvious for approximately one moment. either phenomena stay seen some distance longer than common lightning flashes.

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Extra resources for Ball Lightning and Bead Lightning: Extreme Forms of Atmospheric Electricity

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A major aspect of many theories has been the energy source for the event. The question is, is it external or internal? Since ball lightning has been observed to come into contact with conductors without being immediately terminated, the suggestion of external sources providing the energy has been questioned. The fact that ball lightning has been observed within metal enclosures is a more serious problem, since the existence oE ball lightning within a metal enclosure is not compatible with an extern al energy source.

We will also assume that basic physics is applicable to the data available. 1. Mass Density Most ball lightning reports appear to agree in one characteristicthat is, the ball lightning either hovers in the air, apparently motionless or with only gentle random motion, or it descends as if from a higher altitude. These factors, coupled with the re ports that very few have been observed to rise, may be indicative of a density property. A descending motion would suggest a mass density larger than that of air, ascending would suggest a mass density less than that of air, and no apparent upward or down ward motion would suggest a mass density equivalent to that of air.

A high temperature is defined as greater than I0 40 K. A very hot gas would be expected to expandrapidly and diffuse into the surrounding air. However, that a partially ionized gas might be maintained will be considered later in this chapter. 2. E nergy Density The energy content and energy density of the ball lightning phenomenon is of considerable interest to those investigating its properties and origin. The energy content of ball lightning is also needed in order to analyze the phenomenon theoretically and to speculate about a mechanism for its formation and continued existence.

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