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  1. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    12 Mar '08 01:29
    What exactly is it, has it been proven to exist? How can charges act like that, I mean negative repels negatives and so forth so whats going on there?
  2. 12 Mar '08 05:33
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    What exactly is it, has it been proven to exist? How can charges act like that, I mean negative repels negatives and so forth so whats going on there?
    I read a french article where they manage to produce a 'lightning ball'.
    They sure exist. The phenomenon is known.
  3. Standard member nmdavidb
    I Drank What? ©
    12 Mar '08 05:36
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    I read a french article where they manage to produce a 'lightning ball'.
    They sure exist. The phenomenon is known.
    When I was a kid I stuck a key in the wall outlet.

    I saw lightning...and my boys hurt!

    Does that count?

    Dave
  4. Subscriber SmookieP
    Lead, Follow, or..
    12 Mar '08 10:42
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    What exactly is it, has it been proven to exist? How can charges act like that, I mean negative repels negatives and so forth so whats going on there?
    I've heard talk of heat lightning, (rural legend) but ball lightning sounds just plain silly.

    My field is Weather Technology, and it's pretty simple as to why lightning happens, but where it happens and when is pretty much random.
  5. 12 Mar '08 11:32
    I've read about this ball lighting in my 11th grade physics book (publishing year - 2006). They write that it has been observed quite a lot but no one has yet managed to explain it or create artificially. There have been experiments where scientists have created something visually similar to the reports of "real" ball lighting but no one knows whether these experiments are in any way related to the actual phenomena.

    However, it has been documented. A Japanese student took a photo of it - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/cb/Ball_lightning_appears_cropped.jpg. That's a link from Wikipedia and it's the same picture that I have in my book. Looks quite odd.
  6. 12 Mar '08 15:10
    Originally posted by kbaumen
    They write that it has been observed quite a lot but no one has yet managed to explain it or create artificially.
    O'm not so sure about that. I read it in Figaro, at the page La Vie Scientifique, in early 2007.
    A team of researches actually produced a lightening ball, and it behaved like a natural one. The explanation was quite simple.
  7. 12 Mar '08 15:18
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    O'm not so sure about that. I read it in Figaro, at the page La Vie Scientifique, in early 2007.
    A team of researches actually produced a lightening ball, and it behaved like a natural one. The explanation was quite simple.
    Lightning or lightening ball? Anyway, you source is newer than mine so it's quite possible.
  8. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    12 Mar '08 16:20
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    O'm not so sure about that. I read it in Figaro, at the page La Vie Scientifique, in early 2007.
    A team of researches actually produced a lightening ball, and it behaved like a natural one. The explanation was quite simple.
    The explanation was simple, so what is the explanation?
    Some kind of charged solitron? It would seem there would have to be some balance of charges because if it was net negative or net positive they would fly apart from electrostatic repulsion, so those charges have to be balanced somehow. I know from my work on Ion Implanters when you have an ion beam, which is by its nature charged positive or negative, one method to self focus the beam is to introduce a small partial pressure of some inert gas, like argon. So when the negative charged beam smashes into the neutral argon, some electrons are added or subtracted and the beam will tend to come together in spite of the fact the ion beam as a whole has a net negative charge, its called self-focusing. I wonder if something like that could be going on in ball lightning?
  9. 12 Mar '08 21:25
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    The explanation was simple, so what is the explanation?
    Some kind of charged solitron? It would seem there would have to be some balance of charges because if it was net negative or net positive they would fly apart from electrostatic repulsion, so those charges have to be balanced somehow. I know from my work on Ion Implanters when you have an ion beam, w ...[text shortened]... , its called self-focusing. I wonder if something like that could be going on in ball lightning?
    Actually, it has nothing to do with electrical charges at all, more than the initial set-off.

    It has to do with a super hot lump of silicon, hot, near to plasma hot, it has some peculiar properties. It's surface sparks and glow in a way that resembles lightening balls.

    The experiment was done by sending charges directly into clay found in areas where lightening balls are usually fond. When silicon is superheated, then you got phenomenon like lightening balls, and they behaves like those.

    In nature this is a rare phenomenon, but in high charge laboratory, they can reproduce these balls artificially.

    Sorry if I don't have the words for it, all the way. Please, be considered and don't take all of my posting as the truth. Perhaps I missread the french, perhaps I don't remember all details, perhaps I don't understand its basics, or perhaps the article was all wrong.
  10. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    13 Mar '08 03:01
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    Actually, it has nothing to do with electrical charges at all, more than the initial set-off.

    It has to do with a super hot lump of silicon, hot, near to plasma hot, it has some peculiar properties. It's surface sparks and glow in a way that resembles lightening balls.

    The experiment was done by sending charges directly into clay found in areas wher ...[text shortened]... r all details, perhaps I don't understand its basics, or perhaps the article was all wrong.
    Ok, I never heard the silicon explanation before. That certainly could explain some ball lightning phenomena. I did however, hear about something that was like ball lightning except it had the ability to pass through a window, through the glass. That might be just an old wives tale but THAT I couldn't even begin to understand.
  11. 13 Mar '08 12:33
    Here's an interesting article from 2002 which gives some background and theories for ball lightning:

    http://www.forteantimes.com/features/articles/225/unfriendly_fire_ball_lightning_and_ufos.html
  12. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    15 Mar '08 12:17
    Originally posted by london nick
    Here's an interesting article from 2002 which gives some background and theories for ball lightning:

    http://www.forteantimes.com/features/articles/225/unfriendly_fire_ball_lightning_and_ufos.html
    Thanks for the link, first I heard of fortean times, lots of interesting stuff there. Ball lightning as UFO, sounds farfetched but who knows.
  13. Standard member Thequ1ck
    Fast above
    16 Mar '08 14:50
    I woke up to ball lightening once. There was this loud crack and flash of
    light. It took out my television and left some kind of plasma residue.
  14. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    16 Mar '08 15:30 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Thequ1ck
    I woke up to ball lightening once. There was this loud crack and flash of
    light. It took out my television and left some kind of plasma residue.
    But you didn't actually SEE it did you? If it took out your TV, it was probably a lightning bolt coming down the cable line, even if its on the outside, it can cause havoc, it can be a million volts or more. The lightning itself is several HUNDRED million volts and the megavolt is just the leftover from being shorted out to ground but everyplace there is a not so good conductor, a huge charge can build up and it can get inside the TV and literally blow stuff up. The 'plasma residue' you saw was probably some of the internal parts of the tv being vaporized and spread into the room, maybe hitting a wall in back of the TV or something.
    When I was in HS, our physics class was invited to a JPL high voltage lab where they had a 2 million volt transformer about the size of a small cottage inside a building the size of a LARGE gym and actually built DOWN into the ground about 40 feet and the ceiling was about 20 feet up so the building didn't even look that big from the outside, but it was a good 60 feet from floor to ceiling and the ceiling was a solid metal conductor insulated and the floor was also solid metal and grounded. So one demo was to take a 12 foot long 2X4 with metal lug bolts in each end, lift it up vertically to the ceiling, and put the other end connected to the floor, and they turned on the juice, 2 million volts ran through the wood and it exploded into a million pieces! Very impressive! So imagine what that kind of energy can do to your tv, no ball lightning needed!